Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya

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Not to be confused with Ibn al-Jawzi.
Ibnul Qayyim
تخطيط ابن القيمpng.png
Born 7 Safar 691 AH / January 28, 1292 AD
Died 13 Rajab 751 AH / September 15, 1350 AD (aged 60 years)
Nationality Sham, under Bahri Mamluk Sultanate Mameluke Flag.svg
Era Crisis of the Late Middle Ages
Region Arab philosophy
Occupation scholar
Religion Islam
Denomination Sunni Islam
Jurisprudence Ijtihad
Creed Athari
Main interest(s) Ethics, Islamic jurisprudence, Islamic theology

Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr (also known as Ibn al-Qayyim ("The son of the principal") or Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah ("Son of the principal of the (school of) Jawziyyah") (1292–1350 CE / 691 AH–751 AH) was an Arab Islamic jurist, commentator on the Qur'an and theologian. Although he is sometimes referred to as "the scholar of the heart",[citation needed] given his extensive works pertaining to human behaviour and ethics, Ibn al-Qayyim's scholarship was focused on the sciences of Hadith and Fiqh. He has been called "one of the most important thinkers in the Hanbali tradition",[2] and Ibn Taymiyya's most "passionate advocate"[3] who like his teacher sought to defend "the established Sunnah of Islam" from innovations (Bid‘ah) of "Christian saint-worship, Aristotelian metaphysics", astrological divination, and alchemical transmutation.[2]


Arabic name
ibn Abi Bakr ibn Ayyub ibn Sa'ad ibn Hariz
بن أبي بكر بن أيوب بن سعد
Abu Abd Allah
أبو عبد الله
Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya
ابن قيم الجوزية
Ibn al-Qayyim
ابن القيم
Shams al-Din
شمس الدين

In correct order: Arabic: شمس الدين محمد بن أبي بكر بن أيوب ،ابن القيم الجوزية‎. He is Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr (محمد بن أبي بکر), son of Ayyub, son of Sa'd al-Zar'i, al-Dimashqi (الدمشقي), patronymed as Abu Abdullah Shamsu-Deen (أبو عبد الله شمس الدین), and known as Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, named after his father who was an attendant (qayyim) at a local school named Al-Jawziyyah.



Ibn al-Qayyim's main teacher was the scholar Ibn Taymiyyah.[4] Ibn Qayyim first met Ibn Taymiyyah at the age of 21 and spent the rest of his life learning from him.[5] As a result of this union he shared his teacher's views in most issues.[6]


Ibn al-Qayyim was imprisoned along with his teacher Ibn Taymiyyah. According to the historian al-Maqrizi, two reasons led to his arrest: the first was a sermon Ibn al-Qayyim had delivered in Jerusalem in which he decried the visitation of holy graves, including the Prophet Muhammad’s grave in Medina, the second was his agreement with Ibn Taymiyyah’s view on the matter of divorce, which contradicted the view of the majority of scholars in Damascus.[7]

The campaign to have Ibn al-Qayyim imprisoned was led by Shafi'i and Maliki scholars, and was also joined by the Hanbali and Hanafi judges.[8]

Whilst in prison Ibn al-Qayyim busied himself with the Qur'an. According to Ibn Rajab, Ibn al-Qayyim made the most of his time of imprisonment: the immediate result of his delving into the Qur'an while in prison was a series of mystical experiences (described as dhawq, direct experience of the divine mysteries, and mawjud, ecstasy occasioned by direct encounter with the Divine Reality).[9]

Spiritual Life[edit]

Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya wrote a lengthy spiritual commentary on a treatise written by the Hanbali Sufi Khwaja Abdullah Ansari entitled Madarij al-Salikin.[10][11]

He expressed his love and appreciation for Ansari in this commentary with his statement "Certainly I love the Sheikh, but I love the truth more!'.[12][13] Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya refers to Ansari with the honorific title "Sheikh al-Islam" in his work Al-Wabil al-Sayyib min al-Kalim al-Tayyab [14] [15]


Ibn al-Qayyim died at the age of 60 years 5 months & 5 days, on the 13th night of Rajab, 751 AH (September 15, 1350 AD), and was buried besides his father at Bab al-Saghīr Cemetery.



