Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

Biography of Imam ad-Daarimi (d. 255 H.)—Author of the Sunan

Biography of Imam Ad-Darimi

Compiled by: Faisal bin Abdul Qaadir bin Hassan Abu Sulaymaan

Name, Lineage and Birth

He is Abdullah bin Abdurrahman bin al-Fadl bin Bahraam bin Abdillah. The Hafidh the Imam, and one of the great luminaries of Islam. Abu Muhammad at-Tameemi, then ad-Daarimi as-Samarqandi. Daarim is Ibn Malik bin Handalah bin Zayd Manaat bin Tameem. 

Darimi himself stated “I was born on the same year in which Imam Abdullah Bin Mubarak had died. And Abdullah Bin Mubarak died in 181 A.H.”1Tahzibul Kamaal – Volume 15 – Page 216

Abu Muhammad ad -Darimi travelled through the various Islamic lands and wrote many works. 

His Teachers 

He narrated from: Yazeed bin Haroon, Ya’la bin Ubaid, Ja’far bin Awn, Bishr bin Umar al-Zahraani, Abu Ali Ubaid Allah bin Abdul-Majeed al-Hanafi, and his brother Abu Bakr Abdul-Kabeer, Muhammad bin Bakr al-Bursaani, Wahab bin Jareer, an-Nadr bin Shumayl, and he is the earliest of them to pass away, Abu an-Nadr Hishaam bin al-Qaasim, Uthmaan bin Faaris, Sa’eed bin ‘Aamir ad-Duba’aee, al-Asward bin ‘Amir, Ahmad bin Ishaaq al-Hadraami, Abu ‘Asim, Ubaid Allah bin Musa, Abu al-Mughirah al-Khawlaani, Abu Mushar al-Ghassaani, Muhammad bin Yusuf al-Firyaabi, Abdus-Samad bin Abdul-Waarith, Abu Nu’aym, Abul-Waleed, Muslim, Zakariyyah bin ‘Adiyyah, Yahya bin Hassan, Khaleefah bin Khayyaat (may Allah have mercy upon them all).

His Students

Those who narrated from him include: Muslim, Abu Dawood, at-Tirmidhi, Abd bin Humaid, and he is older than him, Rajaa bin Murjaa, al-Hassan bin as-Sabbaah al-Bazaar, Muhammad bin Bashaar Bundhaar, Muhammad bin Yahyam and he is older than him, and at-Tirmidhi narrated from Muhammad bin Isma’eel al-Bukhari 2 Imam al-Bukhari (d. 256 H.). He narrated from Imam ad-Daarimi outside of his Saheeh from him, Baqiyyah bin Makhlad, Abu Zu’rah, Abu Hatim, Salih bin Muhammad Jazarah, Ibrahim bin Abi Talib, Ja’far bin Ahmad bin Faaris, Ja’far al-Firyaabi, Abdullah bin Ahmad, Umar bin Muhamad bin Bujayr, Muhammad bin an-Nadr al-Jaarodi, ‘Isa bin Umar as-Samarqandi who narrated his Musnad for him and others.

The Scholars Praise for Him

Muhammad bin Ibrahim al-Faqih as-Samarqandi said: I was with Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (d. 241 H.) and ad-Daarimi was mentioned. He said: “That man is a Leader. Disbelief was presented to me and I rejected it. The worldly life was presented to him and he rejected”. 

Muhammad bin Abdillah bin Numayr (d. 234 H.)—may Allah have mercy upon him—said: “Abdullah bin Abdurrahman surpassed  us in scruptlessness and piety”.

Muhammad bin Abdillah al-Mukharrami (d. 254 H.)—may Allah have mercy upon him—said: “O People of Khurasaan, as long as Abdullah bin Abdurrahman is among you, then do not be preoccupied with other than him”.

Abu Haatim ar-Raazi (d. 277 H.)—may Allah have mercy upon him—said: “Abdullah bin Abdurrahman is the Imam of the people of his time”.

Muhammad bin Ibraahim ash-Shiraazi (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: “He was upon the utmost intellect and religion such that he was taken as an example when it comes to judgement/rulings, study of Hadith, memorization, worship, and asceticim. He made the Knowledge of Hadith and narrations prominent in Samarqand and he removed lies from it. He was a complete Mufassar, a Jurist, and a Scholar”.

Imam ad-Daaraqutni (d. 385 H.)—may Allah have mercy upon him—said: “He is reliable, well-known”.

Imam adh-Dhahabi (d. 748 H.)—may Allah have mercy upon him—said: “Ad-Daarimi was a pillar from the pillars of the Religion. Abu Haatim ar-Raazi declared him reliable and many others .

His Death

He was born in the year Abdullah bin al-Mubaarak died which was the year 181 H. He died in the year 255 H. on the Day of Tarwiyah after Asr and was buried on the Day of ‘Arafah on a Friday. He was seventy-five years old when he died”.3 The above biography was taken from: Siyar ‘Alaam an-Nubala (10/175), Tareekh Baghdaad (10/30), and others. 

His Works

Imam Khateeb al-Baghdadi (d. 463 H.)—may Allah have mercy upon him—said: “He wrote the Musnad, a Tafseer, and a Jaami”.4Tareekh al-Baghdad (10/29) This was also mentioned by other Scholars. 5Tathkirah al-Huffaadh (2/535) and Tahtheeb al-Kamaal (15/216) Islamic researchers have concluded that the Musnad and Jaami’ refer to the same book which we have with us nowadays.  Imam Darimi narrated hadiths from more than
250 sheikh-teachers in his work “Musnad”. His Tafsir and Jaami have not survived.

The Sunan ad-Daarimi

The Scholars have often referred to Imam ad-Daarimi’s work as being a Musnad, such as Imam Ibn Salah (d. 643 H.)6Muqaddimah Ibn Salah (pg. 19) , Haaji Khaleefah (d. 1067 H.)7Kash adh-Dhunoon (2/168201683) , and others. However, others have called it a Sunan according to the work’s structure.

Imam as-Suyuti (d. 911 H.)—may Allah have mercy upon him—said: “The Musnad of ad-Daarimi is not a Musnad, rather it is closer to being [compiled] chapters. Some Scholars referred to it as a Saheeh”. 8Tadreeb ar-Raawi (1/174)

Imam as-San’aani (d. 1182 H.)—may Allah have mercy upon him—said: “Hafidh Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: ‘Calling it a Musnad is common just as al-Bukhari’s book is called Musnad as-Saheeh even though it is organized in chapters. However, its Ahadith are musnad (i.e. the chains of transmission reach the Prophet (ﷺ))”. 9Tawdeeh al-Afkaar (1/231)  

Shaikh Ahmad Shakir (d. 1377 H.)—may Allah have mercy upon him—said in his commentary of the Alifyyah of Imam as-Suyuti under the lines:

He was lenient the one who referred to [the Four Books of the Sunan]

As being Saheeh compilations, as well as the work of ad-Daarimi, and al-Muntaqa [of Ibn Jarood].

As for ad-Daarimi, then what the author intends is the Kitab as-Sunan of Imam Abu Muhammad Abdullah bin Abdur-Rahman ad-Daarimi. It has become known under the name Musnad ad-Daarimi . . . Sunan ad-Daarimi is a good book which was printed in India many times”. 10Sharh Alfiyyah as-Suyuti (pg. 17-18)  

Distinguishing Characteristics of the Sunan

The Sunan of Imam ad-Daarimi (may Allah have mercy upon him) has a great position among the books of Hadith due to a number of reasons. From them:

It has high chains and a good number of Thulaathiyaat (narrations with three narrators between the author the Prophet (ﷺ))

The Scholars count 15 Thulaathiyaat narrations in his Sunan compared to 22 found in Saheeh al-Bukhari. 11Kashf adh-Dhunoon (1/522) and al-Hittah Fi Sihaah as-Sittah (pg. 407)  

Comparatively, it has less weak narrations than other books. For that reason, some Scholars have given it precedence over Sunan Ibn Majah.

Hafidh Ibn Hajar (d. 852 H.)—may Allah have mercy upon him—said: “It (Sunan ad-Daarimi) is not less than the books of the Sunan in degree. Rather if it is joined with the other five books, it is like Sunan Ibn Majah. Rather, it is better than it by a lot”. 12Tadreeb ar-Raawi (1/174) 

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