- Ilm ar-Rijal
Ilm al-Rijal (Arabic) is the "science of
people" especially as practiced in Islam, where it was first applied to the " Sirah Rasul Allah", the life of Muhammad.
Since the "sira" is part of the
sunnah, or moral example that Muslims are supposed to follow, and validating the sayings of Muhammad is a major study (" isnad"), accurate biography has always been of great interest to Muslims.
Another important influence of biography on Islam is in the recording of the lives of the four
Rightly Guided Caliphs, who expanded Islamic dominance rapidly:
Abu Bakr Siddiq
Othman bin Affan
Ali ibn Abu Talib
During the 30 years from the death of Muhammad to the death of Ali, Islam had spread from
Libyato Afghanistan, from Armeniato Sindand Gujarat, and also in Spainand China. The risk of factional splintering, variant heresies regarding the life of Muhammad, and the gains that local leaders could gain by promoting such division grew to extremes.
Muslim biographers, accordingly, became expert at sorting out facts from accusations, bias from evidence, etc., and were renowned throughout the known world for their honesty in recording history - many in fact considered acknowledging faults in leaders to be a matter of religious duty, comparing their various failings to the
siraor life of Muhammad. Modern practices of scientific citationand historical methodowe a great deal to the rigorthe isnadtradition of early Muslims.
Books about Ilm ar-Rijal
The Great History
The Book of Knowledge about the Companions
The Comprehensive Compilation of the Names of the Prophet's Companions
Finding the Truth in Judging the Companinons
The Lions of the Forest and the knowledge about the Companions
The book of The Major Classes
*History of Damascus
Al-Kamal fi ma`rifat al-rijal
Science of hadith
Narrators of hadith
* [http://www.bogvaerker.dk/Bookwright/rijal.html Rijal]
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