The Two Wonderful Hammad's

Sunday 21-Jan-2024, 3:42PM / 370

By Aboo Aamir 

Al-Imaam adh-Dhahabi - rahimahullah - in his Siyar mentioned their biography one after the other, they were both scholars of Basrah - in the south of Iraq. They both shared a number of teachers as well as students.

Two wonderful people from among the Seventh Level of narrators according to Al-Imaam adh-Dhahabi in his corpus.

The first Hammad was Hammad Ibn Salamah while the second one was Hammad bn Zayd.

The grandfather of the first was Deenar while the grandfather of the second was Dir'ham. Hence they were Hammad bn Salamah bn Deenar and Hammad bn Zayd bn Dir'ham respectively.

Scholars of old would joke about them that the superiority of Ibn Salamah over Ibn Zayd is like the superiority of Deenar (gold coin) over Dir'ham (silver coin).

Ibn Salamah was superior to Ibn Zayd in a perspective the same way Ibn Zayd was superior to Ibn Salamah in another perspective.

Ibn Salamah was stronger in the matters of Creed than Ibn Zayd while the former was stronger than the latter in retentiveness.

Al-Imaam Ahmad would say that Ibn Zayd was more beloved to him but whoever speaks ill of Ibn Salamah would have his Deen queried. He said Ibn Salamah was severer on the heretics, an act so cherished by Al-Imaam Ahmad.

Ibn Salamah and Ibn Zayd both had narrations from Thaabit al-Bunaanee and Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaanee but Ibn Salamah was more reliable with his reports from Thaabit (from Anas bn Maalik) while Ibn Zayd was more reliable with his reports from Ayyoob (from Naafi Maula Ibn Umar, for example).

So much similarities between both that Al-Imaam adh-Dhahabi - rahimahullah - had to dedicate a section to look into that after mentioning both. So complex that when Abdurrahman bn Mahdee or Wakee bn Jarrah, for instance, say 'Haddathanaa Hammad...'then you need a qareenah to know which is which.

Reports of people such as Alee bn Madeenee, Ahmad bn Abdah, Khalaf bn Hisham etc from a Hammad posseses no problem because those people didn't meet Ibn Salamah.

(Al-Imaam Adh-Dhahabi made a similar comparison between the students who both shared Sufyaan ath-Thauree and Sufyaan Ibn Uyaynah as teachers, whenever any of them says 'Haddathanaa Sufyaan...'then be on the alert. May Allaah reward the scholars of hadeeth best, everything is well explained.)

While all the Six Collectors had the records of Ibn Zayd in their collections not so Ibn Salamah. Al-Bukhari just had one report in Kitaab Raqaaiq from Ibn Salamah while Muslim had some, Ibn Maajah was the other person.

Ibn Salamah was said to suffer from memory loss at old age.

Ibn Salamah was a devout worshipper of Allaah. Always reciting the Qur'aan, doing dhikr and mawaafil. It was in his habit that before he would narrate a hadeeth to anybody he would first recite about a hundred verses of the Qur'aan. He knew Qiraa'ah Aasim (teacher of Hafs bn Sulayman) and Abdullah ibn Katheer ad-Daaree so well.

Ibn Salamah was regarded as someone who used to check his intention well. Ibn Zayd said they used to consider Ibn Salamah as someone who had a good intention for learning.

Ibn Salamah once said: 'Whoever learns hadeeth for other than Allaah, he would suffer from disgrace.'

Ibn Salamah was granted with the karamah of having his supplications answered yet he got married to about seventy women at different times yet Allaah did not grant him an offspring.

As for Ibn Zayd, classify him with Al-Imaam Maalik in terms of knowledge.

He said: I sat with Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaanee for twenty years (learning).

He was blind so he used to narate hadeeth from his memory (just Ibn Salamah), he was said never to have made a mistake.

Ibn Mubaarak - rahimahullah - composed about him:

'O seeker of knowledge/go and meet Hammad bn Zayd

You will gain forbearance and knowledge/then put that into action.'

Abdurrahman bn Mahdee, in his view, said: 'I have never seen anyone as knowledgeable as Hammad bn Zayd not even Sufyaan or Maalik'.

Hammad bn Salamah died 167AH, a report said at Sujood in the masjid. Hammad bn Zayd died 179AH.

May Allaah bestow His mercies on both.

Majorly adapted from As-Siyar 7: 103-117

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