Muhammad ibn Waddah ibn Bazi'

(d. 287/900) of Cordoba

He was the client of 'Abd ar-Rahman ibn Mu'awiya of Cordoba, and his kunya was Abu 'Abdullah.

Bazi', his grandfather, was the client of 'Abd ar-Rahman ibn Mu'awiya.

He related in Andalusia from Muhammad ibn 'Ida al-A'sha, Muhammad ibn Khalid al-Ashajj, Yahya ibn Yahya, Sa'id ibn Hassan, Zunan, Ibn Habib and 'Abd al-'Ala ibn Wahb.

He travelled to the east twice. Once was in 218 before Baqi ibn Makhlad, and in it he met Sa'id ibn Mansur, Adam ibn Abi Iyyas, Ibn Hanbal, Ibn Ma'in, Ibn al-Madini, 'Abdullah ibn Dhakwan, Ibn Khaythama, the scribe of al-Layth, Ibn Musaffa and others.

His purpose in this journey was not to seek hadith. His business was asceticism. He met the men of worship. If he had listened to hadith in this journey, he would have been the highest of the people of his time in isnad.

He went on a second journey in which he listened to Isma'il ibn Abi Uways, Abu Mus'ab, Ya'qub ibn Kasib, Ibrahim ibn al-Mundhir, Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shayba, Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Firyabi, Harun ibn Muhammad ibn Sa'id al-Ayli, Ibn al-Mubarak as-Suri, Harmala, Ibn Abi Maryam, Abu at-Tahir, al-Harith ibn Miskin, Asbagh ibn al-Faraj, Zuhayr ibn 'Abbad, Sahnun ibn Sa'id, 'Awn ibn Yusuf, as-Sumadihi, and Muhammad ibn Mas'ud among many people among the Baghdadis, Syrians, Egyptians and Qayrawanis.

The number of men to whom he listened were 165.

Andalusia became an abode of hadith through him and Baqi ibn Makhlad.

Abu 'Amr al-Muqri mentioned him among the reciters. He said, "He related recitation from 'Abd as-Samad ibn 'Abd ar-Rahman ibn al-Qasim from the Warsh reading. It is from his time that the people of Andalusia relied on Warsh recitation. Before that, they had relied on the recitation of al-Ghazi ibn Qays from Nafi'.

Those who learned from Ibn Waddah included Ahmad ibn Khalid, Muhammad ibn Lubaba, Muhammad ibn Ghalib, Ibn Salih, Ibn al-Jazzar, Ibn az-Zarrad, Ibn Ayman, Qasim ibn Asbagh, Ibn Mansur, Khalid ibn Wahb al-A'naqi, Tahir ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz, Ibn al-A'sha, and Wahb ibn Masarra among many others.

Most of the leaders and nobles in Andalusia were his students.

He had importance in it and clear love for him was in the hearts of the people. Allah knows best.

Concerning his knowledge and virtue

Ibn Abi Dulaym said, "Ibn Waddah was a firm Imam. Ibn Mufarraj wrote a book on his virtues and on his men."

Ibn al-Faradi said, "Ibn Waddah had knowledge and insight into it and he spoke on its faults. He had many stories about the worshippers, scrupulousness, and was poor, asceticism, upright, patient in listening, considering the spread of his knowledge. People listened to a lot from him and the people of Andalusia benefited by him."

Ahmad ibn Sa'id said, "None of our shaykhs disagreed with the fact that Ibn Waddah was the teacher of the people of Andalusia in knowledge and asceticism. Ahmad ibn Khalid did not advance anyone he met in Andalusia over him. He respected him a great deal. He described his virtues, his intellect, and his scrupulousness. However, he objected to the frequency of his rejection of many hadiths. He used to often say, 'These are not from the words of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, or sound in anything.' He is firm about his words. He had recorded error."

He said, "He did not have knowledge of fiqh or Arabic."

Another said, "Ahmad ibn Khalid answered him."

Ibn Abi Dulaym and ash-Shirazi mentioned him in this generation of the fuqaha' of the Malikis.

Ash-Shirazi said, "He learned fiqh with Sahnun and the shaykhs of the Maghrib."

Wahb ibn Masarra said, "Ibn Waddah said to me, 'I recited the entire Qur'an sixty times in twenty days of Ramadan. I had in it myself to recite the entire Qur'an more than 100 times, but I became ill in the last ten days."

