Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani
|Title||Shaykh al-Isl?m/ Hafidh|
|Born||18 February 1372|
|Died||2 February 1449 (aged 76)|
|Resting place||City of the Dead (Cairo), Cairo, Egypt|
Ibn ?ajar al-?Asqal?n? or Ibn ?ajar (Arabic: , full name: Shih?b al-D?n Abu 'l-Fa?l A?mad b. N?r al-D?n ?Al? b. Mu?ammad b ?ajar al-?Asqal?n?) (18 February 1372 - 2 February 1449 [852 A.H.]), was a medieval Shafiite Sunni Muslim scholar of Islam "whose life work constitutes the final summation of the science of hadith." He authored some 150 works on hadith, history, biography, tafsir, poetry, and Shafi'ite jurisprudence, the most valued of which being his commentary of the Sahih of Bukhari, titled Fath al-Bari.
He was born in Cairo in 1372, the son of the Shafi'i scholar and poet Nur al-Din 'Ali. Both of his parents died in his infancy, and he and his sister, Sitt al-Rakb, became wards of his father's first wife's brother, Zaki al-Din al-Kharrubi, who enrolled Ibn Hajar in Quranic studies when he was five years old. Here he excelled, learning Surah Maryam in a single day and memorising the entire Qur'an by the age of 9. He progressed to the memorization of texts such as the abridged version of Ibn al-Hajib's work on the foundations of fiqh.
When he accompanied al-Kharrubi to Mecca at the age of 12, he was considered competent to lead the Tarawih prayers during Ramadan. When his guardian died in 1386, Ibn Hajar's education in Egypt was entrusted to hadith scholar Shams al-Din ibn al-Qattan, who entered him in the courses given by al-Bulqini (d. 1404) and Ibn al-Mulaqqin (d. 1402) in Shafi'i fiqh, and Abd al-Rahim ibn al-Husain al-'Iraqi (d. 1404) in hadith, after which he travelled to Damascus and Jerusalem, to study under Shams al-Din al-Qalqashandi (d. 1407), Badr al-Din al-Balisi (d. 1401), and Fatima bint al-Manja al-Tanukhiyya (d. 1401). After a further visit to Mecca, Medina, and Yemen, he returned to Egypt. Al-Suyuti said: "It is said that he drank Zamzam water in order to reach the level of al-Dhahabi in memorization--which he succeeded in doing, even surpassing him."
In 1397, at the age of twenty-five, Al-'Asqalani married the celebrated hadith expert Uns Khatun, who held ijazas from Hafiz al-Iraqi and gave public lectures to crowds of ulema, including al-Sakhawi.
Ibn Hajar went on to be appointed to the position of Egyptian chief-judge (Qadi) several times.
Ibn Hajar died after 'Isha' (night prayer) on 8th Dhul Hijja 852 (2 February 1449), aged 79. An estimated 50,000 people attended his funeral in Cairo, including Sultan Sayf ad-Din Jaqmaq (1373-1453 CE) and Caliph Al-Mustakfi II (r. 1441-1451 CE).