The period in which the four Imams lived
Fatwa No: 86509


Will you please tell me the periods in which Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Imam Shafi'e and Imam Ahmed existed?


Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions. Here is the brief information about the four Imams: 1) Abu Hanifa al-Nu`aman bin Thabit al-Kufi was a great scholar and founder of the Hanafi school of thought. He narrated from Nafi`e , Ataa and others. Abu Yousaf , Muhammad bin al-Hasan (his known students) and others reported from him. He was born in 80 A.H and died 150 A.H. 2) Abu Abdullah Malik bin Anas al-Asbahi . He was an Imam and Muhaddith, and also the Imam of al-Madinah. He reported knowledge from many of the Tabi'een. He compiled a book of Ahadith called Muwatta'. He died in 179 A.H at the age of 85. 3) Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Idrees al-Shafi'e al-Qurashi was born in 150 A.H. He made many long journeys to collect knowledge of Islam. He is one of the students of Imam Malik . The Shafi'e school of thought is ascribed to him. He died 204 A.H. 4) Ahmad bin Hanbal , Abu Abdullah al-Shaibani was born in 164 A.H. in Baghdad. He began his studies from childhood and was known for his extraordinary memory, sound knowledge, Taqwa, and for his firmness in following Sunnah. He died in 241 A.H. The above information is taken from Imam Zahabi 's book 'Siyar 'Aalam al-Nubala'. The above detail proves that the four Imams lived between the period 80 A.H to 241 A.H. Allah knows best.

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