Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj

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Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj
مسلم بن الحجاج
TitleImam Muslim
Bornafter 815
Nishapur, Khorasan
(in present-day Iran)
DiedMay 875
Resting placeNasarabad
(a suburb of Nishapur)
EraIslamic Golden Age
Abbasid Caliphate
Main interest(s)Hadith
Notable work(s)Sahih Muslim
OccupationIslamic scholar, Hadith compiler
Muslim leader

Abū al-Ḥusayn ‘Asākir ad-Dīn Muslim ibn al-Ḥajjāj ibn Muslim ibn Ward ibn Kawshān al-Qushayrī an-Naysābūrī[note 1] (Arabic: أبو الحسين عساكر الدين مسلم بن الحجاج بن مسلم بن وَرْد بن كوشان القشيري النيسابوري‎; after 815 – May 875) or Muslim Nīshāpūrī (Persian: مسلم نیشاپوری‎), commonly known as Imam Muslim, Islamic scholar, particularly known as a muhaddith (scholar of hadith). His hadith collection, known as Sahih Muslim, is one of the six major hadith collections in Sunni Islam and is regarded as one of the two most authentic (sahih) collections, alongside Sahih al-Bukhari.


Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj was born in the town of Nishapur in the Abbasid province of Khorasan, in present-day northeastern Iran. Historians differ as to his date of birth, though it is usually given as 202 AH (817/818),[5][6] 204 AH (819/820),[3][7] or 206 AH (821/822).[5][6][8]

Adh-Dhahabi said, "It is said that he was born in the year 204 AH," though he also said, "But I think he was born before that."[3]

Ibn Khallikan could find no report of Muslim's date of birth, or age at death, by any of the ḥuffāẓ (hadith masters), except their agreement that he was born after 200 AH (815/816). He cites Ibn as-Salah, who cites Ibn al-Bayyi`'s Kitab `Ulama al-Amsar, that the date was 206 AH (821/822). Ibn Khallikan had acquired this work and found that Ibn as-Salah had estimated the year of birth from Muslim's age (55 hijri years) at his death in 25 Rajab 261 AH (May 875), and as reported by Ibn al-Bayyi`, agrees the date of birth was therefore 206 AH (821/822).[8] Ibn al-Bayyi` reports he was buried in Nasarabad, a suburb of Nishapur.

According to scholars he was of Arab or Persian origin[9] [10] The nisbah of "al-Qushayri" signifies Muslim's belonging to the Arab tribe of Banu Qushayr, members of which migrated to the newly conquered Persian territory during the expansion of the Rashidun Caliphate.[7] A scholar named Shams al-Dīn al-Dhahabī introduced the idea that he may have been a mawla of Persian descent, attributed to the Qushayr tribe by way of wala' (alliance). An ancestor of Muslim may have been a freed slave of a Qushayri, or may have accepted Islam at the hands of a Qushayri. According to 2 other scholars, Ibn al-Athīr and Ibn al-Salāh, he was actually an Arab member of that tribe of which his family had migrated to Iran nearly two centuries earlier following the conquest[3]

Estimates on the number of hadiths in his books vary from 3,033 to 12,000, depending on whether duplicates are included, or only the text (isnad) is. His Sahih ("authentic") is said to share about 2000 hadiths with Bukhari's Sahih.[11]

The author's teachers included Harmala ibn Yahya, Sa'id ibn Mansur, Abd-Allah ibn Maslamah al-Qa'nabi, al-Dhuhali, al-Bukhari, Ibn Ma'in, Yahya ibn Yahya al-Nishaburi al-Tamimi, and others. Among his students were al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Abi Hatim al-Razi, and Ibn Khuzaymah, each of whom also wrote works on hadith. After his studies throughout the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Iraq and Syria, he settled in his hometown of Nishapur, where he met, and became a lifelong friend of, Bukhari.


The Sunni scholar Ishaq Ibn Rahwayh was first to recommend Muslim's work.[12]

Ishaq's contemporaries did not at first accept this. Abu Zur`a al-Razi objected that Muslim had omitted too much material which Muslim himself recognised as authentic; and that he included transmitters who were weak.[13]

Ibn Abi Hatim (d. 327/938) later accepted Muslim as "trustworthy, one of the hadith masters with knowledge of hadith"; but this contrasts with much more fulsome praise of Abu Zur`a and also his father Abu Hatim. It is similar with Ibn al-Nadim.[14]

Muslim's book gradually increased in stature such that it is considered among Sunni Muslims the most authentic collections of hadith, second only to Sahih Bukhari.



  1. ^ The name of his father has sometimes been given as حجاج (Ḥajjāj) instead of الحجاج (al-Ḥajjāj). The name of his great-great-grandfather has variously been given as كوشان (Kūshān[3] or Kawshān), كوشان[4] (Kirshān, Kurshān , or Karshān), or كوشان (Kūshān or Kawshān).


  1. ^ Ibn Rāhwayh, Isḥāq (1990), Balūshī, ʻAbd al-Ghafūr ʻAbd al-Ḥaqq Ḥusayn (ed.), Musnad Isḥāq ibn Rāhwayh (1st ed.), Tawzīʻ Maktabat al-Īmān, pp. 150–165
  2. ^ منهج الإمام مسلم بن الحجاج
  3. ^ a b c d Abdul Mawjood, Salahuddin `Ali (2007). The Biography of Imam Muslim bin al-Hajjaj. translated by Abu Bakr Ibn Nasir. Riyadh: Darussalam. ISBN 978-9960988191.
  4. ^ 'Awālī Muslim: arba'ūna ḥadīthan muntaqātun min Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim (عوالي مسلم: أربعون حديثا منتقاتا من صحيح مسلم) (in Arabic). Beirut: Mu’assasat al-kutub ath-Thaqāfīyah (مؤسسة الكتب الثقافية)‎. 1985.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  5. ^ a b Siddiqui, Abdul Hamid. "Imam Muslim". Retrieved 29 October 2012.
  6. ^ a b Ahmad, K. J. (1987). Hundred Great Muslims. Des Plaines, Ill.: Library of Islam. ISBN 0933511167.
  7. ^ a b Ali, Syed Bashir (May 2003). Scholars of Hadith. The Makers of Islamic Civilization Series. Malaysia: IQRAʼ International Educational Foundation. ISBN 1563162040.
  8. ^ a b Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Khallikan (1868) [Corrected reprint]. Ibn Khallikan's Biographical Dictionary. III. translated by Baron Mac Guckin de Slane. Paris: Oriental translation fund of Great Britain and Ireland. p. 349.
  9. ^ Frye, ed. by R.N. (1975). The Cambridge history of Iran (Repr. ed.). London: Cambridge U.P. p. 471. ISBN 978-0-521-20093-6.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  10. ^ al-Qushayrī, Muslim ibn al-Ḥajjāj; Shahryar, Aftab (2004-01-01). صحيح مسلم. Islamic Book Service. ISBN 9788172315924.
  11. ^ Lu'lu wal Marjan says 1900; Abi Bakr Muhammad b. 'Abdallah al-Jawzaqi apud Brown, 84 counted 2326.
  12. ^ mardi keh in bud; al-Hakim, Ma`rifat `ulum al-hadith, 98 apud Jonathan Brown, The Canonization of al-Bukhari and Muslim (Brill, 2007), 86
  13. ^ Brown, 91-2, 155
  14. ^ Brown, 88-9

External links[edit]

  1. Interactive diagram of teachers and students of Imam Muslim by Happy Books