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Biography and matters Related to Imaam Haafidh AbulFarj Abdur-Rahman Ibnul-Jawzee

Shaykh Mashur al-Salmaan said, "....I saw that it was necessary upon me to inform about the confusion of ibn al-Jawzee generally, and his errors concerning the Names and Attributes of Allaah specifically. For he has attributed in his book, Daf' Shubah at-Tashbeeh, things to Imaam Ahmad which he is free of. Adh-Dhahabee states, woe to him, if only he had not delved into taweel and thereby opposed his Imaam [Siyar (2/368)] [taking to note he was shafi'ee] And he said also, adding to the saying of Abdul Lateef (Abdul-Lateef Ibn Abdur-Rahman aliShaykh) about him, and there were many mistakes in what he wrote, for indeed he used to finish a book and not give it any consideration, I say: due to this he had many misinterpretations and different shades of neglecting examination. And he gained knowledge from writings... Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said about him, a group of the scholars of our companions took a stand against him for his inclination towards taweel in his speech. And their rejection (of him) was severe in that. And their is no doubt that his speech in that (i.e. taweel) was confused and contradicting. So if he was cognisant of the ahaadeeth or narrations he would not consider lawful the doubts of the Mutakallimeen (People of Theological Rhetoric) and expose their corruptions. And he used to exalt Abu Wafaa ibn Aqueel and follow him in most of what he found in his words - although he refuted him in some points - and ibn Aqueel was skilled in philosophy but he was not well acquainted with Hadeeth and narration. And this is why ibn Aqueel was shaky/confused in this topic...and Abul Farj followed him in this hue (talawwun) Ibn Qudaama al-Maqdisi said, ibn al-Jawzee was the Imaam of his time except that we are not pleased with his writings on the Sunnah (in this context to mean belief/tawheed) nor his methodology in them [Dhail Tabaqaat al-Hanaabila (1/415)] Ibn Taymiyyah states, verily Abul Farj (ibn al-Jawzee) contradicted himself in this subject (i.e. the Names and Attributes of Allaah). And it is not established that he gave precedence to affirmation or negation. Rather he has speech in affirmation of (Allaah's Names and Attributes) and much speech scattered about in this work (i.e. Daf' Shubah at-Tashbeeh) that establishes that he negated (Allaah's Names and Attributes). And in this subject he is like many others, sometimes affirming and sometimes negating as is the state of Abu Wafaa' ibn Aqueel... [Fataawaa (4/169)] And it is not my purpose here to set forth examples, and to follow the occurrences of taweel, or tafweed or affirmation in the speech of ibn al-Jawzee. But the important point here to clarify is that it is not permissible for the researcher, who desires to attain the truth and what is correct, to depend on the likes of this work of ibn al-Jawzee.... And we shall mention here sections from a letter which the Shaykh, the Ascetic and Example, Ishaaq bin Ahmad al-Ulthee sent to his contemporary Ibn al-Jawzee, ....and know that much rejection has occurred against you from the scholars and noble personalities, and outstanding people from distant lands, due to your corrupt stands....and they have ruled that you are in need of advice, for you have statements which do not befit the Sunnah which time does not allow to mentionthen you objected to the Attributes of the Creator as if they (objections?) arose not from a heart which has the respect of the Exalted, the Great or a heart filled with fear and exaltation, rather from the occurrences of the glittering false souls. And you have claimed that a group of Ahlus Sunnah and noble personalities received your letters but did not understand them - and how far removed are they from this - rather they have controlled their mouths and tongues. Not due to disability - and all praise is due to Allaah - in debating and opposing, and neither.. [Dhail

Tabaqaat al-Hanaabilaa (2/209-211) for the full letter which goes on to refute ibn al-Jawzee in some detail.]" [Rudood wat Taqubaat alaa maa Waqaa lil Imaam Nawawee fee Sharhi Saheeh Muslim min at-Taweel fee Sifaat (pp.97+) of Shaykh Mashur Salmaan, his superb analysis of the position of Imaam Nawawee on taweel.] It was his being confuded in why he saw "contradictions" within the hanbalis, (really the salafi ulema) and he ulema state it here So his "dhuf a shubah" is not to be relied upon on top of the fact that it is not even an established text on creed, not like tahawiyyah, risalah ibn abi zayd, waasitiyyah, hamawiyyah, usoolu-thalatha and kitaabu-tawheed nor aqeedatu-salaf ashaabul-hadeeth. these are the established texts on creed and they are all onme, only the dhuf is opposed to every single one of these making it in opposition to the jama'ah here is a detailed biographical account of Ibn-Jawzee

Ibn al-Jawzi: A Lifetime of Da'wah Abuz-Zubair Ibn al-Jawzi, () , Abd al-Rahman b. Ali b. Muhammad Abu al-Faraj, a jurist, traditionist, historian, preacher, one of the most famous Hanbalis of Baghdad, where he was born, most probably, in the year 511/1127[1], and whose ancestry goes back to Abu Bakr (ra). He was orphaned at the age of three and thereafter raised in care of his mother and paternal aunt, who later brought him to the mosque of Abu al-Fadhl Ibn Nasir, to be taught traditions (hadith). At this stage, Ibn al-Jawzi was probably no more than six years old.