Like his teacher Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn Qayyim, supported broad powers for the state and prosecution. He argued, for example, "that it was often right to punish someone of lowly status" who alleged improper behavior by someone "more respectable."[16][17]

Ibn Qayyim "formulated evidential theories" that made judges "less reliant than ever before on the oral testimony." One example was the establishment of a child's paternity by experts scrutinizing the faces of "a child and its alleged father for similarities".[16][17] Another was in determining impotence. If a woman sought a divorce on the grounds of her husband's impotence and her husband contested the claim, a judge might obtain a sample of the husband's ejaculate. According to Ibn Qayyim "only genuine semen left a white residue when boiled".[16][17]

In interrogating the accused, Ibn Qayyim believed that testimony could be beaten out of suspects if they were "disreputable".[18][19] This was in contrast to the majority of Islamic jurists who had always acknowledged "that alleged sinners were entitled to remain silent if accused."[20] Attorney and author Sadakat Kadri states that, "as a matter of straightforward history, torture had originally been forbidden by Islamic jurisprudence."[17] Ibn Qayyim however, believed that "the Prophet Muhammad, the Rightly Guided Caliphs, and other Companions" would have supported his position.[17][18][19]

Astrology and alchemy[edit]

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah opposed alchemy and divination of all varieties, but was particularly opposed to astrology, whose practitioners dared to "think they could know secrets locked within the mystery of God's supreme and all-embracing wisdom."[2] In fact, those who believed that human personalities and events were influenced by heavenly bodies, were "the most ignorant of people, the most in error and the furthest from humanity ... the most ignorant of people concerning his soul and its creator".[2]

In his Miftah Dar al-Sa'adah, in addition to denouncing the astrologers as worse than infidels, he uses empirical arguments to refute the practice of alchemy and astrology along with the theories associated with them, such as divination and the transmutation of metals,[2] for example arguing:[2]

"And if you astrologers answer that it is precisely because of this distance and smallness that their influences are negligible, then why is it that you claim a great influence for the smallest heavenly body, Mercury? Why is it that you have given an influence to al-Ra's and al-Dhanab, which are two imaginary points [ascending and descending nodes]?"


Ibn Qayyim was respected by a number of scholars during and after his life. Ibn Kathir, another student of Ibn Taymiyya, stated that Ibn al-Qayyim,

was the most affectionate person. He was never envious of anyone, nor did he hurt anyone. He never disgraced anyone, nor did he hate anyone.[21] ... I do not know in this world in our time someone who is more dedicated to acts of devotion [22]

Ibn Rajab, one of Ibn Qayyim's students, stated that,

Although, he was by no means infallible, no one could compete with him in the understanding of the texts.[21] ... He was constant in worship and performing tahajjud (the night Prayer), reaching the limits in lengthening his Salah (Prayer) and devotion. He was constantly in a state of dhikr (remembrance of Allah) and had an intense love for Allah. He also had a deep love for turning to Allah in repentance, humbling himself to Him with a deep sense of humility and helplessness. He would throw himself at the doors of Divine obedience and servitude. Indeed, I have not seen the likes of him with regards to such matters.[23]

Despite being praised by a number of sunni scholars, he was also criticised by others.

The influential shafi'i chief judge of Damascus Taqi al-Din al-Subki condemned Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, on the acceptability of the triple divorce[24] and on account of his view permitting the conduct of horse races without the participation of a third competitor.[25]

Subki also stated that,

The only thing this man [Ibn al-Qayyim] wants for the commoners is to establish that there is no Muslim but him and his partisans.[26]

He also wrote a treatise entitled "The Burnished sword in refuting Ibn al-Qayyim" regarding his position on the attributes of God.[27]

Ibn Hajar al-Haytami considered Ibn Qayyim a heretic[28] and stated that,

Do not read what is in the books of Ibn al-Qayyim and others like him who have taken their own whim as their God, and who have been led astray by Allah. There hearts and ears have been sealed, and there eyes have been covered.[29]



Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah's contributions to the Islamic library are extensive, and they particularly deal with the Qur'anic commentaries, and understanding and analysis of the prophetic traditions (Fiqh-us Sunnah) (فقه ):

  • Zad al-Ma'ad (Provision of the hereafter)
  • Al-Waabil Sayyib minal kalim tayyib – a commentary on hadith about Prophet Yahya ibn Zakariyya.
  • I'laam ul Muwaqqi'een 'an Rabb il 'Aalameen (Information for Those who Write on Behalf of the Lord of the Worlds)
  • Tahthib Sunan Abi Da'ud
  • Madaarij Saalikeen which is a rearrangement of the book by Shaikh Abu Ismail al-Ansari al-Harawi al-Sufi, Manazil-u Sa'ireen (Stations of the Seekers);
  • Tafsir Mu'awwadhatain (Tafsir of Surah Falaq and Nas);
  • Badāʾiʿ al-Fawāʾid (بدائع الفوائد): Amazing Points of Benefit
  • Ad-Dā'i wa Dawā also known as Al Jawābul kāfi liman sa'ala 'an Dawā'i Shaafi
  • Haadi Arwah ila biladil Afrah
  • Uddat as-Sabirin wa Dhakhiratu ash-Shakirin (عدة الصابرين وذخيرة الشاكرين)
  • Ighathatu lahfaan min masaa'id ash-shaytan (إغاثة اللهفان من مصائد الشيطان) : Aid for the Yearning One in Resisting the Shayṭān
  • Rawdhatul Muhibbīn
  • Ahkām ahl al-dhimma"
  • Tuhfatul Mawdud bi Ahkam al-Mawlud: A Gift to the Loved One Regarding the Rulings of the Newborn
  • Miftah Dar As-Sa'adah
  • Jala al-afham fi fadhl salati ala khayral anam
  • Al-Manar al-Munif
  • Al-Tibb al-Nabawi – a book on Prophetic medicine (available in English as "The Prophetic Medicine", printed by Dar al-Fikr in Beirut (Lebanon), or as "Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet (sal allahu `alayhi wa salim)", printed by Darussalam Publications.
  • Al-Furusiyya[30]
  • Shifa al-Alil (Healing of the Sick)
  • Mukhtasar al-Sawa'iq
  • Hadi al-Arwah ila Bilad al-Arfah (Spurring Souls on to the Realms of Joy
  • A treatise on Arab archery is by Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya, Muḥammad ibn Abī Bakr (1292AD-1350AD) and comes from the 14th century.[31]


