His Name and Birth:
He was the great scholar of Ḥadīth from Baghdād: ʿUbaydullāh ibn Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad ibn Ḥamdān ibn ʿUmar ibn ʿĪsā ibn Ibrāhīm ibn Utbah ibn Farqad. His Kunyah is Abū Abdullāh al-‘Ukbarī & his title is ibn Baṭṭah, it is said that “Baṭṭah” was a title given to one of his forefathers. His lineage ends at the noble companion of The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ, ‘Utbah ibn Farqad رضي الله عنه. He was born in the year 304 AH, corresponding to 916 CE.
ibn Baṭṭah was born into a household of knowledge & Sunnah. His father was a man of knowledge & Ḥadīth & had a special concern for him leading him to teach him Ḥadīth from a young age, in which he then permitted him to travel to Baghdād before he reached the age of 10.
ʿAlī ibn Aḥmad ibn Busr mentioned that Abū Abdullāh ibn Baṭṭah said to him: “My father had business partners in Baghdād. From them was an individual called Abū Bakr, so he said to my father: ‘Send your son with me to study Ḥadīth in Baghdād.’ My father said: ‘My son is young!’ So he responded: ‘I will carry him with me (& take care of him).’ So he carried me with him to Baghdād. I went to ibn Manī’ & someone was reciting Ḥadīth to him. So someone said: ‘Ask the Shaykh to bring out his Mu’jam (i.e., one of his books).’ So I asked his son or his daughter’s son who said: ‘He wants dirhams (for the reading).’ So I gave it to him & we read his book al-Mu’jam to him in a private sitting over the period of more or less ten days. That was in 315 AH or 316 AH.”
His quest of knowledge continued until he matured. He travelled to Makkah, various military outposts, likewise to Baṣrah, & other countries. When he returned from his travels, he went into isolation & remained in his home for 40 years. He was never seen in the marketplaces & was rarely ever seen in public. Although that was the case, he was well known for commanding the good & forbidding the evil whenever he chose to leave his home.
His Character & Personality:
ibn Baṭṭah was known for being a scholar of the Sunnah & correct ʿAqīdah. He was a well known follower of the pious predecessors & their narrations. This is apparent from his writings & authorships.
The scholars have said regarding him:
- “He was an Imām of the Sunnah.” – Imām adh-Dhahabī
- “He was righteous — a Shaykh whose supplications were responded to!” – al-ʿAtīqī
- “He was one of the ʿUlamā of the Ḥanābilah.” – ibn Kathīr
- “ibn Baṭṭah, the Imām, the example, the staunch worshipper, the Faqīh, the Muḥaddith, the Shaykh of ʿIrāq.” – Imām adh-Dhahabī
- “ibn Battah was from the major A’Immah, a person of Zuhd, Fiqh, Sunnah, & Ittibā’.” – Imām adh-Dhahabī
Abū al-Fatḥ al-Qawās mentioned ibn Baṭṭah’s knowledge & Zuhd to Abū Saʾīd al-Ismāʾīlī, so he (Abū Saʾīd) went to go meet him. When he returned, he said: “He has surpassed the description!“
Imām aṣ-Ṣanʿānī mentioned concerning him: “He was from the Fuqaha of the Ḥanbalī school, who authored beneficial works.” Imām ibn Kathīr mentioned: “He had a huge & extensive number of works in various sciences.” It is said that his works number more than 100 authorships, some of those works are:
- al-Ibānah al-Kubrā
- al-Ibānah aṣ-Ṣughrā
- al-Imām Dhāmin
- al-Inkār ‘alā Min Qasara bi Kutubi as-Suhuf al-Ūla
- al-Inkār ‘alā Min Akhadhal Qurʼān Min al-Muṣḥaf
- an-Nahi’an Ṣalāt an-Nafilati ba’dal ‘Asri wa ba’dal Fajr
- Tahrīm an-Namīmah
- Ṣalāt al-Jama’ah
- Man’ul Khurūj ba’d al-Adhāni wa al-Iqāmah li Ghayr al-Hājah
- Ahkam an-Nisā’
- Ibtāl al-Hiyal
- Tahrīm an-Nabīdh
ibn Baṭṭah, the great scholar of Sunnah & Ḥadīth, returned to Allāh in the year 387 AH, corresponding to 997 CE. He was 83 years old.
May Allāh have mercy upon ibn Baṭṭah & reward him abundantly for his contributions to the religion of Islām.
All praise is due to Allāh, may His peace & blessings be upon our final Prophet Muḥammad, his family, his companions, & all those who follow him in guidance.
al-ʻIbar (العبر) by Imām adh-Dhahabī | Volume 3, Page 35
Ṭabaqāt al-Ḥanābilah (طبقات الحنابلة) by ibn Abī Yaʻlā | Volume 3, Page 256
al-Bidayah wa Nihayah (البداية والنهاية) by ibn Kathīr | Volume 11, Page 343
al-Ansāb (الأنساب) by ʿAbd ar-Razzāq aṣ-Ṣanʿānī | Volume 3, Page 243
Lisān al-Mīzān (لسان الميزان) by ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī | Volume 3, Page 133
Siyar A’lām an-Nubalā’a (سير أعلام النبلاء) by Imām adh-Dhahabī | Volume 16, Page 529
[Wordings extracted from al-Ibānah aṣ-Ṣughrā, Salafī Publications Print – Minor rephrasement added]
Ṣafīullāh Labīb ibn Salīm ʿAbd al-Malik
1st of Rabīʿ al-ʾAwwal 1444