Biography of Imam Abu Umar ibn Al-Husayn ibn Abdallah Al-Khiraqi – by Amir Al-Athari

His name “Al-Khiraqi”: They would sell clothes and rags (Khiraq), thus, the name. No one else from the scholars of the Hanabaliah have this ascription besides him and his father (d. 299 AH) who was famously known as “The Successor of al-Marrudhi رحمه الله تعالى” as he used to always stick to him. It is not known from which tribe they are from.

He was one of the first and most celebrated of Hanbali fuqaha. He was first guided into the Madhab of Imam Ahmad رحمه الله تعالى by his father Abu Ali Khiraqi رحمه الله and he knew the two sons of Ibn Hanbal رحمه الله namely Salih bin Ahmed and Abd Allha bin Ahmed. Imam al-Khiraqi’s only work which had been preserved to this day is his famous Muktsar, his father Abu Ali related hadiths from several people including Abu Umar Duri al’Muqri, Amr bin Ali Al-Basri ,al-Mundhir bin Walid Jarudi al-Koofi and Muhammad bin Mardas Al-Ansari.

Many people also narrated from him:
Abu Bakr al’Shafi .
Abu Ali bin al’Sawaaf .
Abd al Aziz bin Jafaar al’Hanbali .
Abu Muhazim Musa bin Ubaydallha al-Khaqan .
Abu Bakr Abd al Aziz bin Jafaar bin Ahmad bin Yazdad (Gulam al-Khallal).
Abu al Qasim al’Khiraqi .

al-Khiraqi’s father was closely associated with the companions of Ibn Hanbal and he mostly associated with Abu Bakr Marwazi رحمه الله. Abu Ali lead a pious life and died on Thursday. He was buried in Baghdad at Bab al-Harb by the side of Ibn Hanbal’s grave.

Imam al-Khiraqi studied under Abu Bakr al’ Marwazi ,Harb al Kirmani and two sons of Imam Ibn Hanbal, Salih and Abd Allha. He was also a pupil of Abu Bakr al ‘Khallall ,among those who studied under al-Khiraqi are Abu Abd Allha bin Batta ,Abd al Aziz bin Harith bin Asad Abul Hassan al-Tamimi, Abul Hussain bin Samun and Abu Hafs al-Ukbari.

It appears that the author wrote the book Muktsar during the period when the Black Stone was in the possession of the Qaramitah (Isma’ili Shia sect) as he says whilst describing the mannerism of Tawaf, “Then the person comes to the Black Stone and touches it if it is present.”; so, him writing “…if it is present” is an indication that he wrote it when the black stone was in the possession of the Qaramitah. They forcefully took the Black Stone during Hajj in the year 317 AH and didn’t return it back to its rightful place until 339 AH.

The social and political condition of Baghdad that time:

During Sherzad’s term as Amirul Omara ,riots erupted in Baghdad and Muʿizz al-Dowlah invaded it. Sherzad escaped and went to the Banu Hamdan in Mousil and Muʿizz al-Dowlah then had coins minted in his name and began to rule over Baghdad with heavy hand. After some time he was informed that Caliph Mustakfi Aal Abbasi was conspiring against him.

On that occasion ,the ambassador of the Governor of Khorasan arrived and an open court was held .Muʿizz al-Dowlah beckoned to two Daylami solders and they moved forward. The Caliph thought that they were going to kiss his hands so he extended it. They caught hold of his hand and pulled him down from the throne and arrested him. No one dared to utter a word. Muʿizz al-Dowlah went home.

The Zaydii (Shiite) Daylamis brought the Caliph by dragging and humiliating him to Muʿizz al-Dowlah. Then blinded the Caliph and put him under house arrest. This occured in Jumadi awwal 334 Hijri. All Deylamis were Zaydi Shis (of Jarudia sub sect) because they had accepted Islam through Zaidi Imam Atroosh. The Buwahid dynasty surpassed all other Rawafiz in excesses and prejudice except Safawis who just followed their path.

Having humiliated, deposed, imprisoned and blinded the Caliph Mustakaafi Aal Abbasi. Muʿizz al-Dowlah wanted to enthrone the Zaydi Imam of Tabaristan as the Caliph. However one of his advisers prevented him from doing so and convinced him saying:

“if you make Zaydi Imam as a Caliph all Deylamis would believe that he deserved to be a Caliph due to his Sayyid lineage and they will prefer to obey him instead of you. Whatever influence you have on the Daylamis ,it would not last nor would your government and glory survive. The Sunnis who form predominate majority all over the Empire will revolt and it would be very hard to put down a Sunni rebellion based on their religious sentiments. It is better to put an Abbasid on the throne so that all the Shittes will consider him to undeserving while the Sunnis will continue acknowledging him as a Caliph and will not think of rebellion, by this all Shittes and Daylamis will be obedient to you. This way Shitte power will continue in Baghdad.”

