Mujahid bin Jabr: ‘Shaykh of the Reciters & Those who Explained the Qur’an’

One of the notable scholars of the 2nd generation or tabi’in was Mujahid bin Jabr (RH).

Mujahid was born in 21 A.H. during the era of the government of ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab.  He was described by Adh-Dhahabi in Siyar A’lam An-Nubala as being black (aswad) and having been enslaved in Makkah.

Mujahid was a student of tafsir and hadith from many of the companions, primarily sitting at the feet of Abdullah bin Abbas (RA).  Two of the Qira’at, reading styles of the Qur’an, was narrated from Mujahid, those two readings being from Ibn Kathir (Makki reading) and Abu ‘Amr (Basri reading).  Sufyan Ath-Thawri (RH) stated according ibn Hajar in Tahdhib At-Tahdhib that when he looked for knowledge coming from the tabi’in that Mujahid was one of three that he preferred, the other two being ‘Ata, who was black and Tawus, who was Persian. Hence, Adh-Dhahabi described Mujahid as “Shaykh of the Reciters and Those who Explained the Qur’an.”

Books compiled from tafsir scholars are replete with the sayings and opinions of Mujahid.  Ibn Jarir At-Tabari, who compiled one of the most referred to books of tafsir, relied heavily upon the explanations of Mujahid.

Some scholars of fiqh also view mursal narrations from Mujahid that give speech of the Prophet (SAWS) as being authoritative for fiqh rulings.

There are conflicting narrations of the year of Mujahid’s death though it is generally believed that he died during the era of the government of the just khalifah ‘Umar bin Abdil ‘Aziz (RA).


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