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There's a famous quote around al-Qadi 'Iyad القاضي عياض بن موسى, which is often mentioned:

لولا عياض لما عُرف المغرب or لولا عياض ما عرف المغرب

Which one may translate:

Where it not 'Iyad the Maghrib would be unknown

Or an other version of the quote saying:

لولا عياض ما ذُكر المغرب

Which one may translate:

Where it not 'Iyad the Maghrib wouldn't be mentioned

This quote(s) may refer to the deepth of knowledge of 'Iyad, one may think of such works as:

  • His well known a-Shifa الشفا بتعريف حقوق المصطفى about attributes and miricales of the Prophet (),
  • Mashqriq al-Anwar مشارق الأنوار على صحاح الآثار about difficult terms and strangnesses (gharib) or errors in the narrations of sahih al-Bukhari, sahih Muslim and al-Muwatta',
  • Ikmal al-Mu'allim إكمال المعلم بفوائد صحيح مسلم a commentary of sahih Muslim-,
  • al-I'laam bi hudood qawa'id al-Islam الإعلام بحدود قواعد الإسلام about the foundations of Islam: a-Shahadatan, as-Salat, as-Siyam, a-Zakat, al-Hajj,
  • tarteeb al-Madarik -his book on the Maliki madhhab and his scholars- ترتيب المدارك وتقريب المسالك لمعرفة أعلام مذهب مالك

But this could also refer to the fact that 'Iyad was among the first scholars from the western Islamic states that didn't need to travel to the east (al-Mashriq) to seek knowledge, as the Maghrib and al-Andalus had enough great scholars.

My question are:

  • Does this famous quote has a source?
  • Are there further explanations and meanings of this quote? And if so which?

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