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Les maîtres soufis et leurs disciples des IIIe-Ve siècles de l'hégire (IXe-XIe)

 | 
Geneviève Gobillot
, 
Jean-Jacques Thibon

II — Le soufisme et ses liens avec les autres catégories du savoir

Abū Nu‘aym’s Sources for Ḥilyat al‑awliyā’, Sufi and Traditionist

Christopher Melchert

Résumé

Abū Nu‘aym al-Iṣbahānī (d. 430/1038) fut un collecteur de hadith réputé. Sa Ḥilyat al-awliyā’ est une source majeure tant pour les sentences des soufis que pour celles des renonçants qui les ont précédés. Un survol rapide des autorités dont il a transmis les hadiths ou les sentences dans cet ouvrage montre qu’il a réuni, sous l’autorité de maîtres différents, des sentences des Suivants des débuts du viiie siècle mais aussi de soufis du xe siècle. Il n’était ni le premier ni le dernier des grands auteurs a avoir transmis les paroles de ces deux groupes. Toutefois, il n’était pas courant pour l’époque d’être un spécialiste aussi bien du soufisme que du mouvement ascétique.

Abū Nu‘aym al-Iṣbahānī (d. 430/1038) was an important collector of hadith. His Ḥilyat al-awliyā’ is a leading source for the sayings of both Sufis and their renunciant predecessors. A survey of those from whom he collected hadith and particularly sayings in the Ḥilya shows that he collected sayings of Followers of the early eighth century and of Sufis of the tenth century from fairly different shaykhs. He was not the first or last major author to collect sayings from both groups, but it was evidently unusual in his time for persons to be experts on both Sufis and renunciants.

كان أبو نعيم الإصبهاني (ت. 430/1038) محدِّثاً هاماً. كتابه «حلية الأولياء» مصدر رئيسي لأقوال كل من الصوفية وسابقيهم الزهّاد. تبيّن هذه الدراسة للذين أخذ منهم الحديث والأقوال في «الحلية» أنه التقط أقوال التّابعين من أوائل القرن الثامن وأقوال الصوفية من القرن العاشر من شيوخ مختلفين. لم يكن أوّل مصنّف بارز جمع أقوالاً من كلي الفريقين، ولكن يبدو أنه كان من النادر في زمانه، أن يوجد خبير بأقوال كلٍ من الصوفية والتابعين.

Texte intégral

  • 1 Abū Nu‘aym, Ḥilyat al‑awliyā’ wa‑ṭabaqāt al‑aṣfiyā’, 10 vols. (Cairo: Maṭba‘at al‑sa‘āda & Maktabat (...)

1Abū Nu‘aym al‑Iṣbahānī’s Ḥilyat al‑awliyā’ is a standard reference work for the history of early Sufism 1. Most of it is actually devoted to renunciants (zuhhād, nussāk) from the seventh and earlier eighth centuries C.E., before the rise of Sufism. It also includes many figures most famous for their activity in other fields, such as the first four caliphs, the seven jurisprudents of Medina, and the eponyms of three of the four surviving Sunni schools of law. Sufism has attracted more attention from modern scholars in Europe and North America than pre-Sufi renunciation, and accordingly the last tenth or so of the Ḥilya, where Abū Nu‘aym discusses Sufis, has attracted a good deal more scholarly attention than the first nine-tenths. Some scholars have charged that the first nine-tenths amount to a ruse. The Ḥilya, by this line of reasoning, legitimizes Sufism by submerging the dubious Sufis in a much greater number of earlier figures whose respect among Sunnis Abū Nu‘aym could take for granted. The first object of the present study is to see how much difference there is between the Sufi and earlier sections of the Ḥilya, in particular by examining Abū Nu‘aym’s informants. If they turn out to be the same, then it is evident that information about early renunciants, traditionists, and jurisprudents were preserved and transmitted in much the same circles as information about early Sufis. If they turn out to be different, then it must seem that Abū Nu‘aym really was trying to bridge two areas of knowledge already distinct when he collected his material in the late tenth century.

Abū Nu‘aym

  • 2 Ibn Ḫallikān offers an alternative year of birth, 334/945-6: Wafayāt al‑a‘yān, ed. Iḥsān ‘Abbās, 8 (...)
  • 3 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26 (a.h. 351-80): 339; Siyar 16:281.

2Abū Nu‘aym Aḥmad b. ‘Abd Allāh b. Aḥmad b. Isḥāq was born in Isfahan, Fars, in the year 336/947-8 2. His father (d. 365/976) was a minor traditionist 3. Biographies of Abū Nu‘aym regularly name several shaykhs from whom his father secured permission for him to transmit hadith without ever actually taking dictation from them, himself:

    • 4 ahabī, Tārīḫ 25 (a.h. 331-50): 275-80, with references; Siyar 15:412-16.

    Ḫayama b. Sulaymān, from Syrian Tripoli (d. 343/955) 4;

    • 5 ahabī, Tārīḫ 25:396-8; Siyar 15:558-60.

    Ǧa‘far al‑Ḫuldī (d. Baghdad, 348/959) 5;

    • 6 ahabī, Tārīḫ 25:263-4; Siyar 15:466.

    ‘Abd Allāh b. ‘Umar b. Šawab, of Wasit (d. 342/953) 6;

    • 7 ahabī, Tārīḫ 25:362-9; Siyar 15:452-60.

    Abū l‑‘Abbās al‑Aṣamm (Muḥammad b. Ya‘qūb, d. Nīšābūr, 346/957) 7;

3and

    • 8 No biography found by me.

    Aḥmad b. ‘Abd al‑Raḥīm al‑Qaysarānī 8.

  • 9 E.g. Abū Nu‘aym, Ḥilya 10:201, 223 10:211, 237.
  • 10 Ibn Ḥaǧar, Lisān al‑Mīzān, 7 vols. (Hyderabad: Maǧlis dā’irat al‑ma‘ārif, 1329‑31, repr. Beirut: Mu (...)

4(His father was born in 281/894-5, hence in his early fifties at Abū Nu‘aym’s birth.) Of these, only the second, Ḫuldī, is a significant source of material in the Ḥilya, mainly concerning Baghdadi Sufis. Abū Nu‘aym continually says, there, “Ǧa‘far b. Muḥammad b. Nuṣayr al‑Ḫuldī informed me, in what he wrote to me” or “in his writing 9. But al‑Ḫaṭīb al‑Baġdādī is quoted as complaining that Abū Nu‘aym would continually say abaranī of someone whose hadith he had only in writing, without having actually heard his informant 10.

5The standard list of those from whom Abū Nu‘aym heard hadith starts with nine he heard in Isfahan in the year 344/955-6:

    • 11 ahabī, Siyar 15:553-4; Abū Nu‘aym, Geschichte Isbahans nach der Leidener Handschrift, ed. Sven Ded (...)

    ‘Abd Allāh b. Ǧa‘far b. Aḥmad b. Fāris*(d. 345/957) 11;

    • 12 ahabī, Tārīḫ 25:426; Siyar 16:6-14.

    Al‑Qāḍī Abū Aḥmad b. Aḥmad al‑‘Assāl (Muḥammad, d. 349/960) 12;

    • 13 Abū Nu‘aym, Geschichte 1:149-50 = Tārīḫ 1:186.

    Aḥmad b. Ma‘bad al‑Simsār (d. 346/957-8) 13;

    • 14 ahabī, Tārīḫ 25:415.

    Aḥmad b. Muḥammad al‑Qaṣṣār (d. 349/950-1) 14;

    • 15 Abū Nu‘aym, Geschichte 1:151-2 = Tārīḫ 1:187-8.

    Aḥmad b. Bundār al‑Šaʻʻār (d. 359/969-70) 15;

    • 16 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:89-90; Siyar 16:44.

    ‘Abd Allāh b. al‑Ḥusayn al‑Bundār (presumably ‘Abd Allāh b. al‑Ḥasan b. Bundār, d. 353/964) 16;

    • 17 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:202-9; Siyar 16:119-30.

    al‑Ṭabarānī* (Sulaymān b. Aḥmad, d. 360/971) 17;

    • 18 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:418-20; Siyar 276-80.

    Abū l‑Šayḫ* (ʻAbd Allāh b. Muḥammad b. Ǧa‘far, d. 369/979) 18;

    • 19 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:126-9; Siyar 16:88-92. Abū Nu‘aym says he came to Isfahan only in 349/960-1: Gesch (...)

    al‑Ǧi‘ābī (Muḥammad b. ‘Umar b. Muḥammad, also called ibn al‑Ǧi‘ābī, d. Baghdad, 355/966) 19.

  • 20 E.g. as Aḥmad b. Ǧa‘far b. Muḥammad b. Ma‘bad, Ḥilya 2:155 2:176; as Aḥmad b. Ǧa‘far b. Ma‘bad, ibi (...)

6Those marked by an asterisk are significant sources for Abū Nu‘aym’s mustaḫraǧ of Muslim’s Ṣaḥīḥ, on which more below. Al‑Ṭabarānī and Abū l‑Šayḫ are major sources for the Ḥilya. Aḥmad b. Ma‘bad is a minor source, occasionally transmitting sayings of Followers (tābī ‘īn20.

7In the year 356/966-7, Abū Nu‘aym travelled from Isfahan for the first time. These are said to have been his most important authorities in Baghdad:

    • 21 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:195; Siyar 16:184-6.

    Abū ‘Alī al‑Ṣawwāf* (normally ibn al‑Ṣawwāf, Muḥammad b. Aḥmad, d. 359/970) 21;

    • 22 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:214-15; Siyar 16:63-4.

    Abū Bakr b. al‑Hayam al‑Anbārī (Muḥammad b. Ǧa‘far, d. 360/970) 22;

  • 23 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:297; Siyar 16:141-3.

Abū Baḥr al‑Barbahārī (Muḥammad b. al‑Ḥasan, d. 362/973) 23;

    • 24 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:211-12; Siyar 16:64.

    ‘Īsā b. Muḥammad al‑Ṭūmārī (d. 360/971?) 24;

    • 25 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:163-4; Siyar 16:114.

    ‘Abd al‑Raḥmān the father of al‑Muḫalliṣ (ibn al‑‘Abbās, d. 357/968) 25;

    • 26 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:190; Siyar 16:69.

    Ibn Ḫallād al‑Naṣībī* (Aḥmad b. Yūsuf, d. 359/969) 26;

    • 27 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:190-1.

    Ḥabīb al‑Qazzāz* (ibn al‑Ḥasan, d. 359/970) 27.

  • 28 Abū Nu‘aym, Ḥilya 10:256 10:275.

8‘Abd al‑Raḥmān the father of al‑Muḫalliṣ died 17 Ramadan 357/15 August 968, so Abū Nu‘aym must have got to Baghdad before then. He must still have been in Baghdad in 359/969-70, for he remarks in the Ḥilya that he heard from Muḥammad b. ‘Alī b. Ḥubayš al‑nāqid al‑ṣūfī, ṣāḥib to ibn ‘Aṭā’, in Baghdad in 359 28. In Mecca, he heard from these, among others:

    • 29 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:216-17; Siyar 16:133-6.

    Abū Bakr al‑Āǧurrī (Muḥammad b. al‑Ḥusayn b. ‘Abd Allāh, d. 359/970) 29;

    • 30 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:221-2.

    Aḥmad b. Ibrāhīm al‑Kindī (d. 360/970-1) 30.

  • In Basra, he heard from these, among others:

    • 31 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:461-2; Siyar 16:140-1.

    Fārūq b. ‘Abd al‑Kabīr al‑Ḫaṭṭābī* (d. 361/971-2?) 31;

    • 32 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:236.

    Muḥammad b. ‘Alī b. Muslim al‑Ǎmirī (d. 360/970-1 or bef.) 32;

    • 33 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:391-2; Siyar 16:210-13.

    Aḥmad b. Ǧa‘far (ibn Ḥamdān) al‑Saqaṭī (al‑Qaṭī‘ī, d. 368/979) 33;

    • 34 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:156, 223; Siyar 16:113.

    Aḥmad b. al‑Ḥasan (ibn Kaīr) al‑Lukkī (Abū-l‑Ḥasan; fl. 357/
    967-8) 34;

    • 35 ahabī, Siyar 16:133.

    ‘Abd Allāh b. Ǧa‘far al‑Ǧābirī (fl. 357/967-8) 35;

    • 36 No biography found by me.

    Šaybān b. Muḥammad 36.

9In Kufa, he heard from these, among others:

    • 37 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:228.

    Ibrāhīm b. ‘Abd Allāh b. Abī al‑‘Azā’im* (d. 360/970-1 or bef.) 37;

    • 38 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:210.

    Abū Bakr ‘Abd Allāh b. Yaḥyā al‑Ṭalḥī* (d. 360/970-1) 38.

  • 39 Abū Nu‘aym, Geschichte 1:162 = Tārīḫ 1:198-9.

10He was evidently still travelling in 360/990-1, for he remarks of a certain Isfahani Sufi, “he died before (3)60 in my absence 39”. In Nishapur, he heard from these:

    • 40 ahabī, Tārīḫ 28 (a.h. 401-20): 122-33; Siyar 17:162-77.

    Abū Aḥmad al‑Ḥākim (Muḥammad b. ‘Abd Allāh, d. 405/1014 40);

    • 41 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:571-2; Siyar 16:407-9.

    Ḥusaynak al‑Tamīmī (al‑Ḥasan b. ‘Alī b. Muḥammad, d. 375/ 985) 41;

    • 42 ahabī, Tārīḫ 23 (a.h. 301-20): 462-4; Siyar 14:388-98.

    and the aṣḥāb of al‑Sarrāǧ (Abū l‑‘Abbās Muḥammad b. Isḥāq, d. 313/926) 42.

11The death dates of his Nishapuran shaykhs are noticeably later than of his Iraqi. Therefore, it seems likely that he spent most of the 360s/970s in Isfahan, proceeding to Khurasan only in the early 370s/980s.

