Malik ibn Anas ibn Malik ibn Abi ‘Amir al-Asbahi
أبو عبد الله مالك بن أنس بن مالك بن أبي عامر الأصبحي الحميري المدني
Imam Malik – الإمام مالك
Mālik ibn Anas ibn Mālik ibn Abī ‘Āmir al-Asbahī (Arabic مالك بن أنس) (c. 711 – 795) (93 AH – 179 AH ) is known as “Imam Malik,” the “Sheikh of Islam”, the “Proof of the Community,” and “Imam of the Abode of Emigration.” He was one of the most highly respected scholars of fiqh in Sunni Islam. Shafi`i, who was one of Malik’s students for nine years and a scholarly giant in his own right, stated, “when scholars are mentioned, Malik is the star.” The Maliki Madhab, named after Malik, is one of the four schools of jurisprudence that are followed by Sunni Muslims to this day.
Mālik ibn Anas
- Title: Imam of the Abode of Emigration
- Born: 711 CE/93 AH Medina
- Died: 795 CE/179 AH (aged 83-84) Medina
- Ethnicity: Arab
- Era: Umayyad Caliphate
- Region: Today’s Saudi Arabia
- Jurisprudence: Sunnah
- Creed: Athari
- Main interest(s): Hadith, Fiqh
- Notable idea(s): Maliki madhhab
- Notable work(s): Al-Muwatta, Mudawana
His full name was Abu Abdullah Mālik ibn Anas ibn Mālik Ibn Abī ‘Āmir Ibn ‘Amr Ibnul-Hārith Ibn Ghaimān Ibn Khuthail Ibn ‘Amr Ibnul-Haarith.
Malik was born the son of Anas ibn Malik (not the Sahabi) and Aaliyah bint Shurayk al-Azdiyya in Medina circa 711. His family was originally from the al-Asbahi tribe of Yemen, but his great grandfather Abu ‘Amir relocated the family to Medina after converting to Islam in the second year of the Hijri calendar, or 623 CE. According to Al-Muwatta, he was tall, heavyset, imposing of stature, very fair, with white hair and beard but bald, with a huge beard and blue eyes.
Living in Medina gave Malik access to some of the most learned minds of early Islam. He memorized the Quran in his youth, learning recitation from Abu Suhail Nafi’ ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahman, from whom he also received his Ijazah, or certification and permission to teach others. He studied under various famed scholars including Hisham ibn Urwah, Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri, and — along with Abu Hanifa, the founder of the Hanafi Sunni Madh’hab- and under the household of the Prophet’s lineage, Shî`î Imâm Jafar al Sadiq.
This fact may explain the mutual respect and relative peace that has often existed between the Hanafi and Maliki Sunnis, on one hand, and the Shi`is on the other.
Golden Chain of Narration
Malik’s chain of narrators was considered the most authentic and called Silsilat ul-Zhahab or “The Golden Chain of Narrators” by notable hadith scholars including Muhammad al-Bukhari. The ‘Golden Chain’ of narration (i.e., that considered by the scholars of Hadith to be the most authentic) consists of Malik, who narrated from Nafi’, who narrated from Ibn Umar, who narrated from Muhammad.
Mention in Hadith
The Muslim prophet Muhammad reportedly said in a hadith authenticated by Muhammad ibn `Isa at-Tirmidhi: “Very soon will people beat the flanks of camels in search of knowledge, and they shall find no-one more knowledgeable than the knowledgeable scholar of Madina.” Qadi Ayyad, Al-Dhahabi and others relate from Sufyan ibn `Uyaynah, ‘Abd ar-Razzaq as-San‘ani, Ibn Mahdi, Yahya ibn Ma’in, Dhu’ayb ibn `Imama, Ibn al-Madini, and others that they considered that scholar to be Malik ibn Anas.
Reluctance in Rendering
Malik took advantage of the fact that he was contemporary to many of the Tabi‘in to formulate his school of thought, which gave precedence to the acts of the people of Medina over the Hadith if they were in conflict. This was done due to the sizeable amount of scholars, and companions of Muhammad residing in the city where Malik’s reputation grew immensely. Malik nevertheless showed hesitancy in issuing religious verdicts explaining in one of his more famous statements that:
The shield of the scholar is, ‘I do not know,’ so if he neglects it, his statement is attacked.
