(Allah be well-pleased with him)
Gibril Fouad Haddad
hadith pleases the virile among men,
while the effeminate among them hate it."
al-Baghdadi, Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn ‘Ali ibn Thabit ibn
Ahmad ibn Mahdi al-Shafi‘i (392-463), with Abu al-Ma‘ali
Ibn al-Juwayni and Abu al-Qasim al-Qushayri the third most
important figure in the fourth generation-layer of Abu al-Hasan
al-Ash‘ari’s school, praised by al-Dhahabi as "the
most peerless imam, erudite scholar and mufti, meticulous
hadith master, scholar of his time in hadith, prolific author,
and seal of the hadith masters." Al-Qinnawji said:
"He was a jurist whose preference went to hadith and
history." His father – a memorizer of Qur’an and the
main preacher (khatîb) in Darzijan Southwest of
Baghdad – sat him at the age of eleven in the class of Ibn
Razquyah al-Bazzar (d. 412), after which he travelled first to
Baghdad then Naysabur around 415, back to Baghdad, then
Asbahan for two years, Ray, Hamadhan, Dinawar, back to
Baghdad, then al-Sham and Mecca for pilgrimage, then Baghdad
or his nearby native Darzijan until 451, then Damascus until
459, then Tyre (Sûr) until 462, then Baghdad again where he
wrote abundantly on the science of hadith and became the
undisputed hadith authority in his time according to his
student, the Hanbali hadith master Ibn ‘Aqil. He heard
countless hadith masters, among them Abu Bakr al-Barqani (who
also narrated from him), Abu Nu‘aym al-Asbahani, al-‘Abdawi,
and the pious centenarian virgin scholar Karima bint Ahmad ibn
Muhammad al-Marwaziyya (d. 463) – one of al-Kushmihani’s
students – from whom al-Khatib took al-Bukhari’s Sahih
in five days during his pilgrimage trip at age fifty-two. He
took Shafi‘i fiqh from Abu al-Hasan ibn al-Mahamili
and the qadi Abu al-Tayyib al-Tabari, whom he frequented for
several years. Among his famous students: al-Nasr al-Maqdisi,
Ibn Makula, al-Humaydi, Abu Mansur al-Shaybani – who
transmitted his Tarikh – and the Hanbali Abu Ya‘la.
Makula and al-Mu’taman al-Saji said that the people of
Baghdad never saw anyone such as al-Khatib after al-Daraqutni.
Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Suri ranked al-Khatib far above Abu Nasr
al-Sijzi. Abu ‘Ali al-Baradani said: "It is probable
al-Khatib never met his equal." Abu Ishaq al-Isfarayini
said: "Al-Khatib is the Daraqutni of our time." Ibn
was one of the foremost scholars whom we witnessed in his
science, precision, memorization, and accuracy in the hadith
of the Messenger of Allah e . He was an expert in its minute
defects, its chains of transmission, its narrators and
transmitters, the sound and the rare, the unique and the
denounced, the defective and the discarded. The people of
Baghdad never had someone comparable to Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali
ibn ‘Umar al-Daraqutni after the latter, except al-Khatib.
al-Mu’addib asked al-Khatib: "Are you the hadith master
Abu Bakr?" He replied: "I am Ahmad ibn ‘Ali;
hadith mastership ended with al-Daraqutni."
hadith mastership al-Khatib wrote:
does not excel in hadith science nor is able to peruse its
complexities and shed light on its hidden benefits except he
who has gathered its variants, collated its loose ends,
brought it all together, and worked assiduously to compile
it under its topical subheadings, organizing its different
types. This activity strengthens competence, cements
memorization, purifies the heart, hones the personality,
expands the tongue, greatly improves language, unveils
ambiguities and clarifies them. It also earns memorability
and immortality, as the poet said:
die then knowledge keeps alive their memory,
While ignorance joins the dead with the dead.
al-‘Aziz ibn Ahmad al-Kattani said: "Al-Khatib followed
the [doctrinal] school of Abu al-Hasan al-Ash‘ari – Allah
have mercy on him." Al-Dhahabi reports this and comments:
"This is true. For al-Khatib explicitly stated,
concerning the reports on the Divine Attributes, that they are
passed on exactly as they were received, without
interpretation." Ibn al-Subki comments: "This is al-Ash‘ari’s
position, yes. But al-Dhahabi is the victim of his lack of
knowledge of Shaykh Abu al-Hasan’s position just as others
were also victims: for al-Ash‘ari also has another position
allowing for figurative interpretation (al-ta’wîl)."
Al-Dhahabi does go on to relate al-Khatib’s precise
disowning of both nullification (ta‘tîl) and
anthropomorphism (tajsîm) of the divine Attributes:
Bakr al-Khatib said: "As for what pertains to the
divine Attributes, whatever is narrated in the books of
sound reports concerning them, the position of the Salaf
consists in their affirmation and letting them pass
according to their external wordings while negating from
them modality (kayfiyya) and likeness to things
created (tashbîh). <A certain people have
contradicted the Attributes and nullified what Allah I had
affirmed; while another people have declared them real then
went beyond this to some kind of likening to creation and
ascription of modality. The true objective is none other
than to tread a middle path between the two matters. The
Religion of Allah I lies between the extremist and the
laxist.> The principle to be followed in this matter is
that the discourse on the Attributes is a branch of the
discourse on the Essence. The path to follow in the former
is the same extreme caution as in the latter. When it is
understood that the affirmation of the Lord of the Worlds
[in His Essence] is only an affirmation of existence and not
of modality, it will be similarly understood that the
affirmation of His Attributes is only an affirmation of
their existence, not an affirmation of definition (tahdîd)
nor an ascription of modality. So when we say: Allah I has a
Hand, hearing, and sight, they are none other than
Attributes Allah I has affirmed for Himself. We should not
say that the meaning of ‘hand’ is power (al-qudra)
nor that the meaning of ‘hearing’ and ‘sight’ is
knowledge (‘ilm), nor should we say that they are
organs (lâ naqûlu innahâ jawârih)! Nor should we
liken them to hands, hearings, and sights that are organs
and implements of acts. We should say: All that is
obligatory is  to affirm them because they are stated
according to divine prescription (tawqîf), and 
to negate from them any likeness to created things according
to His saying ( There
is nothing whatsoever like unto Him) (42:11) ( and
there is none like Him) (112:4)."
teacher Dr. Nur al-Din ‘Itr comments al-Khatib’s position
is a vulnerable spot where feet tread a slippery path. Many
are those who fell into likening Allah to His creatures
because of it, or into something like it – our refuge is
in Allah! – while believing that this was the position of
the pious Salaf y but Allah has exonerated the latter
from holding it. … Imam al-Khatib passed the obstacle at
which point pens lapsed and illusions flared, for he refuted
the Mu‘tazila and their likes who contradict the
divine Attributes, and he understood the position of the Salaf
as it truly is by affirming those Attributes with a kind of
affirmation that commits to Allah I the knowledge of their
reality, not an affirmation of dimensionality and modality (athbata
tilka al-sifât ithbâtan yufawwidu ‘ilma haqîqatihâ ilâ
Allâhi ta‘âlâ lâ ithbâta tahdîd wa takyîf). He
thereby asserted the school of the Salaf as it really
was, not as some erratic people in our time understand it to
be. The latter are in fact arrogant wranglers who cannot
tell the difference between the Salaf’s committal
of the actual knowledge of these matters to Allah I , their
holding His Transcendence above whatever anthropomorphism
the terms may suggest, and the anthropomorphism of the
al-Faraj al-Isfarayini said: "Al-Khatib was with us in Hajj,
and he used to conclude an integral recitation of Qur’an
outloud every day. People would gather around him as he was
mounted, saying: ‘Narrate hadith to us,’ and he would
narrate to them." ‘Abd al-Muhsin al-Shihi said: "I
was al-Khatib’s travelling companion from Damascus to
Baghdad, and he used to recite the entire Qur’an once every
day and night."
al-Abanusi reported that al-Khatib used to read while walking.
