[The great grandson of] Ibn al-Layth, a client of 'Umayra who was a woman from among the clients of 'Uthman ibn 'Affan. It is also said that he was the client of Nafi', the client of 'Uthman ibn 'Affan. Ibn Sha'ban said that. His kunya was Abu Muhammad.
He listened to Malik, al-Layth, Bakr ibn Mudar, 'Abd ar-Razzaq, al-Qa'nabi, Ibn Lahi'a, Ibn 'Aliyya, Isma'il ibn Abi 'Ayyash, Ya'qub ibn 'Abd ar-Rahman az-Zuhri, al-'Attaf ibn Khalid and Ibn 'Uyayna.
Ibn Numayr, Harun ibn Ishaq, his sons, al-Miqdam ibn Dawud, Abu Yazid al-Qaratisi, ar-Rabi' ibn Sulayman ibn Ibn al-Mawwaz, al-'Addas, Ahmad ibn Zukayr, Ibn Habib, Ahmad ibn Salih,
Muhammad ibn Muslim and more than one related from him.
Abu 'Umar ibn 'Abd al-Barr said, "Ibn 'Abd al-Hakam was a righteous man, and reliable and precise in the school of Malik."
Al-Kindi said that he was a faqih. Abu Zur'a ar-Razi said that he was truthful and reliable.
Muhammad ibn Muslim said, "I wrote from him. He was a shaykh of Egypt."
Ahmad ibn Salih said something similar.
Abu Hatim ar-Razi said that he is truthful.
Ahmad ibn 'Abdullah al-Kufi said, "He was intelligent, forbearing, and reliable. I wrote from him."
Ash-Shirazi said, "Leadership went to him in Egypt after Ashhab. He had the most knowledge among the companions of Malik about his differing statements.
Ibn 'Abd al-Hakam listened to the Muwatta' and about three sections from Malik."
He related much from Ibn Wahb, Ibn al-Qasim and Ashhab. He wrote a book in which he summarized what he had heard. Then he made a small summary from that. The Malikis of Baghdad relied on these two books among others in their studies. Abu Bakr al-Abhari and other Iraqis and the people of the east wrote commentary on them.
Bishr ibn Bakr said, "I dreamt of Malik some days after his death. He said to me, "There is a man in your land who is called Ibn 'Abd al-Hakam. Learn from him. He is reliable."
Some of his reports, virtues and books
Abu 'Umar al-Kindi said, "Ibn 'Abd al-Hakam was appointed after Ibn al-Munkadir. He refuted the questions of 'Isa ibn al-Munkadir, the Qadi of Egypt. He included among the just witnesses those whom he thought worthy of that, even if they were not recognized as witnesses in the past. He accepted their testimony. One of the shaykhs among the Egyptians resented him doing that. Abu Khalifa ar-Ru'ayni said to him one day, 'This matter is veiled, so unveil it. You include in the testimony those who are not entitled to it.'
"Ibn 'Abd al-Hakam said to him, "This business is the deen. I have done what I must do.'"
He noted: "The Banu 'Abd al-Hakam reached in rank and precedence in Egypt what no one else reached."
Ibn 'Abd al-Barr said, "'Abdullah was a friend of ash-Shafi'i. He stayed with him when he came from Baghdad and he honoured his abode. He went to great effort to respect him and he was with him when he died."
Ash-Shirazi said, "It is said that he gave ash-Shafi'i a thousand dinars and took a thousand for him from one of his friends and a thousand from another two men."
Ibn 'Abd al-Barr said, "'Abdullah related from ash-Shafi'i. He wrote his books from him and his sons, and his son Muhammad clung to him."
There was conflict and mutual antipathy between 'Abdullah ibn 'Abd al-Hakam and Asbagh to the point where each of them began to slander the other. It was said to Ibn 'Abd al-Hakam, "This man obliges you to impose the hadd on him, so impose the hadd on him." He refused and said, If he is flogged, we will become a story. It will be said, 'So-and-so was given the hadd-punishment on account of so-and-so.'"
One of the books of 'Abdullah ibn 'Abd al-Hakam is the Great Compendium. It is said that he imitated the compendium of the books of Ashhab with it.
There is also The Middle Compendium and The Small Compendium.
The Small Compendium is an abridgement of the knowledge contained in the Muwatta'.
The Middle Compendium has two versions. That which is from the riwaya of al-Qaratisi adds traditions in it which is not the case with that which is from the riwaya of Muhammad, his son, and Sa'id ibn Hassan.
He also has: The Book of Terrors, The Book of the Judgement on Building, The Book of the Virtues of 'Umar ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz and The Book of Hajj Rites.
People paid greater attention to his compendiums than to any other of the books of the school after the Muwatta' and the Mudawwana.
Shaykh Abu Bakr al-Abhari wrote a commentary on The Great Compendium.
Al-Khaffaf also has a commentary on it.
Abu Ja'far ibn al-Jassas has explanatory notes on about 200 sections on what he mentioned. I have seen part of it.
Shaykh Abu Bakr al-Abhari also wrote a commentary on The Small Compendium.
Abu Bakr ibn al-Jahm also has a large commentary on it. Muhammad ibn Abi Zayd summarised it.
The last of those who wrote on a commentary on it from the generation of our shaykhs was Ibn Baji al-Basri.
Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah ibn 'Abd al-Hakam adds to The Small Compendium things about which ash-Shafi'i and Abu Hanifa disagree. He did this for Abu 'Abdullah Muhammad ibn 'Abd ar-Rahim al-Barqi. He added to this the words of Sufyan, Ibn Rahawayh, al-Awza'i, and an-Nakha'i. Some of them attributed it to his son, Abu al-Qasim 'Ubaydullah ibn Muhammad al-Barqi.
Abu al-Hasan 'Ali ibn Ya'qub az-Ziyyat, known as Ibn Ramadan, added to this the words of some of the fuqaha' whose al-Barqi did not mention. Then, according to what Ibn Ramadan mentioned, 'Ubaydullah ibn 'Umar al-Baghdadi ash-Shafi'i, one of the people of Cordoba, known as 'Ubayd, added the schools of Dawud, Ibn 'Aliyya, al-Layth and at-Tabari.
Some of them mentioned that the questions of the Great Compendium number 18,000. The Middle has 4000 questions. The Small Compendium has 1200 questions.
One of them mentioned that that the Mudawwana has 36,000 questions.
He also wrote The Book of Terrors.
Concerning what happened to him with Ibn Ma'in, and his inquisition and his death
Al-Baji mentioned in his book the report about him with Ibn Ma'in. I have summarized to convey the meaning. He mentioned that he was a friend of his and he informed him that he would attend his assembly the next day and commanded him to be on his guard."
Yahya [ibn Ma'in] came to him the next day while he was relating The Book of Terrors which he had written. He said, "So-and-so told us," and he mentioned a number of his shaykhs about what was in his book.
Yahya said to him, 'Did all of them relate to you all that is in the book or did some of them give part of it and others give another part so that you joined what they said together?" His words frightened Ibn 'Abd al-Hakam and he was confused. He said, "All of them told it to me." Yahya got up and said, 'The shaykh lies."
Abu al-'Arab at-Tamimi mentioned in The Book of the Inquisitions that 'Abdullah ibn 'Abd al-Hakam was questioned regarding the Qur'an at the hands of al-Asamm and flogged in the mosque of Cairo with less than thirty strikes in the days of al-Ma'mun while Ibn Abi Dawud was in charge of the qadiship.
Abu al-'Arab presented the biography of 'Abdullah ibn 'Abd al-Hakam. He mentioned in the story that the one to who this was done Ibn 'Abd al-Hakam the elder. I believe that it was his son. According to what was mentioned in the reports of Qadi az-Zuhri before, the inquisition of al-Asamm took place after 'Abdullah's death.
Abu 'Umar al-Kindi said, "Qadi 'Isa ibn al-Munkadir wrote a letter to al-Ma'mun concerning his brother, al-Mu'tasim, when he was in charge of Egypt. Al-Ma'mun showed it to al-Mu'tasim. When al-Mu'tasim came to Egypt, he dismissed Ibn al-Munkadir and jailed him until he died in his prison in Baghdad, may Allah Almighty have mercy on him. He jailed 'Abdullah ibn 'Abd al-Hakam since he suspected him about that letter since he was with Ibn al-Munkadir often and had his questions. He had indicated that Ibn al-Munkadir should not do it, but he did it and disobeyed him."
'Abdullah became ill and died on the 21st night of Ramadan in 214 when he was sixty.
It is said that he was born in Egypt in 155. It is said that it was 156 in the same year that al-Harith ibn Miskin was born and that 'Abdullah was two months older than him."
It is said that it was 150.
Ibn al-Qasim, Ibn Wahb and Ashhab appointed him trustee (for their wills)
His father, 'Abd al-Hakam had the kunya of Abu 'Uthman. He has some questions from Malik on the mudabbar and other things.
He died in 191.
As for his sons, they will be mentioned later, Allah Almighty willing.