Abdullah Ibn Al Mubarak (118-181 H)
His name is Abdullah Ibn Al Mubarak Ibn Wadhih, Abu Abdurrahman Al-Handzali. But he was famous as “Ibn al Mubarak”. His father was from Turk and his mother from Khawarizm. He was born on year 118 Hijri. He has many titles, such as Al-Hafizh, Sheikh Al-Islam, Fakhr Al-Mujahidin, leader of the ascetics, and many other titles. He spent his lifetime on journeys to perform pilgrimage, jihad, and to trade. Thus, he was known as “As Saffar” (one who often travels).
Teachers and Students of Abdullah Ibn Al Mubarak
He often journeyed and adventured in order to seek for some hadith, thus he had great number of teachers. Among them were Sulaiman At-Taimi, `Ashim Al-Ahwal, Humaid Ath-Thawil, Rabi` Ibn Anas, Hisyam Ibn `Urwah, Al-Jariri, Ismail Ibn Abi Khalid, Khalid Al-Hadza`, Barid Ibn Abdillah, etc. He even wrote down hadith from some scholars who were younger and lower than him in their level of knowledge.
His students were also numerous; they were uncountable, scattered in various countries, because every time Ibn al Mubarak went on a journey, many people would come and learn from him. Among his senior students were Abdurrahman Ibn Mahdi, Yahya Ibn Ma`in, Hibban Ibn Musa, Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Syaibah, Utsman Ibn Abi Syaibah, Ahmad Ibn Mani`, Ahmad Ibn Jamil, Al-Husain Al-Maruzi, Hasan Ibn `Arafah, and many other great scholars.
How the Scholars Praised Ibn al Mubarak
The scholars gave many praises for him due to his nobility and his vast knowledge. Here are some praises of the scholars for him:
- Ibn Mahdi said, “There are four leaders (of religion) : Malik, Ath Thauri, Hammad Ibn Zaid, and Ibn al Mubarak.” Ibn Mahdi ennobled him more than Ath Thauri.
- Ahmad Ibn Hanbal said, “There was no one in his time that was more diligent in seeking for knowledge than Ibn al Mubarak.”
- Abbas Ibn Mus’ab said, “Abdullah Ibn al Mubarak gathered (within him, -ed) the knowledge of hadith, jurisprudence, Arabic language, history, bravery, generosity, and the love for him from all class of society.”
- Hasan Ibn Isa Ibn Masijiris said, “The students of Ibn al Mubarak gathered and said, ‘Let us mention the excellence of Ibn al Mubarak’. They mentioned, ‘In him, there are knowledges, knowledge of jurisprudence, etiquette, knowledge of language and grammar, asceticism, of poetry, fluency in speaking, habit of performing the night prayer, diligence in worship, pilgrimage, skill of war, mastery in horse riding, silence in trivial matters, justice, and rarity in having feud with people around him.”
- Ibn Ma’in said, “He was a trusted scholar, and he had a strong memory. The book he taught about hadith contains 20.000 hadith.”
- Yahya Ibn Adam said, “If I tried to find a detailed matter and I couldn’t find it in the book written by Ibn al Mubarak, then I would be desperate to find it.”
- Shuhaib Ibn Harb said, “Supposed that I used all my strength for three days in a year, to do as Ibn al Mubarak did, It is certain that I can’t do it.”
- From Nu’aim Ibn Hammad, that Ibn al Mubarak told that his father told him a message, “Indeed, If I find your books, I’ll burn them!” Ibn al Mubarak said, “No problem for me, all has been stored in my chest.”
There are still many other praises given to him by the scholars, until Imam Adz Dzahabi wrote, regarding his biography,”By Allah, I love him because of Allah. I wish to get rewards by loving him, because Allah had bestowed upon him favors in the form of piety, diligence in worship, sincerity, jihad, vast knowledge, meticulousness in knowledge, and other great qualities.”
Among the proofs of his generosity was that he spent 100.000 dirhams (about 2,8 billion rupiahs) to the poor every year.
The Works of Ibn al Mubarak
He left some precious works, such as:
- Tafseer of the Qur’an. It is a book in Qur’an interpretation written by Ibn al Mubarak.
- Ad-Daqaiq fi Ar-Raqaiq. It contains some hadith that might soften the heart.
- Riqa` Al-Fatawa.
- Al-Musnad. As with many other musnad, it is a book that contains a compilation of hadith with complete narrations that have reached Ibn al Mubarak.
- Al-Jihad. It is a book that discusses particularly about the laws regarding jihad and regulations in it. It also contains a guidance to perform the fear prayer. It comes in a string of hadith and it’s narrational chains.
- Az-Zuhd. It is a compilation of hadith about asceticism and it’s excellence.
The Death of Ibn al Mubarak
He died on his bed, after returning from a battle against the Romans, at the region of Hait, on Ramadan, year 181 of Hijra. May Allah have mercy on Imam Abdullah Ibn Al Mubarak.
(Reference: ” Tadzkirah Al-Huffazh”, by Adz Dzahabi, Al-Maktabah Asy-Syamilah, volume 1, page. 275)
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