This is a common habit among hadith masters. Al-Khatib himself
narrated that ‘Ubayd ibn Ya‘ish said: "For thirty
years I never ate at night with my own hand. My sister would
spoonfeed me while I wrote hadith."
wrote in his Tarikh Baghdad in the entry devoted to
Isma‘il ibn Ahmad al-Naysaburi al-Darir: "He went to
pilgrimage and narrated hadith, and what a wonderful shaykh he
was! When he went to Hajj he took with him a load of
books, intending to reside in Mecca or Madina for a while.
Among them was al-Bukhari’s Sahih which he had heard
from al-Kushmihani. I read it before him entirely in three
sittings. The third session lasted from the beginning of the
day until night, and it ended with the rising of dawn."
Al-Dhahabi comments: "This was – by Allah! – the kind
of reading faster than which no-one ever heard."
al-Qasim ibn al-Muslima, al-Qa’im bi Amrillah’s vizier –
nicknamed Ra’is al-ru’asa’ – and a hadith
scholar, patronized al-Khatib with a small fortune which
enabled the latter to devote himself to teaching and writing.
He passed an edict that no teacher nor preacher in Baghdad
narrate a hadith without authenticating it with al-Khatib
first. He once asked the latter to verify a document which
some Jews produced claiming that it was the Prophet’s e
exemption of the tax on non-Muslims (jizya) for the
Jews of Khaybar written, they said, in the hand of ‘Ali ibn
Abi Talib t . Al-Khatib looked at the document then declared
it a forgery on the grounds that it was witnessed by
Mu‘awiya – who entered Islam in the year of the conquest
of Mecca, whereas Khaybar was conquered in the year 7 – and
Sa‘d ibn Mu‘adh who died during the battle of Banu Qurayza
two years before Khaybar.
came to settle in Damascus, fleeing Baghdad in Safar 451 in
fear for his life during the Fatimi-leaning Turk Arslan al-Basasiri’s
(d. Dhu al-Hijja 451) attempted coup against al-Qa’im bi
Amrillah (422-467) and the Abbasid caliphate, although
Damascus itself was under Fatimi rule. He then fled Damascus
again in 459 to go to Tyre until 462, whence he returned to
Baghdad, visiting Syrian Tripoli, Aleppo, and all the main
cities on his way. Ibn Nasir narrated: "When al-Khatib
read hadith in the mosque of Damascus, his voice could be
heard from one end of the mosque to the other and he spoke in
pure Arabic." He is also noted for his accurate and
narrated that al-Khatib said: "Whoever authors books puts
his mind on a plate for display to people." He fled from
Damascus to Tyre because of enmity from the Rafidi
governor of Damascus and accusations that he was a Nasibi
or enemy of Ahl al-Bayt on grounds of narrating Ahmad ibn
Hanbal’s book on the merits of the Companions and Ibn
Rizquyah’s book on the merits of al-‘Abbas. "At that
time the call to prayer in Damascus included the phrase hayya
‘alâ khayri al-‘amal."
Mansur ‘Ali ibn ‘Ali al-Amin narrated that when al-Khatib
returned from al-Sham he was wealthy in garments and gold but
without heir. So he wrote to al-Qa’im bi Amrillah: "My
property will go back to the public treasury (bayt al-mâl),
so give me permission to distribute it among those I
choose." He then distributed it – two hundred dinars –
to the scholars of hadith.
Tahir said: "I asked [the Sufi hadith master] Hibat Allah
ibn ‘Abd al-Warith al-Shirazi: ‘Was al-Khatib like his books
in memorization?’ He said: ‘No, if we asked him of something
he might take days to answer us and if we pressed him he would
get angry. He was abrupt and his memorization was not on a par
with his books.’" This assessment is belied by the
scholars’ comparison of al-Khatib to al-Daraqutni and by the
example of his extemporaneous response cited below. Furthermore,
al-Dhahabi relates from al-Sam‘ani that Hibat Allah (d. 486)
entered Baghdad in 457 when al-Khatib was away, and the latter
did not return until 462, one year before his death.
frequented Abu Ishaq al-Isfarayini’s classes for three years
at a time when Abu Ishaq was the unchallenged headmaster of the
Shafi‘i school in his time. One day he mentioned the narrator
Bahr ibn Kaniz al-Saqqa’ then turned to al-Khatib and asked:
"What do you say concerning him [i.e. his
reliability]?" Al-Khatib replied: "If you give me
permission then I shall mention his state." Al-Isfarayini
then sat back like a student before his master, while al-Khatib
gave a lengthy and detailed account of the narrator’s grading
on the spot. Abu Ishaq was one of those who carried al-Khatib’s
bier to his grave.
ibn ‘Abd al-Malik al-Hamadhani said in his Tarikh:
"The science died at the time of al-Khatib’s death."
‘Asakir narrated: "When al-Khatib first drank Zamzam
water he asked Allah I for three petitions [according to the
Prophetic narration "Zamzam water makes good whatever [need
in the world and the hereafter] it is drunk for"]: to be
able to narrate the history of Baghdad in that city, to dictate
hadith in the mosque of al-Mansur [in Baghdad], and to be buried
near Bishr al-Hafi. He obtained all three."
al-Barakat Isma‘il ibn Abi Sa‘d al-Sufi said:
Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn ‘Ali al-Turaythithi, known as Ibn Zahra’
al-Sufi, was in our ribât and had prepared for himself
a grave next to Bishr al-Hafi’s grave. He used to go there
once a week to sleep in it, reciting the entire Qur’an at
that time. When Abu Bakr al-Khatib died after stipulating that
he be buried next to Bishr al-Hafi, the scholars of hadith
came to Ibn Zahra’ asking permission to bury him in Ibn
Zahra’s grave and cede his place to him. He refused, saying:
"How can I allow a spot I have prepared for myself to be
taken away from me?" They came to my father [Abu Sa‘d
al-Sufi] who invited Ibn Zahra’ and told him: "I do not
say to you to give them your grave, but I ask you: if Bishr
al-Hafi were alive and you were at his side, then al-Khatib
came and sat farther away, would it be fit for you to sit
higher than him?" He replied: "No, I would make him
sit in my place." He said: "It is the same in this
situation." Ibn Zahra’s heart was happy with this and
he gave his permission.
was an ascetic, industrious scholar given to worship, a
trustworthy hadith master withdrawn from the courts of princes,
generous, grave and earnest in his manners, and both tireless
and meticulous in his work. He wrote 10,000 pages totalling 104
books, many of them remaining to our time authoritative manuals
in hadith science noted for their insight and wide compass. Ibn
Hajar said in his introduction to Sharh Nukhba al-Fikar:
"There is hardly a single discipline among the sciences of
hadith in which al-Khatib did not author a monograph." Then
he cited the hadith master Ibn Nuqta’s praise: "Whoever
gives credit where credit is due knows that hadith scholars,
after al-Khatib, all depend on his books." Among them:
("The Dictations") of which three volumes
exist in the Zahiriyya collection.
al-Mubhama ("Anonymous Mentions"), identifying
those mentioned anonymously in hadiths or hadith chains.
("The Misers") in three volumes.
wa al-Mutafaqqih ("The Jurist and the Student of
li al-Wasl al-Mudraj fi al-Naql ("The Decisive
Statement On Attributions Inserted Into Transmission").
al-Muntakhaba ("The Select Benefits").
al-‘Ilm al-‘Amal ("Knowledge Necessitates
Deeds"), a collection of narrations on this topic,
which he prefaced with the words:
student of knowledge, I exhort you to purify your
intention in pursuing knowledge and to strive to make your
soul act according to knowledge’s dictates. For the
science is a tree of which deeds are the fruit, and he is
not counted learned, who does not put his learning into
practice…. And did those of the Salaf of the past
reach whatever high levels they reached, other than by
purified beliefs, righteous deeds, and renouncing most of
the refinements of the world? And did the wise people of
the past attain greater felicity except through hard work
and diligence, contentment with little, and spending of
their superfluity to meet the need of the needy and
destitute? Surely, he who gathers books of knowledge is no
different than he who gathers gold and silver. Surely, the
devourer of books is no different from the greedy miser.
Surely, the bibliophile enamoured with books is no
different from the hoarder of gold and silver. Therefore,
just as wealth does not benefit except through its
spending, likewise do the sciences not benefit except
those who put them into practice and observes their
bi Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim ("Pronouncing the basmala
Outloud"), listing – as al-Daraqutni did in his Sunan
– the proof-texts of the Shafi‘i school on this practice.
Ibn al-Jawzi in al-Sahm al-Musib stated that all of the
hadiths adduced by al-Khatib in al-Jahr – as
is the case with al-Daraqutni’s proofs for the basmala
in his Sunan – are either weak or very weak. Al-Dhahabi
also wrote a critique of al-Khatib’s book, as did the
Hanbali Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Abd al-Hadi.
li Akhlaq al-Rawi wa Adab al-Sami‘ ("The Compendium
on the Ethics of the Hadith Narrator and the Manners of the
Auditor") in two volumes, the continuation of Sharaf
Ashab al-Hadith. It contains the following chapters:
Intention in the Pursuit of Hadith
2: The Characteristics That Must Distinguish the Narrator
and Auditor of Hadith (3 sections)
3: "High" (= short) Chains of Transmissions (4
4: Choosing One’s Shuyûkh Once Their Attributes
Are Known (9 sections)
5: The Etiquette of Study (4 sections)
6: The Etiquette of Asking Permission to Enter the House of
the Hadith Master (7 sections)
7: The Etiquette of Entering the House of the Hadith Master
8: The Veneration and Honoring of the Hadith Master (6
sections)In the section entitled "Kissing the
Hand of the Hadith Scholar, His Head, and His Right
[Shoulder]" al-Khatib narrates the following three
hadiths among others:
From ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar: "I was in one of the
Messenger of Allah military detachments, and we came up to
him until we kissed his hand."
From Usama ibn Sharik: "We rose up approaching the
Prophet, and kissed his hand."
From ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Ka‘b al-Ansari
or ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Razin: "We came and greeted
Salama ibn Akwa‘. He brought out his hands and said: ‘I
pledged loyalty with these two hands to the Messenger of
.’ He brought out a hand as big as a camel’s paw. We
rose up approaching him, and kissed it."
The Etiquette of Hadith Audition
10: The Etiquette of Interrogating the Hadith Master (5
11: How to Memorize What Comes From the Hadith Master (2
12: The Encouragement to Lend the Books of Audition and the
Blame of Those Who Go the Way
of Avarice and Refusal (2 sections)
13: The Recording of Hadiths in Books and the Etiquette
14: Beautifying One’s Calligraphy (8 sections)
15: The Obligation to Check Against the [Hadith Master’s]
Book For Verification and the Elimination of Doubt and
16: Reading To the Hadith Master and Its Etiquette (7
17: Mention of the Morals and Ethics of the Narrator and
What Manners He Must Use With His Disciples
and Companions (4 sections)
18: It is Offensive to Narrate to Those That Do Not Seek It
And It is A Waste to Give It to Other Than Those Who Are
Qualified (8 sections)
19: The Hadith Master’s Giving of High Respect to the
Students of Knowledge and His Keeping the Best Opinion of
Them and A Mild Disposition (8 sections)
20: The Hadith Master Must Exempt Himself From Accepting
Remuneration For Narrating (3 sections)
21: His Caring For His Appearance and Looking to His
Adornment Before Narrating Hadith (28 sections:)
2. Paring Nails
3. Clipping the Moustache
4. Grooming the Hair
5. Wearing Clean Clothes
6. Avoiding Foods That Cause Bad Breath
7. Dyeing One’s White Hair [with Henna], Contrary to
8. It is Fine to Use Saffron or Memecylon (wars) To
9. The Dislike of Dying One’s Hair Black
10. The Preferred Garments For the Hadith Master
11. His Shirt
12. The outer headcover (qalansuwa) and turban (‘imâma)
unstitched head-shawl (taylasân)
14. Wearing a Ring
15. Combing His Beard
and Perfuming Himself
17. Looking At Himself In the Mirror
19. His Composure in Walking
20. His Initiating Salâm With Whomever He Meets
Among the Muslims
21. Entering His Gathering of People
Desirability of His Sitting Square-Legged and In A Humble Manner
23. Using Gentle Speech and Keeping Composure In Discourse
Jesting With the People In the Gathering
25. The Desirability of Being Gentle In His Rebukes
Acrimony Nor Breach
26. The States In Which Narrating Is Offensive
27. Those Who Disliked Narrating Other Than In A State of
28. Those In A State of Impurity Who, Wishing to Narrate,
The Hadith Master’s Care To Share His Company Equally
Among His Companions (5 sections)
35: His Care to Be Absolutely Truthful in His Speech
Regardless of His Concerns and Situation (9 sections, of
which the third, seventh, and eighth examine the question of
narrating hadith according to meaning rather than precise
36: The Ruling Concerning Whoever Narrated a Hadith From
Memory Then Was Contradicted In It (4 sections)
37: Dictating Hadith And Dictation Sessions (7 sections)
38: Employing A Repeater (mustamlî) (33 sections)
39: Competition Over The Hadith Among Its Students And
Mutual Secretiveness So As To Withhold Its Benefit
40: The Obligation of Mutual Faithful Counsel and Benefit
With Regard to Narrations
41: Picking and Choosing Hadith By Those Who Are Unable To
Write All Its ChainsComprehensively (6 sections)
42: Concerning the Writing of Hadith In Detail and In Its
Totality And the Need For This Endeavor In the Compilation
of Books Related To Its Various Sciences (15 sections)
43: Travelling In Pursuit of A Hadith To Far-Off Countries
So As To Meet the Hadith Masters There And Obtain Short
Chains of Transmission (13 sections)
44: The Memorization of Hadith and the Penetration of
Insight Concerning It (12 sections:)
Emphasis on the Memorization of Hadith
Who Described Themselves as Memorizers
3. Hadith Learning is Not By Mere Instruction For It Is
None Other Than a Type of Knowledge Allah I Creates in the
Means That Facilitate Hadith Memorization
5. A Supplication For the Memorization of Qur’an, Hadith,
and the Various Disciplines
6. Types of Preferred Foods and Those Recommended Against
For the Improvement of Memory
7. The Requisite Schedule of Night Study of Hadith For the
8. Repeating What is Memorized To Master It By Heart:
ibn Bakkar said: "My father came in and saw me
reading silently in a notebook, reading it back to
myself. He said to me: ‘Your only aid in your type
of narration is whatever your sight conveys to your
heart. If you want narration then look at it and read
it out loud
also. For then, your aid comes from both what your
sight conveys to your heart and what your hearing
conveys to your heart.’" Dr. M. ‘Ajaj al-Khatib
commented on this narration: "These are fine and
true words, for this is what the authorities in
education and psychology say: the more senses
participate in the absorption of a subject or its
learning, the faster and easier its
said: "Repeat the hadith at length and it will
never be erased from memory."
time a pail of water was placed before Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri.
