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It is reported that one day, the famous Saint and scholar, the symbol of piety in his era, Hadrat Sayyiduna Sufyan bin Ayniyah – may Allah be pleased with him – mentioned to those around him who kept asking questions in a very disgruntled manner:

 

“How tragic that I once sat in the blessed company of Hamzah bin Sa’ad and he was in the blessed company of Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Sa’eed Khudri – may Allah be pleased with him. As a student I sat in front of Imam Amar bin Dinaar, who sat in front of Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with them. I sat in front of Imam Zuhri, who sat in front of Hadrat Sayyiduna Aanis bin Malik – may Allah be pleased with him – until a large group of scholars had been created.”

 

He then took a deep breath (like he was in great regret and said), “And today, I am sitting in front of you.”

When the classes were over, no one said a word.

 

However, there was a young man in the gathering who stood up and declared, “O Abu Mohammed! Will you display justice?”

 

Sayyiduna Sufyan bin Ayniyah – may Allah be pleased with him – replied if Allah Almighty wills, he will display justice.

 

The young man replied with a statement that will go down in history. He declared, “O Abu Mohammed! I swear by Allah Almighty. For you to sit in front of us is not such a great tragedy. (After all the difference between you and the blessed Ashaab is far greater in degree than you sitting with us).

 

When he heard this brave statement, Sayyiduna Sufyan bin Ayniyah – may Allah be pleased with him – could only bow his head in humility and he understood that whatever this young man had stated was nothing but the truth. He then mentioned a few words from the poem of Abu Nawaas which was: “It is better to die of silence than to utter something with the illness of speaking. The person who is safe is that person who controls his tongue.”

 

Obviously, the others who were present, were surprised at the intelligence and bravery of this young man.

 

Sayyiduna Sufyan bin Ayniyah – may Allah be pleased with him – then declared, “This young man is someone who is fit for royal company.”

 

In fact, the words of the eminent Imam certainly proved right in later years. This young man was Imam Yahya bin Aktham Tameemi who was later to become the Chief Justice in Kufah and he became so respected that Mamun made him a leader in all legal issues in government. In other words, he was the special adviser to the Sultan. (Taarikh Baghdad)

 

Introduction to certain people in this incident.

 

  1. Sufyan bin Ayniyah. His full name is Sufyan bin Ayniyah bin Maymun Hilaali. He was an eminent Muhaddith in Kufah and Mecca Shareef. His title was “Abu Mohammed”. He was born in Kufah and lived in Mecca Shareef and passed away in Mecca Shareef. He was a great Haafizul Hadith and about him, Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Shafi – may Allah be pleased with him – has stated that, “If Sufyan did not exist, knowledge in the Hijaz would have disappeared.” He performed nearly seventy Hajj. He was born in 107 A.H. and passed away in 198 A.H. (Al ‘Alaam)

 

  1. Hamzah ibn Sa’ad Maruzi. His title was “Abu Sa’eed”. He was also a Haafizul Hadith. He has narrated from Imam ibn Ayniyah, Imam Hafz bin Ghiyas, etc. Ibn Habban has mentioned that he was certainly a very authentic Muhaddith. (Tahzeeb)

 

  1. Abu Sa’eed Khudri – may Allah be pleased with him. His full name is Sa’ad bin Malik Ansari Khazraji. He is famous by his title. During the Battle of Uhud, due to his young age he was not permitted to take part. His father passed away in the Battle of Uhud. He took part in all battles after that. He has narrated man Ahadith from the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. He is considered as being among the younger generation of Ashaab. He passed away in 64 A.H. (Al Usaabah)

 

  1. Amar bin Dinaar Jamhi. His title was “Abu Mohammed” and he was of Persian descent. He was a Mufti and Jurist in Mecca Shareef. He was born in 46 A.H. in Sana. Imam Shubah also mentions that he had not met someone who had memorized so many Ahadith. He was also considered a very authentic Muhaddith and passed away in Mecca Shareef in 126 A.H. (Tahzeeb)

 

  1. Ibn Umar. His full name is Abdulla ibn ‘Umar bin Khattab – may Allah be pleased with him. He brought Imaan with his father and also migrated with his father. He is considered as among the eminent Muhaditheen and Jurist of his era. It is stated that when he passed away, people could not find someone like him in that time. He also took part in Badr and was born three years after Prophethood was announced. He passed away at the age of 87. (Al Usaabah)

 

  1. Az Zuhri. His full name is Mohamed bin Muslim bin Abdullah Zuhir Qurayshi – may Allah be pleased with him. He is considered an eminent Muhaddith and Jurist of his era. He was also considered to be the first person to compile a set of Ahadith. He was born in Madina Shareef and memorized nearly two thousand and two hundred Ahadith. He settled in Syria and passed away in a place called Shughub in 124 A.H.

 

  1. Hadrat Sayyiduna Aanis bin Malik bin Nadr Ansari Khazraji – may Allah be pleased with him –. Considered to the special Khadim of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. When he was young, his blessed mother, Hadrat Sayyidah Umme Sulaim – may Allah be pleased with her – presented him to the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – to be of service to the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. The Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – also made a special Du’a for him. He was the last companion to pass away in Basrah and at the time time, his was 120. (Al Usaabah)

 

  1. Abu Nawaas Hasan bin Haani was considered a famous poet in Iraq and grew up in Basrah and moved to Baghdad. He was also connected with the leaders of the Abbasid period. He also write a few poems in praise of these leaders. He died in Baghdad in 198 A.H. Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Shafi – may Allah be pleased with him – has stated that if it was not for certain un-Islamic words in his poetry, he would have also acquired knowledge from this person. (Al ‘Alaam)

 

  1. Yahya bin Aktham Tameemi Maruzi. His title was “Abu Mohammed” and he was considered a famous Qadi and Jurist of his era. He was born in Merv in 159 A.H. He was nominated as the Qadi of Baghdad by Mamun. He also took part in certain battles. He was removed by certain successors of Mamun but re-instated and then removed and he finally moved to Mecca Shareef. While he was returning to his country, he passed away in 242 A.H.

 

  1. Abul Abbas Abdullah bin Harun Rasheed. He is considered as the seventh leader of the Abbasid Dynasty. He kept the ‘Ulama close to him and used to respect the ‘Ulama. He was also responsible for translating many Greek manuscripts into Arabic. He was born in 170 A.H. and passed away in 218 A.H. (Al ‘Alaam)

 

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