Al-Suyuti

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Muslim scholar
Abu al-Fadl 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti
Title Ibn al Kutb (Son of Books)
Born 1445 CE/ Rajab of 849 AH
Died 1505/911
Ethnicity Arab
Region Egypt
Jurisprudence Shafi'i, Ash'ari, Shadhili
Main interest(s) Tafsir, Sharia, Fiqh, Hadith, Quran, Usul al-Fiqh, History, Aqidah
Notable work(s) Tafsir Jalalyn

Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti (Arabic: جلال الدين السيوطي‎) (c. 1445–1505 AD), whose full Arabic name is Abu al-Fadl 'Abd al-Rahman b. Abi Bakr b. Muhammad Jalal al-Din al-Khudayri al-Suyuti, also known as Ibn al-Kutub (son of books) was an Egyptian religious scholar, juristic expert and teacher, and one of the most prolific Arab writers of the Middle Ages, whose works deal with a wide variety of subjects in Islamic theology. He was precocious and was already a teacher in 1462. In 1486, he was appointed to a chair in the mosque of Baybars in Cairo. He adhered to the Shafi'i Maslak and is one of the latter-day authorities of the Shafi'i School, considered to be one of the Ashabun-Nazzar (Assessors) whose degree of Ijtihad is agreed upon. An alternative spelling of his name is Jalaluddin.

Biography[edit]

Name, lineage and birth[edit]

His full name was Abu al-Fadl 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr, Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti. Al-Suyuti is an ascription to a town in Upper Egypt called Asyut. One of his grandfathers built a school there and donated money to it. His father, Al-Kamaal, was born there in Asyut, so that is why Jalàl al-Din ascribes himself to that town. Both his grandfathers were men of leadership and prestige and his father was a Jurist of the Shafi'i Madhhab, as Al-Suyuti stated in Husn-ul-Muhaadarah. When his father died, Al-Kamaal Ibn Al-Hamaam, a Hanafi jurist, was one of the people that his father left Al-Suyuti entrusted to.

He was born in the month of Rajab 849H [1445 AD] in Cairo (Egypt), and was raised as an orphan after his father died while he was only 5 years old. He memorized the entire Qur'an when he was barely eight. Then he went on to memorize Al-Umdah and Minhaaj Al-Fiqh wal-Usool and Alfiyyah Ibn Malik. He began to engross himself in religious knowledge starting from 864H, at the age of 15.

Education[edit]

He took knowledge of Fiqh and Arabic grammar from a large number of teachers. He studied the laws of inheritance at the hands of the great scholar, who was the most knowledgeable in this subject during his time, Shaikh Shihaab-ud-Deen Al-Shaar Masaahee, who lived to a very old age. He studied his explanation of Al-Majmoo under him.I

He accompanied 'Ilm al-Din al-Balqini studying Fiqh under him until he died. Ilm-ud-Deen Al-Balqeenee, authorized him to teach and give fatwa in 876H. Likewise, he accompanied Shaikh Sharaf-ud-Deen Al-Manaawee and benefited from him in the fields of Fiqh and Tafsir.

Al-Suyuti moved on to study under Al-Manawee after the death of Ilm-ud-Deen Al-Balqeenee in 878H. Ironically, Sharaf Al-Deen Al-Manaawee was the grandfather of Abdur-Ra'oof Al-Manaawee, the scholar who wrote the work Faid-ul-Qadeer, which was an explanation of As-Suyuti's Al-Jaami'-us-Sagheer.

He studied the sciences of Hadith and the Arabic language under the Imam, Taqee-ud-Deen Al-Shumnee Al-Hanafi, who wrote some eulogies for him. He also attended the gatherings of the great scholar, Al-Kaafeejee, for the length of fourteen years and learned from him the subjects of Tafsir, Usul al-fiqh, and Ma'aanee. And he received ijazah, religious authorization, from him. He also benefited from the classes of Saif-ud-Deen Al-Hanafi on Tafsir and Balaghah, eloquence.

