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Ibn al-Qayyim

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Title: Ibn al-Qayyim  
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Ibn al-Qayyim

Not to be confused with the other Islamic scholar Ibn al-Jawzi.

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah
Born AH 691 (1292/3 CE)
Died AH 751 (1349/50 CE)
Era Medieval era
School Hanbali

Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr (also known as Ibn 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 a Sunni Islamic jurist, commentator on the Qur'an and theologian. Although he is sometimes referred to as "the scholar of the heart",[2] given his extensive works pertaining to human behavior and ethics, Ibn Qayyim's scholarship was focused on the sciences of Hadith and Fiqh.


Full name:

Title Honorific Father of Son's name His name Son of Father's name Son of Grandfather's name Country Madhhab
Imam Shams-al-Din Abu Abd-Allah Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr ibn Sa'd al-Dimashqi al-Hanbali al-Zar'i Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

In correct order: Arabic: شمس الدين محمد بن أبي بكر بن أيوب ،ابن القيم الجوزية ابن القيم

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.


Birth and education

Ibn Qayyim was born on the 7th of the Islamic month Safar in the year 691 A.H. (circa Feb. 4, 1292) in the village of Izra' in Hauran, near Damascus, Syria. There is little known of his childhood except that he received a comprehensive Islamic education from his father, centered around Islamic jurisprudence, Islamic theology, and Ulum al-Hadith (lit. the science of Hadith) From an early age, he was interested in the field of Islamic sciences, learning from the scholars of his time . He studied under his father who was a principal at of the Madrasah al-Jawziyyah (lit. the Jawziyyah school) one of the few centres devoted to Hanbali school of thought in Damascus, and thereafter pursued his quest for knowledge, studying the works and teachings of scholars known in his time.

The Islamic scholar Ibn Kathir described Ibn Qayyim's desire for knowledge in his famous work Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah:
He acquired from such books what others could not acquire, and he developed a deep understanding of the books of the Salaf (pious predecessors) and of the khalaf (those who came after the Salaf).[3]


Ibn Qayyim's teachers included his father, Abu Bakr, Shihaab al-'Abir, Taqiyyud-Deen Sulaymaan, Safiyyud-Deen al-Hindee, Ismaa'eel Ibn Muhammad al-Harraanee. However, the most notable of his teachers was Ibn Taymiyyah, whom he accompanied and studied under for sixteen years.

In eulogizing Ibn Qayyim, Al-Hafidh Ibn Kathir stated:
He attained great proficiency in many branches of knowledge; particularly knowledge of tafsir, hadith, and usool. When Shaykh Taqiyyud-Deen Ibn Taymiyyah returned from Egypt in the year 712H (c. 1312), he stayed with the Shaykh until he died; learning a great deal of knowledge from him, along with the knowledge that he had already occupied himself in attaining. So he became a single Scholar in many branches of knowledge.[4]

Manners and worship

Many of Ibn Qayyim's students and contemporaries have bore witness to his manners of worship. For instance, Al-Hafidh Ibn Rajab emphasized :
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.[5]
Additionally, Ibn Kathir stated that Ibn Qayyim :
Was constant in humbly entreating and calling upon his Lord. He recited well and had fine manners. He had a great deal of love and did not harbour any envy or malice towards anyone, nor did he seek to harm or find fault with them. I was one of those who most often kept company with him and was one of the most beloved of people to him. I do not know of anyone in the world in this time, who is a greater worshipper than he is. His Salah used to be very lengthy, with prolonged Ruku' (bowing) and prostrations. His colleagues would criticise him for this, yet he never retorted back, nor did he abandon this practice. May Allah bestow His Mercy upon him.[6]

Disciple of Ibn Taymiyyah

Ibn Qayyim ultimately joined the study circle of the Muslim scholar Ibn Taymiyyah, who kept him in his company as his closest student, disciple and his successor. Ibn Qayyim was fervent in his devotion to Islam, and he was a loyal student and disciple of Ibn Taymiyyah. He defended his religious opinions and approaches, and he compiled and edited most of his works, and taught the same.

Because of their views, both the teacher and the student were persecuted, tortured by tyrannic rulers, and humiliated in public by the local authorities, as they were imprisoned in a single cell in the central prison of Damascus, known today as al-Qala.

Following the Death of Ibn Taymiyah

When Ibn Taymiyyah died, Ibn Qayyim was freed and subsequently furthered his studies, holding study circles and classes. He taught Islamic Jurisprudence at al-Sadriyya school in Damascus, before he held the position of the Imam of the Jawziyyah school. Most of his writings were compilations, although he authored several books and manuscripts with his own handwriting which are preserved in the central Library of Damascus.

Among the renowned Muslim scholars who studied under him, include Ibn 'Abd al-Haadi (d. 744H), al-Fayruz Aabadi (d. 817H), Ibn Rajab (d. 795H), Ibn Kathir, and others who frequented his circles.

In praising his teacher, Ibn Kathir stated :
He was most friendly and kindhearted, he never envied anyone, he never caused harm to anyone, he never bore prejudice against anyone, and I was the closest to his heart. Furthermore, I do not know anyone who is more devout in his worship than he is in our time.[7]
Ibn Qayyim catered to all the branches of Islamic science, and was particularly known and commended for his commentaries. Ibn rajab spoke of his teacher, noting :
: "He was an accomplished scholar of Islamic science, and no one could rival him in his deep understanding of the Qur'an and prophetic saying, and his were unique in accuracy."

Spiritual Life

Imam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah was an avid and a resolute worshipper. He devoted long hours to his supererogatory nightly prayers, and was in a constant state of remembrance (dhikr ذکر), as he was known for his extended prostrations. During Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah's imprisonment in al-Qal'a prison in Damascus, he was constantly reading the Qur'an, and studying its meanings. Ibn Rajab noted that during that period of seclusion, he gained extensive spiritual success, as well as he developed a great analytical wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of the prophetic traditions.

Upon his release, he performed the pilgrimage to Makkah several times, and sometimes he stayed in Makkah for a prolonged period of devotion and circumambulation of the holy Ka'ba.


Ibn Qayyim died at the age of sixty, on the 13th night of Rajab, 751 AH (c. September 23, 1350), and was buried besides his father at Bab al-Saghīr Cemetery.


Natural sciences

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah was also an astronomer and chemist, and a critic of alchemy and astrology. In his Miftah Dar al-Sa'adah, he used empirical arguments in astronomy and chemistry in order to refute the practice of alchemy and astrology along with the theories associated with them, such as divination and the transmutation of metals.[8]

He recognized that the stars are much larger than the planets, and thus argued:[9]

"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]?"

He also recognized the Milky Way galaxy as "a myriad of tiny stars packed together in the sphere of the fixed stars" and thus argued that "it is certainly impossible to have knowledge of their influences."[9]



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[10]
  • 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)

Students and intellectual heirs

Amongst his most prominent students were: Ibn Kathir (d. 774H or c. 1373), Al-Dhahabi (d. 748H or c. 1347), Ibn Rajab (d. 795H or c. 1393) and Ibn Abdul-Haadee (d. 744H or c. 1343), as well as two of his sons, Ibraaheem and Sharafud-Deen Abdullaah.

Sunni view

Testaments about Ibn Qayyim's comprehensive knowledge and firm adherence to the way of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors) have been given by a number of Scholars. They include:

  • The famed scholar, Al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab who noted that Ibn Qayyim :
    Had deep knowledge concerning tafseer and fundamentals of the Religion, reaching the highest degree concerning them both. Similar was the case in the field of hadith, with regards to understanding its meanings, subtleties and deducing rulings from them. Likewise was the case in the field of fiqh and its principles, as well as the Arabic language.[11]
  • The widely known muhaddith, Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar, stated that Ibn Qayyim :
    Possessed a courageous spirit as well as vast and comprehensive knowledge. He had deep knowledge concerning the differences of opinions of the Scholars and about the ways of the Salaf.[12]
  • The famous Egyptian scholar, Suyuti emphasized :
    His books had no equal and he strove and traversed the path of the great Imams in (the field of) tafseer, hadith, fundamentals, branches and the Arabic language.[13]


Further reading

External links

  • Articles and Book Collection
  • [1]
  • Books
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