Imam malik bankstowntafehsc by alicejenny


									                   Imam Malik (c. 715- c. 800 CE)
                     Significant person in Islam
Imam Malik (Abu Abdullah Malik bin Anas) was one of a group known as the
Four Imams. He is most well known for his interpretations of Islamic law, and for
recording sayings of Muhammad. He is known as “Imam Malik”, the “Sheikh of
Islam”, and the “Proof of the Community”. He is considered one of the most
highly respected scholars of fiqh in Sunni Islam. The Malik Madhab, named after
Malik, is one of the four schools of jurisprudence that remains popular among
Muslims to this day.

Imam- a title used in reference to a leader in an Islamic congregation
Fiqh- study of Islamic law, Islamic jurisprudence
Hadith- a collection of the sayings and traditions of the Prophet and his
Sunnah- traditional Islamic law agreed upon by most orthodox Muslims; it is
based on the saying and deeds of Muhammad; the word sunna in Arabic means
Jurisprudence- the science or philosophy of law, a body or system of laws
Companions of Muhammad- those who met Muhammad at least once, and
who died as a believer in Islam

The Four Imams
Imam Malik- c. 715- c.800 CE
Imam Abu Hanifa- c. 700- c. 770 CE
Imam Al- Shafi- c. 765- c. 820 CE
Imam Hanbal- c. 780- c. 855 CE

Birth and Education
Imam Malik was born in Medina c. 715. Medina was known as a place of great
learning and was home to many respected intellectuals. He memorised the
Quran in his youth and studied under various famed scholars including more than
100 sheikhs. Imam Malik was born less than 100 years after the Prophet‟s death,
and he was only one or two generations removed from people who had
personally met the Prophet. Malik was able to consult more than 300 people who
had met the Companions of Muhammad.
Imam Malik believed that poverty developed a person‟s intellectual and personal
character and made sacrifices to pursue his education including going without

Humility-     Malik was not afraid to admit that he didn‟t know the answer to
questions, showing great humility.
Conviction- Imam stood up for his convictions and beliefs. He was publicly
flogged by the governor of Medina for discouraging people against pledging
allegiance to Caliph al-Mansour. Al-Mansour apologised and offered Malik
money and a residence in Baghdad. Malik declined.

Malik died at the age of 86 (a very long life in those days) in Medina. His
teachings are most closely followed in northern Africa. Malik‟s last words were
related by one Ismaa‟eel Ibn Abee Uways who said, “Malik became sick, so I
asked some of our people about what he said at the time of his death. They said,
‟He recited the shahadah (testification of faith), then he recited: Their affair is for
Allah, before and after.”

Contribution and Effect
Malik was one of the Four Imams. They were interpreters of the Qur‟an and the
Hadith. Their interpretations are followed by most Sunni Muslims. Malik
continued to teach until he died. His followers established a school based on his
Malik wrote various texts but his greatest contribution was the Muwatta, “The
Approved”. Malik composed the Muwatta over a period of forty years. Before
making the book public, Malik presented it to 70 scholars, all of whom approved
of its contents. In its first edition, the Muwatta contained more than 10 000
sayings, but a revised edition reduced this to 172 ahadith (the plural of hadith). It
is considered the earliest extant source of hadith. The Muwatta deals with ethical
and religious matters in Islamic law. It covers rituals, rites, customs, traditions,
norms and laws of the time of the Prophet Muhammad. Much of the book deals
with areas not considered „legal‟ in a western sense. It covers rulings relating to
alcohol, the pilgrimage, sacrifice, intercourse, prayer and divorce. It is also
valuable beyond law; it is a great source of historical sociology of the Arabs.
People from every school of fiqh and all of the Imams of hadith scholarship agree
upon its authenticity. Imam Shafi famously said, “There is not on the face of the
earth a book- after the Book of Allah- which is more authentic than the book of


   1) Identify the characteristic for which Imam Malik is most well known.
      Discuss how this would be an example for other Muslims. (1 paragraph)
   2) Why was being born in Medina advantageous for Malik? (1 paragraph)
   3) Explain the importance of the Four Imams. (1 paragraph)
   4) Explain why the Muwatta is considered important for Muslims (1

HSC practice question
  1) Outline two contributions Imam Malik has made to Islam. (½ page)
  2) Describe the effect on Islam of Imam Malik (½ page)

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