Imam Abdul Qahir Al Baghdadi on the `Ulema of Kalam – Part IV

After Al-Shafi`i came his students that mastered the sciences of both jurisprudence and Kalam. Examples are Al-Harith ibn Asad Al-Muhasibi,

Harith ibn Asad Al Muhasibi, the great Sufi and encyclopedic scholar of Islam. He is the Shaykh of the famous Sufi, encyclopedic scholar and judge: Al Junayd. It is said that people named him “Al Muhasibi,” which in Arabic means “the one who calls to account,” because he was constantly calling himself to account for his own deeds in light of the teachings of Islam. (Source: Tabaqaat Al Shafi`iah Al Kubraa).

Abu `Ali Al-Karaabisi,

Al Husayn ibn Ali Yazid Al Karabisi, Abu Ali, was one of the students of Al Shafi`i. He was  a great scholar of Fiqh, Hadith and Kalam. He narrated the old sayings of Al Shafi`i from Baghdad, and it is said that Al Karabisi was that greatest of Al Shafi`i’s students there. Al Bukhari used to narrated the saying of Al Shafi`i through him, as mentioned in Tabaqaat Al Shafi`iah.

Harmalah,

Harmalah ibn Yahya Al Tujibi, (166 h.-243 h.) was a great Hafidh (master savant of Hadith) and Faqih (master savant of Fiqh) from Egypt. (Source: Al A`laam).

Yusuf Al-Buwaiti,

Yusuf ibn Yahya Al Buwaiti, Abu Yaqub (?- 231 h.) from Buwait in the Sa`eed area of Egypt. Al Shafi`i said about him: “None of my companions are as knowledgeable as he.” He is the one that narrated the famous book of Al Shafi`i called Al Umm. (Source: Al A`laam).

and Dawuud Al-Asbahaani.

The later scholars of Kalam relied on Al-Karabisi for knowing the various sub-sects of the Khawariji as well as all other sects. The jurisprudent and hadith scholars relied on him for knowing the conditions for authentication (acceptance as authentic) of hadith along with the types of flaws, and evaluating narrators.

The books of Al Harith ibn Asad Al-Muhasibi became the primary source for the Kalam scholars of our associates,

By “our associates,” he means the scholars of the Shafi`i, Maliki and Hanbali schools of Fiqh (Islamic laws and practices) and the scholars that have similar methodology. They are referred to as “the People of Hadith”. People of Hadith” as opposed to the “People of Insight” are terms used by the scholars to refer respectively to the fiqh scholars that have a strong apparent focus on Hadith, and those with a strong focus on deeper issues of meaning. It does not mean that the latter group ignores authentic Hadiths, both groups agree that authentic Hadith without any flaws must be applied. It also does not mean that the former lack deep insight. It is rather a matter of how the two groups apparently differ in their ways. One finds the former speaking much like Hadith specialists, while the latter focuses on long and intense debates on finer points of the meaning of Hadiths and the Quran. The latter will often refuse to go by the apparent meaning of Hadith due to a weakness related to its meaning, while the former will largely (but certainly not always) override such flaws based on the strength of the chain of narration. To fully understand the differences needs a lengthy study of Usul al Fiqh – the scholarly methodology for drawing judgments regarding Islamic laws and practices directly from the four sources: The Quran, Hadith, ijma` and Analogy. An important note also is that the “People of Hadith” in scholarly terminology of old has a different meaning than those that call themselves by this name today.

both the jurists and the Sufis.

Translation and Commentary by Shaykh Abu Adam al Naruiji

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