Therefore Muʿizz al-Dowlah called Abul Qasim Fazal bin Muqtadir Abbasi and entitled him Moti Lillah ,put him on the throne ,and appointed Abu Muhammad Hassan bin Muhammad Muhallabi minister to the Calip. Nasir al-Dowlah bin Hamdan had captured Mousil and most of the Northern Syria by his brother Sayf .Nasir al-Dowlah bin Hamdan and his brother Sayf al-Dowlah both established the Shia Emirates .When Nasir al-Dowlah came to know that Buwahids had taken control of Baghdad ,he left Mousil with an army and arrived at Samma’rah in 334 Hijri. Hearing this news Muʿizz along with Moti Lillha reached the western part of Baghdad while Nasir al-Hamdani Camped in the Eastern part . Fighting began but ended in reconciliation between them on the condition that they both will strive to work to the strengthening the Shia cause and do away with the Sunnis once for all.

Muʿizz had his grand daughter married to Nasir Hamdani’s son Abu Qasim. He revolted against Muʿizz in Basra but was defeated. Muʿizz then made his mind and invaded Mousil which was under Nasir Hamdani’s control. Nasir could not stand the pressure and went to Naysabun. In the meantime Muʿizz’s brother Rukn sent news that Khorasani army had attacked Jurjan and Rayy (south Tehran), so he should send an army quickly. Muʿizz reconciled with Nasir again on the terms of common Shia cause .Muʿizz had a very large palace constructed for himself in the Shia neighourhood of al-Karkh in Baghdad.

Since Imami Shia were majority of Karkh’s population Muʿizz abondanded his Zaydi madhab in favor of Twelver Imami. In the year 351 A.H, Muʿizz al-Dowlah instructed the Shīʿah to inscribe upon all the Masājid.

May Allah curse Muʿāwiyah ibn Abī Sufyān, and curse the one who usurped Fadak from Fāṭimah,curse the one who prevented Ḥasan from being buried alongside his grandfather, curse the one who expelled Abū Dhar al-Ghifārī, and the one who excluded Abū al-ʿAbbās from the consultative committee.

At night Hassan bin Muhammad al-Muhlabi indicated to Muʿizz al-Dawlah to delete it for it might cause a massive backlash from the Sunnis and replace it with the following; “May Allah curse all those who oppressed the family members of the Nabī عليه سلام, he should not mention in the curse anyone except Muʿāwiyah رضي الله عنه , and he did the same.”

In the year 352 A.H, Muʿizz al-Dowlah لعنت الله ordered that on 10 Muharram all shops must be closed to mourn the martydom of Sayyidina Hussain bin Ali رضي الله عنه , buying and selling should be suspended ,the rural and urban people should wear mourning attire and lament in public. Women must come out into streets and markets with their hair undone, faces blackened by mud, clothes torn, reciting eulogies and beating their chests.

The Rafizi of al-karkh neighborhood obeyed this order willingly but Muslims were stunned into silence. The next year the same order was issued and Muslims were all ordered to carry it out. They could not tolerate this and a major riot between the Rafizis and Muslims erupted. The policies of the cursed Muʿizz al-Dowlah did not stopped here ,he ordered to celebrate the death anniversary of Ameer al-Momineen Usman bin Affan رضي الله عنه 17 Zil Hijjah as Eid , Similarly he ordered the public celebration on the death Amer al Momineen Omar bin Khattab رضي الله عنه. He build magnificent shrines over the graves of Banu Ali bin Abe’ Talib and decorated them with gold ,silver and curtains ,he ordered massive distribution of Shia literature for free ,appointed Shia all over his realm and tore down the mine rates of the mosques build by Ummayids and Abbasids. Descreted the graves of Abbasids and many Sunni ulama, with all this happening in Baghdad, it became impossible for the orthodox Muslims to live in Baghdad .

His Hijra to Damascus and death:

Since Imam al-Khiraqi was from Baghdad and the Rafidah power was so strong that the Sahabah were being cursed from the pulpits, therefore he moved to Damascus. Before moving he left his books under someones trust and they were stored away. One day after a fight the place caught fire and all his books were burnt except this book (Mukhtasar al-Khiraqi).

He passed away in Damascus. His death was a result of him always forbidding the evil, due to which he was beaten by the people of Damascus until he died.He was buried at Bab al-Saghir opposite the Jarrahi mosque.

May Allah have mercy upon him.

He wrote this book after Abu Bakr al-Khallal (d. 311 AH) wrote Jami’ al-Riwayat. In the book he exercises his Ijtihad in choosing the most correct opinion from the different opinions that were narrated from Imam Ahmad (r).

Al-Khiraqi was the first Hanbali to be buried in Damascus and his book is the first legal textbook in the school and unarguably the most famous out of them all. The way he ordered the chapters in this Mukhtasar was the same way al-Muzani (the student of al-Shafi’i) ordered the chapters in his Mukhtasar.

Ibn Badran said in al-Madhkhal:

“None of the books (of this Hanbali Madhab) were served nor given as much attention as this book. Ibn ‘Abd al-Hadi said in al-Durr al-Naqi that his teacher ‘Izz al-Din al-Misri said,

‘(The Mukhtasar of Al-Khiraq has 300 commentaries written on it.’

He also said in al-Maqsad al-Arshad that Abu Ishaq al-Barmaki said, ‘The number of legal issues found in (Mukhtasar) al-Khiraqi is 2300. In short, it is an amazing text; no other legal text gained as much fame as this text amongst the Mutaqaddimin (ancient Hanbali scholars).

Abu Bakr ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, the Ghulam of al-Khallal (d. 363 AH) wrote in his copy of the book, ‘In his Mukhtasar, Al-Khiraqi disagreed with me in 60 legal issues.’ He didn’t mention which ones.

Ibn Abi Ya’la says in al-Tabaqat:

“I looked into the differences between the two (the opinions of Ghulam al-Khallal and al-Khiraqi) and found that it was 98.” He then mentions them briefly.

A lot of work has been done on this book from commentaries and footnotes to rewriting it in a poem and addition more legal issues. Books were also written explaining just the technical terms found within it whilst other books were dedicated in extracting and referencing the Ahadith that were behind these issues.

Scholars who wrote commentaries on the book:

1) The explanation of the author himself. He was the first one to write a legal textbook in the school and the first one to write a commentary on it.

2) Abu Ishaq b. Shaqla (d. 369 AH)

3) Abu Hafs al-‘Ukbari (d. 387 AH)

4) Al-Hasan b. Hamid (d. 403 AH)

5) Ibn Abi Musa (d. 428 AH)

6) Al-Qadi Abu Ya’la (d. 458 AH) (some parts have been published)

7) Abu ‘Ali b. al-Banna’ (d. 471 AH) (published)

8) Ibn Zaghuni (d. 527 AH)

9) Abu Hazim Muhamad b. Abi Ya’la (d. 527 AH)

10) Muwaffaq al-Din Ibn Qudamah (d. 620 AH) in al-Mughni. This is the most famous commentary on Mukhtasar al-Khiraqi (published)

11) Ibn Abi-l Hija (d. 661 AH) in hsi work al-Muntasar Sharh al-Mukhtasar

12) ‘Abdullah al-Harbi (d. 681 AH) in his work al-Muhimm.

13) Abu Talib Abd al-Rahman b. ‘Umar al-Darir (d. 684 AH). He has two commentaries on it known as al-Kafi and al-Wadih.

14) Al-Tufi (d. 716 AH). His commentary is on half the book.

15) Al-Hibal (d. 749 AH). His commentary is extremely brief.

16) Al-Zarkashi (d. 772 AH) (published). He has a second commentary which he summarised from his first commentary but he didn’t complete it.

17) Qadi-l Aqalim ‘Abd al-‘Aziz b. Abi al-‘Izz al-Maqdisi (d. 846 AH)

18) Ibn al-Mibrad Ahmad b. Hasan b. Ahmad b. ‘Abd al-Hadi (d. 895 AH). Most of it is complete.

19) Al-Asfahani

20) Ja’far al-Siraj (d. 500 AH). This commentary was written as a poem.

21) Ahmad b. al-Husain al-‘Iraqi (d. 588 AH). Also a poem but only explains the Fiqh of Worship.

From those who rendered Mukhtasar al-Khiraqi into a poem:

1) Makki b. Hubairah al-Baghdadi (d. 567 AH)

2) Hasan al-Sunnah Abu Zakariya Yahya b. Yusuf al-Sarsari (d. 656 AH) called “al-Durrah al-Yatimah wal Mahajjatul Mustaqimah” (published). It is a poem that ends on the letter “Dal”. It has 2775 couplets and is published.

It was explained by Muhammad b. Ayyub al-Tadhiqi al-Hanafi. This is extremely strange as he is a Hanafi explaining a Hanbali legal text written in poetry.

Ibn Badran has an explanation on the The Chapter of Inheritance from the poem in his Kifayatu-l Murtaqi Ila Fara-id al-Khiraqi which is also published.

3) Shams al-Din Muhammad al-Musili (d. 656 AH); only the Fiqh of Worship.

From those who further abridged Mukhtasar al-Khiraqi:

1) ‘Izz al-Din Ahmad b. Ibrahim b. Nasri-llah al-Baghdadi (d. 876 AH)

From those who added more legal issues onto the text:

1) al-Muwaffaq Ibn Qudamah in his al-Hadi which is also known as Umdatu-l Hazim Fi-l Masail al-Zawa-id ‘An Mukhtasar Abi-l Qasim” (published)

2) Abu Zakariya, called Wasitatu-l ‘Aqd al-Thamin Wa ‘Umdatu-l Hafidh al-Amin” which is poem of 2000 couplets.

3) Abu Bakr al-Jira’i (d. 883 AH) called Ghayatu-l Matlab Fi Ma’rifati-l Madhhab (published). He also relied on al-Furu’ of Ibn Muflih.

From those who explained the rare words found within Mukhtasar al-Khiraqi:

1) Abu-l Mahasain Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-Baqi al-Majma’i al-Musili (d. 571 AH)

2) Abu-l Mahasin Yusuf b. ‘Abd al-Hadi, who is famously known as al-Mibrad (d. 909 AH) called al-Durr al-Naqi (published)

He also has a book in which he extracts and references all the ahadith linked to text called Al-Thaghr al-Basim Fi Takhrij Ahadith Mukhtasar Abi-l Qasim.”


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