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Born824/ 209 AH
Died9 October 892/ 13 Rajab 279 AH (aged 70)
NationalityAbbasid caliphate
Notable work
Jami` at-Tirmidhi
Theological work
Tradition or movementSunni

Abū ʿĪsā Muḥammad ibn ʿĪsā as-Sulamī aḍ-Ḍarīr al-Būghī at-Tirmidhī (Arabic: أبو عيسى محمد بن عيسى السلمي الضرير البوغي الترمذي‎; Persian: ترمذی‎, Termezī; 824 – 9 October 892), often referred to as Imām al-Termezī/Tirmidhī, was a Persian[1][2][3] Islamic scholar and collector of hadith from Termez (in present-day Uzbekistan). He wrote al-Jami` as-Sahih (known as Jami` at-Tirmidhi), one of the six canonical hadith compilations in Sunni Islam. He also wrote Shama'il Muhammadiyah (popularly known as Shama'il at-Tirmidhi), a compilation of hadiths concerning the person and character of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. At-Tirmidhi was also well versed in Arabic grammar, favoring the school of Kufa over Basra due to the former's preservation of Arabic poetry as a primary source.[4]


Name and lineage[edit]

Al-Tirmidhi's given name (ism) was "Muhammad" while his kunya was "Abu `Isa" ("father of `Isa"). His genealogy is uncertain; his nasab (patronymic) has variously been given as:

  • Muḥammad ibn ‛Īsá ibn Sawrah (محمد بن عيسى بن سورة)‎[5]
  • Muḥammad ibn ‛Īsá ibn Sawrah ibn Mūsá ibn aḍ-Ḍaḥḥāk (محمد بن عيسى بن سورة بن موسى بن الضحاك)‎[6][7][8][9]
  • Muḥammad ibn ‛Īsá ibn Sawrah ibn Shaddād (محمد بن عيسى بن سورة بن شداد)‎[10]
  • Muḥammad ibn ‛Īsá ibn Sawrah ibn Shaddād ibn aḍ-Ḍaḥḥāk (محمد بن عيسى بن سورة بن شداد بن الضحاك)‎[11]
  • Muḥammad ibn ‛Īsá ibn Sawrah ibn Shaddād ibn ‛Īsá (محمد بن عيسى بن سورة بن شداد بن عيسى)‎[9]
  • Muḥammad ibn ‛Īsá ibn Yazīd ibn Sawrah ibn as-Sakan (محمد بن عيسى بن يزيد بن سورة بن السكن)‎[6][7][9]
  • Muḥammad ibn ‛Īsá ibn Sahl (محمد بن عيسى بن سهل)‎[12][13]
  • Muḥammad ibn ‛Īsá ibn Sahl ibn Sawrah (محمد بن عيسى بن سهل بن سورة)‎[14]

He was also known by the laqab "ad-Darir" ("the Blind"). It has been said that he was born blind, but the majority of scholars agree that he became blind later in his life.[6][15]

At-Tirmidhi's family belonged to the Arab tribe of Banu Sulaym (hence the nisbat "as-Sulami").[16] His grandfather was originally from Marw (Persian: Merv), but moved to Tirmidh.[6]


Muhammad ibn `Isa at-Tirmidhi was born during the reign of the Abbasid caliph al-Ma'mun. His year of birth has been reported as 209 AH (824/825).[16][17][18] Adh-Dhahabi only states that at-Tirmidhi was born near the year 210 AH (825/826),[6] thus some sources give his year of birth as 210 AH.[5][19] Some sources indicate that he was born in Mecca (Siddiqi says he was born in Mecca in 206 AH (821/822))[20] while others say he was born in Tirmidh (Persian: Termez), in what is now southern Uzbekistan.[16] The stronger opinion is that he was born in Tirmidh.[6] Specifically, he was born in one of its suburbs, the village of Bugh (hence the nisbats "at-Tirmidhi" and "al-Bughi").[17][19][21][22]

Hadith studies[edit]

At-Tirmidhi began the study of hadith at the age of 20. From the year 235 AH (849/850) he traveled widely in Khurasan, Iraq, and the Hijaz in order to collect hadith.[5][10][11] His teachers and those he narrated from included:

