Abū Jaʿfar Aḥmad aṭ-Ṭaḥāwī
أبو جعفر أحمد الطحاوي
|Born||843 CE / 239 AH|
Samalut, Abbasid Caliphate
|Died||5 November 933 CE / 14 Dhul Qa’ada 321 AH|
Cairo, Fatimid Caliphate
|Creed||Creed of Abu Hanifa|
|Main interest(s)||Islamic jurisprudence, Islamic theology, Hadith|
Abu Ja'far Ahmad al-Tahawi (Arabic: أبو جعفر الطحاوي, romanized: Abū Jaʿfar Aḥmad aṭ-Ṭaḥāwī) (843 – 5 November 933), or simply aṭ-Ṭaḥāwī (Arabic: الطحاوي), was an Egyptian Arab Hanafi jurist and a hadith scholar. He studied with al-Muzani and was a Shafi'i jurist, then with Ahmad b. Imran and followed the Hanafi school. He is known for his work al-'Aqidah al-Tahawiyyah, a summary of Sunni Islamic creed which influenced Hanafis in Egypt.
Aṭ-Ṭaḥāwī was born in the village of Ṭaḥā in upper Egypt in 229 AH (843 CE) to an affluent Arab family of Azdī origins. He began his studies with his maternal uncle, Ismāʿīl ibn Yaḥyā al-Muzanī, a leading disciple of ash-Shāfiʿī, but in 249 AH (863 CE), at approximately 20 years of age, aṭ-Ṭaḥāwī abandoned the Shāfiʿī school of jurisprudence in favour of the Ḥanafī school. Different versions are given by his biographers of his conversion to the Ḥanafī school, but the most probable reason seems to be that the system of Abū Ḥanīfa appealed to his critical insight more than that of ash-Shāfiʿī.
Aṭ-Ṭaḥāwī then studied under the head of the Ḥanafīs in Egypt, Aḥmad ibn Abī ʿImrān al-Ḥanafī, who had himself studied under the two primary students of Abū Ḥanīfa, Abū Yūsuf and Muḥammad ash-Shaybānī. Aṭ-Ṭaḥāwī then travelled to Syria in 268 AH (882 CE) for further studies in Ḥanafī jurisprudence and became pupil to Abū Khāzim ʿAbd al-Ḥamīd ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz, the chief qāḍi of Damascus.
Aṭ-Ṭaḥāwī gained a vast knowledge of ḥadīth in addition to Ḥanafī jurisprudence and his study circles consequently attracted many students of knowledge who related ḥadīth from him and transmitted his works. Among them were al-Da'udi, the head of the Zahiris in Khurasan, and aṭ-Ṭabarānī, well known for his biographical dictionaries of ḥadīth transmitters.
Aṭ-Ṭaḥāwī was famed for his expertise in both ḥadīth and Ḥanafī jurisprudence even during his own lifetime, and many of his works, such as Kitāb Maʿāni al-Āthār and ʿAqīdah aṭ-Ṭaḥāwīyyah, continue to be held in high regard by Sunni Muslims today.
Many of aṭ-Ṭaḥāwī's contemporaries praised him and noted him as both a reliable scholar and narrator of ḥadīth. He was widely held as a distinguished and prolific writer and became known as the most learned faqīh amongst the Ḥanafīs in Egypt, despite having knowledge of all the madhāhib. Over fifteen commentaries have been produced on his creedal treatise, ʿAqīdah aṭ-Ṭaḥāwīyyah, including shuruh by the Hanafi jurist Ismail ibn Ibrahim al-Shaybani and the Taymiyyan-inclined Ibn Abi al-Izz.
