Imam Abu Ja'far Ahmad bin Muhammad bin
Salamah bin Salmah bin 'Abd al Malik bin Salmah bin Sulaim bin Sulaiman bin
Jawab Azdi, popularly known as Imam Tahawi, after his birth-place in
Egypt, is among the most outstanding authorities of the Islamic world on Hadith
and fiqh (jurisprudence). He lived 239-321 A.H., an epoch when both the direct
and indirect disciples of the four Imams - Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Malik, Imam
Shafi'i and Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal - were teaching and practicing. This period
was the zenith of Hadith and fiqh studies, and Imam Tahawi studied with all the
living authorities of the day. He began as a student of his maternal uncle,
Isma'il bin Yahya Muzni, a leading disciple of Imam Shafi'i. Instinctively,
however, Imam Tahawi felt drawn to the corpus of Imam Abu Hanifah's works.
Indeed, he had seen his uncle and teacher turning to the works of Hanafi
scholars to resolve thorny issues of Fiqh, drawing heavily on the writings of
Imam Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani and Imam Abu Yusuf, who had codified
Hanafi fiqh. This led Imam Tahawi to devote his whole attention to studying the
Hanafi works and he eventually joined the Hanafi school.
Imam Tahawi stands out not only as a prominent follower of
the Hanafi school but, in view of his vast erudition and remarkable powers of
assimilation, as one of its leading scholars. His monumental scholarly works,
such as Sharh Ma'ani al-Athar and Mushkil al-Athar, are encyclopaedic in scope
and have long been regarded as indispensable for training students of fiqh
Please note, books published in India and Pakistan will have some cosmetic damage.
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