A commentary on this hadith will normally run into several pages when it is attempted by such specialist commentators as Hafiz ibn Hajr, Badruddin al-`Ayni, Mulla `Ali Qari, and many others. We present, for the first time in this column, a commentary on narrators by al-`Ayni to demonstrate to the non-Arab readers, how thoroughly did the scholars of Hadith dealt with them. Their knowledge of the narrators, and several details surrounding them, as well all aspects of the meanings, is incredible, and has been beyond imitation by those others who have followed them, since almost 500 years now. (Au.)
Notes from `Umdatu al-Qari, a commentary on Bukhari, by Badruddin al `Ayni, the Hanafiyy (d. 855 AH)
Details of the Narrators: They are six.
First: Abu Ja`far `Abdullah b. Muhmmad b. `Abdullah b. Ja`far b. al Yamaan, b. Akhnas b. Khunais al Ja`fi al Bukhari al Musnadi: he is a cousin of `Abdullah b. Sa`eed b. Ja`far b. al Yamaan, and this Yamaan is the freed salve of one of Bukhari’s forefather the kinship being Islamic. Hhe heard from Waki` and other numerous narrators. Dhuhli and other masters of Hadith. He died in the year 228. Among the six canonical Hadith Chroniclers, Bukhari was alone in reporting through him. Tirmichi narrated through him but through Bukhari.
Second: Abu `Aamir `Abdul Malik b. `Amr b. Qays al Aqadi al-Basri. He took hadith from Malik and others, and Ahmad narrated through him. Hadith experts were united over his nobility and dependency. He dies in the fifth or fourth year after two hundred.
Third: Abu Ahmad or Abu Ayyub Sulayman b. Bilal al Qurashi al-Madani. A freed slave of Siddique’s folks. He heard from `Abdullah b. Dinar and a host of other second generation Muslims (Taabe`iyyun), and from him narrated renowned figures like Ibn al Mubarak and others. Muhammad b. said: He was of the Barbar, handsome and handsome figure and intelligent too. He was a jurisconsult of his area. He was in charge of the tributes coming into Madinah. He died there in 172. Bukhari said quoting Haroon b. Muhammad that he died in 177. Among the six canonical works there is none called Sulayman b. Bilal, except he.
Fourth: Abu `Abdul Rahman `Abdullah b. Dinar, `Amr b. Dinar’s brother, Qurashi, `Adawi, Madani, freed slave of Ibn `Umar who took Hadith from his master and from others. His son `Abdul Rahman – transmitted (Hadith) from him, as well as others. By consensus he is trustworthy. He died n 127. One of the narrators is `Amr b. Dinar the Himsi, who is not very trustworthy and there is no third to these two `Amr b. Dinars.
Fifth: Abu Saleh Dhakwan al Samman al Madani. He used to import ghee and oils to Kufa (hence Sammani). He was a freed slave of Juwayriyyah bint al Ahmas al Ghatafani. But Quubuddin’s Sharh states that he is a freed slave of Juwayrah bint al Haris, a woman from Qays (tribe). He narrated from a host of Companins as also from their Followers. Accordingly, a host of Followers narrated from him. Of them: `Ata’ was one. A`mash took a thousand ahdith from him. His own sons – `Abdullah, Suhayl and Saleh – narrated (Hadith) from him. The Doctors are unanimous over his trustworthiness. He died in Madinah in 101.
Sixth: Abu Hurayrah. No less that thirty opinions have been expressed about him and his father’s name. Most have confirmed it as `Abullah, or `Abdur Rahman b. Sakhr of the Daws tribe. He was the first of those given this agnomen for the reasons of a cat that he had he used to play with. It was the Prophet or perhaps his father who gave him this agnomen. It is said that was a monitor over the people of the Platform. By consensus he embraced Islam in the year of Khaybar (7 AH) in which battle he participated along with the Prophet. Ibn `Abd al-Barr: never has anyone’s name as contested as his. It is reported that in pre-Islamic times he was called `Abd Shams, and named `Abd al Rahman. His mother’s name was Maymunah – some say Umayyah. She accepted Islam following the Prophet’s supplication for her.
Abu Hurayrah himself said, “I grew up an orphan, migrated a broke, and was employed by Yusra bint Ghazwan as her personal servant. But, as it would be, Allah (swt) granted her to me as a husband. So Allah (swt) be praised who made Islam the stabilizing mainstay, and who installed Abu Hurayrah as a leader. He added, ‘I used to tend sheep. I had a kitten I used to play with; so they gave me this agnomen.’ But it is said that the Prophet saw the cat in his sleeve-pocket and addressed him as, ‘O Abu Hurayrah!’
By consensus he is the most copious narrator, relating 5374 reports. Bukhari and Muslim have jointly accepted 325 reports for their collections. On his own, Bukhari chose to include 93 in his collection while Muslim 190 narrations.
