Imām Muslim

Imām Muslim is another leading pillar in ahadith and amongst the al-Sahih al-Sittah. He compiled Sahih Muslim, a renowned hadith collection accepted by all scholars.

His Name, Background and Family

His full name is Abu Al-Husayn Muslim ibn Al-Hajjaj ibn Muslim ibn Ward ibn Kushadh Al-Qushairy An-Naysapuri. Imām Muslim was born in 202 AH (817 CE) or 204 AH (819 CE) or 206 AH (821 CE) in Nishapur, Khurasan. He belonged to a noble Arab tribe called ‘Qushair’. In a family of knowledge and good conduct, for his father was a regular attendant of the circles of knowledge and upright man, and in a town replete with Islamic knowledge, Abu Al-Husayn Muslim grew up stuck on knowledge. He began his knowledge journey in his tender age, as Imām Adh-Dhahabi said: He was then about 12 years old or less when he attended the circles of Hadith.

His Journey to Seek Knowledge

Imām Muslim started learning Hadith under the scholars in his town Nishapur. He travelled to Basra when he was 14, then he went to Hejaz to perform Hajj and study Hadith under the Imāms of Hadith in Makkah and Madinah. After that, he travelled to Egypt, the Levant, Iraq and returned to Ar-Rayy and then Khurasan. He remained about 15 years pursuing knowledge of Hadith during which he met many Scholars and collected more than 300,000 Hadiths. One of which was Imām Bukhari.

He travelled to these places more than once without any tiredness or wearisome. In these tours, he bent on knowledge seeking, scrutinizing the narrators of Hadith and gaining the fruits of knowledge.

Sahih Muslim

The Sahih Muslim of Imām Muslim is regarded as next to Sahih Bukhari in accuracy and authenticity. Imām Muslim examined 300,000 traditions before the completion of this book. Out of his large collection he included only 4000 traditions. One great feature of his book is that he selected only those traditions which were free of all defects and were unanimously accepted by the great Hadith scholars.

Imām Muslim strictly observed the principles of the science of hadith. He was even stricter than Imām Bukhari in pointing out the differences between the accounts of various narrators, their character and other details. He shows greater ability in the arrangement of traditions.

Moreover, he wrote a long introduction to his book explaining the principles followed by him as regards the choice of the material for his book whereas Imām al Bukhari did not. Any tradition which is accepted by both Imām Bukhari and Imām Muslim has been termed as “agreed upon” and these “agreed upon” traditions are considered to be the most reliable and authentic.


He died on account of having consumed too many dates. One day he was so engrossed in investigating a particular Hadith, that he just did not notice that he had eaten all the dates in the container one by one. Imām Muslim lived for 55 years and died on the evening of Sunday, 24 of Rajab, 261 AH (875 CE).

Notable Teachers

It is related that his teachers were about 220 of the narrators of Hadith. He accompanied Imām Bukhari and was affected by his method in compiling Hadiths. It is reported that he would say to Imām Bukhari:

Let me kiss your legs, O master of teachers, leader of Muhaddithin (scholars of Hadith) and doctor of Hadith knowledge and its deficiencies.

Imām Muslim
  • Abdullah ibn Maslamah Al-Qanaby
  • Yahya ibn Yahya An-Naysabury
  • Qutaybah ibn Said
  • Said ibn Mansur
  • Imām Ahmed ibn Hanbal
  • Ishaq ibn Rahwaya
  • Abu Khaithamah Zuhair ibn Harb
  • Abu Kurayb Muhammad ibn Al-Alaa
  • Abu Musa Mohammad ibn Al-Muthanna
  • Muhammad ibn Yahya Adh-Dhuhaly
  • Abu Muhammad ibn Ismail Al-Bukhari (Imām Bukhari)
  • Abdullah Ad-Darimi
  • Muhammad ibn Mahran Al-Jammal
  • Abu Ghassan

Scholars Praises of Imām Muslim:

Mohammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab Al-Farra said:

“Muslim was one of the prominent scholars and vessels of knowledge.”

Mohammad ibn Bashshar said:

“The memorizers of Hadiths are four: Abu Zurah, Muhammad ibn Ismail Al-Bukhari, Ad-Darimi, and Muslim.”

Al-Husain ibn Ali An-Naysaburi said:

“There is no book under the canopy of the sky more authentic than the book of Muslim ibn Al-Hajjaj in the knowledge of Hadith.”

Ahmed ibn Salamah said:

“I saw Abu Zurah and Abu Hatim advancing Muslim ibn Al-Hajjaj in knowing the authentic Hadiths upon the sheikhs (teachers) of their age.”

Ibn Khalkan said:

“He is the compiler of the Sahih, one of the greatest memorizers and leading scholars of Hadith”.

Ibn Al-Jawzi said:

“He is a prominent scholar of Hadith and one of the vessels of knowledge.”

Sadi ibn Hasan Al-Qanuji said:

“Imām Muslim ibn Al-Hajjaj Al-Qushairy Al-Baghdadi is one of the outstanding memorizers and knowledgeable scholars of Hadith, he is the leader of Khurasan in the knowledge of Hadith following Al-Bukhari.”

Notable Students

  • Ali ibn Al-Hasan ibn Eisa Al-Hilali
  • Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab Al-Farra
  • Al-Husain ibn Muhammad Al-Qabbani
  • Abu Eisa At-Tirmidhi
  • Abdullah ibn Yahya As-Sarkhasi Al-Qady
  • Ali ibn Al-Husain Ar-Razi
  • Salih ibn Muhammad Jazarah
  • Nasr ibn Ahmed Al-Hafiz
  • Ibn Khuzaimah
  • Abu Uwanah
  • Abdur-Rahmadn ibn Abu Hatim Ar-Razi

Notable Works

Besides Sahih Muslim, he wrote many other books on the Hadith and the most important of which are:

  • At-Tamiyiz
  • Kitab Al-`Ilal
  • Kitab Al-Wuhdan
  • Kitab Al-Afrad
  • Kitab Al-Aqran
  • Kitab Al-Mukhadramin
  • Kitab Awham Al-Muhaddithin
  • Kitab At-Tabaqat

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