Great People of Termez

Hakim-at-Termizi. His full name is Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ali bin Hasan bin Bashir (in some sources it is Bishr) al-Hakim at Termizi. Information about his life and scientific and creative activities can be found in the works by Taj ad-Din Subki( tabakat ash-Shafii'yya al-kubro), Hatiba Baghdad (Tarih Baghdad), Ibn Hajara Askalani (Lisan al-Miyzan), Sulami (Tabakat as-Sufiyya) and in a number of other treatises Hakim at-Termizi speaks about his life in his book "Bad'u Shaani Abu Abdullah" ("The Beginning of Abu Abdullah's Pursuit"), published in Beirut in 1965 by Yakh'ya Ismail Usman together with the work of the scientist "Hatm al-Avliya"("Seal of the Saints").

Different dates are used in written sources and present literature to indicate Hakim at-Termizi's date of birth and death. Some authors, Khwaja Khalif in particular, in his "Kashf as-Zunun" the year 255 in Khijra / 869 AD was called Hakim at-Termizi's date of death. The same date was written on Hakim at-Termizi's tomb. If we proceed from the fact that Hakim at-Termizi lived more than one hundred years, some sources say 112, 116 or 120 years, he was born approximately between 750 - 760. At the same time Abdulfattah Abdullah Baraka who wrote his great Hakim at-Termizi and nazariyyatukhu fil "Al-Hakim at-Termizi and his- Theory thirty years ago, said that al-Hakim Termizi, was born in 205 in Khijri / 820 and die in 320 in Khijri / 932 and he lived 112 years. Detailed information about Hakim at-Termizi's childhood and youth is not available in the sources. According to his "autobiography" he started learning religious sciences hard when he was eight and he made a Khaj to Mecca when he was twenty-eight. Returning from Mecca Hakim at-Termizi became sufi follower; he withdrew from people and learned treatis.

His father Ali bin Hasan was a leading scholar, a khadith specialist, looking for knowledge he went to Baghdad, took an active part in scientific discusions with prominent scholars of the time on various problems of khadith. His mother and uncle were considered to be experts of Khadith. Consequently Hakim at -Termizi grew in the circle of educated and scientific people, which influenced greatly on his ideology.

Some written sources contain reliable information about Hakim at-Termizi's teachers. His teacher was his father Ali bin al-Hasan at-Termezi "History of Baghdad" by Khatib al-Bagdhadi contains some information. Among his other teachers were Kutaiba bin Sayid as-Sakafi al- Balkhi (798-888), Salih bin Abdullah at-Termizi of much interesting facts had been written in the book "Books about Famous People" by Ibn Khibbana; Salih bin Muhammad at-Termizi who was former kazi of Termez for some time, Sufyan bin Vaki (died in 860), Hasan bin Umar bin Shafiq al- Balkhi (died in 840), Ahmad bin Khadravayh (died in 854), Abu Turab an-Nakhshabi, and Yakhiya bin Maaz ar-Razi (died in 875).

Based on data given in the written sources characterise al-Hakim at-Termizi's life and his long life can be divided into the following periods:

The first period includes al- Hakim at-Termizi's childhood up to seven. Unfortunately we do not have exact information about this part of his life. But nevertheless, one can say that unlike the children of his age he displayed ability at this age to various games, as if he prepared himself to the future scientific life, he worked hard with his teachers, obtained knowledge on various sciences (particulary on theology) and got ready to mystic spiritual life.

The second period embraces Hakim at-Termizi's life from eight to twenty eight, when he knowledge from different teachers (shaihs). for knowledge he visited other oriental cities, was in Mecca and made a pilgrimage. Some sources pointed to the fact that he paid much attention to learning khadith and problems of fikh in the period of his life.

The third period of his life is related to learning the Qur'an thoroughly. He was assimilated by deepGod's words, their essence, fasting, praying and pious deeds and so on. The philosophic mystic work by al-Antahi "Healing of Hearts" had a great influence on him.Hakim at-Termizi had a lot of students, we shall mention some of them: Abu Muhammad Yakhiya bin Mansur al-Kadi (died in 960), Abu Ali Mansur bin Abdullah bin Halid al-Zuhli al Hiravi; Abu Ali al- Hasan bin Ali al-Jurjani. Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Isa, Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Umar al-Hakim al-Varrak, Muhammad bin Jafar bin Muhammad bin al-Haisam bin Umran bin Buraida and others.

Al- Hakim at-Termizi's scientific and creative activity is closely connected with his travels to other countries and cities. He visited Balkh, Nishapur, and Baghdad, where science and culture reached its zenith and he met famous scholars and took part in discussions. Nevertheless Termez, his native city played an important role in his scientific and creative activity and there lie created his basic works. His sermons and as well as his some works, first of all "Hatam al-Avliya" (Seal of Saints), "Hal ash-Shari'a" (Arguments of the Shariat) in which we discussed about Moslim rituals, about "love for God" and about various categories of mystics, about "the seals of Saints", along with existing "seals of prophets", dissatisfied some parts of the falikh and rich. Escaping his enemies' chase al- Hakim at- Termizi had to move to Balkh and then to Nishapur where he was very well accepted and where he obtained a large number of followers later.

Works of Hakim at Termezi

Different figures on the number of Hakim at-Termezi’s works are mentioned in the written sources. Some authors say that the number of his work reach four hundred. But the majority of authors tend to think that about eighty; works belong to him. As a famous Egyptian scholar Abdelfattah Abdulla Baraka writes that out of four hundred works by Hakim at-Termizi only about sixty had reached us. Though many works were lost the most important ones that contain the great scholar's basic teachings, which comprise his scientific and spiritual legacy reached us (2). The first work that must be mentioned is "Navodir al-Usul fi Ma'rifat Akhbor ar-Rasul (Unique Principles of Learning about Rasulallah - the Messenger of God)". It consists of 291 Khadith and that to some extent it reflects the author's points of view, his outlook, his understand ing the world. One copy of "Navodir al-Usul" is kept in Tashkent, in the library of Moslim Board of Uzbekistan. Other works of the scholar are: Khaqiyqat al-Odamiyya" ("Book about the Nature of a Man"), "Adab an-Nafs" ("Bringing up the Soul").

The majority of the works of Hakim at- Termizi reached us in the form of manuscripts and they are kept in different manuscript funds of the world. Conditionally they may be divided into five groups: manuscripts that are kept in Paris, Cairo, Damascus, Alexandriya, Istanbul and London.

The following works by al- Hakim at-Termizi are kept in the National Library of Paris (under ISBN 5018 in the Arab department):

1. Kitab as-Salot va makasidiho (A Book about Prayer and its Aims)
2. Kitab al-Khaj va asrorihi (A Book about Pilgrimage and its Secrets)
3. Kitab al-Ihtiyatot (A Book about Precautions)
4. Kitab al-Jumal al-lazim ma'rifitiho (A Book about Sentences that Should be Known