Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani

Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani

region = Egyptian scholar
era = Medieval era
color = #B0C4DE

image_caption =
name = Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani
birth = 773 A.H.
death = 852 A.H. [http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/scienceofhadith/asa3.html USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts ] ]
school_tradition = Shafi'i |
:"For other uses, see Ibn Hajar.

Al-Haafidh Shihabuddin Abu'l-Fadl Ahmad ibn Ali ibn Muhammad, better known as Ibn Hajar due to a fame of his forefathers, al-Asqalani due to his origin ( _ar. ابن حجر العسقلاني) (February 18, 1372 – d. February 2, 1448 852 A.H. ), was a medieval Shafiite Sunni scholar of Islam who represents the entire realm of the Sunni world in the field of Hadith.


Early life and education

He was born in Cairo in 1372, the son of the Shafi'i scholar and poet Nur al-Din 'Ali. Both of his parents died in his infancy, and he and his sister, Sitt al-Rakb, became wards of his father's first wife's brother, Zaki al-Din al-Kharrubi, who enrolled Ibn Hajar in Qur'anic studies when he was five. Here he excelled, learning Surah Maryam in a single day, and progressing to the memorization of texts such as the Quran, then the abridged version of Ibn al-Hajib's work on the foundations of fiqh. When he accompanied al-Kharrubi to Mecca at the age of 12, he was considered competent to lead the Tarawih prayers during Ramadan. When his guardian died in 1386, Ibn Hajar's education in Egypt was entrusted to hadith scholar Shams al-Din ibn al-Qattan, who entered him in the courses given by al-Bulqini (d. 1404) and Ibn al-Mulaqqin (d. 1402) in Shafi'i fiqh, and Zayn al-Din al-'Iraqi (d. 1404) in hadith, after which he travelled to Damascus and Jerusalem, to study under Shams al-Din al-Qalqashandi (d. 1407), Badr al-Din al-Balisi(d. 1401), and Fatima bint al-Manja al-Tanukhiyya (d. 1401). After a further visit to Mecca, Medina, and Yemen, he returned to Egypt.

In 1397, at the age of twenty-five, he married Anas Khatun, who was a hadith expert in her own right, holding ijazas from Zayn al-Din al-'Iraqi. She gave celebrated public lectures to crowds of ulema, including al-Sakhawi. Ibn Hajar went on to be appointed to the position of Egyptian chief-judge (Qadi) several times, authoring more than fifty works on hadith, history, biography, Quranic exegesis (tafsir), poetry and Shafi'i jurisprudence. In 1414 (817 A.H.), Ibn Hajar commenced the enormous task of assembling his commentry on Sahih Bukhari. Ibn Rajab had begun to write a huge commentry on Sahih Bukhari in the 1390s with the title of Fath al-Bari but had only reached the section on the funeral prayers when he died. Ibn Rajab's work has been published by Dar Ibn al-Jawzi and comes to an amazing 7 volumes for just the first 12 of the 77 sections of Sahih Bukhari (i.e. less than a 1/6 of the entire work). One can only imagine how vast this work would have been if Ibn Rajab had been able to complete it. Thus Ibn Hajar decided to name his own commentry with the same title, Fath al-Bari,which in time became the most valued commentary of Sahih Bukhari.When it was finished, in December 1428 (Rajab 842 A.H.), a celebration was held near Cairo, attended by the ulema, judges, and leading Egyptian personalities. Ibn Hajar read the final pages of his work, after which poets recited eulogies and gold was distributed. It was, according to historian Ibn Iyaas d. 930 A.H., 'the greatest celebration of the age in Egypt.'


Ibn Hajar passed away after Isha prayers on February 2, 1449 at the age of seventy-nine. His funeral in Cairo was attended by an estimated fifty thousand people, including the sultan and the caliph.


*"Fath al-Bari" - considerably the most prominent and reliable commentory on al-Bukhari's Jami` al-Sahih".
*"al-Durar al-Kamina" - a biographical dictionary of leading figures of the eighth century.
*"Tahdhib al-Tahdhib" - an abbreviation of "Tahdhib al-Kamal", the encyclopedia of hadith narrators by al-Mizzi.
*"al-Isaba fi tamyiz al-Sahaba" - the most comprehensive and widely-used dictionary of Companions.
*"Bulugh al-Maram min adillat al-ahkam" - on hadith used in Shafi'i fiqh.
*"Taqrib al-Tahdhib"
*"Nata'ij al-Afkar fi Takhrij Ahadith al-Adhkar"
*"Lisan al-Mizan"
*"Talkhis al-Habir fi Takhrij al-Rafi`i al-Kabir"
*"al-Diraya fi Takhrij Ahadith al-Hidaya"
*"Taghliq al-Ta`liq `ala Sahih al-Bukhari"
*"Risala Tadhkirat al-Athar"
*"al-Matalib al-`Aliya bi Zawa'id al-Masanid al-Thamaniya"
*"Nukhbat al-Fikar"along with his explanation of it entitled "Nuzhah al-Nathr"
*"al-Nukat ala Kitab ibn al-Salah"
*"al-Qawl al-Musaddad fi Musnad Ahmad
*"Silsilat al-Dhahab"
*"Ta`rif Ahl al-Taqdis bi Maratib al-Mawsufin bi al-Tadlis"


External links

* [http://www.central-mosque.com/biographies/asqalani2.htm Ibn Hajar Asqalani and his Commentary Fath al-Bari]

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