Ibn Abi al-Izz

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Ibn Abī al-ʻIzz
Born 1331
Died 1390 (aged 58–59)
Era Medieval era
Region Syria
School Sunni/Hanafi

ʻAlī ibn ʻAlī ibn Muḥammad ibn ʻAbd al-Raḥmān ibn Abī al-ʻIzz (Arabic: علي بن علي بن محمد بن عبد الرحمن بن ابي العز‎), (1331 CE/731 AH—1390/792) commonly known as Ibn Abī al-ʻIzz.[1] He was a jurist of the Hanafi school and was nicknamed Qāḍī al-Quḍāh (the Judge of Judges).[1]


Ibn Abī al-ʻIzz was born in the year 1331 CE/731 AH.[1] He came from a family that had been strong supporters of the Hanafi school of jurisprudence. He was originally from Damascus, moved to Egypt and then returned to Damascus.[1] Like most of his family members, Ibn Abī al-ʻIzz served for much of his life as a judge.

Having been educated by his family at an early age, he then commenced teaching aged seventeen at the Qimaziyyah school (built by Ṣārim ad-Dīn Qaimāz قيماز (sometimes: Qaʾimāz قأيماز), a descendent of the warrior Salah ad-Dīn al-Ayyūbi) which specialised in Hanafi jurisprudence. He also gave sermons in Husban for an unspecified period of time.[1] In 1369/771, Ibn Abī al-ʻIzz started teaching at the Rukniyyah school. In June 1377/Muharram 779, he was appointed as judge of Damascus[2] in place of his cousin (Najm ad-Dīn) who had been transferred to Egypt. This was short-lived, however, as Najm ad-Dīn resigned from his new post three monthsi later and returned to his old position in Damascus. As too was Ibn Abī al-ʻIzz's subsequent tenure as judge in Egypt, which lasted only a month.[2] He then returned to his previously held positions in Damascus.[2] By 1382, he was teaching at the ʿIzziyyah school, which had been founded by Abu'l Faḍl ʿIzz ad-Dīn Aybak.

Ibn Abī al-ʻIzz became embroiled in a controversy due to his censure of Ibn Aybuk's qaṣĩdah (poem)[1] due to its contents which he held constituted disbelief.[2] Ibn Abī al-ʻIzz was subsequently removed from his position as judge until an individual named al-Nāṣirī raised the issue to the authorities resulting in Ibn Abī al-ʻIzz's position being returned.[2] He remained at his position until his death in Damascus[2] in 1390/792.[1][2]

Al-‘Izz was also allegedly imprisoned for another one of his beliefs that was viewed as egregious and reprehensible, which was the notion that the Prophet Muhammad was not the very best of all of God’s creations, as this belief went against the consensus of all the Muslim scholars, which is an incontrovertible source of Islamic law.[3]

Others however have contested the existence of al-‘Izz altogether and have posited that biographical details are recent interpolations or false attributions. Imam Muhammad Zahid al-Kawthari said, "A commentary was published [on the Al-Aqidah al-Tahawiyyah], authored by an unknown spuriously affiliated with the Hanafi school, but whose handiwork proclaims his ignorance of this discipline and the fact that he is an anthropomorphist who has lost his compass."[4]

The late hadith and usul scholar of Damascus, Sayyid Ibrahim al-Ya`qubi, suspected Ibn Abi al-‘Izz of being a pseudonym for Ibn al-Qayyim, given away by the author's systematic abandonment of the Maturidi and Sunni position on not one but several key points in favour of Ibn Taymiyyah's newly pioneered opinions, and the fact that Ibn al-Qayyim was known to be his teacher Ibn Taymiyyah's most vocal, ardent and vociferous supporter.[5] This claim might be given further credence by the reality that both al-‘Izz and Ibn al-Qayyim lived at the same time and the fact that the former's opinions as espoused in his Al-Aqidah al-Tahawiyyah commentary are indistinguishable from that of Ibn al-Qayyim's opinions, which are furthermore known at the time to have been confined to his teacher Ibn Taymiyyah, himself and his small and select circle of students in Damascus.[6]


  • Sharḥ al-ʻAqīdah at-Ṭaḥāwiyyah a commentary of the theological work of Imam at-Taḥāwī[2][7] This work has been translated into English as Commentary of at-Tahawi by Ibn Abi al-ʿIzz by Muhammad Abdul-Haqq Ansari at the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America (ISBN 9-9600-4323-1).


  1. ^ a b c d e f g al-`Asqalani, Ahmad ibn `Ali. Hashim al-Nadwi and al-Mu`allimi, ed. al-Durar al-Kaminah (in Arabic) 3. Hyderabad, India: Dairah al-Ma`arif al`Uthmania. p. 87. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Ibn Abī al-ʻIzz, Muḥammad. Introduction. Sharḥ al-ʻAqīdah al-Ṭaḥāwiyyah. By Ibn Abī al-ʻIzz. Ed. a group of scholars. Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islamiy, 1988. 5—16.
  3. ^ http://www.israinternational.com/knowledge-nexus/493-the-prophetic-title-best-of-creation.html
  4. ^ Al-Kawthari, al-Hawi fi Sira al-Imam al-Tahawi (p. 38)
  5. ^ http://www.livingislam.org/n/nkhar_e.html
  6. ^ http://www.livingislam.org/n/nkhar_e.html
  7. ^ Ibn Abī al-ʻIzz, Muḥammad. Introduction. Sharḥ al-ʻAqīdah al-Ṭaḥāwiyyah. By Ibn Abī al-ʻIzz. Ed. Aḥmad Muḥammad Shākir. Cairo: Dar al-Turath. 5—8.

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