|Full Name: Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Uthmaan ibn Qaymaaz ibn ‘Abdullaah adh Dhahabee at Tarkamaanee al Faaraqee ad Damashqee ash Shaafi’ee.Kunya: Abu ‘Abdullaah.
Born: 637 H | 1239 C.E.
Died: 748 H. | 1347 C.E.
He grew up in a well off, knowledgeable, religious family, which aided him in gaining knowledge at a young age.
His father was Shihaab ad Deen Ahmad ibn ‘Uthmaan, he studied knowledge, including Saheeh al Bukhaaree under al Miqdaad al Qaysee. Adh Dhahabee included him amongst his scholars.
He also benefited from his paternal aunt, Sitt al Ahl bint ‘Uthmaan ibn Qaymaaz, she was also his mother through breast feeding. She was given an Ijaazah by Ibn Abee al Yaseer, Jamaal ad Deen ibn Maalik, Zuhayr ibn ‘Umar ibn az Zuraa’ee and others. She studied under ‘Umar ibn al Qawwaas and others. Adh Dhahabee narrated on her authority, she passed away 729 H.
As far as his mother’s side, she was the daughter of Abu Bakr Sanjar ibn ‘Abullaah al Mawsoolee, he was also amongst his teachers.
As far as the knowledge of Hadeeth, he gained the lions share, he devoted his attention to it to the point that it became his main concern during his life. He studied hundreds of books in Hadeeth, a glimpse at ‘al Mu’jam al Kabeer’ will give you a clear idea of his expansive readings and studies in this science, let alone the fruits of all this, the high status that he reached amongst the greatest scholars of the science.
In addition to his knowledge of Hadeeth and Qira-aat, adh Dhahabee did not neglect the knowledge of the Arabic language, Adab, history, rather he studied them. His studies were reflected in the books he authored demonstrating his expansive knowledge in different sciences.
He travelled to Egypt and Palestine and benefited from the major scholars there, he also performed Hajj and studied in Makkah, ‘Arafah, Mina and al Madeenah from a number of scholars, amongst other places.
He reached the status of Imaam in a number of fields, he is an Imaam in the knowledge of Qira-aat, an Imaam in the knowledge of Hadeeth and an Imaam in History.
Ibn Naasir ad Deen stated: “He was an Imaam in the knowledge of Qira-aat.”
Ibn al jazaree stated: “The teacher, the trustworthy, the great one.”
Ibn Hajar stated: “He interested people in his works, they traveled to him because of them and they accepted them, reading, studying and transcribing them.”
Salaah ad Deen as Safdee stated: “Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Uthmaan ibn Qaymaaz, the Imaam, the scholar, the ‘Allaamah, al Haafidh, Abu ‘Abdullaah adh Dhahabee, there is no equal to him, He mastered the knowledge of Hadeeth and chains of narrators, the defects of the chains and their states, he attained knowledge of the biographies of the narrators, he removed the confusion and uncertainty of their histories, with a mind that glows with intellect. His attribution to gold is truthful. He gathered a great deal, he benefitted a vast amount of people, he authored a great number of books and spared, by summarizing, the burden of length in his writings.”
As Suyootee stated: “The Muhadithoon of today are dependant concerning the knowledge of narrators or other sciences of Hadeeth upon four: Al Mizee, adh Dahahabee, al ‘Iraqaaqee and ibn Hajar.”
At Taaj as Sabkee stated: “As for Abu ‘Abdullaah, he is a treasure which has no equal, he if the reference point during calamities, the Imaam of memory, he is the gold of this time period, in meaning and actuality, the scholar of Jarh wa Ta’deel…a great number studied under him, he continued to serve the science of Hadeeth until his feet became well grounded in it. The night and day have tired, but his tongue and pen have not tired, his name became as his laqab ‘the sun’ except that he is not covered during the rain and does not disappear during the night. He lived in Damascus and people travel to him and questions reach him from all corners of the world.”
Amongst his teachers:
As Safdee stated he had more than 1300 teachers. Adh Dhahabee was keen on compiling a list of the names of his teachers, so he authored ‘al Mu’jam al Kabeer’, ‘al Awsat’ and ‘as Sagheer’.
He was blessed to accompany three renowned scholars of his time, scholars whose reputations have spread across the horizons.
Adh Dhahabee was the youngest amongst them and al Mizzee was the oldest, they used to study under each other, so they were peers and teachers to each other. They gathered because of the adherence to the creed of the Salaf, their eagerness to learn and propagate and defend it, their love for the knowledge of Hadeeth and occupying themselves with adhering to the Athaar of the righteous predecessors. This friendship had a strong effect of adh Dhahabee’s personality and the build up of his knowledge which is apparent in his books.
Amongst his students:
Hundreds of students studied under him, al Husaynee stated; ‘The Book, the Sunnah and mannerisms were learnt through him.’
As Sabkee stated: ‘An enormous number of students studied under him.’
Amongst the books he authored:
He authored more than 215 books, amongst them: