Module Two: The Life of Imam al Tabari Section One: Lineage, Travel for Knowledge, Character, and Views.

The First Discussion: The stance of the Umayyads.
October 2, 2019
Section Two: Knowledge, Integrity, Scholarship, and Praise of Scholars for Him
October 4, 2019

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Module Two: The Life of Imam al Tabari

Section One: Lineage, Travel for Knowledge, Character, and Views.

Section Two: Knowledge, Integrity, Scholarship, and Praise of Scholars for Him.

Section Three: The Smear Campaign of Rafd Against Him. Establishing His True Creed.

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Section One

Lineage, Travel for Knowledge, Character, and Views

 

I. Name, attribution, and lineage.

Name:

His name is Muhammad and his teknonym Abu Jafar. The reason behind this teknonym has not been provided by any of the scholars, as he hadn’t developed an inclination towards women; never marrying and never having any children to take upon a teknonym. He has, himself spoken of this when arriving as a guest to Rabi’ ibn Sulaiman[1] in Egypt. The companions of Rabi’ came to the home wherein he was stationed and said to him:

 

تحتاج إلى قصرية وزير وحمارين وسدّة، فقلت: أما القصرية فأنا لا ولد لي وما حللت سراويلي على حرام ولا حلال قط

You will need a chamber pot, water jug, two donkeys, and a divan. He replied, “As for the chamber pot, well, I have no children and have never undone my pants for haram or halal…”[2]

 

Attribution:

Al Tabari is an attribution to Tabaristan[3] (modern Mazandaran Province of Iran). Some have stated his attribution to Amol, his place of birth. His full name and attribution would therefore be, Muhammad ibn Jarir ibn Yazid ibn Kathir al Amili, al Tabari, Abu Jafar.[4]  Some others have stated his attribution to Baghdad wherein he settled, lived, and eventually died. Thus some would say, Al Tabari, al Amili, al Baghdadi.[5]

 

Lineage:

The historians are unanimous upon his lineage till his grandfather; Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Jarir ibn Yazid.

 

II. Birth, childhood, and search for knowledge.

Abu Jafar al Tabari was born at the end of the year 224 A.H/838 A.D.[6] in the city of Amol, capital of the Tabaristan district.

He grew up in the care of his father who was eager to pave the way for him to attain knowledge after having gleamed his sharp intelligence and talent. His father thus made provisions for him to study from a young age. He sat in the circles of learning in his city of Tabaristan. Through the grace of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala he memorized the Qur’an aged seven and began writing hadith aged nine.

The early and prime years of Abu Jafar was spent in the city of Tabaristan seeking and gaining knowledge from its scholars. His severe and always increasing thirst for knowledge though led him to leave his city behind and travel in search for knowledge at a very young age.

At 12 years old in the year 236 A.H he travelled elsewhere seeking knowledge, as recorded by Maslamah ibn al Qasim.[7]

He then travelled to Baghdad and met with al Hassan al Za’farani[8] and Abu Sa’id al Istakhri[9] under whom he studied Shafi’i fiqh. He also met Ahmed ibn Yusuf al Taghlibi[10] from who he studied the science of Qira’ah.[11]

He then headed to Basrah and studied hadith from Muhammad ibn Musa al Harshi[12], ‘Imran ibn Musa al Qazzaz[13], Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul A’la Abu ‘Abdullah al San’ani[14], Abu al Ash’ath[15] and others[16]. In Kufah he studied poetry[17] under Tha’lab[18].

He searched for knowledge, sought out its purport, and was eager to meet, sit with, benefit from, and study under the scholars. Hearing about a scholar in a city would cause him to ready himself to undertake arduous travels for knowledge.

In his travels he passed through Damascus, studying hadith from Ibrahim al Juzajani[19], who had settled in Damascus[20]. He stopped in Beirut as well and read the Qur’an[21] to al ‘Abbas ibn al Walid al ‘Udhri[22].

In Egypt he met with Rabi’ ibn Sulaiman al Muradi and Abu Ibrahim al Muzani[23] under whom he studied Shafi’i fiqh. He also met with Sa’d ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abdul Hakam[24] and Yunus ibn ‘Abdul A’la al Sadafi under whom he studied Maliki fiqh[25].

After having attained the knowledge and understanding that he had sought out in Egypt, he returned to Baghdad. From there he travelled back to Tabaristan after a long and arduous journey the year 290 A.H/903 A.D. Not long thereafter he returned to Baghdad and settled there. He resided here in worship, writing, and teaching whilst staying far away from royal appointments and responsibilities.[26]

It should be noted that Abu Jafar al Tabari, in his travels, studied under many scholars that were giants of the era. He likewise studied hadith from many trustworthy scholars of hadith who had the highest chain of transmission in his time.

He studied hadith under many of the teachers of al Bukhari, Muslim, and others. He studied the science of Qira’ah from the Qurra’ of highest regard in his era. He studied fiqh under the great jurists and mujtahidin, and language from the notable linguists and masters of grammar—whose names have been mentioned—which chiselled his scholarly ability to near perfection. He thus became the undisputed Imam of his era. He gained prominence amongst the Imam’s and high profile individuals of his time as attested to by many scholars and historians. This will be explored further under the section dealing with the praise of scholars in his regard.

 

III. His character and views.

Imam al Tabari is characterised as a practising scholar who was embodiment of nobility and grace. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has instilled within him, self-respect, sublime conduct, an easy manner, good social skills, the ability to champion the cause of truth, and humility without self-deprecation. These attributes of his are well documented.

Al Farghani[27] says:

 

كان محمد بن جرير ممن لا تأخذه في الله لومة لائم مع عظيم ما يلحقه من الأذى والشناعات من جاهل وحاسد وملحد . فأما أهل العلم والدين فغير منکرین علمه وزهده في الدنيا ورفضه لها ، وقناعته باليسير

Muhammad ibn Jarir was a man who did not fear the blame of the critics in the path to Allah even though the hate and criticism that came from the ignorant, jealous, and heretics was resounding. The men of knowledge and faith though, did not discount his knowledge, asceticism, and contentment with a little.[28]

 

Ibn Kathir says:

وكان من العبادة والزهد والورع والقيام في الحق لا تأخذه في ذالك لومة لائم

His worship, asceticism, piety, and standing for the truth was undeterred by criticism.[29]

 

His student, ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al Tabari[30] describes him in the following words:

 

وكان فيه من الزهد والورع والخشوع والأمانة وتصفية الأعمال ، وصدق النية ، وحقائق الأفعال ما دل عليه كتابه في  آداب النفوس و كان عازفا عن الدنيا تارگا لها ولأهلها يرفع نفسه عن التماسها

His asceticism, piety, humility, reliability, purity of actions, genuine intentions, and awareness of actions can be understood from his book authored on the subject of rectifying the soul[31]. He was removed from the world, abstaining from it and its people. He was far from hankering after it. [32]

 

He abstained from what had overcome many of the scholars and students of knowledge in his era; standing at the doors of the Khalifas, leaders, governors, and rich men seeking wealth and provisions. Al Farghani relates his condition thus:

 

رحل ابن جرير من مدينة أمل لما سمح له أبوه بالسفر ، و كان طول حياته ينفذ إليه بالشيء بعد الشيء إلى البلدان ، فسمعته يقول : أبطأت عني نفقة والدي واضطررت إلى أن فتقت كمي القميص قبعتهما

Ibn Jarir left from Amol when his father permitted him to travel. As long as his father lived, he would send something or the other to his son in whichever city he was.

I heard him say, “The expenditure that my father would send to me was delayed. I faced such dire straits that I cut off the sleeves of my garment and sold them.”[33]

 

Even though it was possible for him to go to the doors of the wealthy and lovers of knowledge as the poor students of knowledge would do and receive some assistance, he preferred to sell the sleeves of his garment and spend on himself until the money his father sent would reach him.

