al-Azdi Open this page in a new tab

Mourad (2000:577) provided a biographic sketch of al-Azdi
Abui Isma'il Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allah al-Azdi al-Basri is an obscure personality. His name is absent from the known biographical dictionaries. There is one ambiguous exception. In Kitab al-thiqat by Ibn Hibban al-Busti (d. 354/965), a Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allah al-Azdi is mentioned as being a traditionist from Basra who transmitted hadiths from 'Asim ibn Hilal al-Basri (d. ca. 185/797) and from 'Abd al-Wahhab ibn 'Ata' al-Basri (d. 204/819).3 Probably the same traditionist is the one mentioned in a chain of authorities (isnad) quoted in Hilyat al-awliya' by Abu Nu'aym al-Isfahani (d. 430/1039). There, he is cited as the informant of a certain Yahya ibn Bistam,4 who was also from Basra and who was alive in 214/829.5 One can, therefore, place the life of Muhammad al-Azdi the traditionist in the late second/ eighth and early third/ninth century.

The information found in the two dictionaries is, however, sparse. The Azdi of Futuh al-sham becomes familiar to compilers of histories and biographical dictionaries after the sixth/twelfth century, but only as the author of a book entitled Futuh al-sham. Therefore, it is possible that the traditionist and the author of Futuh al-sham are different Azdis.

3 Ibn Hibban, Kitab al-thiqat (Haydarabad, 1973-83), IX: 84.

4 Abu Nu'aym al-Isfahani, Hilyat al-awliyad wa-tabaqdt alasfiyd' (Cairo, 1938), III: 128.

5 According to Ibn Abi Hatim, his father Muhammad (d. 264/878) had met Yahya ibn Bistam in that year: Ibn Abi Hatim al-Razi, Kitab al-jarh wa-al-ta'dil (Haydarabad, 1952), IX: 132.