Imam Muslim

Imam Muslim had a very wide circle of students, who learnt Hadith from him. Some of them occupy a very prominent position in Islamic history, e.g. Abu Hatim Razi, Musa b. Harun, Ahmad b. Salama, Abu ‘Isa Tirmidhi, Abu Bakr b. Khusaima, Abu ‘Awana and Hafiz Dhahabi.

His Death

Imam Muslim lived for fifty-five years in this world. Of this short span of his life he spent most of his time in learning Hadith, in Its compilation, in its teaching and transmission. He always remained absorbed in this single pursuit and nothing could distract his attention from this pious task. He died in 261/875, and was buried in the suburbs of Nishapur.



1 It is essential to remove one of the serious misgivings under which so many Orientalists and westernised Muslim scholars are labouring. When they are told that Imam Muslim selected 4,000 ahadith out of a total collection of 300,000, they think that since quite a large number of ahadith were unreliable, therefore, these were rejected, and then jump to the conclusion that the whole stock of hadith is spurious and should be rejected outright. This betrays utter ignorance of the critics even about the elementary knowledge of hadith. Matn (text) is not the basis on which is calculated the number of ahadith. Hadith is counted on the chain of transmission. Thus when we say that Imam Muslim collected 300,000 ahadith and included only 4,000 in his compilation, it does not imply that he rejected the rest of the whole lot of the Prophet’s sayings being unreliable. What this means is that the words and deeds of the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) were transmitted to Imam Muslim through so many chains of transmission out of which he selected 4,000 chains as most authentic and narrated the text on their authority. A text (matn) which is transmitted through one hundred isnads is in Hadith literature treated as one hundred traditions. For example, the text of the first hadith in Bukhari (The Actions Are Based on Intention) is counted as a selection of one out of 700 ahadith since it has been transmitted through such a large number of isnads.

Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America

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