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Archive for September 6th, 2008

The Command to Collate Knowledge

By al-Imaam fil-Hadith Ibn ‘Abdul Barr [1] رحمه الله


بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

الحمد الله


It is narrated from Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه:
“On the day of the Conquest of Makkah the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم gave a Khutbah (sermon). After the Khutbah a man from
Yemen, Abu Shaamah, stood up and said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم write this Khutbah for me.’ The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم later commanded some of his companions to write the khutbah for Abu Shaamah.”

Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه would say:
“From the (Ashaab) companions of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم no one had more Ahadeeth than me except Abdullaah Ibn Amr, Abdullaah Ibn Amr would write them down and I would not.”

It is narrated from Abdullaah Ibn Amr رضي الله عنه:
“Whatever I would hear from the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم I would write it down but Quraysh prohibited me. They would say do not do this because the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم also gets angry sometimes. So upon this I stopped writing. Then one day I mentioned this to the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم, he pointed to his mouth with his index finger and said: ‘Write because I swear by him in whose hand my soul is in, nothing comes out of this mouth except the Haqq (truth).’

Abu Hudhayfah رضي الله عنه (d.64H) mentioned:
“I questioned the Leader of the believers Ali Ibn Abi Talib: ‘Is there anything specific written with the house of the Messenger of Allaah from the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم apart from the Qur’aan.’
He replied: “No! I swear by Allaah, the one who put power in the wheat grain and created it, we have nothing. And Allaah may grant a specific understanding to someone. Yes there is this paper.”
I asked: ‘what is in this paper?’
He replied: ‘The freedom of a prisoner and not to kill a Muslim for a disbeliever.'”

It is proven from the Hadeeth that the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم had rulings relating to Sadaqah, obligations and the sunnah written and passed onto Amr Ibn Hazm. [2]

It is narrated from Abu Ja’afar Muhammad Ibn Ali:
“From the Messenger of Allaah’s صلى الله عليه و سلم sword carrier we found a piece of paper on which it said, ‘The one who shows the blind person the wrong path is cursed, the thief of the land is cursed and the one who does not think of the favours upon him is cursed.’

Abdullaah Ibn Amr رضي الله عنه (d.65H) would say:
“I like two things that life has only installed for me: the first is the Saadqah that I wrote from the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم and the second is “Waht”, the land which my father Amr Ibn Aas gave in charity.”

It is narrated from Anas Ibn Maalik رضي الله عنه (d.92H) that the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم said:
“Write knowledge into books.”
A similar statement has been reported from Umar Ibn al-Khattab رضي الله عنه.

It is the statement of Ma’an that:
“Abdur Rahmaan showed him a writing and he swore, saying that it was written by the hands of his father Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood رضي الله عنه.”

It is the saying of Dhihaak:
“When you hear something then write it down, if you do not find anything [to write on], then even on a wall.”

Sa’id Ibn Jubair (d.95H) said:
“Whenever I was on journey with Ibn Abbaas رضي الله عنه I would write everything I would hear from him on a wooden plate and I would copy it on my return.”

It is the saying of Abu Qalaabah:
“Writing is better than forgetting.”

Abu Maleeh would say,
“There is objection on our books whereas Allaah سبخانه و تعالى says: ‘The knowledge about it is with my Lord.’

Abdul Azeez Ibn Muhammad Daarwardee said:
“Ibn Shihaab (Zuhree d.124H) was the first person to compile the Hadeeth.”

Abuz-Zeena said:
“We only used to write about the Ahkaam (rulings), Halaal (Lawful) and Haraam (unlawful) but Ibn Shihaab would write everything, later we found out he had the most knowledge.”

It is the statement of Mu’aawiyah Ibn Qurrah:
“The one who does not write, then do not consider him an Aalim (scholar).”

It is narrated concerning Hasan al-Basree (d.110H) that:
“He would not see anything wrong in writing the knowledge, but rather the people would write the lectures he would deliver on Tafseer.”

This saying of Hasan has been mentioned by Aa’maash:
“We had books that we would look at the same time.”

It is the statement of Khaleel Ibn Ahmad (d.170H):
“Whatever you write make it your Bait al-Maal (wealth) and that which you have gathered in your hearts then spend it.”

Hishaam said:
“My father Urwah’s books were burnt on the day of Hurrah.” Later he would say: “I wish those books remained with me rather than this wealth and money.”

Ishaaq Ibn Mansoor said:
“I asked Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal whether the writing of knowledge was disliked.” He replied: “Some have disliked it and some have said it is permissible.” I said: “If knowledge was not compiled then it would have been wasted.” He said: “Without doubt, if knowledge was not written then what would we be.”

It is narrated from Sa’eed Ibn Ibraaheem that:
“Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez gave us an order to compile the Sunnah, we compiled many books and he sent a copy of each to every country in his state.”

Imaam az-Zuhree (d.124H) would say:
“We disliked the writing of knowledge up until the Ruler left us no choice. Then this became our opinion that no Muslim shall be stopped from writing.”

And it is the saying of Khaleel Ibn Ahmad (d.170H) that:
“Whatever I heard, I wrote it and whatever I wrote, I learnt and whatever I learnt, I benefited from.”

Footnotes

[1] The Imaam of Hadeeth Abu Umar Yusuf Ibn Abdullaah Ibn Abdul Barr was from the city of Knowledge, Qurtubaa (Cordoba). He was born in 368H. He progressed the stages of knowledge and became the Imaam of his time. He also served time as a Qaadhi and died in the year 463H. He wrote many books, some of them were lost and some still remain. Apart from Tamheed the rest have not yet been printed. From his books, a high position is given to Jaami Bayaan al-Ilm Wa Fadlihee and al-Isteea’aab Fee Asma as-Sahabah.

[2]
When Amr Ibn Hazm رضي الله عنه was made Governor and sent to
Yemen, he was given written instructions and guidance. Not only did he protect the guidelines, he added 21 commands of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم and made it into the form of a book. [al-Wathaa’iq as-Siyaasah (p.105), Tabaree (p.104)]

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