In accordance with His promise to preserve the true teachings of Islām, Allāh has selected certain individuals or groups throughout Islām’s history to carry out the task of preserving the noble Islāmic legacy. At times of creedal turmoil, the likes of Ahmad ibn Hanbal stood against the Mu’tazilī heresy; at times of political instability, personalities such as Salāh al-Dīn al-Ayyūbī mobilized the Muslim armies for combat; and at times of spiritual degradation, reformers like al-Ghazālī let the ink of their pens flow to revive the true spirit of scholarship and worship. Thus manifested Allāh’s undertaking mentioned in the verse: “We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it.” (Qur’ān, 15:9)
The founding of an institution in Deoband, India, in the year 1866, was not the inception of a yet another sect. Rather, it was an extension of this continuous effort to preserve the noble Islāmic legacy. The scholars of Deoband have played a pivotal role in preserving Islām, be it the Qur’ān, the Sunnah and their connected sciences or Islām’s prestigious history. It is sad to witness such a noble legacy and rich heritage go largely unnoticed by many students and scholars of Islām. They have contributed tremendously in various fields of Islām, from Qurā’nic exegesis, to jurisprudence, to Arabic, to political reform. However, their contribution towards the revival and preservation of the blessed Sunnah is most noteworthy.
As a token of acknowledgment and a means of creating awareness, the following article was prepared to highlight their most important contributions in the field of Hadīth. More emphasis has been given to earlier scholars, although contemporary scholars are also occasionally cited. Among other sources, the book Dār al-Ulūm Deoband by Shaykh Muhammad ‘Ubayd Allāh al-Qāsīmī and a list published in a monthly newsletter by Dār al-Ulūm Deoband (Rajab, 1432 AH) were consulted. Honorific titles such as Shaykh, Mawlānā, Muftī, etc. were omitted from the lists.
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Chronological List of Prominent Hadīth Scholars
The importance of knowing the dates of birth/death of the scholars cannot be stressed enough, for it holds a high status in Islāmic knowledge in general and in the science of Hadīth in particular. Thus, Imām ‘Alī ibn al-Madīnī mentions, “Comprehension of the meaning of Hadīth is half of knowledge and knowing the transmitters is the other half.” To illustrate this point, let us look at the following incident:
A group of Jews presented a letter from the Messenger of Allāh that supposedly absolves the inhabitants of Khaybar from paying jizyah. This letter contained the testimony of the Companions and had the signature of ‘Alī (Allāh be pleased with him). When it was brought to the head of state, he gave it to al-Khatīb al-Baghdādī to examine it. After examining it, al-Khatīb concluded that the letter was forged. When asked how he came to that conclusion, he replied, “It contains the testimony of Mu‘āwiyah (Allāh be pleased with him) who only accepted Islām during the conquest of Makkah whereas Khaybar was conquered on the seventh year of Hijrah. Further, it contains the testimony of Sa‘d ibn Mu‘ādh (Allāh be pleased with him) who passed away during the battle of Banū Qurayżah, which was two years prior to the conquest of Khaybar.”
In view of this importance, we prepared the following chart, which contains the names, dates of birth/death, and works of prominent hadith scholars, starting from the second century AH until the present century. In this chart, we have sufficed on the relatively prominent hadith scholars; as otherwise, there would be no end to the list. Wherever possible, both the dates of birth and death were mentioned. Otherwise, only the date of death was mentioned, preceded by the abbreviation, “d.” When an approximate date is mentioned, it is preceded by “c.” (circa). The abbreviation “p.” means “post.”
It should be noted that the purpose of this chart is to serve as an easy reference for those searching for the names and dates of birth/death of major hadith scholars. Those who are interested in detailed biographical entries of these scholars should refer to the relevant works, such as Wafayāt al-A‘yān of Ibn Khallikān, Siyar A‘lām al-Nubalā’ of al-Dhahabī, Tabaqāt al-Shāfi‘iyyah al-Kubrā of Tāj al-Dīn al-Subkī, Shadharāt al-Dhahab of Ibn al-‘Imād, and al-A‘lām of al-Ziriklī etc.. To facilitate easy referencing, relevant works for further details have been cited under each entry in the Arabic chart.
