Download PDF: [S] Who is Ataa ibn Rabaah

Hadrat Sayyiduna Ataa bin Abi Rabaah – may Allah be pleased with him – whose title was “Abu Mohammed” was from Abyssinia and he had curly hair. He also became blind in the last few years of his blessed life. He was considered as among the giants of Islam and a great Jurist.


In the field of Ahadith, he has the distinction of being among the students of Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbas, Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah and Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Saeed Khudri –may Allah have mercy upon them. Many eminent Muhadditheen of their era were also his students. He was also the teacher of many eminent Jurists as well.


In fact, the people of his generation bore testimony to his immense piety and nobleness. Salamah bin Kuhail is of the opinion that there were three masters of Ahadith who sought knowledge of the Ahadith strictly for the Divine Pleasure of Allah and they were, Ataa, Ta’us and Mujaahid –may Allah have mercy upon them.


When he heard of his passing, Imam Awzaa’i – may Allah be pleased with him – publicly declared, “How sad it is that today one of the greatest authorities in Islamic knowledge and piety has passed away.”


Besides being very private, he also had immense modesty. Whenever someone came to visit him, he never opened the door until the person clearly mentioned the reason for visiting him. If someone mentioned that he had only come to make his ziyarah or to simply see him, he used say, “How bad the world has become that people actually come to see a sinful person like me”.


Most of the leaders of the Ummayyah period were his students. Khalifah Sulayman bin Abdul Malik studied the “Kitaab Al Hajj” under him, but the eminent Imam was never disturbed by the fact that he was teaching the political leader of the country. In fact, he even used to make the Khalifah sit among his other ordinary students and treated him just like anyone else.


In fact, so impressed was Sulayman Abdul Malik by this eminent authority in Islam that he used to mention to his sons, “My dear sons! Seek knowledge from a very young age because the amount of humiliation I had to face in front of a once black slave (Ataa bin Abi Rabaa – may Allah be pleased with him –), I will never forget it for the rest of my life.”


He was also very punctual in his Tahajjud Salaah and during the Tahajjud he used to recite two hundred of the verses with proper Tajweed and sequence.


He performed seventy Hajj and passed away at the age of a hundred in Mecca Shareef in 115 A.H. (Tabqaat Imam She’rani)