Imam Al-Murabit Asad ibn al-Furat ibn Sinan

He was a client of the Banu Sulayman ibn Qays and his kunya was Abu 'Abdullah.

Abu al-'Arab said in his Tabaqat and Abu 'Ali al-Basri in his collection that he was from Nishapour in Khurasan.

One of them said, "He was born in Harran in Diyar Bakr."

It is said that his father died while his mother was pregnant with him.

He learned the science of the Qur'an from some of the reciters. Then he visited 'Ali ibn Ziyad in Tunis and stayed with him and studied his fiqh. He then travelled to the east and listened to the Muwatta' and other things from Malik ibn Anas. Then he went to Iraq and met Abu Yusuf, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan and Asad ibn 'Amr. He wrote from Yahya ibn Za'ida, Hushaym, al-Musayyab, Abu Sharik, Abu Bakr ibn 'Ayyash and others. Abu Yusuf took the Muwatta' of Malik directly from him.

Yahya ibn Ishaq mentioned that he said, "Muhammad ibn al-Hasan took it from me."

I do not know how this can be. Muhammad listened to the Muwatta' from Malik and also heard many hadiths from him.

Muhammad said, "I stayed with Malik for three years, and I heard more than 700 hadiths from him."

Asad said, "My mother dreamt that grass was growing on my back from which livestock grazed. It was interpreted for her as knowledge being conveyed from me."

Concerning his reports in his journey

Asad said, "When I left for the east and arrived in Madina, I went to Malik. In the morning, his doorman went out and let the people of Madina enter, and then the people of Egypt, and then the people in general. I used to enter with them. When Malik saw my desire for knowledge, he told the doorman, 'Let the Qarawi enter with the Egyptians.'

"After a day or two, I said to him, 'I have two friends and I am distressed at entering before them,' and he commanded that they enter with me.

"Ibn al-Qasim and others had me question Malik. When he answered me, they told me to say to him, 'If such-and-such happens' He was annoyed with me for a day and said, 'This is silsila bint sulaysala (chain, daughter of a little chain): If such-and-such happens, then such-and-such. If you want that, then you must go to Iraq.'

"When I said farewell to him when I went to Iraq, I came to him with my two friends (Harith at-Taymi and Ghalib, the son-in-law of Asad), we said to him, 'Counsel us.'

"He told me, 'I counsel you to have fear of Allah the Immense, to keep to the Qur'an, and to have good counsel for this community.' This was because of Malik's insight into him for Asad was appointed qadi after this."

He said, "He said to my friends, 'I counsel you to have fear of Allah and to have the Qur'an."

He said, "When I bade farewall to Ibn al-Qasim, he told him, 'I counsel you to have taqwa of Allah and the Qur'an and to spread this knowledge."

Sulayman ibn Khalid said, "When Asad heard the Muwatta' from Malik, he said to him, 'Let me listen to more.' He replied, 'What people have is enough for you.'"

When Malik spoke on a question, he wrote it down for his companions. Asad thought a business was lengthy and he travelled to Iraq.

He said, "When I arrived in Kufa, I went to Abu Yusuf and found him sitting with a young man. He was reading a question to him. When he finished it, he said, 'I wonder what Malik says on it?' I said, 'He says such-and-such.'

"He looked at me. It was like that on the second day and it was the same on the third day. When the people broke up, he called me and said, 'Where are you from? From where have you come?'"

He said, "I told him and he said, 'What are you seeking?' I said, 'That by which Allah will give me benefit.' He turned to the young man who was sitting there and said, 'Keep him with you. Perhaps Allah will give you benefit from him in this world and the Next.'

"I went out with him to his house. It was Muhammad ibn al-Hasan. I stayed with him until I was among the debaters among his companions."

Asad said, "I said to Muhammad ibn al-Hasan, 'I am a stranger and I hear little from you.' He said, 'Listen with the Iraqis in the daytime and then come to me alone at night. You will spend the night with you and I will let you listen.' When he saw I was drowsy, he splashed water on my face.