Ibn 'Abd al-Barr said, "Ibn Waddah was forbearing and of good character. He was patient in the face of coarseness, generous with his knowledge. He did not have any occupation other than worship and studying knowledge. He used to recite the full entire Qur'an in Ramadan in his mosque nine times. He was patient in the praying standing up to pray at night. He did not go to the judges or the governors except to visit during an illness. He withdrew from them. He did not store up anything nor incline to worldly things. He had excellent brothers who always sent to him what he ate. He had a nephew who sent to him every night what he used as condiments. He would divide up what he was given with those who came to him. The Amir 'Abdullah preferred him and knew his due. He wrote to him in what he needed. He said to him, 'I am ill. Excuse me.'"

Another mentioned that he would fast for five straight days and the like of that.

The shaykhs in the east used to honour him and recognise the excellence of his knowledge of hadith, his ascetism and his good.

Ibn az-Zarrad used to describe him with every virtue and say that he had not seen his like in intellect, understanding and retention of the meanings of hadith and good stories.

He said that he was an Imam.

He said, "I did not see anyone more generous than him. If he had only possessed a single olive, he would have divided it with whoever came. He visited me once and brought me half a cheese. He told me, 'I know that it is not good for someone who is sick, but I did not like to come without anything and this is all that I had, so let the servant eat it with her bread.' He visited me another time and brought me half a quince."

Abu Amr al-Muqri said from Abu Ibrahim the faqih said that when Ibn Waddah returned from the second journey, his tongue was impeded for seven days. He could not speak. He said, 'O Allah, if there is usefulness in loosening my tongue to spread this knowledge, then loosen it!" Allah Almighty therefore freed his tongue and Allah gave life to the people of Andalusia by him and they benefit by him. They used to think that this was the best of his karamat."

Ahmad ibn Khalid said, "Ibn Waddah remained one day without any food. His wife encouraged him to seek some provision and criticised him for staying in his room. He said, 'I went out and she sat dejected on the ground. I said, 'To whom shall I go?' I went to Allah in the General Mosque. I was there until 'Asr was prayed. When I went out, I said, "If I return to the house without anything, it will be hard on the wife. There is an opportunity in the time.'

"I resolved to visit some brothers of mine in the village of al-Marda. When I reached the middle of the bridge, there was a slave boy belonging to a friend of mine He had an animal with him laden with flour and a jar of oil. He told me, 'I am on my way to you, So-and-so sends you greetings and has sent this to you.' He praised Allah and I took that to my house.'"

He mentioned about himself that in Egypt that he reached to the point where he hired himself out to the owner of a hotel to sweep up the rubbish of the animals and carry it on his head.

Ahmad ibn Khalid said, "Ibn Waddah used to say to me, 'I will supplicate to Allah for you in my prostration that Allah benefit you because when you benefit, I benefit by you."

He used to say, "The beginning of knowledge is silence. The second level is good listening and the third is good asking. The fourth is good retention and the fifth is good choice. The sixth is acting on it and the seventh is flight from people. The eighth is spreading it when there is no way to avoid it."

He used to say, "It is said, 'The best of this world is what you are not tested by and the best of what you are tested by in it is what comes out of your hands. Know that what comes out of your hands is a mercy for your dwelling. Do not return to it.'

Abu ibn 'Abdu Rabbih said on him:

           This world was generous to you with the blessing of its life,
                but the equivalent of the provision of a rider was enough for you.

One of his students mentioned that they were listening to Ibn Waddah in a room of his when a man came to him. He said to him, "I was present now and a wheel just struck the child, your son, and went over him!" He did not take any interest in that and turned to what he was doing, holding his book, and commanded the reader to continue reading.

It was not long before another came in and said, "I give good news to Abu 'Abdullah. The child is safe. The wheel hit his garment and he fell, but it passed by him and did not injure him."

He said, "Praise belongs to Allah! I was certain of that because I saw that the child gave a pauper a piece of bread today and I knew that affliction would not befall him today by the hadith, 'Allah averts a bad death from the slave by sadaqa which he gives.'"

Wahb ibn Masrra said, "When I bad farewell to Muhammad ibn Waddah, I said, 'Counsel me.'

"He said, 'I advise you to have taqwa of Allah Almighty, be dutiful to your parents and continue to do your portion (hizb) of recitation of the Qur'an. Do not forget it. Flee from people. Envy comes from two. Slander comes from two. One (alone) is safe from this.'"

He wrote the Book of the Worshippers, the Book of the Flocks, the Letter of the Sunna, the Book of the Prayer on the Teachers and the Book of the Vision of Allah.

Ibn Waddah died in Muharram in 287. It is said in Dhu'l-Hijja, 286.

He was born in 199 or 200.

He became old and weak at he end of his state. The doctors indicated to him to rest. He used to joke and laugh.

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