Textualist interpretation of
Hadith on God’s Attributes
Malik adhered to a textual interpretation of hadith in relation to God’s attributes. Al-Daraqutni relates that Malik was asked about the attributes of Allah, to which Malik answered, “Pass them on as they come.”
Furthermore, Qadi Iyad relates that Malik was asked whether people would be looking toward Allah given the narration, “And some faces shall be shining and radiant upon that day, looking at their Lord.” Malik ensuingly answered, “Yes, with these two eyes of his,” though his student replied, “there are a people who say he will not be looking at Allah, that ‘looking’ means a reward” to which Malik answered, “They lied, rather they will look at Allah.”
Opposition to Bid’ah or
Innovation in Beliefs
Malik was vehemently opposed to bid’ah and even directed others not to extend the Islamic greeting of Salam to the people of bidah, stating, “how evil are the People of Innuendo, we do not give them felicitations.” Malik explained that “he who establishes an innovation in Islam regarding it as something good, has claimed that Muhammad has betrayed his trust to deliver the message as God says, ‘this day have I perfected for you your religion’. And whatsoever was not part of the religion then, is not part of the religion today.”
Malik sternly prohibited theological rhetoric and philosophical speech, frequently referred to as kalam. Malik believed that Kalam was rooted in heretical doctrines taken up and followed by controversial theologians such as Jahm bin Safwan. When asked about an individual who delved into Kalam, Malik answered, “He establishes his innuendo with kalaam, and if kalaam had been knowledge, the Companions and the tabi’in would have spoken about it, just as they spoke about the rules and regulations.
Imam Malik died at the age of 84 in Medina in 795 and is buried in the famous Jannat ul-Baqi cemetery across from the Masjid al Nabawi. Malik’s last words were related by one Isma’il Ibn Abi Uways who said, “Malik became sick, so I asked some of our people about what he said at the time of his death. They said, `He recited the shahadah (testification of faith), then he recited:
Their affair is for Allah, before and after.
Imam Malik wrote:
- Al-Muwatta, “The Approved,” which was said to have been regarded by Shafi’i to be the soundest book on Earth after the Qur’an.
- Al-Mudawwana al-Kubra, written down by Sahnun ibn Sa’id ibn Habib at-Tanukhi (c. 776-7 – 854-5) after the death of Malik ibn Anas.
“The reform of the later generations of this Ummah will take place in the same way as reformed its earlier generations.” taken from Islahi Khutbat (Discourse on Islamic Way of Life)
Reforming the Umayyad
Rule From the Inside
One of Muawiyah’s most controversial and enduring legacies was his decision to designate his son Yazid as his successor. Yazid was experienced militarily, after taking part in various expeditions and the siege of Constantinople but politically inexperienced.
Marwan also wanted Yazid to be the Caliph so that he could run things behind the scenes, as he would become the senior member of the Umayyad clan after Muawiyah’s death. Mohammad, Abu Bakr and Umar also mistrusted Marwan and he had lived in Taif during their rule, where he became friends with Hajjaj.
Tom Holland writes “Tempers in Medina were not helped by the fact that the governor in the oasis was none other than the fabulously venal and slippery Marwan. Rumours abounded that it was he, back in the last calamitous days of Uthman’s rule who had double crossed the war band that had come to Uthman.
The locals mistrust of their governor ran particularly deep. Nothing he had done had helped to improve his reputation for double dealing.
The appointment of Yazid was unpopular in Madina. Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 352, Narrated by Yusuf bin Mahak:
Marwan had been appointed as the governor of Hijaz by Muawiya. He delivered a sermon and mentioned Yazid bin Muawiya so that the people might take the oath of allegiance to him as the successor of his father (Muawiya).
Then ‘Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr told him something whereupon marwan ordered that he be arrested. But ‘Abdur-Rahman entered ‘Aisha’s house and they could not arrest him. marwan said, “It is he (‘AbdurRahman) about whom Allah revealed this Verse: ‘And the one who says to his parents: ‘Fie on you! Do you hold out the promise to me..?'”
On that, ‘Aisha said from behind a screen, “Allah did not reveal anything from the Qur’an about us except what was connected with the declaration of my innocence (of the slander).”[non-primary source needed][third-party source needed]
Ibn Katheer wrote in his book the Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah that “in the year 56 AH Muawiyah called on the people including those within the outlying territories to pledge allegiance to his son, Yazeed, to be his heir to the Caliphate after him.
Almost all the subjects offered their allegiance, with the exception of Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr (the son of Abu Bakr), Abdullah ibn Umar (the son of Umar), al-Husain bin Ali (the son of Ali), Abdullah bin Az-Zubair (The grandson of Abu Bakr) and Abdullah ibn Abbas (Ali’s cousin).
Because of this Muawiyah passed through al-Madinah on his way back from Makkah upon completion of his Umrah Pilgrimage where he summoned each one of the five aforementioned individuals and threatened them. The speaker who addressed Muawiyah sharply with the greatest firmness amongst them was Abdul-rahman bin Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq, while Abdullah bin Umar bin al-Khattab was the most soft spoken amongst them.
Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr and Abdullah ibn Umar were mid level Muslim commanders at the Battle of Yarmouk that took Syria. Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr sister Asmā’ bint Abu Bakr also fought in the Battle of Yarmouk and was opposed to Yazid. Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr had been one of the first to dual in that battle, after taking a sword to hand over to a Qays bin Hubayrah who had lost his sword, while in a dual with the Roman Army’s best horseman.
Two more Roman horsemen then came forward saying “We see no justice when two of you come against one of us.” Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr replied “I only came to give my companion a sword and then return. Were 100 of you to come out against one of us we would not be worried. You are now three men. I am enough to take on all three of you”. After which he took down the Roman horsemen on his own.
After seeing this, Bannes the Roman general said “Caesar really knew these people best. I now know that a difficult situation is to come on you. If you do not attack them with great numbers, you will have no chance”. Abdullah ibn Umar had also been a mid level commander in the Battle of Yarmouk.
Some Roman soldiers went to the house of Abu al-Jaid a local Christian in az-Zura ah and after eating all the food, raped his wife and killed his son. His wife complained to the Roman general and he ignored her. Abu al-Jaid then went to the Muslims and told them that he knows the local area and if the Muslims exempt him and his descendents from taxes for ever he will help them defeat the Roman army.
He then took horse men led by Abdullah ibn Umar to the Roman camp at night and attacked them and then ran away. The Romans chased them and in the dark tens of thousands of them fell down a cliff at the an-Naqusah Creek into a river. Abdullah bin Az-Zubair had also been a commander in various battles including in North Africa and was also involved in the siege of Constantinople.
Muawiyah then delivered a sermon, having stood these five men below the pulpit in full view of the people after which the people pledged allegiance to Yazeed as they stood in silence without displaying their disagreement or opposition for fear of being humiliated. Saeed bin Uthman bin Affan, the son of Uthman also criticized Muawiyah for putting forward Yazeed.”. They tolerated Muawiyah but did not like Yazeed.
The following year Muawiyah removed Marwan bin al Hakam from the position of Governor in Madina and appointed al-Waleed bin Utbah bin Abi Sufyan.
According to some sources Muawiyah warned his son Yazid against mistreating Hussein. His final warning to Yazid was: “As for Husayn what can I tell you concerning him? Be careful not to confront him except in a good way. Extend to him a free hand (literally, a long rope) and let him roam the earth as he pleases.
Do not harm him, can show verbal anger but never confront him with the weapons of war but rather bestow on him generous gifts. Give him a place of honor near you and treat him with due reverence. Be careful O my son, that you do not meet God with his blood, lest you be amongst those that will perish.”
Yazeed and Hussein knew each other well and had both been involved in the Siege of Constantinople. Many years later, after the events in Karbala when the governor of Kufa, Ibn Ziyad sent the head of Hussein to Yazeed.
The Servant of Muawiya bin Abu Sufyan is reported to have said: “When Yazeed came with al-Husain’s head and placed it in his hands, I saw Yazeed crying and he said: ‘If there had been any relationship between Ibn Ziyad and al-Husain then he would not have done this (referring to Ibn Ziyad).'”
After Hussein was killed Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair expelled Yazids forces from Hijaz and the Kharijites got stronger in Iraq. Yazid died a few months later in young age and his son did not want to take part in a civil war against Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair and abdicated and later died.
