An Analysis of The Hadith, "You Will Not Find Anyone More Knowledgeable Than The Scholar of Madina"

August 1, 2017

“You will not find a scholar more knowledgeable than the scholar of Madinah.”

 

Introduction

 

The intent is to reference the authorities that have transmitted this ẖadīth what weighting they have given to this ẖadīth and to ascertain who the scholar of Madinah was?

Methodology

 

A qualitive one to present only the transmissions by well-known ẖadīth masters and their judgements on the ẖadīth in question and to impartially and objectively present their conclusions.

 

Premise

 

To present first the ẖadīth masters who transmit this ẖadīth as ṣaẖīẖ or ẖasan which are both grades of ṣaẖīẖ. Secondly the well-known authorities of ẖadīth who transmit this ẖadīth in their works and conclude with the authorities of ẖadīth who opined as to who this scholar of Madinah was.

 

The authorities who transmit this as a ṣaẖīẖ ẖadīth.

 

Imām al-Ḥāfiẕ Abī ‘Abdullah Muẖammad bin ‘Abdullah al-Ḥākim al-Nisābῡrī died 403 hijri.
 

Transmits in his al-Mustadrak alā al-Șaẖīẖayn in the chapter of knowledge ẖadīth number.

307:

 

1. Related to us Abῡ Bakr bin Isẖāq al-Faqīẖ, and ‘Alī bin Jamshād both said, related to us Bishr bin Mῡsā, related al-Ḥumaydī, related to us Sufyān, related to us Ibn Jurayj.

 

2. Related to us Abῡ ‘Abdullah bin Ya’qῡb, related to us Yaẖyā bin Muẖammad bin Yaẖyā, related to us Musaddad, related to us Sufyān.

 

3. Muẖammad bin Aẖmad bin ‘Umar informed me, related to us Aẖmad bin Salmah, related to us ‘Abdul-Raẖmān bin Bishr, related to us Sufyān, from Ibn Jurayj, from Abī Zubayr, from Abī Sāliẖ, from Abῡ Hurayrah who said, “the Emissary of God the prayer and peace of God be on him and his family said,

 

“Imminently people will come beating the livers of the camels and will not find a scholar more knowledgeable than the scholar of Madinah!”

 

Imām al-Ḥākim said, “this ẖadīth is rigorously authentic -ṣaẖīẖ- on the conditions of [Imām] Muslim…”

 

308: As both related it [from] Abῡ Bakr Muẖammad bin ‘Abdullah al-Jarāẖī in Merv, related to us ‘Abdān Muẖammad bin ‘Ῑsā the ẖāfiẕ, related to us al-Jabbār bin al- ‘Alā’ and Muẖammad bin Maymῡn both said, related to us Sufyān, from Ibn Jurayj from Abī al-Zubayr, from Abī Șāliẖ, from Abῡ Hurayrah as a narration and he said, “the Emissary of God the prayer and peace of God be on him and his family said,

 

“Imminently people will come beating the livers of the camels and will not find a scholar more knowledgeable than the scholar of Madinah!”

 

Imām al-Ḥākim said, “and to those who would weaken this ẖadīth, that al-Ḥumaydī is the judge in his ẖadīth for he was fully acquainted with him [Sufyān bin Uyaynah] and the length of attachment to him, indeed Ibn ‘Uyaynah would say, “that scholar was Mālik ibn Anas.”[1]

 

Imān al-Dhahabi said in al-talkhīṣ, “[that ẖadīth] 307 and 308 are on the conditions of [Imām] Muslim.”[2]

 

Abῡ Isā, Muẖammad bin ‘Isā bin Surah bin Mῡsā bin al-Ḏaẖāk al-Sulamī Jāmi al-Tarmadhī died 279 hijri.
 

Imām Tarmadhī transmits in his Sunan or Jāmī’ in the chapter of knowledge ẖadīth number,

 

2689: Related to us al-Ḥasan bin al-Bazzār and Isẖāq bin Mῡsā al-Anṣārī both said, related to us Sufyān ibn Uyaynah, from Ibn Jurayj, from Abī al-Zubayr, from Abī Șāliẖ, from Abῡ Hurayrah as a narration and he said, “the Emissary of God the prayer and peace of God be on him and his family said,

 

“Imminently people will come beating the livers of the camels and will not find a scholar more knowledgeable than the scholar of Madinah!”

 

Abῡ Isā said, “this ẖadīth is ẖasan, it is the ẖadīth of [Sufyān] ibn Uyaynah “Indeed, it is narrated from [Sufyān] ibn Uyaynah that he said regarding this when asked who was this scholar of Madinah? He said, “indeed Mālik bin Anas. Isẖāq bin Mῡsā said, “I heard [Sufyān] ibn Uyaynah [who] said, “he is al-Umarī the ascetic ‘Abdul-Azīz bin ‘Abdullah.” I heard Yaẖyā bin Mῡsā saying ‘Abdul-Razzāq said, “It is Mālik bin Anas.”[3]

 

The ẖadīth masters who transmit this ẖadīth.

 

The ẖadīth masters who have transmitted this ẖadīth other than the above two authorities are

1. Imām al-Ḥumaydī in his Musnad ẖadīth 1147,

 

2. Imām Aẖmad in his Musnad, ẖadīth 7985,

 

3. Imām al-Nasā’ī in his Sunan al-Kubrā ẖadīth 4921,

 

4. Imām Ibn Ḥibbān in his Șaẖīẖ ẖadīth 3736,

 

5. Imām Bayhaqī in his Sunan al-Kubrā volume 1 pages 385 and 386, in his Ma’rifah al-Sunan wa al-āthār volume 1 ẖadīth 215 and volume 2 ẖadīth 2454.

 

6. Ḥafiẕ Ibn Abdul-Barr in his Tamhīd volume 1 pages 84 and 85.

 

7. Finally, Abῡ Ya’lā al-Qazwīnī in his al-Irshād volume 1 pages 209 to 212 ẖadīth 17.

Thus, nine ẖadīth masters transmit these five ẖadīth – with the ẖadīth masters each sanad is a separate ẖadīth - in their works which are graded ṣaẖīẖ and ẖasan.

 

The ẖadīth masters who opine the scholar of Madinah was?

 

The Companions are excluded simply because the Emissary of God the prayer and peace of God be on him and his family had identified the door to the city of knowledge. The followers - tabiῡn - no ẖadīth master who transmit this ẖadīth has named them only the followers of the followers - taba’ tabiῡn – have been named by them.

 

Imām Tarmadhī transmits three opinions from two authorities, the first is Sufyān ibn Uyaynah the Kufan ẖadīth master and transmitter of this ẖadīth, who retired to Makkah and died in 198 hijri who held that it was al-Umarī or Mālik ibn Anas. The other is Abdul-Razzāq the ẖadīth master from Sana’ died 211 hijri who held it was Mālik bin Anas.

Imām al-Ḥākim also transmitted that Sufyān ibn Uyaynah held it was Mālik bin Anas. He further elucidated that this ẖadīth is transmitted by al-Ḥumaydī from Sufyān ibn Uyaynah who was familiar with the understanding of Sufyān ibn Uyaynah due to the length of tutelage under Sufyān ibn Uyaynah. Al-Ḥumaydī transmits from Sufyān ibn Uyaynah that he would say the scholar of Madinah was Mālik bin Anas. It is further transmitted from Sufyān ibn Uyaynah that he heard the people of Madinah saying indeed it is Mālik bin Anas.

 

Who is al-Umarī?

Al-Umarī is Abῡ ‘Abdul-Raẖmān ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdul- ‘Azīz bin ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar bin al-Khattāb God be well pleased with him. He narrated from his father and Abῡ Ṭῡwālah and from him Ibn Uyaynah and Ibn al-Mubārak he died in 184 hijri at the age of 66.[4]

 

Who is Imam Mālik bin Anas?

Mālik bin Anas is Abῡ Abdullah the Imām Dar al-Hijrah leader of the abode of emigration meaning the city of Madinah in the wording of the Emissary of God the prayer and peace be on him and his family “the scholar of Madinah.”

 

The contemporaries of the Imām Mālik bin Anas report that the people of Madinah would say that the prophesied scholar of Madinah was Mālik bin Anas.

The wording and understanding of the ẖadīth bolsters the understanding of the people of the Madinah.

 

“Imminently people will come beating the livers of the camels - meaning people will set out on their animals and travel seeking knowledge - and - they - will not find a scholar more knowledgeable than the scholar of Madinah!”

