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Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti
[Shadharat al-Dhahab fi Akhbar man Dhahab, Ibn al-`Imad, Abu al-Falah `Abd al-Hayy b. Ahmad al-Hanbali, Unidentified edition, , vol. 8, pp. 51-55 ]
[Biographical Notes in 'Reliance of the Traveller', Noah (Nuh) Ha Mim Keller, USA: Sunna Books, 1991 CE, x341 (pg. 1100) ]
Suyuti (b3.2) is `Abd al-Rahman ibn Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn Sabiq al-Din, Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, born in 849/1445. He was a Shafi`i mujtahid Imam, Sufi, hadith master (hafiz), and historian, a prolific writer who authored works in virtually every Islamic science. Raised as an orphan in Cairo, he memorized the Koran at eight, then several complete works of Sacred Law, fundamentals of jurisprudence, and Arabic grammar; after which he devoted himself to studying the Sacred Sciences under some of the foremost sheikhs of the time in each discipline, among them Siraj al-Din Bulqini, with whom he studied Shafi`i jurisprudence until his death; Sharaf al-Din al-Munawi, with whom he read Koranic exegesis; Taqi al-Din al-Shamani in hadith and the sciences of Arabic; and others. He travelled to gain Sacred Knowledge to Damascus, the Hijaz, Yemen, India, Morocco, and the lands south of Morocco, as well as to centers of learning in Egypt such as Mahalla, Dumyat, and Fayyum.
When he reached forty years of age, he abandoned the company of men for the solitude of the Garden of al-Miqyas by the side of the Nile, avoiding his former colleagues as though he had never known them, and it was here that he authored most of his nearly six hundred books and treatises. Wealthy Muslims and princes would visit him with offers of money and gifts,but he put all of them off, and when the sultan requested his presence a number of times, he refused. Blessed with success in his years of solitude, it is difficult to name a field in which Suyuti did not make outstanding contributions, among them his ten-volume hadith work Jam` al-jawami` [The collection of collections]; his Koranic exegesis Tafsir al-Jalalayn [The commentary of the two Jalals], of which he finished the second half of an uncompleted manuscript by Jalal al-Din Mahalli in just forty days; his classic commentary on the sciences of hadith Tadrib al-rawi fi sharh Taqrib al-Nawawi [The training of the hadith transmitter: an exegesis of Nawawi's "The facilitation"]; and many others. A giant among contemporaries, he remained alone, producing a sustained output of scholarly writings until his death in Cairo at sixty years of age in 911/1505 (al-A`lam (y136), 3.301-2; Tadrib al-rawi (y109), 1.11-12; and n).
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Created: October 1999