Excerpt from Forthcoming Book on Imam Malik

To begin, let us look at the root of the family knowledge and how it came to be that the family of Imam Malik became known as the family of the learned. Firstly, they were a very well off family at a time and thus money was hardly of concern for the most part of the Imam’s early studies. This allowed the family to study and travel, all while still living comfortably.

Imam Malik’s great grandfather was a businessman and scholar whose name was Malik ibn Abi ‘Amir al-Asbahi, he passed away when Imam Malik was around 7 years of age. He is known to have migrated from Yemen to Madinah, leaving his tribe the Asbahi, which is branched from the Sayyid tribe of Himyar.

Imam Jalaludin as-Suyuti authenticates this in his book called Tanwir al-Hawalik ala Sharh Muwatta Malik, where he says:

“Imam Malik’s lineage goes back to Ya`rab ibn Yashjab ibn Qahtan…His family was originally from the al-Asbahi tribe of Yemen, however his great grandfather Abu ‘Amir made Hijrah with his family to the city of Madinah al-Munawwarah, after reverting to Islam in 2 A.H.”

In regard to his scholarship, he is known to have related many Hadith from the Sahaba including Caliph ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, Umm al-Mu’minin ‘Aisha, Abu Hurayrah, Talha and Hassan ibn Thabit. May Allah be well pleased with them.

Imam Malik’s grandfather, Malik ibn Anas, was also very important in society. He was a follower of the Companions being in contact with Caliph Uthman ibn Affan. He was one of those who made copies of the Qur’an for Caliph Uthman.

He also was rewarded by being allowed to be one of the 4 to carry the body of Caliph ‘Uthman to his grave. These are the honors given by Allah for those whom Allah pleases. Ma’ Sha’ Allah.

“Those who listen to the Word, and follow the best of it: those are the ones who Allah has guided, and those are the ones endowed with understanding.” {Qur’an, 39:18}

Imam Malik’s father is named Anas ibn Malik and he was a businessman as well, he is not the Sahabi whom he may at times be mistaken for. He was a man of knowledge who studied with his own family. He sold arrows for a living and Allah Knows Best.

The mother of Imam Malik whose full name is ‘Aliyah bint Sharik ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahman al-Azdiyah from the Banu Assad tribe. She was also a seeker of knowledge and wanted this learning for her children. She was famously known as Ghaaliyah or Umm Malik and she would especially encourage Imam Malik and his brother an-Nadr to study at all times. She would bring the kids to the Masjid of the Prophet Muhammad to learn the Sciences of Islam. Shaykh an-Nadr listened very closely to his mother and thus would always be within his studies and was a very well known scholar of Madinah. Imagine, at one point Imam Malik was known as the brother of an-Nadr.

This wisdom of Umm Malik is clear as day, she was an amazing woman indeed. May Allah have mercy upon her soul. With all of the encouragement from her and the rest of the family, Imam Malik had acquired a huge amount of knowledge from his teachers and family.

Imam Malik himself said:

“My mother would dress me up in the clothes of the scholars while I still was a young boy and she would tell me, ‘Go to the Masjid and seek knowledge from Imam ar-Rabia’, study his manners before you take from his knowledge.’”

May Allah be well pleased with them all.”

~ The Virtues of Imam Malik ibn Anas 101

~ Early 2015 release date, In Sha’ Allah. In coordination with Mecca Books,

Please check out the website. There are many good books to choose from. Bismillah.

—Originally posted by Ustadh Luqman al-Andalusi on our Facebook page.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *