Imām Abu Hātim Muhammad ibn Idris Al-Rāzi

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Imām Abu Hātim Muhammad ibn Idris Al-Rāzi

(رحمه الله )

Imām Abu Hātim Al-Rāzi (رحمه الله) was born in Ray (Tehran –Iran) in the year 195 A.H. and he passed away in 277 A.H. .

He first set out in search of knowledge at the age of 18. It is regarding this that he says: “The first time that I had left home to acquire knowledge I remained away for seven years. I initially commenced counting the mileage that I had covered on foot till it reached 1000 Farsakh.[1] Thereafter I stopped counting “!!

He further states: “I do not remember how many times I had travelled from Kufah to Baghdad and from Makkah to Madinah.

I also went from Morocco to Egypt on foot. And from Egypt to Ramallah, from Ramallah to Baitul Maqdis and to Tabariyyah then to Damascus. And from Damascus to Hims then to Antāqiyyah . And from Antāqiyyah to Tarasoos . Thereafter I returned to Hims. From Hims to Baisān to Raqqah. And from there I crossed the Euphrates to Baghdad. All of this I did walking!!!. This was my first journey which lasted seven years. I had left Ray (Tehran) in the year 213 A.H. and I returned in 221 A.H.

I went on sojourn once more in the year 242 A.H. and returned in 245 A.H.–(three years). I was: 47 years old at that time.[2]

His son Imām Abu Muhammad Abdur Rahman Ibn Abi Hātim Al-Rāzi ( r.a. ) relates the following hair raising , strange incidents that took place while Imām Abu Hātim (رحمه الله) was on sojourn.

He says : ” My father mentioned: ” I was in Basrah in the year: 214. A.H. I had been there for eight months and I had intended to stay for a year but my allowance had expired. So I began to sell my clothes one after the other!! Until I did not have any more clothes to sell. Thus, I remained without any allowance. However I continued to attend the gatherings of the ‘Ulamā with one of my companions. At the end of the first day I returned hungry to my room. The only thing I had was water. The next day despite my extreme hunger, I accompanied my companion to the lessons of the ‘Ulamā. However on the third day, when my companion came by to call me, I said to him: “I’m unable to accompany you due to extreme weakness “. He enquired the reason for my weakness upon which I said to him: “Two days have passed and I have not eaten anything “. He replied: ” I have 1 dinār (gold coin) half of which I can share with you ” so we left Basrah in this manner.”

His son further states: ” I heard my father mention: ” When we left Madinah Munawwarah and boarded a ship at Al-Jār (which is a days journey from Madinah and is a shore to the red sea) we were three: viz. myself, Abu Zuhair Al-Marwaruzhi (رحمه الله) and another Sheikh from Nisābur.

One night ًwhilst we were at sea I experienced a wet dream. I informed my colleagues in the morning and they suggested that I dive into the sea but I could not swim. They then decided to tie me

up with a rope and dip me into the water and in this way I had to have a ghusl!!

We were lost at sea for three months until we reached an unfamiliar land.

We walked on that land for a few days until all our food and water became exhausted. We kept walking for two full days in this condition of hunger. On the third day we continued walking though we were absolutely exhausted until the Sheikh Al-Marwaruzhi fell unconscious. We tried reviving him in vain and thereafter continued for one or two more Farsakhs (5 – 10 kms) until I myself lost my footing and fell unconscious. So the Sheikh from Nisābur left me and continued for a while until he managed to spot some people who had arrived from sea. After they gave him water he said to them: “Go ahead and search for my two companions who have fallen unconscious behind me.

Thereafter I felt someone sprinkling water on my face. After I regained consciousness I asked for water to drink. Then I told them about our third companion. I was assured that there is someone attending to him. They then dragged me till I reached their ship where they attended to us. We stayed with these people for a few days until we regained our strength. These people had really taken good care of us. Thereafter they gave us some provisions and a letter of recommendation for the governor of the next town which was called:” Rāyah”. We proceeded in this manner till those provisions also expired. We still continued to walk in that condition of thirst and hunger till we found a Turtle lying on the shore. We took some shells and we began to scoop off the inside of the Turtle until our hunger and thirst were statisfied.

We continued until we reached the town of Rāyah and we gave that note to the governor. He took us into his house and entertained us with great care. offering us meat and bread etc.

After a few days when we decided to leave he gave us food and provision for the road till we reached Egypt”.

When one looks into the life of such great Scholars, and at their sincere sacrifice for deen ,

§ despite the poor mode of transport and

§ their meagre means, they had true value for knowledge. This coupled with

§ their tolerance and courage,

One realizes that the only way for success is to emulate them in the closest possible way.

§ Imagine selling your clothes just for the sake of survival and to be able to continue with the search for knowledge!!!.

May Allah guide us all.

§ Imām Abu Hātim’ son has authored the famous reference book on ‘Ilmu Asmā irrijāl entitled: “Al jarhu Wat Ta’deel” in which he has documented the verdicts of his renown father. This book is printed in 9 vols.

§ He has also compiled a huge tafseer, part of which is printed as well.

Today, Alhamdulillah we are enjoying the fruit of their sacrifice.

(Moulānā Mohammad Abbasomar)