(Tabqat ul Kubra)
Muhammad Ibn Saad
Muhammad Ibn Saad
His name was Muhammad Ibn Sa’ad ibn Mani Az Zuhree and his kunya was Aboo Abdullah, more popularly known as Ibn Sa’ad. He was the mawala of Banu Hashim. He is one of the greatest authorities on Islamic history and Muslim biography. Ibn Sa’d is said to have been born in 148 AH in the city of Basra which is now in present day Iraq, and he died in 230 AH. He moved to Baghdad to further his Islamic knowledge and he resided there for the majority of his life. Among the scholars that he benefited from immensely was Muhammad ibn ‘Umar Al Waqidee (d. 211 AH). He is one of his strongest pupils and is also known popularly as the scribe or secretary of Al Waqidee. He also visited Kufa and Madeenah in his quest for knowledge and many authorities have testified to his reliability and scholarship in the field of history and biography.
The most popular of his works is the huge collection of biographies of noteworthy men and women from the time of the Prophet Muhammad (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) to his time known as Kitaab at Tabaqaat al Kabeer (The Great Book of Generations). It is one of the most important and earliest surviving biographical collections of narrations, and has been used by Islamic scholars as a reference to present day. The work contains over 4000 biographies noteworthy Muslims, of which 600 are women. The first 2 volumes are about the seerah of the Prophet Muhammad (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam), which is considered by some the third most authoritative after the Seerat un Nabawi of Ibn Hisham (d. 213 AH or 218 AH) and Maghaazi Rasoolillah of al Waqidee (d. 21 AH). Volumes 3 and 4 contain biographic information on the companions of the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam), and that of later Islamic personalities.