Famous Scholars


Abū ‘Īsá Muḥammad ibn ‛Īsá as-Sulamī aḍ-Ḍarīr al-Būghī at-Tirmidhī often referred to as Imām at-Termezī/Tirmidhī, was a Islamic scholar and collector of hadith who wrote al-Jami` as-Sahih (known as Jami` at-Tirmidhi), one of the six canonical hadith compilations in Sunni Islam. He also wrote Shama'il Muhammadiyah (popularly known as Shama'il at-Tirmidhi), a compilation of hadiths concerning the person and character of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. At-Tirmidhi was also well versed in Arabic grammar, favoring the school of Kufa over Basra due to the former's preservation of Arabic poetry as a primary source.
At-Tirmidhi's given name was "Muhammad" while his kunya was "Abu `Isa" ("father of `Isa").
Muhammad ibn `Isa at-Tirmidhi was born during the reign of the Abbasid caliph al-Ma'mun. His year of birth has been reported as 209 AH (824/825). Adh-Dhahabi only states that at-Tirmidhi was born near the year 210 AH (825/826), thus some sources give his year of birth as 210 AH. He was born in Tirmidh in what is now southern Uzbekistan. Specifically, he was born in one of its suburbs, the village of Bugh.
At-Tirmidhi began the study of hadith at the age of 20. From the year 235 AH (849/850) he traveled widely in Khurasan, Iraq, and the Hijaz in order to collect hadith. His has many teachers whom he narrated, including al-Bukhari, Abū Rajā’ Qutaybah ibn Sa‘īd al-Balkhī al-Baghlāni, Abū Muṣ‘ab az-Zuhrī al-Madanī and many others.
At the time, Khurasan, at-Tirmidhi's native land, was a major center of learning, being home to a large number of muhaddiths. Other major centers of learning visited by at-Tirmidhi were the Iraqi cities of Kufa and Basra. At-Tirmidhi reported hadith from 42 Kufan teachers. In his Jami`, he used more reports from Kufan teachers than from teachers of any other town.
At-Tirmidhi was a pupil of al-Bukhari, who was based in Khurasan. Adh-Dhahabi wrote, "His knowledge of hadith came from al-Bukhari." At-Tirmidhi mentioned al-Bukhari's name 114 times in his Jami`. He used al-Bukhari's Kitab at-Tarikh as a source when mentioning discrepancies in the text of a hadith or its transmitters, and praised al-Bukhari as being the most knowledgeable person in Iraq or Khurasan in the science of discrepancies of hadith. When mentioning the rulings of jurists, he followed al-Bukhari's practice of not mentioning the name of Abu Hanifah. Because he never received a reliabe chain of narrators to mention Abu Hanifa's decrees, he would instead attribute them to "some people of Kufa." Al-Bukhari held at-Tirmidhi in high regard as well. He is reported to have told at-Tirmidhi, "I have profited more from you than you have from me," and in his Sahih he narrated two hadith from at-Tirmidhi.
At-Tirmidhi also narrated some hadiths from Abu Dawud, and one from Muslim. Muslim also narrated one hadith from at-Tirmidhi in his own Sahih. He left a number of books, such as Al-Jami` Al-Mukhtasar min As-Sunan an Rasulillah, known as “Jami At-Tirmidhi), Al-`Ilal As-Sughra, Az-Zuhd, Al-`Ilal Al-Kubra, Ash-Shama’il An-Nabawiyyah wa Al-Fada’il Al-Mustafawiyyah and so on.
At-Tirmidhi was blind in the last two years of his life, according to adh-Dhahabi. His blindness is said to have been the consequence of excessive weeping, either due to fear of God or over the death of al-Bukhari. He died on Monday night, 13 Rajab 279 AH (Sunday night, 8 October 892) in Bugh. At-Tirmidhi is buried on the outskirts of Sherobod, a 60 kilometers north of Termez in Uzbekistan. In Termez he is locally known as Abu Isa at-Termezi or "Termez Ota".