Imam, ‘Allamah, Haafiz, Muhaddis, Mufassir, Jamaluddin Abul Faraj ‘Abdur Rahman Bin Jawzi رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه is a great personality of the Islamic history.
Birth and upbringing
He رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه was born in Baghdad in 509 or 510 Hijri. (Siyar A’laam-un-Nubala, vol. 15, pp. 483; ‘Uyoon-ul-Hikayaat, pp. 4)
Imam ‘Abdur Rahman Bin Jawzi رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه was only three years old when his father passed away; he was then brought up by his paternal aunt. (Siyar A’laam-un-Nubala, vol. 15, pp. 484)
Yearning for acquiring knowledge
He رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه had yearning for acquiring knowledge since childhood; he himself has stated: I had gained admission to the Maktab [Islamic school] at the age of 6 for acquiring education properly. At the age of 7, instead of watching any juggler’s or conjurer’s performance, I would attend the Dars delivered in the Jaami’ Masjid. I would memorise all the Ahadees stated over there and I would note them down after reaching home. Instead of playing on the bank of River Dijlah [Tigris] like other children, I would take a page of any book and get busy studying it in a corner of the house. (Lafta-tul-Kabid ila Waseehat-ul-Walad, pp. 33; summarized)
He رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه acquired knowledge from approximately 87 ‘Ulama [Islamic scholars] and Mashaaikh [Islamic personalities]. (Tareekh-e-Islam, vol. 42, pp. 288)
Along with being a great ‘Aalim-e-Deen, Imam ‘Abdur Rahman Bin Jawzi رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه was second to none in writing and authoring the books as well. He has stated: My books are far more than 340 [in number] and many of these books consist of 20 volumes. (Al-Waafi bil-Wafyaat, vol. 18, pp. 112)
He رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه started authoring books at the age of 13. (Al-Waafi bil-Wafyaat, vol. 18, pp. 111) He رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه has authored memorable books in many fields of knowledge including the fields of Quran and Hadees. Dawat-e-Islami’s department Al-Madina-tul-‘Ilmiyyah has had the privilege of translating two of his books, namely ‘Uyoon-ul-Hikayaat’ and ‘Bahr-ud-Dumu’ (namely Aansu’on ka Darya).
Imam ‘Abdur Rahman Bin Jawzi رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه was also famous for delivering sermon and Bayan. Approximately ten thousand to one hundred thousand people including ministers and Khulafa would attend his sermon gathering. (Tazkira-tul-Huffaz liz-Zahabi, vol. 4, pp. 93; summarized)
Moreover, one hundred thousand people repented [of their sins] and twenty thousand non-Muslims embraced Islam on his hands. (Tareekh-e-Islam, vol. 42, pp. 291; summarized)
Expertise in the field of Hadees
He رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه was also an expert in the field of Hadees and this great knowledge of Hadees became the reason for his fame and popularity. He has stated: If any Hadees of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم which is narrated till my era is stated in front of me, I can tell that it lies in which level of Sihhat [authenticity] and Du’f [weakness] [صِحّت و ضُعف]. (Al-Wafa bi-Ahwaal-il-Mustafa (translated), pp. 5)
Respect for Hadees
He رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه had such great respect for Hadees that he would keep those pencils’ shavings safely with him which he would use to write Hadees. At the time of his demise, he made the will: Water for my Ghusl [funeral bath] should be heated up with those wood shavings which I had collected by sharpening the pencil for writing Hadees. (Wafyaat-ul-A’yaan, vol. 3, pp. 117)
This greatly knowledgeable and honourable luminous personality passed away in Baghdad on Friday night [i.e. night between Thursday and Friday], 13 Ramadan-ul-Mubarak 597 Hijri. His Salat-ul-Janazah was offered in Jaami’ Mansoor, Baghdad; he was laid to rest beside Sayyiduna Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه. Grief pervaded everywhere at his demise and the people had such emotional attachment for him that the complete Holy Quran was recited many times at his blessed grave in the nights of Ramadan. (Al-Waafi bil-Wafyaat, vol. 18, pp. 113; ‘Uyoon-ul-Hikayaat, pp. 7)