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Muwatta Imam Malik

muwatta imam malik, muwatta imam malik in urdu
The Muwaṭṭaʾ Arabic: الموطأ‎‎ of Imam Malik is the earliest written collection of hadith comprising the subjects of Islamic law, compiled and edited by the Imam, Malik ibn Anas1 Malik's best-known work, Al-Muwatta was the first legal work to incorporate and join hadith and fiqh together


  • 1 Description
  • 2 History
  • 3 Authenticity
  • 4 Composition of al-Muwatta
  • 5 Distinguishing characteristics
  • 6 Commentaries on Al-Muwatta
  • 7 See also
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links


It is considered to be from the earliest extant collections of hadith that form the basis of Islamic jurisprudence alongside the Qur'an2 Nonetheless, is not merely a collection of hadith; many of the legal precepts it contains are based not on hadith at all The book covers rituals, rites, customs, traditions, norms and laws of the time of the Islamic prophet Muhammad

It is reported that Imam Malik selected for inclusion into the Muwatta just over 1900 narrations, from the 100,000 narrations he had available to him


Due to increase in juristic differences, the Caliph of the time, Abū Ja‘far al-Manṣūr, requested Imām Mālik to produce a standard book that could be promulgated as law in the country The Imam refused this in 148 AH, but when the Caliph again came to the Ḥijāz in 163 AH, he was more forceful and said:

“O Abū ‘Abd Allāh, take up the reign of the discipline of fiqh in your hands Compile your understanding of every issue in different chapters for a systematic book free from the harshness of ‘Abd Allāh b ‘Umar, concessions and accommodations of ‘Abd Allāh b ‘Abbās and unique views of ‘Abd Allāh b Mas‘ūd Your work should exemplify the following principle of the Prophet: “The best issues are those which are balanced” It should be a compendium of the agreed upon views of the Companions and the elder imāms on the religious and legal issues Once you have compiled such a work then we would be able to unite the Muslims in following the single fiqh worked by you We would then promulgate it in the entire Muslim state We would order that no body acts contrary to it” 3

Historical reports attest that another ‘Abbāsī caliph Hārūn al-Rashīd too expressed similar wishes before Imām Mālik who remained unmovedcitation needed He, however, compiled Muwaṭṭa’, keeping before himself the target of removing the juristic differences between the scholars


  Part of a series on

Sunni Islam

Malik composed the 'Muwatta' over a period of forty years to represent the "well-trodden path" of the people of Medina Its name also means that it is the book that is "many times agreed upon"- about whose contents the people of Medina were unanimously agreed Its high standing is such that people of every school of fiqh and all of the imams of hadith scholarship agree upon its authenticitycitation needed

The Muslim Jurist, Muhammad ibn Idris ash-Shafi`i famously said, "There is not on the face of the earth a book – after the Book of Allah – which is more authentic than the book of Malik"4

Over one thousand disciples of Malik have transmitted this work from him This has resulted in differences in the text in various instances There are thirty known versions of the work of which the most famous is the one transmitted by Yahya al-Laithi

Composition of al-Muwattaedit

Al-Muwatta consists of approximately 1,720 hadith divided amongst the following hadith terminology as follows:2

  • 600 marfu` hadith
  • 613 mawquf hadith
  • 285 maqtu' hadith
  • 222 mursal hadiths

Distinguishing characteristicsedit

Amin Ahsan Islahi has listed several distinguishing characteristics of the Muwatta:5

  1. Its briefness in size yet comprehensiveness in coverage
  2. Malik did not accept any marfū‘ hadīth ascribed to the Prophet if it was not verbatim transmission of the words of the Muslim prophet Muhammad he even gave consideration to letters, prepositions and particles like wāw, tā, bā etc in them
  3. No acceptance of Hadith from any innovator - this is a stricter standard than many other muhaddithun
  4. Highly literary form of the classical Arabic This helps readers develop the ability to understand the language of the prophetic traditions

Commentaries on Al-Muwattaedit

Due to the importance of the Al-Muwatta to Muslims it has often been accompanied by commentaries, mostly but not exclusively by followers of the Maliki school

  • Al Tamhid by Yusuf ibn abd al-Barr is organized according to the narrators which Malik narrates from, and includes extensive biographical information about each narrator in the chain
  • al-Istidhkar, also by Ibn Abd al-Barr is more of a legal exegesis on the hadith contained in the book than a critical hadith study, as was the case with the former It is said that the Istidhkar was written after the Tamhid, as Ibn Abd al Barr himself alludes to in the introduction However, through close examination it is apparent that the author made revisions to both after their completion due to the cross referencing found in both
  • The explanation of Al-Suyuti, who although a follower of the Shafi`i school, wrote a small commentary to the Al-Muwatta
  • Al-Musaffa Sharh al-Muwatta, Shah Wali Allah Dahlawi al-Musaffa Sharh al-Muwatta in Persian Shah Waliullah attached great importance to the Muwatta and penned another commentary in Urdu too
  • Al-Muntaqâ sharh al-Muwatta of Abu al-Walid al-Baji, the Andalusian Mâlikî Qâdî, Abû al-Walîd Sulaymân ibn Khalaf al-Bâjî, al-Muntaqâ sharh Muwatta’ Mâlik, edited by Muhammad ‘Abd al-Qâdir Ahmad ‘Atâ, Beirut: Dâr al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1420/1999 Sharh al-Muwatta' has two versions: al-Istifa' and its abridgment al-Muntaqa6
  • Awjāz-ul-Masālik ilá Muwattā' Imām Mālik is a Deobandi commentary written by great scholar Muhammad Zakariya al-Kandahlawi He began the work in 1927 in Medina while only 29 years old
  • Sharh Muwatta al-Malik by Muhammad al-Zurqani It is considered to be based on three other commentaries of the Muwatta; the Tamhid and the Istidhkar of Yusuf ibn Abd al Barr, as well as the Al-Muntaqa of Abu al-Walid al-Baji
  • Al-Imla' fi Sharh al-Muwatta in 1,000 folios, by Ibn Hazm7
  • Sharh Minhaaj by Subki8
  • Sharh Muwatta by Ali al-Qari

See alsoedit

  • List of Sunni books


  1. ^ al-Kattani, Muhammad ibn Ja`far 2007 Muhammad al-Muntasir al-Kattani, ed al-Risalah al-Mustatrafah in Arabic seventh ed Beirut: Dar al-Bashair al-Islamiyyah pp 9, 41 
  2. ^ a b "The Hadith for Beginners", Dr Muhammad Zubayr Siddiqi, 1961 2006 reprint, Goodword Books
  3. ^ Ibrāhīm b ‘Alī b Muhammad b Farhūn al-Ya‘murī al-Mālikī, al-Dībāj al-Madhhab fī Ma‘rifah A‘yān ‘Ulamā’ al-Madhhab, 1st ed, vol 1 Beirut: Dār al-Nashr, Dār al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1996, 25
  4. ^ Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, al-Tamhīd limā fī al-muwattā min al-ma‘ānī wa al-asānīd, vol 1 Morocco: Dār al-Nashr, 1387 AH, 76
  5. ^ Mabadi Tadabbur-i-Hadith, Amin Ahsan Islahi
  6. ^ "Abu al-Walid al-Baji" Sunnahorg Retrieved 2010-05-11 
  7. ^ "Ibn Hazm" Sunnahorg Retrieved 2010-05-11 
  8. ^ "Al-Albani Unveiled" Masudcouk Retrieved 2010-05-11 

External linksedit

  • Online from the Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement

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