Biography of Abu al Khayr al Talqani

Editor’s Foreword
April 15, 2019
The importance of the book; its title and authenticating its attribution to the author
April 15, 2019

BACK Return to Table of contents

 

Biography of Abu al Khayr al Talqani

 

He is Ahmed ibn Ismail ibn Yusuf ibn Muhammad ibn al ‘Abbas Abu al Khayr al Talqani al Qazwini. Taliqan is a district in Qazvin found in modern day northern Iran; to this day it is known by this name.

His son, Abu al Manaqib Muhammad, states:

My father was born on the 27 Ramadan 511 A.H in Qazvin.[1]

 

Al Rafi’i states:

He grew up engrossed in the obedience of Allah, memorizing the Qur’an at an early age… He was constantly occupied with the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, reciting the Qur’an whether setting out on a journey or returning, sitting or standing, and at all times. He was outstanding in his knowledge of Tafsir (Qur’an exegesis) and a profound memory in retaining the causes of revelations (Asbab al Nuzul) as well as knowing views of the Mufasirin (Qur’an exegetists).

 

Those who attended his sittings would say:

His lips would constantly move—occupied with the remembrance of Allah—as was his state outside these sittings.[2]

 

Ibn Najar states:

He was the leader of the Shafi’i Juristic community, a paragon in his school of thought as well as issues of differences, exegesis, and Prophetic traditions. He left Qazvin for Nishapur, sojourning by the Jurist Muhammad ibn Yahya. As a student he read to him and remained for a long period with him until he excelled in knowledge. He entered Baghdad establishing an oratory platform specifically to advise and admonish; thereby attracting the attention of the state. A group of fanatic loyalists soon established themselves around him. He would teach at the Nizamiyah and the Jam’i Qasr. His sittings were attended by a large number of people. He was then formally appointed to teach at the Nizamiyah in Rajab 569 A.H. After teaching for a period of time, he requested to return to his hometown and was permitted to do so. He returned to Qazvin and remained there until his demise.

During his tenure in the Jam’i Qasr and the Nizamiyah he conducted a number of sessions dictating Prophetic narrations. He lived a life filled with acts of obedience, constantly in remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, praying, fasting, engaged in nocturnal prayers and abstaining from food. The latter had so much effect on him that the colour of his face changed. His tongue would not lax from the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala no matter the situation or the occupation.[3]

 

Al Dhahabi states:

Mahfuz ibn al Bazuri narrates in his Tarikh, “Abu al Khayr was the first to establish an oratory platform at the gate of Badr al Sharif.” I say: This is perhaps the place where the Khalifah Mustadi’ would attend his sermons behind a veil. These sermons would attract large crowds of people. He would alternate with Ibn al Jawzi in lecturing the people.[4]

 

Al Subki said:

Abu Ahmed ibn Sakinah said, “When Ibn al Sahib openly advocated Rafd (Shi’ism) in Baghdad, al Qazwini visited me to give me his farewell. He informed me of his intentions that he was planning to return to his homeland, I remarked, ‘You are of benefit to the people here,’ but he replied, ‘God forbid that I would live in a city, in which the Companions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are cursed.’ He left Bagdad for Qazvin, never to return.”[5]

 

Al Subki transmits from the Amali of al Rafi’i:

Al Qazwini would conduct three public sittings for the masses in the week. The first of these sittings would be on the morning of Jumu’ah. On the morning of the 12th of Muharram the year 590 A.H, he discussed the verse, “If they turn away from you, say: “Allah is sufficient for me. There is no god but Him.” Expounding upon the verse he mentioned that it was from the last verses revealed. Alongside the verse, “Today I have perfected your religion for you”, Surah al Nasr (victory), and the verse, “Fear the day when you shall return to Allah”. After the latter was revealed the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam only lived for seven days.

