Download PDF: [S] Powerful Memory of Hadith (Islamic story)
Among the eminent scholars who compiled the Ahadith, Imam ibn Shihaab Zuhri – may Allah be pleased with him – is considered as the foremost among them. In fact, like other blessed scholars in his era, Allah Almighty has also blessed him with a very powerful memory. He himself states, “When I pass by any bazaar, I used to seal or close my ears so that I do not hear any rude words because, I swear in the Name of Allah Almighty that nothing has entered my ears which I have forgotten.” (At Tahzeeb, Akmaal)
It is reported that once a certain leader among the Marwan Dynasty wanted to test his memory. His name was Hishaam bin Abdul Malik. In fact, it is mentioned that previously, these people had tested the memory of Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah – may Allah be pleased with him. In like manner, they wanted to test the memory of Imam Zuhri – may Allah be pleased with him.
It is mentioned that once, Imam Zuhri – may Allah be pleased with him – had come to the royal court on some purpose and the person in charge mentioned that he wanted Imam Zuhri – may Allah be pleased with him –to record a few Ahadith for his son. This was agreed and a person was placed in charge of recording these Ahadith.
It is mentioned that Imam Zuhri – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates four hundred Ahadith and all of these were recorded by the clerk. (Tadkiratul Huffaz) One month later, Imam Zuhri – may Allah be pleased with him – was again called to the palace on some pretext. However, Hishaam mentioned that the records of these Ahadith had been misplaced and he was extremely concerned. Bear in mind that the actual recording was not lost.
However, Imam Zuhri – may Allah be pleased with him – replied that it was not a problem and that he would be prepared to dictate this again. The clerk was again called and he recorded the four hundred Ahadith.
After the great Imam had left the court and they compared this to the first recording, they found that not one word or letter was different in both copies. This was the miracle of his amazing memory which Allah Almighty had blessed him with. (Tadkiratul Huffaz) Among his other miracles is that he is also reported to have memorised the Qur’an in 80 days. (Tadween Hadith)
Imam Zuhri – may Allah be pleased with him – also mentions that after listening to Hadith Shareef only once, he never had the need to inquire about that Hadith Shareef again or he did not have any doubt about any Hadith Shareef even again. In fact, he mentions that there was one occasion in which he had slight doubt on one Hadith but on further inquiry, he realised that the Hadith Shareef was the same as he had initially memorised it.
The Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – had once corrected a certain recording which contained certain laws for those whom he intended to send out as his representatives. It was known by the name “Kitaabus Sadqah”. It was meant to be sent to his representatives but before this the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him –passed away.
This recording was kept by Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr – may Allah be pleased with him – and then passed to Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him. After him, this recording passed to his both sons, Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah – may Allah be pleased with him – and Hadrat Sayyiduna Ubaid – may Allah be pleased with him. From them, it passed to Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar bin Abdul Aziz – may Allah be pleased with him. It was rerecorded by him and it passed to Hadrat Sayyiduna Saalim bin Abdullah – may Allah be pleased with him.
From him, it passed to Imam Shihaab Zuhri – may Allah be pleased with him –who memorised the entire contents. He also taught this to others. This also proves the fact that he also disseminated knowledge in his period. (Dars Tirmidi)