When he placed his hand in it, he happened to remember
a hadith. He did not remove his hand from the water
until fajr rose and until he had completely
mastered the hadith.
al-Thawri said: "Make the hadith your own
discourse to yourself and the very thought of your
hearts, and you will then memorize it."
al-Maraghi said: "I went into a cemetery
in Tustar, and I heard someone shouting: ‘And al-A‘mash,
from Abu Salih, from Abu Hurayra; and al-A‘mash,
from Abu Salih, from Abu Hurayra,’ for a long time.
I began to look for the source of this voice until I
saw Ibn Zuhayr, studying al-A‘mash’s narrations
alone, from memory."
Rehearsing Hadith With All Types of People
10. Rehearsing Hadith With Disciples And Friends
11. Rehearsing Hadith With Spouses And Companions
12. Rehearsing Hadith With Older People
Sa‘id al-Khudri said: "Review (tadhâkarû)
hadith with each other, for one hadith brings out
said: "Rehearse the hadith to one another, for its
life is its remembrance."
al-Nakha‘i said: "Whoever is pleased with
memorizing hadith let him narrate it to others, even to
those who have no inkling for it. When he does this, the
hadith will be like a book in his breast."
used to read back the hadiths he had memorized to his
slave-girl and the beduins in his land.
‘Abbas would say to Sa‘id ibn Jubayr: "O
Sa‘id! Narrate." Sa‘id replied: "I,
narrate in your presence?" Ibn ‘Abbas replied:
"If you make a mistake I will let you know."
ibn al-Madini said: "Six men would almost take
leave of their minds upon hadith repetition: Yahya [ibn
Ma‘in], ‘Abd al-Rahman [ibn Mahdi], Waki‘ [ibn al-Jarrah],
[Sufyan] Ibn ‘Uyayna, Abu Dawud, and ‘Abd al-Razzaq
– due to their ardent love of it. One night, Waki‘
and ‘Abd al-Rahman rehearsed hadith together in ths
Holy Sanctuary and did not stop until the caller to
prayer raised the adhân of fajr."
ibn al-Hasan ibn Shaqiq said: "I was with ‘Abd
Allah ibn al-Mubarak in the mosque on a cold winter
night and we rose to leave. When we reached the door he
reminded me of a hadith and I reminded him of another.
We did not stop reminding each other until the caller to
prayer came and raised the morning adhân."
The Exposition and Definition of the Immense Merit of
Compiling And Authoring Books (15 sections)
Zur‘a was asked about the [final] number of those
[Companions] who narrated hadith from the Prophet (s).
He replied: "Who can compute it? Those who
witnessed with the Prophet (s)the
Farewell Pilgrimage were 40,000 and those who witnessed
the campaign of Tabuk with him were 70,000." In
another narration someone asked him: "O Abu Zur‘a!
Is it not said that the hadith of the Prophet (s)is
4,000 narrations [in all]?" He replied: "And
who said that – may Allah untooth him! – ? This is
what heretics say (hâdhâ qawlu al-zanâdiqa).
Who can circumscribe the totality of the hadith of the
Messenger of Allah e ? When he died there were 114,000 sahâba
who narrated and had heard from him.
Ceasing Narration In Old Age Lest Memory Is Affected And the
Mind Becomes Confused:
Muhammad al-Hasan ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Khallad said:
"If the hadith scholar lives a long life, I find it
preferable that he stop transmitting narrations at the
age of eighty, for it is the period of senility. Making
glorification, asking forgiveness, and reciting Qur’an
is all more appropriate for eighty-year-olds. But if his
mind is crystal-clear and he has perspicuity, knowing
the narrations in his possession and in full mastery of
them, and he purports to narrate for the obtainment of
reward, then I hope all the best for him."
Abi Bakr al-Siddiq ‘ala Shart al-Sahihayn ("Narrations
Related by Abu Bakr According to the Criterion of al-Bukhari
wa al-Muftaraq ("Similar-Looking Narrators’
Ahl al-Hadith ("The Faithful Counsel of the Masters of
in which he declaimed:
("Equestrianism"). Al-Khatib relates from his father
that their origin was of a Beduin Arab tribe specializing in
raising horses in al-Jasasa, bordering the Euphrates.
fi ‘Ilm al-Riwaya ("The Sufficiency in the Science
of Hadith Narration") in about 170 chapters in which al-Khatib
"exhaustively listed the codes of hadith narration,
expounding its principles and universal rules as well as the
schools of the experts wherever their opinions differed; it
remains, in our time, the greatest book on the subject."
Ahmad ibn Hanbal ("The Immense Merits of Imam
al-Shafi‘i ("The Immense Merits of Imam al-Shafi‘i").
li al-Jam‘ wa al-Tafriq ("The Clarifier of
Collation and Dispersion"), listing the different names
under which the same person may be identified in transmission
your quest is for true direction
In the twin matter of your world and the hereafter,
Then dissent with your own soul in its lusts;
Truly lust is the meeting of all corruption.
wa al-Athar al-Marwiyya Fih ("The qunût and
Its Proof-Texts") according to the Shafi‘i school.
fi Talab al-Hadith ("Travel in Pursuit of A Hadith"),
published by Dr. Nur al-Din ‘Itr who termed it "a vast
demonstration and signal proof establishing the rank reached
by our great scholars in their high energies, lofty pursuits,
noble goals and means… by which we hope to sound the wake-up
call for our cultivated youth and students of knowledge, that
they may tread the path of their first masters, the immortal
ulema of their Community."
al-Sahaba ‘an al-Tabi‘i ("Narration of the
Companions From a Tabi‘i"), listing examples of this
wa al-Lahiq ("The Precursor and the Subsequent in
Chronology") in ten volumes.
al-Tasbih wa al-Ikhtilaf Fiha ("The Prayer of
Glorification and the Difference of Opinion Concerning Its
Status"), an authoritative presentation of its
proof-texts that goes together with Ibn Nasir al-Din al-Dimashqi’s
al-Tarjih li Hadith Salat al-Tasbih, al-Mundhiri’s
documentation in the first volume of al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib,
and Ibn al-Salah’s discussion in his Fatawa.
