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Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani

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Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani
ابن حجر العسقلاني
Tomb of Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani in Cairo
TitleShaykh al-Islam
Born18 February 1372 (1372-02-18)
Died2 February 1449 (1449-02-03) (aged 76)[7]
Cairo, Mamluk Sultanate
Resting placeCity of the Dead, Cairo, Egypt
Muslim leader

Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī (Arabic: ابن حجر العسقلاني;[a] 18 February 1372 – 2 February 1449), or simply ibn Ḥajar,[7] was a classic Islamic scholar "whose life work constitutes the final summation of the science of hadith."[9] He authored some 150 works on hadith, history, biography, exegesis, poetry, and the Shafi'i school of jurisprudence, the most valued of which being his commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari, titled Fath al-Bari.[10] He is known by the honorific epithets Hafiz al-Asr "Hafiz of the Time", Shaykh al-Islam "Shaykh of Islam", and Amir al-Mu'minin fi al-Hadith "Leader of the Believers in Hadith".[11]

Early life[edit]

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 Ascalon (Arabic: عَسْقَلَان, ʿAsqalān).[12] "Ibn Hajar" was the nickname of one of his ancestors, which was extended to his children and grandchildren and became his most prominent title. His father, Ali bin Muhammad Asqalani, was also a scholar, and for a while, he was the deputy of Ibn Aqeel Baha'udin, Abu Muhammad Abdullah bin Abdur Rahman Shafi'i. He was also a poet and had several diwans and was allowed to give fatwas .[13] 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.[14] 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 Zain al-Din al-'Iraqi (d. 1404) in hadith, after which he travelled to Damascus and Jerusalem, to study under Shamsud-Din al-Qalqashandi (d. 1407), Badr al-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. Al-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."[15]

Personal life[edit]

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.[16][17]


Ibn Hajar went on to be appointed to the position of Egyptian qadi (chief judge) several times. He had a scholarly rivalry with the Hanafi scholar Badr al-Din al-Ayni.[18]


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).[10]


Ibn Hajar wrote approximately 150 works[19] on hadith, hadith terminology, biographical evaluation, history, tafsir, poetry and Shafiʽi jurisprudence.

  • Fath al-Bari – ibn Hajar's commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari's 1414 Jamiʿ al-Sahih, completing 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 in December 1428 were described by historian ibn Iyas (d. 1522/4), as "the greatest of the age". Many of Egypt's leading dignitaries were among the crowds, ibn Hajar gave readings, poets gave eulogies and gold was distributed. Jaques focuses on the most widely read of Ibn Hajar's works—the commentary on the greatest compilation of hadiths, Sahih al-Bukhari, and his history of the Mamluks—and explains how he drew on the theories, ideas, and aspirations of the preceding centuries of Islamic scholarship to project an enduring solution to the crises of his time.[20]
  • Al-Isabah fi tamyiz al Sahabah – the most comprehensive dictionary of the Companions of the Prophet.
  • Merits of the Plague (بذل الماعون في أخبار الطاعون, a discussion of the Black Death and meditations on illness and the Divine, which contains excerpts from Fatḥ al-Bārī
  • al-Durar al-Kāminah – a biographical dictionary of leading figures of the eighth century.
  • al-Kamal fi Asma' al-Rijal – an abbreviation of Tahdhib al-Kamal, the encyclopedia of hadith narrators by Jamal al-Din 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 – 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.[21]
  • Talkhis al-Habir fi Takhrij al-Rafiʿi al-Kabir
  • al-Diraya fi Takhrij Ahadith al-Hidaya
  • Taghliq al-Taʿliq ʿala Sahih al-Bukhari
  • Risala Tadhkirat al-Athar
  • al-Matalib al-ʿAliya 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 on the Introduction to the Science of Hadith by ibn al-Salah
  • al-Qawl al-Musaddad fi Musnad Ahmad a discussion of hadith of disputed authenticity in the Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal
  • Silsilat al-Dhahab
  • Taʿrif 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.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Full name: Shihāb al-Dīn Abū al-Faḍl Aḥmad ibn Nūr al-Dīn ʿAlī ibn Muḥammad ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī al-Kināni


