Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari - The Great Asha`ari Scholars
translated by Dr. G. Fouad Haddad
© copyright As-Sunna Foundation of America, 1998
The First Generation of al-Ash`ari's Students and Companions
Abu `Abd Allah al-Shafi`i
Abu `Abd Allah al-Shafi`i, Muhammad ibn al-Qasim, Abu `Abd Allah al-Asbahani, known as al-Shafi`i (d. 381). He is included by Ibn `Asakir among the direct students of al-Ash`ari. The hadith master Abu Nu`aym mentioned that he authored many works in the foundations of religion, jurisprudence, and legal rulings.
Abu al-Hasan al-Bahili al-Basri
Abu al-Hasan al-Bahili al-Basri (d. ~370), the companion of al-Ash`ari and teacher of Ibn Furak, al-Baqillani, and Abu Ishaq al-Isfarayini. Always engaged in Remembrance of Allah, he taught and communicated only from behind a curtain, even with his servant. Al-Isfarayini said: "Next to my teacher al-Bahili, I was like a drop in the sea." Al-Bahili himself said: "Next to my master al-Ash`ari, I was like a drop in the sea." [note by: Dr. A. Godlas: Al-Safadi stated that he passed away around (fi hudud) 370 AH (Wafi bil-wafayat, vol. 12, p. 312)].
Abu al-Hasan al-Tabari
Abu al-Hasan al-Tabari, `Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Mahdi (d. ~380). He studied under al-Ash`ari in Basra and Abu al-Hasan al-Bahili, and accompanied Abu Ishaq al-Isfarayini, Abu Bakr ibn Furak, and Abu Bakr al-Baqillani. His student al-Husayn ibn Ahmad ibn al-Hasan al-Asadi said: "Our shaykh and teacher Abu al-Hasan al-Tabari was the jurist who authored books in all the sciences. He was erudite, a well of knowledge in jurisprudence, kalaam, commentaries of Qur'an, language, and Arabic history. He possessed eloquence and was brilliant at debate. He was peerless in his time." He authored among other works: "Al-Usul wa Tafsir Asami al-Rabb" ("Principles of the Religion and the Explanation of the Divine Names") and "Ta'wil Ahadith al-Mushkilat al-Waridat fi al-Sifat" ("The Interpretation of the Problematic Narrations That Pertain to the Attributes.") In the latter book he said: "Allah is in the heaven above everything and established over His Throne in the sense that He is elevated high above it, and the sense of istiwa' is elevation."
Abu Muhammad al-Tabari
Abu Muhammad al-Tabari, al-Qadi `Abd Allah ibn `Ali ibn `Abd Allah al-`Iraqi al-Jurjani al-Manjaniqi al-Shafi`i (d. ?), a companion of al-Ash`ari and one of the shaykhs of hadith of al-Hakim, who said of him: "I seldom saw, among the jurists (al-fuqaha’), anyone as eloquent and clear in his speech. I kept company with him in the year 359, from Naysabur to Bukhara."
Abu Sahl al-Su`luki
Abu Sahl al-Su`luki, Muhammad ibn Sulayman ibn Muhammad ibn Sulayman al-Shafi`i al-`Ijli al-Naysaburi al-Ash`ari al-Sufi of the Banu Hanifa (d. 369), the imam of Khurasan among the jurists and scholars of kalaam, tafsir, and Arabic in his time. He accompanied Abu Ishaq al-Marwazi in fiqh and al-Shibli in tasawwuf, and took hadith from Ibn Khuzayma, Ibn Abi Hatim, Ibn al-Anbari, and others. Al-Sulami in "Tabaqat al-Sufiyya" and al-Qushayri in "al-Risalah" related from Ibn Furak that al-Su`luki defined tasawwuf as "the turning away from objections" ("al-i`rad `an al-i`tiraad.") Among his other famous sayings: "Whoever says to his shaykh: 'Why?' shall never succeed." He spent seven years in Baghdad during which he said that he never let pass a day of jum`a except he visited al-Shibli or asked him a question. The latter visited Abu Ishaq al-Marwazi one day and saw Abu Sahl there, whereupon he said to Abu Ishaq: "That crazy one is one of your companions? No, he is one of ours!" In Baghdad he also studied with al-Ash`ari according to Ibn Furak.
