Abū ʿĪsā Muḥammad ibn ʿĪsā as-Sulamī aḍ-Ḍarīr al-Būghī at-Tirmidhī (Arabic: أبو عيسى محمد بن عيسى السلمي الضرير البوغي الترمذي‎; Persian: ترمذی‎, Termezī; 824 – 9 October 892 CE / 209 - 279 AH), often referred to as Imām al-Termezī/Tirmidhī, was a Persian of Arab descent belonging to the Banu Sulaym tribe,[1][2][3][4] Islamic scholar, and collector of hadith from Termez (in present-day Uzbekistan). He wrote al-Jami` as-Sahih (known as Jami` at-Tirmidhi), one of the six canonical hadith compilations in Sunni Islam. He also wrote Shama'il Muhammadiyah (popularly known as Shama'il at-Tirmidhi), a compilation of hadiths concerning the person and character of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. At-Tirmidhi was also well versed in Arabic grammar, favoring the school of Kufa over Basra due to the former's preservation of Arabic poetry as a primary source.[5]

Born824/ 209 AH
Died9 October 892/ 13 Rajab 279 AH (aged 70)
EraAbbasid Era
Main interest(s)Hadith
Notable work(s)Jami at-Tirmidhi
Shama'il Muhammadiyah
Muslim leader


Name and lineageEdit

Al-Tirmidhi's given name (ism) was "Muhammad" while his kunya was "Abu `Isa" ("father of `Isa"). His genealogy is uncertain; his nasab (patronymic) has variously been given as:

  • Muḥammad ibn ‛Īsá ibn Sawrah (محمد بن عيسى بن سورة)‎[6]
  • Muḥammad ibn ‛Īsá ibn Sawrah ibn Mūsá ibn aḍ-Ḍaḥḥāk (محمد بن عيسى بن سورة بن موسى بن الضحاك)‎[7][8][9][10]
  • Muḥammad ibn ‛Īsá ibn Sawrah ibn Shaddād (محمد بن عيسى بن سورة بن شداد)‎[11]
  • Muḥammad ibn ‛Īsá ibn Sawrah ibn Shaddād ibn aḍ-Ḍaḥḥāk (محمد بن عيسى بن سورة بن شداد بن الضحاك)‎[12]
  • Muḥammad ibn ‛Īsá ibn Sawrah ibn Shaddād ibn ‛Īsá (محمد بن عيسى بن سورة بن شداد بن عيسى)‎[10]
  • Muḥammad ibn ‛Īsá ibn Yazīd ibn Sawrah ibn as-Sakan (محمد بن عيسى بن يزيد بن سورة بن السكن)‎[7][8][10]
  • Muḥammad ibn ‛Īsá ibn Sahl (محمد بن عيسى بن سهل)‎[13][14]
  • Muḥammad ibn ‛Īsá ibn Sahl ibn Sawrah (محمد بن عيسى بن سهل بن سورة)‎[15]

He was also known by the laqab "ad-Darir" ("the Blind"). It has been said that he was born blind, but the majority of scholars agree that he became blind later in his life.[7][16]

At-Tirmidhi's family belonged to the Arab tribe of Banu Sulaym (hence the nisbat "as-Sulami").[17] His grandfather was originally from Marw (Persian: Merv), but moved to Tirmidh.[7]


Muhammad ibn `Isa at-Tirmidhi was born during the reign of the Abbasid caliph al-Ma'mun. His year of birth has been reported as 209 AH (824/825).[17][18][19] Adh-Dhahabi only states that at-Tirmidhi was born near the year 210 AH (825/826),[7] thus some sources give his year of birth as 210 AH.[6][20] Some sources indicate that he was born in Mecca (Siddiqi says he was born in Mecca in 206 AH (821/822))[21] while others say he was born in Tirmidh (Persian: Termez), in what is now southern Uzbekistan.[17] The stronger opinion is that he was born in Tirmidh.[7] Specifically, he was born in one of its suburbs, the village of Bugh (hence the nisbats "at-Tirmidhi" and "al-Bughi").[18][20][22][23]

Hadith studiesEdit

At-Tirmidhi began the study of hadith at the age of 20. From the year 235 AH (849/850) he traveled widely in Khurasan, Iraq, and the Hijaz in order to collect hadith.[6][11][12] His teachers and those he narrated from included:

