Sayings Concerning the Virtues of the Muwatta of Imam Malik

Imam ash-Shafi’i رحمه الله made the following 2 statements,

“After the Book of Allah, there is no book on the face of the earth sounder than the book of Malik.”

“No book has ever been placed upon the face of the earth that is closer to the Qur’an than the book of Malik.”

{Tanwir al-Hawalik; Hilyatul’ Awliyah; at-Tamhid, Volume. 1, pg. 77 via Yahya ibn ‘Uthman ibn Salih رحمه الله < Harun ibn Sa’id رحمه الله < Imam Shafi’i.}

Bundar رحمه الله narrated that another top scholar, Ibn Mahdi رحمه الله said:

““We do not know of a book in Islam, after the Book of Allah, that is more authentic than Imam Malik’s رحمه الله book the Muwatta.”

{Siyar A’lam an-Nubala’, Volume. 9, pg. 205}

Hafiz Ibn Hajar رحمه الله said:

“The book of Malik is sound by all the criteria that are demanded as proofs in the mursal, munqati’ and other types of transmission.”

{Related by Hafiz ibn Hajr}

Imam as-Suyuti رحمه الله said:

“The mursal Hadith in it are a proof with him {Imam ash-Shafi’i} as well because the mursal is a proof with us when it is properly supported. Every mursal in the Muwatta’ has one or more supports.”

Shaykh Muhammad an-Ninowi {May Allah increase him in every good} told me:

“Imam Malik was not only a master of Fiqh, he was a Master of Hadith and the Imam truly mastered the sciences of Hadith and was most protective of them. He would become more concerned with Hadith at one time of his life and with Fiqh at another time. His book the Muwatta is sound no doubt.”


In regard to Hadith, Imam al-Bukhari رحمه الله praised Imam Malik as being within the strongest chain of narration when he said:

“The soundest Isnads {chains of narration} of all are those of Malik from Nafi’ from Ibn ‘Umar’.”

{Taqrib at-Tahdhib by Hafiz Ibn Hajar}

The teacher of Imam Bukhari, = The Muhaddith Ali bin al-Madini رحمه الله said:

“Imam Malik رحمه الله never narrates except from the trustworthy narrators.”

The Muhaddith, Mujtahid, Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal رحمه الله said:

“Everyone whom Imam Malik narrates from is trustworthy.”

Imam ash-Shafi’i رحمه الله said:

“When the scholars are mentioned, {Imam} Malik is the star.”

Ahmad ibn al-Khalil said that he heard Ishaq ibn Ibrahim {Ibn Rahawayh} say:

“When {Imams} ath-Thawri, Malik and al-Awza’i agree on a matter, it is Sunnah, even if there is no text on it.”

{Tadhkirah al-Huffaz}

~ The Virtues of Imam Malik 101

Originally written and posted by Ustadh Luqman al-Andalusi in the Maliki Madhhab group on Facebook.

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