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The Life and works of Imam Jabir bin Zayd

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His Death

The biographers who wrote Jabir's biography gave five different dates for his death. According to those who report that Jabir died on the same week as Anas b. Malik the Companion, there are two dates; the first is 91/709,as reported by Ibn Hibban,98 the second is 93/711. This date is given by al-Rabi' b. Habib, Bukhari, Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Fallas, al-Najjar, Abu Nu'aim, al- Salimi and Ibn Hiyyan. All these are Traditionalists, who must be more accurate in giving nearly the exact date of the death of the Muhaddith (Traditionalist), for it is of great value to them, regarding the correctness of the isnad (Chain of authorities reporting a Tradition).

The Historians such as Ibn Sallam, Ibn Sa'd, Waqidi, al-Mas'udi, al-'Asma'i and Ibn Midad gave the date 103/721,100 while Shammakhi alone gave the date 96/714; Ibn Hajar quoted from Ibn 'Adiy that Jabir died in the year 104/722.

The following facts must be considered in order to try to establish the exact date of Jabir's death:

a) Most of the sources reported that on the night of his death, Jabir wised to see al Hasan al-Basri, who was at that time in hiding from al-Hajjaj. According to this information Jabir's death must have occurred before the death of al-Hajjaj in 95/713.

b) Most of the sources reported that Jabir died before the death of the Companion Anas b. Malik who said, on hearing of Jabir's death, "Today died the most learned man of the people of earth" Dates given for the death of Anas are 91 and 93. Although the precise date cannot be arrived at in a case such as this, the year 93, given by the Traditionalists and confirmed by the Ibadhi authorities, is to be considered fairly close to the truth.

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