Ali ibn al-Madini

Ali ibn al-Madini
Ali ibn al-Madini.png
Ali ibn al-Madini's name in Arabic calligraphy
Born161 AH
Died234 AH
EraIslamic golden age

Abū al-Ḥasan ʻAlī ibn ʻAbdillāh ibn Jaʻfar al-Madīnī (778 CE/161 AH – 849/234) (Arabic: أبو الحسن علي بن عبد الله بن جعفر المديني‎) was a ninth-century Sunni Islamic scholar who was influential in the science of hadith.[2] Alongside Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ibn Abi Shaybah and Yahya ibn Ma'in, Ibn al-Madini has been considered by many Muslim specialists in hadith to be one of the four most significant authors in the field.[3]


Ibn al-Madīnī was born in the year 778 CE/161 AH in Basra, Iraq to a family with roots in Medina now in Saudi Arabia.[4] His teachers include his father, ʻAbdullāh ibn Jaʻfar, Ḥammād ibn Yazīd, Hushaym and Sufyān ibn ʻUyaynah and other from their era. His teacher, Ibn ʻUyaynah, said that he had learned more from Ibn al-Madīnī, his student, than his student from him.[2]

Ibn al-Madīnī specialized in the disciplines of hadith, biographical evaluation and al-ʻIlal, hidden defects, in the sanad, chain of narration. He was praised by other hadith specialists for his prowess in that field—by both his contemporaries, students and his teachers. ʻAbd al-Raḥmān ibn Mahdī, a scholar who preceded him, described Ibn al-Madīnī the most knowledgeable person of prophetic hadith.[2]

His students include prominent hadith scholars in their own right. They include: Muḥammad ibn Yaḥyā al-Dhuhalī, Muḥammad ibn Ismāʻīl al-Bukhārī, Abū Dāwūd Sulaymān ibn al-Ashʻath al-Sijistānī and others. Al-Bukhārī, who went on the collect what is considered to be the most authentic collection of hadith in Sunni Islam, said that he did not consider himself diminutive in comparison to anyone other than Ibn al-Madīnī.

Al-Dhahabī lauded Ibn al-Madīnī as an imām and as exemplary to subsequent scholars in the field in hadith, a description he considered tarnished by Ibn al-Madīnī's adopted position in the theological inquisition of the ninth century. According to Al-Dhahabī, he adopted a position in favor of the Muʻtazilah regarding the uncreated origin of the Quran, but later regretted this and declared the claimant that the Quran was created as an apostate.[2]

Minaret at the Great Mosque of Samarra, the city in Iraq where Ibn al-Madīnī died.

Ibn al-Madīnī died in Samarra, Iraq in June, 849/Dhu al-Qa'dah, 234.[2][4]


Al-Nawawī said Ibn al-Madīnī authored approximately 200 works some on subjects not previously written about and many not since superseded.[4]

Early Islam scholars[]