No less than 800 people have narrated from him, including Companions and the Followers such as: Ibn `Abbas, Jabir, Anas and others
Abu Hurayrah was of the Azd clan, of the Daws tribe. He took to residence in Dhu al Hulayfah a place near Madinah. He owned a house there, which he donated to his folks. He died in Madinah in the 59th year AH. Some say 57th year. He was buried in Baqi` when he was 78 year old. Some people claim that his grave is in `Asqalan. But that’s incorrect. The Companion who is buried there is Khaysa`ah b. Jandarah.
Abu Hurayrah is the singular Companion who carried this agnomen.
Among the bulk of narrators (through the ages) there have been a few who adopted this agnomen (kunniyyah). There is someone who narrated through Mak-hul and from whom Abu al-Mulayh al-Ruqqi. But he is an unknown narrator. Then there is one called Muhammad b. Firash al Dua`ee. Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah have him as a narrator. He died in 245 H. Among the Shafe`iyyah there is another who used this agnomen. His name is Thabit b. Shibl. `Abdul Gaffar said about him: “A learned man, given to debating (with people).”
Al-Ja`fi: He has been attributed in Mudh-haj to Ja`fi b. Sa`d, the clan of Bin Malik, and Malik is the gatherer of Mudh-haj.
As for al-`Aqadi, they are of the Qays being branch of Azd as stated in al Tahdheeb, which Nawawi followed in his commentary; while in the commentary of Qutubuddin it is stated that al-`Aqad is of the clan of Nakheelah. But it is thought that they were allies of Qays. Abu al Sheikh the Hafiz said that they were so named because they were a meanly people.
The author of al-`Ayn noted: `Aqad is a tribe in Yemen, belonging to Banu `Abd ; Shams b. Sa`d; while Rashati said: Al-`Aqadi is among the Qays b. Tha`laba. Abu `Ali Ghassani has reported Abu `Umar as saying: the `Aaqadees are from the clan of Qays.
As for Musnadi, he is identified as `Abdullah b. Muhammad who was one of the masters of Bukhari. He had been so named because he used to search ahadith of the Musnad type and was interested in Mursal reports. The author of al-Irshad says: He was sepecially interested in Musnad reports. Hakim abu `Abdullah said that he was so known because he is the first to collect together of the Companions for lives of those of the ‘Ma wara’ al-Nahr’ region.
As for the Taymi, they belong to different tribes. Among the Quraysh it was Taym b. Murrah. Among the Rabab it is Taym b. `Abd Manah b. Udd bin Tabikha. Among the Nimr b. Qasid, it was Taymullah b. al-Nimr b. Qasit. Among the Shayban b. Dhahl, it is Taym b. Shayban. Among the Rabi`ah b. Nidhar, it is Taymullah b. Tha`labah. Among the Quda`ah it is Taymullah b. Rafeedah; among the Dhabbah, it is Taym b. Dhahl.
Regarding `Adawi, he is attributed to `Adiyy b. Ka`b, he is of the Quraysh. Among the Rabab it is `Adiyy b. `Abd Manah. Among the Khuza`ah it is `Adiyy b. `Amr; among the Ansar it is `Adiyy which is a family of Najjar; among the Tay’ it is `Adiyy b. Akhram; in the Khuza`ah it is `Adiyy b. Khabbab. Dawsi of the Azd is attributed to Daws b. `Adnan b. `Abdullah.
An account of the finer details in the chain of narrators:
The whole chain is of the Madinans, except for the `Aqadi who is Basri; secondly all the narrators of the chain meet with the condition of acceptance set by the six canonical works, except for al-Musnadi (who falls as an ancestor of [Abu Ja`far] `Abdullah b. Muhammad), as detailed above. Another notable point is that among the narrators one Follower (Tabe`ee) narrates another Follower, to wit: `Abdullah b. Dinar narrates from Abu Saleh.
An account of who else preserved this hadith in his collection
Muslim recorded it coming through `Ubayullah b. Sa`id – `Abd b. Humayd – al-`Aqadi. He also recorded (a second report) through Zuhayr – Jarir – Sahl b. `Abdullah – Ibn Dinar. Of the rest of the collectors Abu Da’ud did it his Sunan through Musa b. Isma`il – Hammad – Suhayl. Tirmidhi did it in his (Kitab) al-Imaan through Abu Kurayb – Waki` – Sufyan – Suhayl saying the report is Hasan Sahih.
Nasa’i brought it in his (Kitab) al-Imaan through Muhammad b. `Abdullah al-Muhrimi – Abu `Aamir al-`Aqadi – Ahmad b. Sulayman – Abu Da’ud al-Hafari; and Abu Nu`aym, both through Sufyan – Yahya b. Habeeb b. `Arabiyy – Khalid b. al-Harith – Abi `Ajalan (narrating only a part (‘Modesty is a part of Imaan’). Ibn Majah did it in his Sunan through `Ali b. Muhammad al-Tafasi – Waki` – `Amr b. Rafe` – Jarir; and Abu Bakr b. abi Shaybah through Abu Jamal al-Ahmar – Ibn `Ajlan.
(Commentary on the meaning of the hadith appears next month)