Ashab al-Hadith ("The Eminence of the Masters of Hadith")
in which he narrated Abu Dawud’s saying: "Were it not for
this band of people we would not be studying Islam." The
narrations al-Khatib gathered in this precious book list the
attributes used by the Imams of hadith for the scholars of the
Command Good and Forbid Evil" [Ibrahim ibn Musa]
"The Substitute-Saints" [Sufyan al-Thawri, Yazid ibn
Harun, Ahmad ibn Hanbal]
"The Pillars of the Shari‘a" [al-Khatib]
"The Nearest of People to the Prophet (s)" [because of
the hadith: "Truly the nearest of people to me on the Day
of Resurrection are those who invoked the most blessings upon
"The Owners of Transmission Chains [to the Prophet (s)]"
[Yazid ibn Zuray‘]
"The Owners of Frayed Garments and Inkwells" [Caliph
"The Best of All Scholars" [al-Khatib]
"The Best of All People" [al-Awza‘i]
"The Best of Those Who Spoke About Knowledge" [Ahmad]
"The Trustees of Allah Over His Religion" [Abu Hatim
"The Messenger’s Trustees" [al-Khatib]
"The People of Belief" [because of the hadith:
"Do you know who of those who possess belief is the best in
belief?" They said the angels. He replied: "This is
true, and it is right that they should be so, but nothing stands
in their way because of the position in which Allah I has placed
them. I mean others." They said: "The Prophets whom
Allah honored with Prophetship and Messengership." He
replied in the same way. They said the martyrs. He replied:
"This is true, and it is right that they should be so, but
nothing stands in their way because of the honor Allah bestowed
upon them with martyrdom. I mean others." They asked:
"Who then, O Messenger of Allah?" He said:
"Generations yet in the loins of men who shall come after
me; they shall believe in me without seeing me and confirm me
without seeing me. They shall see the suspended leaves [of the
Law] and put them into practice."
"The People of Truth" [al-Khatib]
"The People of Righteousness" [‘Umar ibn ‘Abd
"The Vessels of Knowledge" [al-Khatib]
"The People Most Meritorious of Salvation in the
Hereafter" [because of the hadith: "Truly the safest
among you against the disasters of the Day of Resurrection on
that day are those of you who invoked the most blessings on me
in the world"].
"The Friends of Allah" [al-Khalil ibn Ahmad]
"The Massive Throng" [al-Khatib]
"The Guardians of the Earth" [Sufyan al-Thawri]
"The Guardians of the Religion" [al-A‘mash]
"The Implanters of the Religion" [Ibn al-Mubarak]
"The Party of Allah" [al-Khatib]
"The Preservers of the Pillars of the Law" [al-Khatib]
"The Preservers of the Prophet’s Sunna" [al-Khuraybi]
"The Custodians of the Faith" [Kahmas]
"The Protectors of the Faith" [al-Khatib]
"The Repellers of False Imputations to the Prophet" [Ibn
"The Carriers of Knoweldge" [al-Khuraybi]
"The Storehouses of the Religion" [al-Khatib]
"The Successors of the Messenger (s)" [al-Khatib]
"The Elect Among Tribes" [Hafs ibn Ghyath]
"The Elect Among People" [Abu Bakr ibn ‘Ayyash]
"The Elect Among Worshippers" [Abu Muzahim al-Khaqani]
"The Virile Among Men" [al-Zuhri]
"The Trustees Who Preserve the Reports of the
Messengers" [Abu Hatim al-Razi]
"The Strangers" [‘Abdan]
"The Knights of this Religion" [Yazid ibn Zuray‘]
"The Caretakers of the Matter of Shari‘a"
"The Strivers In the Preservation of the Faith" [al-Khatib]
"Mankind" (al-nâs) [Ahmad ibn Hanbal]
"Those Who Belong to No Tribe" [‘Abdan]
"The Intermediaries Between the Prophet (s) and His
"Muhammad’s Inheritors" [Ibn Mas‘ud]
"The Inheritors of the Prophets" [al-Fudayl ibn
"The Beneficiaries of the Messenger of Allah" [Abu
Sa‘id al-Khudri, according to the hadith of the Prophet:
"There shall come after me a people <from the East/from
the regions of the world> who shall ask you about me. When
they come to you, treat them kindly and narrate to them <,
make them memorize the hadith and make room for them in
al-‘Ilm ("The Fettering of Knowledge"), an
important book gathering all the proofs that large-scale
writing of hadith began in the time of the Prophet (s),
together with particular caveats against it.
wa Hikayat al-Tufayliyyin ("Sponging and
Talkhis al-Mutashabih, an addendum to Talkhis al-Mutashabih.
al-Mutashabih fi al-Rasm ("Summary of the
Similarities in Spelling"), on hadith narrators commonly
confused with one another due to the similar spelling of their
Baghdad ("History of Baghdad"), his most
important work. Ostensibly a history of Baghdad, it is more
specifically a reference work in narrator-authentication (‘ilm
al-rijâl) and a valuable compendium of 4,385 hadiths
narrated with their full chains, over half of them (2,253) not
found in the two books of Sahih and the four Sunan.
In this respect al-Khatib’s rank as an independent narrator
is comparable to that of al-Bayhaqi (d. 458), Ibn ‘Abd
al-Barr (d. 463), and Ibn ‘Asakir (d. 571).
li Asma’ al-Mudallisin ("The Exposition of the
Names of Those Who Concealed Their Sources").
al-Khatib’s authentication method in Tarikh Baghdad,
al-Sam‘ani narrated that he said: "Whenever in the Tarikh
I mention a man concerning whom opinions vary in commendation
and discreditation, then the preferred position concerning him
is placed at the conclusion of his biographical notice."
ibn ‘Abd al-Salam al-Maqdisi said: "I was sleeping in
the house of Shaykh Abu al-Hasan al-Za‘farani when I saw in
a dream, shortly before dawn, as if we had gathered in al-Khatib’s
house to read the Tarikh as usual. To his right was the
jurist, Shaykh Nasr al-Maqdisi, and to the latter’s right
was a man I did not know. So I asked who he was and was told:
‘This is the Messenger of Allah e who came to hear the Tarikh.’
I thought to myself: ‘This is a huge honor for Shaykh Abu
Bakr, that the Prophet
should attend his gathering.’ I also thought: ‘This is
also a refutation of those who blemished the Tarikh
saying that it contains undue criticism of certain
remains true that the Tarikh contains undue criticism
of Imam Abu Hanifa t in the form of an assemblage of glaringly
weak and forged reports from known liars, although it also
contains authentic reports to the Imam’s praise. Among the
scholars who refuted the negative reports were the king al-Malik
al-Mu‘azzam ‘Isa al-Ayyubi, the Hanafis Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi
in the two-volume al-Intisar li Imam A’imma al-Amsar
and al-Kawthari in Ta’nib al-Khatib ‘ala Ma Saqahu fi
Tarjimati Abi Hanifata Min al-Akadhib and its follow-up al-Tarhib
bi Naqd al-Ta’nib; the Maliki Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr with al-Intiqa’;
the Shafi‘is al-Suyuti and al-Haytami respectively with Tabyid
al-Sahifa and al-Khayrat al-Hisan, and the Hanbali
Ibn al-Jawzi with al-Sahm al-Musib fi al-Radd ‘ala al-Khatib.
Al-Dhahabi said: "Would that al-Khatib had not set upon
the great figures nor narrated anything against them."