Muhammad (570–632) prepared the Constitution of Medina, taught the Quran, and advised his companions
`Abd Allah bin Masud (died 650) taughtAli (607–661) fourth caliph taughtAisha, Muhammad's wife and Abu Bakr's daughter taughtAbd Allah ibn Abbas (618–687) taughtZayd ibn Thabit (610–660) taughtUmar (579–644) second caliph taughtAbu Hurairah (603–681) taught
Alqama ibn Qays (died 681) taughtHusayn ibn Ali (626–680) taughtQasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr (657–725) taught and raised by AishaUrwah ibn Zubayr (died 713) taught by Aisha, he then taughtSaid ibn al-Musayyib (637–715) taughtAbdullah ibn Umar (614–693) taughtAbd Allah ibn al-Zubayr (624–692) taught by Aisha, he then taught
Ibrahim al-Nakha’i taughtAli ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin (659–712) taughtHisham ibn Urwah (667–772) taughtIbn Shihab al-Zuhri (died 741) taughtSalim ibn Abd-Allah ibn Umar taughtUmar ibn Abdul Aziz (682–720) raised and taught by Abdullah ibn Umar
Hammad bin ibi Sulman taughtMuhammad al-Baqir (676–733) taughtFarwah bint al-Qasim Jafar's mother
Abu Hanifa (699–767) wrote Al Fiqh Al Akbar and Kitab Al-Athar, jurisprudence followed by Sunni, Sunni Sufi, Barelvi, Deobandi, Zaidiyyah and originally by the Fatimid and taughtZayd ibn Ali (695–740)Ja'far bin Muhammad Al-Baqir (702–765) Muhammad and Ali's great great grand son, jurisprudence followed by Shia, he taughtMalik ibn Anas (711–795) wrote Muwatta, jurisprudence from early Medina period now mostly followed by Sunni in Africa and taughtAl-Waqidi (748–822) wrote history books like Kitab al-Tarikh wa al-Maghazi, student of Malik ibn AnasAbu Muhammad Abdullah ibn Abdul Hakam (died 829) wrote biographies and history books, student of Malik ibn Anas
Abu Yusuf (729–798) wrote Usul al-fiqhMuhammad al-Shaybani (749–805)Al-Shafi‘i (767–820) wrote Al-Risala, jurisprudence followed by Sunni and taughtIsmail ibn IbrahimAli ibn al-Madini (778–849) wrote The Book of Knowledge of the CompanionsIbn Hisham (died 833) wrote early history and As-Sirah an-Nabawiyyah, Muhammad's biography
Isma'il ibn Ja'far (719–775)Musa al-Kadhim (745–799)Ahmad ibn Hanbal (780–855) wrote Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal jurisprudence followed by Sunni and hadith booksMuhammad al-Bukhari (810–870) wrote Sahih al-Bukhari hadith booksMuslim ibn al-Hajjaj (815–875) wrote Sahih Muslim hadith booksMuhammad ibn Isa at-Tirmidhi (824–892) wrote Jami` at-Tirmidhi hadith booksAl-Baladhuri (died 892) wrote early history Futuh al-Buldan, Genealogies of the Nobles
Ibn Majah (824–887) wrote Sunan ibn Majah hadith bookAbu Dawood (817–889) wrote Sunan Abu Dawood Hadith Book
Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni (864- 941) wrote Kitab al-Kafi hadith book followed by Twelver ShiaMuhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (838–923) wrote History of the Prophets and Kings, Tafsir al-TabariAbu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari (874–936) wrote Maqālāt al-islāmīyīn, Kitāb al-luma, Kitāb al-ibāna 'an usūl al-diyāna
Ibn Babawayh (923–991) wrote Man la yahduruhu al-Faqih jurisprudence followed by Twelver ShiaSharif Razi (930–977) wrote Nahj al-Balagha followed by Twelver ShiaNasir al-Din al-Tusi (1201–1274) wrote jurisprudence books followed by Ismaili and Twelver ShiaAl-Ghazali (1058–1111) wrote The Niche for Lights, The Incoherence of the Philosophers, The Alchemy of Happiness on SufismRumi (1207–1273) wrote Masnavi, Diwan-e Shams-e Tabrizi on Sufism
Key: Some of Muhammad's CompanionsKey: Taught in MedinaKey: Taught in IraqKey: Worked in SyriaKey: Travelled extensively collecting the sayings of Muhammad and compiled books of hadithKey: Worked in Iran


  1. ^ Al-Bastawī, ʻAbd al-ʻAlīm ʻAbd al-ʻAẓīm (1990). Al-Imām al-Jūzajānī wa-manhajuhu fi al-jarḥ wa-al-taʻdīl. Maktabat Dār al-Ṭaḥāwī. p. 9.
  2. ^ a b c d e al-Dhahabi, Muhammad ibn Ahmad (1957). al-Mu`allimi (ed.). Tadhkirah al-Huffaz (in Arabic). 2. Hyderabad: Dairah al-Ma`arif al-`Uthmaniyyah. pp. 428–9.
  3. ^ Ibn al-Jawzi, The Life of Ibn Hanbal, pg. 45. Trns. Michael Cooperson. New York: New York University Press, 2016. ISBN 9781479805303
  4. ^ a b c d al-Nawawi, Yahya ibn Sharaf (2005). Ali Mu`awwad and Adil Abd al-Mawjud (ed.). Tahdhib al-Asma wa al-Lughat (in Arabic). al–Asma. Beirut: Dar al-Nafaes. pp. 455–6.
  5. ^ a b c d e al-Mu`allimi, Abd al-Rahman ibn Yahya (1996). Ali al-Halabi (ed.). `Ilm al-Rijal wa Ahimmiyyatuh (in Arabic) (first ed.). Riyadh: Dar al-Rayah. p. 38.