  • 43 Abū Nu‘aym, Ma‘rifat al‑ṣaḥāba, of which the fullest edition (sec n. 2) is evidently that of Muḥamm (...)
  • 44 On Abū ‘Amr al‑Ḥīrī, v. ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:598-9; Siyar 15:356-9.
  • 45 E.g. Ḥilya 10:38 (as Abū ‘Umar b. Ḥamdān) 10:39 (as Abū ‘Amr b. Ḥamdān) on Abū Yazīd al‑Basṭāmī.
  • 46 Abū Nu‘aym, Geschichte 2:287 = Tārīḫ 2:257.

12Abū Nu‘aym’s chief extant collections of hadith, apart from the Ḥilya, are a survey of the Companions with sample hadith they transmitted and a mustaḫraǧ of Muslim’s Ṣaḥīḥ, meaning a parallel collection offering the same hadith as Muslim but by different chains of authorities 43. A study of his chief informants in the mustaraǧ makes an interesting commentary on the standard list of his shaykhs as found in the biographical literature and recounted just above. The most important in descending order (those appearing six times or more in a random sample of 358) are Abū l‑Šayḫ (’Iṣfahānī), Abū ‘Amr Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Ḥamdān, Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. al‑Ḥasan, Abū Bakr b. Ḫallād (Baghdadi), Abū Bakr al‑Ṭalḥī (Kufan), Fārūq b. ‘Abd al‑Kabīr (Basran), Ḥabīb b. al‑Ḥasan (Baghdadi), Sulaymān b. Aḥmad (i.e. al‑Ṭabarānī, ’Iṣfahānī), ‘Abd Allāh b. Ǧa‘far (Isfahanī), Ǧa‘far b. Muḥammad b. ‘Amr, Abū ‘Alī b. al‑Ṣawwāf (Baghdadi), and Ibrāhīm b. ‘Abd Allāh (Kufan). Those who have appeared already, from the standard list, are identified here by place. But three of the twelve, including the second and third most prominent, are not on the standard list. The first, Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Ḥamdān, is probably Abū ‘Amr al‑Ḥīrī (d. Nīšābūr, 376/987?), the zāhid, who gets a place in the standard list only as one of “the aṣḥāb of al‑Sarrāǧ 44”. In the Ḥilya, he is an occasional source for information about Sufis 45. The second, Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. al‑Ḥasan, is possibly Abū ‘Umar of Isfahan (d. 358/968-9) 46. The third, Ǧa‘far b. Muḥammad b. ‘Amr, I have been unable to identify. It shows the limitations of biographical dictionaries as evidence for intellectual networks that so many of Abū Nu‘aym’s actual leading sources of hadith are not to be found in the standard list of his shaykhs.

  • 47 Abū Nu‘aym, Ḥilya 10:354 10:379.
  • 48 Abū Nu‘aym, Ḥilya 10:45 10:47.

13His father, ‘Abd Allāh b. Aḥmad, is one authority Abū Nu‘aym quotes often concerning both Followers and Sufis. Perhaps his father’s activity as a Sufi is what inclined Abū Nu‘aym to be so respectful of them. He says of an otherwise obscure Abū ‘Abd Allāh al‑Ḥusayn b. ‘Abd Allāh b. Bakr, ‘My father was disciple to him (ṣaḥiba-hu) in Basra before his transfer to al‑Sūs 47.” Abū Nu‘aym was also the grandson of the local ascetic Muḥammad b. Yūsuf al‑Bannā (d. 306/918-19). He mentions in the Ḥilya that Muḥammad b. Yūsuf was for long a disciple to Abū Turāb al‑Naḫšabī in Mecca and generally the Hijaz 48.

  • 49 V. al‑Subkī, Ṭabaqāt al‑šāfi‘īya al‑kubrā, ed. ‘Abd al‑Fattāḥ Muḥammad al‑Ḥulw and Maḥmūd Muḥammad (...)
  • 50 Abū Nu‘aym, Musnad al‑imām Abī Ḥanīfa, ed. Naẓar Muḥammad Fārayābī (Riyadh: Maktabat al‑Kawar, 141 (...)
  • 51 Abū Nu‘aym, Musnad, 19. Abū Nu‘aym also included Abū Ḥanīfa, although not Abū Yūsuf and al‑Šaybānī, (...)
  • 52 V. GAS 1:415, no. 5. V. also Christopher Melchert, “Traditionist-jurisprudents and the framing of I (...)

14Abū Nu‘aym was a Šāfi‘ī in law but there is no evidence of extensive training in this field, such as the name of a particular teacher 49. He redacted a substantial musnad of hadith transmitted by Abū Ḥanīfa, with comments 50. Few of the early collections of hadith from Abū Ḥanīfa were made by adherents of the Ḥanafī school, though, and Abū Nu‘aym’s introduction includes some unflattering reports, notably that al‑Nu‘mān b. ābit was a pseudonym of his own invention 51. It seems possible that Abū Nu‘aym, in assembling a musnad for Abū Ḥanīfa, was trying in particular to outdo his great rival among the traditionists of Isfahan, ibn Manda (d. Isfahan, 395/1005), who also redacted such a musnad 52.

  • 53 V. ibn ‘Asākir, Tabyīn kaib al‑muftarī (Damascus: Maṭba‘at al‑tawfīq, 1347), 246-7 = ed. Aḥmad Ḥiǧ (...)
  • 54 ahabī, Tārīḫ 29:278; Siyar 17:459-60. There is also the story from ibn ‘Asākir, Tabyīn (v. previou (...)

15Similarly, Abū Nu‘aym was Aš‘arī in theology but we have the name of no teacher and none of his known works is distinctively Aš‘arī 53. His depth of commitment to Aš‘arism was sufficient, though, for the local traditionalists to banish him from Isfahan for a time and to prevent him from teaching in public. A story recounted by al‑Sulamī, perhaps in his Miḥan al‑ṣūfiyya, describes how someone proposed at the end of a session for hadith. “Whoever wishes to attend Abū Nu‘aym’s session, let’s go.” However, some traditionalists went there brandishing their pen knives, so that he was almost killed 54.

  • 55 Abū Nu‘aym, Ḥilya 10:408 10:444.
  • 56 Ibn Ḫallikān, Wafayāt 1:92.

16From the dates he mentions, Abū Nu‘aym must have completed his history of Isfahan in or after 419/1028. He finished Ḥilyat al‑awliyā’ in 422/1031 55. He died in Ṣafar 430/November 1038. Ibn Ḫallikān offers the alternative date 21 Muḥarram 430/23 October 1038 56.

Ḥilyat al‑awliyā’

  • 57 ahabī, Tārīḫ 29:278.
  • 58 Ibn al‑Ǧawzī, Ṣifat al‑ṣafwa, ed. Muḥammad ‘Abd al‑Mu‘īd Ḫān, 4 vols. (Hyderabad: Maǧlis dā’irat al (...)

