Taqrīb at-Tahdhīb & It’s Antecedents

Taqrīb at-Tahdhīb (تقريب التهذيب) compiled by al-Ḥāfiẓ ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī رحمه الله (d. 852 AH) is a book of ʿĪlm ar-Rijāl & Jarḥ wa at-Taʿdīl in which all narrators of al-Kutub as-Sittah1 are listed in alphabetical order along with their judgement. It consists of up to 1412 pages depending on it’s publisher.2

Looking into it’s title, it is composed of two words:

  1. Taqrīb (تقريب), which means “to round off” or “approximation”
  2. at-Tahdhīb (التهذيب), which means “revision” or “refinement”

Combining these two words together, a very rough translation would be “The Abridged Revision”, which indicates that it has a antecedent that was summarized & edited.

Now, what is it’s antecedent that was eventually reworked & updated? In reality, it is not only one but rather many which has a long history behind it, but we’ll only be focusing on the main three, ʾIn shāʾ Allāh.

1. al-Kamāl fī Asmā’ ar-Rijāl (الكمال في أسماء الرجال): Compiled by ʿAbd al-Ghanī al-Maqdisī, who was from al-Quds, Palestine — consists of 10 volumes. Here, all of the narrators of al-Kutub as-Sittah are listed alphabetically in a concise format bringing the narrator’s name, who they narrated from, the A’Immah of al-Kutub as-Sittah who narrated from them, and their reliability.

al-Kamāl fī Asmā’ ar-Rijāl

2. Tahdhīb al-Kamāl fī Asmā’ ar-Rijāl (تهذيب الكمال في أسماء الرجال): Compiled by Yūsuf ibn Zakī al-Mizzī, who was from Ḥalab, Syria — consists of up to 35 volumes. Being a summary of al-Kamāl fī Asmā’ ar-Rijāl by Imām ʿAbd al-Ghanī al-Maqdisī, it follows the same concept except al-Ḥāfiẓ al-Mizzī includes the narrator’s teachers & students.

Tahdhīb al-Kamāl fī Asmā’ ar-Rijāl

3. Tahdhīb at-Tahdhīb (تهذيب التهذيب): Compiled by Aḥmad ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī, who was from Cairo, Egypt — consists of up to 15 volumes. It is a summary of Tahdhīb al-Kamāl fī Asmā’ ar-Rijāl by al-Ḥāfiẓ al-Mizzī, which is a summary of al-Kamāl fī Asmā’ ar-Rijāl by Imām ʿAbd al-Ghanī al-Maqdisī. Here, al-Ḥāfiẓ ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī removed all of the lengthy Aḥādīth & transmission.

Tahdhīb at-Tahdhīb

4. Taqrīb at-Tahdhīb (تقريب التهذيب): Compiled by Aḥmad ibn Ḥajar al-‘Asqalānī, who was from Cairo, Egypt — consists of up to 1412 pages. Finally, the last work in this saga, it is a summary of his previous work Tahdhīb at-Tahdhīb which is a summary of Tahdhīb al-Kamāl fī Asmā’ ar-Rijāl by al-Ḥāfiẓ al-Mizzī, which is a summary of al-Kamāl fī Asmā’ ar-Rijāl by Imām ʿAbd al-Ghanī al-Maqdisī. Here, al-Ḥāfiẓ ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī removed all of the information regarding the narrator’s place of birth, age, their teachers & students, & the likes, & only leaves their name with a quick judgement of their reliability. It is a great book for beginners in the field of ʿĪlm ar-Rijāl.

Taqrīb at-Tahdhīb

May Allāh have mercy upon these great Muḥaddithūn for their large contributions to the religion of Islām & allow them all to enter Jannah behind The Prophet ﷺ together.

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.


Footnotes:

[1] al-Kutub as-Sittah (الكتب الستة); the six canonical books of Ḥadīth which are Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī compiled by Imām al-Bukhārī, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim compiled by Imām Muslim, Sunan Abū Dāwūd compiled by Imām Abū Dāwūd, Sunan an-Nasā’ī compiled by Imām an-Nasā’ī, Jāmiʿ at-Tirmidhī compiled by Imām at-Tirmidhī, and Sunan ibn Mājah compiled by Imām ibn Mājah. See article: al-Kutub as-Sittah: Origins.
[2] The print on this article’s cover which is also what is used in the index & what I personally rely on, is the print of Bayt al-Afkār ad-Dawlīyyah published in 2005 with the Taḥqīq of Ḥasan ʿAbd al-Manām. It consists of 780 pages.


Ṣafīullāh Labīb ibn Salīm ʿAbd al-Malik
8th of Jumādá al-ʿAwwal 1444