Shama-il Tirmidhi - Background

Imam Tirmidhi's Jami' is an important collection of Hadith. A few statements of eminent scholars of Hadith regarding the worth of his collection are mentioned. Imam Tirmidhi said that he compiled this book and presented it to the learned of Hijaz, Iraq and Khurasan, and they were pleased with it, and whosoever has this book in his home, it is as though he has the Prophet (S.A.W.) speaking to him there. 'Abd Allah b. Muhammad al-Ansari (d.481 A.H.), the Shaikh-al-Islam (teacher) of Herat, is reported to have said that, in his opinion Tirmidhi's Jami' is more beneficial than Bukhari and Muslim's collections, since their compilations are for the scholars, whereas Imam Tirmidhi's Jami' is for both the scholars and the laity.

Imam Tirmidhi began the study of Hadith at the age of twenty, and from the year 235 A.H. he traveled widely, in pursuit of learning Hadith, to Hijaz, Kufa and Basra. Tirmidhi heard Hadith from the following most eminent traditionists, Imam Qutaiba b. Sa'id, Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim and Imam Abu Dawud.