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

Imam adh-Dhahabi

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

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

Translated by Dr. Gabriel Haddad

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 etc.

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?”

Blessings and peace on the Prophet, his Family, and all his Companions, and upon their excellent Successors.

Allah’s Blessings and Peace on the Prophet, his Family, and all his Companions.

© As-Sunna Foundation of America[permission granted to reproduce with author’s consent.]