He would shy away from accepting the many gifts that would come to him from the viziers and wealthy. An example of this is the incident recorded wherein the vizier al ‘Abbas ibn al Hassan[34] requested him to write a short book in fiqh. The Imam authored on his behest the book, Al Khafif fi Ahkam Sharai’i al Islam. The vizier sent him a thousand gold coins upon receiving it. The Imam returned the gold and did not accept it.[35]

‘Abdul ‘Aziz al Tabari says:

 

ووجه إليه أبو الهيجاء بن حمدان ثلاثة آلاف دينار ، فلما نظر إليها عجب منها ثم قال : لا أقبل ما لا أقدر على المكافأة عنه ، ومن أين لي ما أكافئ عن هذا – فقيل : ما لهذا مكافأة ، إنما أراد التقرب إلى الله لك ، فأبى أن يقبله ورده إليه

Abu al Hayja’ ibn Hamdan[36] sent three thousand gold coins to him. When he saw the amount he was taken aback and said, “I cannot accept that which I am not able to repay. How will I ever repay this favour?”

It was said to him, “There’s no repayment for this. It was given to you solely to earn the pleasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.”

Yet, he refused to accept it and returned the amount.[37]

 

He was offered a judicial post which he did not accept based on various reasons. Amongst the reasons for not accepting was his bold attitude in standing for the truth. This could have been at odds with his position as a judge as he might be expected to be lenient towards the influential or ruling class in cases brought against them. He could not stand for such. Together with this his self-respect was too great for him to be under the thumb of a governor or minister. These reasons were perhaps overshadowed by his fear of oppressing any one person in passing a ruling if he accepted the post.

In any case, he took solace in the fact that many a great scholar—the likes of Imam Abu Hanifah and others—had refused to take up the post when presented to them.

Some who have profiled the life of Imam al Tabari have outlined the stance adopted by him when presented with the post in the following words:

 

لما تقلد الخاقاني  الوزارة وجه إليه بمال كثير ، فأبى أن يقبله ، فعرض عليه القضاء ، فامتنع . وقالوا له – أي أصحابه – : في هذا ثواب وتحي سنة قد درست ، وطمعوا أن يقبل ولاية المظالم فانتهرهم وقال : وقد كنت أظن أني لو رغبت في ذلك لنهيتموني عنه

When al Khaqani[38] became the vizier, he sent much wealth to him, which the Imam refused. He then presented him with the offer of appointment as judge, which he did not accept.

His companions said to him, “Accepting this position will be a means of reward and revival of a forgotten sunnah.” They hoped he would accept the mandate of the Ombudsman.

He said to them, “I thought that if I had been swayed towards it you all would have stopped me.”[39]

 

It should be noted that though his students were from different social strata, his attitude to them all was that of impartiality. He would not hold any one of them in a particular light due to their status or family influence.

Abu Ma’bad ‘Uthman ibn Ahmed al Dinawari[40] says:

 

حضرت مجلس الطبري وحضر الفضل بن الفرات بن الوزير  وقد سبقه رجل فقال الطبري للرجل : ألا تقرأ – فأشار إلى الوزير ، فقال له المطيري : إذا كان الثوبة لك فلا نكترث بدجلة ولا الفرات

I attended the lesson of al Tabari. Fadl ibn al Furat ibn al Wazir[41] also attended the same lesson with one other man arriving before him. Al Tabari said to the man, “Wont you read?” The man indicated towards al Wazir. Al Tabari said to him, “When it is your turn don’t worry about the Dajlah[42] and Furat.[43]

 

Ibn Hajar commenting on this says:

وهذه من لطائفه وبلاغته وعدم التفائه لأهل الدنيا

This shows his subtlety, eloquence, and disinterest in men of worldly influence.[44]

 

This clearly demonstrates the clean and clear character of Imam al Tabari together with his abstinence, piety, self-respect, humility and boldness in proclaiming the truth. He declined a judicial appointment and did not accept gifts of the governors. This is in stark contrast to the presumptions of some Arab researchers who, influenced by the bias of orientalism, disregard the nobility and status of the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah by slating them as aristocrats who adopted a luxurious life. Ahmed Amin has in his book Zuhr al Islam, deemed Imam al Tabari as one of the famous aristocrats of his era. He writes:

وقد اشتهر في هذا القرن الرابع – عدد من الأرستقراطيين ، وذكر من بينهم ابن جرير الطبري