  • al-Bukhari[5][7][8][10][11][15][16][20]
  • Abū Rajā’ Qutaybah ibn Sa‘īd al-Balkhī al-Baghlāni[7][8][11][16]
  • ‘Alī ibn Ḥujr ibn Iyās as-Sa‘dī al-Marwazī[7][8][11][16]
  • Muḥammad ibn Bashshār al-Baṣrī[8][11][16]
  • ‘Abd Allāh ibn Mu‘āwiyah al-Jumaḥī al-Baṣrī[7]
  • Abū Muṣ‘ab az-Zuhrī al-Madanī[7]
  • Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd al-Mālik ibn Abī ash-Shawārib al-Umawī al-Baṣrī[7]
  • Ismā‘īl ibn Mūsá al-Fazārī al-Kūfi[7]
  • Muḥammad ibn Abī Ma‘shar as-Sindī al-Madanī[7]
  • Abū Kurayb Muḥammad ibn al-‘Alā’ al-Kūfī[7][11]
  • Hanād ibn al-Sarī al-Kūfī[7][11]
  • Ibrāhīm ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Harawī[7]
  • Suwayd ibn Naṣr ibn Suwayd al-Marwazī[7]
  • Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Baṣrī[11]
  • Zayd ibn Akhzam al-Baṣrī[15]
  • al-‘Abbās al-‘Anbarī al-Baṣrī[15]
  • Muḥammad ibn al-Muthanná al-Baṣrī[15]
  • Muḥammad ibn Ma‘mar al-Baṣrī[15]
  • ad-Darimi[11][16]
  • Muslim[15][16][20]
  • Abu Dawud[10][15][20]

At the time, Khurasan, at-Tirmidhi's native land, was a major center of learning, being home to a large number of muhaddiths. Other major centers of learning visited by at-Tirmidhi were the Iraqi cities of Kufa and Basra. At-Tirmidhi reported hadith from 42 Kufan teachers. In his Jami`, he used more reports from Kufan teachers than from teachers of any other town.[15]

At-Tirmidhi was a pupil of al-Bukhari, who was based in Khurasan. Adh-Dhahabi wrote, "His knowledge of hadith came from al-Bukhari."[16] At-Tirmidhi mentioned al-Bukhari's name 114 times in his Jami`. He used al-Bukhari's Kitab at-Tarikh as a source when mentioning discrepancies in the text of a hadith or its transmitters, and praised al-Bukhari as being the most knowledgeable person in Iraq or Khurasan in the science of discrepancies of hadith. When mentioning the rulings of jurists, he followed al-Bukhari's practice of not mentioning the name of Abu Hanifah. Because he never received a reliabe chain of narrators to mention Abu Hanifa's decrees, he would instead attribute them to "some people of Kufa."[15] Al-Bukhari held at-Tirmidhi in high regard as well. He is reported to have told at-Tirmidhi, "I have profited more from you than you have from me," and in his Sahih he narrated two hadith from at-Tirmidhi.[15][16]

At-Tirmidhi also narrated some hadiths from Abu Dawud, and one from Muslim.[15] Muslim also narrated one hadith from at-Tirmidhi in his own Sahih.[16]

A.J. Wensinck mentions Ahmad ibn Hanbal as among at-Tirmidhi's teachers.[10][15] However, Hoosen states that according to the most reliable sources, at-Tirmidhi never went to Baghdad, nor did he attend any lectures of Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Furthermore, at-Tirmidhi never directly narrates from Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Jami`.[15]

Several of at-Tirmidhi's teachers also taught al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, and an-Nasa'i.


  • Al-Jami` Al-Mukhtasar min As-Sunan `an Rasulillah, known as “Jami` At-Tirmidhi)
  • Al-`Ilal As-Sughra
  • Az-Zuhd
  • Al-`Ilal Al-Kubra
  • Ash-Shama’il An-Nabawiyyah wa Al-Fada’il Al-Mustafawiyyah
  • Al-Asmaa’ wa Al-Kuna
  • Kitab At-Tarikh

School of thought[edit]

Imam Tirmidhi was very close to Imam Bukhari, Imam Tirmidhi was a Shaf'i or Hanbal. Conclusion was whether he was mujthaid or muqallid as he was close to Imam Bukhari some claim he followed his madhab.


At-Tirmidhi was blind in the last two years of his life, according to adh-Dhahabi.[11] His blindness is said to have been the consequence of excessive weeping, either due to fear of God or over the death of al-Bukhari.[5][6][11][15][16]

He died on Monday night, 13 Rajab 279 AH (Sunday night, 8 October 892)[note 1] in Bugh.[8][11][15]

At-Tirmidhi is buried on the outskirts of Sherobod, a 60 kilometers north of Termez in Uzbekistan. In Termez he is locally known as Abu Isa at-Termezi or "Termez Ota" ("Father of Termez").[22]

Early Islam scholars[edit]


  1. ^ In the Islamic calendar, the weekday begins at sunset.


