His name is Ahmad ibn Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad Ali al-Kinani al-Asqalani
. His great grandparents lived in Asqalan where they entered in the year 583H. The word Hajar is the name of one of his grandfathers.
His kunya is Abul-Fadl and his Laqab is Shihabuddin. This city Asqalan is found in Palestine in Gaza. Ibn Hajar was born on the 12th of Shaban 773H.
Ibn Hajar was an orphan. His father who was a great scholar and merchant died in the year 777H . His mother passed away before that and so he was an orphan from both of his parents. Fath al-Bari downloads Arabic volumes for free
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Ibn Hajar had an older brother who was very learned but died before Ibn Hajar and due to this his father became very upset and saddened.
One of the pious people saw a dream and he gave glad tidings to the father of Ibn Hajar and told him that he would be succeeded by a person who would be better than him and have a long life.
Ibn Hajar himself then says that I was born and Allah subhanahu wa ta ala opened my hands for me. Meaning that Allah subhanahu wa ta ala gave him good knowledge and a sound memory.
Ibn Hajar is regarded to be one of the rare people in our beautiful history as Shaykh al-Albani said Ibn Hajar was the strongest of those Ulama who had memorised hadith and so there was no one really the same as him in regards to what he memorised and to the precision that he done it.
Ibn Hajar went to school where they make you memorise the Quran. When he was only five years old. He completed the memorisation of the Quran.
When he was nine years old he would lead the people in Taraweeh prayer in Makkah in the year 785H (when he was just twelve years old).
His guardian or the person looking over him was Zakiuddin and he had been requested by the father of Ibn Hajar to take care of him.
So the fact that Ibn Hajar was able to memorise the Quran at such a tender age shows the precision and strength of his memory.
Ibn Hajar first heard Sahih al-Bukhari from one of his earliest scholars Afifuddin an-Nashawari.
In the year 786H Ibn Hajar moved from Makkah to Egypt where he memorised a number of small summarised books like Al-Umda al-Hadith and also Al-Hawi which is a book in Shafii Fiqh and also Mukhtasar al-Hajib which is a book on Usul ul-Fiqh and other books like in grammar.
Then for a short period of time for certain reasons he stopped seeking knowledge and then in the year 790H he again returned in seeking the knowledge of the different sciences of knowledge which the students of knowledge concentrate on. Such as Tafsir and Qiraat but something that he was very fond of and what he started doing more often was reading History.
History of battles and wars and he also had a great love for reading Arabic literature. Some of the scholars would encourage him to read about History and Literature.
One of these scholars was Al-Badr al-Bushtaki who encouraged him to read al-Ghani which was one of the greatest books written in Arabic literature.
It is almost 20-30 volumes long and Ibn Hajar read this such that he would hear poetry and know who mentioned it as well as understanding the meaning of the poetry (this is very important for one who wants to understand the Quran and the Sunnah) this reading and understanding of literature.
Ibn Hajar would even write poetry himself. He started to read more into the sciences of hadith and Allah subhanahu wa taala gave him the love and inspired him to learn the sciences of hadith and its memorisation and in doing so he benefited himself and the Ummah greatly.
In 796H Ibn Hajar started to turn to knowledge with great enthusiasm and hard-work. He himself says that The veil between him and knowledge was removed for him and the doors were opened for him to learn with great and strong resolve.
He was able to acquire much knowledge and was blessed by Allah subhanahu wa taala in this regard. He would travel much in the days of learning in the morning and in the evening trying to learn from the scholars of his time.
Amongst the most famous of scholars that he learnt from were Al-Hafidh al-Iraqi and Ibn al-Mulaqqin who were two famous scholars of hadith and he learnt from these two scholars and other scholars like them.
He traveled to Alexandria to Ash-Sham Syria to Egypt and to other places as well where he would get benefit and also benefit others.
One of the times when Ibn Hajar went to Sham he was 60 years old and at this time he had already become a great scholar (he had become high in his knowledge and learning) but this did not prevent him from learning and traveling to seek knowledge.
This showed the keenness and steadfastness of this great Imam in learning the knowledge from the people.
During this visit to Yemen he said that he met some of the scholars such as Firazuddin al-Abbadi the great grammarian and scholar who wrote one of the dictionaries of the Arabic Language and he also met the King of Yemen.
When he came back from Yemen the boat that he was coming back on capsized and many of the books that he had written were lost. All of this shows the great lengths that Ibn Hajar went to to learn and write about Islam.
Ibn Hajar took a number of posts and different positions in his life despite the fact that he did not want these positions but because the people asked him to take these positions he did so.
One such position was teaching the different Islamic Sciences such as Tafsir Qiraat etc. He was also the Mufti so he would give fatwa (he would give legal rulings). He was also a judge and took the position of the person who would give the Khutbah on the days of Jumuah.
These positions in those times were only given to the scholars or those who could fulfill the criteria of these positions. As for the teachers of Ibn Hajar he has more than eight hundred.
He wrote a book talking about his various different teachers who he learnt from. Also his students were very many such that a student would come and learn from him and then the son of the student would also come and learn from him.
So a father and son would take pride in having learned from Ibn Hajar owing to the rank that Ibn Hajar held in his lifetime. Also the different scholars in the land were students of Ibn Hajar himself.
He had many books and these books spread out amongst the Muslims world in his lifetime. Even the teachers and contemporaries of Ibn Hajar would request his books.
Even more so than his students so that they may learn from them. This showed the level that Allah subhanahu wa taala had placed Ibn Hajar that he was above most of the contemporaries of his time.
Out of these books his most famous book is Fath al-Bari which is the explanation of Sahih al-Bukhari. And 555softnain
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in arabic language in 14 volumes. We hope that you would like this PDF book and share it with other Muslims.
Imam ibne hajar Asqlani