Imam Muslim (206-261 A.H)(820-875 A.D)

Muslim’s full name is Muslim bin Al-Hajjaj Al-Qushairi An-Nishapuri. He was born in 206 A.H., in the city of Nishapur near the city of Mashhad in present Iran. Muslim is considered second only to Al-Bukhari in the science of the methodology of Hadeeth. He started the study of Hadeeth at an early age and travelled to ‘Iraq, Hijaz, Ash-Sham and Egypt and studied under the scholars of Hadeeth at that time like Al-Bukhari, Ahmad bin Hanbal and Ibn Abee Shaiba.

He also taught the famous Hadeeth scholars like At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Abu Haatim. Muslim compiled the Hadeeth book Al-Musnad As-Sahih, which became known as Sahih Muslim. This book, which is considered by the Muslim ‘Ulama as the second most authentic Hadeeth book after Al-Bukhari, contains 9200 Hadeeth. Imam Muslim died at his birthplace in Rajab 261 H.

Having finished his studies, be settled down at Nishapur. There he came into contact with Imam Bukhari, and was so much impressed by his vast knowledge of Hadith and his deep insight into it that he kept himself attached to him up to the end of his life.

Imam Muslim has to his credit many other valuable contributions to different branches of Hadith literature, and most of them retain their eminence even to the present day. Amongst these Kitab al-Musnad al-Kabir 'Ala al-Rijal, Jami' Kabir, Kitab, al-Asma' wa'l-Kuna, Kitab al-Ilal, Kitab al- Wijdan are very important.

Muslim's Sahih comes next to it. However, in certain respects the latter is considered superior to the former. Imam Muslim strictly observed many principles of the science of Hadith which had been slightly ignored by his great teacher Imam Bukhari (may Allah have mercy on both of them). Imam Muslim considered only such traditions to be genuine and authentic as had been transmitted to him by an unbroken chain of reliable authorities and were in perfect harmony with what had, (been related by other narrators whose trustworthiness was unanimously accepted and who were free from all defects.

Imam Muslim had a very wide circle of students, who learnt Hadith from him. Some of them occupy a very prominent position in Islamic history, e.g. Abu Hatim Razi, Musa b. Harun, Ahmad b. Salama, Abu 'Isa Tirmidhi, Abu Bakr b. Khusaima, Abu ‘Awana and Hafiz Dhahabi.