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He is the Imaam and Shaykh of Islaam: Abu al-Hasan Alee bin Umar bin Ahmad bin Mahdee al-Baghdaadee al-Haafidh. His ascription comes from "ad-Dar al-Qutn", a large region in Baghdaad.
He was born in the year 306H and he sought knowledge from his youth in his own land and sat in the gatherings, despite being young in age. He visited Basrah, Koofah, Waasit and Shaam in pursuit of knowledge.
He heard from many great scholars, including Abul-Qasim al-Baghawee, Ibn Saa'id and Ahmad bin Ishaaq bin al-Bahlool. And from his most prominent students are al-Haakim, Abu Haamid al-Isfraa'eenee, Abdul-Ghaniyy bin Sa'eed al-Haafidh and others.
His works include, as mentioned by as-Zarkilee (al-A'laam 5/130):
And he also has "Kitaab as-Sifaat" and "Kitaab an-Nuzool" pertaining to the subject of Allaah's Attributes and the Nuzool (Descent).
Al-Khateeb said in "Taareekh Bagdhaad" (12/36):
He was the Imaam of his time, the knowledge of the athar (narrations) ended up with him, as did the knowledge of the hidden defects of the hadeeth, the names of the men (narrators) and the conditions of the reporters, alongside (his) truthfulness, trustworthiness, fiqh (understanding), integrity (adaalah), acceptance of his witness, soundness in creed, sound in his madhhab, and cognizance of sciences besides that of ilm al-hadeeth.
Al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee also said (12/36):
I heard al-Qaadee Abu at-Tayyib at-Tabari say: "Ad-Daraqutnee is the Ameer ul-Mu'mineen (chief of the believers) in Hadeeth, and never did I see a Haafidh visit Baghdad except that he went to him and gave salaam (salutations)", and thus his precedence in memorization and lofty rank in knowledge was acknowledged.
Al-Khateeb also said:
I heard Abdul-Ghaniyy bi Sa'eed al-Haafidh in Egypt saying: "The best of people in speech regarding the hadeeth of Allaah's Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) are three: Alee bin al-Madeenee in his time, Moosaa bin Haaroon in his time, and Alee bin Umar ad-Daraqutnee in his time."
Ad-Daraqutnee died in the year 385H.
Refer to Shaykh Alee Naasir al-Faqeehee's introduction to his tahqeeq of the book "Kitaab as-Sifaat", authored by ad-Daraqutnee (1st edition, 1983).
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