Muslim Ibn Al-Hajjaj (C. 817–875)

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Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, compiler of the second most important collection of sound hadiths, was born in Neyshabur, Persia, between 817 and 821 and died there in 875 c.e.. In order to collect hadiths (traditions), he traveled at an early age to Iraq, Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula, and Syria, where he heard traditions from well-known authorities, such as the jurist Ahmad b. Hanbal (d. 855) and Harmala, a student of the earlier legal scholar al-Shafi˓i (d. 820). Of the 300,000 traditions that he is said to have amassed, only four thousand (or three thousand if one does not count the repetitions) were included in his collection, which was entitled al-Jami˓ al-sahih (The sound compendium), al-Sahih for short. Compared with al-Bukhari, Muslim pays meticulous attention to the isnads ("chain of transmission") for the hadiths he recorded, listing all the variant isnads known to him for a particular tradition, before listing their common matn or text. These different isnads are indicated by the Arabic letter h which stood for tahwil or hawala, Arabic for change. On account of this arrangement, he has been justly praised by both medieval and modern scholars; the latter in particular have found these "clusters" of matns produced in this manner especially useful for the analysis of hadiths and their dating. Another important feature of Muslim's al-Sahih is its introduction, which deals with the subject of ˓ilm al-hadith ("the science of tradition"). The medieval sources list other works by Muslim on fiqh (jurisprudence) and hadith transmitters, none of which appears to be extant.

See alsoBukhari, al- ; Hadith .


Juynboll, G. H. A. "Muslim b. al-Hadjdjadj." In TheEncyclopaedia of Islam. New edition. Edited by H. Gibb, et al. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1960.

Rauf, Muhammad Abdul. "Hadith Literature: The Development of the Science of Hadith." In Vol. 1, Arabic Literature to the End of the Umayyad Period. Edited by A. F. L. Beeston, et al. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

Asma Afsaruddin

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Muslim Ibn Al-Hajjaj (C. 817–875)

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