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The wife of Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani by Dr. Hesham al-Awadi

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Published on Aug 17, 2010

The wife of Ibn Hajar by Dr. Hesham al-Awadi.

Al-Haafidh Shihabuddin Abu'l-Fadl Ahmad ibn Ali ibn Muhammad, better known as Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, was a medieval Shafiite Sunni scholar of Islam. Originally from Ashkelon in Palestine, Ibn Hajar lived between 1372 CE and 1449 CE (773-852 AH).

He was born in Cairo in 1372, the son of the Shafi'i scholar and poet Nur al-Din 'Ali. Both of his parents died in his infancy, and he and his sister, Sitt al-Rakb, became wards of his father's first wife's brother, Zaki al-Din al-Kharrubi, who enrolled Ibn Hajar in Qur'anic studies when he was five. Here he excelled, learning Surah Maryam in a single day, and progressing to the memorization of texts such as the Quran, then the abridged version of Ibn al-Hajib's work on the foundations of fiqh (jurisprudence).

When he accompanied al-Kharrubi to Mecca at the age of 12, he was considered competent to lead the Tarawih prayers during Ramadan. When his guardian died in 1386, Ibn Hajar's education in Egypt was entrusted to hadith scholar Shams al-Din ibn al-Qattan, who entered him in the courses given by al-Bulqini (d. 1404) and Ibn al-Mulaqqin (d. 1402) in Shafi'i fiqh, and Hafiz al-Iraqi (d. 1404) in hadith, after which he travelled to Damascus and Jerusalem, to study under Shams al-Din al-Qalqashandi (d. 1407), Badr al-Din al-Balisi (d. 1401), and Fatima bint al-Manja al-Tanukhiyya (d. 1401). After a further visit to Mecca, Medina, and Yemen, he returned to Egypt.

In 1397, at the age of twenty-five, he married Anas Khatun, who was a hadith expert in her own right, holding ijazas from Hafiz al-Iraqi. She gave celebrated public lectures to crowds of ulema, including al-Sakhawi.

Ibn Hajar authored more than fifty works on hadith, hadith terminology, ilm ar-rijal, history, biography, Quranic exegesis , poetry and Shafi'i jurisprudence.
In 1414 (817 A.H.), Ibn Hajar commenced the enormous task of assembling his commentary on Sahih Bukhari. Ibn Rajab had begun to write a huge commentary on Sahih Bukhari in the 1390s with the title of Fath al-Bari, thus Ibn Hajar decided to name his own commentary with the same title, Fath al-Bari, which in time became the most valued commentary of Sahih Bukhari. When it was finished, in December 1428 (Rajab 842 A.H.), a celebration was held near Cairo, attended by the ulema, judges, and leading Egyptian personalities. Ibn Hajar read the final pages of his work, after which poets recited eulogies and gold was distributed. It was, according to historian Ibn Iyaas d. 930 A.H., 'the greatest celebration of the age in Egypt.'

Ibn Hajar died after Isha prayers on February 2, 1449 at the age of seventy-nine.

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