al-Sawād al-A’dham: ‘Atā


The jurist and mufṭī of Makkah,
cAtā Ibn Abī Rabāḥ. He was a student of Ibn cAbbās, may Allāh be pleased with him, and other prominent Companions like Abū Hurairah, Ibn cUmar, cĀisha, etc. After the death of Ibn cAbbās, cAtā inherited his seat in the Masjid al-Ḥaram and, by decree of the Khalīfah, was the only one allowed to give faṭwā if he was in the Masjid. He was well versed in the rituals of Ḥājj. Nucmān ibn Thābiṭ, the Persian better known as Imām Abū Ḥanīfah, was one of his students.

The Companion, Ibn cUmar, may Allāh be pleased with him, once came to Makkah and the people began to ask him questions. Ibn cUmar, may Allāh be pleased with him, remarked, “You are bringing masā’il [i.e. religious issues] to me while cAtā Ibn Abī Rabāḥ is amongst you?!” Bearing this statement in mind, it is little wonder that the Khalīfah, Sulaimān ibn cAbd al-Malik, came to cAtā to ask him about the rituals of Ḥājj.

Abd al-Raẓẓāq said that he had never seen a scholar who performed ṣalāh better than Ibn Juraij. He then went on to explain that the reason for this was that Ibn Juraij had learned his ṣalāh from cAtā who in turn had learned it from Ibn Ẓubair, and Ibn Ẓubair had learned his ṣalāh from Abu Bakr who learned it from the Prophet ﷺ.

Ibn Juraij stayed with cAtā for eighteen years. He mentioned that after cAtā had become old and weak he would recite two hundred āyah from sūrah Baqarah while standing motionless in ṣalāh. Furthermore, cAtā is reported to have performed seventy Ḥājj.

cAtā once admonished Hishām ibn cAbd Al-Malik, saying, “O Leader of the Faithful, fear Allāh, because you were created alone, you will die alone, you will  be resurrected alone, and your reckoning will be done alone. By Allāh, none of those whom we see will be with you.”