  1. ^ Frye, R.N., ed. (1975). The Cambridge history of Iran:Volume 4 (Repr. ed.). London: Cambridge U.P. p. 471. ISBN 978-0-521-20093-6.
  2. ^ Sultan, Sohaib (2007). The Qur'an and Sayings of Prophet Muhammad (saw): Selections Annotated and Explained. Woodstock, Vt: Skylight Paths Publishing. p. xxiii. ISBN 9781594732225.
  3. ^ Ar-Raqib, Akil; Roche, Edward M. (2009). Virtual Worlds Real Terrorism. p. 263. ISBN 9780578032221.
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  6. ^ a b c d e f g Abdul Mawjood, Salahuddin ʻAli (2007). The Biography of Imām at-Tirmidhī. Translated by Abu Bakr ibn Nasir (1st ed.). Riyadh: Darussalam. ISBN 9960983692.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al-Dhahabī (d. 1348) (2004). تذهيب تهذيب الكمال في أسماء الرجال (Tadhhīb tahdhīb al-kamāl fī asmā’ al-rijāl) (in Arabic). Cairo: al-Fārūq al-Hadīthah lil-Ṭibāʻah wa-al-Nashr. p. 248. ISBN 9773700100.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Ibn Khallikan (1843) [Written 1274]. "At-Tirmidi the traditionist". Ibn Khallikan's Biographical Dictionary. Translated from Wafayāt al-a‘yān wa-anbā’ abnā’ az-zamān by Baron Mac Guckin de Slane. Paris: Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. pp. 679–680.
  9. ^ a b c Ibn Kathir (d. 1373). "ثم دخلت سنة تسع وسبعين ومائتين"  [Then entered year 279]. البداية والنهاية (al-Bidāyah wa-al-nihāyah) (in Arabic). 11 – via Wikisource.
  10. ^ a b c d e Wensinck, A.J. (1993). "al-Tirmidhī". Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936). 8. Leiden: E. J. Brill. pp. 796–797.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Robson, James (June 1954). "The Transmission of Tirmidhī's Jāmi'". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Cambridge University Press on behalf of School of Oriental and African Studies. 16 (2): 258–270. doi:10.1017/S0041977X0010597X. JSTOR 609168.
  12. ^ Lane, Andrew J. (2006). A Traditional Mu'tazilite Qur'an Commentary: The Kashshaf of Jar Allah al-Zamakhshari (d. 538/1144). Leiden: Brill. p. 385. ISBN 9004147004.
  13. ^ Sezgin, Fuat (1991). تاريخ التراث العربي (Tārīkh al-turāth al-‘arabī) (in Arabic). 1. Translated by Mahmud Fahmi Hijazi. Part 4. p.209.
  14. ^ Rushdī Abū Shabānah ʻAlī al-Rashīdī (2007). التضامن الدولي في النظام الإسلامي والنظم الوضعية : دراسة مقارنة (al-Taḍāmun al-dawlī fī al-niẓām al-Islāmī wa-al-nuẓum al-waḍʻīyah : dirāsah muqāranah) (1st ed.). Mansoura, Egypt: Dār al-Yaqīn. ISBN 9789773362409.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Hoosen, Abdool Kader (1990). Imam Tirmidhi's contribution towards Hadith (1st ed.). Newcastle, South Africa: A.K. Hoosen. ISBN 9780620153140.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Ali, Syed Bashir (2003). Scholars of Hadith. Skokie, IL: IQRAʼ International Educational Foundation. ISBN 1563162040.
  17. ^ a b Banuri, Muhammad Yusuf (April 1957). "الترمذي صاحب الجامع في السنن (al-Tirmidhī ṣaḥib al-jāmi' fī al-sunan)". Majallat al-Majmaʻ al-ʻIlmī al-ʻArabīyah (in Arabic). Damascus. 32: 308. Cited by Hoosen, Abdool Kader (1990). Imam Tirmidhi's contribution towards Hadith (1st ed.). Newcastle, South Africa: A.K. Hoosen. ISBN 9780620153140.
  18. ^ Nur al-Din Itr (1978). "تصدير Taṣdīr" [Preface]. In Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (ed.). شرح علل الترمذي Sharḥ ‘Ilal al-Tirmidhī (in Arabic) (1st ed.). Dār al-Mallāḥ. p. 11.
  19. ^ a b Wheeler, Brannon M., ed. (2002). "Glossary of Interpreters and Transmitters". Prophets in the Quran: An Introduction to the Quran and Muslim Exegesis. New York: Continuum. p. 358. ISBN 0826449565.
  20. ^ a b c d Siddiqi, Muhammad Zubayr. Hadith Literature: Its Origin, Development & Special Features. p. 64.
  21. ^ Adamec, Ludwig W. (2009). Historical Dictionary of Islam (2nd ed.). Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. p. 307. ISBN 9780810861619.
  22. ^ a b "Termez". Archived from the original on 2012-09-24. Retrieved 2013-01-08.

External links[edit]