Yahya ibn Ma'in

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Yahya ibn Ma'in
Born158 AH [1]
Died233 AH [3][4]
EraMedieval era
SchoolHanafi [5]

Yahya ibn Ma'in (Arabic: يحيى بن معين‎) was a classical Islamic scholar[3] of Persian[8] origin.

He was a close friend of Ahmad ibn Hanbal and is often quoted regarding Ilm ar-Rijal.[9] Alongside Ibn Hanbal, Ali ibn al-Madini and Ibn Abi Shaybah, Ibn Ma'in has been considered by many Muslim specialists in hadith to be one of the four most significant authors in the field.[10]

His teachers included; Ibn al-Mubārak, Ismāʿīl ibn ʿIyāsh, ‘Abād ibn ‘Abād, Sufyān ibn ʿUyainah, Gundur, Abū Muʿāwiyyah, Ḥātim ibn Ismāʿīl, Ḥafṣ ibn Giyāth, Jarīr ibn ʿAbdul-Ḥamīd, ‘Abd ur-Ruzzāq, Wakī’ and many others from Irāq, Ḥijāz, Jazīrah, Shām and Miṣr.[11]

From amongst his students were; Aḥmad bin Ḥanbal, Muḥammad bin Sʿad, Abū Khaithamah, al-Bukhārī, Muslim, Abū Dāwūd, ʿAbbās al-Dawrī, Abū Ḥātim, and many others.[12]

His zeal for knowledge was recognised through his endeavours. A notable example is that after the passing of his father he inherited 1,050,000 dirhams. He spent it all towards seeking ḥadīth to the extent that nothing remained to even purchase a pair of shoes.[13]

We also see the Imām’s zeal for seeking knowledge by the various journeys he made, such as: Basrah, Bagdād, Harān, Dimasq, al-Rasāfah, al-Ray, Sanʿā’, Kufā, Miṣr and Makkah al-Mukaramah.[14]

His works were not limited to mere approbations and disapprobation of narrators albeit a science he was a master in, or narrating of aḥādīth,[15] rather, he progressed forward as an author writing many books, many of which are not found today,[16] despite him formally writing as an author at the age of twenty.[17] Of the books available today are; Ma’rifatul al-Rijāl,[18] Tārīkh ʿUthmān bin Saʿīd al-Dārimī, Yaḥyā bin Maʿīn wa Kitābuhu ‘l-Tārīkh and a small treatise titled ‘Min Kalām Abī Zakariyyā Yaḥyā bin Maʿīn fi ‘l-Rijāl’.


  1. ^ "مناهج أئمة الجرح والتعديل". Ibnamin.com. Retrieved 2010-04-10.
  2. ^ Tahdhib al-Tahdhib
  3. ^ a b "Muslim American Society". Masnet.org. 2003-10-09. Retrieved 2010-04-10.
  4. ^ "USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts". Usc.edu. Retrieved 2010-04-10.
  5. ^ "Abu Bakrah and the Feminists". Abc.se. Retrieved 2010-04-10.
  6. ^ "IslamWeb". IslamWeb. Retrieved 2010-04-10.
  7. ^ Al-Bastawī, ʻAbd al-ʻAlīm ʻAbd al-ʻAẓīm (1990). Al-Imām al-Jūzajānī wa-manhajuhu fi al-jarḥ wa-al-taʻdīl. Maktabat Dār al-Ṭaḥāwī. p. 9.
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ "Rijal: narrators of the Muwatta of Imam Muhammad". Bogvaerker.dk. 2005-01-08. Retrieved 2010-04-10.
  10. ^ Ibn al-Jawzi, The Life of Ibn Hanbal, pg. 45. Trns. Michael Cooperson. New York: New York University Press, 2016. ISBN 9781479805303
  11. ^ Siyar Aʿlām al-Nubalā’, Vol 11, pg. 72. Al-Kamāl fī Asmā' al-Rijāl, Vol. 31, pg. 544 – 546
  12. ^ Tārīkh Bagdād, Vol 16, pg. 263. Siyar Aʿlām al-Nubalā’, Vol 11, pg. 72. Tahzīb Al-Kamāl fī Asmā' al-Rijāl, Vol. 31, pg. 546
  13. ^ Maʿrifatul ‘l-Rijāl, Vol 1, pg. 5. Tārīkh Bagdād, Vol 16, pg. 265
  14. ^ Maʿrifatul al-Rijāl, Vol 1, pg. 7 – 8.
  15. ^ Maʿrifatul ‘l-Rijāl, Vol 1, pg. 16
  16. ^ Maʿrifatul ‘l-Rijāl, Vol 1, pg. 6
  17. ^ Siyar Aʿlām al-Nubalā’, Vol 11, pg. 77
  18. ^ Ma’rifatul ‘l-Rijāl, Vol 1, pg. 16