Early Learning and Teachers


Being his first teacher as well as his maternal uncle, Ibn Nasir introduced him to many other teachers. Ibn al-Jawzi shows his gratitude to Ibn Nasir by writing the following in his notice: He heard numerous traditions, and had copious knowledge in that regard. He studied lexicography under Abu Zakariya. He is the one whom Allah Taala appointed for the purposes of guiding me to knowledge. He would exert great effort on my behalf during my childhood and take me to teachers. He made me study the Musnad of Imam Ahmad by reading it to Ibn al-Husayn, as well as collections of shorter chains (awali). I, at that time, hadnt a clue what learning is, due to my young age. He would make record of all traditions I heard. I studied with him for thirty years and did not benefit from anyone as I benefited from him.[2] Thus, Ibn al-Jawzi began his learning career from a very young age, and had over 90 teachers, three of whom were women.[3]His teachers who taught him traditions include Abu al-Saadat al-Mutawakkili, who gave him the authorisation (ijaza) to transmit works from al-Khatib al-Baghdadi; Ibn al-Husayn who taught him Musnad of Imam Ahmad; and of course, Ibn Nasir who started his career as a Shafii-Ashari, but later converted to Hanbalism in doctrine and jurisprudence, due to a dream he saw to that effect.[4] Amongst his Quran teachers was Abu al-Karam al-Hashimi - another convert from Shafiism to Hanbalism, of whom Ibn al-Jawzi states: He is the first to teach me the

Quran when I was a child[5] - and most notably Abu Muhammad al-Muqri from whom he learnt various modes of recitations.[6] His education in jurisprudence began with one of the leading Hanbali authorities of the time, Ibn al-Zaghuni, which continued for several years. After the latters death in 527/1133, Ibn al-Jawzi became the student of Abu Bakr al-Dinawari until his death in 532/1137-8, after which he continued his law studies with other prominent Hanbali figures, such as Abu Yala al-Saghir, then finally, Abu Hakim al-Nahrawani. Later Ibn al-Jawzi became an assistant teacher for al-Nahrawani in his institute, and upon his death in 556/1161, Ibn al-Jawzi succeeded him as the professor. His preaching career (waz) also began at a very young age, when his teacher Ibn Nasir introduced him to Abu al-Qasim al-Alawi al-Harawi, who taught him the art of preaching. It was not long before he encouraged Ibn al-Jawzi to ascend the pulpit and deliver his first sermon attended by a crowd of 50,000, at the tender age of ten.[7] However, al-Alawi soon left Baghdad, after which Ibn al-Jawzi s training on wadh was continued by Ibn al-Zaghuni until his death in 527/1133. In addition to his professors, he held in great admiration three scholars, even though he never personally met them: Abu al-Wafa Ali b. Aqil al-Hanbali; the Ashari-Shafii historian, a biographer and the author of Hilyat al-Awliya, Abu Nuaym al-Isfahani; and al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, a famous traditionist and a historian, a Hanbali who converted to Shafiism.[8]

His Preaching Career


Although, Ibn al-Jawzi was a prolific author, who wrote extensively on many topics and sciences, his fame is due to his glorious preaching career, which in turn made him an influential religious political figure in Baghdad. As preceded, he gave his first sermon at the age of ten, but his career only advanced at the age of fifteen, upon the death of his teacher Ibn al-Zaghuni in 527/1133 when he requested that he should replace his teachers position. However, due to his young age, his proposal was turned down, yet his persistence led him to the vizier, who officially appointed him to deliver sermons in al-Mansur mosque.[9] By year 544/1149, Ibn al-Jawzi was appointed by Ibn Hubayrah, the pious Hanbali vizier, to hold his sermons every Friday in his palace, which was open to the public. His ever increasing popularity moved the Caliph al-Mustanjid to appoint him to deliver sermons in the Palace mosque, which were regularly attended by 10,000 to 15,000. Ibn al-Jawzi used this opportunity to show great valour in defence of sunnah and briskly attacked the ever growing madhab fanaticism in his time, as well as scholastic theological schools such as Mutazilism and Asharism.[10] However, after Ibn Hubayra became a victim of his rival conspirators and was subsequently martyred in 560/1164, life became difficult for Ibn al-Jawzi. The following