  1. ^ Namira Nahouza (2018). Wahhabism and the Rise of the New Salafists: Theology, Power and Sunni Islam. I.B. Tauris. pp. 121–122. ISBN 9781838609832. Archived from the original on 2021-10-07. Retrieved 2021-01-12.
  2. ^ "Ahl al-Sunna: The Ash'aris - The Testimony and Proofs of the Scholars". almostaneer.com (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 28 January 2021.
  3. ^ Muhammad ibn 'Alawi al-Maliki. "The Ash'ari School". As-Sunnah Foundation of America. Archived from the original on 12 Jan 2021. Shaykh al-Islam Ahmad ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani (d. 852/1449; Rahimahullah), the mentor of Hadith scholars and author of the book "Fath al-Bari bi-Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari", which not a single Islamic scholar can dispense with, was Ash'ari. The shaykh of the scholars of Sunni Islam, Imam al-Nawawi (d. 676/1277; Rahimahullah), author of "Sharh Sahih Muslim" and many other famous works, was Ash'ari. The master of Qur'anic exegetes, Imam al-Qurtubi (d. 671/1273; Rahimahullah), author of "al-Jami' li-Ahkam al-Qur'an", was Ash'ari. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (d. 974/1567; Rahimahullah), who wrote "al-Zawajir 'an Iqtiraf al-Kaba'ir", was Ash'ari. The Shaykh of Sacred Law and Hadith, the conclusive definitive Zakariyya al-Ansari (d. 926/1520; Rahimahullah), was Ash'ari. Imam Abu Bakr al-Baqillani (d. 403/1013; Rahimahullah), Imam al-'Asqalani; Imam al-Nasafi (d. 710/1310; Rahimahullah); Imam al-Shirbini (d. 977/1570; Rahimahullah); Abu Hayyan al-Gharnati, author of the Qur'anic commentary "al-Bahr al-Muhit"; Imam Ibn Juzayy (d. 741/1340; Rahimahullah); author of "al-Tashil fi 'Ulum al-Tanzil"; and others – all of these were Imams of the Ash'aris.
  4. ^ Bennett, Clinton (15 January 2015). The Bloomsbury Companion to Islamic Studies. Bloomsbury Academic. p. 128. ISBN 9781472586902. There are many followers of the Ash'ariyyah among the great Muslim scholars, such as al-Qurtubi, Ibn Kathir, al-Sauiti, al-Mazari, Ibn Hajer al Askalani, and al Nawawi
  5. ^ Rebecca Skreslet Hernandez (2017). The Legal Thought of Jalāl Al-Din Al-Suyūṭī: Authority and Legacy. Oxford University Press. p. 205. ISBN 9780198805939. people who support burning established and respected works like Ibn Hajar's al-Fath al-Bari and al-Nawawi's Sharh Sahih Muslim because the authors are Ash'ari.
  6. ^ Mansfield, Laura (2006). His Own Words: Translation and Analysis of the Writings of Dr. Ayman Al Zawahiri. TLG Publications. p. 265. ISBN 9781847288806. Many of the most learned ulema of Islam such as Izz Bin Abdul Salam, al-Nawawi, and Ibn Hajar - may God have mercy on them - were Ashari.
  7. ^ a b "USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts". Usc.edu. Archived from the original on 2006-08-29. Retrieved 2010-03-21.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ Rosenthal, F. (1913). Encyclopedia of Islam: New Edition. Brill. p. 776.
  10. ^ a b Ludwig W. Adamec (2009), Historical Dictionary of Islam, p.136. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810861615.
  11. ^ zaryab khoii, abbas. "Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani". Encyclopaedia Islamica.
  12. ^ 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. Archived from the original on 2020-06-15. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  13. ^ zaryab khuii, abbas. "Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani". Encyclopaedia Islamica.
  14. ^ Lewis, B.; Menage, V.L.; Pellat, Ch.; Schacht, J. (1986) [1st. pub. 1971]. Encyclopaedia of Islam. Vol. III (H-Iram) (New ed.). Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. p. 776. ISBN 9004081186.
  15. ^ Thail Tabaqaat al-Huffaath, pg. 251.
  16. ^ "Imam Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani". Tauhidahmed. Retrieved May 4, 2023.
  17. ^ "Imam Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani". Nur.nu. Retrieved May 4, 2023.
  18. ^ Al-'Ayni, 'Iqd al-Jumān, 372.
  19. ^ Kifayat Ullah, Al-Kashshaf: Al-Zamakhshari's Mu'tazilite Exegesis of the Qur'an, de Gruyter (2017), p. 40
  20. ^ Kevin Jaques, R. "Ibn Hajar". Oxford center for Islamic studies.
  21. ^ al-Dhahabi. Siyar A'lam al-Nubala'. Vol. 16. p. 154.
  22. ^ Ibn Ḥajar al-ʻAsqalānī, Aḥmad ibn ʻAlī (2002). Vies des cadis de Miṣr, 237/851-366/976. Mathieu Tillier, Thierry Bianquis. Le Caire: Institut français d'archéologie orientale. ISBN 2-7247-0327-8. OCLC 52493823. Archived from the original on 2022-07-08. Retrieved 2022-01-29.

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