  1. ^ Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah
  2. ^ a b c d e f Livingston, John W. (1971). "Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah: A Fourteenth Century Defense against Astrological Divination and Alchemical Transmutation". Journal of the American Oriental Society 91 (1): 96–103. doi:10.2307/600445. JSTOR 600445. 
  3. ^ Nizami, K (1990). "The Impact of Ibn Taimiyya on South Asia.". Islamic History Review. Retrieved 21 September 2015. 
  4. ^ Roger M. A. Allen, Joseph Edmund Lowry, Devin J. Stewart, Essays in Arabic Literary Biography: 1350-1850, p 211. ISBN 3447059338
  5. ^ Josef W. Meri, Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia, p 362. ISBN 0415966906
  6. ^ Josef W. Meri, Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia, p 363. ISBN 0415966906
  7. ^ Holtzman, Livnat. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya. p. 211. 
  8. ^ Bori, Caterina; Holtzman, Livnat. A Scholar in the Shadow. p. 19. 
  9. ^ Holtzman, Livnat. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya. p. 212. 
  10. ^ Holtzman,, Livnat (c. 2009). "Essay on Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya". p. 219. 
  11. ^ Holtzman,, Livnat (c. 2009). "Essay on Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya". p. 363. 
  12. ^ Michael Fitzgerald and Moulay Slitine, The Invocation of God, Islamic Texts Society, Introduction, p 4 (quoting Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Madarij al-Salikin fi ma bayna iyyaka na'budu wa iyyaka nasta'in, ed. Ahmad Fakhri al-Rifi and Asam Faris al-Hurstani, Beirut, Dar al-Jil, 1412/1991, II,. 41 and III. 431)
  13. ^ Anjum, Ovamir. Sufism without Mysticism: Ibn al-Qayyim's Objectives in Madarij al-Salikin. University of Toledo, Ohio. p. 164. 
  14. ^ Fitzgerald, Michael; Slitine, Moulay. "The Invocation of God". Islamic Texts Society, Introduction. p. 4. 
  15. ^ Anjum, Ovamir. Sufism without Mysticism: Ibn al-Qayyim's Objectives in Madarij al-Salikin. University of Toledo, Ohio. p. 164. 
  16. ^ a b c Baber Johansen, "Signs as Evidence: The Doctrine of Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328) and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (d.1351) on Proof", Islamic Law and Society, v.9, n.2 (2002), pp.188-90, citing Ibn Qayyim, Turuq al Hikmiya fi al-Siyasa al Sharia, pp.48-9, 92-93, 101, 228-30
  17. ^ a b c d e Kadri, Sadakat (2012). Heaven on Earth: A Journey Through Shari'a Law from the Deserts of Ancient Arabia ... macmillan. p. 140. ISBN 9780099523277. 
  18. ^ a b Baber Johansen, "Signs as Evidence: The Doctrine of Ibn Taymiyya 1263-1328) and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (d.1351) on Proof", Islamic Law and Society, v.9, n.2 (2002), pp.191-2, citing Ibn Qayyim, Turuq al Hikmiya fi al-Siyasa al Sharia, pp.7, 13, 108
  19. ^ a b Reza, Sadiq, "Torture and Islamic Law", Chicago Journal of International Law, 8 (2007), pp.24-25
  20. ^ Baber Johansen, "Signs as Evidence: The Doctrine of Ibn Taymiyya 1263-1328) and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (d.1351) on Proof", Islamic Law and Society, v.9, n.2 (2002), pp.170-1, 178
  21. ^ a b Holtzman, Livnat. "Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah". p. 208. 
  22. ^ Krawietz, Birgit. "Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyah: His Life and works" (PDF). 
  23. ^ Dhayl Tabaqaatul- Hanaabilah (4/450)
  24. ^ Caterina Bori and Livnat Holtzman, A scholar in the shadow, p 20. https://www.academia.edu/2565390/A_Scholar_in_the_Shadow-the_Introduction-_by_Caterina_Bori_and_Livnat_Holtzman
  25. ^ Livnat Holtzman, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, p. 220. https://www.academia.edu/1057824/Ibn_Qayyim_al-Jawziyya
  26. ^ Stephan Conermann, Ubi Sumus? Quo Vademus?: Mamluk Studies - State of the Art, p. 82. Quoting Bori Hotlzman, Scholar in the Shadow, 24
  27. ^ Birgit Krawietz, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyah: His Life and works, p. 33 http://mamluk.uchicago.edu/MSR_X-2_2006-Krawietz.pdf
  28. ^ Spevack, Aaron (1 Oct 2014). The Archetypal Sunni Scholar: Law, Theology, and Mysticism in the Synthesis of Al-Bajuri. State University of New York Press. p. 77. ISBN 143845371X. 
  29. ^ Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, Fatawa al-Hadithiyya, 4.112
  30. ^ ed. Nizam al-Din al-Fatih, Madinah al Munawara: Maktaba Dar al-Turath, 1990.
  31. ^ Ibn Qayyim al-Jawzīyah, Muḥammad ibn Abī Bakr. kitab ʻuniyat al-ṭullāb fī maʻrifat al-rāmī bil-nushshāb. [Cairo?]: [s.n.], 1932. OCLC: 643468400.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bori, Caterina; Holtzman, Livnat, eds. (2010). A scholar in the shadow : essays in the legal and theological thought of Ibn Qayyim al-Ǧawziyyah. Oriente Moderno. Nuova serie, Anno 90 (Nr 1). Roma : Istituto per l'Oriente C.A. Nallino. ISSN 0030-5472. JSTOR i23249612. 

External links[edit]