Many aristocrats became famous in the fourth century.[45]

 

Counting amongst them Ibn Jarir al Tabari. This slate of defamation by Ahmed Amin against Imam al Tabari is not based on any evidence. It is merely an attempt to clutch at non-existent straws, lying and fabricating in the process. The basis of passing a judgment is being completely aware of all the elements of the subject being addressed. If Ahmed Amin was truly objective, he would have studied the life of Imam al Tabari before passing a horribly skewed judgement on him. If he had studied the life of the Imam he would not have been faced with this academic predicament. He would have further abstained from labelling him as an aristocrat, with all the negative connotations the label draws, and he would have no doubt found him to be far from such snobbery and elitism. The Imam passed through many moments of hunger and need to the extent, as has been mentioned, that he had to sell his own sleeves to survive. His indifference to cosying up to those of influence and accepting their gifts together with rejecting the appointment of judge totally disregards the lie conjured against him.

From amongst the advices of the early scholars—whom Imam al Tabari would diligently follow—is the warning to stay away from the innovators and the sultans. Yunus ibn ‘Ubaid[46] says:

لا تجالس سلطانا ولا صاحب بدعة

Do not take up to sitting with the Sultan or innovator.

 

Sufyan ibn al Thawri advised a man thus:

إياك والأهواء والخصومة وإياك والسلطان

Beware of your carnal self, quarrelling, and beware of the Sultan.

 

He would also say:

المسلمون كلهم عندنا على حالة حسنة إلا رجلين : صاحب بدعة وصاحب سلطان

We think good of all the Muslims except the innovator and one who takes to the Sultan.[47]

 

NEXT⇒ Section Two: Knowledge, Integrity, Scholarship, and Praise of Scholars for Him


[1] He is Rabi’ ibn Sulaiman ibn ‘Abdul Jabbar ibn Kamil al Muradi al Misri, Abu Muhammad, the great jurist, companion of al Shafi’i, and narrator of his book. He passed away the year 270 A.H/884 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Shirazi: Tabaqat al Fuqaha, pg. 79; Ibn Khallikan: Wafayat al A’yan, vol. 2 pg. 269; Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 3 pg. 245.

[2] Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 18 pg. 55; Ibn Hajar: Lisan al Mizan, vol. 5 pg. 102.

[3] It should be noted that attribution that is made to Tabaristan is made as al Tabari and to Tabariyyah in Sham as al Tabarani. See, Ibn al Athir; Al Lubab fi Tahdhib al Ansab, vol. 2 pg. 274.

[4] Ibn al Nadim: Al Fihrist, pg. 326; Ibn al Athir; Al Lubab fi Tahdhib al Ansab, vol. 2 pg. 274; Al Dawoodi: Tabaqat al Mufassirin, vol. 2 pg. 106.

[5] Ibn al Jazri: Ghayah al Nihayah, vol. 2 pg. 106.

[6] See, Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 2 pg. 166; Al Qafti: Al Muhammadun min al Shu’ara’, vol. 1 pg. 225; Al Suyuti: Tabaqat al Mufassirin, pg. 3.

[7] He is Maslamah ibn al Qasim ibn Ibrahim ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Hatim, Abu Qasim, the historian of Andalus and scholar of hadith at Qurtubah. He has written, al Tarikh al Kabir. He passed away the year 353 A.H/964 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn al Fardi: Tarikh ‘Ulama al Andalus, vol. 2 pg. 5; Ibn Hajar: Lisan al Mizan, vol. 6 pg. 35.

[8] He is al Hassan ibn Muhammad ibn al Sabbah al Bazzar al Za’farani al Baghdadi–an attribution to Za’faraniyyah, a town close to Baghdad, the jurist and scholar par excellence in hadith. He was a narrator of the books of Imam al Shafi’i. Al Khatib has counted him amongst one of the reliable narrators in the east of al Salam, Baghdad. He passed away the year 259 A.H/873 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 7 pg. 407; Ibn ‘Abdul Barr: Al Intiqa’, pg. 105; Ibn al Nadim: Al Fihrist, pg. 297; Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 2 pg. 318.

