: Brief biographies of Imams of Fiqh

Emad Fadel
18-05-2010, 08:16 AM
1. al-Hasan al-Basri 110AH/727AC
He was in Basra in Iraq. There is a debate over which school of thought he belonged to, both the Iraaqi and
the Hejaazi sides claim him. Khaled ibn Safwan was a close neighbour of al-Hasan al-Basree. Describing
him once he said: I never saw a man like him. His outward appearance is identical to his inner reality, his
words are identical to his deeds; if he enjoins what is right he is the first to do it, and when he forbids what
is wrong he is the farthest one from it. I found him never in need of other people, but people were in need of

2. Abu Haneefah 150AH/767AC
He was in Kufa, Iraaq. It has been pointed out that Abu Haneefah was the first to codify Islamic law or
jurisprudence (commonly known as Fiqh) compiled from the Qur'n and the Sunnah.

3. Al-Awzai 157AH/774AC
He was in Ash-Shaam, specifically Lebanon. He was born in Lebanon and then went to Demascus and then
back to Beirut. He was a descendant of the prisoners of war from China but was a free man. He was from
the people of Ahadeeth so he despised analogy. Emigration of the Umayyads spread his school of thought to
AlAndalus (Spain) with similar town names as they had previously in Ash-Shaam. The Maliki Madhab
replaced it in time.

4. Sufyan At-Thawri 161AH/778AC
He was in Kufa, Iraq. He was considered a Tabi tabieen, 3rd generation of Islam. He received assignment as
a Supreme Judge from the Khalifah and threw it in the river while running in to exile. He was said to be so
pious that he lowered his gaze in his dreams.

5. Al-Layth ibn Saad 175AH/783AC
He was born in Egypt and was given the title of the great imam. They would follow his orders over the king
of Egypt. To solve this, they tried to assign him as governor but he refused. He was also one of the teachers
of Imam Shafiee

to be continued

Emad Fadel
19-05-2010, 12:42 AM
Brief Biographies of Imams of Fiqh

6- Malik ibn Anas 179AH/801AC
He was born in Madinah, grew up in Madinah, gained knowledge in Madinah, and he died in Madinah, never leaving Madinah once. His Fiqh is famous for having Usool of the Madinites, or the way of the people of Madinah.

7. Sufyan ibn Uyaynah 198AH/805AC
He was born in Kufa, Iraq but lived in Makkah for the rest of his life. He was one-eyed and was born in Kufa but lived mostly in Makkah. He was considered an Imaam of Makkah and an authority in hadeeth. He set early precedence of writing his knowledge in Tafseer. Imam ash-Shafi`ee said: Knowledge is based on three: Malik, Al-Layth, and Sufyan.

8. ash-Shafiee 204AH/820AC
He was born in Ghazzah, Palestine and descended from the Banu Hashim family. He learned from Imam Malik, and was a colleague of Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal. He was known for his amazing memory and beautiful poetry.

9. Ishaq ibn Rahawayh 238AH/845AC
He was born in Naisabur, near the borders of Iran and Afghanistan. He was considered leader of believers in Hadeeth and one of the direct teachers of Imam Bukhari. Some say he was the inspiration for his book, Sahih-Al-Bukhari.

10. Abu Thawr Ibrahim ibn Khalid al Yammam 240AH/847AC
He was born in Baghdad, Iraq. He was a great Imam and Mujtahid with a lot of unique opinions. He was originally of the Ahl-ar-Rai but met Ash-Shafiee and then changed to Ahl-al-Hijaz.

Emad Fadel
19-05-2010, 08:24 AM
11. Ahmad ibn Hanbal 241AH/855AC
He was born in the Khurasan region. Imam ath-Dhahabi described Ibn Hanbal as, The true Shaikh of Islam
and leader of the Muslims in his time, the hadith master and proof of the religion.
Ali ibnul-Madini, the great Imam of Hadeeth said: Truly, Allah reinforced this religion with Abu Bakr as-
Siddiq the day of the great apostasy (ar-Riddah), and He reinforced it with Ahmad ibn Hanbal the day of the
Inquisition (al-Mihnah).
Harmala said: I heard ash-Shafiee say: I left Baghdad and did not leave behind me anyone more virtuous,
more learned, more knowledgeable than Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

12. Dawood Ad-Dhahiri 270AH/877AC
He was born in Baghdad. He was the founder of the literalist school of thought.

13. Ibn Jareer At-Tabari 310AH/917AC
He stayed in Tabaristan but reached up to Baghdad. He is considered one of the great Imams of all time and
left the largest written history compilation but most of it was wiped out by the sacking of Baghdad by the
Mongols. He was the first one to write about Ikhtilaaf al fuqaaha.