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Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalânî

Published: 23/08/2011 07:01:00 PM GMT
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Could you please provide us with a brief description of Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalânî and his scholarly works?

Answered by

Sheikh Salman al-Oadah

Ahmad b. `Alî b. Hajar al-`Asqalânî was born in Egypt in the year 773 AH and died in the year 852 AH.

He was given the honorific title “Sheikh al-Islam” on account of his efforts serving, supporting, and defending the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). He was one of the few, eminent scholars who deserved such a title; the likes of Ibn Qudmah and Ibn Taymiyah.

His written works number in the hundreds, running the gamut from extensive encyclopedias to short treatises. The most prominent of these works is Fath al-Bârî, his vast commentary on Sahîh al-Bukhârî. Even during his lifetime, people would compete with one another to purchase for themselves a copy of this work. Even princes competed with one another to secure copies for themselves, so much so that the price for a copy of the book became exorbitant.

Centuries later, the famous scholar al-Shawkânî would say when his students suggested to him that he write a commentary on Sahîh al-Bukhârî: “There is no excursion in that way after Fath al-Bârî.” By this, he meant that a student of knowledge can find whatever he is looking for in that book and needs no more to look any further to find out what he wants to now about the hadîth.

Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalânî also wrote many important biographical works. Among these are al-`Isabah which is devoted to the biographies of the Companions, and a number of biographical works about the narrators of hadîth, including Tahdhîb al-Tahdhîb, Taqrîb al-Tahdhîb, and Ta`jîl al-Manfa`ah.

He also has many valuable works that trace and analyze the chains of transmission of various hadîth. These include al-Talkhîs al-Habîr, al-Dirâyah, al-Kâf al-Shâf fî Takhrîj Ahâdîth al-Kashshâf, and Natâ’ij al-Afkâr.

In the subject of hadîth methodology, he is noted for his works al-Nukat`alâ Kitâb Ibn al-Salâh and Nukhbah al-Fikr.

He wrote numerous other works in various fields of knowledge.

Source: Islam Today

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