The number of teachers from whom he received ijazah, religious authorization, studied under and heard from reaches one hundred and fifty shaykhs, as has been compiled by both himself and his student after him, Al-Dawudi, who arranged them in alphabetical order.

In his book Husn-ul-Muhaadarah, Al-Suyuti gives the number of teachers who narrated to him from those he heard from and those who gave him the ijazah, saying: "As for my teachers who narrated to me, whom I heard from and who gave me the religious authorization, ijazah, then they are many. I have mentioned them in the lexicon I have compiled about them, and I counted them to number about 150."

As-Suyuti traveled to Sham, Tihamah, Hijaz, Yemen, India and Morocco, and settled down towards the end of his life in his homeland of Egypt.

Death[edit]

Al-Suyuti withdrew from the people and remained in his house, busying himself with knowledge, research and writing until he caught a sickness that lasted for seven days, ending in his death. This happened in Jumada al-awwal, 911 AH.

Career[edit]

Al-Suyuti held various positions in his lifetime such as that of teacher of the Arabic language in 866H, he was authorized to give fatwa in 876H and he taught and dictated hadith at the University of Ibn Tuloon.

He was a prolific writer, and a well-known author of the latter times. He has left behind at least a book in every branch of Islamic science that include both short monographs of few pages and tomes spanning volumes. Some of his books are also first of their kind – and standards for those that were written after. Many of his books are published; they are easily and widely available.

The first book he wrote was Sharh Al-Isti'aadha wal-Basmalah in 866H, when he was seventeen years old.

Ibn Ímād writes: "Most of his works become world famous right in his lifetime. His ability to write was phenomenal. His student Dawudi says: "I was with the Shaykh Suyuti once, and he wrote three volumes on that day. He used to dictate annotations on ĥadīth, and answer my objections at the same time. He was the most knowledgeable scholar in his time of the ĥadīth and associated sciences, knowledge of the narrators including the uncommon ones, the text of the hadith matn, its chain of narrators isnad, the derivation of ruling from hadith. He has himself told me, that he had memorized One Hundred Thousand hadith."[23]

Students[edit]

The most famous of Al-Suyuti's students and it is possible to say the most outstanding student of As-Suyuti was the Imam, the historian, Al-Dawudi (died 945H) – author of the book Tabaqaat Al-Mufassireen and other works. Then there was his other student, the famous historian, Ibn Iyaas, author of the book Badaa'i-uz-Zuhoor (died 930H).

Some other of his students were the Imam, the Haafidh Ibn Tuloon Al-Hanafi (died 935H), author of the three Fahaaris, indexes as well as many other works and the Imam Al-Sha'raanee, author of the book Al-Tabaqaat (died 973H), Imam Abdul Qadir Shadhili, who listed his books and read their names before him, some months prior to his death, Imam Hussam-ud-din Ali Muttaqi al Hindi, who is the celebrated author of the huge hadith compendium called Kanz ul Ummal and many others.

Works[edit]

His books and treatises have been counted to number almost 700 works altogether. Suyuti listed 283 of his own works in Husn al-Muhađarah. In addition to the topic of religion, al-Suyuti wrote about medicine as well. Like the medicinal works of Abu'l-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi, al-Suyuti's book was almost exclusively based on Prophetic medicine rather than a synthesis of both Islamic and Greek medicine like the works of Al-Dhahabi. Al-Suyuti's work focused primarily on diet and natural remedies for both serious ailments such as rabies and smallpox and simple conditions such as headaches and nosebleeds; he also touched on the toic of the cosmology behind the principles of medical ethics.[1]

Some of the more famous works he produced were:[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Emilie Savage-Smith, "Medicine." Taken from Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science, Volume 3: Technology, Alchemy and Life Sciences, pg. 928. Ed. Roshdi Rasheed. London: Routledge, 1996. ISBN 0415124123
  2. ^ Talib Ghaffari (7 January 2011). "Writings of Imam Jalaluddin al-Suyuti". Maktabah Mujaddidiyah. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts". Web Archive. 2 January 2008. Archived from the original on 2 January 2008. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 

External links[edit]