After years of planning and scheming and making every one else fight, Marwan came to power in Syria and the Qurra (the Kharijites) established a state in Southern Iraq. The very thing Hassan signed a treaty with Muawiyah to avoid.
Now there were three camps, the Scholars in Madina, the Kharijites in Iraq and Umayyads in Syria.
In Sahih Al Bukhari the people still referred to the Kharijites by their old name Qurra and most Muslims resented these civil wars and felt that the Arabs had left the teachings of Muhammad and gone back to their old ways of fighting over wealth.
Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 9, Book 88, Number 228: Narrated by Abu Al-Minhal
When Ibn Ziyad and Marwan were in Sham and Ibn Az-zubair took over the authority in Mecca and Qurra’ (the Kharijites) revolted in Basra, I went out with my father to Abu Barza Al-Aslami till we entered upon him in his house while he was sitting in the shade of a room built of cane. So we sat with him and my father started talking to him saying, “O Abu Barza! Don’t you see in what dilemma the people has fallen?”
The first thing heard him saying “I seek reward from Allah for myself because of being angry and scornful at the Quraish tribe. O you Arabs! You know very well that you were in misery and were few in number and misguided, and that Allah has brought you out of all that with Islam and with Muhammad till He brought you to this state (of prosperity and happiness) which you see now; and it is this worldly wealth and pleasures which has caused mischief to appear among you.
The one who is in Sham (i.e., Marwan), by Allah, is not fighting except for the sake of worldly gain: and those who are among you, by Allah, are not fighting except for the sake of worldly gain; and that one who is in Mecca (i.e., Ibn Az-zubair) by Allah, is not fighting except for the sake of worldly gain.”
Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair then sent his brother to Iraq to take on the Kharijites who were by then getting stronger. This depleted Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair forces and he was later defeated by the Syrians.
Ibn Zubayr was finally defeated by Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, who sent Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf. Hajjaj defeated and killed Ibn Zubayr on the battlefield in 692.
On his last hour he asked his mother Asmā’ bint Abu Bakr what he should do. Asmā’ bint Abu Bakr replied to her son, she said:
“You know better in your own self that if you are upon the truth and you are calling towards the truth go forth for people more honourable than you were killed and have been killed and if you are not upon the truth, then what an evil son you are, you have destroyed yourself and those who are with you. If you say what you say, that if you are upon the truth and you will be killed at the hands of others then you will not truly be free, for this is not the statement of someone who is free”.
Then Asmā’ bint Abu Bakr said to her son, this is the statement of the mother to her son, “how long will you live in this world, death is more beloved to me than this state you are on/ this state of weakness”.
Then this conversation between Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr and his mother continued.
Then Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr said to his mother after she had told him to go forth and fight.
He said, “I am afraid I will be mutilated by the people of Sham, I am afraid that they will cut up my body after they have killed me”.
So she said to her son, “after someone has died it won’t make any difference what they do to you if you have been killed”. Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr then said to his mother, “I did not come to you except to increase myself in knowledge”.
He said to her, “I did not come to you except to increase me in knowledge, look and pay attention to this day for verily I am a dead man, your son never drank wine, nor was he fornicator, nor did he wrong any Muslim or Non Muslim, nor was he unjust, I am not saying this to you to show off or show how pure I am but rather as an honour to you”.
So then Abdullah Ibn Zubair left by himself on his horse and he was killed by the Army of Hajjaj and when he was killed by the Army of Hajjaj all the Army said “Allah hu Akhbar” and Abdullah Ibn Omer heard this and he said,” how strange is it that this man when he was born all of the Muslims said “Allah hu Akhbar” and now that he is killed everyone is also saying “Allah hu Akhbar”.
Asma refused to go and ask permission to put down her sons body and it was said to her, “if you don’t go his body will remain like that. So she said let it be then”.
Until eventually, Hajjaj came to her and said, “what do you say about this matter” and Asma was in her old age and blind by then. Asma said, “Verily you have destroyed him you have ruined his life and with that you have ruined your hereafter”. Asma died a few days later.
