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Muslim Ibn Al-Hajjaj

MUSLIM IBN AL-HAJJAJ, the Imam, the author of one of the two books of Mahommedan tradition called Sahih, " sound," was born at Nishapur at some uncertain date after A.D. 815 and died there in 875. Like al-Bukhari (?..), of whom he was a close and faithful friend, he gave himself to the collecting, sifting and arranging of traditions, travelling for the purpose as far as Egypt. It is plain that his sympathies were with the traditionalist school or opposed to that which sought to build up the system of canon law on a speculative basis (see MAHOMMEDAN LAW). But though he was a student and friend of Ahmad ibn Hanbal (q.v.) he did not go in traditionalism to the length of some, and he defended al-Bukhari when the latter was driven from Nishapur for icfusing to admit that the utterance (lafz) of the Koran by man was as uncreated as the Koran itself (see MAHOMMEDAN RELIGION; and Patton's Ahmad ibn Hanbal, 32 sqq.). His great collection of traditions is second in popularity only to that of al-Bukhari, and is commonly regarded as more accurate and reliable in details, especially names. His object was more to weed out illegitimate accretions than to furnish a traditional basis for a system of law. Therefore, though he arranged his material according to such a system, he did not add guiding rubrics, and he regularly brought together in one place the different parallel versions of the same tradition. His book is thus historically more useful, but legally less suggestive. His biographers give almost no details as to his life, and its early part was probably very obscure. One gives a list of as many as twenty works, but only his Sahih seems to have reached us.

See further, de Slane's transl. of ibn Khallikan, iii. 348 sqq, and of Ibn Khaldun's Prolegomenes, ii. 470, 475; Goldziher, Muhammedanische Studien, ii. 245 sqq., 255 sqq.; Brockelmann, Geschichle der arab. Litt., \. 760 seq.; Macdonald, Development of Muslim Theology, 80, 147 seq.; Dhahabi Tadhkira (edit, of Hyderabad), ii. 165 sqq.

(D. B. MA.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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