|Born||824/ 209 AH|
|Died||9 October 892/ 13 Rajab 279 AH (aged 70)|
|Era||Islamic golden age|
|Notable work(s)||Jami at-Tirmidhi |
Abū ʿĪsā Muḥammad ibn ʿĪsā as-Sulamī aḍ-Ḍarīr al-Būghī at-Tirmidhī (Arabic: أبو عيسى محمد بن عيسى السلمي الضرير البوغي الترمذي; Persian: ترمذی, Termezī; 824 – 9 October 892 CE / 209 - 279 AH), often referred to as Imām al-Termezī/Tirmidhī, was a Persian Islamic scholar, and collector of hadith from Termez (from early Khorasan and in present-day Uzbekistan). He wrote al-Jami` as-Sahih (known as Jami` at-Tirmidhi), one of the six canonical hadith compilations in Sunni Islam. He also wrote Shama'il Muhammadiyah (popularly known as Shama'il at-Tirmidhi), a compilation of hadiths concerning the person and character of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. At-Tirmidhi was also well versed in Arabic grammar, favoring the school of Kufa over Basra due to the former's preservation of Arabic poetry as a primary source.
Al-Tirmidhi's given name (ism) was "Muhammad" while his kunya was "Abu `Isa" ("father of `Isa"). His genealogy is uncertain; his nasab (patronymic) has variously been given as:
He was also known by the laqab "ad-Darir" ("the Blind"). It has been said that he was born blind, but the majority of scholars agree that he became blind later in his life.
At-Tirmidhi's family belonged to the Arab tribe of Banu Sulaym (hence the nisbat "as-Sulami"). His grandfather was originally from Marw (Persian: Merv), but moved to Tirmidh.
Muhammad ibn `Isa at-Tirmidhi was born during the reign of the Abbasid caliph al-Ma'mun. His year of birth has been reported as 209 AH (824/825). Adh-Dhahabi only states that at-Tirmidhi was born near the year 210 AH (825/826), thus some sources give his year of birth as 210 AH. Some sources indicate that he was born in Mecca (Siddiqi says he was born in Mecca in 206 AH (821/822)) while others say he was born in Tirmidh (Persian: Termez), in what is now southern Uzbekistan. The stronger opinion is that he was born in Tirmidh. Specifically, he was born in one of its suburbs, the village of Bugh (hence the nisbats "at-Tirmidhi" and "al-Bughi").
At-Tirmidhi began the study of hadith at the age of 20. From the year 235 AH (849/850) he traveled widely in Khurasan, Iraq, and the Hijaz in order to collect hadith. His teachers and those he narrated from included:
At the time, Khurasan, at-Tirmidhi's native land, was a major center of learning, being home to a large number of muhaddiths. Other major centers of learning visited by at-Tirmidhi were the Iraqi cities of Kufa and Basra. At-Tirmidhi reported hadith from 42 Kufan teachers. In his Jami`, he used more reports from Kufan teachers than from teachers of any other town.
At-Tirmidhi was a pupil of al-Bukhari, who was based in Khurasan. Adh-Dhahabi wrote, "His knowledge of hadith came from al-Bukhari." At-Tirmidhi mentioned al-Bukhari's name 114 times in his Jami`. He used al-Bukhari's Kitab at-Tarikh as a source when mentioning discrepancies in the text of a hadith or its transmitters, and praised al-Bukhari as being the most knowledgeable person in Iraq or Khurasan in the science of discrepancies of hadith. When mentioning the rulings of jurists, he followed al-Bukhari's practice of not mentioning the name of Abu Hanifah. Because he never received a reliable chain of narrators to mention Abu Hanifa's decrees, he would instead attribute them to "some people of Kufa." Al-Bukhari held at-Tirmidhi in high regard as well. He is reported to have told at-Tirmidhi, "I have profited more from you than you have from me," and in his Sahih he narrated two hadith from at-Tirmidhi.
At-Tirmidhi also narrated some hadiths from Abu Dawud, and one from Muslim. Muslim also narrated one hadith from at-Tirmidhi in his own Sahih.
A.J. Wensinck mentions Ahmad ibn Hanbal as among at-Tirmidhi's teachers. However, Hoosen states that according to the most reliable sources, at-Tirmidhi never went to Baghdad, nor did he attend any lectures of Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Furthermore, at-Tirmidhi never directly narrates from Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Jami`.
Several of at-Tirmidhi's teachers also taught al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, and an-Nasa'i.
Imam Tirmidhi was very close to Imam Bukhari, Imam Tirmidhi was a Shafi'i. Conclusion was whether he was mujtahid or muqallid as he was close to Imam Bukhari some claim he followed his madhab.
Al-Tirmidhi was accused of being a Jahmite heretic, and was harshly criticized by some fanatic Hanbali followers, including Abu Bakr al-Khallal (d. 311/923) in his Kitab al-Sunna (Book of the Prophetic Tradition), because he rejected a narration attributed to Mujahid concerning the explanation of the verse 79 from Surat al-Isra' in the Qur'an about the praiseworthy station of Muhammad, known as "al-Maqam al-Mahmud".
The verse is: "And from [part of] the night, pray[a] with it [i.e., recitation of the Qur’ān] as additional [worship] for you; it is expected that[b] your Lord will resurrect you to a praised station.[c]"[Quran 17:79 (Translated by Saheeh International)]
The Hanbalites interpreted the Praiseworthy Station as the seating on Throne o Muhammad by Allah/God, despite the overall weakness of the narrations supporting it.
At-Tirmidhi was blind in the last two years of his life, according to adh-Dhahabi. His blindness is said to have been the consequence of excessive weeping, either due to fear of God or over the death of al-Bukhari.
He died on Monday night, 13 Rajab 279 AH (Sunday night, 8 October 892)[d] in Bugh.
At-Tirmidhi is buried on the outskirts of Sherobod, 60 kilometers north of Termez in Uzbekistan. In Termez he is locally known as Abu Isa at-Termezi or "Termez Ota" ("Father of Termez").
فقد كان أحدث هذا الترمذي المبتدع ببلدنا ما اتصل بنا أنه حدث ببلدكم، وهذا أمر قد كان اضمحل وأخمله الله، وأخمل أهله وقائله، وليس بموجود في الناس، قد سلب عقله، أخزاه الله وأخزى أشياعه، وقد كان الشيوخ سئلوا عنه في حياة أبي بكر رحمه الله ومحدثي بغداد والكوفة وغير ذلك، فلم يكن منهم أحد إلا أنكره، وكره من أمره ما كتبنا به إليكم لتقفوا عليه، فأما ما قال العباس بن محمد الدوري عند سؤالهم إياه عنه ورده حديث مجاهد: ذكر أن هذا الترمذي الذي رد حديث مجاهد ما رآه قط عند محدث، ولا يعرفه بالطلب، وإن هذا الحديث لا ينكره إلا مبتدع جهمي، فنحن نسأل الله العافية من بدعته وضلالته، فما أعظم ما جاء به هذا من الضلالة والبدع، عمد إلى حديث فيه فضيلة للنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فأراد أن يزيله ويتكلم في من رواه، وقد قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: « لا تزال طائفة من أمتي على الحق، لا يضرهم من ناوأهم » ونحن نحذر عن هذا الرجل أن تستمعوا منه، وممن قال بقوله، أو تصدقوهم في شيء، فإن السنة عندنا إحياء ذكر هذا الحديث، وما أشبهه مما ترده الجهمية