The famous Imaam, Muslim bin al-Hajjaaj bin Muslim al-Qushairee. He was one of the great Imaams, high in stature. His Kunyah was Abul-Hussain and his title was Asaakir-ud-Deen. He was the well known Haafidh; the resident of Neesaboor.
He was born in 204H in Neesaboor which is a famous city of Khurasaan. Conflicting statements also suggest he may have been born in 202H or 206H.
His Search For Knowledge
He started seeking the knowledge of hadeeth from childhood and he started to learn hadeeth before 218H.
He travelled to A'raaq, Basrah, Hijaaz, Shaam and Egypt from where he heard ahaadeeth from numerous scholars of hadeeth. He visited A'raaq numerous times and also delivered circles there, he last visited the city in 259H.
His Teachers And Those Who He Narrated From
- Imaam Bukhaaree, who narrated from the great Imaams and preservers of hadeeth of his time.
- Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal
- Imaam ad-Daarimee
- al-Hasan bin Rabee'a al-Bajlee al-Qushairee
- Sa'eed bin Mansoor bin Shu'bah al-Khurasaanee
- Yahyaa bin Yahyaa Tameemee
- Ishaaq bin Rahawaihah
- Harmalah bin Yahyaa
- Amr an-Naaqid
- Abdullah bin Muslimah Qa'nabee
- Ibn al-Muthnaa
- Muhammad bin Minhaal at-Tameemee
- Ibn Yassaar
- Ahmad bin Abdullah bin Yoonus al-Yarboo'ee
- Ismaa'eel bin Abee Uwais al-Asbahee
- A'un bin Salaam.
- Muhammad bin Ishaaq as-Saghaanee.
And many more...
His Love For Imaam al-Bukhaaree
Ibn Sharqee said,
"I was in the gathering of Muhammad bin Yahyaa when he announced whoever hold the lafdhee bil-Qur'aan is creation should not come to our gatherings. So I saw Imaam Muslim get up and leave." 
Imaam Abu Bakr Khateeb al-Baghdaadee said,
"Imaam Muslim would support Imaam Bukhaaree and this is the reason why there was dispute between him and Imaam Dhahilee."
Imaam Ibn Katheer brings the same narration with the addition,
"When Imaam Muslim left the gathering he went home and collated all the ahaadeeth he heard from Dhahilee, and sent them back to him. After this Imaam Muslim did not narrate any narration from Dhahilee, neither in his Saheeh Muslim nor at any other instance."
Imaam Khateeb al-Baghdaadee said,
"Imaam Muslim followed the way of Imaam Bukhaaree, he concentrated on his (i.e. Imaam Bukhaaree's) knowledge and followed him footstep by footstep. Imaam Bukhaaree during the last part of his life came to Neesaboor and Imaam Muslim accompanied him and he always accompanied and followed him."
Imaam Khateeb al-Baghdaadee also said he heard Abu Haamid Ahmad bin Hamdaan say when Imaam Muslim went to Imaam al-Bukhaaree,
"He came and kissed his forehead and then said, "O teacher of the teachers, the leader of the scholars of hadeeth, the doctor of the defects of hadeeth, give me permission to kiss your feet."
Imaam Abul-Hasan ad-Daarqutnee said,
"If there was no Imaam Bukhaaree then people would not have come to Imaam Muslim for hadeeth."
His Students And Those Who Narrated From Him
- Imaam Tirmidhee narrated one hadeeth from in his al-Jaami.
- Ibraaheem bin Abee Taalib
- Abu Bakr Ibn Khuzaimah
- Saaleh bin Muhammad
- Ahmad bin Salamah
- Moosaa bin Haroon
- Ibn Saa'ad
- Abu Awaanah
- Abu Khaalid bin ash-Sharqee
- Abu Haamid Ahmad bin Hamdaan A'mashee
- Abu Haamid ash-Sharqee Ahmad bin Muhammad bin al-Hasan.
- Ibraaheem bin Muhammad bin Sufyaan Faqeehah
- Makee bin Abdaan
- Abdur-Rahmaan bin Abee Haatim
- Muhammad bin Mukhlid E'taar
And many more...
- His great work is his Saheeh which he compiled with great care and precision due to which it was graded a high rank amongst the people of knowledge. After Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, Saheeh Muslim has the next rank although some people of knowledge have differed as to which book is the greater of the two.
A scholar has mentioned the following in a couplet,"Some people disputed which book has precedence, Bukhaaree or Muslim,
And it is Bukhaaree in authenticity and Muslim in categorisation."
Imaam Haakim said the following books were authored by Imaam Muslim,
- Al-Musnad al-Kabeer Alar-Rijaal. Imaam adh-Dhahabee said,"I think no one heard this book from him."
- Kitaab al-Jaami Alal al-Abwaab. Imaam adh-Dhahabee said,"I have seen some parts of this."
- Kitaab al-Asmaa al-Kunaa. This has been printed from Jaami al-Islaamiyyah Madeenah with checking.
- Kitaab at-Tameez. This has been printed with the checking of Dr. Muhammad Mustafa al-A'dhamee.
- Kitaab al-Illal.
- Kitaab al-Waahidaan.
- Kitaab al-Afraad.
- Kitaab al-Qur'aan.
- Kitaab Suwalaat Ahmad bin Hanbal.
- Kitaab Hadeeth Amr bin Shu'ayb.
- Kitaab al-Intiqaa Baahib as-Saba'a.
- Kitaab MaShaykh Maalik.
- Kitaab MaShaykh ath-Thawree.
- Kitaab MaShaykh Shu'bah.
- Kitaab Min Laisa La Ilaa Ruwaah Waahid.
- Kitaab al-Mukhdharmeen.
- Kitaab Awlaad as-Sahaabah.
- Kitaab Awham al-Muhadditheen.
- Kitaab at-Tabaqaat.
- Kitaab Afraad ash-Shaamiyeen.
Other than this many manuscripts of his other books are spread around the world.
The Scholars Praise For Imaam Muslim
Haafidh Ibn Hajr said,
"Trustworthy, Preserver, Imaam the author, Scholar of jurisprudence."
Imaam Ishaaq Kausaj said to Imaam Muslim,
"Up until Allaah keeps you alive for the Muslims we will not be deprived of good."
Ahmad bin Salamah said,
"I saw Imaam Abu Zur'ah and Imaam Abu Haatim, they would give Imaam Muslim precedence over the Scholars of their time to know the authenticity of ahaadeeth."
Hussain bin Mansoor said,
"I heard Ishaaq ibn Rahawaihah mention Imaam Muslim and say in Persian, "What a great expert this man is."
Ibn Abee Haatim said,
"He is was trustworthy, preserver of hadeeth from the preservers of hadeeth, I wrote ahaadeeth from him in Rai and my father said 'he is truthful'"
Abu Quraish Haafidh said,
"There are four preservers of hadeeth in the world, and he mentioned Imaam Muslim to be one of them." and Muhammad bin Bishaar said, "There are four preservers in the world, Abu Zur'ah in Rai, Muslim in Neesaboor, Abdullah ad-Daarimee in Samarqand and Muhammad ibn Ismaa'eel in Bukhaara."
Abu Amr bin Hamdaan said,
"I asked Ibn Aqdah, "Who preserved hadeeth more, Imaam Bukhaaree or Imaam Muslim?" He replied, "Muhammad is a scholar and Muslim is a scholar." So I repeated this question several times, so he said, "Imaam Muhammad Bukhaaree would make mistake in the Shaamee narrators and the reason for this is that he purchased their books and read them. So in some places he hementions them by their kunyahs and sometimes he mentions them by their names and in this way he would consider them to be two two people. However Imaam Muslim would not make this mistake in Illal because he wrote musnad narrations and not discontinuous or mursal narrations."
Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ya'qoob al-Akhram said,
"It may only be possible that there is evidence for the existence of a hadeeth and it was not known to Imaam Bukhaaree and Imaam Muslim."
Abu Abdullah bin Mandah said,
"There are four who extracted the authentic from the faulty and the errors from the correct ones (i.e. Ahaadeeth):- al-Bukhaaree, Muslim and after them Abu Daawood and an-Nasaa'ee."
The Status Of Saheeh Muslim
Muhammad bin Maasarjasee said,
"I heard the Imaam say, "I authored this saheeh of mine from the 300,000 ahaadeeth I heard."
Ahmad bin Salamah said,
"I cooperated 15 years with Imaam Muslim in authoring this Saheeh and it was based upon 12,000 ahaadeeth."
The total number of hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim is about 12,000 and 4,000 without repetition. According to the numbering of Shaykh Muhammad Fuwaad Abdul-Baaqee there are 3,031.
Haafidh Abu Alee Neeshapooree said,
"There is no book more authentic than the book of Imaam Muslim beneath this sky."
Imaam adh-Dhahabee (rebuked this sarcastically) and said,
"I say maybe Abu Alee has not had the opportunity to have a look at Saheeh al-Bukhaaree."
Ibn Sharqee said,
"I heard Imaam Muslim say, "The ahaadeeth I have mentioned in my book (Jaami as-Saheeh) or the ahaadeeth that I left out of it; then I did so based upon evidence."
Explanations Of Saheeh Muslim
- al-Minhaaj Fee Sharh Saheeh Muslin bin Hajjaaj by Imaam Abu Zakariyyah Yahyaa bin Sharf Nawawee.
The author of this book himself said,"If the people had the capacity I would have completed this explanation in 100 volumes but I finished it in 3."
In the beginning of his explanation there is an introduction which is most beneficial for the students of hadeeth.
- al-Kamaal al-Mu'allim Fee Sharh Muslim by Allaamah Qadhee A'yyaadh.
- al-Mufham Limaa Ashkal Min Talkhees Kitaab Muslim by Abul Abbaas Ahmad bin Umar bin Abee Ibraaheem al-Qurtubee. The Shaykh firstly summarised Saheeh Muslim and then explained it.
- Sharh Saheeh Muslim by Ibn al-Jawzee.
- Sharh Saheeh Muslim by Qadhee Zain-ud-Deen Zakariyyah bin Muhammad al-Ansaari.
- ad-Deebaaj Ala Saheeh Muslim bin al-Hajjaaj by Allaamah Jalaal-ud-Deen as-Suyootee.
This is an excellent explanation. The initial chapters explains the conditions of Saheeh Muslim, his terminology and clarifications on the names and kunyahs of narrators. Also explanation of difficult words, removal of contradictions, the mentioning of the conflicting narrations as well as deductions from the ahaadeeth.
- Sharh Saheeh Muslim by Imaam Abul-Qaasim Ismaa'eel bin Muhammad al-Asbahaanee.
- Minhaaj al-Ibtihaaj by Shihaab-ud-Deen Ahmad bin Muhammad Khateeb al-Qastalaanee.
- Mukhtasar Zawaa'id Muslim Alal Bukhaaree by Siraaj-ud-Deen Umar bin Alee ibn al-Mulqin.
- Mukhtasar Saheeh Muslim by Imaam Haafidh Zakee-ud-Deen Abdul-A'dheem Mundhiree.
- Sharh Mukhtasar Saheeh Muslim by Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Asnawee. This is an explanation of Imaam Mundhiree's summarised version of Saheeh Muslim.
- Asmaa ar-Rijaal Saheeh Muslim by Abu Bakr Ahmad bin Alee al-Asbahaanee.
- as-Siraaj al-Wahhaaj Fee Sharh Mukhtasar al-Muslim bin al-Hajjaaj by Allaamah Nawaab Siddeeque Hasan Khaan. This is an explanation of Mundhiree's summary.
- an-Najm al-Wahhaaj Sharh Muqaddimah as-Saheeh Muslim bin al-Hajjaaj by Allaamah Abu Tayyib Shams ul-Haqq A'dheemabaadee wa Deeyanwee.
- al-Bahr al-Mawaaj Sharh Muqaddimah as-Saheeh Muslim bin al-Hajjaaj by Shaykh al-Allaamah Haafidh Abdullah Ghaazeepooree.
The Strange Circumstances Behind His Death
Imaam Khateeb al-Baghdaadee mentions,
"In a gathering of hadeeth someone asked him a question concerning a hadeeth but he was unable to answer it at the time. So in order to research it he went home and instructed his household not to bother him. He lighted a candle and nearby was a basket full of dates that had been given to him as a gift. So whilst looking for this hadeeth amongst his papers he continued to eat the dates one by one. This continued throughout the night to the next morning and the basket of the dates finished but he did not even realise how much he had consumed. There was immense pressure in his stomach due to the weight of the dates that severely damaged his stomach. He eventually became ill, which lead to his death."
Imaam Haakim also mentioned this.
He died in the evening of the 25th of Rajab in 261H and four days were remaining before the completion of the month of Rajab. He was buried in the area of Neesaboor in the city Naseerabaad on Monday. He was 55 years old.
 Sources for this biography are:
- Subl as-Salaam Sharh Buloogh al-Maraam (1/86-87)
- Tadhkirratul-Huffaadh (no.613)
- ad-Deebaaj Ala Saheeh Muslim bin al-Hajjaaj (1/4-9) of Imaam Suyootee.
- Seeratal-Bukhaaree (pgs-347-356)
- Sunan ad-Daarimee (1/6)
- Tabaqaat al-Huffaadh (no.591 pg.264-265)
- Taqreeb at-Tahdheeb (no.6623 pg.462)
- Bidaayah Wan-Nihaayah (11/33)
- Tuhfa Ahlun-Nazar Fee Mastalah Ahlul-Khabar (pgs. 298-300)
- Usool al-Hadeeth Uloomuhu Wa Mastalahu (pgs.206-207).
- The Service To Ahaadeeth By The Ahlul-Hadeeth Scholars of Paakistaan and Hindh, by Allaamah Irshaad ul-Haqq al-Atharee.
 Imaam Bukhaaree wrote a whole book in refutation of the claims upon him with regard to this issue, which the mutassub Hanafee's were spreading, and he called it Khalq A'faal al-E'baad (The Actions of the Creation are Created).