Imam Maalik (93 A.H. - 179 A.H.) :
Imam Maalik (radi Allahu anhu) was born in 93 A.H. He was born in the period of the Ummayyad Dynasty. His full name is Maalik bin Anas.
Imam Maalik (radi Allahu anhu's) grandfather and uncle were great scholars of Hadith. Imam Maalik (radi Allahu anhu) learnt Ahadith from his uncle, Sayyiduna Abu Suhail Nafi (radi Allahu anhu). The Imam was a very keen scholar from his childhood days.
Imam Maalik (radi Allahu anhu) had many illustrious teachers. Most of them were great Taabi'i scholars who learnt under the Sahaba. Some of his teachers used to teach in Masjidun Nabawi. He learnt how to read the Holy Quran from Sayyiduna Abu Radim Nafi Abdur Rahman (radi Allahu anhu).
He also learnt Hadith under Sayyiduna Nafi, Sayyiduna Jafer Saadiq, Sayyiduna Mohammed bin Yahya Ansaari, Sayyiduna Abu Haashim Salmah, Sayyiduna Yahya bin Said and Sayyiduna Hishaam bin Urwah (radi Allahu anhumul ajma'in).
Imam Maalik (radi Allahu anhu's) fame spread far and wide and many great scholars sat in his company learning Ahadith and other Islamic legal issues. Some 1300 scholars sat at his feet. They copied the "MUWATTA" from him. The "Muwatta" is a collection of Ahadith by Imam Maalik (radi Allah anhu). Many of his pupils copied the Muwatta, the famous among them being: Sayyiduna Yahya bin Yahya Al Masmudi, Sayyiduna ibn Wahab Abu Mohammed Abdullah and Sayyiduna Abi Abdullah Abdur Rahman Abdur Rahman (radi Allahu anhumul ajma'in).
AS A TEACHER
Even Imam A'zam Abu Hanifa (radi Allahu anhu), his teacher, held Imam Maalik (radi Allahu anhu) in great regard and respect and should sit in his study circle. Imam Maalik (radi Allahu anhu) liked his students to read aloud while he listened. He used to sit on a high chair with students all around taking notes.
AS A MUHADDITH AND A JURIST
He was a great "Muhaddith" (A Scholar of Hadith). He was very careful in selecting Hadith, and after examining them thoroughly used to record it in his Muwatta.
As a Jurist, he was not afraid of giving a "Fatawa" (Legal Islamic Ruling) even if it was against the Caliph. He was once flogged for doing so.
He passed away on the 11th of Rabi-ul-Awwal in the year 179 A.H. He was 86 years old. Imam Maalik (radi Allahu anhu) is buried in Janatul Baqi in Madinatul Munawwarah.
He never wore shoes whilst in Madinatul Munawwarah. He never sat on a horse or used the toilets in this blessed city. He always went out of the city to relieve himself. He used to kiss the old buildings and the remains of old foundations, saying that Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) may have walked by, touched it or saw it. Such was his adoration for Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).