THE MAALIKI SCHOOL OF FIQH - IMAM
MAALIK (93 A.H. - 179 A.H.)
Imam A'zam Abu Hanifa, Imam Maalik, Imam Shaafi and Imam Ahmed bin Hambal
(radi Allahu anhumul ajma'in)are the leaders of the four schools of Fiqh (Islamic
"FIQH" is the Science of Islamic Law or Jurisprudence.
It refers to the collection and compilation of Islamic laws based on the Holy
Quran and the Sunnah of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
These great Muslims devoted themselves to the task of developing the science
of understanding Islamic Law and its practise.
Although they differed from each other, all the four
great Imams had great respect for each other. They were all teachers and pupils
of each other for the common goal of enhancing their knowledge about Islam.
All of them were unanimous on Aqa'ids (Islamic Beliefs). We, as Muslims, must
respect the different Sunni schools of thought.
Imam Maalik (radi Allahu anhu) was born in 93 A.H. He
was born in the period of the Ummayyad Dynasty. His full name is Maalik bin
Imam Maalik (radi Allahu anhu's) grandfather and uncle were great scholars
of Hadith. Imam Maalik (radi Allahu anhu) learnt Ahadith from his uncle, Sayyiduna
Abu Suhail Nafi (radi Allahu anhu). The Imam was a very keen scholar from
his childhood days.
Imam Maalik (radi Allahu anhu) had many illustrious teachers. Most of them
were great Taabi'i scholars who learnt under the Sahaba. Some of his teachers
used to teach in Masjidun Nabawi. He learnt how to read the Holy Quran from
Sayyiduna Abu Radim Nafi Abdur Rahman (radi Allahu anhu).
He also learnt Hadith under Sayyiduna Nafi, Sayyiduna Jafer Saadiq, Sayyiduna
Mohammed bin Yahya Ansaari, Sayyiduna Abu Haashim Salmah, Sayyiduna Yahya
bin Said and Sayyiduna Hishaam bin Urwah (radi Allahu anhumul ajma'in).
- HIS PUPILS
Imam Maalik (radi Allahu anhu's) fame spread far and wide and many great scholars
sat in his company learning Ahadith and other Islamic legal issues. Some 1300
scholars sat at his feet. They copied the "MUWATTA" from him. The
"Muwatta" is a collection of Ahadith by Imam Maalik (radi Allah
anhu). Many of his pupils copied the Muwatta, the famous among them being:
Sayyiduna Yahya bin Yahya Al Masmudi, Sayyiduna ibn Wahab Abu Mohammed Abdullah
and Sayyiduna Abi Abdullah Abdur Rahman Abdur Rahman (radi Allahu anhumul
- AS A TEACHER
Even Imam A'zam Abu Hanifa (radi Allahu anhu), his teacher, held Imam Maalik
(radi Allahu anhu) in great regard and respect and should sit in his study
circle. Imam Maalik (radi Allahu anhu) liked his students to read aloud while
he listened. He used to sit on a high chair with students all around taking
- AS A MUHADDITH AND A JURIST
He was a great "Muhaddith" (A Scholar of Hadith). He was very careful
in selecting Hadith, and after examining them thoroughly used to record it
in his Muwatta.
As a Jurist, he was not afraid of giving a "Fatawa" (Legal Islamic
Ruling) even if it was against the Caliph. He was once flogged for doing so.
- PASSES AWAY
He passed away on the 11th of Rabi-ul-Awwal in the year 179 A.H. He was 86
years old. Imam Maalik (radi Allahu anhu) is buried in Janatul Baqi in Madinatul
He never wore shoes whilst in Madinatul Munawwarah. He never sat on a horse
or used the toilets in this blessed city. He always went out of the city to
relieve himself. He used to kiss the old buildings and the remains of old
foundations, saying that Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)
may have walked by, touched it or saw it. Such was his adoration for Sayyiduna
Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).