Ibn Katheer says that Abdullah Ibn Umar resented the conduct of some of the Umayyad rulers and governors like Hajjaj. Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam who lived near that time, said in his book the first biography on Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz that Abdullah Ibn Omar’s niece was married to one of Marwans son called Abdul Aziz who lived in Madina.
Abdul Aziz lived in Madina and had not become an Umayyad ruler, but he had a young son called Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz.
Abdullah ibn Umar kept Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz with him for his education when Abdul Aziz and his wife moved to Egypt. Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz was educated in Madina. The scholars in Madina including Abdullah Ibn Umar and Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr who was jafar Sadiqs grandfather and Abu Bakr’s grandson felt that they could use Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz to peacefully reform the Umayyad rule.
Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam (died 214 AH) wrote that many years earlier: “During the time of Umar Ibn al Khattab the (second Caliph) he prohibit the sale of milk mixed with water. One night, he came out for some need at the outskirts of Madinah. Suddenly, he heard the voice of a woman. She was telling her daughter, “Daughter, you have not yet mixed water in the milk. It is nearly dawn. “
The daughter said, “How can I mix water in the milk? Amir ul Muminin has prohibited it”. The mother said, “Other people also mix it. You also mix it. How does Amir ul Muminin know?” The daughter replied. “If Umar does not know, then the creator of Umar knows. Once he has prohibited it, then I cannot do it.”
Umar was greatly pleased with this conversation. When morning came, he called his son Asim and narrated the incident that took place at night. He then said, “Go and find out who that girl is”. Asim went. He made enquiries and found out that the girl was from the tribe of Banu Hilal. He returned and informed Umar. He said to Asim “Son, go and get married to her. Definitely, she is worthy of bearing a horseman who will lead the entire Arabia.”
Consequently Asim married her and a daughter Umm e Asim bint Asim Ibn Umar Ibn al Khattab was born from her. Umm e Asim got married to Adbul Aziz bint Marwan bin al Hakam. Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz was born from her.
After his education, Raja bin Haiwah who was also a scholar and an advisor to some of the Umayyad rulers took Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz to Syria. Raja bin Haiwah also worked closely with the scholars in Madina. Ibn Katheer wrote in his book the Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah that during the time of Abdul Malik, Raja bin Haiwah also managed the finances for the construction of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, that stands to this day.
Ibn Katheer wrote that even the Umayyad ruler Al-Waleed bin Abdul Malik would write to Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz in Madina for advice on legal matter. Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz would then convene a meeting with the jurists in Madina and they would all decide on the reply.
Later the future Umayyad ruler Sulaiman would also consult Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz. Hajjaj opposed Sulaiman from becoming Caliph, even through his father had wrote in his will that after his brother Al-Waleed bin Abdul Malik, Sulaiman would be Caliph. So Sulaiman became even closer to Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz who also opposed Hajjaj.
When Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz was made the governor of Madina, he asked the Khalifah that he wished to be excused from Hajjaj coming to Madinah. After which, Hajjaj was prevented from going to Madina.
According to Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam from Madina (died 214 AH 829 C.E) Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz then said to the ruler Walid Ibn Abdul Malik “After ascribing partners to Allah, there is no greater sin than spilling blood. Your governors are unjustifiably killing people and they only write the crime of the killed person (murder) to inform you.
You will be answerable for this and you will be held accountable (by God). Therefore, write to your governors telling them that no one should be punished by death, but they should write of the crime to you. There should be witnesses to it, then you should decide on that punishment to be meted out after great thought and deliberation”
Walid said “O Abu Hafs (He called Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz, Abu Hafs), May Allah grant you blessings in your life and delay your demise. Bring the pen and paper.” Walid then wrote this command to all the governors. Besides Hajjaj, no one found it difficult.
It weighed heavily on him and he became very agitated. He thought that no one else besides him got this command. He investigated and found that he was wrong. He said “Where did this calamity come from? Who told this to Walid?” he was told that ‘Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz was responsible for this. When he heard this he said, “Oh, if the one who gave this consultation is Umar, then it is not permissible to reject it”.