[9] He is al Hassan ibn Ahmed ibn Yazid al Istakhri, Abu Sa’id, the Shafi’i jurist and contemporary of Ibn Suraij. He was appointed as judge.

  • Ibn Nadim says, “He is reliable and an early jurist.”

He has written al Fara’id al Kabir, Adab al Qada’, and al Shurut wa al Watha’iq wa al Muhadir wa al Sajallat. He passed away the year 328 A.H/940 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn al Nadim: Al Fihrist, pg. 300; Ibn al Jawzi: al Muntazam fi Tarikh al Muluk wa al Umam, vol. 6 pg. 302; Ibn Khallikan: Wafayat al A’yan, vol. 2 pg. 74; Al Subki: Tabaqat al Shafi’iyyah al Kubra, vol. 2 pg. 193.

[10] He is Ahmed ibn Yusuf al Taghlibi Abu ‘Abdullah al Baghdadi, amongst the celebrated reciters. He passed away the year 277 A.H/886 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 5 pg. 218; Ibn al Jazri: Ghayah al Nihayah, vol. 1 pg. 152; Al Dawoodi: Tabaqat al Mufassirin, vol. 2 pg. 110.

[11] Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 18 pg. 52.

[12] He is Muhammad ibn Musa al Harshi, Abu Jafar, from amongst the great memorizers and reliable hadith scholars.

  • Al Khatib says, “He was reliable and a hafidh.”

He passed away the year 248 A.H/862 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 3 pg. 240; Al Dhahabi: Al  Mizan, vol. 4 pg. 51.

[13] He is ‘Imran ibn Musa ibn Hayyan al Qazzaz al Laythi Abu ‘Amr al Basri, from the Ahl al Hadith.

  • Abu Hatim says, “Truthful.”
  • Al Nasa’i, Maslamah ibn Qasim and al Daraqutni has deemed him reliable.
  • Ibn Hibban has recorded him in al Thiqat.

He passed away the year 240 A.H/854 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim in Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil vol. 6 pg. 306; Ibn Hibban: Al Thiqat, vol. 8 pg. 499 and Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 8 pg. 141.

[14] He is Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul A’la al San’ani, Abu ‘Abdullah al Basri, scholar of hadith and from amongst the teachers of Muslim, al Tirmidhi, al Nasa’i, Ibn Majah and others.

  • Abu Zur’ah and Abu Hatim has deemed him reliable.
  • Al Nasa’i has mentioned good of him.
  • Ibn Hibban has recorded him in al Thiqat.

He passed away the year 245 A.H/859 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Bukhari: Al Tarikh al Kabir, 1/1/174; Ibn Abi Hatim in Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil vol. 8 pg. 16; Ibn Hajar: Al Taqrib, vol. 2 pg. 180.

[15] He is Ahmed ibn Miqdam ibn Sulaiman al Ash’ath ibn Aslam al ‘Ijli, Abu al Ash’ath al Basri, the Imam, Mutqin, and Hafidh. He is amongst the teachers of al Bukhari al Nasa’i and others.

  • Al Nasa’i says, “Trustworthy.”
  • Abu Hatim says, “Mahalluhu al Sidq.
  • Ibn Khuzaimah says, “He was a man of hadith.”

He passed away the year, 253 A.H/867 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim in Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil vol. 2 pg. 78; Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 5 pg. 162; Al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 12 pg. 219 Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 1 pg. 81.

[16] Ibn al Nadim: Al Fihrist, pg. 326; Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 18 pg. 52.

[17] He is Ahmed ibn Yahya ibn Yazid ibn Siyar, Abu al ‘Abbas, famously known as Tha’lab. The Imam of the Kufiyyin in grammar and language. He would narrate hadith and poetry and is considered as reliable and strong by the scholars of hadith. He has written, Al Fasih, Qawa’id al Shi’r, Ma Talhan fihi al ‘Ammah, and I’rab al Qur’an. He passed away the year 291 A.H/904 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 5 pg.  204; Ibn Khallikan: Wafayat al A’yan, vol. 1 pg. 102; Al Dhahabi: Tadhkirah al Huffaz, vol. 2 pg. 214; Al Suyuti: Bughyah al Wu’ah, pg. 172.

