Imam Al-Suyuti

Imam Al-Suyuti

Infobox_Muslim scholars | notability = Muslim scholar| era = | color = #cef2e0 |

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| name = Abu al-Fadl 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti| title= Ibn al Kutb (Son of Books)| birth = 1445 Rajab of 849 H | death = 1505 911H
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Imam Jalaluddin Al-Suyuti (c. 1445-1505 AD) (Arabic: جلال الدين السيوطي) also known as Ibn al-Kutb (son of books) was an Egyptian writer, religious scholar, juristic expert and teacher whose works deal with a wide variety of subjects in Islamic theology. He was precocious and was already a teacher in 1462. In 1486, he was appointed to a chair in the mosque of Baybars in Cairo. He adhered to the Shafi'ie Madhab and is one of the latter-day authorities of the Shafi'ie School, considered to be one of the Ashabun-Nazzar (Assessors) whose degree of Ijtihad is agreed upon.


Name, lineage and birth

His full name was Abu al-Fadl 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr, Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti. Al-Suyuti is an ascription to a town in Upper Egypt called Asyut. One of his grandfathers built a school there and donated money for it. His father, Al-Kamaal was born there in Asyut, so that is why Jalàl al-Din ascribes himself to that town. Both his grandfathers were men of leadership and prestige and his father was from the Jurist of the Shafi'i Madhhab, as Al-Suyuti stated in Husn-ul-Muhaadarah. When his father died, Al-Kamaal Ibn Al-Hamaam, a Hanafi jurist, was one of the people that his father left Al-Suyuti entrusted to.]

He was born in the month of Rajab 849H [1445 AD] in Cairo (Egypt), and was raised as an orphan after his father died while he was only 5 years old. He memorized the entire Qur'an when he was barely eight. Then he went on to memorize "Al-Umdah" and "Minhaaj Al-Fiqh wal-Usool" and "Alfiyyah Ibn Malik." He began to engross himself with knowledge starting from 864H (i.e. when he was 15).


He took knowledge of Fiqh and Nahu (Arabic grammar) from a large group of Shaykh's. So he studied the laws of inheritance at the hands of the great scholar, who was the most knowledgeable on this subject during his time, Shaikh Shihaab-ud-Deen Ash-Shaar Masaahee, who lived to a very old age. He studied his explanation of "Al-Majmoo" under him.

He accompanied 'Ilm al-Din al-Balqini studying Fiqh under him until he died. Ilm-ud-Deen Al-Balqeenee, authorized ijaazah (religious authorization) him to teach and give fatwa in 876H. Likewise, he accompanied Shaikh Sharaf-ud-Deen Al-Manaawee and benefited from him in the fields of Fiqh and Tafseer.

[Al-Suyuti moved on to study under Al-Manawee after the death of Ilm-ud-Deen Al-Balqeenee in 878H. Ironically, Sharaf Al-Deen Al-Manaawee was the grandfather of Abdur-Ra'oof Al-Manaawee, the scholar that wrote the work Faid-ul-Qadeer, which was an explanation of As-Suyuti's Al-Jaami'-us-Sagheer.]

He studied the sciences of Hadith and the Arabic language under the Imam, Taqee-ud-Deen Ash-Shumnee Al-Hanafi, who wrote some eulogies for him. He also attended the gatherings of the great scholar, Al-Kaafeejee, for the length of fourteen years and learned from him the subjects of Tafseer, Usool, and Ma'aanee. And he received ijaazah (religious authorization) by him. He also benefited from the classes of Saif-ud-Deen Al-Hanafi on Tafseer and Balaagha (eloquence).

The number of teachers whom he received ijaazah (religious authorization) from, studied under and heard from reaches one hundred and fifty shaykhs, as has been compiled by Al-religious authorization himself and his student after him, Al-Dawoodee, who arranged them in alphabetical order.

[In his book Husn-ul-Muhaadarah, Al-Suyuti gives the number of teachers who narrated to him from those he heard from and those who gave him the ijaazah, saying: "As for my teachers who narrated to me, whom I heard from and who gave me the religious approval (ijaazah) then they are many. I have mentioned them in the lexicon I have compiled about them, and I counted them to number about 150."]

Imam As-Suyuti traveled to Sham, Hijaz, Yemen, India and Morocco, and settled down towards the end of his life in his homeland of Egypt.


Al-Suyuti withdrew from the people and remained in his house, busying himself with knowledge, research and writing until he caught a sickness that lasted for seven days, ending in his death. This happened in Jumada al-Ula, 911 AH.


He was modest, kind, righteous, fearful of Allah, satisfied with what sustenance he received from his scholastic life. And he would not extend his eyes out to anyone. The leaders and rich people would go to visit him and would present him with valuable wealth, but he would return it to them.

[Al-Suyuti held various positions in his lifetime such as that of teacher of the Arabic language in 866H, he was authorized to give fatwa in 876H and he taught and dictated hadith at the University of Ibn Tuloon.


He was one of the most prolific writers, and is perhaps the most well-known author of the latter times. He has left behind at least a book in every branch of Islamic science that include both short monographs of few pages and tomes spanning volumes. Some of his books are also first of their kind - and standards for those that were written after. Many of his books are published; they are easily and widely available.

The first book he wrote was "Sharh Al-Isti'aadha wal-Basmalah" in 866H, when he was seventeen years old.

Ibn Ímād writes: "Most of his works become world famous right in his lifetime. His ability to write was phenomenal. His student Dāwādi says: "I was with the shaykh [Suyūţi] once, and he wrote three volumes on that day. He used to dictate annotations on ĥadīth, and answer my objections at the same time. He was the most knowledgeable scholar in his time of the ĥadīth and associated sciences, knowledge of the narrators including the uncommon ones [shādh] , the text of the ĥadīth [matn] , its chain of narrators [asānīd] , the derivation of ruling from ĥadīth [istinbaţ] . He has himself told me, that he had memorized a hundred thousand ĥadīth." [23]


The most famous of Imam Al-Suyuti's students and it is possible to say the most outstanding student to graduate from the school (madrasah) of As-Suyuti was the Imam, the historian, Al-Dawoodi (died 945H) - author of the book Tabaqaat Al-Mufassireen and other works. Then there was his other student, the famous historian, Ibn Iyaas, author of the book Badaa'i-uz-Zuhoor (died 930H).

Some other of his students were the Imam, the Haafidh Ibn Tuloon Al-Hanafi (died 935H), author of the three "Fahaaris" (indexes) as well as many other works and the Imam Ash-Shi'raanee, author of the book At-Tabaqaat (died 973H).


His books and treatises have been counted to number almost 500 works altogether. Some other famous works he produced were:
*Tafsir al-Jalalayn (Arabic: تفسير الجلالين)
*Alfiyyah al-Hadith [ [ USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts ] ]
*Al-Jaami' al-Kabîr (Arabic: الجامع الكبير)
*Al-Jaami' al-Saghîr (Arabic: الجامع الصغير)
*Dur al-Manthur (Arabic: درالمنثور)
*Tadrib al-Rawi (Arabic: تدريب الراوي)
*History of the Caliphs (Arabic:"Tarikh al-khulafa")
*The Khalifas who took the right way (Arabic "Al-Khulafah Ar-Rashidun")
*Tabaqat al-huffaz283 works of Imam Suyuti listed as he himself mentions them in Husn al-Muhađarah

ee also

*Islamic scholars


External links
* [ Imam Suyuti Biography and Works at SunniPort]

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