Abu Zayd al-Marwazi
Abu Zayd al-Marwazi, Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn `Abd Allah al-Shafi`i (301-371), praised by al-Hakim as "one of the Imams of the Muslims, of the most mastery in the madhhab, most perspicuous, and most ascetic," and by al-Dhahabi as "the Shaykh, the Imam, the Mufti, the Guide, the Ascetic, the Shaykh of the Shafi`is and narrator of al-Bukhari's "Sahih" from al-Firabri." From him narrated al-Hakim, al-Sulami, al-Daraqutni, al-Barqani, al-Sabbagh, and others. He studied as a young man under al-Ash`ari in Baghdad. Al-Bazzaz said of him: "I rode with the faqeeh Abu Zayd from Naysabur to Mecca, and I do not know that the angels recorded any sin to his detriment." Al-Khatib said: "He is the most impressive narrator of Bukhari's ‘Sahih.’" He transmitted the latter book notably to Ibn Mujahid.
Al-Awdani, Muhammad ibn `Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn Nasr or Nusayr or Basir, Abu Bakr al-Awdani al-Bukhari al-Shafi`i (d. 385), the foremost imam of the Shafi`is in Transoxiana in his time and a hadith scholar, Ibn `Asakir listed him among the direct students of al-Ash`ari. He studied under Abu Mansur ibn Mihran and took hadith from Ya`qub ibn Yusuf al-`Asimi, Abu Ya`la al-Nasafi, al-Haytham al-Shashi, and others. From him narrated al-Hakim, al-Halimi, and others. Al-Hakim said: "He was among the most ascetic of jurists, the most devoted to worship, the most scrupulous, the most given to weep over his shortcomings, and the strongest in repentence and humbleness." Among his positions in fiqh: If a person travels in disobedience of Allah and finds himself forced to eat carrion to survive, he may not eat before repenting first, even if he is starving.
(3) The Great Asha`ari Scholars
Ibn Sam`un, Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Isma`il ibn `Anbas, Abu al-Husayn al-Baghdadi (300-387), "the Shaykh, the Imam, the great orator, and the shaykh of his time in Baghdad" in tasawwuf, preaching, and kalaam, mentioned by Ibn `Asakir among the direct students of al-Ash`ari, he took hadith from Ibn Abi Dawud, Muhammad ibn Makhlad al-`Attar, Ibn Abi Hudhayfa, and others. From him narrated among others `Ali ibn Talha al-Muqri', al-Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Khallal, Khadija bint Muhammad al-Shahjaniyya, Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Hammaduh al-Hanbali, and Abu `Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami who said: "He has no teacher and yet is the spokesman of our time [in tasawwuf], the approved reference in the ethics of transactions, and the master of many disciplines."
Al-Khatib said: "He was the peerless one of his time in the science of vigilance over one's thoughts. One of our shaykhs used to say, whenever he cited him: 'The magnificent shaykh who speaks wisdom said to us … '"
His companion Abu Muhammad al-Sunni narrated:
Ibn Sam`un in his beginnings used to copy manuscripts for livelihood. Then he would spend on himself and his mother. He said to her one day: "I would like to go on pilgrimage." She said: "How will you afford it?" Then she slept. After a while she woke and said: "O my son, go on pilgrimage. I have seen Allah's Messenger and he said: 'Let him go on pilgrimage, for he will find his good fortune thereby.'" Ibn Sam`un became happy and sold his books, giving her some of the proceeds, and he went out with the caravan. He said: "I was unclad. Whenever I became too hungry I would find some of the pilgrims who were eating and would stand by them until they gave me something to eat. Then I found someone with a spare coat, so I said: 'Give it to me to wear.' He gave it to me and I used it as my ritual vestment, and started my way back."
The Caliph at that time wanted to part with a female slave who had been his concubine and said: "Look for an honest man suitable to marry her." They put forward Ibn Sam`un. The Caliph approved of him and married him to her. After this, Ibn Sam`un would say in his preaching [wearing excellent clothes]: "I went out to pilgrimage," then gesture expansively and say: "and look at what I am wearing today!"