Muntasir Zaman -Click here for the Pdf version of Chronological List of Prominent Hadīth Scholars-English –Click here for the Arabic List Read the rest of this entry »
جَدوَل لأسماء أعلام المحدثين ومواليدهم ووفياتهم مع ذكر بعض مؤلفاتهم
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
:الحمد لله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام علي سيد المرسلين أما بعد
فإن لمعرفة مواليد ووفيات الأعلام مكانة عظيمة في العلوم الشرعية لا سيّما في علوم الحديث الشريف. ومن ثَمّ قال الإمام علي بن المديني: “التفقّه في معاني الحديث نصف العلم، ومعرفة الرجال نصف العلم” (المحدث الفاصل ص 320) وقال الامام سفيان الثوري: “لمّا استعمل الروّاة الكذب، استعملنا لهم التاريخ” (الكفاية ص 119) وقال حسان بن زيد: “لم يستعن على الكذابين بمثل التاريخ، يقال للشيخ: سنة كم ولدت؟ فإذا أقر بمولده عرف صدقه من كذبه” (تاريخ بغداد 7/357) أذكر مثالا واقعيا لما نحن بصدده لعل فيه كفاية لتأكيد ما قلت. قال الإمام الذهبي
أظهر بعض اليهود كتابا ادَّعَى أَنَّهُ كِتاب رسول اللهِ -صلى اللّه عليه وسلم -بِإِسقاط الجزية عن أهل خَيْبَر، وفيه شهادة الصحابة، وَذكروا أَن خط عَليّ -رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ-فِيْهِ. وحُم الكِتَاب إِلى رَئِيس الرؤساء، فَعَرضَه عَلَى الخَطِيْب، فَتَأَمَّلَه وقال: هذا مُزوّر قيل: منْ أَيْن قُلْت؟ قَالَ: فِيْه شهَادة معاوية وهو أسلم عام الفتح، وفُتحت خيبرُ سنَة سبع، وفيه شهَادَةُ سَعْدِ بن معاذ ومات يوم بنِي قُريظَة قبل خيبر بِسنتين. فَاسْتحسن ذلك منه. اه (سير أعلام النبلاء 18/280
نظرا لهذه الأهمية أعددت هذا الجَدوَل لأسماء مشاهير المحدثين من القرن الثاني الهجري إلي هذا القرن، وذكرت مواليدهم ووفياتهم مع بعض مؤلفاتهم، ليتيسر لطلبة العلم حفظها والرجوع اليها عند الحاجة. اقتصرت فيه على الأعلام المشهورين تحرزا عن الإطالة وتيسيرا للطلبة، وحاولت قدر المستطاع أن أعيّن مولد ووفاة كل علم مذكور في الجدول، وفيما لم أظفر على المولد اكتفيت بذكر الوفاة فقط وحينئذ قدمت عليها رمز “ت”-أي توفي. وكذا إذا لم أظفر على تعيينهما بالضبط اكتفيت بالتاريخ التقريبي مع الإشارة اليه برمز “ح” للحدود -أي في حدود سنة كذا. وزدت رمز “ب” إذا كانت الوفاة أو المولد بعد التاريخ المذكور. وإنما ذكرت بعض مؤلفاتهم مع العلم بأنه قد يكون لهم مؤلفات اُخرى.
ولا ينسى أن هذه العجالة لمن يحتاج إلى معرفة هذه الأسماء والتواريخ على وجه الاختصار فحسب. أما من يطلب التفصيل فليراجع كتب التراجم المناسبة مثل وفيات الأعيان لابن خلّكان، سير أعلام النبلاء للذهبي، طبقات الشافعية الكبرى لتاج الدين السبكي، شذرات الذهب لابن العماد، نزهة الخواطر لعبد الحي الحسني، الأعلام للزركلي وغير ذلك من المراجع. وقد أحلنا تحت كل ترجمة إلى المصادر المناسبة لمن يريد التفصيل.
لو شعر القارئ الكريم أن هذا الجَدوَل يحتاج الي ترميم، أو وجد فيه خطأ من أي وجهٍ، فالرجاء منه أن ينبه عليه والكمال لله
- Click here for the Pdf version of the Chronological List of Prominent Hadīth Scholars-Arabic
- Click here for the English list
Book Review: “An Introduction to the Disciplines of the Noble Hadīth” by Mufti Abdul Mālik al-Kumillā’ī
Book Review: “An Introduction to the Disciplines of the Noble Hadīth”
Author: Mufti Abdul Mālik al-Kumillā’ī
By Muntasir Zamān
Being the second source of Islāmic law, the blessed hadīths of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) hold a lofty position in the hearts of Muslims. The science of hadīth is extremely vast and requires strenuous effort to familiarize oneself with even its basic concepts.
Students of dīn are generally interested in gaining some acquaintance with the various genres of hadīth literature, and to learn how to search for a hadīth in the relevant works. In earlier times, this was a talent naturally acquired in the course of a scholar’s general studies and was not in need of any separate study or specialist course. However, due to the infrequent usage of such works, the general condition nowadays is that very few are able to navigate through the hadīth literature and locate a hadīth in the relevant compilations and, perhaps more importantly, find the correct ruling of the hadīth in terms of its authenticity or inauthenticity from the experts of the science.
Many books have been written as an introduction and basic guide for beginners to learn how and where to search for hadīths, and the methods used to analyze their strength. Examples of such books are:
- Usūl al-Takhrīj wa Dirāsat al-Asānīd by Dr. Mahmūd al-Tahhān,
- Takhrīj al-Hadīth al-Sharīf by Dr. Nā’if Biqā‘ī, and
- Kayfa Nadrus ‘Ilm al-Takhrīj by Shaykh Hamzah al-Malibārī and Dr. al-‘Akā’ilah, among other books.
