Ibn Abi `Abla (>60-151/152)

Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad

One of the narrators of Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, and al-Nasa’i.

The Imam, the examplar, the Shaykh of Palestine, Abu Ishaq al-`Uqayli al-Shami al-Maqdisi. He is among the last remnants of the Successors (Tabi`in). He was born after the year 60.

He narrated from Wathila ibn al-Asqa`, Anas ibn Malik, Abu Umama al-Bahili etc.

From him narrated Ibn Ishaq [al-Zuhri] who died before him, Malik, al-Layth, Ibn al-Mubarak, Baqiyya ibn al-Walid and many others.

Yahya ibn Ma`in and al-Nasa’i declared him trustworthy.

`Abd Allah ibn Hani’ narrates: My father narrated to me: From Ibrahim ibn Abi `Abla that the latter said:

Hisham [the sultan] summoned me and said: “I know you well to be an honorable and trustworthy person. I have decided to make you part of my intimate entourage and a partner in my work, and I have put you in charge of the land-tax for Egypt.” I replied: “Concerning your decision, O commander of the believers, may Allah repay and reward you, and suffice it for us that He repay and reward. As for myself, I have no competence in the office of land-tax, nor do I have any strength to take it.” He became so angry that his face started to twitch and his eyes were rolling. He gave me a terrible look and said: “You are going to soften up to my order willingly or unwillingly!” I remained silent. Then I said: “May I speak?” He said yes. I said: “Allah said in His Book: {Lo! We offered the trust unto the heavens and the earth and the hills, but they shrank from bearing it and were afraid of it.} (33:72) By Allah! He did not get angry with them when they shrank from it nor did He force them.” He laughed until his molars showed and let me go.

Duhaym ibn al-Fadl narrates: I heard Damra say: “I did not taste the pleasure of living except in eating banana and honey in the shade of the Rock [in al-Qudus], and in listening to Ibn Abi `Abla’s discourse. I never saw anyone more eloquent in his speech.”

Muhamad ibn Himyar said: Ibrahim ibn Abi `Abla said to us: “Whoever learns the aberrations of knowledge (shâdhdh al-‘ilm) learns much evil.”

Muhammad ibn Zyad al-Maqdisi said: I heard Ibn Abi `Abla saying to those that were coming back from a military expedition: “You have returned from the smaller jihad. But what have you accomplished in the way of the greater jihad, the jihad of the heart?”

Source: al-Dhahabi’s Siyar A`lam al-Nubala’ (al-Risala ed. 6:324 = Dar al-Fikr ed. 6:485)

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