Abu Tahir ibn al-`Allaf narrates that he attended a sermon of Ibn Sam`un at which time Abu al-Fath al-Qawwas was sitting next to his chair. The latter dozed off, whereupon Ibn Sam`un fell silent for several moments. Then Abu al-Fath woke up, and Ibn Sam`un said: "Did you see Allah's Messenger in your sleep?" He said, "Yes." Ibn Sam`un said: "That is why I stopped speaking, I wished not to disturb you."
Ibn `Asakir narrated that Ibn Sam`un's way was to choose the strictest of paths.
Abu al-Najib al-Armawi said: "Whenever al-Qadi Abu Bakr al-Ash`ari and Abu Hamid came to see Ibn Sam`un they would kiss his hand."
Among his sayings:
From Abu Muhammad al-Khallal: "Ibn Sam`un asked me my name, so I said: 'Hasan' ('Excellent'). He said: 'Allah gave you the name; now ask Him to give you its meaning.'"
From Abu Bakr al-Barqani: "I said to Ibn Sam`un one day: 'You call people to renunciation (zuhd) and yet you wear the best clothes and eat the best food! How can that be?' He said: 'Whatever suits you before Allah, do it, if your state before Him is good.'"
From al-Sulami: "I heard Ibn Sam`un being asked about tasawwuf. He said: 'As for the name, it means abandonment of the world and its people. As for its reality, it means forgetfulness of the world and its people.'"
In the year 426, Ibn Sam`un's body was carried from the grave in his house and buried in the cemetary of Bab Harb. It is related that his shroud had not changed in the least.
Al-Isma`ili, Ahmad ibn Ibrahim ibn Isma`il ibn al-`Abbas, Abu Bakr al-Jurjani al-Shafi`i, known as al-Isma`ili (277-371), "The imam, hadith master, "Proof of the Religion," faqeeh, "Shaykh ul-Islam," and narrator of Bukhari's ‘Sahih.’" Al-Hakim described him as the "shaykh both of the jurists and the hadith scholars of his time by the consensus of both groups." He did not attend any gathering except they made him the only speaker. In "al-Mustakhraj `ala al-Sahih" he compiled four volumes of hadith narrations with the grade of saheeh according to al-Bukhari's criterion but with his own chains of transmission. Ibn `Asakir included him among the direct students and companions of Abu al-Hasan al-Ash`ari.
Al-Naqqash, Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn al-`Abbas, Abu Ja`far al-Sulami al-Baghdadi al-Jawhari al-Naqqash (294-379), a trustworthy narrator of hadith, which he took from al-Baghandi, al-Baghawi, Ibn Abi Dawud, Ibn al-Muqri' and others, and from whom took Abu `Ali ibn Shadhan, Abu al-Qasim al-Azhari, `Ali al-Tannukhi, and others. He is included by al-Dhahabi and Ibn `Asakir among the direct students of al-Ash`ari in kalaam, which he then taught to Abu `Ali ibn Shadhan.
Al-Qaffal al-Shashi, Muhammad ibn `Ali ibn Isma`il, Abu Bakr al-Qaffal al-Shashi al-Shafi`i (d. 365), a companion of al-Ash`ari and like him a former Mu`tazili, he became an imam of jurisprudence and its principles, a hadith scholar, the imam of Shafi`is in Transoxiana, and the author of important works in the school according to al-Fayruzabadi. He took hadith from Ibn Khuzayma, al-Tabari, al-Baghawi, and others. From him took, among others, al-Hakim, Ibn Mandah, al-Sulami, and al-Halimi who said: "Our shaykh al-Qaffal was the most knowledgeable of the scholars of his time I have met." Among his books are "Dala'il al-Nubuwwa," "Mahasin al-Shari`a," and a commentary on al-Shafi`i's "al-Risala." Al-Dhahabi said: "Among his rare conclusions quoted in [Nawawi's] "Rawda al-Talibin" [1:401] is that the sick person is allowed to join two prayers together."