"He saw me drinking the water of the road one day and said to me, 'Do you drink it?' I told him, 'I am a traveller.' In the night, he sent eighty dinars to me and said, 'I did not know that you were a traveller until now.'"

When he wanted to go to North Africa, he did not have enough money to take him there. He mentioned that to Muhammad ibn al-Hasan who told him, "I will mention your affair to the governor." Ibn al-Hasan mentioned him and mentioned his situation to him.

Then he said to Asad, "Go to the chamberlain on such a day and he will admit you to him. Know that when you lower yourself, they lower you."

Asad went and asked permission to enter and was given permission. He went in until he reached a place where he was commanded to sit down. The servant who had brought him in came and brought him a covered table and placed it in front of him.

Asad said, "I reflected on it and said to myself, 'I think that this is only disparagement.' I said to the servant, 'Is this what you have brought or is it from your master?' He said, 'My master commanded me to bring it.'

"I said, 'Your master is content with this? That his guest should eat without him? By Allah, this is some kindness from you and I want to repay your for it.' I had 40 dirhams in my pocket, and it was all that I had. I gave them to the servant and told him, 'Remove your table.'

"He did that and informed his master. It reached me that he said, 'A free man, by the One who is the only God!'

"Then he said to the servant, 'Admit him.' I came to him and found him on a seat. His teacher was at one side and a third seat was empty. He commanded me to sit on it, so I sat. He began to question me and I answered him. When it was close to the time for my departure, he wrote a paper for me and sealed it and gave it to me. He said, 'Take this paper to the master of the Diwan and return to me.'

"I took the paper and scorned it. I met Muhammad the next day and I questioned him and informed him about it. He said, 'Take the paper there now.' I did so and the maser of the Diwan gave me 10,000 dirhams. I told Muhammad ibn al-Hasan. He told me, 'If you return to the people, you will become their servant. There is help for you in what you have taken.'"

Asad said, "Muhammad asked me to accompany him to Makka. I appeared to dislike this, and his companions said to me, 'We wish that we could buy this for 10,000 dirhams (i.e. travelling with him to Makka).' So I accompanied him. I used to ask him about what he wanted. Sometimes I asked him when he was praying and he would recite aloud to inform me that he was praying. I said, 'You are distracted from me by the prayer when I have travelled through the lands to you?' He stopped and answered me."

Muhammad ibn Harith, Abu Ishaq ash-Shirazi and Yahya ibn Ishaq (adding to one another) said, "Asad travelled to Iraq and he studied fiqh with the companions of Abu Hanifa. Then the death of Malik was announced and Iraq was in turmoil at the news of his death. Asad said, 'By Allah, there is no circle in Iraq except that Malik is mentioned in it. All of them say, "Malik, Malik. We belong to Allah and to Him we return."'"

Asad said, "When I saw the intensity of their feeling and their agreement in that, I mentioned that to Muhammad ibn al-Hasan while he was looking at them. I said to him in order to test him, 'Why do you mention Malik so much if he contradicts you so much?'"

Asad regretted what he had missed from Malik and resolved to move to his school and he went to Egypt.

Abu Ishaq did not mention Asad among those who took from Malik nor that he had listened to him. He mentioned him among the followers of his companions. I think that that did not reach him. However, the fact that he took from him is famous and sound.

Ibn Harith said that Asad said about that, "If I missed being with Malik, I did not miss being with his companions."

Concerning the books, al-Asadayya and al-Mudawwana

Abu Ishaq ash-Shirazi said, "When Asad came to Egypt, he went to Ibn Wahb and said, 'These are the books of Abu Hanifa,' and he asked him to respond to them according to the school of Malik, but Ibn Wahb was too scrupulous to do so and refused. So he went to Ibn al-Qasim and he responded to what he had asked for, and he answered him in what he remembered that Malik had said, and in what he was unsure of, he said, 'I imagine,' 'I suppose' and 'I think'. In part of it, he said, 'I heard him speak on such-and-such a question, and your question is similar to it.' In part of it, he spoke based on his own ijtihad based on what Malik had said. Those books were called al-Asadiyya."