year one of the colleges under the supervision of Ibn al-Jawzi was seized. Hence, his activism and influence vanished from the scene for five years, but reappeared after the death of Caliph al-Mustanjid in 566/1170. During the reign of al-Mustadhi, Ibn al-Jawzi developed strong ties with the Caliph, due to which he became of the most influential persons of Baghdad. This special relationship is illustrated by Ibn al-Jawzi s work al-Misbah al-Mudhi fi Dawlat al-Mustadhi, which he wrote in praise of the Caliph. In 567/1171 when Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi re-established the Abbasid Khutba in Cairo after defeating the Fatimids, Ibn al-Jawzi demonstrated his rejoice by writing Kitab al-Nasr Ala Misr, after which he was authorised by the Caliph in 568/1172 to deliver sermons at the Badr gate in presence of the Caliph. In the same year he delivered many popular sermons that attracted extraordinarily large crowds of 100,000 attendees. In 569/1173, Ibn al-Jawzi was invited by the people of al-Harbiyya and Bab al-Basra, the two quarters of West Baghdad, to deliver a sermon in an open area between the two quarters. The sermon, however, was attended by people from all parts of the city. Ibn alJawzi led the multitude of congregation to the place of meeting and delivered the sermon. Since the meeting was held after sunset, the people of al-Harbiyya and Bab al-Basra men, women and children came out with candles to receive him. The number of attendees were estimated at 300,000, while the candles were estimated at a thousand, lighting up the plain and dramatising the occasion. In 570 he built his own college at Darb Dinar and on the first day delivered a series of fourteen lectures on different sciences. In the same year, he concluded his exegeses of the Quran and prostrated on the pulpit, claiming to be the first one to have completed a series of Quran exegeses in sermons since it was revealed. In the same year he was given the custody of another college, on which the name of Imam Ahmad was inscribed, along with a declaration that it had been relegated to the supervision of the champion of the sunnah, Ibn al-Jawzi. Such a growing influence of Ibn al-Jawzi , and by extension the Hanbali Madhab, alarmed the members of other schools. In 571/1178-9 the Caliph granted Ibn al-Jawzi inquisitorial powers to combat the increasing Rafidhite influence in Baghdad. Ibn al-Jawzi ascended the pulpit and proclaimed to the crowds: Amir al-Muminin has heard about the growth of Rafdh, and has conferred upon me inquisitional powers to combat heresies. If you hear anyone from the public reviling the Companions, then inform me, for I will raze his house and land him in prison.[11] It is said that it was during this period Ibn al-Jawzi penned his famous Talbis Iblis (The Devils Deception), in critique of numerous heresies, social ills, and in particular, the distorted version of Tasawwuf that had become widespread. Ibn al-Jawzi s career and popularity reached its zenith in the year 574/2278 AH, which in turn empowered the Hanbalis in Baghdad. At this same time, the Caliph ordered that an inscription be engraved on the tomb of Imam Ahmad stating: This is the grave of the crown of sunnah, the most noble of the Ummah, one with high ambitions, the embodiment of the Book and the sunnah of Allahs Messenger, al-Imam Abu Abd Allah

Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Hanbal al-Shaybani may Allah be merciful with him, ending with the date of his demise and Ayat al-Kursi. However, the followers of other madhabs became concerned at the growing Hanbali influence on the Caliph and complained, since it was never customary for the ruler to bestow the title of Imam to anyone other than a caliph.[12] Ibn al-Jawzi writes, describing the pinnacle of his success in the same year: Today I am the director of five colleges, and the author of 150 works in all subjects. More than 100,000 repented at my hands, and I cut off the hair of more than 10,000 lax young men.[13] No preacher saw a crowd as great as mine, which was attended by the Caliph, the vizier, sahib al-makhzan (Dhahir al-Din) and the senior scholars.[14] After the death of al-Mustadhi, al-Nasir ascended to power in 575/1179. Whilst it has been noted that al-Nasir inclined towards Shiism, the early part of his reign did not appear to reflect any change in Ibn al-Jawzi s relation with the caliphate. This, nevertheless, was soon to change and land Ibn al-Jawzi in utter disgrace in year 590/1194.

His Trial
Year 590/1194 marks Ibn al-Jawzi s fall from grace. In this painful episode of his life, he was subjected to severe tribulation, exile and imprisonment. The cause of his trial was the bitter feud between him and the descendants of the famous Sufi Hanbali Shaykh Abd alQadir al-Jaylani. During the vizierate of Abu al-Mudhaffar b. Yunus, a supporter of Ibn al-Jawzi and like him, also a student of al-Nahrawani a tribunal was setup for Rukn al-Din, the grandson of Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylani. The tribunal, which took place in the presence of Ibn alJawzi and other leading scholars, concluded in burning of his books, which contained zandaqah, heresies, astrology and in particular rasail ikhwan al-safa. Consequently, AlJaylanis institute, much to the disgrace of Rukn al-Din, was snatched away from him and placed in the care of Ibn al-Jawzi. However, after the dismissal of the vizier Ibn Yunus in 590/1194, Ibn al-Qassab, described by Ibn Rajab as a vile Rafidite (rafidhi khabith), was instated as the vizier. Ibnal-Qassab, then went in pursuit of his rival, Ibn Yunus and his supporters. Rukn al-Din seized this opportunity to entrap Ibn al-Jawzi , and incited Ibn al-Qassab against him by suggesting that the former was a Nasibi (detractor of the Prophets family) and a descendant of Abu Bakr, enough reason for him to be disgraced and persecuted. Ibn al-Qassab, after seeking the permission of the Caliph al-Nasir, unleashed Rukn al-Din upon Ibn al-Jawzi. Rukn al-Din then proceeded to the house of Ibn al-Jawzi , where he publicly humiliated him and dragged him out of his house, which was then sealed off and his family dispersed. Ibn al-Jawzi was taken to Wasit in the middle of the night by Rukn himself and house arrested. Rukn, still seeking to further humiliate Ibn al-Jawzi , requested permission from the superintendent of Wasit to imprison Ibn al-Jawzi in an