Al-Qurashi al-Zuhri, `Abd al-Wahid ibn Ahmad ibn al-Qasim, Abu Muhammad al-Naysaburi (d. 382), a descendent of `Abd al-Rahman ibn `Awf and one of those listed by Ibn `Asakir among the direct students of al-Ash`ari. Al-Hakim reports that he fasted all year and completed the recitation of the Qur'an every other day. He took hadith from Abu Hamid ibn Bilal and Abu Bakr al-Qattan and their contemporaries and was al-Hakim's colleague. The latter attended him at his deathbed and heard him say after much weeping: "I entrust you to Allah, for I am departing."
Al-Shuruti, Abu `Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi `Abd al-Rahman al-Jurjani al-Qattan (d. 389), a specialist of legal pre-requisites in transactions (shurut) mentioned by Ibn `Asakir among the first generation of al-Ash`ari's students, he took hadith from Abu Ya`qub al-Nahawi and his layer.
Al-Sarakhsi, Zahir ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad, Abu `Ali al-Muqri' al-Khurasani al-Shafi`i (293-389), "the imam and erudite scholar, faqeeh of Khurasan, and shaykh of the Qur'an-reciters and hadith scholars." He took hadith from masters in Khurasan, Iraq, and elsewhere, among others from al-Baghawi, then settled in Naysabur. Among those who took hadith from him: al-Hakim and Abu `Uthman al-Sabuni. Ibn `Asakir, al-Dhahabi, and al-Subki include him among al-Ash`ari's students.
(5) The Great Ash`ari Scholars
Al-Hakim, Muhammad ibn `Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn Hamduyah, Abu `Abd Allah al-Dabbi al-Tamhani al-Naysaburi al-Shafi`i, also known as Ibn al-Bayyi` (d. 405). The imam, hadith master, expert in hadith criticism, and shaykh of hadith masters. He took hadith from about two thousand authorities in Khurasan, Iraq, Transoxiana and elsewhere. Among the most prominent of the masters who narrated hadith from him are his own shaykh al-Daraqutni - who declared him stronger in hadith than Ibn Mandah, - al-Bayhaqi, al-Qushayri, and others. Abu Hazim said that al-Hakim was peerless in his time in Khurasan, the Hijaz, al-Sham, Iraq, Rayy, Tabaristan, and Transoxiana. His fame became widespread with lightning speed in his own lifetime. Al-Dhahabi said: "I saw an incredible thing, which is that the muhaddith of al-Andalus Abu `Umar al-Talamanki copied al-Hakim's book "`Ulum al-Hadith" ("The Sciences of Hadith") in the year 389 from a shaykh which he named, from another narrator, from al-Hakim." Al-Hakim belongs to the second generation of the Ash`ari school, having taken al-Ash`ari's doctrine at the hands of his students, among them Abu Sahl al-Su`luki. He took tasawwuf from Abu `Amr ibn Nujayd, Abu al-Hasan al-Bushanji, Abu Sa`id Ahmad ibn Ya`qub al-Thaqafi, Abu Nasr al-Saffar, Abu Qasim al-Razi, Ja`far ibn Nusayr, Abu `Amr al-Zujaji, Ja`far ibn Ibrahim al-Hadhdha', and Abu `Uthman al-Maghribi.
