Download PDF: [S] The Memory of Imam ibn Ruhayah
One day, the discussion turned to one of the eminent teachers of Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Bukhari – may Allah be pleased with him – whose name was Imam ibn Rahuyah – may Allah be pleased with him.
This subject was discussed in front of the famous Khurasaan Governor, namely Ameer Abdullah bin Taahir and there was also another scholar who was present at the time. In fact, they were disputing a few key issues and they were also arguing where exactly a certain passage existed in a certain treatise.
At that moment, Imam ibn Rahuyah – may Allah be pleased with him – said to the Ameer, “Please collect a certain treatise from your personal library.”
Ibn Asaakir in the Taarik Dimishq narrates that at that moment when this treatise was presented,
Imam ibn Rahuyah – may Allah be pleased with him – mentioned to the Ameer to look at a certain page and at a certain line.
When the Ameer did as he was told, he was shocked to see exactly the same thing which was mentioned by the great scholar. The Ameer then turned to the great scholar and declared, “I already knew that you are well-versed in various Islamic laws, however, your powerful memory has certainly made me speechless and I am wonder-struck.” (Tadween Hadith)
In fact, explaining his powerful memory, Imam ibn Rahuyah – may Allah be pleased with him – himself admits, “I have gathered a hundred thousand Ahadith and I have memorized thirty thousand of them.”
One of his other students, Imam Khaffaaf – may Allah be pleased with him – reveals that, “Imam Ishaaq had recorded eleven thousand Ahadith through memory and when he dictated these Ahadith, he did not make one single mistake in either letter or word.” (Hikaayat Sahaabah)
One day, Imam ibn Shabarmah – may Allah be pleased with him – mentioned in front of Imam Rahuyah – may Allah be pleased with him – the amazing qualities of Imam Shu’bah – may Allah be pleased with him –and mentioned, “Whatever Hadith has been recorded by me and whatever Hadith Shareef has been mentioned to me, I have memorised (all of it).”
When Imam ibn Rahuyah – may Allah be pleased with him – heard these words he asked him, “Are you surprised at these words?” He replied that he was indeed surprised. Imam ibn Rahuyah – may Allah be pleased with him – then declared, “Until the present time, there is not a thing which I have heard and which I have forgotten. I can picture the nearly seventy thousand Ahadith which has been recorded by me and I am able to remember all of this like a person looks at a book in front of him.”(Tadreeb Ar Raawi)