Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj

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Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj
مسلم بن الحجاج
Title Imam Muslim
Born after 815
Nishapur, Khorasan
(in present-day Iran)
Died May 875
Resting place Nasarabad
(a suburb of Nishapur)
Era Islamic Golden Age
Abbasid Caliphate
Occupation Islamic scholar, Hadith compiler
Religion Islam
Denomination Sunni Islam
Jurisprudence Shafi'i and ijtihad
Main interest(s) Hadith
Notable work(s) Sahih Muslim

Abū al-Ḥusayn ‘Asākir ad-Dīn Muslim ibn al-Ḥajjāj ibn Muslim ibn Ward ibn Kawshādh al-Qushayrī an-Naysābūrī[note 1] (Arabic: أبو الحسين عساكر الدين مسلم بن الحجاج بن مسلم بن وَرْد بن كوشاذ القشيري النيسابوري‎‎; after 815 – May 875) or Muslim Nīshāpūrī (Persian: مسلم نیشاپوری‎‎), commonly known as Imam Muslim, was a Persian[5] 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),[6][7] 204 AH (819/820),[3][8] or 206 AH (821/822).[6][7][9]

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 says that he did not find Muslim's date of birth or age at death reported by any of the hafizes (referring to the hadith masters), though they all agree that he was born after 200 AH (815/816). He writes that Ibn as-Salah, citing Ibn al-Bayyi`'s Kitab `Ulama al-Amsar, states the date to be 206 AH (821/822). Ibn Khallikan writes that he acquired the work and found that Ibn as-Salah based the year of birth on Muslim's age (55 hijri years) and date of death (25 Rajab 261) reported by Ibn al-Bayyi`. He thus agrees that Muslim must have been born in 206 AH (821/822).[9]

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.[8] However, he was not of Arab descent; he was a mawla – attributed to the Qushayr tribe by way of wala' (alliance), according to As-Sam`ani. An ancestor of Muslim may have been a freed slave of a Qushayri, or may have accepted Islam at the hands of a Qushayri.[3]

Estimates on how many hadiths are in his books vary from 3,033 to 12,000, depending on whether duplicates are included, or whether the text only or the isnad is also counted. His Sahih is said to share about 2000 hadiths with Bukhari's Sahih.[10]

He died on 25 Rajab 261 AH (May 875) at the age of 55 hijri years, according to Ibn al-Bayyi`, and was buried in Nasarabad, a suburb of Nishapur.

Among the author's teachers were 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 which wrote works on hadith as well. After many studies throughout the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Iraq and Syria, he settled down in his hometown of Nishapur where he first met Bukhari, with whom he would have a friendship until his death.


The Sunni scholar Ishaq Ibn Rahwayh was first to recommend Muslim's work.[11]

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.[12]

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.[13]

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.


Early Islam scholars[edit]


  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 كوشاذ (Kūshādh[3] or Kawshādh), كرشان[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 9960988198. 
  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. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ a b Siddiqui, Abdul Hamid. "Imam Muslim". Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Ahmad, K. J. (1987). Hundred Great Muslims. Des Plaines, Ill.: Library of Islam. ISBN 0933511167. 
  8. ^ a b Ali, Syed Bashir (May 2003). Scholars of Hadith. The Makers of Islamic Civilization Series. Malaysia: IQRAʼ International Educational Foundation. ISBN 1563162040. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ Lu'lu wal Marjan says 1900; Abi Bakr Muhammad b. 'Abdallah al-Jawzaqi apud Brown, 84 counted 2326.
  11. ^ 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
  12. ^ Brown, 91-2, 155
  13. ^ Brown, 88-9

External links[edit]

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