Hujjat al-Islam

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Hujjat al-Islam (from Arabic: حجة الإسلام ḥujjat-u l-Islām) (also Hojatoleslam) is an honorific title meaning "authority on Islam" or "proof of Islam".[1]

Sunni Islam[edit]

Its first recorded use was in a Sunni context, as a title for the 11th-century theologian al-Ghazali, due to his refutations of Hellenistic-influenced philosophers and Isma'ilis.[1] It was later used as a term of respect for judges.[1]

In the contemporary era, Egyptian Muhaddith Qadi Ahmad Shakir would confer the title "Hujjat al-Islam" to his master Muhammad Rashid Rida, upon his death.[2] Deobandis granted this title to their leader Hanafi Maturidi theologian Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi for his debates with scholars of other religions and establishing Darul Uloom Deoband. In Iran there is some evidence of its application to early 20th-century Sunni scholars in imitation of the Shia usage.[1]

Shia Islam[edit]

In Twelver Shia the title is awarded to scholars. It was originally applied as an honorific to leading scholars, but now the use indicates a status in the hierarchy of the learned below ayatollah.[1]

Its earliest attested use for a Shia personage was during the Qajar period for Muhammad Baqir Shafti (d. 1843).[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Algar, Hamid (23 March 2012). "Ḥojjat-al-Eslām". Encyclopædia Iranica. Vol. XII. p. 426. Archived from the original on 17 May 2012.
  2. ^ ibn Abd al-Aziz ibn Hammad al-Aql, Abdurrahman (2005). "Al-Ustadhun Al-Imam Hujjat al-Islam As-Sayyid Muhammad Rashid Rida" [Our Master, Imam Hujjat Al-Islam Sayyid Muhammad Rashid Rida]. Jamharat Maqalat Allamah As-Shaykh Ahmad Muhammad Shakir. Dar al-Riyadh. pp. 653–665.