Who was Abdullah Ibn Mubarak, was he from the tab’een (rahimullah) and what is some knowledge of him & does he have any books.


“Abdullah Ibn al-Mubarak (d. 181 H.), may Allah have mercy upon him, was one of the great Salaf and Imams of this Ummah. He was from the Atbaa’ ut-Tab’ieen (the followers of the Tabi’een) as he studied with the Tabi’een. Below is a brief biography of this great Imam and his legacy.

Imam adh-Dhahabi (d. 748 H.), may Allah have mercy upon him, said about him,

“Abdullah Ibn al-Mubarak Ibn Waadih, the Imam, Shaikh ul-Islaam, the scholar of his era, and the leader of the pious of his time. He is Abu Abdurrahman al-Handhali, their freed slave, at-Turki, then al-Marwazi. He was a Hafidh (a great memorizer), a soldier, and one of the illustrious people [of Islam]. His mother was from Khwarazm. He was born in the year 118 H. and began seeking knowledge at the age of 20.

The first Shaikh he met was ar-Rabee’ bin Anas al-Khurasaani. He would conceal himself in order to enter upon ar-Rabee’ who was in prison at the time. Abdullah heard around 40 hadith from him like this. Then he traveled in the year 141 H and took knowledge from the remaining Tabi’een. He would often be travelling and spent his entire life in seeking knowledge, participating in military campaigns, conducting business, spending his wealth on his fellow brothers in faith, and preparing their provisions to make Hajj along with him”. End. [Siyar ‘Alaam an-Nubala (8/379)]

From his teachers were:

  • Sulaymaan at-Taymi
  • Sufyan ath-Thawri
  • Imam Malik
  • Sufyan bin ‘Uyaynah
  • Shu’bah
  • Ibn Jurayj
  • ‘Asim al-Ahwal
  • Humayd at-Taweel
  • Hishaam bin Urwah
  • al-‘Amash
  • Ibn ‘Awn

and many others. Those who narrated from him and were his students include:

  • Ibn Mahdi
  • Abdurrazzaq bin Hummam
  • Ibn Ma’een
  • ‘Abdaan
  • al-Qattan
  • al-Hasan bin ar-Rabee’ al-Buraani

and many others. [See: Siyar ‘Alaam an-Nubala (8/379)]

His Books

He authored many work. Imam adh-Dhahabi (d. 748 H.), may Allah have mercy upon him, said,

“He authored many beneficial works”. End. [Siyar ‘Alaam an-Nubala (8/379)]

From those books are:

  • Kitab al-Jihaad [a book on the narrations and rules of striving in the path of Allah]
  • az-Zuhd war-Raqaa’iq [a book on asceticism and heart softeners]
  • Musnad Abdullah Ibn al-Mubarak [a book on Ahaadith]
  • al-Birr was-Silah [a book on the virtue of dutifulness to parents and tying the ties of kinship]

Ibn ul-Mubaarak (may Allah have mercy upon him) was upon the Aqeedah of the Salaf and was a known scholar of hadith and fiqh. There are many narrations reported about his excellence in worshipping Allah, his piety, his efforts in spreading the religion, his generosity, and search for knowledge. It is important to note that some of those narrations are authentic while others are weak so it is important to verify the information reported. A good number of authentic narrations about Abdullah Ibn al-Mubarak (may Allah have mercy upon him) has been narrated in the book “al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel” of Ibn Abi Hatim’s (d. 327 H.)

Examples of Ibn ul-Mubarak’s Worship And Sincerity

‘Abdah bin Sulaymaan (may Allah have mercy upon him) said,

“Ibn ul-Mubarak (may Allah have mercy upon him) used to pray ‘Asr and go to Masjid al-Maseesah, which was the Jami’ Masjid. He would face the Qiblah, remember Allah, and not speak to anyone until the sun set”. End. [al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel (1/230) with a Saheeh chain of narration]

Muhammad bin ‘Ayun, who was a companion of Ibn ul-Mubarak on some of his travels and Abdullah was generous towards him, said,

“One night when we were in a battle against the Romans, Abdullah went and rested his head to sleep and watched to see if I was asleep. So I took hold of my spear and placed my head over the spear [as such] pretending to go to sleep. When Abdullah thought I was asleep, he stood for prayer until Fajr appeared while I was still watching him. So when Fajr appeared, he came to wake me up, and he thought I was asleep, and said, ‘O Muhammad’. I said, ‘I am not asleep’. So when he heard that from me, I did not see him after that day speak to me nor did he extend any help to me during any of his battles. It was as if he was not pleased with what I did of calling attention to his action. I did not cease to notice that throughout his life until he died. I have never seen a man hide his good deeds as much as he did”. End. [al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel (1/228) with a Hasan chain of narration]

His Death

He died in the year 181 H. in Ramadan in the city of Hit, which is a city in Iraq near the Euphrates river. He died at the age of 63 while returning from a military campaign [See: at-Tabaqaat Ibn Sa’d (7/342) and Tareekh al-Baghdad (11/400)]. May Allah have mercy upon him.

And Allah knows best

Faisal bin Abdul Qaadir bin Hassan
Abu Sulaymaan