underground basement. The superintendent, who was also a Shiite, rebuked Rukn saying: O ye Heretic! Should I throw him therein merely upon your request?! Bring me the written decree of the Caliph, for by Allah, if he was of my sect, I would have sacrificed my soul and wealth in his service! Hence, Rukn simply returned to Baghdad. Ibn al-Jawzi s imprisonment in Wasit did not prevent him from utilising his time to write and teach, whilst cooking and cleaning, at a very old age without any help. It is reported that Ibn al-Jawzi would complete the Quran daily, yet omitting Surah Yusuf, due to his deep sorrow over his son who shared the same name. It was after five years, in 595/1198-9 that his son, Muhiy al-Din Yusuf, became prominent through his preaching sessions, and successfully managed to intercede with the mother of the Caliph on behalf of his father, and thereby, facilitating Ibn al-Jawzi s return to Baghdad. His arrival in Baghdad was emotionally celebrated by the inhabitants, who enthusiastically came out to receive him with a warm welcome. It was then announced that he would be holding a preaching session the following Saturday. The people thus began to reserve places for themselves immediately after having prayed the Friday prayer. Despite heavy rains that night, the masses could not be deterred from the much awaited sermon. The next morning, Ibn al-Jawzi began to deliver his sermon to an extraordinary large audience, such that many, due to the vast numbers present, were unable to hear his voice.

His death and funeral


He continued to give sermons and author numerous works, until the Ramadan of 597/1200. On the 7th of Ramadan, he sat at the mausoleum of the Caliphs mother to deliver his last sermon. After addressing the congregation, he fell ill for five days, and passed away on Thursday night between Maghrib and Isha at the age of eighty-six or eighty-seven. The next morning, his funeral was prepared and brought out of the house. The entire city of Baghdad came to a standstill as the masses gathered to attend the funeral. At first, his funeral was taken to the spot where he would deliver his sermons, and prayed over by his son, Abu al-Qasim. The crowds then carried the funeral to alMansur mosque, where he was prayed over again. By the time the crowds reached his grave, which was located near the grave of Imam Ahmad, it was time for the Friday prayer. It was one of the most extraordinary funerals in Baghdad, where the inhabitants of Baghdad showed their utmost remorse at the loss of an inspirational Islamic figure, a charismatic and earnest preacher, and a source of pride. His Descendants Ibn al-Jawzi left behind three sons and six daughters: 1) Abd al-Aziz, his eldest son, who settled and preached in Mosul. He died at a very young age.

2)Abu al-Qasim Ali, his second eldest son. He began his preaching career at a very young age but left shortly, and instead, degenerated into an idler and accompanied irreligious people. He was extremely rebellious towards his noble father, such that when the latter was sent in exile to Wasit, he sold most of his fathers books away for a dirt cheap price. Due to his behaviour, Ibn al-Jawzi had shunned him for years until he died. He would often say about his son: I pray against him every last third of the night.[15] 3)Muhiy al-Din Yusuf, his youngest son, who followed his fathers footsteps in learning and preaching. He also took responsibility for the Ministry of Commanding Virtues and Forbidding Evil in Baghdad, taught his Hanbali colleagues at al-Mustansiriyya institute, and later formed al-Jawzi yya institute in Damascus. He was killed, along with the Caliph at the hands of the Tatars upon Hulagu Khans invasion of Baghdad. 4)Sitt al-Ulama senior, the eldest daughter and the wife of the jurist, Abu al-Abbas Ahmad al-Hammami; 5) Rabia, the mother of Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi ; 6) Sharaf al-Nisa, the wife of Abd al-Wahhab al-Iyabi al-Hanbali; 7) Zaynab; 8) Jawhara and 9) Sitt alUlama junior, the youngest daughter.[16]

Students
Ibn al-Jawzi produced many students, the most notable of them were:

Yusuf b. al-Jawzi , Abu al-Faraj Ibn al-Jawzi s son who established al-Jawzi yya institute in Damascus. He, along with his three sons, was killed by the Tatars upon the invasion of Baghdad by Hulagu Khan. His works include: Maadin alIbriz fi Tafsir al-Kitab al-Aziz in exegesis, al-Madhab al-Ahmad fi Madhab Ahmad, and al-Idah fi al-Jadal. Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi , his grandson from his daughter Rabia, a historian and a preacher like his grandfather. He was born and raised in Baghdad under the supervision of his grandfather, who then travelled to Damascus and settled therein. His works include: Mirat al-Zaman fi Tarikh al-Ayan, al-Jalis al-Salih, al-Intisar wal-Tarjih, and many others. He was a convert from Hanbalism to Hanafism and apparently, Rafidhi-Shiism. Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi, one of the most prominent Hadith masters with outstanding knowledge on the narrators of traditions. He is the author of many famous works, such as al-Kamal fi Asma al-Rijal and Umdat al-Ahkam. Ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi, one of the major Hanbali authorities and the author of the profound and voluminous book on Law, al-Mughni, which became popular amongst researchers from all juristic backgrounds.