Al-Hakim said: "I drank water from Zamzam and asked Allah for excellence in writing books." He authored: "al-Sahihan" ("The Two Books of Saheeh Hadiths"), "al-`Ilal" ("The Defects of A Hadith"), "al-Amali" ("The Dictations"), "Fawa'id al-Nusakh" ("Benefits of the Copies"), "Fawa'id al-Khurasaniyyin" ("Benefits of the People of Khurasan"), "Amali al-`Ashiyyat" ("Night Dictations"), "al-Talkhis" ("The Summary"), "al-Abwab" ("The Chapters"), "Tarajim al-Shuyukh" ("Biographies of the Shaykhs"), "Ma`rifa Anwa` `Ulum al-Hadith" ("Knowledge of the Different Types of the Hadith Sciences"), "Tarikh `Ulama' Ahl Naysabur" ("History of the Scholars of Naysabur"), "Muzakki al-Akhbar" ("Purified Reports"), "al-Madkhal ila `Ilm al-Sahih" ("Introduction to the Science of Sound Reports"), "al-Iklil fi Dala'il al-Nubuwwa" ("The Diadem: The Signs of Prophethood"), "al-Mustadrak `ala al-Sahihayn" ("Supplement for What is Missing From Bukhari and Muslim"), "Ma Tafarrada bi Ikhrajihi Kull Wahidin min al-Imamayn" ("Reports Found Only in Bukhari or Only in Muslim"), "Fada'il al-Shafi`i" ("The Immense Merits of al-Shafi`i"), "Tarajim al-Musnad `ala Shart al-Sahihayn" ("The Reports of Ahmad's Musnad Which Match the Criteria of the Two Books of Sahih"), etc.
It is narrated that a man of letters named Abu al-Fadl al-Hamadhani came to Naysabur where he acquired a following and was named Badee` al-Zaman ("Wonder of the Age"), whereupon he became self-infatuated. If he heard someone recite a hundred verses of poetry but once, he was able to recite them back from memory, starting from the end and back to the beginning. One day he criticized someone for saying: "So-and-so the memorizer of hadith." He said: "Memorizing hadith! Is it worthy of mention?" When he heard of this, al-Hakim sent him a book of hadith and challenged him to memorize it in a week. Al-Hamadhani returned the book to him and said: "Who can memorize this? 'Muhammad son of So-and-So and Ja`far son of So-and-So reported from So-and-So' - It is filled with all sorts of different names and terms!" Al-Hakim said: "Therefore know yourself, and understand that to memorize such as this is beyond your sphere."
Al-Hakim's "Mustadrak" was criticized by the hadith scholars due to the number of mistakes and inaccuracies found in it. Al-Sakhawi in "al-Tawbikh" and others mention that he declares many forged reports to be rigorously authentic, not to mention weak ones, instead of clinging to his own expressed precondition that only reports with chains of the rank of Bukhari's and Muslim's would be retained. Al-Dhahabi went to excess in regretting that al-Hakim had compiled the "Mustadrak" in the first place. However, the hadith expert Dr. Nur al-Din `Itr of Damascus pointed out that al-Hakim compiled it in his old age, intending to revise it, which he did not do beyond the first volume. This is proved by the fact that al-Hakim's mistakes are imperceptible in the first volume of the "Mustadrak," as confirmed by al-Dhahabi's own minimal corrections.
Another latent criticism is al-Hakim's alleged Shi`ism. Al-Dhahabi in one place names him "one of the oceans of knowledge although a little bit Shi`i" (`ala tashayyu`in qaleelin feeh), in another "al-Hakim the Shi`i," and in another "a famous Shi`i" (shee`iyyun mashhur). Al-Subki rejects the label of Shi`i as baseless since, among other proofs, Ibn `Asakir includes al-Hakim among the Ash`aris, who consider the Shi`is innovators. Yet this label is still branded as a blemish today at the hands of those who oppose his positions if they weaken theirs, and those who oppose him for being a follower of al-Ash`ari, or for being a Sufi. As for what al-Dhahabi said about al-Hakim, we must place it in the same category as what he said about the "Mustadrak."
The first hadith of the Prophet (saw) al-Hakim narrated in his "Ma`rifa `Ulum al-Hadith" is: "May Allah make radiant the face of one who heard one of my sayings and then carried it to others. It may be that one carries understanding without being a person of understanding; it may be that one carries understanding to someone who possesses more understanding than he."
On the 3rd of Safar 405, al-Hakim went into the bath, came out after bathing, said "Ah" and died wearing but a waistcloth before he had time to put on a shirt. Al-Hasan ibn Ash`ath al-Qurashi said: "I saw al-Hakim in my dream riding a horse in a handsome appearance and saying: 'Salvation.' I asked him: 'O al-Hakim! In what?' He replied: 'In writing hadith.'"
