Ibn Abi Asim

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Ibn Abi Asim
Born AH 206 (AD 821/2)[1]
Died AH 287 (900)
Era Medieval era
Region Iraqi scholar
School Zahiri

Abu Bakr Ahmad bin `Amr ad-Dahhak bin Makhlad ash-Shaibani (Arabic: أبو بكرأحمد بن عمرو بن الضحاك بن مخلد الشيباني), widely known as Ibn Abi Asim (Arabic: ابن أبي عاصم), was an influential Iraqi Sunni scholar of the 9th century. He is most famous for his work in the field of hadith science.[2]


Family and early life[edit]

Ibn Abi Asim was born in Basra, Iraq in 822.[3] He grew up in an academic household, as both his father and his grandfather were scholars of Prophetic traditions in their own right.[2][4] Due to his family's scholarly background, he was educated in the religious sciences at an early age. While religious learning was often begun in a madrasa or masjid starting in the early teens, Ibn Abi Asim had a head start relative to his time period.


Eventually, Ibn Abi Asim left Basra for the city of Isfahan, further to the east. Late in life, he was granted a position as a judge at his new city of residence.[5]


Ibn Abi Asim died in Isfahan in the year 900.[3][5] He was 81 years old and at the time of his death, he was still holding his position as a judge. According to Iranian historian Abu Nu`aym, Ibn Abi Asim was buried in Isfahan's Doshabaz cemetery.[6]



Of his written works, the most famous was his book Al-Sunnah, which was a book about Muslim creed.[4] Ibn Abi Asim compiled numerous Prophetic traditions into two volumes, organized into chapters based on different theological and creed-related topics. He had also written about the first-generation Muslim and Umayyad caliph, Mu'awiyah,[3] though the work is now lost. Likewise, the exact topic has eluded historians, with Al-Suyuti claiming it was a book on Mu'awiyah's dreams,[7] while Ibn Hajar referred to it as a book on Mu'awiyah's virtues.[8] It is not known whether the topic Ibn Abi Asim's essay was actually disputed, or if he had simply written about both topics.

Sunni Muslim evaluation[edit]

Ahmad bin Hanbal referred to him as being the most knowledgeable person of Islamic jurisprudence in all the city of Basra, a city already known for religious scholarship at that time.[4] Historians Abu al-Abbas al-Niswi and Abu Nu`aym both reported Ibn Abi Asim as having been a Zahirite.[9][10] Although he has become an important figure for the Zahiri school in the modern day,[1] few of his works in jurisprudence have survived to the modern era.


  1. ^ a b "Names of Zahiri Scholars". 
  2. ^ a b Ibn 'Asakir, "The History of Damascus." Vol. 7, pg. 87.
  3. ^ a b c Paul M. Cobb, "The Lineaments of Islam: Studies in Honor of Fred McGraw Donner." Pg. 181. Leiden: 2012. Brill Publishers.
  4. ^ a b c "Ibn Abi Asim" Salafi Publications.
  5. ^ a b Kahalah, Mu'jam al-Mu`allifin, v.2, pg.36
  6. ^ Abu Nu`aym, The History of Isfahan, v.1, pg.55
  7. ^ Al-Suyuti, History of the Caliphs, edited by Muhammad Abu al-Fadl Ibrahim, Cairo: Dar al-Nahdat Misr li at-Tab' wa al-Nashr, 1976. Pg. 309.
  8. ^ Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Fath al-Bari, commentary by Bin Baz and Ali al-Shibl, Riyadh: Dar us Salam, 2000. Vol. 7, pg. 132.
  9. ^ Al-Dhahabi, Wikisource-logo.svg Siyar a`lam al-nubala'., v.13, pg.430
  10. ^ Abu Nu`aym, Dhikr Akhbar Isfahan, v.1, pg.100

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