Muhammad ibn 'Umar ibn Lubaba

(d. 314), of Andalusia

The client of the family of 'Ubayd Allah ibn 'Uthman al-Qurtubi. His kunya was Abu 'Abdullah.

He related from 'Abdullah ibn Khalid, 'Abd al-A'la ibn Wahb, Aban ibn 'Isa, Abu Zayd ibn Ibrahim, Asbagh ibn Khalil, Yahya ibn Muzayn, al-'Utbi, Qasim ibn Muhammad, Malik ibn 'Ali al-Qutni, Ibn Matruh, Ibn Waddah and others.

He was an imam in fiqh, who had precedence over people of his time in preservation of opinion and insight into fatwa. He studied the books of opinion for sixty years. He relied on al-'Utbi and Ibn Muzayn.

He was consulted in the days of governor 'Abdullah along with 'Ubaydullah ibn Yahya and his generation. Then he alone had fatwa with his friend Abu Salih. They were like brothers. Abu Salih put him ahead of himself. Then he was alone after the death of Abu Salih for a number of years. None shared in leadership and undertaking fatwa with him until a story took place which involved him and one of the people in the assembly of one of the governors. He attacked him in anger and he was jailed. The governor was harsh to him. He said, "We will dispense with him."

Ibn Lubaba said "Your like dispenses with my like!"

He swore that he would never attend the council nor counsel a governor in any dispute. He kept to his house. The governors would consult him by trickery which he did not know had any dispute in it until he died, may Allah have mercy on him.

Ibn Abi Dulaym said, "He did undertake any journey. He was one of those skilled in memory of opinion. Judgements devolved on him for about sixty years and he debated Qasim ibn Muhammad.

Qadi Abu al-Walid al-Baji said, "Muhammad ibn 'Umar ibn Lubaba was the faqih of Andalusia."

As-Sadafi said, "Muhammad ibn Lubaba was one of the people who possessed memory of fiqh and understanding in it. He was the most fiqh of people and had the most knowledge of the differences of the people of Malik and others. He attended cases and judgements with discrimination and perception which none of those we have seen and witnessed had. He also possessed integrity and co-operation, perfect manliness, the deen, recitation of Qur'an, memory of poetry, good Arabic, good qualities, asceticism in his clothes and humanity. He used to do sixty full recitations of the Qur'an in Ramadan."

Ibn Harith and his companion Abu Salih mentioned him. He said, "In our time, they were the two shaykhs and great ones of the land who possessed knowledge and understanding, age and majesty, excellent fiqh, perfect talent and complete activity in fine points and sublime matters in the craft of knowledge. He had much perception, long study, ancient effort and perfect firmness in the school of opinions and the path of fatwa."

He said, "Ibn Lubaba was one of the people of faithfulness, virtue and integrity, one of the eminent fuqaha' and prominent huffaz. He gave fatwa on the obligation of the oath without partners. He did not think that the testimony of a witness with his father was allowed. Others disagreed with him on that, and most of the shaykhs gave the fatwas that it was allowed."

Abu al-Asbagh ibn Abi 'Ubayd said, "The Amir al-Mu'minin an-Nasir consulted us about a qadi he could appoint. He mentioned Muhammad ibn Lubaba and al-Habib ibn Ziyad. I said to him, "Ibn Ziayd is a qadi from a qadi from a house of qadis. He knows the qadiship and is trained in it. Muhammad ibn 'Umar ibn Lubaba is a reliable and trustworthy mufti and faqih. He knows fatwa and its anchors. Today he gave such-and-such and such-and-such a judgement among the Muslims. I did not send two disputing men to him but that they went to him pleased and left him pleased. I think that Ibn Ziyad should be appointed qadi and that Ibn Lubaba should be the master of fatwa and consultation.' He accepted that, and the two men came to me in gratitude afterwards. Each of them had what I had indicated in him."

Ibn al-Faradi said, "He knew the history of Andalusia. He had a some knowledge of grammar, history and poetry. He was put in charge of the prayer in Cordoba. Many people related from him.

He said, "He did not have knowledge of hadith nor exact transmission. He related the meanings but was not careful in the phrases."

Ibn 'Abd al-Barr said, "Ibn Lubaba had little riwaya and a few books, but he memorised them. He memorised all he had literally and did not commit them to paper during oral transmission. Others did so, and the refuted the one who memorised them. However, it was by the meaning. He loved proof and discussion of fiqh, and investigation following the hadith at the end at his days and he inclined to the method of ash-Shafi'i."

Some of his reports

Ibn Lubaba mentioned that one day he came to the assembly of the Qadi later than his fuqaha' companions. The Qadi had summoned them on order to receive their fatwas in many questions. They said what they had and Abu Salih was the first of them. When Ibn Lubaba came, Qadi Abu Salih asked that their answers be presented to him. He disagreed with them about most of them. He used proof against them until they admitted to him and accepted his answer. Abu Salih laughed. He said, "By Allah, our like and your likes, Abu 'Abdullah, are only like the words of the poet:

                 When the sailor of the ship departs and the wind flings it about
                      in arrogance, the frogs leave it.

One day he debated with his companions about a father limiting his son's right to transact his affairs and that he was under the jurisdiction of his father, even if he was of age, until he released him according to the school of Ibn al-Qasim. He kept to that and debated on it.

Ibn Hardam said to him, "At this time you have a master over you because your father did not free you from his guardianship."

It was mentioned that that was the reason he retracted this position for the other position.

When Ibn Lubaba saw someone who was asked for fatwa among those he was not pleased with, he quoted:

                 The men whose actions are imitated have gone
                      and the disapproved have every objectionable matter.
                 I remained afterwards when each of them extolled the other.
                      in order to silence the one-eyed about the one-eyed.

He was balanced in his states with a good assembly and composed a lot of poetry. He knew the reports, events and stories of the scholars of Cordoba. He was patient in lack of worldly goods, a helper.

It was mentioned that during the month of Ramadan, he devoted himself to worship and closed his door. He only appeared in the mosque at the time of the prayer.

He died on Monday night on the 26th Sha'ban in 314 when he was 88. It is also said that he was 89. It is said that it was at the beginning of Rajab in 326.

People crowded around his bier and grave as was the custom of the common people. His father said, "If only they had crowded around his knowledge, not his bier! I listened to him and wrote from him."

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