He authored many other works, close to forty different books, some of which are still available today, including:
- Maʿāni al-Āthār (معاني الآثار)
- al-ʿAqīdah aṭ-Ṭaḥāwīyyah (العقيدة الطحاوية)
- Aḥkām al-Qur’ān al-Karīm (أحكام القرآن الكريم)
- Al-Mukhtaṣar fil-Furūʿ (المختصر في الفروع)
- Sharḥ Mushkil al-Āthār (شرح مشكل الآثار)
- Sharḥ Maʿāni al-Āthār (شرح معاني الآثار)
- Sharḥ al-Jāmiʿ al-Kabīr (شرح الجامع الكبير)
- Sharḥ al-Jāmiʿ aṣ-Ṣaghīr (شرح الجامع الصغير)
- Ash-Shurūṭ aṣ-Ṣaghīr (الشروط الصغير)
- Ash-Shurūṭ al-Kabīr (الشروط الكبير)
- Ikhtilāf al-ʿUlamā’ (إختلاف العلماء)
- ʿUqūd al-Marjān fī Manāqib Abī Ḥanīfa an-Nuʿmān (عقود المرجان قي مناقب أبي حنيفة النعمان)
- Tārīkh al‑Kabīr (تاريخ الكبير)
- Ḥukm Arāḍi Makkah al-Mukarramah (حكم أراضي مكة المكرمة)
- Sharif, M. M. A History of Muslim Philosophy. 1. pp. 244–245. ISBN 9694073405.
- A.C. Brown, Jonathan (2009). Hadith: Muhammad's Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World (Foundations of Islam). Oneworld Publications. p. 166. ISBN 978-1851686636.
- Hiroyuki, Concept Of Territory In Islamic Thought, p 56. ISBN 1136184538
- Josef W. Meri, Jere L. Bacharach, Medieval Islamic Civilization: A-K, index, p 6. ISBN 0415966914
- Aqida al-Tahaweyah
- Calder, N. (2012-04-24). "al-Ṭaḥāwī". Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition.
- Ibn-Ḫallikān, Aḥmad Ibn-Muḥammad (1843). Ibn Khallikan's Biographical Dictionary, 1. Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland.
- Ingrid Mattson (2013). The Story of the Qur'an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life. John Wiley & Sons. p. 146. ISBN 9781118257098.
- Shafiq Abouzayd, ed. (2014). ARAM: Zoroastrianism in the Levant and the Amorites. Aram Society for Syro-Mesopotamian Studies. p. 195. ISBN 9781326717438.
- Masooda Bano (2020). The Revival of Islamic Rationalism: Logic, Metaphysics and Mysticism in Modern Muslim Societies. Cambridge University Press. p. 82. ISBN 9781108485319.
- Scott C. Lucas (2004). Constructive Critics, Hadith Literature, and the Articulation of Sunni Islam: The Legacy of the Generation of Ibn Sa'd, Ibn Ma'in, and Ibn Hanbal. Brill Publishers. p. 93. ISBN 9789004133198.
- Oliver Leaman (2015). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Islamic Philosophy. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 9781472569462.
- "Siyar A'lam al-Nubala' by Al-Dhahabi". Islam Web.
- Glassé, Cyril (2003). The New Encyclopedia of Islam. p. 444. ISBN 0759101906.
- Martijn Theodoor Houtsma, Sir Thomas Walker Arnold, René Basset, The encyclopaedia of Islām: a dictionary of the geography, ethnography and biography of the Muslim peoples, Volume 4 p 609.
- Ibn Abi al-Wafa, Jawahir (Cairo), 1:273
- Powers, David; Spectorsky, Susan; Arabi, Oussama (25 September 2013). Islamic Legal Thought: A Compendium of Muslim Jurists. pp. 123–126. ISBN 978-9004255883.
- Ibn Asakir, Tariqh Madinat Dimashq, 5.367
- Lucas, Scott C., "Constructive Critics, Hadith Literature, and the Articulation of Sunni Islam: the Legacy of the Generation of Ibn Sad, Ibn Maain, and Ibn Hanbal", Islamic History and Civilization, p. 93
- Kawthari, al-Hawi, 238
- Hoover, Jon (2014-09-01). "Creed". Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE.