ISLAMIC ARTICLES

People and Places: Imam Daar al Hijra, Maalik Ibn Anaas

Thirteen years after the
commencement of
Messengership, the Prophet
(salallahu alayhi wa sallam)
was commanded to migrate
from Makkah to Madinah,
then called Yathrib. AI
Madeenah al-Munawwarah or
Taabah or Ad-Daar amongst
other names this city came to
be known after the hijrah of
the Prophet (salallahu alayhi
wa sallam), witnessed the
flowering of Islam. The
people of Madinah believed
in the Prophet (salallahu
alayhi wa sallam),
accommodated him, defended
him and supported his
message and are referred to
as AI-Ansaar. He said
concerning the City: "People
shall travel on the backs of
their camels searching for
the knowledge (of Deen) and
they shall not find anyone
more knowledgeable than the
Scholar of Madeenah.
(Ahmad)
Concerning this Hadeeth, al-
Imaam Sufyaan bn Uyaynah,
a pious, learned and
prominent taabie and a
contemporary of AI-Imaam
Maalik said, " …today, I say,
it is Maalik. He is left with no
equals in Madeenah." AI-
Imaam Muhammad bn Idrees
Ash-Shaafiee, a student of
Al-Imaam Maalik, who also
journeyed to study under
him in Madeenah said, "When
the Scholars are mentioned,
Maalik is a star." So, the
Imaam became known all
over the Islaamic World such
that those who were
scholars in their own
respects visited him in
Madeenah to learn from him.
Background of the
Imaam
He is Abu Abdillah Maalik bn
Anas bn Maalik bn Abee
Aamir al-Ashabee al-
Madanee. Born in Madeenah
in the year 93H, at the tail
end of the first century of
the Prophets Hijrah to
Madeenah. As a young boy
before the age of ten he had
memorized the Quraan. From
his teens, he was already
learning under the Scholars
of the city most of whom
were students of the
Companions of the Prophet
(salallahu alayhi wa sallam)
.Habeeb al-Waraaq, one of
the students of Imaam Maalik
reported that the Imaam
said, "I met this masjid (the
Prophets masjid in
Madeenah) and in it were 70
amongst those who met the
Companions of the Prophet
(salallahu alayhi wa sallam) …
Some of those from whom he
learnt are Imaam Muhammad
bn Muslim az-Zuhree, Naafie
the slave of Abdullah bn
Umar for thirty years,
Rabeeah bn Abee
AbdirRahmaan, Aamir bn
Abdillah bn Zubair, Hishaam
bn Urwah bn Zubair (both
grand children of the eminent
companion, Zubair bn
Awwaam). As a student under
all of his teachers he was
the best of their students in-
terms of brilliance, precision
at memorization, long period
of stay with the teachers and
sound Islamic aadaab
(manners).
Concerning this, AI-Imaam
Aboo Nuaym AI-
Usboohaanee said, "Verily,
he was one of the noble
Scholars and one of the most
intelligent." Thus, Scholars of
Hadeeth rely on narrations
from the Imaam as being
authentic and reliable. AI-
Imaam Muhammad bn
Ismaaeel AI-Bukhaari would
say, "The best isnaad (chain
of transmission of Hadeeth)
was Maalik bn Anas – Naafi-
Abdullah bn Umar." This has
been referred to by majority
of scholars as As-Silsilah
Adh-Dhahab (The Golden
Chain).
Lover and Teacher of
Sunnah
To commence his learning
circles in the Prophets
masjid, he would have his
bath, oil and comb his hairs,
dress up properly in his
turban and perfume himself.
