Umdatul-Ahkaam Fee Kalaam Khayril Annaam
Umdatul-Ahkaam by Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisee (d.600 A.H.) is a famous text that contains hadith pertaining to juristic rulings (ahkaam) from Bukhari & Muslim. Like Bulugh al Maram Ibn Hajar, the author leaves out the chains of narration and suffices with the name of the Sahabi.
There are very few hadeeths in this book which are only reported by Imaam Bukhaaree or only by Imaam Muslim. Therefore, all the hadeeths of “Umdatul-Ahkaam” are authentic hadeeths. It is divided into books and chapters of fiqh.
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His name and his lineage:
He is Muwaffaq ad-Deen Aboo Muhammad, 'Abd-Allah bin Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Qudaamah bin Miqdaam bin Nasir bin 'Abd-Allah al-Maqdisee, then later became ad-Dimashqee, as-Saalihee.
He was born in Sha'baan in the year 541 H., in the village of Jammaa'eel, Jabal Naablus.
He memorised the Qur'aan at an early age, studied its sciences and was known to have a nice hand-writing.
His early life (youth) and travels:
- He went to Damascus with his family when he was ten years old, he read the Qur'an, and he memorized the Mukhtasar (Summary / Compendium) (of) al-Khiraqee.
- He travelled to Baghdaad with the son of his aunt (maternal cousin) al-Haafidh 'Abd al-Ghanee in the year 561 H. and they heard a lot from the many scholars there.
- He studied (Islamic) jurisprudence (fiqh) until he surpassed his peers/equals and he was very successful, thus he mastered the knowledge of the madhhab (school of law) and its principles.
His piety and his asceticism (zuhd):
He was pious, ascetic, God-fearing, consequently he had dignity, and he possessed tolerance and leniency, and all of his time he was preoccupied with knowledge and action, he would counter disputes with arguments and proofs/evidences, he would not become enraged or aroused, while his opponents would scream and become angry.
He left with his cousin, Al-Hafidh Abdul-Ganee, for Baghdad in 561 AH and caught up with Shaykh Abdul-Qaadir in his final days (i.e. before he passed away). They stayed at his school, learning from him as well as from other scholars and student of knowledge of that time such as Ibn Al-Jawzee, Hibat-ullaah Ibn Al-Hasan Ad-Daqaaq, Abi'l Fath Ibn Al-Battee, Abi Zur'ah Ibn Taahir, Yahya Ibn Thaabit, Khadeejah An-Nahrawaaniyah and others.
He also studied with the following scholars of his time:
Damascus / Syria - Abi Al-Makaarim Ibn Hilaal
Mosull / Iraq - Abi Al-Fadl at-Toosee
Makkah Al-Mukarramah - Al-Mubaarak Ibn At-Tabbaakh
Some of the Scholars that relayed his 'Ilm (knowledge) to us are:
He had a lot of students and from the more famous of them were Shihaab ad-Deen Aboo Shaamah al-Maqdisee – d. 665 H. – and al-Haafidh Zakee ad-Deen Aboo Muhammad al-Mundhiree – d. 656 H. – and others (of them):
Al-Jamaal Abu Moosa Ibn Al-Haafidh
Ash-Shams Ibn Kamaal
Zaynab Bint Al-wasitee and many others
He was known for his vast knowledge, wisdom and wit and renown as the Scholar of the people of Ash-Shaam of his time. Ibn An-Najjaar describes him as:
"The Imaam of Al-Hanaabilah in Damascus Mosque, he was a trust worthy, noble figure, extremely generous, of a clean character, a cautious worshipper, follower of the pious predecessors' methodology, emitting light (of knowledge and piety) and repectful. One may benefit from (just) seeing him before even hearing his speech!"
Some of his books:
The writings of the Imaam al-Muwaffaq are already plenty and they reach the level of excellence of the learned: Ibn Rajab said:
"Ash-shaykh al-Muwaffaq – rahimahullah – wrote a lot of good works on the madhhab, on the branches and on principles, in the (science) of al-hadeeth and the language and asceticism and the heart softeners, and his writings in usool ad-deen reach a level of high quality, a lot of them were on the path of the muhadditheen (the hadith – scholars), full of al-ahadeeth and al-aathaar and al-asaaneed (chains of narration), like the path/way of imaam Ahmad and the scholars of al-hadeeth."
Al-Mughnee - 10 volumes
Al-Kaafee - 4 volumes
Ar-Rawdah - 1 volume
Ar-Riqqah - 1 volume
At-Tawwaabeen - 1 volume
Al-I'tiqaad - 1 volume
Al-Mutahabbeen - 1 volume
...and many others
And from these writings are:
In (Islamic) Jurisprudence (Fiqh): al-Mughnee, al-Kaafee, al-'Uddah, al-'Umdah (al-Fiqh), and al-Muqna'....
In al-'Aqeedah: Luma'at al-'Itiqaad, al-Qad(a)r, Dhamm al-Taa-weel....