Al Rafi’i states, “When al Qazwini ascended the pulpit he became feverish and passed on the next Friday, dying after seven days. (He remarks,) This was certainly an amazing coincidence.”[6]

 

His works

  • Kitab al Arba’in Fi al Ajwibah al Nabawiyyah ‘an al Aswilah al Zainabiyyah, I think it is found amongst the Yehuda collection in Princeton (64). Where it is recorded under the title: Kitab al Arba’in Fi al Ajwibah al Nabawiyyah ‘an al As’ilah al Diniyyah.
  • Kitab al Arba’in Fi Mabani al Akhbar al Musnadah ‘an al Nabi al Muktar. This work is lost.
  • A collection of forty narrations titled, Al Sadiq al Masduq fi Fada’il al Sidiq wa al Faruq. It is found in manuscript form in the library of Shahid ‘Ali Pasha (539).
  • A collection of forty narrations on the virtues of ‘Ali al Murtada radiya Llahu ‘anhu. It is found in manuscript form in the library of Shahid ‘Ali Pasha (539) and the Chester Beatty Library (3215).
  • A collection of forty narrations on the virtues of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan entitled: Kitab al Arba’in al Mukhamasat fi Fada’il al Imam Dhi al Nurayn ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan. This is the book under study.
  • A collection of forty narrations titled, Tuhfat al Akhyar fi Mu’asharat al Akhbar. This work is lost.
  • Kitab al Arba’in fi Bayan ‘Adadayn:Khamsatah ‘Asharah fi al Musadasat wa Khams wa ‘Ishrin fi al Musabi’at, al Mushtamilah ‘an khisal al Khayrat, Musnadah ila Sayid al Bariyyat. This work is lost.
  • A collection of forty narration regarding issues which the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam taught the Companions. This work is lost.
  • A collection of forty narrations entitled, Al Burhan al Anwar fi Fada’il al Siddiq al Akbar. It is found in manuscript form in the library of Shahid ‘Ali Pasha (539).
  • A collection of forty narrations entitled, Hadiyat Dhawi al Albab fi Fada’il ‘Umar ibn al Khattab alayhi Ridwan al Karim al Wahab. It is found in manuscript form in the library of Shahid ‘Ali Pasha (539).[7]
  • Al Tibyan Fi Masa’il al Qur’an fi al Rad ala al Hululiyyah wa al Jahmiyyah wa al Qa’ilin bi Khalq al Qur’an. This work is lost.
  • Haza’ir al Quds. This work is lost.
  • Khasa’is al Siwak This work is lost.
  • Mafatih al ‘Atiyat wa Maghaliq al Baliyyat fi al Adhkar al Da’wat. The book was written in Persian and the current whereabouts of the book is unknown.[8]
  • Sharh Hadith Hawl Ziyarat Jibril li Adam. The book is preserved in the national Archives, London.
  • Sharh Hadith Hawl Qiyam Laylat al Qadar. The book is preserved in the national Archives, London.
  • Ta’rif Ashab Sawa’ al Sabil ila Asanid al Kutub al Masmu’ah wa al Mustajazah. The book is preserved Chester Beatty’s library (3/3557).

 

Demise

His son, Muhammad Ibn Ahmed ibn al Qazwini states:

He passed on in Qazvin on the day of Jumu’ah, the 21st of Muharram 589 A.H.[9]

 

NEXT⇒ The importance of the book; its title and authenticating its attribution to the author


[1] This was said by Abu al Manaqib as mentioned in Al Mustafad min Dhayl Tarikh Baghdad of Ibn Dimyati, pg. 34.

[2] Al Rafi’i: Al Tadwin fi Akhbar Qazwin, 2/144.

[3] This was said by Ibn Najar as mentioned in Al Mustafad min Dhayl Tarikh Baghdad of Ibn Dimyati, pg. 34.

[4] Siyar Alam al Nubala’, 1/740.

[5] Al Subki: Tabaqat al Shafi’iyyah al Kubra, 3/303.

[6] Ibid, 3/303-304.

[7] As mentioned by Siraj al Din al Qazwini in his Mashyakhah, pg. 451.

[8] As mentioned by Ismail Basha in Hadiyat al ‘Arifin, 5/88.

[9] This was said by Abu al Manaqib as mentioned in Al Mustafad min Dhayl Tarikkh Baghdad of Ibn Dimyati, pg. 34.

Back to top