The ruler Sulayman Ibn Abdul Malik said to Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz “Look how many people gather during the Hajj season.” He replied “Amir ul Mu minin, all of them are your plaintiffs” (They will complain about you in the court of Allah on the Day of judgment)
According to Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam who lived near that time and later Ibn Katheer said that Ibn Jareer said that, Raja bin Haiwah (who was also a scholar) the minister of marriage, for the Umayyad ruler Sulaiman said that when Sulaiman was on his death bed, I told him “Indeed amongst the things that preserves the caliph in his grave is his appointment of a righteous man over the muslims.” So he wrote a letter appointing the scholar from Madina, Umar bin Abdul Azeez.
To allow the Umayyads to accept this, Raja then advised him to make his brother Yazeed bin Adbul Malik the successor after Umar bin Abdul Azeez. Umar bin Abdul Azeez was a grand son of Omar, the second Caliph from his mothers side.
After his appointment he set up a committee of the jurist in Madina headed by Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr and it included:
- Urwah ibn Zubayr,
- Ubaidullah bin Abdullah bin Utbah,
- Abu Bakr bin Abdur-Rahman bin al-Harith bin Hisham,
- Abu Bakr bin Sulaiman bin Abu Hathmah,
- Sulaiman bin Yasar,
- Salim bin Abdullah,
- Abdullah bin Amir bin Rabee’ah and Kharijah bin Zaid bin Thabit,
…. in Madina to advise on legal matters.
The work of Malik ibn Anas and successive jurists is also based on the work of this early committee in Madina. Malik ibn Anas also refers to these Fuqaha’ of Madina.
Madina at the time had the largest number of Muhammad’s companions therefore no one could lie about what Muhammad had said, while in Madina during that period. After becoming the Khalif, Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz worked very closely with the scholars in Madina to make the laws in line with the Quran and the teachings of Muhammad’s. He also reduced the allowances of the Umayyad family members. Which they deeply resented.
When Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz reduced the allowances of the Umayyad family members. They sent some one to him to ask for more. When Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz refused, the man said to them “O Banu Umayyah, you should rebuke yourself. You got up and married a person of your family to the grand daughter of Umar. He wrapped Umar in a cloth and presented him to you. You should therefore rebuke yourself”.
Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz also started peace talks with the Kharijites. He then reduced the taxes for the Muslims. He sacked oppressive governors and replaced them. His policies made him very popular with the population but not so popular with the Umayyads. The reduction in the taxes also reduced further expeditions and the expansion of the state. But lower taxes and better justice allowed the economy to expand. The tax collector Yahya Ibn Sa’id complained that after collecting the taxes, he could not find people willing to take the charity from the welfare state
Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam (died 214 AH) writes that Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz then stopped the allowance of the Banu Umayyah, stopped giving them land and made them the same as every one else. And they complained bitterly. So Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz said to them “By Allah, I want that no impermissible decision should remain on the earth that I will not finish off.”
According to Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam who lived near that time and later Ibn Katheer, Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz was soon killed, but when the future rulers tried to reverse his policies, the population started to rebel.
With the death of Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz the scholars in Madina got very upset. But in the short time Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz was in power the changes he made, had a long lasting effect in the minds of the people. An associate of Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz, Zayd ibn Ali the grandson of Husayns was also very upset.
Zayd ibn Ali then started receiving letters from Kufa asking him to come to Kufa. In 740, Abu Hanifah supported his friend Zayd ibn Ali against an Umayyad ruler but asked his friend not to go to Kufa. Abu Hanifah, Malik ibn Anas and Zayd ibn Ali’s family advised Zayd ibn Ali not to go to Kufa feared that Zayd ibn Ali would get betrayed in Kufa.
But Zayd ibn Ali felt that he needed to oppose the Umayyads by force. Zaydis believe that on his arrival in Kufa, on the last hour of Zayd ibn Ali, the people in Kufa asked him: “May God have mercy on you! What do you have to say on the matter of Abu Bakr and Umar ibn al-Khattab?” Zayd ibn Ali said, “I have not heard anyone in my family renouncing them both nor saying anything but good about them…when they were entrusted with government they behaved justly with the people and acted according to the Qur’an and the Sunnah.”.
After which they withdrew their support and Zayd ibn Ali fought bravely against the Umayyad army but was killed. The Scholars kept up the pressure on the Umayyads and as the Umayyads tried to re-impose the taxes abolished by Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz, the population also got more rebellious.
Later the Abbasids came to power and they tried to change the laws so that they could be above the law, in 767 Abu Hanifah died in prison when he refused to support the Abbasid ruler Al-Mansur and Malik ibn Anas was flogged.
But then the Abbasids backed off and allowed the laws of Madina to be implemented again and the book Muwatta Imam Malik of Malik ibn Anas based on the laws based on the Quran and the example of Muhammad and based on the work of the committee of the main jurist in Madina headed by Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr, who was jafar Sadiq’s grandfather and Abu Bakr’s grandson were again implemented.
Later the Abbasids tried to impose the mutazilite philosophy so that they could change the laws, so that they could present them selves as being above the law. Imam Ahmed Hanbal confronted a ruler and was tortured and sent to an unlit Baghdad prison cell for nearly thirty months.
In 767 Abu Hanifah had died in prison when he refused to support the Abbasid ruler Al-Mansur but later the mutazilite philosophy failed and the Hanifi jurisprudence was implemented. Since Imam Zayd ibn Ali and Imam Jafar al-Sadiq worked with Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Abu Hanifa wrote books at that time, the Zaidi’s and originally the Fatimid’s used the Hanifi jurisprudence. In terms of law, the modern Zaidi school is quite similar to the Hanafi school
These scholars also laid the foundations of Science in the medieval Islamic world and some scientists and Mathematicians on the List of Muslim scientists were taught by these scholars, they then taught other scholars. Islam discourages the belief in superstition. Hence these scholars felt that humans could truly appreciate God magnificence, by studying Gods creation.
Quran 45:3 “Indeed, within the heavens and earth are signs for the believers.”
For them Islam and science were linked The students of these scholars also preserved and translated the Greek and Latin manuscripts during the Dark Ages in Europe. They were also instrumental in the making of the European Renaissance Many of the early advances in astronomy were made because the Muslims relied on the Sun, the Moon and the stars for the times to pray, and the time of Ramadan and the direction to the Mecca, for the direction to pray and for navigation in the desert and the sea.
All the Muslims follow the Quran and the example of Muhammad. The differences between the denominations in Islam are primarily political. The Sunnis give more importance to the Quran and the books containing the hadith, examples of Muhammad, but since all the early scholars and all the four caliphs worked together, the Sunnis accept all the first four caliphs, as they were elected by the community.
They also accept all the early imams (scholars) for their knowledge. While the Shias who constitute around 10-20% of the Muslims are more hereditary and only accept Ali the fourth caliph, accept Hassan and only accept certain male descendent of Ali through his son Hussein as imams. But different branches of Shia accept different brothers.
Some of the elite in the old empires of the Middle East felt discontented with the passage of their empires and did not like the Arab Caliphs, their ideas eventually found their way into the religious differences.
During the Abbasid period, many history books were also written as a reference for future generations, recording everything people were saying about the early history of Islam. They were not subject to the same level of authenticity checks. In many cases the preislamic customs of the populations that converted to Islam were also absorbed into their rituals.
This also amplified the differences. During the Arab-Byzantine Wars the Byzantines benefited when there were political disagreements between the Muslims and used the time to establishment of the themata. Some of the ideas of the kharijites who were initially very extreme in their support of Ali’s caliphate, but later killed Ali when he made peace with Mu’awiyah also lived on.
Ali according to both the Sunni and the Shia books was against sectarianism. The following sermon of Ali exists in both the Sunni and the Shia books.
“Ali says: With regard to me, two categories of people will be ruined, namely he who loves me too much and the love takes him away from rightfulness, and he who hates me too much and the hatred takes him away from rightfulness.
The best man with regard to me is he who is on the middle course. So be with him and be with the great majority of Muslims because Allah’s hand of protection is on keeping unity. You should beware of division because the one isolated from the group is a prey to Satan just as the one isolated from the flock of sheep is a prey to the wolf. Beware! Whoever calls to this course of sectarianism, even though he may be under this headband of mine.”
After the Mongolian invasion and the subsequent reduction in the literacy rates, people began to label them selves as belonging to denominations rather than actually reading the books of these scholars.
The differences amplified after the Safavid invasion of Persia and the subsequent Safavid conversion of Iran to Shia Islam due to the politics between the Safavids and the Ottoman Empire. To consolidate their position, the Safavid’s also exploited the deep rooted differences between areas formally under the Persian Sassanid Empire and areas formally under the Byzantine Roman Empire.
