Biography of Imam Abu Umar ibn al-Husayn ibn Abdallah al-Khiraqi | Brother Amir Al-Athari


Biography of Imam Abu Umar ibn al-Husayn ibn Abdallah al-Khiraqi رحمه الله تعالى
(d. 334 H)


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 socail 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 wa-l Mahajjatu-l 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."
Biography of Imam Abu Umar ibn al-Husayn ibn Abdallah al-Khiraqi | Brother Amir Al-Athari Biography of Imam Abu Umar ibn al-Husayn ibn Abdallah al-Khiraqi | Brother Amir Al-Athari Reviewed by Anonymous on Sunday, March 29, 2020 Rating: 5

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