Shaykh Abdul Rahman is a tabee’i (a follower and contemporary of the companions of the Prophetﷺ). Shaykh Ibn Hormuz, also known as al-A’araj (the hobbling one) was a close ally of the Hashemite and of Rabee’a ibn al-Harith bin Abdul Muttalib. He was born (may God be pleased with him) in Medina and lived there during the time the city of lights was known for its scholars, and first generation disciples and companions. It enabled him to sit at the feet of many of the companions from whom he heard many Hadeeth narrated mostly on the authorities of Abu Hurayra, Abu Sa’ad al-Khudri, Abdullah bin Malik, Abu Salama bin Abdu Rahman, Ibn Abbas, Muhammad bin Maslamah, Mu’awiya bin Abi Sufyan, Mu’awiya bin Abdullah bin Ja’afar, Usayd bin Rafi’, and Abdullah bin Ka’ab bin Malik (may God be pleased with all of them). In a later stage, he would become the primary instructor of Imam Malik, the founder of the Maliki school of Islamic law.
Besides his depth in knowledge (may God be pleased with him) of Hadeeth he was an expert in tracing the lineages of men as well as the chains of transmission concerning the readings of the Qur’an. He was such a reliable and trusted source that people who wished to learn the authentic Qur’anic recitation or the art of recording the Qur’an into writing, would come to his door. For these reasons, the scholarly references of history have always referred to him as “the reciter and narrator of Hadeeth.”
Aside from being an erudite scholar in the field of religion he was also known to be an innovative scholar. He is considered one of the first to lay down the fundamentals of Arabic grammar and linguistics, though he shares this title with Abu al-Aswad al-Doa’ly, according to some sources. Besides a sojourn to the Levant, Ibn Hormuz spent almost his entire life in Medinah before he finally travelled to Alexandria, Egypt. Muhammad bin Sa’ad narrated, that Ibn Hormuz used to say to him, “your most serious and committed coastal city is Alexandria.” Seeing the importance of spreading his knowledge, he left Medina for Alexandria to devote the remainder of his life as a devout teacher and narrator of hadith until 117 AH when he passed away.