Gems from Imam Abdl-Rahman ibn Mahdi

Since 2014-01-09

The Hafidh, al-Imam ‘Abd’l-Rahman ibn Mahdis' position in the scared sciences of ‘ilm and the recording and memorising of Hadīth is simply legendary.

The Hafidh, al-Imam ‘Abd’l-Rahman ibn Mahdi was from the major Muhaddithīn of this Ummah, from the Atba‘ al-Tabi‘īn, born in the year 135h. His position in the scared sciences of ‘ilm and the recording and memorising of Hadīth is simply legendary.

‘Ali ibn al-Madīni, the great teacher of Imam al-Bukhari, said, “If I was to take an oath between the (Yemeni) corner and the Maqam (of Ibrahim opposite the Ka‘bah), I would swear that that I do not anyone more knowledgeable than ‘Abd’l-Rahman ibn Mahdi.”

‘Abd’l-Rahman ibn Mahdi was asked once, “How do you recognise the authentic hadīth from the weak ones?” Ibn Mahdi replied, “Just as the Doctor recognises the insane one.”

It is enough to say that Imam Ahmad said about him, “He was created for hadīth.”

From ibn Mahdi’s many statements, he said:

“Man is in greater need of sacred knowledge than of eating and drinking.”

(What clearer example can there be for the importance of knowing your Lord, and knowing the blessed Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and what has been prescribed for us in our lives to achieve ultimate guidance.)

“Memorise this: it is not permissible for a man to be an Imam until he knows what is authentic (in hadīth) from what is not authentic.”

(It is a shame to see many people not giving hadīth the importance they deserve, feeling completely satisfied with any narration whatever its strength in authenticity, which is not the way of the righteous Imams of our Ummah.)

“If a man meets another who is above him in knowledge, it is a day of booty for him. If he meets someone who is similar to him, they should study together, and he should learn from him. If he meets someone who is less than him, he should be humble and modest to him, and he should teach him.”

(This is a beautiful example of how the scholars understood the importance of knowledge, and how it gives value to a person. As for meeting someone more knowledgeable than you, then indeed it is a day of success for you. You have taken home the spoils of sacred knowledge for free, for you will receive guidance and safety from him, and that is worth more than anything that this world has to offer. Also note the emphasis on learning from one another, and being humble in that. The Muslim who has this kind of attitude never fails in benefitting every day.)

 “A person will not become an Imam in knowledge if he relates everything that he hears, and he will not be an Imam if he narrates from every single person and narrates odd (weak) reports.”

(The scholars of this Deen have reached their status by exhibiting extreme caution in how they learn, what they learn, and what they teach the people. And this was the way of the Companions of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and is there any better guidance than that?)

(taken from Hilyat’l-Awliya’, 9/4, and Siyar’l-A‘lam 8/125-130)

Source: Prophetic Guidance

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