بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
السلام علیکم ورحمته اللہ وبرکاته
Inshaa’Allaah in this post and the upcoming one I’ll discuss about the most authentic books and sources of hadeeth, just a little introduction about the hard work of the authors, who dedicated their whole lives for the noble `ilm (knowledge). May Allaah be pleased with them. Aameen.
The early sources of hadeeth fall into three distinct groups.
- Firstly, there were books on Maghaazee (almost synonymous with Seerah) – such as those of Ibn Is’haaq and others – in which hadeeths of a historical nature are to be found.
- Secondly, there were books on Fiqh, such as the Muwatta’ of Imaam Maalik and Kitaab al-Umm of Imaam al-Shaafi‘ee, which contain a large number of legal hadeeths, cited in the context of legal discussions and mingled with rulings and practices of the Companions and their students.
- Finally, there are works that are strictly collections of Hadeeth such as Saheeh al-Bukhari.
Today Inshaa’Allaah I will discuss about Muwatta’ of Imam Maalik..
The Muwatta’ of Imam Maalik:
Maalik ibn Anas ibn ‘Aamir, was born in Madeenah in the year 717 CE. His grandfather, ‘Aamir, was among the major Sahaabah of Madeenah. Maalik May Allaah be pleased with him studied Hadeeth under Az-Zuhree May Allaah be pleased with him who was the greatest hadeeth scholar of his time. as well as under the great hadeeth narrator, Naafi‘, the freed slave of the Sahabee ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar Radiyallaah’anhu. Maalik’s May Allaah be pleased with him only journeys outside of Madeenah were for Hajj, and thus he largely limited himself to the knowledge available in Madeenah. Imaam Maalik continued to teach hadeeth in Madeenah over a period of forty years and he managed to compile a book containing hadeeths of the Prophet Sallallaahu’alayhi wa salaam and rulings of the Sahaabah and their successors which he named Al-Muwatta’ (the Beaten Path). Abbaasid caliph, Aboo Ja‘far al-Mansoor (754-755 CE) who wanted a comprehensive code of law based on the Prophet’s Sallallaahu’alayhi wa salaam’s Sunnah which could be applied uniformly throughout his realm. But, on its completion, Imaam Maalik refused to have it forced on the people pointing out that the Sahaabah had scattered throughout the Islamic empire and had taken with them other parts of the Sunnah which also had to be considered in any laws imposed throughout the state. Caliph Haaroon ar-Rasheed (768-809 CE) also made the same request of the Imaam, but he was also turned down. Imaam Maalik died in the city of his birth in the year 801CE at the venerable age of 83.
Respect for Hadeeth:
Ma’n b. ‘Îsa Al-Qazzâz reports:
Whenever Maalik bin ‘Anas Allaah have mercy on him – would sit to narrate hadeeth he would bath and perfume himself. If anyone raised his voice in the gathering [Imam Maalik] would reprimand him and say, “Lower your voice, for Allah tabâraka wa ta’âlâ said:
O Believers! Do not raise your voices over that of the Prophet [Sûrah Al-Hujarât: 2]
Whoever raises his voice over the sound of the hadeeth of Allah’s Messenger Sallallaahu’alayhi wa salaam then it is as if he is raising his voice over that of the Prophet Sallallaahu’alayhi wa salaam”
Nasr b. Ibrâhîm Al-Maqdisî in Mukhtasar Al-Hujjah ‘alâ Târik Al-Mahajjah Vol.1 p121.
Lastly I just want to share one of my favorite quote of Imaam Maalik may Allaah be pleased with him:
May Allaah Subhanahu wa ta’laa give us Hidayah and guide us to the path of the righteous people. Aameen.