Who was Imam Yahya ibn Ma’in (rahimahullah)? His name often appears when grading narrators. What is the opinion of Imam Ahmad and other ‘Ulama (rahimahumullah) with regards to him.
Imam Abu Zakariyya, Yahya ibn Ma’in (rahimahullah), was a phenomenal Muhaddith of the past who was born in the year 158 A.H. and passed away in the year 233 A.H.
He acquired Hadith from great Aimmah and Muhaddithun such as Imams: ‘Abdullah ibn Mubarak, Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah, Yahya Al-Qattan, and others (rahimahumullah).
He had many students that became great Aimmah and Muhaddithun such as Imams: Ahmad ibn Hambal, Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, and others (rahimahumullah).
Hereunder are some of the comments of the Muhaddithun regarding Yahya ibn Ma’in (rahimahullah):
- Imam ‘Ali bin Madini (rahimahullah) has praised him saying: “I’ve never seen anyone like him”
- On one occasion Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) has said: “Here is a man that Allah Ta’ala has created for this matter (i.e the preservation of Hadith). He exposes the lies of the fabricators/liars.”
- Imam Nasai (rahimahullah) has said: “One of the Aimmah of Hadith, [he is] thiqah [reliable] and trustworthy.”
- Imam Dhahabi (rahimahullah) has referred to him as “Shaykhul Muhaddithin” and Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has even praised him as “Imamul Jarh wat Ta’dil.”
(References for all of the above: Siyaru A’alamin Nubala, vol. 11 pg. 71 onwards, and Taqribut Tahdhib: 7651)
And Allah Ta’ala knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Farhan Shariff
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
This answer was collected from HadithAnswers.com. The answers were either answered or checked by Moulana Haroon Abasoomar (rahimahullah) who was a Shaykhul Hadith in South Africa, or by his son, Moulana Muhammad Abasoomer (hafizahullah), who is a Hadith specialist.