His Works
Ibn al-Jawzi is perhaps the most voluminous author in Islamic history. Al-Dhahabi states: I have not known anyone amongst the ulama to have written as much as he (Ibn alJawzi ) did.

According to Ibn al-Jawzi , he wrote his first book only at the tender age of thirteen.[17] It has always been difficult to determine the exact number of works authored by Ibn alJawzi. Al-Zirikli estimates it to be around 300[18], while Dr. al-Alwaji counted up to 574 works in his Muallafat Ibn al-Jawzi. However, this figure is far from accurate, and perhaps exaggerated, for al-Alwaji often repeats a title with a different wording, and gives it a separate count. Ibn al-Jawzi himself determined 150 works, at the time he was writing his rich historical piece al-Muntadham; and 250 by the time of his death.[19] Ibn Rajab lists over 180 compositions, whereas Ibn Taymiyyah, being an avid reader of Ibn al-Jawzi s works, claimed to have counted over 1000 works, and later found even more, a claim that Dr. Abd al-Rahman al-Uthaymin, deems gross exaggeration. Although, Ibn al-Jawzi s works range from law (fiqh), traditions (hadith), history and biography, his best contribution, as asserted by Ibn Taymiyyah were his Manaqib biographical series on some of the prominent Islamic figures. The following is a list of his works as documented by Ibn Rajab: Quranic Sciences 1) Al-Mughni fi al-Tafsir, 81 parts 2) Zad al-Masir fi Ilm al-Tafsir, 4 volumes 3) Taysir al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Quran 4) Tadhkirat al-Arib fi Tafsir al-Gharib 5) Gharib al-Gharib 6) Nuzhat al-Uyun al-Nawadhir fi al-Wujuh wa al-Nadhair 7) Al-Wujuh wa al-Nawadhir fi al-Wujuh wa al-Nadhair, a summary of Nuzhat al-Uyun al-Nawadhir 8) Al-Ishara ila al-Qiraat al-Mukhtara, 4 parts 9) Tadhkirat al-Mutanabbih fi Uyun al-Mushtabih 10) Funun al-Afnan fi Uyun Ulum al-Quran 11) Ward al-Aghsan fi Funun al-Afnan 12) Umdat al-Rasikh fi Marifat al-Mansukh wa al-Nasikh, 5 parts 13) Al-Musaffa bi Akuffi Ahl al-Rusukh min Ilm al-Nasikh wal-Mansukh Theology 14) Muntaqad al-Mutaqid 15) Minhaj al-Wusul ila Ilm al-Usul, 5 parts 16) Bayan Ghaflat al-Qail bi Qidam Afal al-Ibad 17) Ghawamidh al-Ilahiyat 18) Maslak al-Aql 19) Minhaj Ahl al-Isaba 20) Al-Sirr al-Masun 21) Daf Shubhat al-Tashbih, 4 parts 22) Al-Radd Ala al-Mutaassib al-Anid

Traditions and Asceticism 23) Jami al-Asanid bi Alkhas al-Asanid 24) Al-Hadaiq, 34 parts 25) Naqiy al-Naql, 5 parts 26) Al-Mujtab 27) Al-Nuzha, 2 parts 28) Uyun al-Hikayat 29) Multaqat al-Hikayat, 13 parts 30) Irshad al-Muridin fi Hikayat al-Salaf al-Salihin 31) Rawdhat al-Naqil 32) Ghurar al-Athar, 30 parts 33) Al-Tahqiq fi Ahadith al-Taliq, 2 volumes (ISBN: 9775704480) 34) Al-Madih, 7 parts 35) Al-Mawdhuat min al-Ahadith al-Marfuat, 2 volumes 36) Al-Ilal al-Mutanahiya fi al-Ahadith al-Wahiya, 2 volumes 37) Ikhbar Ahl al-Rusukh fi al-Fiqh wal-Tahdith bi Miqdar al-Mansukh min al-Hadith (ISBN: 9771420054) 38) Al-Sahm al-Musib, 2 parts 39) Akhyir al-Dhakhair, 3 parts 40) Al-Fawaid an al-Shuyukh, 60 parts 41) Manaqib Ashab al-Hadith 42) Mawt al-Khidhr 43) Mukhtasar Mawt al-Khidhr 44) Al-Mashyikha 45) Al-Musalsalat 46) Al-Muhtasab fi al-Nasab 47) Tuhfat al-Tullab, 3 parts 48) Tanwir Mudlahim al-Sharaf 49) Al-Alqab 50) Fadhail Umar b. al-Khattab 51) Fadhail Umar b. Abd al-Aziz 52) Fadhail Said b. al-Musayyab 53) Fadhail al-Hasan al-Basri 54) Manaqib al-Fudhayl b. Ayadh, 4 parts 55) Manaqib Bishr al-Hafi, 7 parts 56) Manaqib Ibrahim b. Adham, 6 parts 57) Manaqib Sufyan al-Thawri 58) Manaqib Ahmad b. Hanbal 59) Manaqib Maruf al-Karkhi, 2 parts 60) Manaqib Rabia al-Adawiyya 61) Muthir al-Azm al-Sakin ila Ashraf al-Amakin (ISBN: 9775227593) 62) Safwat al-Safwa, 5 parts, abridgment of Hilyat al-Awliya by Abu Nuaym 63) Minhaj al-Qasidin, 4 parts 64) Al-Mukhtar min Akhbar al-Akhyar 65) Al-Qati li Muhal al-Lijaj bi Muhal al-Hallaj, a rebuttal against the supporters of al-