Abu Zur'a ar-Razi said, "Asad asked Muhammad ibn al-Hasan about them. Asad said, 'I used to write out at night in the hotel the questions of the Iraqis based on the analogy of the words of Malik. I took them in the morning and I asked him about them. Sometimes we disagreed and debated on the analogy of the words of Malik in them. Sometimes I retracted and took his words, and sometimes he would retract and take my words.'"

He said, "Ibn al-Qasim told me, 'I used to do the entire Qur'an twice in a day and night. I have lessened it by one for you out of the desire to give life to knowledge."

He said, "When I wanted to leave for North Africa, Ibn al-Qasim gave me what he had heard from Malik and told me, 'Sometimes I answered you while I was distracted. Examine this book. If it disagrees with the answer which I gave you, then drop that answer.' The people of Egypt desired these books and they wrote them down from me."

He said, "They are the books of the Mudawwana, and I wrote them down and people took these books from Ibn al-Qasim."

Sulayman ibn Salim said, "When Asad came to Egypt, he met with 'Abdullah ibn Wahb and he asked him about a question and he answered it with the riwaya. He wanted to come to him and Ibn Wahb said to him, 'It is enough for you when we give you the riwaya.'

"Then he went to Ashhab and he answered him. He asked, 'Who said this?' Ashhab replied, 'This is what I say.' Some heated words passed between them. 'Abdullah ibn al-Hakam asked Asad, 'What do you have to do with this? He gave you his answer. If you wish, accept it. If you wish, leave it.'

"He returned to Ibn al-Qasim and questioned him and he answered him. He came to him and he answered him until Asad has finished asking. Ibn al-Qasim said to him, 'More, Maghribi! Say: 'from where did you say it?' so that I can make it clear for you.'

"Asad stood up in the mosque and said, 'O tribes of people! If Malik has died, this is Malik!"

He used to question him every day until he had written down sixty books from him. That is the Asadiyya."

He said, "The people of Egypt asked him for him, but Asad refused them. They took him to the Qadi and he said to them, 'What means do you have against him? A man asked a man and he answered him. That lies in what is between them, so ask him as he asked him.' They went to the Qadi to ask him to grant their need to copy it out. He asked him and he granted that, so they copied it until they finished it. Asad took it to the Qayrawan and the people wrote it down."

Abu Ishaq said, "Asad obtained leadership in the Qayrawan through those books."

Another said, "People disliked it when he brought these books. They said, 'He has brought us 'I imagine,' 'I suppose it,' and 'I think', and left the traditions and what the Salaf said.'"

He said, "Do you not know that the words of the Salaf are their opinion and traditions for those who come after them? I used to question Ibn al-Qasim about the question and he answered it for me. I said to him, 'Is this the statement of Malik?' He said, "That is how I imagine and think." He was scrupulous, not liking to leap into the answer.

He said, "The people discussed these questions and Asad kept them from Sahnun. Sahnun was cautious until they reached him and then Sahnun took the Asadiyya to Ibn al-Qasim and read it to him. Ibn al-Qasim said to him, 'There are some things in it which must be changed.' He answered about what he doubted and put many things in order because he used to dictate it to Asad from his memory."

Ibn Harith said, "Sahnun travelled to Ibn al-Qasim. He had learned fiqh according to the science of Malik. Ibn al-Qasim showed him these books as one shows a faqih who has understanding. He corrected them with Sahnun."

It is related that when Sahnun came to Ibn al-Qasim, he asked him about Asad. He told him what he had spread of his knowledge in all directions. He was delighted with that. Then he questioned him and Ibn al-Qasim allowed him in his place. Sahnun said to him, "I want to listen to the book of Asad from you." He did the Istikhara to Allah and listened to it with him and corrected in it what he doubted of the words of Malik in it and he answered him in it according to his opinion. He wrote to Asad, "Read your books against the books of Sahnun. I have retracted some of the things which you related from me."

Asad became angry and said, "Tell Ibn al-Qasim: 'I followed you, Ibn al-Qasim. Shall I retract what we agreed upon for what you now retract?'" Asad ceased to listen to him.

