Annals of Muslim History

The Well That Gave Out Ilm (Knowledge)


In the year 466 After the Hijrah, the Muslim Ummah in the land of Naysābur were led by the fearful Amir, the Khāqām of his people. It was mentioned in our history that the Khāqām married a Slave girl after he freed her without allowing her observe the ‘Iddah of _Istibrā’_…

The Master Imām, the Sun of the Imams, the Hanafī Stalwart and Erudite Shaykh, Abū Bakr Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Abī Sahl As-Sarakhsī – rahimahullāh – was the shinning Star of the city of Sarakhs, in the Khurasān region at that time.

He had excelled in the Hanafī Fiqh and the bearers of Ilm in his time and School had surrendered the Imamate to him due to his diligence, intellect and brilliance.

The people rushed to As-Sarakhsī to ask him what he held as position on this act of the Khāqām who had proceeded to wed the Slave girl without the _Istibrā’_.

Everyone who lived at that time knew that going against the Sultan was writing for oneself the sentence of death. But As-Sarakhsī, the Imām refused to bend the text or to misrepresent the seat of Ilm he occupied, he declared to all that what the Khāqām had done was Harām and is punishable in the Sharī’ah.

Khāqām retaliated the Imām’s audacity and sentenced him to imprisonment indefinitely in a well that had ran out of water.

Imām As-Sarakhsī was patient with life in his dark well where nothing lived except the rodents that move in the land and the insects that crawl.

Muhammad ‘AbdulQādir Al-Qurashī mentioned in his biographical corpus _Al-Jawāhiru Al-Mudiyyah Fī Tabaqāti Al-Hanāfiyyah_ that As-Sarakhsī spent 15 years of his life in this well in oppression.

His food was served to him by the guards. So was his waste attended to.

But the Imām was steadfast, patient and resolute. His students came to the opening of his Well and gathered around it to learn. He would dictate to them his Fiqh and his Hadīth and they would write and transmit to others. Thus, even in the depths of the well, As-Sarakhsī remained the Imām that kept teaching and enlightening the Ummah.

Of the excellent works he produced from the Well is his book _Al-Mabsūt Fī Al-Fiqh_ in 15 volumes, all dictated from his memory without reference to a writing or a revision from a peer. He also dictated his Sharh of Ash-Shaybānī’s _As-Siyaru Al-Kabīr_ of two volumes from this well.

It is said that when he was at _Kitābu Ash-Shurūt_ in the Siyar, he was released. He then proceeded to complete the Shsome sources. Others said he remained 10 years after his release.

O Allāh, illumine the grave of Imām As-Sarakhsī and unite us with him and the elect servants of yours in the Firdaws, āmīn


Islamnode is a platform for the dissemination of sound Knowledge of Islam and an orientation of Muslims of the Sciences of the Din in accordance with the Pristine Knowledge taught by the Rasul – Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam – to the Companions – Ridwanullah ‘Alayhim – and understood by them, their Students and those who followed them of the earliest generations. We follow the Sunnah of the Rasul – Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam – and promote the Works of the Ulama of Sunnah from the first generation to date. Our goal is to propagate the Sciences of Islam, to disseminate the sound understanding of the Salaf and to enable the sound education of Muslims in this era.

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