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.