  • al-Bukhari[6][8][9][11][12][16][17][21]
  • Abū Rajā’ Qutaybah ibn Sa‘īd al-Balkhī al-Baghlāni[8][9][12][17]
  • ‘Alī ibn Ḥujr ibn Iyās as-Sa‘dī al-Marwazī[8][9][12][17]
  • Muḥammad ibn Bashshār al-Baṣrī[9][12][17]
  • ‘Abd Allāh ibn Mu‘āwiyah al-Jumaḥī al-Baṣrī[8]
  • Abū Muṣ‘ab az-Zuhrī al-Madanī[8]
  • Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd al-Mālik ibn Abī ash-Shawārib al-Umawī al-Baṣrī[8]
  • Ismā‘īl ibn Mūsá al-Fazārī al-Kūfi[8]
  • Muḥammad ibn Abī Ma‘shar as-Sindī al-Madanī[8]
  • Abū Kurayb Muḥammad ibn al-‘Alā’ al-Kūfī[8][12]
  • Hanād ibn al-Sarī al-Kūfī[8][12]
  • Ibrāhīm ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Harawī[8]
  • Suwayd ibn Naṣr ibn Suwayd al-Marwazī[8]
  • Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Baṣrī[12]
  • Zayd ibn Akhzam al-Baṣrī[16]
  • al-‘Abbās al-‘Anbarī al-Baṣrī[16]
  • Muḥammad ibn al-Muthanná al-Baṣrī[16]
  • Muḥammad ibn Ma‘mar al-Baṣrī[16]
  • ad-Darimi[12][17]
  • Muslim[16][17][21]
  • Abu Dawud[11][16][21]

At the time, Khurasan, at-Tirmidhi's native land, was a major center of learning, being home to a large number of muhaddiths. Other major centers of learning visited by at-Tirmidhi were the Iraqi cities of Kufa and Basra. At-Tirmidhi reported hadith from 42 Kufan teachers. In his Jami`, he used more reports from Kufan teachers than from teachers of any other town.[16]

At-Tirmidhi was a pupil of al-Bukhari, who was based in Khurasan. Adh-Dhahabi wrote, "His knowledge of hadith came from al-Bukhari."[17] At-Tirmidhi mentioned al-Bukhari's name 114 times in his Jami`. He used al-Bukhari's Kitab at-Tarikh as a source when mentioning discrepancies in the text of a hadith or its transmitters, and praised al-Bukhari as being the most knowledgeable person in Iraq or Khurasan in the science of discrepancies of hadith. When mentioning the rulings of jurists, he followed al-Bukhari's practice of not mentioning the name of Abu Hanifah. Because he never received a reliable chain of narrators to mention Abu Hanifa's decrees, he would instead attribute them to "some people of Kufa."[16] Al-Bukhari held at-Tirmidhi in high regard as well. He is reported to have told at-Tirmidhi, "I have profited more from you than you have from me," and in his Sahih he narrated two hadith from at-Tirmidhi.[16][17]

At-Tirmidhi also narrated some hadiths from Abu Dawud, and one from Muslim.[16] Muslim also narrated one hadith from at-Tirmidhi in his own Sahih.[17]

A.J. Wensinck mentions Ahmad ibn Hanbal as among at-Tirmidhi's teachers.[11][16] However, Hoosen states that according to the most reliable sources, at-Tirmidhi never went to Baghdad, nor did he attend any lectures of Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Furthermore, at-Tirmidhi never directly narrates from Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Jami`.[16]

Several of at-Tirmidhi's teachers also taught al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, and an-Nasa'i.


  • Al-Jami' al-Mukhtasar Min al-Sunan 'an Rasulillah, known as Jami' al-Tirmidhi
  • Al-`Ilal As-Sughra
  • Az-Zuhd
  • Al-`Ilal Al-Kubra
  • Ash-Shama’il An-Nabawiyyah wa Al-Fada’il Al-Mustafawiyyah
  • Al-Asmaa’ wa Al-Kuna
  • Kitab At-Tarikh

School of thoughtEdit

Imam Tirmidhi was very close to Imam Bukhari, Imam Tirmidhi was a Shaf'i or Hanbali. Conclusion was whether he was mujtahid or muqallid as he was close to Imam Bukhari some claim he followed his madhab.

Accusation of heresy by some HanbalitesEdit

Al-Tirmidhi was accused of being a Jahmite heretic, and was harshly criticized by some fanatic Hanbali followers, including Abu Bakr al-Khallal (d. 311/923) in his Kitab al-Sunna (Book of the Prophetic Tradition), because he rejected a narration attributed to Mujahid concerning the explanation of the verse 79 from Surat al-Isra' in the Qur'an about the Praiseworthy Station of the Prophet Muhammad, known as "al-Maqam al-Mahmud".[24][25][26]

The verse is: "And from [part of] the night, pray[a] with it [i.e., recitation of the Qur’ān] as additional [worship] for you; it is expected that[b] your Lord will resurrect you to a praised station[c]."[Quran 17:79 (Translated by Saheeh International)]

The Hanbalites interpreted the Praiseworthy Station as the seating of the Prophet Muhammad by Allah/God on the Throne, despite the overall weakness of the narrations supporting it.[27]


At-Tirmidhi was blind in the last two years of his life, according to adh-Dhahabi.[12] His blindness is said to have been the consequence of excessive weeping, either due to fear of God or over the death of al-Bukhari.[6][7][12][16][17]

He died on Monday night, 13 Rajab 279 AH (Sunday night, 8 October 892)[d] in Bugh.[9][12][16]

At-Tirmidhi is buried on the outskirts of Sherobod, 60 kilometers north of Termez in Uzbekistan. In Termez he is locally known as Abu Isa at-Termezi or "Termez Ota" ("Father of Termez").[23]

See alsoEdit

Early Islam scholarsEdit

Muhammad (570–632) prepared the Constitution of Medina, taught the Quran, and advised his companions
`Abd Allah bin Masud (died 650) taughtAli (607–661) fourth caliph taughtAisha, Muhammad's wife and Abu Bakr's daughter taughtAbd Allah ibn Abbas (618–687) taughtZayd ibn Thabit (610–660) taughtUmar (579–644) second caliph taughtAbu Hurairah (603–681) taught
Alqama ibn Qays (died 681) taughtHusayn ibn Ali (626–680) taughtQasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr (657–725) taught and raised by AishaUrwah ibn Zubayr (died 713) taught by Aisha, he then taughtSaid ibn al-Musayyib (637–715) taughtAbdullah ibn Umar (614–693) taughtAbd Allah ibn al-Zubayr (624–692) taught by Aisha, he then taught
Ibrahim al-Nakha’i taughtAli ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin (659–712) taughtHisham ibn Urwah (667–772) taughtIbn Shihab al-Zuhri (died 741) taughtSalim ibn Abd-Allah ibn Umar taughtUmar ibn Abdul Aziz (682–720) raised and taught by Abdullah ibn Umar
Hammad bin ibi Sulman taughtMuhammad al-Baqir (676–733) taughtFarwah bint al-Qasim Jafar's mother
Abu Hanifa (699–767) wrote Al Fiqh Al Akbar and Kitab Al-Athar, jurisprudence followed by Sunni, Sunni Sufi, Barelvi, Deobandi, Zaidiyyah Shia and originally by the Fatimid and taughtZayd ibn Ali (695–740)Ja'far bin Muhammad Al-Baqir (702–765) Muhammad and Ali's great great grand son taughtMalik ibn Anas (711–795) wrote Muwatta, jurisprudence from early Medina period now mostly followed by Sunni in Africa and taughtAl-Waqidi (748–822) wrote history books like Kitab al-Tarikh wa al-Maghazi, student of Malik ibn AnasAbu Muhammad Abdullah ibn Abdul Hakam (died 829) wrote biographies and history books, student of Malik ibn Anas
Abu Yusuf (729–798) wrote Usul al-fiqhMuhammad al-Shaybani (749–805)Al-Shafi‘i (767–820) wrote Al-Risala, jurisprudence followed by Sunni and taughtIsmail ibn IbrahimAli ibn al-Madini (778–849) wrote The Book of Knowledge of the CompanionsIbn Hisham (died 833) wrote early history and As-Sirah an-Nabawiyyah, Muhammad's biography
Isma'il ibn Ja'far (719–775)Musa al-Kadhim (745–799)Ahmad ibn Hanbal (780–855) wrote Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal jurisprudence followed by Sunni and hadith booksMuhammad al-Bukhari (810–870) wrote Sahih al-Bukhari hadith booksMuslim ibn al-Hajjaj (815–875) wrote Sahih Muslim hadith booksMuhammad ibn Isa at-Tirmidhi (824–892) wrote Jami` at-Tirmidhi hadith booksAl-Baladhuri (died 892) wrote early history Futuh al-Buldan, Genealogies of the Nobles
Ibn Majah (824–887) wrote Sunan ibn Majah hadith bookAbu Dawood (817–889) wrote Sunan Abu Dawood Hadith Book
Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni (864- 941) wrote Kitab al-Kafi hadith book followed by Twelver ShiaMuhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (838–923) wrote History of the Prophets and Kings, Tafsir al-TabariAbu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari (874–936) wrote Maqālāt al-islāmīyīn, Kitāb al-luma, Kitāb al-ibāna 'an usūl al-diyāna
Ibn Babawayh (923–991) wrote Man la yahduruhu al-Faqih jurisprudence followed by Twelver ShiaSharif Razi (930–977) wrote Nahj al-Balagha followed by Twelver ShiaNasir al-Din al-Tusi (1201–1274) wrote jurisprudence books followed by Ismaili and Twelver ShiaAl-Ghazali (1058–1111) wrote The Niche for Lights, The Incoherence of the Philosophers, The Alchemy of Happiness on SufismRumi (1207–1273) wrote Masnavi, Diwan-e Shams-e Tabrizi on Sufism
Key: Some of Muhammad's CompanionsKey: Taught in MedinaKey: Taught in IraqKey: Worked in SyriaKey: Travelled extensively collecting the sayings of Muhammad and compiled books of hadithKey: Worked in Iran


  1. ^ Literally, "arise from sleep for prayer."
  2. ^ This is a promise from Allāh (subhanahu wa ta'ala) to Prophet Muhammad (ṣ).
  3. ^ The position of intercession by permission of Allāh and the highest degree in Paradise.
  4. ^ In the Islamic calendar, the weekday begins at sunset.


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  20. ^ a b Wheeler, Brannon M., ed. (2002). "Glossary of Interpreters and Transmitters". Prophets in the Quran: An Introduction to the Quran and Muslim Exegesis. New York: Continuum. p. 358. ISBN 0826449565.
  21. ^ a b c d Siddiqi, Muhammad Zubayr. Hadith Literature: Its Origin, Development & Special Features. p. 64.
  22. ^ Adamec, Ludwig W. (2009). Historical Dictionary of Islam (2nd ed.). Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. p. 307. ISBN 9780810861619.
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  24. ^ Abu Bakr al-Khallal. "Kitab al-Sunna (The Book of the Sunna)". Google Books. فقد كان أحدث هذا الترمذي المبتدع ببلدنا ما اتصل بنا أنه حدث ببلدكم، وهذا أمر قد كان اضمحل وأخمله الله، وأخمل أهله وقائله، وليس بموجود في الناس، قد سلب عقله، أخزاه الله وأخزى أشياعه، وقد كان الشيوخ سئلوا عنه في حياة أبي بكر رحمه الله ومحدثي بغداد والكوفة وغير ذلك، فلم يكن منهم أحد إلا أنكره، وكره من أمره ما كتبنا به إليكم لتقفوا عليه، فأما ما قال العباس بن محمد الدوري عند سؤالهم إياه عنه ورده حديث مجاهد: ذكر أن هذا الترمذي الذي رد حديث مجاهد ما رآه قط عند محدث، ولا يعرفه بالطلب، وإن هذا الحديث لا ينكره إلا مبتدع جهمي، فنحن نسأل الله العافية من بدعته وضلالته، فما أعظم ما جاء به هذا من الضلالة والبدع، عمد إلى حديث فيه فضيلة للنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فأراد أن يزيله ويتكلم في من رواه، وقد قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: « لا تزال طائفة من أمتي على الحق، لا يضرهم من ناوأهم » ونحن نحذر عن هذا الرجل أن تستمعوا منه، وممن قال بقوله، أو تصدقوهم في شيء، فإن السنة عندنا إحياء ذكر هذا الحديث، وما أشبهه مما ترده الجهمية
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  26. ^ Yusuf Aba al-Khail. "محنة الإمام الترمذي مع التكفير". Al Riyadh (newspaper).
  27. ^ Gibril Fouad Haddad. "The Prophet's (s) Seating on the Throne". Naqshbandi Order in Montreal.

External linksEdit