17This work comprises biographies of Muslim renunciants, organized roughly in chronological order from the Rightly Guided Caliphs to famous Sufis of the tenth century. A copy is said to have sold for 400 dinars in Nīšābūr 57. Ḥilyat al‑awliyā’ stresses its subjects’ activity as hadith transmitters, so that most biographies end with sample quotations of hadith their subjects transmitted. Ibn al‑Ǧawzī (d. Baghdad, 597/1201) indignantly complains that Abū Nu‘aym should have restricted the Ḥilya to exemplary stories of his subjects’ characters, omitting accounts of the hadith they related and omitting to quote from their commentaries on the Qur’ān, also that he should have omitted various persons not actually Sufis: the first four caliphs, Sufyān al‑awrī, al‑Šāfi‘ī, Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal, and others 58. Modern critics have taken up his line, seeing in Ḥilyat al‑awliyā’ a crafty justification of Sufism. As an example of modern scholarship, I have quoted Ḥamid Dabashī:

  • 59 Ḥamid Dabashi, “Historical conditions of Persian Sufism during the Seljuk period”, Classical Persia (...)

In opposition to [the Ḥallāǧian] Kharaqānī stands Abū Nu‘aym al‑Iṣfahānī … , whose monumental composition of the Ḥilyat al‑awliya’ is a valiant attempt to renarrate and thus recon­struct a respectable and self-legitimizing genealogy for Islamic mysticism whereby the earliest generations of Muslim mys­­tics are traced back to the Four ‘Rightly Guided’ Caliphs … ; and thus Abū Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmān, and ‘Alī are con­sidered among the first Sufis 59.

18I have expressed doubts. Abū Nu‘aym was himself far more prominent as a hadith expert than as a Sufi; no one has even attempted to demonstrate that he was personally uninterested in the piety of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, among others; his plentiful data about the renunciation of the Companions and Followers show that many others before Abū Nu‘aym were likewise interested in the topic; and, finally, we should beware of projecting our familiar distinctions (as between Sufis and non-Sufis) onto Abū Nu‘aym, perhaps before those distinctions had become so clear as they patently had by ibn al‑Ǧawzī’s day.

  • 60 Roger Deladrière, “Souvenirs”, Mystique musulmane, éd. Geneviève Gobillot, Études chrétiennes arabe (...)

19I have made two random samples of Abū Nu‘aym’s immediate authorities for items in the Ḥilya, also for their immediate authorities: one of 122 items from volumes 2:130 2:93 to 6:135 6:159, which is where Abū Nu‘aym covers Followers, the other of 132 items from volume 10, where Sufis (expressly so called) predominate. Both samples exclude hadith from the Prophet (about a quarter of all items in the Ḥilya). It is often difficult to identify Abū Nu‘aym’s shaykhs. Roger Deladrière has observed that the number mentioned in the Ḥilya appears to be 581, whereas only 462 are actually distinct individuals, the rest being referred to by multiple names. Forty of his immediate informants are identified by 99 different names 60. Still, the larger picture is fairly clear.

20Put simply, it turns out that Abū Nu‘aym indeed learnt about Followers and Sufis from separate experts. ‘Abd Allāh b. Muḥammad b. Ǧa‘far b. Ḥayyān, who has appeared already as the Isfahani Abū-l‑Šayḫ, is the most cited: 24 times as Abū Nu‘aym’s source for something about a Follower (about one item in five), four times about someone later. Of those four, two are items about Isfahanis, neither identifiable as a Sufi, but two are about a genuine Sufi, ‘Amr al‑Makkī (d. Baghdad, 297/909-10?).

  • 61 E.g. Abū Nu‘aym, Ḥilya 2:144 2:165 = Aḥmad, al‑Zuhd (Mecca: Maṭba‘at umm al‑qurā, 1357), 259 = Aḥma (...)
  • 62 ahabī, Siyar 16:212.
  • 63 Abū Nu‘aym, Ḥilya 10:269 10:288.

21The next most items in the sample concerning Followers, 16 (about one in eight), come from the man alternately identified as Abū Bakr b. Mālik and Aḥmad b. Ǧa‘far b. Ḥamdān, more usually known as al‑Qaṭī‘ī, who has appeared earlier among Abū Nu‘aym’s Basran shaykhs. He is most famous for transmitting Aḥmad’s Musnad from its compiler, ‘Abd Allāh b. Aḥmad (d. Baghdad, 290/903). He evidently appears in the Ḥilya as a transmitter from ‘Abd Allāh b. Aḥmad of material from Aḥmad’s al‑Zuhd, likewise compiled by ‘Abd Allāh 61. Sulamī apparently quoted the famous Baghdadi hadith critic al‑Dāraquṭnī (d. Baghdad, 385/995) as saying that Qaṭī‘ī was known to be muǧāb al‑da‘wa, meaning that anything he prayed for would be granted 62.The quotation illustrates the intersection of hadith circles (Dāraquṭnī) and Sufi (Sulamī), also that miracle-working was accepted and admired in hadith circles as well as Sufi. Nevertheless, whereas Abū Nu‘aym relates hundreds of sayings of Followers from Qaṭī‘ī, he relates from him only one saying of a Sufi (al‑Ǧunayd) 63.

  • 64 Abū Nu‘aym, Ḥilya 10:12 10:10 (s.n. Aḥmad b. Abī al‑Ḥawārī).

22Finally, Sulaymān b. Aḥmad is a source for something about 12 Followers (about one item in ten): this is the Iṣfahānī usually known as al‑Ṭabarānī. Apart from prophetic hadith he related, his only appearance in volume 10 concerns a saying not of any Sufi but of the Kufan traditionist Wakī‘ b. al‑Ǧarrāḥ (d. 196/811-12?) 64. There are practically no other intersections between the samples for items concerning Followers and items concerning Sufis.

  • 65 Al‑Sulamī, Kitāb Ṭabaqāt al‑ṣūfiyya, ed. Johannes Pedersen (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1960). On Sulamī, (...)
  • 66 V. Pedersen, introduction to Sulamī, Ṭabaqāt, 50-9 (Fr.).
  • 67 Sulamī, Ṭabaqāt, 5.
  • 68 Abū Nu‘aym, Ḥilya 2:26 2:33 (distorted to Maslamī, evidently from misinterpretation of a speck in t (...)

23As for Sufis in volume 10, on the other hand, Muḥammad b. al‑Ḥusayn b. Mūsā al‑Naysābūrī is a source for 18 items (14 percent of the total), not one about Followers. This is the famous Abū ‘Abd al‑Raḥmān al‑Sulamī (d. Nishapur, 412/1021). Sulamī’s biographical dictionary Ṭabaqāt al‑ṣūfiyya is well known today, so his prominence in the Ḥilya seems unsurprising 65. On the other hand, it is not obvious why Abū Nu‘aym cites him concerning only Sufis, not Followers. First, although Ṭabaqāt al‑ṣūfiyya is restricted to men of the later eighth century and after, excluding Followers, it is an extract of Sulamī’s larger Tārīḫ al‑ṣūfiyya. The latter is more often quoted in the Middle Ages, often by the title Ṭabaqāt al‑ṣūfiyya 66. Abū Nu‘aym himself refers to Ṭabaqāt al‑ṣūfiyya, whereas examination of his quotations shows that his actual source must have been the Tārīḫ. Moreover, Sulamī declares in the introduction to Ṭabaqāt al‑ṣūfiyya that this book covers the latter saints (muta’aḫḫirī al‑awliyā’), whereas an earlier book, apparently called Kitāb al‑Zuhd, had covered Companions, Followers, and the Followers of the Followers 67. So Sulamī knew stories of Followers, and Abū Nu‘aym knew he did, for an early section title in the Ḥilya refers to Sulamī’s listing of ahl al‑ṣuffa 68. Why, then, does Abū Nu‘aym fail to quote him concerning any? Pedersen supposes that whatever Sulamī could offer, Abū Nu‘aym had it already from other sources. This seems likely. It also suggests, I would add, a certain specialization: that it was the rule, by Abū Nu‘aym’s time, that information about Followers was the preserve of hadith experts, not Sufis.

  • 69 ‘Abd Allāh Anṣārī, Ṭabaqāt al‑ṣūfiyya, ed. Muḥammad Surūr Mawlā’ī, Intišārāt-i Ṭūs 234 (Tehran: Int (...)
  • 70 Al‑Buḫārī, K. al‑Tārīḫ al‑kabīr, 4 vols. in 8 (Hyderabad: Maṭba‘at dā’irat al‑ma‘ārif al‑niẓāmīya, (...)
  • 71 Ibn al‑Mubārak, al‑Zuhd wa‑l‑raqā’iq (on which v. GAS 1:95), loosely ordered by topic, is actually (...)

24As the information in the two sections came to Abū Nu‘aym from different sources, so likewise are they composed rather differently. Entries for Followers tend to be much longer than those for Sufis, but only in the latter do we regularly find biographical information, such as dates of birth and death and the names of masters. For example, Abū Nu‘aym relates of Abū Turāb al‑Naḫšabī that he was disciple to Ḥātim al‑Aṣamm and died in the desert and was torn by beasts in the year 245/859-60 (10:220 10:232); of Ḫayr al‑Nassāǧ (d. Baghdad? 322/933-4) that he was originally from Samarra but lived in Baghdad and was disciple to Abū Ḥamza and al‑Sarī al‑Saqaṭī (10:307 10:326). By contrast, he rarely gives any date of death for a Follower. Such biographical information is regularly found in Sufi biographical dictionaries; for example, the Ṭabaqāt of Sulamī and of ‘Abd Allāh Anṣārī (d. Herat, 481/1089) 69. Contrary to many descriptions of the literature, biographical information is seldom found in early books of riǧāl criticism, which rather comprise lists of names occasionally supplemented by sample hadith and comments on reliability; for example, al‑Tārīḫ al‑kabīr of al‑Buḫārī (d. Ḫartank, 256/870) and al‑Ǧarḥ wa‑al‑ta‘dīl of ibn Abī Ḥātim al‑Rāzī (d. Ray, 327/938) 70. Neither is biographical information found in extant treatments of early renunciants from famous traditionists; for example, al‑Zuhd wa‑’l‑raqā’iq of ibn al‑Mubārak (d. Hit, 181/797) and al‑Zuhd of Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal (d. Baghdad, 241/855) 71. In this wise, then, the first part of Ḥilyat al‑awliyā’ follows the hadith tradition, the last part the Sufi tradition.

  • 72 E.g. a saying of Mālik b. Dīnār’s is repeated with identical isnād, Ḥilya 2:361 2:410, 6:248 6:267; (...)
  • 73 Abū Nu‘aym, Ḥilya 10:162-4 10:169-72.

25The Sufi section is more poorly organized than what precedes. The confusion observed by Mojaddedi in volume 10 is not typical of earlier volumes, although they do occasionally suffer from repetition of individual items 72. A section of thirty items about anonymous saints, not numbered by the editors, runs from 10:171-89 (10:181-97). Abū Nu‘aym not only cites authors more often in volume 10, he also seems to rely more heavily on previous writers for the organization of his material. For example, numbers 541 to 544 (531 to 534) all consist of just one item from ‘Abd Allāh b. Muḥammad, followed by numbers 545 to 547 (535 to 537), all of which consist of just one item from Muḥammad b. al‑Ḥusayn 73. It is as if a work on Sufis had been forcibly joined to a much longer and more careful work on renunciants up to the earlier ninth century.

  • 74 On ibn al‑A‘rābī, v. GAS 1:660-1; ahabī, Tārīḫ al‑islām 25:184-6; Siyar 10:407-12. Pedersen states (...)
  • 75 Al‑Ḫaṭīb al‑Baġdādī, Tārīḫ Baġdād, 14 vols. (Cairo: Maktabat al‑Ḫānǧī, 1349/1931, repr. Cairo: Makt (...)

26Abū Nu‘aym’s attention to models of piety both early and late did have precedents in the literature of Sufism, though. Ṭabaqāt al‑nussāk of Abū Sa‘īd b. al‑A‘rābī (d. Mecca, 340/952?), often quoted by al‑ahabī concerning Sufis, evidently began with Companions and ended with Ǧunayd 74. Ǧa‘far al‑Ḫuldī is said to have assembled a book concerning 6,000 persons from the time of Adam until his own, all of whom espoused the doctrine of the Sufis 75. Ḫuldī may be quoted in the Ḥilya only concerning Sufis, but he plainly collected sayings from Followers and others as well. And then we have, of course, Abū Nu‘aym’s master, Sulamī, who collected information on both.

  • 76 C. Melchert, “Early renunciants” (v. supra, n. 59). On difficulties between tenth-century hadith co (...)
  • 77 C. Melchert, “The Ḥanābila and the early Sufis”, Arabica 48 (2001): 352-67; Ahmad b. Hanbal (Oxford (...)
  • 78 Bayhaqī, K. al‑Zuhd al‑kabīr, ed. Taqī al‑Dīn al‑Nadwī (Kuweit: Dār al‑qalam, 1983; this edition no (...)

27That Abū Nu‘aym needed to draw on different shaykhs for his information about Followers and Sufis, respectively, is not what I hoped to find when I framed this project; however, it does agree with some earlier studies of my own. It seems that whereas eighth-century renunciants were normally respected traditionists as well, hadith critics tended to be sceptical of ninth-century Sufis and other renunciants as they transmitted hadith, indifferent to their tenth-century successors 76. Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal and his followers, although deeply interested in renunciation, maintained distant, sometimes hostile relations with contemporary Sufis 77. Ḥilyat al‑awliyā’ does, then, represent an unusual attempt to bridge the gulf between the mainstream Sunni community and the Sufis of his time. It is particularly unusual in coming from someone based mainly on the Sunni, hadith-oriented side of the divide, not on the Sufi. At that, it was not the last, for Kitāb al‑zuhd al‑kabīr of al‑Bayhaqī (d. Nīšābūr, 458/1066) likewise comes from a notable traditionist and comprises sayings of the Prophet, Companions, Followers, and others up to Ǧunayd and other Sufis 78.