However, a case has been made to exonerate al-Khatib from
having included these reports in his Tarikh, and some
scholars, such as Dr. ‘Itr and Dr. Mahmud al-Tahhan,
consider them later interpolations.
al-Jawzi’s assessment of al-Khatib is ambiguous. On the one
hand he praises his works with the words: "Whoever looks
into his books knows his great standing." At the same time
he takes him to task for what he terms his fanatic denigration
of Hanbalis, citing, for example, al-Khatib’s description of
Imam Ahmad as "the leader of hadith scholars" (sayyid
al-muhaddithîn) as opposed to al-Shafi‘i’s as "the
diadem of jurists," his weakening of Ibn Batta, and his
citing al-Karabisi’s barb about Imam Ahmad over the issue of
the uncreatedness of the Qur’an. Added to this charge is Ibn
al-Jawzi’s singular claim that al-Khatib began his career as a
Hanbali, then switched to the Shafi‘i school, when both early
and contemporary historians concur that he began his career as a
Shafi‘i and was never a Hanbali. He also states that al-Khatib
took the material of most of his books "except that of the Tarikh"
from those of the hadith master al-Suri, a claim flatly rejected
by al-Dhahabi. Perhaps Ibn al-Jawzi’s most ironic criticism is
his complaint that al-Khatib included forgeries and very weak
hadiths in his books, as their number is negligible in
proportion to those found in Ibn al-Jawzi’s works.
al-Fadl ibn Khayrun said: "A righteous person told me that
when al-Khatib died he saw him in his sleep and asked him:
‘How are you?’ Al-Khatib replied: ‘I am in [breath of
life, and plenty, and a Garden of delight] (56:89)’."
‘Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Jadda said: "I saw in my sleep,
after al-Khatib’s death, a person standing next to me whom I
tried to ask about al-Khatib. Before I could say anything he
said to me: ‘Go to the middle of Paradise where the pious meet
one another.’" Muhammad ibn Marzuq al-Za‘farani
narrated from the pious jurist Hasan ibn Ahmad al-Basri: "I
saw al-Khatib in my sleep wearing beautiful white clothes and a
white turban, looking joyful and smiling. I do not remember
whether I asked him first: ‘What did Allah do with you?’ or
whether he spoke to me first but he said: Allah has forgiven me
– or: granted me mercy. And whoever comes to Him – in my
heart I thought: meaning, with tawhîd – He grants him
mercy or forgives him. Therefore, be happy!’ This took place a
few days after his death."
sources: Ibn ‘Asakir, Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari (Saqqa ed.
p. 263-266); al-Dhahabi, Siyar A‘lam al-Nubala’ (Dar
al-Fikr ed. 13:590-603 #4210) and Tadhkira al-Huffaz
(3:1135-1145); Ibn al-Subki, Tabaqat al-Shafi‘iyya al-Kubra
(Hajr ed. 4:29-39 #259); ‘Itr, introduction to al-Khatib’s al-Rihla
(p. 37-59); and Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Muntazam (8:265-270).
1Al-Qinnawji, Abjad al-`Ulum (3:96).
2Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Muntazam (9:213); Ibn al-Najjar, Dhayl
Tarikh Baghdad (1:173).
3As asserted by his son Ibn Abi Ya`la in Tabaqat al-Hanabila
4Cf. Ibn al-Mubarak's saying: "If you want to make sure
your narrations are authentic, confront them with one
another." Narrated by al-Khatib in al-Jami` (p. 452
#1973), cf. al-Hakim in Ma`rifa `Ulum al-Hadith (p.
5Al-Khatib, al-Jami` li Akhlaq al-Rawi (2:422 #1914).
6The entire bracketed passage is omitted by al-Dhahabi in his
citation of al-Khatib's text in his youthful work al-`Uluw
[cf. Mukhtasar al-`Uluw (p. 272 #332)] but it is
mentioned in the mature Siyar and the Tadhkira.
7Narrated by al-Dhahabi with his chain from Muhammad ibn
Marzuq al-Za`farani in Siyar A`lam al-Nubala' (13:598)
and Tadhkira al-Huffaz (3:1142-1143) from al-Khatib's
8`Itr, introduction to al-Khatib's Rihla (p. 48).
9Ibn Marduyah states that even during the time that Abu
Nu`aym walked home from his mosque gatherings, a student would
be reading a volume of hadith to him on the way. The philologist
imam Tha`lab (200-291) died one day after he was hit by a
running horse while walking and reading at the same time as
narrated by al-`Askari in al-Hathth `ala Talab al-`Ilm
(p. 77). Al-Qifti narrated in Inbah al-Ruwat `ala Anbah al-Nuhat
(3:79) in the biographical notice on the Egyptian
philologist Muhammad al-Sa`idi ibn Barakat (d. 520) that the
latter saw, when a boy, Abu Yusuf Ya`qub ibn Khurrazad al-Najirami,
"a swarthy shaykh with a long beard and round turban,
holding a book in his hand which he was reading while
walking." Ibn Rajan narrated in Dhayl Tabaqat al-Hanabila
(2:249-252) that Majd al-Din ibn Taymiyya (the grandfather) had
a book read to him even when he entered the latrine! Shaykh `Abd
al-Fattah Abu Ghudda related all these anecdotes in his
priceless book Qimat al-Zaman `ind al-`Ulama' (p. 40-41,
48, 51, 52, 68-69).
10In al-Khatib, al-Jami` li Akhlaq al-Rawi (2:178).
Cf. al-Dhahabi, Siyar (Arna'ut ed. 11:458). The same is
related about the Maliki jurist and hadith scholar Ibn Suhnun by
Qadi `Iyad in Tartib al-Madarik (4:217), and something
similar about al-Mundhiri by al-Nawawi in Bustan al-`Arifin
(1985 ed. p. 191).
11This report is also found in the chapter on spiritual
energy (himma) in al-Qasimi's Qawa`id al-Tahdith.
12Al-Isnawi, Tabaqat al-Shafi`iyya (1:99 #174).
13Al-Dhahabi, Siyar (14:120).
14Narrated from Jabir by Ahmad in his Musnad, Ibn
Majah in his Sunan, Ibn Abi Shayba, al-Khatib in
Tarikh Baghdad (3:179, 10:166) and al-Bayhaqi with a good
chain as stated by al-`Ajluni (hasan lighayrih) in Kashf
al-Khafa; from Ibn `Abbas by al-Hakim (1:473=1990 ed. 1:646)
and al-Daraqutni in his Sunan (2:289 #238); from `Abd
Allah ibn `Amr by al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra (5:148);
and from Mu`awiya by al-Fakihi in Akhbar Makka. Al-Busiri
in Zawa'id ibn Majah and al-Nawawi declared its chain weak but a
number of other hadith masters said it is a fair (hasan)
narration due to the number of its chains and definitely sahîh
as a mursal narration, among them Ibn al-Qayyim and Ibn
Hajar as reported by al-Suyuti in al-Durar al-Muntathira
(p. 243-244 #383) and al-Munawi in Fayd al-Qadir (5:404),
while al-Mundhiri, al-Dimyati (in al-Suyuti's Tadrib al-Rawi
[Faryabi ed. 1:158=`Abd al-Latif ed. 1:145=1:80] and Ziyada
al-Jami` al-Saghir), and al-Suyuti (in al-Sindi's edition of
Ibn Majah, cf. al-Durar) declared the hadith sahîh. Al-Sindi
added: "The people of knowledge have experienced its
veracity." See also al-Shawkani, Nayl al-Awtar, book of
Manasik, chapter on Zamzam water. Ibn Hajar in Talkhis al-Habir
(2:268) cites al-Dinawari's narration: "We were with Sufyan
ibn `Uyayna when a man came and asked him: `O Abu Muhammad! Is
the hadith you told us about Zamzam water true?' He replied yes.
The man said: `I just drank it for the purpose that you narrate
to me a hundred hadiths.' Ibn `Uyayna said to him: `Sit' and he
narrated to him a hundred hadiths.
15Siyar (13:599-600). Dr. `Itr comments in his introduction
to al-Khatib's Rihla (p. 42): "Perhaps as a divine
reward for al-Turaythithi, Allah lengthened his life and he
lived thirty years after this episode - Allah Almighty have
mercy on him!"
16As per Dr. Yusuf al-`Ishsh's recension in his al-Khatib
al-Baghdadi Mu'arrikh Baghdad wa Muhaddithuha (p. 120-137).
17Al-Khatib, Iqtida' al-`Ilm al-`Amal (p. 15-16).
18The Jami` has received two recent editions: by
Shaykh Muhammad `Ajaj al-Khatib (Beirut: Mu'assasa al-Risala,
1991) and by Mahmud al-Tahhan (Ryad: Maktaba al-Ma`arif, 1983).
19As a rule, the shorter the chain, the better, since the
probability of error is reduced.
20Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (hasan), Ibn Majah, Abu
Dawud - al-`Iraqi said: "with a fair (hasan)
chain" in al-Zabidi's Ithaf (6:280) -, Ahmad, Ibn
Sa`d (4:145), and al-Nahhas in al-Nasikh wa al-Mansukh
(p. 185 without mention of the kissing of the hand), all with a
weak chain because of Yazid ibn Abi Ziyad according to al-Arna'ut
in the Musnad (9:281-282 #5384), also by al-Bukhari in al-Adab
al-Mufrad (p. 388), al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra
(7:101 #13352), and Ibn Abi Shayba (6:541). Ibn Hajar in Fath
al-Bari (1989 ed. 11:67) cited it in his list of the
narrations providing evidence for kissing the hand and he did
not weaken it.
21Narrated by Ibn al-Muqri' in al-Rukhsa (p. 58 #2)
with a chain Ibn Hajar graded as "strong" (sanaduhu
qawî) in Fath al-Bari (1989 ed. 11:67) and he listed
it among the "good" (jayyid) narrations of Ibn
al-Muqri' on the topic. Abu Dawud, al-Tirmidhi (hasan sahîh),
Ibn Majah, Ahmad and al-Hakim (4:399, sahîh) all narrated it
without mention of the kiss unlike al-Bayhaqi who cited it in
Branch 15 of his Shu`ab al-Iman (2:200 #1528) entitled:
"The Fifteenth Branch of Faith, Namely A Chapter On
Rendering Honor To The Prophet, Declaring His High Rank, And
22Narrated by al-Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad (#973),
al-Mizzi in Tahdhib al-Kamal (17:92), al-Tabarani in al-Awsat
(#661), and Ahmad with a chain of sound narrators according to
al-Haythami (8:42) and Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari (1989
ed. 11:57). On the assumption that `Abd al-Rahman is Ibn Razin
rather than ibn `Abd Allah ibn Ka`b the chain would be
"probably fair" according al-Arna'ut in the Musnad
(27:83 #16551). Shaykh `Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda emphasized the
lawfulness of kissing the hand of people of merit and eminence
in Islam and its wide use among the Salaf, cf. his book al-`Ulama'
al-`Uzzab (p. 47) and his notes on Ibn `Abd al-Barr's al-Intiqa'
(p. 83 n. 1) as well as the monograph by his teacher Shaykh `Abd
Allah al-Ghumari, I`lam al-Nabil bi Jawaz al-Taqbil. See
also the hadith master Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn al-Muqri's
monograph al-Rukhsa fi Taqbil al-Yad; the hadith master
Ibn al-A`rabi's monograph al-Qubal wa al-Mu`anaqa wa al-Musafaha;
and Ibn Hajar's vast documentation in Fath al-Bari (1959
ed. 11:56-57, Isti'dhân, chapter titled Bâb al-Akhdh
23See Imam Malik's remarks on the turban in the biographical
notice on him posted at the website http://sunnah.org/history/Default.htm.
24Hadith Dictation Sessions could count over 100,000
attendants all listening to a single hadith master by way of
repeaters: al-Khatib, al-Jami` (2:58-62 #1171-1178).
25In al-Khatib, al-Jami` li Akhlaq al-Rawi (2:402
#1874 and n.). In Western antiquity and late antiquity silent
reading was unheard of, as shown by Augustine of Hippo's (late
4th century CE) astonishment (in the Confessions) at glimpsing
Ambrose the Bishop of Milan "moving his lips in silent
reading" of his book. Dr. al-Khatib's remarks on mnemonics
are reminiscent of the Roman orator Cicero's method of not only
reading his speeches out loud to himself in order to memorize
them, but also pacing from one room of his house to another to
create a mental reminder of each different section of his text.
26In al-Khatib, al-Jami` (2:402-416 #1875-1877,
#1880-1889, #1899, #1904).
27This is Abu Zur`a al-Razi of Ray, `Ubayd Allah ibn `Abd al-Karim
ibn Yazid (d. 264 or 268), "the master of hadith
masters" (al-Dhahabi), concerning whom Ahmad ibn Hanbal
said that he had memorized 700,000 hadiths. Siyar
28Al-Khatib, al-Jami` (2:474 #1999).
29In Tarikh Baghdad (11:359).
30Dr. Nur al-Din `Itr, Manhaj al-Naqd (p. 63-64). The Kifaya
was published by Dr. Ahmad `Umar Hashim (Beirut: Dar al-Kitab
al-`Arabi, 1986) and by Abu `Abd Allah al-Sawraqi and Ibrahim
Hamdi al-Madani (Madina: al-Maktaba al-`Ilmiyya, n.d.).
31Also published by Nasr Abu `Ataya in al-Nasa'i, Majmu`a
Rasa'il (p. 137-238).
32`Itr, preface to al-Khatib, al-Rihla (p. 9). In his
twenty-four page introduction titled "The Infinite
Scholarly Challenge of Prophethood" (I`jaz al-Nubuwwa
al-`Ilmi), `Itr gives a valuable overview of hadith science
in Islam and puts to rest the claims of Goldziher et al. whereby
hadith travel began in Umayyad times and was motivated by
332nd ed. Ed. Mahmud Sa`id Mamduh (Beirut: Dar al-Basha'ir
34Ibn al-Salah, Fatawa wa Masa'il (1:235). See also
Ibn Hajar's Ajwiba (1:538-549) and al-Shawkani, al-Fawa'id
al-Majmu`a (p. 57).
35Al-Khatib, Sharaf Ashab al-Hadith (p. 52 #106).
36Narrated from Ibn Mas`ud by al-Tirmidhi (hasan gharîb),
Abu Ya`la in his Musnad (8:428, 9:15), al-Bukhari in al-Tarikh
al-Kabir (5:177), Ibn Abi Shayba (11:505), al-Baghawi in Sharh
al-Sunna (#686), al-Bayhaqi in Shu`ab al-Iman
(2:212), al-Haythami in Mawarid al-Zam'an (p. 594), al-Khatib
in al-Fasl li al-Wasl (2:770-773) and Sharaf (p.