Hallaj, the pantheist who was executed by the agreement of the jurists from four schools. 66) Ujalat al-Muntadhar li Sharh Hal al-Khidhr 67) Al-Nisa wa ma yataalluq bi adabihin 68) Ilm al-Hadith al-Manqul fi Anna Aba Bakr Amma al-Rasul 69) Al-Jawhar 70) Al-Mughlaq History 71) Talqih Fuhum Ahl al-Athar fi Uyun al-Tawarikh wal-Siyar 72) Al-Muntadham fi Tarikh al-Muluk wal-Umam, 10 volumes 73) Shudhur al-Uqud fi Tarikh al-Uhud 74) Taraif al-Dharaif fi Tarikh al-Sawalif 75) Manaqib Baghdad Fiqh 76) al-Insaf fi Masail al-Khilaf 77) Junnat al-Nadhir wa Jannat al-Nadhar 78) Umad al-Dalail fi Mushtahar al-Masail 79) Al-Mudhab fi al-Madhab 80) Masbuk al-Dhahab 81) Al-Nubdha 82) Al-Ibadat al-Khams 83) Asbab al-Hidaya li Arbab al-Bidaya 84) Kashf al-Dhulma an al-Dhiya fi Radd Dawa Ilkiya 85) Radd al-Lawm al-Dhaym fi Sawm Yawm al-Ghaym Art of Preaching (wadh) 86) al-Yawaqit fi al-Khutab 87) al-Muntakhab fi al-Nuwab 88) Muntakhab al-Muntakhab 89) Muntakhal al-Muntakhab 90) Nasim al-Riyadh 91) Al-Lulu 92) Kanz al-Mudhakkir 93) Al-Azaj 94) Al-Lataif 95) Kunuz al-Rumuz 96) Al-Muqtabis 97) Zayn al-Qisas 98) Mawafiq al-Marafiq (ISBN: 2745134647) 99) Shahid wa Mashhud 100) Wasitat al-Uqud min Shahid wa Mashhud 101) Al-Lahab, 2 parts

102) Al-Mudhish 103) Saba Najd 104) Muhadathat al-Aql 105) Laqt al-Juman 106) Al-Muqad al-Muqim 107) Iqadh al-Wasnan min al-Raqadat bi Ahwal al-Haywan wal-Nabat, 2 parts 108) Nakt al-Majalis al-Badriyya, 2 parts 109) Nuzhat al-Adib, 2 parts 110) Muntaha al-Muntaha 111) Tabsirat al-Mubtadi, 20 parts 112) Al-Yaquta, 2 parts (ISBN: 9775141494) 113) Tuhfat al-Wuadh Various sciences 114) Dham al-Hawa, 2 volumes 115) Sayd al-Khatir, 65 parts 116) Ihkam al-Ishar bi Ahkam al-Ashar, 20 parts 117) Al-Qussas al-Mudhakkirin (Also available in English: A critical edition, annotated translation and introduction by Merlin L. Swartz ASIN: B0007KE23O) 118) Taqwim al-Lisan 119) Al-Adhkiya 120) Al-Hamqa 121) Talbis Iblis, 2 volumes (A small part of the book has been translated and abridged into English by Dr. Bilal Philips) 122) Laqt al-Manafi fi al-Tibb, 2 volumes 123) Al-Shayb al-Khidhab 124) Amar al-Ayan 125) Al-Thabat ind al-Mamat, 2 parts 126) Tanwir al-Ghabash fi Fadhl al-Sud wal-Habash, 2 parts 127) Al-Hath ala Hifdh al-Ilm wa Dhikr Kibar al-Huffadh 128) Ashraf al-Mawali, 2 parts 129) Ilam al-Ahya bi Aghlat al-Ihya, a criticism of Ihya Ulum al-Din by al-Ghazzali 130) Tahrim al-Muhill al-Makruh 131) Al-Misbah al-Mudhi li Dawlat al-Imam al-Mustadhi 132) Atf al-Ulama ala al-Umara wal-Umara ala al-Ulama 133) Al-Nasr Ala Misr 134) Al-Majd al-Adhudi 135) Al-Fajr al-Nuri 136) Manaqib al-Sitr al-Rafi 137) Ma Qultuhu min al-Ashar 138) Al-Maqamat 139) Min Rasaili 140) Al-Tibb al-Ruhani 141) Bayan al-Khata wal-Sawab fi Ahadith Ibn Shihab, 16 parts 142) Al-Baz al-Ashhab al-Munqadh ala man Khalafa al-Madhab, a treatise in Fiqh, and