In Usool al-Fiqh : Rawdat an-Naazhir...
In Raqaa'iq (Ascetism): ar-Riqqah wal-Bukaa and at-Tawwaabeen.
(In al-hadeeth): Mukhtasar al-'Ilal al-Hadeeth li'l-Khalaal....
He has got other writings as well, which are between the stages of print and manuscript, we ask Allah to enable us to see the light (of guidance of these books) at a near time.
Statements from the learned about him:
Aboo 'Amr bin as-Salaah said:
"I didn't see anyone like ash-Shaykh Muwaffaq."
Ibn Taymiyyah said:
"No one possessing more understanding of the religion – fiqh – entered ash-Shaam - after al-Awzaa'ee - other than ash-shaykh al-Muwaffaq."
"He was al-Faqeeh al-Imaam, he narrated (ahaadeeth) in Damascus, he issued fatawaa and taught/gave lessons, he wrote books in fiqh and other subjects, summarized and long."
"He was one of the eminent imaams and an author of many books."
Ibn Kathir said:
"Shaykh al-Islam, an imaam an 'aalim, proficient, there was not found in his era nor before it by a long span of time, anyone possessing more fiqh – understanding of the religion – than him."
He died on Saturday, the Day of 'Eid-ul Fitr in 620 AH. May Allaah, subhanahu wata'aala, accepts him in His vast mercy, benefit us from his knowledge and gather us with his likes on the Day of Judgement, Aameen.
For discussion at length of the biography of Ibn Qudaamah turn to:
1. at-Takmilah fee Wafee-aat an-Naqlah by al-Mundhiree (3/107)
2. al-'Ibr fee Khabar min Ghabr by adh-Dhahabee (5/79-80)
3. Syaar A'alaam an-Nubalaa by adh-Dhahabi (22/160-173)
4. al-Bidaayah wa'n-Nihaayah by Ibn Kathir (13/99-100)
5. Dhayl Tabaqaat al-Hanaabilah by Bin Rajab (2/133-149)
6. Shadhraat adh-Dhahab by Bin al-'Imaad al-Hanbalee (5/88-92)
7. Mu'jam al-Baladaan by Yaaqoot al-Hamawee (2/159)
8. Fawaat al-Wafee-aat by Bin Shaakir al-Kattabee (2/158-159)
9. Fihris Makhtootaat azh-Zhaahireeyyah (qism al-hadeeth) by ash-shaykh al-Albaanee
10. Muqaddimah Tahqeeq Kitaab Ithbaat Siffah al'Uluw li bin Qudaamah bi-qalam al-akh al-kareem Badr al-Badr
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A Brief Biography of the Author
Abu Muhammad 'Abdul-Ghanee al-Maqdisi (rahimahullaah) was born in the year 541 after Hijrah, then he moved with his family to Damascus. He took knowledge from his father and the scholars in Damascus of that time. Later, he taught hadeeth in Damascus. He had many students; the most notable of them being: Muwaffaquddin ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi and `Abdul-Qadir ar-Rahawee and others.
He travelled to Baghdad seeking knowledge and also to Egypt and then returned to Damascus where he settled.
When Imaam ibn-Rajab (rahimahullaah) spoke about him and his interest in hadeeth, he called him: “Ameerul-mu`mineen fil- hadeeth” (the Leader of the Believers in Hadeeth). And he described his affairs of worship and piety and good creed, because of his following the path of the pious predecessors (rahimahumullaah). Al-Muwaffiq ibn Qudamah described him as his “colleague in worship” and said:
“Whenever we hastened to do good he would be (the) first (in performing it)”.
He used to enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. He was described as being a generous man, humble yet with a notable character. He used to stand most of the night praying.
In addition, he wrote many books and treatises - most notable is the book which is called: “Al-Kamalu fi Ma`rifatur-Rijaal”, a complete compilation concerning knowing the men (meaning the narrators). And this is a biography of narrators of the books of the Sunan. And he wrote the book entitled: “Al-Misbah fee ‘Ooyoun al-Hadeeth as-Sihaah” which comprises the ahadeeth from the Saheehayn (al-Bukhaaree and Muslim). And he compiled this book: “Umdatul-Ahkaam” (The main issues concerning the rulings from the tongue of the Prophet (`alayhi salaatu was-salaam)
He died on a Monday the 23rd of the third month (Rabi’ul-awwal) from the 600 year after Hijrah in Egypt at the age of 59. Many cried over his death. Many praised him and wrote poetry about him - may Allaah’s Mercy encompass him. may Allaah the Most High admit him to Paradise and admit us and our Mashaa’ikh and those who do good to us and the Muslims. He has power of all things, wa sallallaahu Muhammadan wa ‘alaa aalihi was-sallam.
His book 'Umdatul Ahkaam deals with the rulings as proven by textual proofs from the Sunnah, mostly based on the narrations collected by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim.