Benefits from Kitābus-Sunnah of Ibn Mājah ―Part 1: The Author and the Book

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This book has explained by the great scholar of our time, Shaikh Abdul-Muhsin al-‘Abbād al-Badr (may Allah preserve him). He is from the elder scholars and currently teaches in al-Masjid al-Nabawī in Madīnah. The scholars that he has benefitted and received praise from include: Shaikh Abdul-Azīz Bin Abdullāh Bin Bāz, Shaikh Muhammad al-Amīn al-Shinqītī, Shaikh AbdurRazzāq al-Afīfī, Shaikh AbdurRahmān al-Afrīkī and others (rahimahumullāh).

The Author: Al-Imām Ibn Mājah

His kunya: Abu Abdillāh.[1]
His name: Muhammad Ibn Yazīd Ibn Majah[2] al-Rabi’ī[3] al-Qazwinī[4].  Born 209 AH (824 CE), died 273 AH aged 64.

He is the Imām, the Muhaddith[5], the Muffasir[6]. He was a major scholar of Hadīth and was precise and his works were accepted by the Scholars of Hadīth as was mentioned by Imām al-Thahabī in his Tarīkh, Tadkhirat al-Huffāth and al-Tadwīn Fī Tarīkh Qazwīn. He was an Imām and an author. He travelled extensively and was an expert in the analysis of narrators. Imām al-Thahabī mentions in his Siyār al-‘Alām al-Nubala that he had extensive knowledge.

He travelled for knowledge and narrations to Khurasān[7], Irāq, the Hijāz[8], Misr, Shām[9] and other places. He also wrote outstanding works in Tafsīr, Hadīth and History.

Al-Khalīl Bin Abdillāh al-Hāfith (in his Tārīkh Qazwīn) said that Ibn Mājah authored the well-known Sunan[10] and he has authored in Tafsīr and history and he was well versed in these fields. He referred to Ibn Mājah as a trustworthy and reliable scholar and stated that this was agreed upon by the Scholars. He also mentioned that he was a memoriser and had many writings.

His Aqīdah[11] was in accordance with the Sunnah in matters of Usūl[12] and Furū’[13]. He did not stray from the religion in any matter as was mentioned by Imām Ibn Kathīr in his work al-Bidāya Wan-Nihāya.

As for the work Sunan Ibn Mājah, Imām Ibn Mājah himself mentioned that he showed that manuscript to Abu Zur’ah al-Rāzī, who checked the manuscript and said that if people laid their hands upon this book, most of the other compilations would not be needed.

The Sunan of Ibn Mājah is considered to be the sixth book from the six well-known books of Hadīth, and they are:

1: Sahīh al-Bukhārī
2: Sahīh Muslim
3: Sunan Abū Dāwūd
4: Jāmi’ al-Tirmidhī
5: Sunan al-Nasā’ī
6: Sunan Ibn Mājah

They are known as ‘al-Kutub al-Sittah’ [The Six Books]. In terms of authenticity, Sahīh al-Bukhārī and Sahīh Muslim and the two most authentic[14] books after the Qur’ān. Sahīh al-Bukhārī being the first and then Sahīh Muslim.

Some of the ‘Ulamah considered the Muwatta of Imām Malik Bin Anas[15] to be the sixth book. Others consider the Sunan of Imam al-Dārimī[16] to be the sixth book. However, that which is well known from the likes of Imām Mizzi[17] and others is that Sunan Ibn Mājah is the sixth book. This is what is most correct and Allāh (the Most High) knows best.

Kitab as-Sunnah is the first book in the work known as Sunan Ibn Mājah, and this is what we shall be explaining, inshā’-Allāh.

[1] Same as the kunyah of Imām al-Bukhārī. A Kunya is an appellation which generally is given after the name of one’s firstborn, so Abu Abdullah means “the father of Abdullah.”

[2] He is Ibn Yazīd but he was known by Ibn Mājah just his father was known by it. The scholars differ about the meaning of Mājah – some state it was a nickname given to one his forefathers. Some scholars say Mājah was one of his grandfathers but others say it could have been the name of a maternal lineage. They also say that the name Mājah is a Persian/Farsi name.

[3] A connection to the tribe of Rabi’a.

[4] A connection to the city of Qazwin in Irān

[5] A Scholar of Hadīth.

[6] A Scholar of Tafsīr.

[7] Modern-day Afghanistān.

[8] The western part of modern-day Saudi Arabia. It includes Makkah and Madīnah.

[9] Modern-day Syria and its regions.

[10] Meaning Sunan Ibn Mājah.

[11] Creed.

[12] Fundamentals.

[13] These are matters that branch off from the Fundamentals of Faith.

[14] They contain a few minor discrepancies as pointed out by the scholars however, that does not tarnish the authenticity of the actual works.

[15] Died 179H.

[16] Died 255H.

[17] He authored Tadhīb al-Kamāl. He died in the year 742H.

(These are notes transcribed by Faisal b. Saif-Allāh Sheikh taken from the duroos of Al-Ustādh, Abu Khadeejah Abdul-Wāhid Alam delivered at the Salafi Masjid, Birmingham, UK)

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