[18] Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 5 pg. 204; Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 18 pg. 60.

[19] He is Ibrahim ibn Yaqub ibn Ishaq al Sa’di al Juzajani, Abu Ishaq. The muhaddith of Sham and one of the great memorizers and reliable authors of Khurasan. He has written, Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil and Al Du’afa’. He passed away the year 259 A.H/873 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Dhahabi: Tadhkirah al Huffaz, vol. 2 pg. 549; Ibn al Kathir in Al Bidayah, vol. 11 pg. 31; Ibn al Kayyal: Al Kawakib al Nayyirat, pg. 105; Muhammad ibn Jafar: Al Risalah al Mustatrafah, pg. 110.

[20] Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 5 pg. 162; Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 1 pg. 86.

[21] Ibn al Jazri: Ghayah al Nihayah, vol. 1 pg. 355.

[22] Al ‘Abbas ibn al Walid ibn Mazid al ‘Udhri, Abu al Fadl al Bayruni al Muqri’. He was a reliable and well versed on the mazhab of al Awza’i. He passed away the year 270 A.H/883 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim in Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil vol. 6 pg. 214; Al Dhahabi: M’arifah al Qurra’ al Kibar ‘ala al Tabaqat wa al A’sar, vol. 1 pg. 213; Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 5 pg. 131; Al Dawoodi: Tabaqat al Mufassirin, vol. 1 pg. 355.

[23] He is Isma’il ibn Yahya ibn Isma’il, Abu Bakr al Muzani al Misri. Celebrated student of Imam al Shafi’i. He was a scholar and a mujtahid. Ibn Khallikan says, “He was an ascetic, scholar, mujtahid, and one that delved into the deeper meanings. His ascetic nature was second to none and his prayers were readily accepted.” He has written Al Jami’ al Kabir, Al  Jami’ al Saghir, Al Targhib fi al ‘Ilm, Al Watha’iq, and Al Masa’il al Mu’tabarah. He passed away the year 264 A.H/878 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn al Nadim: Al Fihrist, pg. 298; Ibn ‘Abdul Barr: Al Intiqa’, pg. 110; Ibn Khallikan: Wafayat al A’yan, vol. 1 pg. 217.

[24] He is Sa’d ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abdul Hakam Abu ‘Amr, amongst the Maliki jurists of Egypt.

  • Abu Hatim says, “Truthful.”
  • Al Kindi says, “He was virtuous.”
  • Abu Bakr ibn Khuzaimah has praised his worship and ijtihad.

He passed away the year, 268 A.H/881 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim in Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil vol. 4 pg. 91; Al Qadi ‘Iyad: Tartib al Madarik, vol. 4 pg. 166.

[25] Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’; Al Dawoodi: Tabaqat al Mufassirin, vol. 2 pg. 107.

[26] Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 18 pg. 56.

[27] He is ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmed ibn Jafar Abu Muhammad al Turki al Farghani, the leader and scholar. He has narrated from Abu Jafar al Tabari and ‘Ali ibn al Hassan ibn Sulaiman. Al Daraqutni and ‘Abdul Ghani have narrated from him. He has written Al Silah which is an appendix of Tarikh al Tabari. He passed away the year, 362 A.H/972 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 9 pg. 389; Ibn Makula: Al Ikmal, vol. 2 pg. 402; Al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 16 pg. 132.

[28] Al Dhahabi: Tadhkirah al Huffaz, vol. 2 pg. 702; Al Subki: Tabaqat al Shafi’iyyah, vol. 2 pg. 125.

[29]  Ibn al Kathir in Al Bidayah, vol. 11 pg. 146.

[30] He is ‘Abdul ‘Aziz ibn Muhammad ibn Ishaq al Tabari, Abu al Hassan. He is amongst the scholars of Islamic scholastic theology. He was under the tutelage of Abu al Hassan al Ash’ari and studied the exegeses of the Qur’an from Ibn Jarir al Tabari. Ibn ‘Asakir says, “He has authored books of note, amongst them is the book, Riyadah al Mubtada’ wa Basirah al Mustahdi fi al Radd ‘ala al Mulhidah. I have come across some of the material authored by him which shows his mastery and deep knowledge.” He passed away after the year 310 A.H/922 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 10 pg. 385.

