(Qaadhi Bakkaar bin Qutaibah [rahimahullah] – Part Two)

The ruler of Egypt, in the time of Qaadhi Bakkaar (rahimahullah), was a man named Ahmad bin Tooloon. He would show great honour and respect to Qaadhi Bakkaar (rahimahullah), to the extent that he would often personally attend the hadeeth lesson of Qaadhi Bakkaar (rahimahullah). Furthermore, he would give Qaadhi Bakkaar (rahimahullah) one thousand dinaars (gold coins) as a gift every year.

Many years later Ahmad bin Tooloon and Qaadhi Bakkaar (rahimahullah) had a disagreement over a certain political issue. Ahmad bin Tooloon tried to pressurise him to change his view, but Qaadhi Bakkaar (rahimahullah) remained steadfast on his position as he felt it to be the haqq (truth). Ahmad bin Tooloon was angered by his staunch refusal and said to him, “The people have given you delusions regarding your position, by saying that there is no one in the world equal to Bakkaar, whereas you are senile and confused.” (Taareekhul Khulafaa pg. 365)

In order to compel Qaadhi Bakkaar (rahimahullah) to obey him, Ahmad bin Tooloon commanded him to repay all the money that he had given him as a gift over the years. Ahmad bin Tooloon was confident that Qaadhi Bakkaar (rahimahullah) had spent the money and would be unable to repay it, (hence he would have him at his mercy and force him to submit). However, Qaadhi Bakkaar (rahimahullah) presented the money – totalling eighteen bags which contained one thousand dinaars each – and every bag was still sealed and intact.

Ahmad bin Tooloon also arrested Qaadhi Bakkaar (rahimahullah) and had him imprisoned. As a result, the students of hadeeth complained to Ahmad bin Tooloon that on account of him imprisoning Qaadhi Bakkaar (rahimahullah), they could no longer benefit and learn hadeeth from him. Hence, Ahmad bin Tooloon allowed Qaadhi Bakkaar (rahimahullah) to narrate hadeeth to the students from one of the windows of the house in which he was imprisoned. Hence, even while imprisoned, he continued to engage in the service of the blessed hadeeth of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).

It is mentioned that every week, when the day of Jumu‘ah arrived, Qaadhi Bakkaar (rahimahullah) would prepare for Jumu‘ah. He would take a bath, apply ‘itr (perfume) and wear his best clothing. Thereafter, he would walk to the door of the house. At the door, the guards would stop him from leaving, at which point he would say, “O Allah! Bear witness (that I did what was in my ability to attend the Jumu‘ah in the masjid)!”

When Qaadhi Bakkaar (rahimahullah) passed away, so many people attended his janaazah that the crowd was even larger than the crowd that would be present for the ‘Eid Salaah.

(Wafayaatul Aa’yaan vol. 1, pg. 279, Mir-aatuz Zamaan vol. 16, pg. 84 and Siyaru Aa’laamin Nubalaa vol. 12, pg. 603)


1. Qaadhi Bakkaar (rahimahullah) remained steadfastupon the haqq, despite the many difficulties that he was subjected to. This indicates to the high level of imaan that he possessed, for it is only firm imaan that can give a person such courage in the face of fitnahs (trials and challenges).

2. In Arabic, it is said that a person is enslaved to the one who has done a favour for him. In other words, accepting favours from people results in one being indebted to them, after which one no longer possesses his independence. Rather, he is expected to oblige his benefactor, and even bend or break the rules in order to repay him. Qaadhi Bakkaar (rahimahullah) feared that such a day would come, when the ruler would ask him to compromise his Deen. Hence, he accepted the gifts, as refusing them would incur the anger of the ruler. However, he did not use the gifts and kept them intact, in anticipation of a day that came eighteen years later. Therefore, we should be careful of whom we accept favours from, as the day may arrive when we will be expected to compromise on our Deen to repay these favours.

3. Even while in prison, Qaadhi Bakkaar (rahimahullah) did not allow his time to be wasted. Rather, he remained engaged in the service of Deen. Therefore, despite the adverse circumstances and challenges we may face, we should continue to strive and try our best to please Allah Ta‘ala and engage in righteous works.

4. Such is the great importance of Jumu‘ah, and such was the love of Jumu‘ah in the heart of Qaadhi Bakkaar (rahimahullah), that every Friday, he would do his best to honour the occasion of Jumu‘ah to the best of his ability. Though he could not go to the masjid to attend the Jumu‘ah, he could at least make the preparations of Jumu‘ah, thereby showing his loyalty and love to Allah Ta‘ala. On the contrary, when a person does not love the masjid and does not show importance to it, then though there may be no obstacles and he can easily go for salaah, he will not do so.