 

Conclusion

This ẖadīth is transmitted by Imām al-Ḥākim as rigorously authentic on the conditions of Imām Muslim to which Imām al-Dhahabī as acceded to, thus this ẖadīth is from the highest grades of ṣaẖīẖ on the conditions of Imām Mῡslim. Imām al-Tarmadhī has graded this ẖadīth as ẖasan which is a lesser grade of ṣaẖīẖ, this ẖadīth is in the famous “six ṣaẖīẖ collections.”

 

This ẖadīth is a record of the prophecy of the coming of a knowledgeable scholar from the people of Madinah which the people of Madinah themselves declared as Imām Mālik and to which contemporary scholarship acceded to and transmit.

 

We understand the text of the ẖadīth as that people will journey seeking knowledge and will not find a more knowledgeable scholar than the scholar of Madinah. History is a witness to the scholarship of Imām Mālik bin Anas, scholars travelled from the known Muslim world to study and transmit his book the Muwaṭṭa. An example of this is that the founders of the schools of jurisprudence the likes of Imām Abῡ Ḥanifah who transmit ẖadīth from Imām Mālik. Imām Muẖammad Shaybanī, Imām Shafī, and Imām Mūsā al-Kāẓim bin Ja’far al-Ṣādiq[5] transmit the muwaṭṭa directly from Imām Mālik.

 

The following Imāms transmit the muwaṭṭa indirectly from the students of Imām Mālik;

 

1. Qāḏī Abῡ Yῡsuf from Asad bin Fῡrāt al-Qarwī,

 

2. Imām Aẖmad bin Ḥanbal from Abdul Raẖmān bin Mahdī,

 

3. Imām Bukhārī from Abdullah bin Yῡsuf al-Tanīsī,

 

4. Imām Muslim from Yaẖyā bin Yaẖyā al-Taymī al-Nisābῡrī,

 

5. Imām Abῡ Dawῡd from al-Qa’nabī, and

 

6. Imām al-Nasāī from Qutaybah bin Sa’īd.

 

Thus, we can confidently asset that Imām Mālik was that knowledgeable scholar of Madinah, prophesied by the Emissary of God the prayer and peace of God be on him and his family whose knowledge and book became the basis of the mainstream schools of jurisprudence of Islām. God be well pleased with all of them and benefit us all by their knowledge and understanding, the prayer and peace of God be on his Beloved the source of all knowledge.

 

Muẖammad Iqbal

 

Birmingham

 

31/07/17

 

[1] Al-Ḥākim al-Nisābῡrī, Imām al-Ḥāfiẕ Abī ‘Abdullah Muẖammad bin ‘Abdullah. 2002 Al-Mustadrak alā al-Șaẖīẖayn. Dar al-kutub al-ilmiyah Beirut, Lebanon. Vol 1 p168. Printed with al-talkhīṣ of Imān al-Dhahabi.

 

[2]Al-Ḥākim al-Nisābῡrī, Imām al-Ḥāfiẕ Abī ‘Abdullah Muẖammad bin ‘Abdullah. 2002 Al-Mustadrak alā al-Șaẖīẖayn. Dar al-kutub al-ilmiyah Beirut, Lebanon. Vol 1 p168. Printed with al-talkhīṣ of Imān al-Dhahabi.

 

[3] Abῡ Isā, Muẖammad bin ‘Isā bin Surah bin Mῡsā bin al-Ḏaẖāk al-Sulamī. Jāmi al-Tarmadhī. 1995, Dar al-Fikr Beirut Lebanon. Vol 5, pp 345 and 346 printed with ‘Āriḏah al-aẖwadῙ of Qāḏī Abῡ Bakr ibn al- ‘Arabī.

 

[4] Al-Dhahabī, Muẖammad bin Aẖmad bin ‘Uthmān. 2001 Sayr a’lām al-nubalā. Muassassah al-rasalah, Beirut Lebanon. Vol 24 pp374 to 378.

 

[5] Al-Rashīd al-Aṭṭār, Ḥāfiẕ Rashīd al-Dīn AbῙ al-Ḥusayn Yayẖā bin ‘Abdullah bin ‘Alī al-Qurshī, died 662 hijri. Mujarrad asmā al-rῡwāt ‘an Mālik.Number 1480. Date of publication not given, Maktabah al-Gurabā’ al-Athariyah.P467.

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