[31] It is a book that deals with rectifying the self, what adorns the self and what tarnishes it amongst other topics. Al Dhahabi has praised it in Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ vol. 14 pg. 277. Al Khalifah has mentioned it under the name Al Adab al Hamidah wa al Akhlaq al Nafisah. See, Al Tarikh, vol. 1 pg. 42.

[32] Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 18 pgs. 60-61.

[33] Al Subki: Tabaqat al Shafi’iyyah, vol. 2 pg. 125.

[34] Al ‘Abbas ibn al Hassan, ibn Ayub al Jurjani or al Madarani, Abu Muhammad. A vizier of the Abbasid dynasty. Al Muktafi had him instated. He was eloquent and a linguist. He passed away the year 296 A.H/909 A.D. His life has been recorded by al Tabari in Tarikh al Rusul, vol. 1 pgs. 129-133, 140, and 141.

[35] Al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 14 pg. 270.

[36] He is Abu ‘Abdullah ibn Hamdan ibn Hamdun al Tha’labi al ‘Adawi. A leader in the ‘Abbasi dynasty. He took to overseeing the operations in Mosul on behalf of Al Muktafi al ‘Abbasi. He was appointed as governor over Khurasan and Dinwar by Al Muqtadir. He passed away the year 317 A.H/929 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn al Athir: Al Kamil, vol. 8 pg. 214; Ibn Khaldun: Al ‘Ibar wa al Diwan al Mubtada’ wa al Khabar fiAayyam al ‘Arab wa al ‘Ajam, vol. 3 pg. 747.

[37] Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 18 pg. 87.

[38] He is Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn ‘Ubaidullah ibn Yahya ibn Khaqan, Abu ‘Ali. He was a vizier of the Abbasid dynasty. He assumed the position at the behest of Al Muqtadir the year 299 A.H/911 A.D. He passed away the year 312 A.H/924 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn al Athir: Al Kamil, vol. 8 pg. 21; Ibn Tabataba famously known as Ibn al Tiqtaqa: Al Fakhri fi al Adab al Sultaniyyah wa al Duwal al Islamiyyah, vol. 2; Abu al Fida’: Al Mukhtasar fi akhbar al Bashar, vol. 2 pg. 66.

[39] Al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 14 pg. 275.

[40] I did not find his profile amongst the available sources.

[41] He is al Fadl ibn Jafar ibn al Fadl ibn Muhammad ibn al Furat, Abu al Fath. A vizier of the Abbasid dynasty. He is also known as Ibn Khanzabah, an attribution to his mother. He was appointed by al Muqtadir Bi Allah al ‘Abbasi. He passed away the year 327 A.H/939 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn al Athir: Al Kamil, vol. 8 pg. 110; Al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 14 pg. 479.

[42] In reference to the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. A play on words implying that one should not be influenced by someone of high standing.

[43] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 15 pg. 168; Ibn Hajar: Lisan al Mizan, vol. 5 pgs. 102-103.

[44] Ibn Hajar: Lisan al Mizan, vol. 5 pg. 102.

[45] Ahmed Amin: Zuhr al Islam, vol. 2 pg. 17.

[46] He is Yunus ibn ‘Ubaid ibn Dinar al ‘Abdi al Basri, Abu ‘Ubaid. From amongst the best of people.

  • Ibn Hibban says, “He was amongst the best of his era in his knowledge, nobility, memory, mastery, adherence to the sunnah, dislike for the innovators, abstinence, and understanding of the faith.”
  • Ahmed, ibn Ma’in, al Nasa’i, and Abu Hatim have deemed him reliable.

He passed away the year 139 A.H/756 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn Ma’in: Al Tarikh, vol. 2 pg. 677; Al Darami: Al Tarikh, pg. 100; Al Bukhari: Al Tarikh al Kabir, 4/2/402; Ibn Hibban: Al Thiqat, vol. 7 pg. 647 Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 11 pg. 442.

[47] Al Lalka’i: Sharh Usul I’tiqad Ahlus Sunnah, vol. 1 pg. 136.

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