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Short Biography of Hafidh Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani

Hafidh Ahmad ibn Ali al-Asqalani (d. 852/1448) the son of the Shafi'i scholar and poet Nur al-Din 'Ali, was born in Egypt, famously known as Ibn Hajar after one of his ancestors is arguably the best hadith scholar of the Mamluk period. 

At the age of 12, he was competent enough to lead the Tarawih prayers in the Holy City of Makkah.

He got married to Anas Khatun a hadith expert in her own right, holding ijazas from Zayn al-Din al-Iraqi, she used to give celebrated public lectures in the presence of her husband to crowds of ulema among whom was Imam al-Sakhawi. 

Once ensconced in Egypt, Ibn Hajar taught in the Sufi lodge (khanqah) of Baybars for around twenty years and then in the hadith college known as Dar al-Hadith al-Kamiliyya. During these years, he went on to be appointed to the position of Egyptian chief-judge (Qadi) several times.

He is the author of over 300 books some going into lengthy volumes few among which are

His teachers include : 

  • al-Bulqini (d.806) and Ibn al-Mulaqqin (d.804) in Shafi‘i fiqh,
  • Zayn al-Din al-Iraqi (d.806) in hadith, 
  • Shams al-Din al-Qalqashandi (d.809), 
  • Badr al-Din al-Balisi (d.803), and 
  • Fatima bint al-Manja al-Tanukhiyya (d.803). 

He died on Friday 28 Dhi al-Hijja 852 hijri at the age of 79 and was buried in al-Qarrafa, Cairo, now famously known as the City of the Dead (madinat al-mawta). His funeral was said to have been attended by an estimated 50,000 people, including the sultan and the caliph.

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