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Imam Malik Bin Anas was born in Madina in 93 AH (After Hijra). He is the second of the four greatest Imams of Islam. Imam Malik Bin Anas is the originator of the Maliki school of thought, the second school of Islamic legal thought.
He was described as a person with an impressive build, tall height, and very fair hair. He had a huge beard, and his eyes were blue. He was a person of Yemeni origin.
Teachers of Imam Malik
Imam Malik had the honor to study from the most acclaimed scholars of Islam in his life. Imam Abu Hanifa was his teacher which is why there had been an existence of mutual respect and peace between the Maliki and Hanafi school of thought.
Love for Prophet Muhammad
Imam Malik Bin Anas was always known for his love for Prophet Muhammad ﷺ that he dedicated his life to preaching and learning hadith.
An impressive example of his love for Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was that he refused to ride his camel in Madina as he considered it disrespectful to lift his body from the ground while his beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was on the ground.
Dedication towards Learning Hadiths
Imam Malik started studying at a very young age. He was almost ten years old when his education started. He was so dedicated and keen about learning hadiths that he used to stand and wait in the hot sun to ask his teacher different questions about the hadiths he had learned in class.
Due to his efforts and intellect, he became a Mushtahid at the age of 21. Becoming a mujtahid means that he was capable enough and achieved the status where, upon reading the Quran and Hadith, he could give rulings on different issues.
Development of Chain of Hadiths
An outstanding achievement of Imam Malik Bin Anas was that he managed to play a critical role in the collection of thousands of Hadiths.
The collection developed is considered the pool of most reliable Hadiths available at present. Later, the student of Imam Malik Bin Anas put all his hadiths in one book named “Al Muwatta”.
Conflicts between Imam Malik and Madina
Although there was a perception that Imam Malik had excellent relations with the state officials of Madina, that was not true. The reality was that Imam Malik had to face the trial at the time of Abu Ja’far al-Mansur.
This trial was a result of a situation where Imam Malik was asked a politically motivated question if a man was forced to divorce his wife and he divorced her, would the divorce count?
Imam responded in words, ‘The divorce of the coerced does not take effect.’ But this verdict clashed with the present caliph’s coerced pledge, so he was prohibited from saying this.
They dislocated his arms.
The governor of Madina, who was the cousin of the caliph, detained him and punished him, during which he dislocated his arms. He was tortured, but when the news reached Ja’far, he released him.
Among the scholarly circles, Imam Malik was respected much until his death at the age of 90 in the year 179 AH. Even Imam Abu Hanifa used to refer scholars of Madina to Imam Malik.