Ibn Ḥajar al-‘Asqalānī
TitleShaykh al-Islām
Born18 February 1372 (1372-02-18)
Died2 February 1449 (1449-02-03) (aged 76)[3]
Cairo, Mamluk Sultanate
Resting placeCity of the Dead, Cairo, Egypt
Muslim leader
Tomb of Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani in Cairo

Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī or Ibn Ḥajar (Arabic: ابن حجر العسقلاني, full name: Shihābud-Dīn Abul-Faḍl Aḥmad ibn Nūrud-Dīn ʿAlī ibn Muḥammad ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī al-Kināni) (18 February 1372 – 2 February 1449 CE / 773 – 852 A.H.),[3] was a classic Islamic scholar "whose life work constitutes the final summation of the science of Hadith."[5] He authored some 150 works on hadith, history, biography, tafsir, poetry, and Shafi'i jurisprudence, the most valued of which being his commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari, titled Fath al-Bari.[6]

Early life

He was born in Cairo in 1372, the son of the Shafi'i scholar and poet Nur ad-Din 'Ali. His parents had moved from Alexandria, originally hailing from Ascalon (Arabic: عَسْقَلَان, ʿAsqalān).[7] Both of his parents died in his infancy, and he and his sister, Sitt ar-Rakb, became wards of his father's first wife's brother, Zaki ad-Din al-Kharrubi, who enrolled Ibn Hajar in Qur'anic studies when he was five years old. Here he excelled, learning Surah Maryam in a single day and memorising the entire Qur'an by the age of 9.[8] He progressed to the memorization of texts such as the abridged version of Ibn al-Hajib's work on the foundations of fiqh.


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 ad-Din ibn al-Qattan, who entered him in the courses given by Sirajud-Din al-Bulqini (d. 1404) and Siraj al-Din al-Mulaqqin (d. 1402) in Shafi'i fiqh, and Zain al-Din al-'Iraqi (d. 1404) in hadith, after which he travelled to Damascus and Jerusalem, to study under Shamsud-Din al-Qalqashandi (d. 1407), Badr al-Din al-Balisi (d. 1401), and Fatima bint al-Manja at-Tanukhiyya (d. 1401). After a further visit to Mecca, Medina, and Yemen, he returned to Egypt. Al-Suyuti said: "It is said that he drank Zamzam water in order to reach the level of adh-Dhahabi in memorization—which he succeeded in doing, even surpassing him."[9]

Personal life

In 1397, at the age of twenty-five, Al-'Asqalani married the celebrated hadith expert Uns Khatun, who held ijazat from 'Abdur-Rahim al-'Iraqi and gave public lectures to crowds of 'ulama', including as-Sakhawi.[10][11]


Ibn Hajar went on to be appointed to the position of Egyptian chief-judge (Qadi) several times. He had a scholarly rivalry with the Hanafi scholar Badr al-Din al-Ayni.[12]


Ibn Hajar died after 'Isha' (night prayer) on 8th Dhul-Hijjah 852 (2 February 1449), aged 79. An estimated 50,000 people attended his funeral in Cairo, including Sultan Sayfud-Din Jaqmaq (1373–1453 CE) and Caliph of Cairo Al-Mustakfi II (r. 1441–1451 CE).[6]


Ibn Hajar wrote approximately 150 works[13] on hadith, hadith terminology, biographical evaluation, history, tafsir, poetry and Shafi'i jurisprudence.

See also


  1. ^ Namira Nahouza (2018). Wahhabism and the Rise of the New Salafists: Theology, Power and Sunni Islam. I.B. Tauris. pp. 121–122. ISBN 9781838609832. Archived from the original on 2021-10-07. Retrieved 2021-01-12.
  2. ^ "Ahl al-Sunna: The Ash'aris - The Testimony and Proofs of the Scholars". almostaneer.com (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 4 Apr 2021. ((cite web)): |archive-date= / |archive-url= timestamp mismatch (help)
  3. ^ a b "USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts". Usc.edu. Archived from the original on 2006-08-29. Retrieved 2010-03-21.
  4. ^ Salmān, Mashhūr Ḥasan Maḥmūd & Shuqayrāt, Aḥmad Ṣidqī (1998). "Tarjamat al-musannif". Muʼallafāt al-Sakhāwī : al-ʻAllāmah al-Ḥāfiẓ Muḥammad ibn ʻAbd al-Raḥmān al-Sakhāwī, 831-902 H. Dār Ibn Ḥazm. p. 18.
  5. ^ Rosenthal, F. (1913). Encyclopedia of Islam: New Edition. Brill. p. 776.
  6. ^ a b Ludwig W. Adamec (2009), Historical Dictionary of Islam, p.136. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810861615.
  7. ^ Noegel, Scott B. (2010). The A to Z of Prophets in Islam and Judaism. Wheeler, Brannon M. Lanham: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-1-4617-1895-6. OCLC 863824465. Archived from the original on 2020-06-15. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  8. ^ Lewis, B.; Menage, V.L.; Pellat, Ch.; Schacht, J. (1986) [1st. pub. 1971]. Encyclopaedia of Islam. Vol. III (H-Iram) (New ed.). Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. p. 776. ISBN 9004081186.
  9. ^ Thail Tabaqaat al-Huffaath, pg. 251.
  10. ^ "Imam Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani". Tauhidahmed. Retrieved May 4, 2023.
  11. ^ "Imam Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani". Nur.nu. Retrieved May 4, 2023.
  12. ^ Al-'Ayni, 'Iqd al-Jumān, 372.
  13. ^ Kifayat Ullah, Al-Kashshaf: Al-Zamakhshari's Mu'tazilite Exegesis of the Qur'an, de Gruyter (2017), p. 40
  14. ^ al-Dhahabi. Siyar A'lam al-Nubala'. Vol. 16. p. 154.
  15. ^ Ibn Ḥajar al-ʻAsqalānī, Aḥmad ibn ʻAlī (2002). Vies des cadis de Miṣr, 237/851-366/976. Mathieu Tillier, Thierry Bianquis. Le Caire: Institut français d'archéologie orientale. ISBN 2-7247-0327-8. OCLC 52493823. Archived from the original on 2022-07-08. Retrieved 2022-01-29.