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 Ibn Kathir

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PostSubject: Ibn Kathir   Ibn Kathir EmptyWed Feb 24, 2010 1:43 pm

Assalamou aleikoum wa Rahmatoullah wa barakatou,

The Biography of Ibn Kathir

He is the respected Imam, Abu Al Fida', Imad Ad Din Isma'il Bin Umar bin Kathir Al Qurashi Al Busrawi - Busraian in Orgin; Dimashqi in trainin, learning and residence.

Ibn Kathir was born in the city of Busra in 701 H. His father was the Friday Speaker of the village, but he died while Ibn Kathir was only four years old. Ibn Kathir's brother, Shaykh Abdul Wahhab reared him and taught him until he moved to Damascus in 706 H, when he was five years old.

Ibn Kathir's Teachers

Ibn Kathir studied Fiqh - Islamic Jurispredence- with Buhan Ad Din, Ibrahim bin Abdur-Raham Al Fizari, known as Ibn Firkah (who died in 729 H). Ibn Kathir heard Hadiths from Isa bin Al Mutim, Ahmad bin Abi Talib (Ibn Ash Shahnah (who died in 730 h), Ibn Al Hajjar (who died in 730 H) and the Hadith narrator of Ash Sham (modern day Syria and surrounding areas); Baha Ad Din Al Qasin Bin Muzaffar bin Asakir (who died in 723H), and Ibn Ash Shirazi Ishaq bin Yahya Al Ammuddi, also known as Afif Ad Din the Zahiriyyah shaykh wo died in 725 H, and Muhammad bin Zarrad. He remained with Jamal Ad Din, Yusuf bin Az Zaki Al Mizzi who died in 724 H he benefited from his knowledge and also married his daughter. He also read with Shaykh Al Islam. Taqi Ad Din Ahmad Bin Abdul Halim bin Abdus Salam bin Taymiyyah who died in 728H. He also read with Imam Hafiz and historian Shams Ad-Din, Muhammad in Ahmed bin Uthman bin Qaymaz Adh Dhahabi who died in 748 H. Also, Abu Musa Al Qarafai, Abu Al Fath Ad- Dabbusi and Ali bin Umar As Suwani and others who gave him permission to transmit the knowledge he learned with them in Egypt.

In his book Al Mu'jam Al-Mukhtas, Al Hafiz Adh Dhahabi wrote that Ibn Kathir was, "The Imam, Scholar of jurisprudence, skillful scholar of hadith, renowned Faqih and scholar of Tafsir who wrote several beneficial books."

Futher, in Ad Durar Al Kaminah, Al Hafiz Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani said, Ibn Kathir worked on the subject of the Hadith in the areas of texts and chains of narrators. He had a good memory, his books became popular during his lifetime and people benefited from them after his death."

Also, the renowned historian Abu Al Mahasin, Jamal Ad Din Yusuf bin Sayf Ad Din (Ibn Taghri Bardi), said in his book, Al Manhal As safi, He is the Shaykh, the Imam, the great scholar Imad ad Din Abu Al-Fida. He learned extensively and was very active in collecting knowledge and writing, He was excellent in the areas of Fiqh, Tafsir and Hadith. He collected knowledge, authored books, taught, narrated Hadiths and wrote. He had immense knowledge in the fields of hadith, Tafsir, Fiqh, the Arabic language, and so forth. He gave Fatwas (relious verdicts) and taught until he died, may Allah grant him mercy. He was known for his precision and vast knowledge, and as a scholar of history, Hadith and Tafir.

Ibn Kathir's Students

Ibn Hajji was one of Ibn Kathir's students, and he described ibn Kathir: "He had the best memory of the hadith texts. He also had the most knowledge concerning the narrators and authenticity, his contemporaries and teachers admitted to these qualities. Every time I met him I gained some benefit from him."

Also, Ibn Al Imad Al Hanbali said in his book, Shadharat Adh Dhahab, "He is the remowned Hafiz Imad Ad-Din, whose memory was excellent, whose forgetfulness was miniscule, whose understanding was adequate, and who had good knowledge in the Arabic language." Also, Ibn Habib said about Ibn Kathir, He heard knowledge and collected it and wrote various books. He brought confort to the ears with his fatwas and narrated hadiths and brought benefit to other people. The papers that contained his fatwas were transmitted to the various Islamic provinces. Further, he was known for his precision and encompassing knowledge."

Ibn Kathir's books

1. One of the greatest books that Ibn Kathir wrote was his Tafsir of the Noble Quran, which is one of the best Tafsirs that rely on narrations (of hadiths, the tafsir of the companions, etc) The tafsir by Ibn Kathir was printed many times and several scholars have summaried it.

2. The History Collection known as Al Bidayah, which was printed in 14 volumes under the name Al Bidayah wan-Nihayah, and contained the stories of the Prophets and previous nations, the Prophet's Sirah (life story) and Islamic history until his time. He also added a book Al-Fitan, about the signs of the last hour.

3. At Takmil fi Ma'rifat Ath-Thiqat wa Ad-Du'afa wal Majahil which Ibn Kathir collected from the books of his two Shaykhs Al Mizzi and Adh Dhahabi; Al-Kamal and Mizan Al-I'tidal. He added several benefits regarding the subject of Al-Jarh and At-Tadil.

4. Al-Hadi was Sunan fi Ahadith Al Masanid was-Sunan which is also known by, Jami Al-Masanid. In this book, IbnKathir collected the narrations of Imams Ahmad bin Hanbal, Al Bazzar, Abu Ya'la Al Mawsili, Ibn Abi Shaybah and from the six collections of Hadith: the Two Sahihs (Al Bukhari and Muslim) and the Four Sunan (Abu Dawud, At Tirmidhim An Nasa'i and Ibn Majah).. Ibn Kathir divided this book according to areas of Fiqh.

5. Tabaqat Ash Shaf'iyah which' also contains the virtues of Imam Ash Shafi.

6. Ibn Kathir wrote refeences for the Hadiths of Adillat At Tanbih, from the Shaf'i school of Fiqh.

7. Ibn Kathir began an explanation of Sahih Al Bukhari, but he did not finish it.

8. He started writing a large volume on the Ahkam (laws) but finished only up to the Hajj rituals.

9. He summarized Al Bayhaqi's "Al-Madkhal". Many of these books were not printed.

10. He summarized Ulum Al-Hadith, by Abu Amr bin As-Salah and called it Mukhtasar Ulum Al Hadith. Shaykh Ahmad Shakir, the Egyptian Muhaddith, printed this book along with his commentary on it and called it Al-Ba'th Al-Hathih fi Sharh Muskhtasar Ulum Al-Hadith.

11. As-Sirah An Nabawiyyah, which is contained in his book Al-Bidayah, and both of these books are in print.

12. A research on Jihad called Al-Ijtihad fi Talabi Al-Jihad which was printed several times.

Ibn Kathir's Death

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani said, "Ibn Kathir lost his sight just before his life ended. He died in Damasus in 774 H." May Allah grant mercy unpon Ibn Kathir and make him among the residents of his Paradise.

Taken from: Tafsir ibn Kathir - Abridged English version.

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