IBN MAJA (824–887)
Ibn Majah, Abu _Abdallah Muhammad b. Yazid, was from Qazwin in Persia and lived from circa 824 until 887 C.E. He is the compiler of the last of the “Six Books” of authoritative (sahih) Sunni hadith collections. Ibn Maja’s Kitab al- Sunan contains 4,341 reports that he collected during Ibn Majah’s peregrinations through the Hejaz, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt, conducted in search of hadiths. About three thousand of these hadiths are contained in the other five standard collections.
Initially Ibn Majah’s collection was criticized for containing a number of weak (sc. defective) (da_if) and discredited reports, which prevented it from being accepted by the large majority of scholars as a reliable compilation. Although Abu Da_ud and al Tirmidhi, editors of two other authoritative hadith compilations, also recorded weak hadiths, they identified them as such, whereas Ibn Maja did not. For these reasons, some of the traditionists preferred the Sunan work of al-Darimi (d. 869), another well-known hadith scholar, over that of Ibn Maja. However, by about the early twelfth century C.E., Ibn Majah’s standing as a traditionist (muhaddith) had improved considerably and his Sunan ultimately became recognized as one of the Six Books, although it is still regarded as the weakest one.