SUFYAAN IBN ‘UYAINAH
He was Sufyaan ibn ‘Uyainah ibn Maymoon, Aboo Muhammad, al-Hilaalee, al-Koofee, the great scholar, the memorizer, the Shaikh of Islaam, the muhaddith of the Haram, wide in his knowledge, great in his standing, the mawlaa of Muhammad ibn Muzaahim, brother of ad-Dahhaak ibn Muzaahim.
He was born in the year 107AH(725 CE). And he died on 198 AH, at the age of 91.
He was from the third generation of Muslims, and began seeking knowledge as a boy hearing older Taabi’een (i.e., students of the Companions) and he conveyed a great deal of knowledge from them, he heard from seventy of the Taabi’een.
He heard from: ‘Amr ibn Deenar, az-Zuhree, Ziyaad ibn ‘Illaaqah, Aboo Ishaaq, al-Aswad ibn Qays, Zayd ibn Aslam, ‘Abdullaah ibn Deenaar, Mansoor ibn al-Mu’tamir, ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn al-Qaasim and a great number of people besides them.
Those who narrated from him: Al-A’mash, Ibn Juraij, Shu’bah, – and others from his shaikhs, Ibn al-Mubaarak, Ibn Mahdee, ash-Shaafi’ee, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Yahyaa ibn Ma’een, Ishaq ibn Raahawaih, Ahmad ibn Saalih, Ibn Numayr, Aboo Khaythamah, al-Fallaas, az-Za’faraanee, Yoonus ibn ‘Abdul-A’laa, Sa’d ibn Nasr, ‘Alee ibn Harb, Muhammad ibn ‘Eesaa ibn Hibbaan al-Madaa’inee, Zakariyyaa ibn Yahyaa al-Marwazee, Ahmad ibn Sinaan ar-Ramlee – and too many to count, since people used to make Hajj and their goal was to meet Ibn ‘Uyainah, so they would crowd around him in the days of Hajj.
“If it were not for Maalik and Sufyaan the knowledge in the Hijaz would have passed away.”
He also said,
“I found all the hadeeth of rulings with Maalik, except for thirty ahaadeeth, and I found all of them with Ibn ‘Uyainah except for six hadeeth.”
Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee also said,
“I have not seen anyone as readily equipped for knowledge as Sufyaan, and I have not seen anyone who withheld more than him from giving religious verdicts, and I have not seen anyone who better explained the ahaadeeth than him.”
Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal said,
“I did not see anyone who knew the Sunnah better than him.”
He also said,
“Sufyaan ibn ‘Uyainah entered upon Ma’an ibn Zaa’idah, the ameer of Yemen, and Sufyaan was not tainted with any anything from the affairs of the ruler, and admonished him.”
Ahmad ibn Ibraaheem ad-Dawraqee said, “Ahmad ibn Nasr said,
‘I used to ask Ibn ‘Uyainah and pester him, so he said, ‘Let me pause for breath.’ I said ‘How about the hadeeth of ‘Abdullaah from the Prophet(sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), “Indeed Allaah will carry the heavens upon a Finger…” [Reported by al-Bukhaaree] and the hadeeth, “Indeed the hearts of the servants are between two Fingers of the Fingers of ar-Rahmaan…” [Reported by Muslim] and the hadeeth, “Indeed Allaah is Amazed, or Laughs, because of one who mentions him in the markets.”‘ So Sufyaan said, ‘They are just as they are, we affirm them and narrate them without asking how’”
Ibraaheem ibn Sa’eed al-Jawharee said,
“I heard Sufyaan ibn ‘Uyainah say, ‘Eemaan is saying and action, it increases and decreases.’”
THe Imaams are agreed upon accepting Ibn ‘Uyainah as a proof due to his memory and trustworthiness. He died in Jumaadul-Aakhirah in the year 198H at the age of 91 (rahimahullah ta’aala).