SNMC Heritage: Imam Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj

Imam Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj

Imam Muslim was born in the town of Nishapur of Khorasan, in northeastern Iran.

Historians differ as to his date of birth, as 202 AH (817/818)

The nisbah of “al-Qushayri” signifies Muslim’s belonging to the Arab tribe of Banu Qushayr, members of which migrated to the newly conquered Persian territory during the expansion of the Rashidun Caliphate.

However, he was not of Arab descent; he was a mawla – attributed to the Qushayr tribe by way of wala’ (alliance), according to As-Sam`ani. An ancestor of Muslim may have been a freed slave of a Qushayri, or may have accepted Islam at the hands of a Qushayri.

Estimates on the number of hadiths in his books vary from 3,033 to 12,000, depending on whether duplicates are included, or only the text (isnad) is. His Sahih (“authentic”) is said to share about 2000 hadiths with Bukhari’s Sahih

The author’s teachers included Harmala ibn Yahya, Sa’id ibn Mansur, Abd-Allah ibn Maslamah al-Qa’nabi, al-Dhuhali, al-BukhariIbn Ma’in, Yahya ibn Yahya al-Nishaburi al-Tamimi, and others. Among his students were al-TirmidhiIbn Abi Hatim al-Razi, and Ibn Khuzaymah, each of whom also wrote works on hadith. After his studies throughout the Arabian PeninsulaEgyptIraq and Syriahe settled in his hometown of Nishapur, where he met, and became a lifelong friend of, Bukhari.