Print this pagePrint this page

The Four Great Imaams

And whomsoever Allah wishes good for, He gives him understanding of Deen…

al-Aimmah al-Arba'ah

The Four Great Imaams
A Brief History

Nadeem Abdul Hamid

With the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. We praise Allah, the Exalted and Great, and we send blessings upon His noble Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).


The four schools of Islamic law, accepted unanimously by the Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah, are the results of an immeasurable amount of work of four great scholars and their numerous students. The four Imaams, Imaam Abu Haneefah (may Allah have mercy on him), Imaam Shaafi’i (may Allah have mercy on him), Imaam Maalik (may Allah have mercy on him) and Imaam Hanbal (may Allah have mercy on him) are stars in the history of Islam. Their lifelong dedication to the deen has provided the Muslims after them with a reliable foundation of beliefs and practices based on the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and his companions (may Allah be pleased with him). The result of the work of each of these scholars and their students is a unified system of human life unparalleled to any other. The necessity of adhering to one of the four madhaahib (schools of thought) is the topic of many other essays. In this small book, our goal is only to present, by the grace of Allah, sketches of the lives and character of these four great Muslims in order to increase our belief and practice upon that which was brought by Rasoolullah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).


We ask Allah that He keeps us guided upon the Straight Path- the path of Islam- the path of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) which was illuminated by these four scholars and preserved and propagated by their students and all the ‘ulamaa-ul-haqq up till today.




  • “The Four Great Imaams” Compiled by students of Jameatul Imam Muhammad Zakaria, UK. Publication No. 4. []. 
  • Biographical Notes of The Reliance of the Traveler. Nuh Ha Mim Keller. (Amana Publications, Maryland)
  • Dars-e-Tirmidhi. (Urdu) Maulana Muhammad Taqi ‘Uthmaani. (Maktaba Darul-‘Uloom, Karachi)
  • Introduction of Sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar. (Beirut 1997)
  • Ihyaa ‘Uloom ad-Deen. Imaam Ghazaali. Vol. 1


The reader is kindly requested to please forward any corrections or suggestions for improvement to the publisher.

 Published June - August 2007