He mentioned that one of the companions of Asad came to him when he was weeping. He asked him about it and he told him the story, He said, "Read my books against his books while I taught him!" He said to him, "This when you are the one who extolled Ibn al-Qasim?" He said to him, "Do not do it. If you had seen him, you would not say this."

He mentioned that Asad intended to correct it and one of his friends turned him from that. He said to him, "Will you diminish your worth? You will correct your books against his books while you heard it before he did?" So he abandoned that.

He mentioned that Ibn al-Qasim heard about that. He said, "O Allah, do not bless the Asadiyya!"

Ash-Shirazi said, "It is dismissed up until today."

Ash-Shirazi said, "People were content to learn the fiqh in the books of Sahnun. Sahnun examined them again and he corrected them and arranged them in chapters and set them down and added to them the differences of the great companions of Malik which he chose to mention. After arranging its chapters, he put in hadith and traditions: except for some scattered books which remained in their original mixed form of oral transmission. These are the books of Sahnun: al-Mudawwana and al-Mukhtalata. They are the basis of the school and their riwaya is preferred over others in the opinion of the Maghribis. They are what they make summaries from, write commentaries on, debate about, and discuss. The Asadiyya has been forgotten and is not mentioned now at all. Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Hakam has a summary on it. Abu Zayd ibn Abi al-Ghamir had a summary on it. Al-Barqi also had a summary on it. He is the one who corrected it with Ibn al-Qasim, and it is the pivot of the people of Egypt."

Ahmad ibn Khalid said, "The one who wrote the words of Ibn al-Qasim (i.e. the Asadiyya) was a man from the people of Egypt called al-Ahdab. Sahnun took it and wrote it and put traditions in it."

Sahnun said, "You must have the Mudawwana. They are the words of a righteous man and his riwaya."

He used to say, "The Mudawwana in knowledge is in the position of the Umm al-Qur'an in relation to the Qur'an. In the prayer, it dispenses with other than it and what is other than it does not dispense with it. Men pour out their intellects in it and they explain it and clarify it. No one devotes himself to the Mudawwana and studies it but that that is recognised in his scrupulousness and asceticism. No one opposes it for something else but that it is known in him. If 'Abd ar-Rahman had lived forever, you would have never seen me."

Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Hakam said, "Ibn Wahb came to my father after Ibn al-Qasim had died. He said to him, 'Be kind to Ibn al-Qasim in his grave and do not relate any of his books," i.e. the Asadiyya. My father did not relate any of it except for a question or two by way of discussion."

Asad later inclined to the books of Abu Hanifa, and he related them. Most of the Kufans listened to them and inclined to them.

When 'Abbas al-Farisi burned the books of the Mudawwana and the other books of the Madinans, Asad flogged him, and a man censured him for that. He said, "I have saved him from death by flogging him. The governor gave that command because he had burned the books of the people of knowledge which contained the mention of Allah Almighty. I said, 'O governor, let me flog him and make him notorious. That is more effective against him.' By that, I saved him from execution.'"

This 'Abbas was a man of hadith who hates the people of fiqh and opinion. He attacked Asad and Ibn al-Qasim. It is said that Ibn al-Qasim called on Allah to make him notorious in the land, and he complained about that to Asad.

Concerning Asad's place in knowledge, excellence and the Sunna

Abu al-'Arab said that Asad was reliable and was not judged to have any innovation.

Abu Bakr ibn Hammad said, "I said to Sahnun, 'They say that Asad said that the Qur'an was created.' He replied, 'By Allah, he did not say that.'"

Dawud ibn Yahya said, "I saw Asad reading tafsir and he recited this ayat, 'Listen well to what is revealed. I am Allah' (20:13) Asad said, 'Woe to the people of innovations! Their dead are destroyed! They claim that Allah Almighty created words when those created words say, 'I am Allah.'"

Yahya ibn Salam said, "One day Asad related the hadith of the vision of Allah while Sulayman al-Farra' the Mu'tazili was at the back of the assembly. He rejected the vision. Asad heard him and went for him. He grabbed his collar and beard and turned his sandal on him and beat him until he made him bleed. Then he tossed him out of his assembly."

It is said that in the tafsir of al-Musayyab, these words were read to him: "Faces on that day will be radiant, looking at their Lord" while Sulayman was present. He said, "Is there expectation, Abu 'Abdullah?" Asad seized his collar and a thick sandal in the other hand. He exclaimed, "Heretic! You will say it first or you will not see it with your eyes!" Sulayman said, "Yes, we will see."

Sulayman ibn 'Imran said, "Asad listened to 12,000 hadiths from Hushaym."

He said, "I listened to 10,000 hadiths from Ibn Abi Za'ida."

He said, "Sometimes I saw Asad beating his chest, saying, 'O my sorrow! If I die, immense knowledge will enter the grave from me.'"

He said, "Because of Asad, knowledge appeared in North Africa."

Another said, "Asad taught all the Iraqis in the Qayrawan. His school was the Sunna and he only knew that."

He said, "When Asad came to the Qayrawan, its scholars and notable men listened to him: Sahnun ibn Sa'id and his likes among the Madinans and his companions known for him, like Ma'mar, the Banu Wahb, Sulayman ibn 'Imran, the Banu Qasim, Ibn al-Minhal and all the Kufans. They listened to the books of Abu Hanifa from him."

When Asad presented the words of the Iraqis, the shaykhs of the Madinans said to him, "The second candle has been lit, Abu 'Abdullah," so he presented the words of the Madinans."

Asad said, "Ibn Ghanim sent to me to ask my advice and I answered him. Then he said after I left, 'I do not want to ask advice from anyone in this land except for this young man.'"

When Asad came to the door of Ibn Ghanim and knocked on it, it was said, "Who is it?" He said, "Asad the Faqih" Ibn Ghanim said, "He has spoken the truth."

'Imran ibn Abi Muhriz said, "News of the death of Asad reached us and my father thought it noteworthy and said, 'Today knowledge has died.'"

Asad said, "Malik used to say that if someone builds or plants in land in which there is joint tenancy with people, the partners have compensation for that earth if there remains compensation from it, and then Malik retracted that and took the position of the people of Iraq: that the land is divided. If the planting is in the portion of the planter, then it belongs to him. If it is in the portion of the other person, he can tell the planter to remove his plants."

Ziyadat Allah, the governor of North Africa, asked Asad, Abu Muhriz al-Kufi, and Zakariyya ibn al-Hakam for a fatwa on the zindiq. Abu Muhriz and Asad said, "He is asked to repent. If he repents, he is alright. If not, he is killed."

Zakariyya said, "The people of knowledge related that if he makes a show Islam and his heresy is discovered afterwards, then his repentance is not accepted."

Abu Muhriz said, "Give him the sword so that he can kill him!" Zakariyya said, "I related this, but I do not follow it." Abu Muhriz said, "Idiot! You provoke this one to kill him while you yourself do not accept it!"

Asad said, "If he is killed after he repents, then I think that he is a martyr."

Asad did not think that there was a hadd-punishment for insinuation. He also said that nabidh is unlawful.

A man asked him about the hadith from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "A man is not a believer until he loves me more than himself, his children, his family, his property and all people."

The man then told him, "I am afraid I am not like that."

He said to him, "Do you think that if the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, were among us and he was near to being killed that you would ransom him by himself?" He said, "Yes." He said, "With your family, your children, and your property?" He said, 'Yes." He said, "Then there is no harm." The man said to him, "You have relieved me in it, may Allah relieve you!"

Asad's appointment as qadi and general

Ziyadat Allah appointed Asad qadi in partnership with Abu Muhriz al-Kinani in 203 or 204. They shared the qadiship, and relations between them were not pleasant passed. Asad had the most abundant knowledge and fiqh of the two, while Abu Muhriz was the most precise of the two in opinion and the most often correct. Asad remained qadi until he went to Sicily in 212 as leader of the army. He was a brave man in addition to his knowledge and fiqh. Asad set out out with 10,000 men among which 900 horsemen.

