His name was Sufyan ibn 'Uyainah ibn Maymoon. Abu Muhammad. al-Hilaalee, al-Kufii. He was born in the year I07AH. He was from the third generation of Muslims and began seeking knowledge as a boy. learning from the older taabi'een (i.e. students of the companions of the Prophet (sala/lahu alayhi wa salam). He was a great scholar who had a very sharp memory.
Sufyan ibn'Uyainah was a repository of the knowledge of hadith. He travelled so widely to gather ahaadith many of which escaped Imam Malik. Imam Shaafi'i said:
"If it were not for (Imam) Maalik and Sufyaan the knowledge of the Hijaaz would have passed away."
He also said:
"I found all the hadith of rulings with Maalik. except for thirty ahaadith. and I found all of them with Ibn 'Uyainah except for six hadeeth"
Imam Shaafie'ee also said:
" I have not seen anyone as readily equipped for knowledge as Sufyaan, and I have not seen anyone who withheld more than him from giving religious verdicts. and i Have not seen anyone who better explained the ahaadith than him."
'Abdur-Rahman ibn Mahdee said:
"lbn 'Uyainah was one of the most knowledgeable of the people of hadith of the people of Hijaaz."
Ibn Wahb said:
"I do not know anyone who knew better about tafseer than him."
Ibn al-Madeenee said:
"There is not amongst the companions of az-Zuhree anyone more precise than Ibn 'Uyainah.
Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal said:
"I did not see anyone who knew the sunnah better than him."
"Ibn 'Uyainah was fully sound in hadith. His ahaadith numbered seven thousand. and he did not have a manuscript copy."
'Ali ibn Ja'd said:
"I heard Ibn 'Uyainah say:
'whoever is given increase in his intellect will have his provision reduced," and he said: "Knowledge if it does not benefit you will harm you. He also said: "I have not written .anything except that I memorised it before I wrote it."
Sunayd ibn Dawud reprots from Ibn 'Uyainah (that he said):
"He whose sin is due to desires. then have hope for him. And he whose sin is due to pride. then fear for him because Adam disobeyed due to a desire and was forgiven. and Iblis sinned due to pride and was cursed." He also said. "Zuhd (ascetism) is patience, perseverance and preparing for death."
Sufyaan ibn 'Uyainah said:
"War' (piety) is seeking knowledge by which piety is known." He also said: "If a man follows those who came before him he will be an Imam for those who came after him."
Ibrahim ibn al-Ash'ath reported Ibn 'Uyainah to have said:
'He who acts upon what he knows. it suffices him from what he does not know." And when he was asked about Zuhd (abstinence). he said: "Zuhd is from that which Allah has forbidden. but as for that which Allah has allowed. then Allah has made it lawful for you. Because the Prophets married, rode, wore clothes and ate. But (when) Allah forbade them from something then they would avoid it and keep away' from it."
He said; "The sunnah consists of ten matters. in whoever these are found. he has completed the sunnah and who ever leaves anything from them. then he has abandoned the sunnah: Affirming the Divine Pre-determination. Giving precedence to AbuBakr and 'Umar.
The Hawd (Pond-Lake)
The Scales (for weighing the deeds).
The Bridge (over Hell-Fire)
That Iman consists of both speech and action
The Qur'an is the speech of Allah
The Punishment of the grave
The Resurrection on the Day of Judgement."
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited