Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya

Not to be confused with Ibn al-Jawzi.
Ibn al-Qayyim
Personal Details
Born 7 Safar 691 AH / January 28, 1292 AD
Died 13 Rajab 751 AH / September 15, 1350 AD (aged 60 years)
Resting place Bab al-Saghīr Cemetery
Era Mamluk
Region Sham
Occupation scholar
Religion Islam
Denomination Sunni Islam
Jurisprudence Hanbali
Creed Athari
Main interest(s) Ethics, Islamic jurisprudence, Islamic theology
Alma mater Al-Madrasa al-Jawziyya

Arabic name

Personal (Ism) Muhammad
Patronymic (Nasab) ibn Abi Bakr ibn Ayyub ibn Sa'ad
بن أبي بكر بن أيوب بن سعد
Teknonymic (Kunya) Abu Abd Allah
أبو عبد الله
Epithet (Laqab) Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya
ابن قيم الجوزية
Ibn al-Qayyim
ابن القيم
Shams al-Din
شمس الدين
Toponymic (Nisba) ad-Dimashqi

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. Ibn al-Qayyim's scholarship was focused on the Islamic sciences of Hadith, Fiqh and Sufism. He has been called "one of the most important thinkers in the Hanbali tradition",[4] and Ibn Taymiyya's most "passionate advocate".[5]


Muhammad Ibn Abī Bakr Ibn Ayyub Ibn Sa‘d Ibn Harīz Ibn Makkī Zayd al-Dīn al-Zur‘ī (Arabic: محمد بن أبي بكر بن أيوب بن سعد بن حريز بن مكي زيد الدين الزُّرعي), al-Dimashqi (الدمشقي), with kunya of Abu Abdullah (أبو عبد الله), called Shams al-Dīn ( شمس الدین). He is usually known as Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, after his father Abu Bakr Ibn Sa‘d al-Zur‘ī who was the superintendent (qayyim) of the Jawziyyah Madrasah, the Hanbali law college in Damascus.[6]



Ibn al-Qayyim's main teacher was the scholar Ibn Taymiyyah.[7] Ibn Qayyim first met Ibn Taymiyyah at the age of 21 and spent the rest of his life learning from him.[8] As a result of this union he shared his teacher's views in most issues.[9]


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.[10]

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.[11]

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).[12]

Spiritual Life

Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya wrote a lengthy spiritual commentary on a treatise written by the Hanbali Sufi Khwaja Abdullah Ansari entitled Madarij al-Salikin.[13][14]

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!'.[15][16] 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 [16][17]


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."[18][19]

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".[18][19] 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".[18][19]

In interrogating the accused, Ibn Qayyim believed that testimony could be beaten out of suspects if they were "disreputable".[20][21] This was in contrast to the majority of Islamic jurists who had always acknowledged "that alleged sinners were entitled to remain silent if accused."[22] Attorney and author Sadakat Kadri states that, "as a matter of straightforward history, torture had originally been forbidden by Islamic jurisprudence."[19] Ibn Qayyim however, believed that "the Prophet Muhammad, the Rightly Guided Caliphs, and other Companions" would have supported his position.[19][20][21]

Astrology and alchemy

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."[4] 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".[4]

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,[4] for example arguing:[4]

"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 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.[6] ... I do not know in this world in our time someone who is more dedicated to acts of devotion [23]

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.[6]

Despite being praised by a number of Sunni scholars, he was also criticized 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 ):


  1. Slitine, Moulay; Fitzgerald, Michael (2000). The Invocation of God. Islamic Texts Society. p. 4. ISBN 0946621780.
  2. Ovamir Anjum. "Sufism without Mysticism: Ibn al-Qayyim's Objectives in Madarij al-Salikin". University of Toledo, Ohio: 164.
  3. Livnat Holtzman. "Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah". Bar Ilan University: 219.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 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.
  5. Nizami, K (1990). "The Impact of Ibn Taimiyya on South Asia.". Islamic History Review. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  6. 1 2 3 Holtzman, Livnat. "Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah". p. 208.
  7. Roger M. A. Allen, Joseph Edmund Lowry, Devin J. Stewart, Essays in Arabic Literary Biography: 1350-1850, p 211. ISBN 3447059338
  8. Josef W. Meri, Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia, p 362. ISBN 0415966906
  9. Josef W. Meri, Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia, p 363. ISBN 0415966906
  10. Holtzman, Livnat. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya. p. 211.
  11. Bori, Caterina; Holtzman, Livnat. A Scholar in the Shadow. p. 19.
  12. Holtzman, Livnat. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya. p. 212.
  13. Holtzman,, Livnat (c. 2009). "Essay on Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya". p. 219.
  14. Holtzman,, Livnat (c. 2009). "Essay on Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya". p. 363.
  15. 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)
  16. 1 2 Anjum, Ovamir. Sufism without Mysticism: Ibn al-Qayyim's Objectives in Madarij al-Salikin. University of Toledo, Ohio. p. 164.
  17. Fitzgerald, Michael; Slitine, Moulay. "The Invocation of God". Islamic Texts Society, Introduction. p. 4.
  18. 1 2 3 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
  19. 1 2 3 4 5 Kadri, Sadakat (2012). Heaven on Earth: A Journey Through Shari'a Law from the Deserts of Ancient Arabia ... macmillan. p. 140. ISBN 9780099523277.
  20. 1 2 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
  21. 1 2 Reza, Sadiq, "Torture and Islamic Law", Chicago Journal of International Law, 8 (2007), pp.24-25
  22. 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
  23. Krawietz, Birgit. "Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyah: His Life and works" (PDF).
  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

External links

Arabic Wikisource has original text related to this article:
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/27/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.