Is it true Imam Malik would not do Hadith kitabs in Ramadan and would only pray Quran?
I read the following in Tarikh ibn ‘Asakir which contradicts it:
وَكَانَ الحنيني إذا دخل شهر رمضان ترك سماع الحديث ، فَقَالَ لَهُ مَالِك : يَا أَبَا يَعْقُوب ، لم تترك سماع الحديث فِي رمضان ، إن كَانَ فِيهِ شيء يكره فِي رمضان ، فهو فِي غير رمضان يكره ؟ فَقَالَ لَهُ الحنيني : يَا أَبَا عَبْد اللَّهِ ، شهر أحب أن أتفرغ فِيهِ لنفسي
Hafiz Ibn Rajab (rahimahullah) – a reliable Scholar of the 8th century- mentioned on the authority of the historian, Ibn ‘Abdil Hakam that Imam Malik (rahimahumallah) would halt his ‘teaching’/’recital’ of Hadith in Ramadan, and dedicate his time entirely to Quran.
(Lataiful Ma’arif, pg.318)
The quote from Tarikh Ibn ‘Asakir doesn’t contradict what is famously mentioned by the Scholars regarding Imam Malik’s (rahimahulah) habit in Ramadan, for the following reasons:
1) The quote you provided discusses ‘listening’ to Hadith, and not teaching.
2) It is possible that both are speaking of different occasions in the life of Imam Malik (rahimahullah)
3) The quote you presented doesn’t mention Imam Malik’s response to the answer of his student who said: ‘This is a month which I love to dedicate to myself.’
4) The quote you provided doesn’t state what exactly the student was engaged in during the month. It doesn’t mention anything about him preferring Quran recital over Hadith, and that Imam Malik (rahimahullah) was objecting to this…
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar