The historian, hadith compiler and orator, Khateeb al-Baghdadi
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 24th of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani in 392 AH, the historian, hadith compiler and orator, Ahmad bin Ali bin Sabet, popularly known as Khateeb al-Baghdadi, was born near Baghdad. He was the son of a preacher of Darzidjan and began studying at an early age with his father and other shaikhs. Over time he studied other sciences but his primary interest was hadith.
At the age of 20 his father died and he went to Basra to collect hadith. He then travelled east to Iran and made two trips to Nishapur in Khorasan, collecting in his journey more hadith in Rayy and Isfahan. Back in Baghdad, he acquired fame as a preacher and orator, and it is said that teachers and preachers of hadith would usually submit to Khateeb al-Baghdadi what they had collected, before they used them in their lectures or sermons.
Originally a follower of the Hanbali School of jurisprudence, he switched his views to the Shafe'i school of theological objections – a change that made Hanbalis his bitter enemies and heap accusations against him. This sectarian hostility forced him to leave Baghdad for Syria and settle in Damascus, where he preached for 8 years, and before returning to Baghdad, spent another year in Tyre, Lebanon. Khateeb al-Baghdadi was a prolific writer and has authored several books, the most famous of which is the voluminous history titled "Tarikh al-Baghdad".
He has quoted many of the hadith on the merits of the Prophet's Ahl al-Bayt, especially Imam Ali and Hazrat Fatema Zahra (peace upon them). He died in Baghdad at the age of 73 years.