Authority on Sahih of al-Bukhari and Hadith Teacher
Hijri 358-461 (AH); Common Era 969-1069 (CE)
Also known as Umm al-Karam, Karima bint Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Hatim al-Marwaziyya was raised in Mecca living near the Holy Sanctuary there until her death at the age of 100. She is affectionately known as “mother of the generous.” She was considered a superior authority in the teaching of the hadith. Karima learned the Sahih of al-Bukhari, one of the major Sunni hadith collections, from several source to become the best authority on it in her own times. Later, she taught and narrated the Sahih many times. Teachers of the hadith bear a great responsibility in Islam, because accuracy of transmission is so crucial. Abu Dharr of Herat, one of the leading scholars of the period, attached such great importance to her authority that he advised his students to study the Sahih under no one else because of the quality of her scholarship. Among those who narrated from her were al-Khatib al-Baghdadi and Abu al-Ghana’im al-Nursi. People came to her from everywhere and heard the whole Sahih from her. Her narration of it is documented to this day on the margins of the classic edition of the sahih that was commissioned by the Sultan ‘Abd al-Hamid. She thus figures as a central point in the transmission of this influential text of Islam.