In a few narrations in Imam Malik's muwatta, a sanad from Malik to Abu Hurayra, through Abu Zinad and al-Araj, is present. An example is hadith 66 in book 2:

وَحَدَّثَنِي عَنْ مَالِكٍ، عَنْ أَبِي الزِّنَادِ، عَنِ الأَعْرَجِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ إِذَا شَرِبَ الْكَلْبُ فِي إِنَاءِ أَحَدِكُمْ فَلْيَغْسِلْهُ سَبْعَ مَرَّاتٍ ‏"‏ ‏.‏

Which people exactly are referred to by the names الزِّنَادِ and لأَعْرَجِ?

  • 1
    They are well known scholars from Medina as most scholars Malik quoted.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 16:52
  • Would you happen to know their full names? Or could you provide me with some sources (I.e. asma al rijaal) which mentioned them? Jazakallahukharian.
    – user36411
    Commented Mar 20, 2020 at 6:17

2 Answers 2


Abu Az-Zinad أبو الزناد is 'Abdullah ibn Dhakwan عبد الله بن ذكوان a scholar of fiqh and hafidh of hadith from Medina who was born before the death of ibn' Abbas and met Anas ibn Malik and ibn 'Omar, so he is a (young) tabi' y. He died in Ramadan 130 a. H. among his prominent students you may find imams such as Malik, al-Laithi ibn Sa'as and Sufyan at-Thawry who considered him amir al-Mu'minyn in hadith. Al-Laith reported that when Abu at-Zinad entered the mosque of the prophet () he was in such a big company (in his case of students) as if he was the Sultan.
Maybe a reason why he was more known as Abu Az-Zinad is to avoid confusion with the qar'i ibn Dhakwan the student if ibn 'Aamir who died 174 a. H..

As for al-A'araj (the lame or criple) الأعرج this is the nickname of the known hafidh of hadith, faqih and qur'an reciter and scribe (of Moshafs) 'Abdurrahman ibn Hurmuz عبد الرحمان بن هرمز he died 117 a.H. in Alexandria in Egypt where he was for an expedition. He is known for his participation in Jihad and was a teacher of prominent scholars such as Abu Az-Zinad and az-Zuhri. He learnt qira'a directly from Abu Hurairah, 'Abdullah ibn' Abbas and 'Abdullah ibn' Ayach and he is one of the teachers of Nafi'i ibn Abi Nua'im (one of the 7 qurra' and teacher of Warsh and Qalun) . He is a tabiy too. See also Should we speak about someone (when he is bad, and I'm sure about that) to aware others?.

The above is a short summary from different biographical sources such as Siyar a'alam an-Nubala'.

Note that the chain Malik from Abu Az-Zinad from al-A'araj from Abu Hurairah from the prophet () is the most sahih Hadith chain via Abu Hurairah.

  • Thank you for all that information Medi1Saif. Regarding this statement, "Note that the chain Malik from Abu Az-Zinad from al-A'araj from Abu Hurairah from the prophet () is the most sahih Hadith chain via Abu Hurairah," I thought that the "golden chain" from Malik to ibn Umar, through Nafi, was considered the most reliable? Are they both on equal footing, or is the chain through Abu Az-Zinad and A'araj to Abu Hurairah considered more reliable?
    – user36411
    Commented Mar 22, 2020 at 6:25
  • @ubutler there are some 20 or more chains that are similar (I avoid saying equal) to the golden chain. In cases you may find two chains via the same Sahabi. But the most prominent and strongest is Malik from Nafi'i from ibn "Umar from the Messenger of Allah. If I remember well one of those via 'Aishah goes through Sifyan ibn 'Uyaynah (but no guarantees).
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Mar 22, 2020 at 7:42

Al-A'raj refers to 'Abdurrahman bin Hurmuz (عبد الرحمن بن هرمز). You can read his entry in Dhahabi's book "Siyar a`lam al-nubala", published by Muasisatur-Risalah: Volume 5, Page 69-70

Abu'z-Zinad refers to 'Abdullah ibn Dhakwan (عبد الله بن ذكوان), you can read his entry in the above reference: Volume 5, Page 445-451.

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