Al-Darani, `Ali ibn Dawud, Abu al-Hasan al-Muqri' al-Dimashqi (d. 402). When the imam of the Great Damascus Mosque died, the people of Damascus came in throngs to Daraya to ask for `Ali ibn Dawud to be their imam but were faced by the people of Daraya in arms. The latter said: "We shall never let you take our imam!" But they were persuaded by Muhammad ibn Abi Nasr's argument: "Are you not pleased that it be said in every country that the people of Damascus came in need of the imam of the people of Daraya?" Then `Ali ibn Dawud said: "Can one such as myself be suitable for the Great Mosque of Damascus, when my father was a Christian then converted, and I have no Muslim ancestor?" Then he rode to Damascus on his mule. He accepted no compensation for his imamate nor his teaching, and he would make his own bread from wheat which he brought from his village and had ground with his own hand. He was confronted by some Hashwiyya in Damascus, whereupon he wrote al-Baqillani in Baghdad for assistance, and the latter sent him his student al-Husayn ibn Hatim al-Adhri. After this, the people of Damascus would never leave `Ali ibn Dawud's gatherings except with the words "One, One!" on their lips.
Al-Baqillani, Muhammad ibn al-Tayyib ibn Muhammad ibn Ja`far, Shaykh al-Islam, al-Qadi Abu Bakr ibn al-Baqillani al-Basri al-Baghdadi al-Maliki al-Ash`ari (d. 403), eulogized by al-Dhahabi as "the erudite imam, peerless of the mutakallimeen, and foremost of the scholars of usul, author of many books, the exemplar of perspicuity and intelligence." Al-Qadi `Iyad said: "He is known as the ‘Sword of the Sunna (Sayf al-Sunna)’ and the ‘Spokesman of the Community (Lisan al-Umma),’ a mutakallim who spoke the language of the hadith scholars, adhering to the doctrine of Abu al-Hasan al-Ash`ari, and the apex of Maliki scholars in his time. His gathering in al-Basra was huge."
Al-Baqillani took al-Ash`ari's teachings from Ibn Mujahid. He used to say: "I consider the best part of me the time when I fully understand al-Ash`ari's discourse." He used al-Ash`ari's method to challenge and refute the Rafida, Mu`tazila, Khawarij, Jahmiyya, Karramiyya, Mushabbiha, and Hashwiyya. Abu al-Qasim ibn Burhan al-Nahawi said: "Whoever hears al-Qadi Abu Bakr debate, will never again feel pleasure at hearing another mutakallim, faqeeh, or orator." He took the Maliki school from Abu Bakr al-Abhari.
Al-Khatib narrated that al-Baqillani's nightly devotion consisted in forty rak`a whether at home or while travelling, after which he wrote thirty-five pages of text which, after the fajr prayer, he would pass on to others to read outloud for proofreading and editing.
At the time the Caliph `Adud al-Dawla sent al-Baqillani as an envoy to the Emperor of the Eastern Romans, he was asked to enter through a low door to see the Emperor and realized that this was done by design so as to make him enter on his knees; whereupon he entered on his knees but with his back turned, and approached the Emperor backside-first. In the course of this visit, he asked a Church dignitary: "How are your wife and children?" Hearing this, the emperor said: "Lo! Do you, the spokesman of Islam, not know that a monk exempts himself of such things?" Al-Baqillani replied: "You exempt a monk from such things, but you do not exempt the Lord of the Worlds from having a mate and child?"
Al-Baqillani is the paragon of the fundamental unity of Islamic schools and love for the sake of Allah among scholars that hold different views. He was the arbitrator between the Sufis of the University of Qayrawan and Ibn Abi Zayd al-Maliki when the latter denied that Allah could be seen in this world. He was profoundly admired by the Hanbalis of Baghdad although he was the chief authority of the Ash`ari school in his time. When he died the shaykh of Hanbalis and his close friend of seven years, Abu al-Fadl al-Tamimi, came barefoot to his funeral with others of his school, and ordered a herald to open the procession shouting: "This is the Aider of the Sunna and the Religion! This is the Imam of Muslims! This is the defender of the Shari`a! This is the one who authored 70,000 folios!" He was buried near the grave of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, and his grave is a place of visitation, seeking blessings (tabarruk), and praying for rain (istisqa').
