Another gem of Persia, even many Arab scholars are not aware of the lineage of this giant of a man until they read up his full name and nassab/lineage that containts one of the most obvious Persian names, no Arab would ever carry, even if he was a Zoroastrian Arab (yes, there were some Zoroastrian Arabs, particularly before the Fath of Persia). Like many other Persian he was a mawla (client) of an Arab tribe, but his origin has been recorded in history.
Let me quote and then straight translate from Imam al-Dhahabi’s (who was of Turkmen descent) ‘Siyaar A’laam al-Nubalaa”:
سليمان بن مهران ، الإمام شيخ الإسلام ، شيخ المقرئين والمحدثين أبو [ ص: 227 ] محمد الأسدي الكاهلي ، مولاهم الكوفي الحافظ . أصله من نواحي الري . فقيل ولد بقرية أمه من أعمال طبرستان في سنة إحدى وستين وقدموا به إلى الكوفة طفلا ، وقيل : حملا .
ulayman Ibn MEHRAN, the Imam, Shaykhul-Islam, Shaykh of the Qur’an reciters (!) and Muhaddithin (!). He was originally from Ray (located today in Iran’s capital, Tehran. It is also said that he was born in a village in Tabaristan (north Iran, today’s Mazandaran), then as a young kid he moved to Kufa/Iraq.
al-A’mash is one of the major Salaf and giants of Ahl al-Sunnah. He met and learnt from a number of Sahaba, amongst them are:
– Anas Ibn Malik
– Abdallah Ibn Abi Awfa
he also narrated from all the major Tabi’in, including Said Ibn Jubayr