Brief Biographies of some of the People of Knowledge
Taken from Siyaar ‘Alaam an-Nubalaa & Thahdheeb at Thahdheeb And other works
Compiled & Translated By Abbas Abu Yahya
From the People of Knowledge
The Khalifah Umar bin AbdulAzeez
He was the Khalifah and great Imaam Umar bin AbdulAzeez ibn Marwan bin al-Hakm bin Abee al-Aas, his kunya was Abu Hafs and he was from the Quraish. His mother was the granddaughter of Umar bin al-Khattab. He was born in 63 A.H. and passed away in the year 101A.H.
Narrated by AbdulAzeez bin Yazeed al-‘Aylee who said : Sulaiman did Hajj & Umar bin AbdulAzeez was with him, it started to thunder & lightening struck so much that their hearts nearly came out, so Sulaiman said, Abu Hafs, have you ever seen a night like this or even heard of one like this? He answered: O Ameer al-Mumneen! This is the sound of the mercy of Allaah, so how would it be if you heard the sound of the punishment of Allaah! ?
Al-‘Awza’ee said : Umar bin AbdulAzeez wrote a letter to us, no one memorized it except me and Makhool : ‘To proceed, indeed whoever remembers death a lot, then he is pleased with little in this world, and he who adds his speech in comparison to his action, then he lessens his speech except with that which will benefit him and as-salaam.’
Sufyaan bin Saeed ath-Thawree -Rahimullaah
Sufyaan bin Saeed ath-Thawree (161 A.H.) was born in Koofah in a place called Thawr, his kunya is Abu Abdullaah, he narrated many ahadeeth and many scholars say that he was the Ameer ul Mumineen of hadeeth of his time. His father was also a great Muhaddith (Scholar of hadeeth).
Abdullaah ibn Mubarak -Rahimullaah- said: ‘I wrote hadeeth from over 1,100 Shaykhs and I didn’t write from anyone better than Sufyaan.
Sufyaan ath-Thawree said: The Angels are the guardians of the heavens & the Companions of hadeeth (as-haabul hadeeth) are the guardians in the earth.
Refer to Thahdheeb at thahdheeb by Ibn Hajar 2/56 & Siyaar ‘Alaam an-Nubalaa by adh-Dhahabee 7/229.
Maalik ibn Anas -Rahimullaah
Maalik ibn Anas ibn Aamir was born in Madeenah in 93 A.H. & died in 179 A.H. His kunya was Abu Abdullaah, he had the famous title of ‘Imaam Dar ul Hijrah’ which means Madeenah.
His grandfather Aamir was from amongst the major Companions. He was a Muhadith and a Faqih.
He taught hadeeth in Madeenah for 40 years. He did not want his famous book al-Muwatta to become the only book that was relied upon.
Abdullaah bin al-Mubarak -Rahimullaah
Abdullaah bin al-Mubarak al-Hanzaalee at-Tameemee the great Imaam,
AbdulAzeez bin Abee Rizma’ said : There’s no characteristic from the good characteristics except that it was combined in Abdullaah bin al-Mubarak, shyness, hospitality, good behaviour, a good companionship, it is good to sit with him, Zuhud and piety and in everything.
He passed away -Rahimullaah- in 181 A.H.
Imaam Shaafiee -Rahimullaah
Imaam Shaafiee was born in 150 A.H. and grew up in Makkah. He was a beautiful man. Ibn Abdul Barr -Rahimullaah- mentions that he had memorised the Qur’aan by the age 7 and memorised al-Muwatta by 10 years of age, and was giving legal verdicts from 15 years of age.
His ancestry goes back to the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- (his grandfather al-Muttalib was the brother of the grandfather of the Prophet.) At the age of 20 he began studying with Imaam Maalik in Madina until Imaam Maalik -Rahimullaah-passed away.
Imaam Ahmad -Rahimullaah- was also his student. He died in 204 A.H. in old Cairo, due to injuries from being stabbed.
Yahya bin Ma’een -Rahimullaah
Abu Zakariya, Yahya bin Ma’een bin ‘Awn al-Ghatfaanee.
It is said that Yahya’s father left Yahya a million dirham in inhaeritance, and Yahya spent all of it in the field of Hadeeth until he did not have shoes to wear.
He was the elder of his peers, from the likes of ‘Alee bin Madeenee, Ahmad bin Hanbal, Ishaaq bin Rah’wayaa & Abu Bakr bin Abee Shayba -Rahimhumullaah.
A man came to Imaam Ahmad & said : O Aba Abdillaah, look at these ahaadeeth indeed there is a mistake in them. So Imaam Ahmad said: Go to Abu Zakariya, for indeed he knows the mistake.
Imaam Ahmad said about Yahya bin Ma’een: Here is a man that Allaah created for this matter, he exposes the lies of the liars.
He died in the year 233 A.H.
Abu Zura’h ar-Razee -Rahimullaah
Abu Zura’h, UbaidAllaah bin ‘AbdulKareem bin Yazeed al-Qurashee ar-Razee.
He started travelling for knowledge when he was 13 years of age, and on his second journey he was away for 14 yrs.
Imaam adh-Dahabee said: He was unique of his time, in memory power, intelligence, and in the Deen, sincerity and knowledge and action.
Yahya bin Manda said: It is said that Abu Huraira –Radi Allaahu anhu– had the most powerful memory from this Ummah, then it is Abu Zura’h ar-Razee.
Abu Hatim said: If you saw ar-Razee and others hating Abu Zura’h then know that person is a mubtadi’.
He passed away to the mercy of Allaah in 264 A.H.
Abu Hatim ar-Raazee -Rahimullaah
Abu Hatim, Muhammad bin Idrees bin al-Mundhir al-Qhatfaanee ar-Raazee, who died in 277 A.H.
He first started to memorize narrations when he was 14 years old, he was so knowledgeable that by just looking at the hadeeth he could give a judgement on it, whether it was authentic or not.
Abu Hatim and Abu Zura’h were good friends.
Imaam adh-Dahabee said: If Abu Hatim says someone is thiqa’ (trustworthy), then hold onto his saying, because he does not make anyone thiqa’ (trustworthy) except a narrator who has authentic hadeeth.
Abu AbdurRahmaan Ahmad bin Shuaib bin ‘Alee al-Khurasaanee an-Nisaa’ee, who died in the year 303 A.H.
It is said that the town from which an-Nisaa’ee came from, was named Nisa’ which means women, and the story behind it’s name is because when the Muslims came to conquer it during the earlier period of Islaam, the men were not present in the town, so the women came out to fight, when the Muslims saw that, they did not fight, because women are not fought against.
Ibn Katheer mentions that Imaam an-Nisaa’ee was very beautiful and his face was like a candle.
He started travelling for knowledge at a young age. Ibn ‘Adee said: I heard Mansoor the Faqhiee and Abu Jafar at-Tahawee say: Abu AbdurRahmaan is a Imaam from the Imaams of the Muslims.
Abu Ya’ala al-Khaleelee said: That his book is added to the books of al-Bukharee, Muslim and Abu Dawood, …and his opinion in Jarh wa Ta’deel (praising and criticising narrators) is relied upon.
He was very strict and firm in Jarh wa Ta’deel (praising and criticising narrators). He -Rahimullaah- died in Makkah and was buried there.
He is the great scholar of Hadeeth, who has collected a ‘Sunaan’ his name is Abul-Hasan, ‘Alee bin Umar bin Ahmad ad-Daraqutni, who died in the year 385 A.H. at the age of 80 years.
He had a tremendous memory, Raja’ bin Muhammad al-Mu’adl said: I said to Daraqutni: ‘Have you ever seen anyone like yourself?’ and he replied that Allaah says : ‘Do not praise your selves.’
Then al-Mu’adl said I leaned towards him and said: ‘I have not seen anyone gather what you have gathered.’
Adh-Dhahabee said: ‘This man never entered into philosophy nor debating, nor did he investigate it but rather he was a Salafee.’
Ibn Salaah -Rahimullaah
He is Ibn Taqi ud-Deen Uthmaan bin Abdurrahman Salaah ud-Deen, He died in 643 A.H. he was a great scholar of hadeeth, especially in the field of the science of hadeeth, Imaam ad-Dhahbee said: ‘He was a Salafee, he had a correct creed, not entering into the ta’weel (interpolation) of the philosophers, he believed in what was established from the texts, neither going too deep, nor over bound.’
Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah -Rahimullaah
Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah Taqi ud-Deen Abul-‘Abbaas Ahmad Ibn ‘Abdul-Haleem Ibn ‘Abdus-Salaam Ibn Taymeeyah al-Harraanee al-Hanbalee, was born on Monday the 10th of Rabi’ al-Awwal 66l A.H. at Harraan (northern Iraq).
His grandfather, Abu al-Barkat Majd-ud-Deen ibn Taymeeyah (d.653AH) was a reputed teacher of the Hanbalee School Damascus was the centre of Islaamic studies at that time, and Ahmad Ibn Taymeeyah followed in the footsteps of his father, who was a scholar of Islaamic studies, by studying with the great scholars of his time.
As for the religions sciences, Ibn Taymeeyah studied the Qur’aan, Hadeeth and Sharee’ah. He learnt the Hanbalee Fiqh (law) from his own father.
Ibn Taymiyyah -Rahimullaah- had great love for Tafseer (Qur’aanic exegesis). He read over a hundred commentaries of the Qur’aan.
He completed his studies when he was a teenager and at age 19 he became a professor of Islaamic studies. Who was well versed in Qur’aanic studies, Hadeeth, Fiqh, theology, Arabic grammar and scholastic theology, etc.
The Muslim scholars, like adh-Dhahabee, Ibn Katheer, Ibn al-‘Imad al-Hanbalee and many others praised Ibn Taymiyyah and considered him one of the greatest scholars of Islaam of all time.
Ibn Taymiyyah -Rahimullaah- died in jail in Damascus on the night of Sunday-Monday 20th Dhul-Qa’dah 728 A.H. at the age of 67, and is buried in Damascus.
Bin Abdul Haady al-Maqdasee -Rahimullaah
He is Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Abdul Haady al-Jama ‘alee al-Maqdasee, he died in the 744 A.H., he was born in Palestine. From his Shaykhs were Ibn Taymeeyah, ad-Dahabee & al-Mizzee, amongst others.
He -Rahimullaah- had a great amount of books that he authored; he had an illness for nearly three months before he passed away with the Kalimah (testification) on his lips.
Ibn Katheer mentions about him: he was Mustaqeem on the way of the Salaf, and in following the Book & the Sunnah.
Ibn al-Qayyim -Rahimullaah
He is Muhammad ibn Abee Bakr Ibn Qayyim Shamsud-Deen, Abu Abdullaah, the great scholar Imaam, judge, Mujahid, the famous student of Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah -Rahimullaah.
He passed away on the Adhan of ‘esha prayer at the age of 60 years. In the year 751A.H. and is buried next to his father.
He was brought up in an environment of knowledge, studied under his father and under Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah -Rahimullaah- for 17years until the death of the shaykh.
He -Rahimullaah- was a great scholar in all the sciences of Islaam, grammar, hadeeth, fiqh, Adaab and Akhlaaq. He was well known for his worship & travelling in pursuit of knowledge.
Ibn Rajab -Rahimullaah
He is Zain ud-Deen AbduRahmaan bin Ahmad, ibn Rajab -Rahimullaah. One of the great scholars of Hadeeth & Fiqh. He died in 795 A.H.
Ibn Hajr -Rahimullaah- said: ‘He perfected the knowledge of Hadeeth, and became the most knowledgeable about the inaccuracies of Hadeeth and tracing their routes from the people of his time.’
Ibn al-Emaad al-Hambalee said: ‘That his gatherings for reminding the hearts would cause shudders & he was beneficial, a blessing for the general people. The different groups would gather under him, their hearts would fill with love and would incline towards him. He has many beneficial works and has authored many books.’
Ibn Hajr al-Asqaalanee -Rahimullaah
He is Shihaab ud-Deen, Abu Fadl, Ahmad bin ‘Alee al-Asqaalanee, he died in 852 A.H.
He was a great scholar of Hadeeth, he was given the title of Ameer ul-Mumineen of Hadeeth in his time.
Ibn Fahad said: ‘Eyes have not seen one like him and he hasn’t seen anyone like himself.’
He used to follow and stick to the Sunnah very firmly in all his affairs. He used to call to the Sunnah with his speech and his writings; he used to warn against opposing it and was severe in his disapproval of Bida’.
He wrote a very famous explanation of the Saheeh of al-Bukharee, called Fath-ul-Bari.
He is Muhammad bin ‘Alee ash-Shawkanee who died in the year 1250 A.H. he lived in Sana’, Yemen.
He studied under his father who was a great scholar of Yemen, and he authored many books in the different sciences of Islaam, in Tafseer he wrote ‘Fathul-Qadeer’, & in the field of hadeeth he wrote ‘Nail awtaar’.
Muhammad NaasirudDeen al-Albaanee -Rahimullaah
Shaykh Muhammad NaasirudDeen al-Albaanee he was born in Albania in the year 1332 A.H. into a poor family. His father and the family made Hijrah to Damascus.
In Damascus Shaykh al-Albaanee completed his initial education and was then taught the Qur’aan, Tajweed, sciences of Arabic language, fiqh of the Hanafee madhab and further branches of the Deen by various Shaykhs and friends of his father.
He also learnt from his father the art of clock and watch repair – and became highly skilled in that and famous for it and derived his earnings through it. He began to specialise in the field of Hadeeth and its related sciences by the age of 20- being influenced by articles in ‘al-Manaar’ magazine.
Since he could not afford many of the books he required he would borrow them from the famous library of Damascus – “al-Maktabah adth Dthaahiriyyah” or sometimes from book sellers.
He became engrossed with the science of Hadeeth to the extent that he would sometimes close up his shop and remain in the library for up to twelve hours – breaking off his work only for prayer – he would not even leave to eat, but would take two light snacks with him.
Eventually the library authorities granted him a special room to himself for his study and his own key for access to the library before normal opening time. Often he would remain at work from early morning until after ‘Ishaa. During this time he produced many useful works – many of which are still waiting to be printed.
The Shaykh faced much opposition in his efforts to promote Tawheed and the Sunnah but he bore this with patient perseverance. His works – mainly in the field of Hadeeth and its sciences number over 100.
His students are many and include many Shaykhs of the present day amongst them:
Shaykh Hamdee ‘Abdul-Majeed, Shaykh Muqbil ibn Haadee al-Waadi’ee, Shaykh Muhammad Jameel Zaynoo, Shaykh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Abdus-Samad.
The Shaykh -Rahimullaah- passed away on Saturday 22 Jumaadaa ath-Thaaniyah 1420 A.H./2 October 1999. He was 87 years of age. May Allaah -subhaanahu wa ta’aala- have Mercy upon his soul, Aameen.
Muhammad ibn Saalih ibn Uthaimeen -Rahimullaah
He is Abu Abdillaah Muhammad ibn Saalih ibn Uthaimeen al-Wahabee at-Tameemee.
Born in Unayzah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 27th of Ramadan in the year 1347 hijree, he memorized the Qur’aan at a young age and he studied under the shaykh Abdur Rahmaan as-Sa’adee, he studied fiqh, grammar, hadeeth and tafseer.
He also studied under the shaykh Abdul Azeez ibn Baaz. He was also a member of the Council of Eminent Scholars of Saudi Arabia; he wrote over 40 works, he regularly delivered lectures in the masjid al-Haraam in Makka in the Rammadan and Hajj seasons.
He passed away in the year 1421A.H. and is buried in Makkah.
All Praise belongs to Allaah, may His peace and blessings be upon our final Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions and all those who follow his guidance.