Abd al-Jabbar ibn Ahmad

'Abd al-Jabbar ibn Ahmad ibn 'Abd al-Jabbar al-HamaJani al-Asadabadi, Abu 'l-Hasan (935 - 1025) was a Mu'tazilite theologian, a follower of the Shafi'i school.[1] Abd al-Jabbar means "servant of the powerful."[2] He lived in Baghdad, until he was invited to Rey, in 367 AH/978 CE, by its governor, Sahib Ibn Abbad, a staunch supporter of the Mu'tazila. He was appointed chief Qadi of the province. On the death of Ibn 'Abbad, he was deposed and arrested by the ruler, Fakhr al-Dawla, because of a slighting remark made by him about his deceased benefactor. He died later in 415 AH/1025 CE.

His comprehensive "summa" of speculative theology, the Mughni, presented Mu`tazili thought under the two headings of God's oneness (tawhid) and his justice (adl). He argued that the Ash'arite separation between the eternal speech of God and the created words of the Qur'an made God's will unknowable.


Tathbit Dala’il

Abd Al-Jabbar produced an anti-Christian polemic text Tathbit Dala’il Nubuwwat Sayyidina Muhammad, (‘The Establishment of Proofs for the Prophethood of Our Master Mohammed’).[3] Shlomo Pines (1966) proposed that part of this work incorporated a polemical text written by Jewish Christians of the fifth or sixth century against followers of Paul, and insisting on the necessity of Gentile believers' conversion to Judaism and adherence to Mosaic law. Pines noted that the Arabic text showed departures from the Peshitta, and may have used an alternative Syriac or Aramaic source that had been preserved by this community of Jewish Christians.[4]


  1. Jane Dammen McAuliffe Encyclopaedia of the Qurʼān 2003- Volume 3 - Page 439 article by Claude Gilliot
  2. Juan Eduardo Campo Encyclopedia of Islam 2009 - Page 515 "The Quran states, “The most beautiful names belong to God (allah) so call on him by them; but shun such men as use profanity in his names: for what they ... of God), Abd al-Salam (Servant of Peace), or Abd al-Jabbar (Servant of the Powerful)."
  3. 'Abd al-Jabbar, Tathbit dalailal- nubuwwa, ed. 'A. 'Uthman, 2 vols., Beirut 1966
  4. Shlomo Pines - The Jewish Christians of the Early Centuries of Christianity According to a New Source - Proceedings of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Vol. II, No. 13 1966 - Footnote 196 If the last solution were accepted, it would perhaps mean that, as far as this word is concerned, the quotation from the Gospel given in our text was translated from an Aramaic (i.e., most probably but not certainly a Syriac) rendering of the Gospel, which was not translated from the Greek." ...The Peshitta, which seems mindful of the etymology of the Greek term, renders this by the word kenpa whose first meaning is wing. However, an older Syriac translation (The Four Gospels in Syriac Transcribed from the Sinaitic Palimpsest [edited by R.L. Bensley, J. Rendel Harris & F.C. Burkitt], Cambridge 1894) has — while using in Matthew iv : 5 (p. 7) the same word as the Peshitta—in Luke iv : 9 (p. 145) the translation qarna, a word whose first meaning is horn, but which also means ‘angle’. There is accordingly a possibility of a second solution, namely, that the Arabic q.r.ya should be read (the emendation would be a very slight one), qurna, which signifies ‘projecting angle’."
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