The reason for the raid on Sicily was that they had a truce with it, and part of the precondition (of the truce) was that if any of the Muslims came to them and wanted to apostasise, they must return to the Muslims.

Ziyadat Allah was told that they had captives. The messengers of their king came and Ziyadat Allah gathered the scholars and asked them about the business.

Abu Muhriz said, "One must wait until the matter is clear." Asad said, "Ask their messengers about that." Abu Muhriz said, "How can their words be accepted against them?"

Asad said, "The messengers are close to them and through them we can put them in breach (of the treaty). Allah Almighty says, 'Do not become faint-hearted and call for peace when you uppermost.' (47:35) We are the upper ones."

The messengers were questioned and they admitted that in their religion they were not allowed to return them. Ziyadat Allah commanded that they be attacked.

Asad then said to Ziyadat Allah, "After being a qadi and looking into the lawful and unlawful, will you dismiss me and appoint me as general?" He said, "No, but I will appoint you general, which is a greater honour, and I will keep the name of qadi for you. You are an general-qadi."

He went to Sicily and conquered much of it. He died while he was besieging Siracusa (Syracuse). He also attacked Sardinia and oversaw its conquest. One of those with him envied him and was routed. That reached the governor. He said to him, "Such-and-such has reached me. Name for me the one who did that that." He did not do it.

When Asad went to Susa to go from it to Sicily, the nobles of the men of knowledge and went with him and the people escorted him. Ziyadat Allah commanded that none of his men should do anything except escort him. When he saw the people around him in every direction, the horses whinnying, the drums beating and the banners unfurled, he said, "There is no god but Allah, alone, with no partner. By Allah, O company of people! Neither my father nor my grandfather has given me command, and none before me has seen the like of this and only the pens have reached what you see. Therefore strive with yourselves in it and apply yourselves to writing down knowledge, and you will obtain this world and the Next by it."

Sulayman ibn Salim related that Asad met the King of Sicily with 150,000 men. The transmitter said, "I saw Asad and he had a banner in his hand and he was murmuring. He began to recite Yasin and then urged the people on. He attacked and they attacked with him. Allah defeated all the Christians. I saw Asad when the blood was flowing down the shaft of the banner until he put it under his arm. He went to withdraw his hand on one of those days and could not do it because of the blood which had congealed under his arm."

The rest of his reports and his death

'Abd ar-Rahim az-Zahid said, "I asked Asad when he brought us the books of the people of Madina and the people of Iraq, 'Which of the two views do you command me to follow and to listen to from you?' He replied, 'If you desire Allah and the Next World, you must have the words of Malik. If you desire this world, you must have the words of the people of Iraq.'"

Ibn Harith said, "This man later attacked Asad using this story. He used to say, "The truth in his opinion lay in the school of Malik while he used to give fatwa by something else."

When 'Imran ibn Mujahid conquered the Qayrawan, he sent to Asad, "Come out with us." He pretended to be ill and kept to his house.

He said to him, "If you do not come out with me, I will send someone to you to drag you by your feet." He told the messenger, "If you bring me out, I will cry out, 'Both the killer and the slain are in the Fire.'" When he heard that, he left him.

One of them said, "The governor sent for Abu Muhriz and Asad who were the qadis. Asad came. Abu Muhriz was waiting for him with one of the messengers. He asked, 'How are you this morning, Abu Muhriz?' He did not reply to him at all. He went to the governor. He had Abu Muhriz sit at his right and Asad at his left. Then he gave Asad the document to read and when he had read, 'In the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, Most Merciful, ' Abu Muhriz said to him, 'You have made a mistake!'

"Asad said, 'Governor, I met him and I greeted him and he did not return the greeting to me. I only read two words and he tells me, 'You have made a mistake!'

"Ziyada Allah looked at him. Abu Muhriz said, 'He did not greet me. If he had greeted me, I would have answered him. He said, "How are you this morning?" I woke up this morning and was unhappy, so I did not tell him to thereby delight him.'