(7) The Great Ash`ari Scholars
Al-Bastami, Muhammad ibn al-Husayn ibn Muhammad ibn al-Haytham, Abu `Umar ibn Abi Sa`d al-Shafi`i (d. 408), the orator, qadi, jurist, and shaykh of the Shafi`is in Naysabur. He took hadith from al-Tabarani among others in Iraq, al-Ahwaz, Asbahan, al-Basra, and Sijistan, and from him took al-Hakim, al-Bayhaqi, and others. Through Abu `Umar al-Bastami is related with a very weak chain the hadith of the Prophet (saw) from al-Hasan ibn `Ali: "What an excellent key is the gift given before stating one's need!" He married the daughter of Abu al-Tayyib al-Su`luki and came to Baghdad in the lifetime of Abu Hamid al-Isfarayini who gave him esteem and approval.
Al-Bajali, `Abd al-Wahid ibn Muhammad ibn `Uthman, Abu al-Qasim ibn Abi `Amr al-Baghdadi al-Shafi`i (d. 410), "the Shafi`i Ash`ari faqeeh," a descendent of the Companion Jarir ibn `Abd Allah al-Bajali (ra). A qadi and specialist of fiqh, the principles of the law, and kalaam, he took hadith from Abu Bakr al-Najjad and others and was trustworthy in hadith narration. He authored books in usul.
Ibn Mila, `Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Mila, Abu al-Hasan, Ibn Mashadha al-Asbahani al-Faradi (d. 414), one of the hadith scholars, named "Shaykh al-Islam," "al-Imam al-Qudwa" and "al-Zahid Shaykh al-Sufiyya" by al-Dhahabi. Ibn Mandah said: "I roamed the East and the West and never saw in the world the like of two men: one of them was the qadi Abu Ahmad al-`Assal, the other was Abu al-Hasan ibn Mashadha the faqeeh." Abu Nu`aym said: "He was one of the shaykhs of the fuqaha' and the notable ones of the Sufis. He kept company with Abu Bakr `Abd Allah ibn Ibrahim ibn Wadih and Abu Ja`far Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ibn Mansur and others. He added excellent manners and chivalry to their method and combined external and internal knowledge. He feared no critic and trusted in Allah alone. He used to denounce the mushabbiha and other ignorant types among the Sufis for their corrupt positions in indwelling (hulul), permissiveness (ibaha), and the likening of Allah to creatures (tashbeeh). He singled himself out in his time in his narration from Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Yunus al-Abhari, Abu `Amr ibn Hakim al-Musafihi, al-Aswari, and others."
Al-Sharif Abu Talib, `Abd al-Wahhab ibn `Abd al-Malik ibn al-Muhtadi Billah al-Hashimi al-Dimashqi (d. 415), the Ash`ari jurist.
Abu Ma`mar al-Isma`ili, al-Fadl ibn Isma`il ibn Ahmad ibn Ibrahim, Abu Ma`mar ibn Abi Sa`d ibn Abi Bakr al-Jurjani (d. 417), the qadi and imam, son of the imam, son of the imam. He memorized the Qur'an at age seven then memorized the laws of inheritance. His grandfather Abu Bakr al-Isma`ili stated that as a child he once corrected a judge. He took the latter's narration of al-Bukhari's "Sahih" and narrated hadith from his father Abu Sa`d, al-Daraqutni, and others in Baghdad and Mecca before returning to Jurjan.
Al-`Abdawi, `Umar ibn Ahmad ibn Ibrahim ibn `Abduyah, Abu Hazim al-Hudhli al-Mas`udi al-Naysaburi al-A`raj (d. 417), the trustworthy hadith master, named al-Imam al-Hafiz Sharaf al-Muhaddithin by al-Dhahabi. Among his shaykhs were the hadith masters Abu Bakr al-Isma`ili, Abu al-Hasan al-Hajjaji, and al-Hakim. Al-Khatib, Abu Salih al-Mu'adhdhin, and others narrated from him.