Download PDF: [S] Memory of Imam Qatadah (Islamic story)

When we look at Islamic history, we will notice that over the years, there have been many eminent people who were born or afflicted with physical ailments, but it did not stop them from reaching the greatest of heights in Islam. In Islamic history, we will find many eminent Muslims who were blind but their hearts were certainly full of Nur. In other words, they were robbed of Basaarat but were alive in their Baseerat. One of these blessed individuals was Hadrat Sayyiduna Qatadah bin Aamir Mazani – may Allah be pleased with him. He was among the most eminent of the Taaba’een.

 

When we look at the great Saints and scholars of this period, we cannot ignore the name of this great saint and scholar. Hadrat Sayyiduna Qatadah bin Aamir Mazani’s – may Allah be pleased with him – powerful memory was second to none and this is established through the opinion  of one the authorities of Ilmul Rijaal, Imam Abu Bakr bin Abdullah Mazani – may Allah be pleased with him – who states that, “He who has the wish to meet one of those who has the greatest memory of his time, he should Qatadah. The reason is that I have never met someone who has such an amazing memory.”

 

Imam Qatadah – may Allah be pleased with him – himself used to say, “Whenever I heard anything, my heart instantly memorised it.”

 

It is reported that Hadrat Sayyiduna Qatadah – may Allah be pleased with him – was born blind and was considered as one of the greatest student of Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Hasan Basri – may Allah be pleased with him. He was also someone who had the best of memories.

 

Imam Ibnul Mudayni reports that once a Bedouin came to the house of Imam Qatadah – may Allah be pleased with him – and asked for some help. After being helped, this Bedouin left the house. However, later on, the others observed that this Bedouin had walked away with one of the bowls. It is stated that ten years later when Imam Qatadah – may Allah be pleased with him –went for Hajj, the same Bedouin also came for Hajj. He again asked Imam Qatadah – may Allah be pleased with him – for some help. Although the eminent Imam could not see him, he instantly recognized the voice of this person and to his companions, “The person with the bowl is the same person.” When people caught him, he admitted that ten years ago he was guilty of stealing the bowl.

 

Among his miracles, it is mentioned that Hadrat Sayyiduna Qatadah – may Allah be pleased with him – once asked someone to open the Qur’an so that he could recite Surah Baqarah. The person was shocked that he never made one single mistake during the entire recital. When Imam Qatadah – may Allah be pleased with him – felt the shock of this person, he also mentioned to him, “Besides this, the complete record of the Ahadith as transcribed by Hadrat Sayyiduna Jabir bin Abdullah – may Allah be pleased with him. I also know the complete collection through memory.” (Taarike Kabeer, Imam Bukhari)

 

It is mentioned that after completing his education and search for knowledge in Basrah, Hadrat Sayyiduna Qatadah – may Allah be pleased with him – decided to go to Madina Shareef to be in the blessed company of Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’eed bin Musayyib – may Allah be pleased with him –  who himself was a walking miracle. When he was in the company of this blessed Saint, he continued to ask him question upon question. In fact, the minute his question was answered, he immediately asked another question. One day, Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’eed bin Musayyib – may Allah be pleased with him – got a little angry and said to him, “Whatever you have asked until now, do you also remember all of this or not?” Imam Qatadah – may Allah be pleased with him –replied, “Yes, whatever I have heard from you until now, I have memorised all of it.” He then began to relate whatever he had been taught and also what others had taught him previously. This amazing incident is mentioned in Tabqaat ibn Saa’d.

 

As we have said, Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’eed bin Musayyib – may Allah be pleased with him – himself was not an ordinary human. In fact, he was a walking miracle himself. When he witnessed the amazing memory of Sayyiduna Qatadah – may Allah be pleased with him, he could not help but say, “I do not think that Allah Almighty has created someone like you.” In other words, in that precise era and time, there was no one like Sayyiduna Qatadah – may Allah be pleased with him. He then informed Imam Qatadah – may Allah be pleased with him – that he could leave because he had given him whatever knowledge he had.

 

Pertaining to his amazing knowledge and powerful memory, Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Ahmed in Hambal – may Allah be pleased with him – has stated that, “Imam Qatadah was one of the greatest scholars in Basrah. Whatever he heard, he immediately memorized. I only read the Saheefah of Hadrat Sayyiduna Jabir bin Abdullah – may Allah be pleased with him – once in front of him, instantly, he memorised the entire contents.”

 

Imam Shu’bah – may Allah be pleased with him – mentions that, “I once mentioned seventeen Ahadith in front of Imam Qatadah – may Allah be pleased with him – and he replied that except for four of them, the rest of them he heard personally from Hadrat Sayyiduna Aanis bin Maalik – may Allah be pleased with him.”

 

Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’eed bin Musayyib – may Allah be pleased with him – mentions that, “No one has come in front of me from Iraq who had a more powerful memory that Imam Qatadah – may Allah be pleased with him.” (Tadkirah Al Huffaaz)

 

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