MUSLIMCREED In history, there are many stories that have been used as inspiration or motivation for our lives, this is very much needed because it can make our lives better and be grateful. One of the stories that makes us more grateful and less complaining is the inspirational story of a disciple of Imam Ahmad.
The man came all the way from Andalusia to Baghdad with difficulty on foot to study hadith from Ahmad bin Hambal. Arriving at the destination country, he always disguised himself as a beggar every time he wanted to study with the teacher he was looking for. He was worried that if his identity was exposed, his teacher’s life would be in danger. What’s the full story?
Having the full name of Abu Abdurrahman Baqi bin Makhlad al-Qurtubi, this Andalusian-born cleric is said to have a strong learning ethic. His poor economic condition did not dampen his determination to travel from one country to another in order to gain knowledge from a number of scholars. Among the countries he has visited are Andalusia, Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, Libya, Egypt, Palestine and Jordan.
One of the stories of Baqi’s odyssey in studying was told by Syamsuddin adz-Dzahabi when this multidisciplinary scholar wanted to study hadith from Imam Ahmad bin Hambal.
It is said that once Baqi traveled far from Mecca to Baghdad, his main goal was to study. When he arrived at the destination country, he planned to study hadith with Imam Ahmad bin Hambal. As soon as he arrived at his destination, he heard the bad news that the cleric who wanted to be his teacher was being banned, prohibited from holding teaching and learning activities with his students as usual.
The news did not dampen Baqi to continue his intention to study with the scholars he highly respected. Arriving in Baghdad, he rented a place to stay. When he went to the mosque, he saw a cleric halaqah who seemed to be teaching his students. The teacher turned out to be Yahya bin Ma’in, a fellow teacher of Ahmad bin Hambal.
The next day, Baqi came to Imam Ahmad’s house holding a stick and covering his head with a dirty cloth. He also said like a beggar. “May Allah reward you with kindness, may Allah have mercy on you, the person who asks is near your house.”
Then Imam Ahmad met him and conveyed two to three hadiths. This goes on for quite a long time. Until finally Imam Ahmad was allowed to return to open teaching. Because he already knew Baqi’s patience in studying, he placed him in a special place in his assembly. He also often tells the story of this Andalusian man’s example of sincerity to his students at his study.
It is known, Imam Ahmad bin Hambal has the nickname of the Leader of Ahlusunnah wal Jama’ah. This honorific call was not assigned to the three other madhhab imams, Imam Hanafi, Malik, and Shafi’i, even though Ahmad bin Hambal was born the last after them. The reason is that Ahmad bin Hambal is considered a reliable Ahlusunnah wal Jama’ah fighter scholar. He had experienced severe trials to fight for it. Muhammad Ismail al-Muqaddam asserted: