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Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Abu Abdullah Malik ibn Anas ibn Malik ibn Abi Aamir (ra) was born in Madina in the year 93 A.H. (714 A.C)

He came from a respectable family. His ancestral home was in Yemen, but his great grandfather - Aamir - settled in Madina after embracingIslam. His grandfather - Maalik - was an important Taabi-ee and a famous reporter of Ahadith. He was greatly attracted to the study of Islamic Law and devoted his entire interest to the subject after completing his primary education. Madina was the most important seat of Islamic learning as the immediate descendants of the Sahaba-e-Kiraam were inhabitants of the City. For the purpose of his study, he sought out over 300 "Tabi'een" = those who saw the Sahaba/Companions of the Holy Prophet (saw), and acquired from them the knowledge of the Holy Prophet's (saw) Ahadith and Sunnah. He spent his entire life in Madina where he studied Fiqah from 95 Shaikhs. It is these Shaikhs from whom he recorded the Ahadith in his Kitab-ul-Muatta. This Kitab contains 1725 Ahadith of Rasulullah (saw).

He studied Qira'at & Hadith for nearly ten years under Hazrat Naafe' the slave of Hazrat Abdullah ibn Umar (ra). Hazrat Naafe' had served his master for nearly 30 years.
Naafe' was once sent by Umar ibn Abdul Aziz (ra) to impart knowledge in Egypt.
Although he is the author of numerous books, his most important work is the Kitab-ul-Muatta, which deals with the subject of Islamic Law based on Ahadith and Sunnah. The Kitab-ul-Muatta is the earliest surviving book of its kind - written around 150 A.H. - and it is used in all Islamic institutions as one of the text books in the final year studies by graduating Ulama.
Imam Malik had the highest regard for the Holy Prophet (saw) as well as for his Ahadith. He never tolerated indiscipline whilst Hadith-e-Rasul was under discussion.

He even rebuked Al-Mansoor for talking loudly when some Ahadith were being discussed.
The Imam always made Wudu or Ghusal, wore fresh clean attire and applied perfume before conducting lessons on Ahadith. He delivered lectures on Islamic Law, and issued fatwas (Islamic Rulings) for nearly 62 years. Approx. 1,300 people have reported Ahadith from him. He had the honour of occupying the home of Hazrat Abdullah ibn Mas'ud (ra) and conducting lessons from the same spot where Rasulullah (saw) spent his time for I'tikaaf, in the Masjid-un-Nabi. Imam Malik was famous for his piety and integrity, and courageously stood up prepared to suffer for his conviction.

For example, in 135 A.H., When the governor of Madina demanded and forced people to take the oath of allegiance in favour of Khalifa Al-Mansoor, the Imam issued a Fatwa that such an oath was not binding because it was given under duress.
Since this fatwa was not in the interest of the ruler, the governor arrested the Imam and had him publicly flogged for the "crime".
Al-Mansoor, learning of this outrage, apologized to the Imam and dismissed the errant governor.

Imam Malik (ra), was offered 3,000 gold coins (dinars) by Mansoor, as travelling expenses to Baghdad and subsequent residence in the Capital, but the Imam politely refused the offer saying that he prefered to live in Madina near Rasulullah (saw).
Imam Malik never intended the formation of a school of thought bearing his name. It was his disciples & followers who later developed a Fiqah School based on Imam Malik's rulings. Malikis are found mostly in North & West Africa - Tunis, Algeria, Morrocco and Egypt. This Great Leader of Islamic Law died in Madina on the 11th Rabi-ul-Akhir 179 A.H. at the age 86 years. He lies buried in the Jannatul Baqi in Madina.

Madina was the most important centre of knowledge as scholars flocked to the City to pay their respects to Rasulullah (saw). The home of Imam Malik too was a centre of Ilm-e-Nabawi. Among his first tutors was Imam-ush-Shua'raa Hazrat Naafe' bin Abdur Rahman (died - 169 A.H.) from whom he mastered the Qur'an. Later, whilst still a youngster he joined the Hadith classes of Naafe'. Physical description: Tall, heavily built, fair but reddish, wide eyes, beautiful nose, very little hair on the forehead, heavy long beard which reached his chest. trimmed moustache above/edge of the lip.

He considered the shaver of moustache as Makrooh and a Mussla (disfigurer).
He wore expensive clothing and used much Ittar. He wore a silver ring with a stone and engraved was 'Hasbun'Allahu wa Ne'mal Wakeel'. On his door was written 'Maa Sha Allah'. This house originally belonged to Abdulla ibn Mas'ood (ra). He started teaching at the age of 17. It was only after seventy Ulama certified him as an authority, did he commence issuing Fatwa. His seat in the Masjid-e-Nabawi was the same seat that was occupied by Hazrat Umar (ra). He never answered the call of nature within the perimeter of the Haram, except during illness or some Uzar. He never rode during his entire life on an animal in Madina.
He used to say, "How can I ride an animal whose feet tramples the ground in which lies resting of the Master (saw).

During his advancing years, he never went out of Madina - hoping to be buried therein.
During Hadith lessons if anyone raised his voice, he would reprimand him and quote the Qura'nic verse ... adding that the command was applicable even now.

During the Khilafat of Mansoor Abbasi, oppression was on the increase. Muhammad Zun-Nafs az-Zakiyah in Madina and his brother Ibrahim in Basra were compelled to raise the flag of rebellion against the the injustice directed mostly towards the Sayeds. Imam Malik issued a fatwa in favour of these two and against the government.
2. This led to his arrest by the governor of Madina and subsequent flogging - seventy lashes. Later when Mansoor learnt of this, he expressed regret and sent an apology to the Imam and requested the Imam to come to Baghdad, but the Imam refused. When Mansoor came for Hajj, he visited Madina as well and treated the Imam with great respect.

Haroon ar-Rasheed

Haroon ar-Rasheed was a patron of the Ulama. He had great regard for Imam Malik. He personally, with his two sons, journeyed to Madina to listen to the Muatta. He invited the Imam to come to his camp in order to give lessons but the Imam refused. So Haroon brought his sons to the Imam.

His death
Imam Malik was 86 years and had become quite weak, but he still continued to give lesson and issue fatwas.
It was Sunday when he became ill and for the next 22 odd days it got worse. He passed away on the 11 th Rabi-ul-Akhir, 179 A.H. He had taught and issued fatwas for 62 years.

The Fuqaha-e-Saba' of Madina are:

Saeed ibn Musayyib, Died 94 A.H.
Ubaidullah ibn Uttba ibn Mas'ud, Died 98 A.H.
Urwa, Died 94 A.H.
Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, Died 108 A.H.
Abu Bakr bin Abdur-Rahman bin Haris ibn Hisham, Died 94 A.H.
Sulaiman ibn Yasaar, Died 109 A.H.
Kharija Zaid, Died 109 A.H.

These 7 were the centre of Ilm-e-Fiqah and Hadith in Madina. Their unanimous ruling was the basis of any verdict in the court of Madina in matters of Fiqah. The basis of Imam Malik's Fiqah and Fatwa originates from this Fiqah of Madina. Allama ibn Qayyim (ra) states that the promotion of Deen, Fiqah, and Ilm in the Ummah is due to the students of Ibn Mas'ud, Zaid bin Thabit, Ibn Umar and Ibn Abbas (ra). Ibn Mas'ud stayed in Madina but was later ordered to reside in Kufa. Therefore the above 7 were instrumental in the promotion of Ilm in Madina. And it is from these persons that the Shaikhs of Imam Malik benefitted, in particular Hazrat Rabi'atur Raai who is the most important Shaikh of Imam Malik (ra).

Imam Malik based his rulings in his Fatwas from the Fiqah of the above and this eventually became the "Maliki Fiqah.

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