28The theme of this conference was master-disciple relations in ninth- and tenth-century Sufism. If Abū Nu‘aym was disciple to anyone, it was presumably Abū-l‑Šayḫ, from whom comes more of the Ḥilya than anyone else, likewise more of his mustaḫraǧ on Muslim’s Ṣaḥīḥ (and, overwhelmingly, his biographical dictionary of Isfahanis). Like Abū Nu‘aym, Abū-l‑Šayḫ was a highly knowledgeable traditionist with an interest in Sufis but not, so far as we know, a Sufi himself. Abū Nu‘aym must have spent a good deal of time also with Abū ‘Abd al‑Raḥmān al‑Sulamī, who was a Sufi, but evidently when he was older and, so far as we know, without any mystical initiation. I am inclined to guess that the amount of time Abū Nu‘aym put into his hadith studies precluded his putting adequate time into devotions to be a Sufi. It was not impossible to be accomplished both as a Sufi and a traditionist, but it was very uncommon. Of those mentioned in this study, ibn al‑A‘rābī, transmitter of Abū Dāwūd’s Sunan as a traditionist, disciple to Ǧunayd and others as a Sufi, is probably the only candidate, and at that no one is known who was his disciple in Sufism.

29However unusual the Ḥilya in covering both early renunciants and later Sufis, then, there were some precedents for its coverage of both. Its suggestion that ninth-century Sufism grew historically out of the eighth-century renunciant movement has been generally accepted by modern scholars. We need not doubt that Abū Nu‘aym was a sincere admirer both of the renunciants covered in the first nine volumes and the Sufis covered in the last.

Notes

1 Abū Nu‘aym, Ḥilyat al‑awliyā’ wa‑ṭabaqāt al‑aṣfiyā’, 10 vols. (Cairo: Maṭba‘at al‑sa‘āda & Maktabat al‑ḫānǧī, 1352‑7/1932‑8). To be used with Abū Ḥāǧir al‑Sa‘īd b. Basyūnī Zaġlūl, Fahāris Ḥilyat al‑awliyā’ (Beirut: Dār al‑kutub al‑‘ilmiyya, n. d.). Also ed. Muṣṭafā ‘Abd al‑Qādir ‘Aṭā, 12 vols. (Beirut: Dār al‑kutub al‑‘ilmiyya, 1418/1997). Henceforth, references to the Cairo edition will be in Roman, to ‘Aṭā’s in Italic. ‘Aṭā’s edition is not textually superior, but it does have more prominent section titles and fuller indices (although the one most pertinent to this study, of Abū Nu‘aym’s immediate sources, is regrettably the most error-ridden). Major studies of the book hitherto have been Raif Georges Khoury, “Importance et authenticité des textes de Ḥilyat al‑awliyā”, Studia Islamica, no. 46 (1977), 73-113, Muḥammad Luṭfī al‑Ṣabbāġ, Abū Nu‘aym: ḥayātu-hu wa‑kitābu-hu al‑Ḥilya, 2nd printing (n. p.: Dār al‑I‘tiṣām, 1398/1978), ‘Abd al‑Ḥafīẓ Farġalī ‘Alī al‑Quranī, al‑Ḥāfiẓ Abū Nu‘aym al‑Iṣfahānī, A‘lām al‑‘arab 131 (Cairo: al‑Ḥay’a al‑‘āmma li-l‑Kitāb, 1987), 178-200, and Jawid A. Mojaddedi, The Biographical tradition in Sufism: the ṭabaqāt genre from al‑Sulamī to Jāmī, Curzon studies in Asian religion (Richmond: Curzon, 2001), chap. 2.

2 Ibn Ḫallikān offers an alternative year of birth, 334/945-6: Wafayāt al‑a‘yān, ed. Iḥsān ‘Abbās, 8 vols. (Beirut: Dār al‑aqāfa, 1968‑71, 1973), 1:92. For Abū Nu‘aym’s biography, v. the sources in the previous note, also Encyclopaedia of Islam, new edn., s.v. “Abū Nu‘aym al‑Iṣfahānī”, by J. Pedersen, Encyclopædia Iranica, s.v. “Abu Nu‘aym al‑Iṣfahāni”, by W. Madelung, al‑ahabī, Tārīḫ al‑Islām, ed. ‘Umar ‘Abd al‑Salām Tadmurī, 52 vols. (Beirut: Dār al‑kitāb al‑‘arabī, 1407-21/1987-2000), 29 (a.h. 421-40): 274-80, with additional references, and idem, Siyar a‘lām al‑nubalā’, ed. Šu‘ayb al‑Arna’ūṭ & al., 25 vols. (Beirut: Mu’assasat al‑risāla, 1401‑9/1981‑8), 17:453-64. The fullest list of his works that I have come across is the one compiled by Muḥammad Rāḍī b. Ḥaǧǧ ‘Umān, introduction to Abū Nu‘aym, Ma‘rifat al‑ṣaḥāba, ed. Muḥammad Rāḍī, 3 vols. (Medina: Maktabat al‑dār & Riyadh: Maktabat al‑ḥaramayn, 1408/1988), 1:37-55.

3 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26 (a.h. 351-80): 339; Siyar 16:281.

4 ahabī, Tārīḫ 25 (a.h. 331-50): 275-80, with references; Siyar 15:412-16.

5 ahabī, Tārīḫ 25:396-8; Siyar 15:558-60.

6 ahabī, Tārīḫ 25:263-4; Siyar 15:466.

7 ahabī, Tārīḫ 25:362-9; Siyar 15:452-60.

8 No biography found by me.

9 E.g. Abū Nu‘aym, Ḥilya 10:201, 223 10:211, 237.

10 Ibn Ḥaǧar, Lisān al‑Mīzān, 7 vols. (Hyderabad: Maǧlis dā’irat al‑ma‘ārif, 1329‑31, repr. Beirut: Mu’assasat al‑a‘lamî, 1406/1986), 1:201.

11 ahabī, Siyar 15:553-4; Abū Nu‘aym, Geschichte Isbahans nach der Leidener Handschrift, ed. Sven Dedering, 2 vols. (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1931, 1934), 2:80 = K. Tārīḫ Aṣbahān (ikr aḫbār Aṣbahān), ed. Sayyid Kisrawī Ḥasan, 2 vols. (Beirut: Dār al‑kutub al‑‘ilmiyya, 1410/1990), 2:40-1. (Al‑Sam‘ānī indicates that iṣbahānī and aṣbahānī are equally correct: al-Ansāb, s. n.)

12 ahabī, Tārīḫ 25:426; Siyar 16:6-14.

13 Abū Nu‘aym, Geschichte 1:149-50 = Tārīḫ 1:186.

14 ahabī, Tārīḫ 25:415.

15 Abū Nu‘aym, Geschichte 1:151-2 = Tārīḫ 1:187-8.

16 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:89-90; Siyar 16:44.

17 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:202-9; Siyar 16:119-30.

18 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:418-20; Siyar 276-80.

19 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:126-9; Siyar 16:88-92. Abū Nu‘aym says he came to Isfahan only in 349/960-1: Geschichte 2:287 = Tārīḫ 2:258.

20 E.g. as Aḥmad b. Ǧa‘far b. Muḥammad b. Ma‘bad, Ḥilya 2:155 2:176; as Aḥmad b. Ǧa‘far b. Ma‘bad, ibid. 2:372 2:421. Abū Nu‘aym lists him as Aḥmad b. Ǧa‘far b. Ma‘bad, then calls him Aḥmad b. Ǧa‘far b. Aḥmad b. Ma‘bad in Geschichte 1:149-50 = Tārīḫ 1:186.

21 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:195; Siyar 16:184-6.

22 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:214-15; Siyar 16:63-4.

23 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:297; Siyar 16:141-3.

24 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:211-12; Siyar 16:64.

25 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:163-4; Siyar 16:114.

26 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:190; Siyar 16:69.

27 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:190-1.

28 Abū Nu‘aym, Ḥilya 10:256 10:275.

29 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:216-17; Siyar 16:133-6.

30 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:221-2.

31 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:461-2; Siyar 16:140-1.

32 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:236.

33 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:391-2; Siyar 16:210-13.

34 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:156, 223; Siyar 16:113.

35 ahabī, Siyar 16:133.

36 No biography found by me.

37 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:228.

38 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:210.

39 Abū Nu‘aym, Geschichte 1:162 = Tārīḫ 1:198-9.

40 ahabī, Tārīḫ 28 (a.h. 401-20): 122-33; Siyar 17:162-77.

41 ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:571-2; Siyar 16:407-9.

42 ahabī, Tārīḫ 23 (a.h. 301-20): 462-4; Siyar 14:388-98.

43 Abū Nu‘aym, Ma‘rifat al‑ṣaḥāba, of which the fullest edition (sec n. 2) is evidently that of Muḥammad Ḥasan Muḥammad Ḥasan Ismā‘īl and Mus‘ad ‘Abd al‑Ḥamīd al‑Sa‘danī, 5 vols. (Beirut: Dār al‑kutub al‑‘ilmiyya, 1422/2002); idem, al‑Musnad al‑mustaḫraǧ ‘alā Ṣaḥīḥ al‑imām Muslim, ed. Muḥammad Ḥasan Muḥammad Ḥasan Ismā ‘īl al‑Šāfi‘ī, 4 vols. (Beirut: Dār al‑kutub al‑‘ilmiyya, 1417/1996).

44 On Abū ‘Amr al‑Ḥīrī, v. ahabī, Tārīḫ 26:598-9; Siyar 15:356-9.

45 E.g. Ḥilya 10:38 (as Abū ‘Umar b. Ḥamdān) 10:39 (as Abū ‘Amr b. Ḥamdān) on Abū Yazīd al‑Basṭāmī.

46 Abū Nu‘aym, Geschichte 2:287 = Tārīḫ 2:257.

47 Abū Nu‘aym, Ḥilya 10:354 10:379.

48 Abū Nu‘aym, Ḥilya 10:45 10:47.

49 V. al‑Subkī, Ṭabaqāt al‑šāfi‘īya al‑kubrā, ed. ‘Abd al‑Fattāḥ Muḥammad al‑Ḥulw and Maḥmūd Muḥammad al‑Ṭanāḥī, 10 vols. (Cairo: ‘Īsā al‑Bābī al‑Ḥalabī, 1964-76), 4:18-25. His lack of training is remarked by Madelung in EIr.

50 Abū Nu‘aym, Musnad al‑imām Abī Ḥanīfa, ed. Naẓar Muḥammad Fārayābī (Riyadh: Maktabat al‑Kawar, 1415/1994).

51 Abū Nu‘aym, Musnad, 19. Abū Nu‘aym also included Abū Ḥanīfa, although not Abū Yūsuf and al‑Šaybānī, in his directory of weak traditionists, K. al‑Ḍu‘afā’, ed. Fārūq Ḥamāda, Nawādir al‑maḫṭūṭāt (Casablanca: Dār al‑aqāfa, 1405/1984), 154.

52 V. GAS 1:415, no. 5. V. also Christopher Melchert, “Traditionist-jurisprudents and the framing of Islamic law”, Islamic law and society 8 (2001): 383-406, at 396. On ibn Manda, v. GAS, 1:214-15, also ahabī, Tārīḫ 27 (a.h. 381-400): 320-4 and Siyar 17:28-43, with further references. Many biographies mention the enmity between Abū Nu‘aym and ibn Manda. For harsh words from Abū Nu‘aym (that his rival became senile and falsely attributed theological hadith), v. Geschichte 2:306 = Tārīḫ 2:278.

53 V. ibn ‘Asākir, Tabyīn kaib al‑muftarī (Damascus: Maṭba‘at al‑tawfīq, 1347), 246-7 = ed. Aḥmad Ḥiǧāzī al‑Saqqā (Beirut: Dār al‑Ǧīl, 1416/1995), 243.

54 ahabī, Tārīḫ 29:278; Siyar 17:459-60. There is also the story from ibn ‘Asākir, Tabyīn (v. previous note), by which Abū Nu‘aym miraculously escaped a massacre at the hands of Maḥmūd b. Sebüktegin on account of not being allowed into the mosque.

55 Abū Nu‘aym, Ḥilya 10:408 10:444.

56 Ibn Ḫallikān, Wafayāt 1:92.

57 ahabī, Tārīḫ 29:278.

58 Ibn al‑Ǧawzī, Ṣifat al‑ṣafwa, ed. Muḥammad ‘Abd al‑Mu‘īd Ḫān, 4 vols. (Hyderabad: Maǧlis dā’irat al‑ma‘ārif al‑‘umānīya, 1355-6, 2nd edn., 1968), 1:2-3 = ed. Ibrāhīm Ramaḍān and Sa‘īd al‑Laḥḥām, 4 vols. in 2 (Beirut: Dār al‑kutub al‑‘ilmiyya, 1409/1989), 1:6-10.

59 Ḥamid Dabashi, “Historical conditions of Persian Sufism during the Seljuk period”, Classical Persian Sufism, ed. Leonard Lewisohn (New York: Khaniqahi Nimatullahi publications, 1993), 137-74, at 142. Voir Christopher Melchert, “Early renunciants as ḥadīth transmitters”, The Muslim world 92 (2002): 407‑18, at 409-10.

60 Roger Deladrière, “Souvenirs”, Mystique musulmane, éd. Geneviève Gobillot, Études chrétiennes arabes (Paris: Cariscript, 2002), 3-6, at 5.

61 E.g. Abū Nu‘aym, Ḥilya 2:144 2:165 = Aḥmad, al‑Zuhd (Mecca: Maṭba‘at umm al‑qurā, 1357), 259 = Aḥmad, al‑Zuhd (Beirut: Dār al‑kutub al‑‘ilmiyya, 1403/1983), 317. Over a third of the items in the sample from Abū Bakr b. Mālik (all from ‘Abd Allāh b. Aḥmad in turn) cannot be found in al‑Zuhd. However, it seems that the extant manuscript of al‑Zuhd represents only about a third of the original text, for which v. Christopher Melchert, “The Musnad of Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal”, Der Islam 82 (2005): 32-51, at 47. On al‑Zuhd, v. also Roger Deladrière, “Introduction to Bayhaqi”, L’anthologie du renoncement, Islam spirituel (Lagrasse: Verdier, 1995), 9-10.

62 ahabī, Siyar 16:212.

63 Abū Nu‘aym, Ḥilya 10:269 10:288.

64 Abū Nu‘aym, Ḥilya 10:12 10:10 (s.n. Aḥmad b. Abī al‑Ḥawārī).

65 Al‑Sulamī, Kitāb Ṭabaqāt al‑ṣūfiyya, ed. Johannes Pedersen (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1960). On Sulamī, v. GAS 1:671-4; also Lutz Berger, “Geschieden von allem ausser Gott”: Sufik und Welt bei Abu ‘Abd ar‑Rahman as‑Sulami (936‑1021), Arabistische Texte und Studien 12 (Hildesheim: Olms, 1998), with further references; Jean-Jacques Thibon, “La relation maître-disciple ou les éléments de l’alchimie spirituelle d’après trois manuscrits de Sulamī”, Mystique musulmane (v. supra, n. 60), 105-14; and Kenneth L. Honerkamp and Nicholas Heer, ed. & trans., Three early Sufi texts (Louisville, Ky.: Fons vitae, 2003).

66 V. Pedersen, introduction to Sulamī, Ṭabaqāt, 50-9 (Fr.).

67 Sulamī, Ṭabaqāt, 5.

68 Abū Nu‘aym, Ḥilya 2:26 2:33 (distorted to Maslamī, evidently from misinterpretation of a speck in the Cairo edition).

69 ‘Abd Allāh Anṣārī, Ṭabaqāt al‑ṣūfiyya, ed. Muḥammad Surūr Mawlā’ī, Intišārāt-i Ṭūs 234 (Tehran: Intišārāt-i Ṭūs, 1362).

70 Al‑Buḫārī, K. al‑Tārīḫ al‑kabīr, 4 vols. in 8 (Hyderabad: Maṭba‘at dā’irat al‑ma‘ārif al‑niẓāmīya, 1941‑5; repr. with added index volume, Beirut: Dār al‑kutub al‑‘ilmiyya, n.d.); ibn Abī Ḥātim al‑Rāzī, K. al‑Ǧarḥ wa‑al‑ta‘dīl, introduction + 4 vols. in 8 (Hyderabad: Ǧam‘īyat dā’irat al‑ma‘ārif al‑‘uṯmāniyya, 1360‑71; repr. 9 vols., Beirut: Dār iḥyā’ al‑turāth al‑‘arabī, n.d.). About 6 percent of entries in al‑Tārīḫ al‑kabīr include a date of death, less than 1 percent in al‑Ǧarḥ wa‑al‑ta‘dīl. For a discussion of the actual use of dates in early hadith criticism, v. Eerik Dickinson, The Development of early Sunnite ḥadīth criticism, Islamic history and civilization, studies and texts, 38 (Leiden: Brill, 2001), 115-18. The great exception appears to be ibn Sa‘d, Biographien, ed. Eduard Sachau, & al., 9 vols. in 15 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1904‑40), which includes many dates of death. This seems to be one indication that it stands apart from the early hadith tradition (another is the infrequency with which early hadith critics cite ibn Sa‘d’s opinions). Voir Michael Cooperson, Classical Arabic biography, Cambridge studies in Islamic civilization (Cambridge: Univ. press, 2000), 3-6, which suggests that it is principally a work of adab.

71 Ibn al‑Mubārak, al‑Zuhd wa‑l‑raqā’iq (on which v. GAS 1:95), loosely ordered by topic, is actually a book of multiple layers, redacted over a period of more than a century, with about one item in five not traced through b. al‑Mubārak at all. Aḥmad, al‑Zuhd, loosely ordered by name, was plainly redacted by his son ‘Abd Allāh, who contributed about one item in three (in the extant version) independently of his father. But multiple authorship makes them all the more suitable to illustrate hadith culture, at least of the ninth century.

72 E.g. a saying of Mālik b. Dīnār’s is repeated with identical isnād, Ḥilya 2:361 2:410, 6:248 6:267; the entry for Hišām b. Ḥassān (Basran, d. 148/765-6?) comprises mainly repeated sayings of al‑Ḥasan al‑Baṣrī, Ḥilya 6:269-73 6:292-6.

73 Abū Nu‘aym, Ḥilya 10:162-4 10:169-72.

74 On ibn al‑A‘rābī, v. GAS 1:660-1; ahabī, Tārīḫ al‑islām 25:184-6; Siyar 10:407-12. Pedersen states that Ṭabaqāt al‑nussāk began with al‑Ḥasan al‑Baṣrī: introduction to Sulamī, Ṭabaqāt, 24 (Fr.). But this is apparently contradicted by Abū Nu‘aym’s reference to its enumeration of ahl al‑ṣuffa, along with Sulamī’s: Ḥilya 2:26 2:33. Abū Nu‘aym sometimes quotes ibn al‑Aʻrābī through an intermediary; e.g. on al‑Nūrī’s exile from Baghdad, Ḥilya 10:249-50 10:267-9; voir ahabī, Tārīḫ 22 (a.h. 291-300): 69-71; also Siyar 14:74-5.

75 Al‑Ḫaṭīb al‑Baġdādī, Tārīḫ Baġdād, 14 vols. (Cairo: Maktabat al‑Ḫānǧī, 1349/1931, repr. Cairo: Maktabat al‑Ḫānǧī and Beirut: Dār al‑fikr, n.d.), 7:228 = Tārīḫ madīnat al‑salām, ed. Baššār ‘Awwād Ma‘rūf, 17 vols. (Beirut: Dār al‑ġarb al‑islāmī, 1422/2001), 8:147-8.

76 C. Melchert, “Early renunciants” (v. supra, n. 59). On difficulties between tenth-century hadith collectors and Sufis, v. also Florian Sobieroj, ibn Ḫafīf aš‑Šīrāzī und seine Schrift zur Novizenerziehung (Kitāb al‑Iqtiṣād), Beiruter Texte und Studien 57 (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1998), 244-5.

77 C. Melchert, “The Ḥanābila and the early Sufis”, Arabica 48 (2001): 352-67; Ahmad b. Hanbal (Oxford: Oneworld, 2006), chap. 5.

78 Bayhaqī, K. al‑Zuhd al‑kabīr, ed. Taqī al‑Dīn al‑Nadwī (Kuweit: Dār al‑qalam, 1983; this edition not seen by me); also ed. ‘Ǎmir Aḥmad Ḥaydar (Beirut: Dār al‑Ǧinān and Mu’assasat al‑kutub al‑aqāfiyya, 1408/1987); also translated with a useful introduction by Roger Deladrière, for which v. n. 61.

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