SCRIPTS OF IBN ‘ABBAS


Chapter 3, Hadith & Seerah, The Authority of Sunnah / Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Abdullah ibn’ Abbas was the cousin of the Holy Prophet (SAWS). When the Holy Prophet (SAWS) passed away, he was yet very young. In order to preserve Ahadith, he began to compile what he himself heard from the Holy Prophet (SAWS) as well as those narrated by other companions. Whenever he came to know of any companion having some Ahadith, he would travel to him to hear them. All such Ahadith were compiled by him in several scripts. These scripts numbered so many that they could be loaded on a camel. These scripts remained with his pupil Kuraib. Musa ibn’ Uqbah, the famous historian says:

“Kuraib left with us a camel load of Ibn Abbas’s books. When Ali ibn’ Abdullah ibn Abbas would need any book from them, he wrote to Kuraib, “Send to me such and such books”. He would then transcribe the book and send to him one of the two copies (Ibn Saad).

The pupils of Ibn’ Abbas would copy these scripts and read them over to him to confirm the correctness of the copies (Tirmidhi).

Sometimes Ibn’ Abbas would narrate the Ahadith to his pupils while they would record them (Sunan Ad-Darami).

These are only a few examples of efforts made by the companions of the Holy Prophet (SAWS) for the compilation of Ahadith. We do not intend here to present an exhaustive survey of such efforts. Detailed books can be consulted for this purpose. Our purpose here was to give only some examples. These concrete examples are more than sufficient to refute the fallacious assumption that the Ahadith were never written in the days of the Holy Prophet (SAWS) and his companions.

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