34-35 #63) and Ibn Hibban all with weak chains according to al-Arna'ut
(3:192 #911) because of Musa ibn Ya`qub al-Zam`i and `Abd Allah
ibn Kaysan (cf. al-Mizzi, Tahdhib al-Kamal [15:482], Ibn
`Adi, al-Kamil [6:2342], al-Daraqutni, al-`Ilal [5:112],
Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib al-Tahdhib [5:326]). However, it has a
witnessing narration whereby the Prophet - Allah bless and greet
him - said: "Invoke abundant blessings upon me on the day
of Jum`a for my Community's salât is shown to me [especially]
on every Jum`a, therefore, whoever among them invokes blessings
upon me the most, is nearest to me in station." Narrated
from Abu Umama by al-Bayhaqi in his Sunan (3:249 #5785)
and Hayat al-Anbiya' (p. 11) with a fair chain according
to al-Mundhiri in al-Targhib (1994 ed. 2:390 #2519=1997
ed. 2:328=3:303) "except that it is said Makhul did not
hear from Abu Umama directly," while Ibn Hajar said in Fath
al-Bari (1959 ed. 11:167): "There is no harm in its
chain." Ibn al-Sakan included Ibn Mas`ud's hadith among the
sound narrations in his Sihah according to Ibn al-Mulaqqin in Tuhfa
37Narrated from `Umar by al-Bazzar in his Musnad
(1:413) with a fair chain as stated by al-Haythami (10:65), al-Khatib,
Sharaf (p. 33-34 #62), al-Hakim (4:85-86) with a weak
chain because of Muhammad ibn Abi Humayd as indicated by al-Dhahabi,
Abu Ya`la in his Musnad (1:147) with a weak chain
according to Shaykh Husayn Asad, and from Ibn `Abbas by al-Tabarani
in al-Kabir (12:87) and al-Tahawi in Sharh Mushkil al-Athar
(6:269-270 #2472) with the statement "Those are my
brothers" instead of the last sentence, with a chain of
sound narrators except for `Ata' ibn al-Sa'ib whose narrations
38Narrated from Anas by al-Khatib in Sharaf (p. 56-57
39Al-Hudhli narrated that al-Zuhri asked him: "O Hudhli!
Does hadith please you?" Al-Hudhli said yes. Al-Zuhri
continued: "Truly, it pleases the virile among men, while
the effeminate among them hate it." Al-Khatib, Sharaf
(p. 70 #150).
40This is a notable example of the use of al-nâs to
mean the major ulema of the Sunna, as in `Abd al-Rahman ibn
Mahdi's statement: "The People (al-nâs) in their
time were four: Hammad ibn Zayd in al-Basra, al-Thawri in al-Kufa,
Malik in al-Hijaz, and al-Awza`i in al-Shâm."
42In Ibn Majah.
43In al-Darimi's Sunan, Abu Hatim al-Razi, al-Jarh wa al-Ta`dil
(2:12), and others: Abu Sa`id al-Khudri - Allah be
well-pleased with him - used to say, whenever he saw the young
Tâbi`î students of hadith: "Welcome to the beneficiaries
(wasiyya) of the Messenger of Allah - Allah bless and
greet him," while al-Ramahurmuzi's narration in al-Muhaddith
al-Fasil (p. 175) adds: "who ordered us to make you
memorize the hadith and make room for you in gatherings."
44Narrated from Abu Sa`id al-Khudri by al-Hakim (1:88=1990
ed. 1:164) who declared it sound, and al-Dhahabi concurred. The
hadith master Mughaltay also declared it sound according to al-Munawi
in Fayd al-Qadir (2:400), while it remains a fair (hasan)
narration according to al-Zuhayri and al-Suyuti. Also narrated
from Abu Sa`id by Ibn `Abd al-Barr in his Jami` (1:578
#991), al-Khatib in his (1991 ed. 1:305-306 #360=1983 ed.
1:202), Ibn Wahb in his Musnad (8:167), and `Abd al-Ghani
al-Maqdisi in al-`Ilm (1:50), all with weak chains
because of Layth ibn Abi Sulaym; and by al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah,
`Abd al-Razzaq (11:252), Tammam al-Razi in his Fawa'id
(1:64, 1:69), al-Baghawi in Sharh al-Sunna (1:286), and
al-Ramahurmuzi in al-Muhaddith al-Fasil (p. 176), all
with very weak chains because of Abu Harun al-`Abdi (`Amara ibn
Juwayn) who is discarded as a narrator (cf. Ibn `Adi, al-Kamil
[5:77] and Ibn Hajar's Taqrib).
45Published in 1949 with an excellent introduction by Yusuf
al-`Ishsh (Repr. Dar Ihya' al-Sunna al-Nabawiyya, 1974).
46Dr. Yusuf al-`Ishsh gave an extensive description of this
work in his al-Khatib al-Baghdadi Mu'arrikh Baghdad wa
Muhaddithuha. See also Dr. Akram Dya' al-`Umari, Mawarid
al-Khatib al-Baghdadi fi Tarikh Baghdad. Dr. Khaldun al-Ahdab
provided a thorough authentication of those hadiths in his Zawa'id
47Al-Sahm is also known as al-Tahqiq fi Ahadith al-Ta`liq.
48Al-Dhahabi himself deliberately refrained from narrating a
single report detrimental to one of the great Imams of fiqh in
his Mughni fi al-Du`afa', Diwan al-Du`afa' wa al-Matrukin,
and Mizan al-I`tidal, as he explained in the
introduction to the latter: "I did not mention in my book
any of the Imams that are followed in the branches of the Law
due to their immense standing in Islam and their greatness in
the minds of people: such as Abu Hanifa, al-Shafi`i, and al-Bukhari."
Al-Dhahabi, Mizan al-I`tidal (1:3). Abu Ghudda and others
have shown that the disparaging notices on Abu Hanifa found in
today's editions of al-Dhahabi's works are interpolations. See
the exhaustive documentation of this issue in Shaykh Hisham
Kabbani's Encyclopedia (7:149-187).
49Respectively in the introduction to al-Khatib's al-Rihla
(p. 52) and al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (p. 263-301). See also
Shaykh Wahbi Sulayman Ghawiji al-Albani's book Abu Hanifa (p.
50Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Muntazam (8:266, 9:214).
51This is a common distinction, as established by the remarks
of the scholars cited in our notice on al-Tabari at the website
52When al-Karabisi heard that Imam Ahmad had declared his
statement an innovation whereby the pronunciation of the Qur'an
was created, he said: "Pronunciation means other than the
thing pronounced" (talaffuzuka ya`nî ghayra al-malfûz).
Then he said of Ahmad: "What shall we do with this boy? If
we say `created' he says bid`a, and if we say `not created' he
says bid`a." Narrated by al-Khatib in Tarikh Baghdad
53Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Muntazam (8:267).
54Cf. al-Ahdab, Zawa'id (1:104).
55Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Muntazam (8:143, 8:266).
56Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Muntazam (8:268). Cf. al-Ahdal, Zawa'id
Tarikh Baghdad (1: 86).
Wallahu ta`ala a`lam wa ahkam. Wa Salla Allahu `ala Sayyidina Muhammad wa
Alihi wa Sahbihi wa sallam. Wal-hamdu liLlahi Rabbil-`Alamin.