Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani
Ibn Ḥajar al-‘Asqalānī
|Title||Shaykh al-Islām/ Ḥāfiẓ|
|Born||18 February 1372 / 773 AH|
|Died||2 February 1449 (aged 76)|
|Resting place||City of the Dead (Cairo), Cairo, Egypt|
Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī or Ibn Ḥajar (Arabic: ابن حجر العسقلاني, full name: Shihābud-Dīn Abul-Faḍl Aḥmad ibn Nūrud-Dīn ʿAlī ibn Muḥammad ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī al-Kināni) (18 February 1372 – 2 February 1449 CE / 773 – 852 A.H.), was a classic Islamic scholar and polymath "whose life work constitutes the final summation of the science of Hadith." He authored some 150 works on hadith, history, biography, tafsir, poetry, and Shafi'i jurisprudence, the most valued of which being his commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari, titled Fath al-Bari.
He was born in Cairo in 1372, the son of the Shafi'i scholar and poet Nur ad-Din 'Ali. His parents had moved from Alexandria, originally hailing from Ashkelon (Arabic: عَسْقَلَان, ʿAsqalān). Both of his parents died in his infancy, and he and his sister, Sitt ar-Rakb, became wards of his father's first wife's brother, Zaki ad-Din al-Kharrubi, who enrolled Ibn Hajar in Qur'anic studies when he was five years old. Here he excelled, learning Surah Maryam in a single day and memorising the entire Qur'an by the age of 9. He progressed to the memorization of texts such as 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 ad-Din ibn al-Qattan, who entered him in the courses given by Sirajud-Din al-Bulqini (d. 1404) and Ibn al-Mulaqqin (d. 1402) in Shafi'i fiqh, and 'Abdur-Rahim ibn al-Husain al-'Iraqi (d. 1404) in hadith, after which he travelled to Damascus and Jerusalem, to study under Shamsud-Din al-Qalqashandi (d. 1407), Badrud-Din al-Balisi (d. 1401), and Fatima bint al-Manja at-Tanukhiyya (d. 1401). After a further visit to Mecca, Medina, and Yemen, he returned to Egypt. As-Suyuti said: "It is said that he drank Zamzam water in order to reach the level of adh-Dhahabi in memorization—which he succeeded in doing, even surpassing him."
In 1397, at the age of twenty-five, Al-'Asqalani married the celebrated hadith expert Uns Khatun, who held ijazat from 'Abdur-Rahim al-'Iraqi and gave public lectures to crowds of 'ulama', including as-Sakhawi.
Ibn Hajar went on to be appointed to the position of Egyptian chief-judge (Qadi) several times.
Ibn Hajar died after 'Isha' (night prayer) on 8th Dhul-Hijjah 852 (2 February 1449), aged 79. An estimated 50,000 people attended his funeral in Cairo, including Sultan Sayfud-Din Jaqmaq (1373–1453 CE) and Caliph of Cairo Al-Mustakfi II (r. 1441–1451 CE).
- Fath al-Bari – Ibn Hajar's commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari's Jami` al-Sahih (817/1414), completed an unfinished work begun by Ibn Rajab in the 1390s. It became the most celebrated and highly regarded work on the author. Celebrations near Cairo on its publication (Rajab 842 AH / December 1428 CE) were described by historian Ibn Iyaas (d.930 AH), as 'the greatest of the age.' Many of Egypt's leading dignitaries were among the crowds, Ibn Hajar himself gave readings, poets gave eulogies and gold was distributed.
- al-Isaba fi tamyiz al-Sahaba – the most comprehensive dictionary of the Companions.
- al-Durar al-Kāminah – 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 Yusuf ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Mizzi
- Taqrib al-Tahdhib – the abridgement of Tahthib al-Tahthib.
- Ta'jil al-Manfa'ah – biographies of the narrators of the Musnads of the four Imams, not found in at-Tahthib.
- Bulugh al-Maram min adillat al-ahkam – on hadith used in Shafi'i fiqh.
- Nata'ij al-Afkar fi Takhrij Ahadith al-Adhkar
- Lisan al-Mizan – a reworking of Mizan al-'Itidal by al-Dhahabi, which in turn is a reworking of an earlier work.
- 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 in hadith terminology
- al-Nukat ala Kitab ibn al-Salah – commentary of the Muqaddimah of Ibn al-Salah
- al-Qawl al-Musaddad fi Musnad Ahmad a discussion of hadith of disputed authenticity in the Musnad of Ahmad
- Silsilat al-Dhahab
- Ta`rif Ahl al-Taqdis bi Maratib al-Mawsufin bi al-Tadlis
- Raf' al-isr 'an qudat Misr – a biographical dictionary of Egyptian judges. Partial French translation in Mathieu Tillier, Vie des cadis de Misr. Cairo: Institut français d'archéologie orientale, 2002.
- Namira Nahouza (2018). Wahhabism and the Rise of the New Salafists: Theology, Power and Sunni Islam. I.B. Tauris. pp. 121–122. ISBN 9781838609832.
- "USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts". Usc.edu. Archived from the original on 2006-08-29. Retrieved 2010-03-21.
- Salmān, Mashhūr Ḥasan Maḥmūd & Shuqayrāt, Aḥmad Ṣidqī (1998). "Tarjamat al-musannif". Muʼallafāt al-Sakhāwī : al-ʻAllāmah al-Ḥāfiẓ Muḥammad ibn ʻAbd al-Raḥmān al-Sakhāwī, 831-902 H. Dār Ibn Ḥazm. p. 18.
- Rosenthal, F. (1913). Encyclopedia of Islam: New Edition. Brill. p. 776.
- Ludwig W. Adamec (2009), Historical Dictionary of Islam, p.136. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810861615.
- Noegel, Scott B. (2010). The A to Z of Prophets in Islam and Judaism. Wheeler, Brannon M. Lanham: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-1-4617-1895-6. OCLC 863824465.
- Lewis, B.; Menage, V.L.; Pellat, Ch.; Schacht, J. (1986) [1st. pub. 1971]. Encyclopaedia of Islam. Volume III (H-Iram) (New ed.). Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. p. 776. ISBN 9004081186.
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- Thail Tabaqaat al-Huffaath, pg. 251.
- Kifayat Ullah, Al-Kashshaf: Al-Zamakhshari's Mu'tazilite Exegesis of the Qur'an, de Gruyter (2017), p. 40
- al-Dhahabi. Siyar A'lam al-Nubala'. 16. p. 154.
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