However, one of the most beneficial and comprehensive books is al-Madkhal ilā ‘Ulūm al-Hadīth al-Sharīf (An Introduction to the Disciplines of the Noble Hadīth) of Mufti Abdul Mālik.
In this short review of his book, we will briefly discuss the background and academic qualifications of the author, followed by a summary of the book. We have also provided a digital copy for the benefit of readers. It is necessary to point out that by merely reading several books of this nature, one does not become an expert hadīth scholar. Rather, he must stay in the company of the experts of the field and invest long hours burying himself in the books.
An Analysis of the Hadīth “Whoever Assists a Mu’min in Distress, Allāh Will Grant Him Seventy-Three Rewards…”
An Analysis of the Hadīth “Whoever assists a Mu’min in distress, Allāh will grant him seventy-three rewards, one of which will suffice him in this world and the remaining will be saved for the Hereafter…”
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Abstract: The Hadīth in reference has been reported on the authority of two Sahābah with slight variations in the wording: Thawbān and Anas (Allāh be pleased with them). The narrators from Anas are Ziyād ibn Abī Hassān, ‘Abd Allāh ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmān, Abān, ‘Abbād ibn ‘Abd al-Samad and Dīnār, the freed slave of Anas.
Although some of these transmissions are weak (da‘īf) and some inadmissible (munkar), the Hadīth gains strength from the multiplicity of the slightly weak transmission and is thus suitable to mention.
In Hilyat al-Awliyā’, Hāfiż Abū Nu‘aym al-Asfahānī [d. 430 AH] reports on the authority of Thawbān (Allāh be pleased with him):
The Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever relieves a distressed believer [Man Farraja ‘an Mu’min Lahfān], Allāh will grant him seventy-three counts of forgiveness [Maghfira], by one of which He will amend his worldly life and Afterlife, and the seventy-two He will return to him in full on the Day of Judgment.
Thereafter, Abu Nu‘aym writes, “It is rare from the Hadīth of Farqad, and we have only written it from this route.” 
An Analysis of the Hadīth:
“Whoever Begins His Meals with Salt Will Be Saved From Seventy Diseases”
By Muntasir Zaman
In the Name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
[Summary: This Hadīth has been reported Marfū‘an – from the Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings be upon him) – on the authority of four Sahābah: ‘Alī, Anas, Sa‘d ibn Mu‘ādh and ‘Ā’ishah (Allāh be pleased with them). However, all of these narrations have been heavily criticized, such that they cannot even collectively corroborate one another. Furthermore, it has been reported Mawqūfan – from a Sahābī- as a statement of ‘Alī (Allāh be pleased with him), but this report is also unreliable.
After analyzing the Ahādīth, we present the Fatwa of Muftī Rashīd Ahmad Ludhyānwī in this regard, who says that it is incorrect to regard this etiquette as a Sunnah.
Thereafter, we discuss the issue of authentication, and in what context a jurist’s citation of a Hadīth will be regarded as authentication of it. Finally, we discuss how the jurists cannot be blamed for mentioning this unreliable narration in their books, as the science of Hadīth was not their specialty.]
Several leading jurists, such as Burhān al-Dīn al-Bukhārī [d. 616 AH] from the early jurists and Ibn ‘Ābidīn [d. 1250 AH] from the later ones, have stated that the etiquette mentioned in the Hadīth in reference is a Sunnah. Ibn ‘Ābidīn even alludes to the Hadīth in his comment, “Not only is it a Sunnah, but it also contains the cure for seventy diseases.”
Before discussing whether it is correct to regard this etiquette as a Sunnah, let us first analyze the authenticity of the Ahādīth in this regard.
Analysis of the Hadīth Read the rest of this entry »
An Analysis of the Hadīth “To Ponder for a Moment is Greater Than Sixty Years of Worship”
By Muntasir Zaman
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
[Summary: It is from the speech of al-Sarī ibn al-Mughallis al-Saqatī [d. approx. 250 AH]. A similar narration is recorded from Hasan al-Basrī, Ibn ‘Abbās and Abū al-Dardā’ (Allah be pleased with them). In any case, this is not a Hadīth of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him). For an explanation of “to ponder” refer to the end of this answer. In addition, we have added a brief description of al-Sarī al-Saqatī in the end]
The Hadīth in reference is recorded by Abū al-Shaykh ibn Hayyān [d. 369 AH] in his book, al-‘Ażama, as follows:
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: فِكْرَةُ سَاعَةٍ خَيْرٌ مِنْ عِبَادَةِ سِتِّينَ سَنَةً
It is reported on the authority of Abū Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “To ponder for a moment is greater than sixty years of worship”
Hereunder are remarks of the scholar of Hadīth regarding this narration.
Abu ‘l-Faraj ibn al-Jawzī [d. 597 AH] in his book, al-Mawdū‘āt comments:
“To ponder for a moment is greater than sixty years of worship”- This Hadīth is a not authentic (i.e. a fabrication). In the Sanad (chain of transmitters) there are two liars.