He would also disallow his
students raising their voices
high during the learning
circles since they were
besides the prophet
(salallahu alayhi wa sallam)
before whom Allaah had
prohibited the raisinq of
voice. (Q49[Hujuraat]
:1-2)
The Imaam showed great
respects for the personality
of the Prophet (salallahu
alayhi wa sallam) and never
tolerated anyone innovating
anything in the Deen or
taking to opinions opposed
to clear authentic texts from
the Prophet (salallahu alayhi
wa sallam). In his famous
statement etched in gold, he
said, "Whoever invents in
Islam a bida (innovation) and
considers it hasanah (good),
then he has assumed that
Muhammad (salallahu alayhi
wa sallam) betrayed the
message. Read Allaahs
words, This day I have
perfected your religion
for you and completed
my favors upon you and
Im pleased with Islaam
as your religion. "(Q
5[Maidah]:4) Ibn Wahb said,
"I heard Maalik being asked
about cleaning between the
toes during ablution. He said,
The people do not have to
do that.I did not approach
him until the crowd had
lessened, when I said to him,
We know of a Sunnah about
that.He said, What is that? I
said… from Mustawrad bn
Shaddaad al-Qurshee who
said, I saw the Messenger
(salallahu alayhi wa sallam)
rubbing between his toes
with his little finger .He
(Imaam Maalik) said, This
Hadeeth is sound, I had not
heard of it at all until
now.Afterwards, I heard him
being asked about the same
thing, on which he ordered
cleaning between the toes."
AI-Imaam Maalik bn Anas
would only narrate Hadeeth
from reliable narrators. He
was so keen in the
trustworthiness of narrators
particularly those whose
ahaadeeth he recorded so
much that one of his
students, Bashar bn Umar
Az-Zahraanee said, "I asked
Maalik conceming (the
reliability of) a narrator and
he said, Did you see (any
narration from) him in any of
my books?I said, No, He
said, Were he to be a
trustworthy narrator, you
would have seen (his
narrations) in my books."
Saying ナ..I do not know"
Al-lmaam Maalik bn Anas took
great care in answering
questions and giving
religious verdicts whenever
he was in the position to do
so such that he became
renown for saying I do not
know. A man was sent by the
people of Maghrib (North
Africa) to ask Imaam Maalik
about some issues. The man
would ask him a question and
he would say, I do not know,
for we do not know of this
issue in our land and we
have not heard any of our
scholars saying anything
about it, but you can come
back again! On the following
day, the man went back to
Imaam Maalik and he told him:
" You asked me question but
I do not know the answer!
the man said: O Abu Abdullah!
I came from a people who
think that there is none in
the world who is more
knowledgeable than you! he
answered: "I am not perfect.
Imaam Maalik once said,
"Whoever wants to give
answer to a question
should first assume
himself standing
between Paradise and
Hell and ponder about
how he is going to be
saved in the Hereafter
before he answers."
His Works
AI-Muwatta: Imaam Maalik bn
Anas compiled one of the
earliest books of hadeeth
AI-Muwatta and stipulated to
compile only authentic
narrations from the Prophet
(salallahu alayhi wa sallam)
arranged based on Fiqh
subjects in different
chapters. For each of the
subjects in the chapters, he
related the rulings of the
Sahaabah and the taabioon.
Sometimes, after relating the
ahaadeeth, he gave some
brief explanations to them. At
other times he included the
position of the people of
Madeenah concerning the
issue. The Imaam compiled
this book over a period of
40 years reversing and
editing the compilation. Thus,
each of the group of
students who met him and
read the Muwatta from him
collected what the Imaam had
with him at the time. This has
led to different collections of
the Muwatta with some slight
variations among which are
the collections of Imaam
Yahya bn Yahya al-Layth
and Muhammad bn Hassan
appear to be the most
common.
Over the generations, the
scholars have not stopped
writing books based on the
Muwatta. While some of them
wrote commentaries on it,
others have explored
commentaries of it and yet
others wrote on the
biographies of the narrators
in the book. Over sixty
books have been written in
this regard.
His Death
Imaam Maalik was sick for
twenty-two days and died at
the age of eighty seven.
Naafi (his famous student)
said, "Maalik died at the age
of eighty seven and lived in
aI-Madeenah as its Mufti for
sixty years."
This article was culled from
the publications of Deen
Communication Limited
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