"Then a man came to them and he mentioned to the governor that he dreamt that: 'Jibril descended from the heaven with a light until he stopped in front of you and shook your hand.' (One version has 'kissed your hand.') Ziyadat Allah was delighted by it. He said, 'This is justice which Allah will make flow at my hands!'

"Asad said, 'The shaykh has lied, governor.' The Governor got angry and looked at Abu Muhriz as if to provoke him by the ill feelings he knew lay between them. Abu Muhriz said, 'Asad spoke the truth and the shaykh has lied. Jibril only brings down revelation on a Prophet and the revelation has ceased. This man and his like come to you with the like of this seeking your worldly things, so have fear of Allah.' The governor was silent and they both went out. Asad thanked Abu Muhriz and he retorted, 'I did it for Allah, not for you.'"

In spite of their mutual estrangement, one of them did not allow what the other did not allow. Asad had no Arabic skill while his companion had eloquent Arabic but few words.

He was asked, "What is this in which people say about the business of Abu Bakr and 'Ali?" He answered, "By Allah, the one who deserves to rule after our governor and our qadi is not hidden from us, so how then could it be hidden from the Companions of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, who deserved command after their Prophet, peace be upon him?"

When Mansur overcame Ibn al-Aghlab and approached to the Qayrawan, Asad and Abu Muhriz, the qadis, went out to him. Part of what he said to them was, "Rebel with us. Do you not know that this is the injustice to the Muslims?"

Abu Muhriz, who was afraid of him, said, "Yes, and to the Jews and the Christians." As for Asad, he said, "You were his helpers and you both have nearly the same state."

Asad said, "When I came from Iraq to Egypt, I went to Ashhab and relied on him. His circle was constricted (due to the great number of people in it), and his knowledge was better than his deen. One day he mentioned Abu Hanifa and belittled him. Then he did the like of that to Malik. I leapt on him and said, 'Ashhab!'

"The students grabbed my clothes and made me sit down and said to me, 'What do you want to say to him?' He said, 'I say that the like of you and the like of the two of them is like the person who urinates between two oceans. His urine foams and he says, "This is a third sea."'"

He said, "I left him and inclined to Ibn al-Qasim. He was better for me and more scrupulous than him."

Asad used to say, "I am Asad (the Lion) and he is the best of beasts. My father was Furat (the Euphrates) and it is the best of waters. My grandfather was Sinan (spearhead) and it is the best of arms."

Asad died in 213 during the siege of Syracuse in the expedition to Sicily. He was the Amir of the army and its qadi. It is said that it was 214 and 217. His grave and mosque is in Sicily.

He was born in 145 in Harran. It is said in 142 or 142.

He came from the east in 181.

Historical Notes

Diyar Bakr: a division of al-Jazira.

Ziyadat Allah I: the Aghlabid ruler of North Africa from 201/817 to 223/838. There was a great deal of unrest and strife in his rule and the Arab soldiers rebelled against him a number of times. After finally suprressing all revolts, he sent an expedition to conquer Sicily under Asad.

Abu Muhriz: Abu Muhriz Muhammad ibn 'Abdallah ibn Qays al-Kinani (m. 214/729), joint qadi with Asad. He was one of the Iraqis

zindiq: a heretic, someone who espouses dualism.

nabidh: a drink made by soaking fruit in warm water which can become fermented and intoxicating.

'Imran ibn Mujahid: led a revolt in 811 against the Aghlabids in which he occupied Tunis and Qayrawan. It was suppressed by Abbasid reinforcements.

Mansur at-Tirmidhi: led a revolt against the Aghlabids in 824 which began at Tunis where they killed the governor. He then defeated the forces of Ziyadat allah and many of the Aghlabid forces defected to


He then marched to Qayrawan and occupied it. After a bloody battle which lasted forty days, Ziyadat Allah defeated Mansur and expelled him from Qayrawan and Mansur retreated to Tunis. Mansur was later killed by another rebel, 'Amir ibn Nafi'.