Imam Ibn Daqiq Al-Eid - Brief Biography

"We know from our masters person having diverged the fact that Ibn Daqiq al-Eid renovator is the scientist sent to the seventh century, referred to in the prophetic hadith, and he was the master of his time by his knowledge and righteousness in religion." - Sheikh Taqi al-Din al-Subki

Ibn Daqiq al-Eid (1228-1302), is accounted as one of Islam's great scholars in the fundamentals of Islamic law and belief, and was an authority in the Shafi'i legal school. Although Ibn Daqiq al-'Id studied Shafi'i jurisprudence under Ibn 'Abd al-Salam, he was also proficient in Maliki fiqh. He served as chief qadi of the Shafi'i school in Egypt. Ibn Daqiq al-Eid taught hadith to al-Dhahabi and to many other leading scholars of the next generation. In his lifetime, Ibn-Daqiq wrote many books but his commentary on the Nawawi Forty Hadiths has become his most popular. In it he comments on the forty hadiths compiled by Yahya Al-Nawawi and known as the Nawawi Forty Hadiths. His commentary has become so popular that it is virtually impossible for any scholar to write a serious book about the forty hadiths without quoting Ibn Daqiq.


His namesake 'ibn Daqiq al-Eid' however was gained from his grandfather who was described as being fond of sporting a bright white turban, one as white as the flour used to make pastries during Eid celebrations. From that point on, the name was passed on to his son and later to Imam Taqiyy ad- Din Muhammad ibn` Ali Ibn Wahb who would often be addressed as Ibn Daqiq al-Eid.

After memorising the Quran as a child, he attended various halaqahs in the city of Qus and was initiated into the Maliki school of jurisprudence from his father. His quest for learning however later brought him to Sheikh Al-Baha 'Al-Qifti, a disciple of his father. He also learnt the disciplines of Arabic with Sheikh Mohammad Abu Al-Fadl Al-Mursi. Further deepening his quest for knowledge, he later travelled to Cairo to study under the tutelage and guidance of Imam Al-`Izz Ibn `Abd As-Salam of whom was regarded as the 'Sultanul Ulama''. He studied the laws and foundations of Shafi'i jurisprudence from the later and was under the guidance of Imam Ibn 'Abd al-Salam to the day he died in AH 660 (1262 AD). He later went on to Damascus to learn Hadith from Damascene scholars before finally returning to Egypt and settling down in the city of his childhood, Qus.

Upon his return to Qus at 37 years old, he was appointed as a judge according to the Maliki mazhab. His appointment however was shortlived as he found himself unfamiliar with the fame linked to the newly gained appointment. He soon found himself returning to Cairo to teach Prophetic Hadith in Darul Hadith Al- Kamiliyyah , a school built by Sultan Al-Kamil in A. H. 621 (1224 AD).

His proficiency in Hadith was soon recognised, earning him the title of 'Sheikh of Darul Hadith', the highest position in this specialized institution. He was known for his rigour and thoroughness, constantly researching on the chains between hadiths. The methodology he employed in the study of hadith can be read in Al- Iqtirah fi Ma'rifat Al- Istilah.

He later taught law at the Nasiriyyah School of Salahuddin Al-Ayubi, a school primarily catering to the Shafie Madhab and built in close proximity to the tomb of Imam Ash-Shafie. Given his mastery of two law schools, Shafi'i and Maliki, he was asked to teach at Madrasah Fadiliyyah, a prestigious institution which was also hosting Andalucian born Sheikh Abu Abdillah Muhammad bin Umar Al-Qurthubi.

Chief Justice of Egypt

Observing such a stance, he remained steadfast and did not bend under pressures for undue favour. In one instance, he rejected the testimony of Monkutmar, the Secretary of the Sultanate, in an inheritance case holding that he was not a reliable man. Montkumar fought back and sent a stream of messengers to convince Ibn Daqiq on his testimony. Unfazed by the move, Ibn Daqiq finally resigned at the insistence of Monkutmar. 

He also pioneered a center responsible for the management and administration of property of orphans to preserve until they reached majority. The move was unprecedented in Egypt. Under such a move, a heir would only be granted of any inheritance should he be an adult. Otherwise, his fortune would be initially entrusted to the centre. He put a system in place in order to look at the welfare and well being of orphans.

Sheikh of Islam Taqiyy Ad- Din Abu Al -Fath Muhammad Ibn `Ali Ibn Wahb Ibn Mutî` ibn Abi Al- At- Tâ`ah Qushayri Al- Manfaluti was born in the month of Shaban 625 AH (1228) on the sea whilst his family were on the way to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage. He is widely regarded as one of the most important scholar of Hadith. His path towards Islamic scholarship began with his father, Sheikh Majd Ad-Din Abu Al-Hasan `Ali Ibn Wahb who was himself a prominent scholar in Hadith and Islamic jurisprudence.

Following the death of Judge Ibn Bint Al-A`azz, Imam Ibn Daqiq was approached to assume the post of Chief Justice in 695 A. H. (1296 AD). Though he was initially hestitant, he finally relented to the request, exposing himself to influential individuals within Egypt. Under his leadership, he maintained the need for Islamic law to be applied scrupulously and fairly.

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