Differences that existing from the Roman-Persian Wars and the Byzantine-Sassanid Wars. Under the oppressive rule of Yazid I, some Muslims began to think that if Hussein ibn Ali the descendent of Muhammad was their ruler, he would have been more just. However later a minority, took this concept one step further and also started thinking, what if history took a different course and these ideas were later odopted by some Shia and institutionalised by the Safavids.
For the first time in the history of Islam, the Safavids also established a hierarchical organization of the Shiite clergy and funded this hierarchy through the collection of waqf and Khums. Before that point Jafar al-Sadiq disapproved of people who said anything bad about his great grand father Abu Bakr the first caliph.
After witnessing what happens due to the lust for wealth and power, others like Hasan of Basra advocated piety and the condemnation of worldliness which later influenced the development of the Sufis. It was further developed by Al-Ghazali.
Malik ibn ‘Anas
Abu ‘Abdullah Malik ibn ‘Anas ibn Malik ibn Amr al-Asbahi was born in Madinah in the year 93H (714CE). His ancestral home was in Yemen, but his grandfather settled in Madinah after embracing Islam.
Malik became the Imam of Madinah, and one of the most renowned Imams of Islam.
He received his education in what was the most important seat of Islamic learning, Madinah, and where lived the immediate descendants and the followers of the companions of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, were living.
Born into a well-to-do family, Malik did not need to work for a living. He was highly attracted to the study of Islam, and ended up devoting his entire life to the study of Fiqh. It is said that he sought out over three hundred Tabi’in or those who saw and followed the companions of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Malik held the hadith of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in such reverence that he never narrated, taught any hadith or given a fatwa without being in a state of ritual purity, ghusl. Isma’il ibn Abi ‘Uways said, “I asked my uncle (Malik) about something. He had me sit, made ablution, then said, ‘la hawla wala quwata illa billah’.
He did not give any fatwa without saying it first.” Also, Malik saw fatwa as a sensitive, precise, and important action that can have far reaching results, and used to be extremely careful about giving it to the extent that if he was not sure about a matter, he would not dare to talk.
Al-Haytham said, “I once was with Malik when he was asked more than forty questions and I heard him reply ‘I do not know’, to thirty two of them.” Yet, he was the man about whom ash-Shafi’i said, “When scholars are mentioned, Malik is like the star among them.” Malik said that he did not sit to give fatwa, before seventy of the Madinah scholars first witnessed to his competence in doing so.
He is the author of al-Muwatta’ (“The Approved“), formed of the sound narration’s from the Prophet together with the sayings of the companions, their followers, and those after them. Malik said, “I showed my book to seventy scholars of Madinah, and every single one of them approved it for me (kulluhum wata ani alayh), so I named it ‘The Approved’.”
Imam al-Bukhari said that the soundest of all chains of transmission was “Malik, from Nafi, from Ibn ‘Umar.” The scholars of hadith call it the Golden Chain, and there are eighty narrations with this chain in the Muwatta’. Malik composed al-Muwatta’ in the course of forty years, having started with ten thousand narrations until he reduced them to their present number of fewer than 2,000.
Like all scholars of Islam, Malik was famous for his piety and integrity. He courageously stood up, and was prepared to suffer, for his convictions. When the governor of Madinah demanded and forced people to take oath of allegiance to Khalifah al-Mansur, Imam Malik issued a fatwa that such an oath was not binding because it was given under coercion.
He based this opinion on the hadith, “The divorce of the coerced does not take effect (laysa ala mustakrahin talaq).” This resulted in many people finding courage to express their opposition, but the Imam was arrested, found guilty of defiance, and publicly flogged.
Malik’s followers and disciples developed a Fiqh school, Madhhab, based on his Ijtihad which became known as the Maliki Madhhab. This Madhhab spread in North Africa, al-Andalus, much of Egypt, and some of ash-Sham, Yemen, Sudan, Iraq, and Khurasan.
Today, Malikis are mostly found in North and West Africa, Egypt, Sudan and the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula. Imam Malik died in the year (179H) 796CE at Madinah and is buried in the famous al-Baqi’ cemetery in Madinah.