not another title of Daf Shubah al-Tashbih according to Ibn Rajab. 143) Al-Wafa bi Fadhail al-Mustafa, 2 volumes 144) Al-Nur fi Fadhail al-Ayyam wal-Shuhur 145) Taqrib al-Tariq al-Abad fi Fadhail Maqbarat Ahmad 146) Manaqib al-Imam al-Shafii 147) Al-Uzlah 148) Al-Riyadha 149) Minhaj al-Isaba fi Mahabat al-Sahaba 150) Funun al-Albab 151) Al-Dhurafa wal-Mutamajinin 152) Manaqib Abi Bakr 153) Manaqib Ali 154) Fadhail al-Arab 155) Durrat al-Iklil fi al-Tarikh, 4 volumes 156) Al-Amthal 157) Al-Manfaah fi al-Madhahib al-Arbaah, 2 volumes 158) Al-Mukhtar min al-Ashar, 10 volumes 159) Ruus al-Qawarir, 2 volumes 160) Al-Murtajal fi al-Wadh 161) Dhakhirat al-Waidh, several volumes 162) Al-Zajr al-Makhuf 163) Al-Ins wal-Mahabba 164) Al-Mutrib al-Mulhib 165) Al-Zand al-Wariy fi al-Wadh al-Nasiriy, 2 parts 166) Al-Fakhir fi Ayyam al-Imam al-Nasir 167) Al-Majd al-Salahi 168) Lughat al-Fiqh, 2 parts 169) Aqd al-Khanasir fi Dhamm al-Khalifat al-Nasir 170) Dhamm Abd al-Qadir, a censure of Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylani 171) Gharib al-Hadith 172) Mulah al-Ahadith, 2 parts 173) Al-Fusul al-Wadhiya ala Huruf al-Mujam 174) Salwat al-Ahzan, 10 volumes 175) Al-Mashuq fil-Wadh 176) Al-Majalis al-Yusufiyya fil-Wadh 177) Al-Wadh al-Maqbari 178) Qiyam al-Layl, 3 parts 179) Al-Muhadatha 180) Al-Munaja 181) Zahir al-Jawahir fil-Wadh, 4 parts 182) Al-Nuhat al-Khawatim, 2 parts 183) Al-Murtaqa li man Ittaqa 184) Hawashi ala Sihah al-Jawhari 185) Mukhtasar Funun Ibn Aqil, 10 odd volumes

Criticisms by Ibn al-Jawzi

Ashari theologians Despite Ibn al-Jawzi s doctrinal views on Allahs Names and Attributes often appearing contradictory, as we will see, he was, nevertheless, an ardent follower of the traditional Hanbali hostility towards the Asharis. His extremely hostile attitude towards the Asharis was well noted by Ibn Kathir as he states: Ibn al-Jawzi mentions in this year[20], in al-Muntadham, the death of al-Ashari, where he spoke ill of him, disparagingly in accordance with the habitual criticisms by the Hanbalis directed towards the Asharis, past and present[21] Ibn Kathir is referring to the following note of Ibn al-Jawzi on al-Ashari: He was born in 260 AH. He delved into the Kalam, and was upon the madhab of the Mutazila for a long time. He then decided to oppose them and proclaimed a doctrine which muddled up peoples beliefs and caused endless strife. The people never differed that this audible Quran is Allahs Speech, and that Gabriel descended with it upon the Prophet Allahs peace and blessings be upon him. The reliable imams declared that the Quran is eternal, while the Mutazila claimed that it is created. Al-Ashari then agreed with the Mutazila that the Quran is created and said: This is not Allahs Speech. Rather, Allahs Speech is an Attribute subsisting in Allahs Essence. It did not descend on the Prophet, nor is it audible. Ever since he proclaimed this belief, he lived in fear for his life for opposing the orthodox community (ahl al-sunnah), until he sought refuge in the house of Abu alHasan al-Tamimi fearing his assassination. Then some of the rulers began to fanatically follow his madhab, and his following increased, until the Shafiis abandoned the beliefs of al-Shafii and instead followed al-Asharis doctrine[22] The vehement defence of sunna and palpable attacks on unorthodox views, and in particular the Asharite views on the Quran, were a distinct feature of Ibn al-Jawzi s sermons. His attacks against the Asharis include his famous remark, once made on the pulpit: The heretics claim; i) there is none in the Heavens, ii) neither is there Quran in the Mushaf, and iii) nor is there a Prophet in the grave; your three shameful facets[23] Ibn al-Jawzi writes, while complaining about certain Asharites indoctrinating the masses with the Asharite dogma: A group of Persian (aajim) heretics arrived in Baghdad and mounted the pulpits to sermon the masses. They would claim, in most of their gatherings: There is no Speech of Allah on this earth, and is the mushaf anything but paper, galls and vitriol?[24] Allah is not in the Heavens, and the slave-girl to whom the Prophet said: Where is Allah? was dumb and therefore pointed towards the sky, meaning: He is not from the idols worshipped on this earth.[25] They then said: Where are the letterists, who claim that the Quran is composed of letters and sound? Rather, the Quran is only an expression of Jibril! They continued in this vein, until the sacredness of the Quran diminished from the hearts of many.[26] He then mentions at length, the arguments for the orthodox approach towards the Quran, and commends Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal for his rigid stance on the issue, which united the

Muslims on one belief: the Quran, which is contained in the Mushaf, is the uncreated Speech of Allah. He then denigrates al-Ashari, saying: Then, people did not differ in this issue, until there appeared Ali b. Ismail al-Ashari, who at first, held the beliefs of the Mutazilites. It then occurred to him, as he claimed, that Allahs Speech subsists in the Divine Essence (sifah qaimah bil-that). His claim, therefore, necessitated that the Quran we have is created.[27] Sufis Ibn al-Jawzi was, in his early youth, influenced by abstentious Sufism, which left him with illness for several years, until he decided to abandon it.[28] His experience with Sufism, which by then had vastly drifted away from the sacred law, transformed him into one of the fiercest critics of the Sufis. His austere anti-Sufi stance was clearly demonstrated in his sermons and many of his works. Although, he was never a detractor of the ascetics amongst the early Muslims, his criticisms were mainly directed towards the deviant and abnormal tendencies that took root amongst the ascetics, and by his time, became known as Tasawwuf. Ibn al-Jawzi says in Talbis Iblis, whilst commenting on the origins of Tasawwuf: The Sufis are generally from the ascetics (zuhhad). Although, we have already mentioned the devils deception of ascetics, except that the Sufis varied from the ascetics by having specific qualities and states, and became known with certain characteristics, and hence, we had to single them out with criticism. Tasawwuf is a path (tariqa), the beginning of which was complete asceticism; however, later its followers permitted the enjoyment of songs and dancing. At the time of the Prophet, the attribution was only to Iman and Islam, and hence it was said: so-and-so is a Muslim, or a Mumin. Then the terms zahid (ascetic) and abid (worshipper) were introduced. Then, there came a people who adhered to asceticism and worship, gave up the worldly life, devoted themselves to worship, and embraced a unique path and character.[29] Some have argued that despite Ibn al-Jawzi s cynicism towards the Sufis, he did not discredit Sufism as a genre. To the contrary, they claim, he was in favour of Sufism, and this is reflected by a number of his works, such as his abridgement of Hilyat al-Awliya by Abu Nuaym, Ihya Ulum al-Din by al-Ghazzali and various laudatory biographies of early ascetics, such as Hasan al-Basri and Maruf al-Karkhi. The above conclusion is not quite accurate, for while Ibn al-Jawzi undoubtedly paid great importance to asceticism, morals and manners, yet he did, nevertheless, regard the entire genre of Tasawwuf to be other than zuhd, and moreover, foreign to Islam and an absurdity. This is clearly reflected in his criticism of Abu Nuayms Hilyat al-Awliya, where the latter considers the early generation of Muslims, including the Prophets companions and the four Imams, to be from the Sufis.

Thus, Ibn al-Jawzi states, while listing his objections against Hilyat al-Awliya: The seventh objection comes against the ascription of Tasawwuf to the senior masters, such as Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali, al-Hasan, Shurayh, Sufyan, Shuba, Malik, Shafii, Ahmad, whereas they had no knowledge of Tasawwuf. If one were to say: [Abu Nuaym] meant by that, abstentious worldly life (zuhd), since they were all zuhhad. We say in reply: Tasawwuf is a school well-known amongst its followers, which is not simply restricted to Zuhd. Rather, the school has particular qualities and disposition, known to its masters. If Tasawwuf was not something further added to Zuhd, there would not have been narrations from some of the aforementioned in condemnation of Tasawwuf. In fact, Abu Nuaym himself narrated in the biography of al-Shafii may Allah be merciful with him that he said: Tasawwuf is built upon lethargy. If a person were to practise Tasawwuf in the morning, he would not reach the noon, except that he has become obtuse. I discussed Tasawwuf extensively in my book called: Talbis Iblis. (Devils Deception)[30] Indeed, Ibn al-Jawzi dedicated two-thirds of his book Talbis Iblis to his scathing criticism of Tasawwuf. His abridgment of Hilyat al-Awliya, and summarisation of Ihya Ulum alDin by al-Ghazzali, is not a proof for his Sufi tendencies. On the contrary, it is an illustration of his deep antagonism towards Tasawwuf. The sole purpose of abridging such works was to purge, what he considered the unorthodox content from such works, to make them conducive to the intellectual wellbeing of the masses. Ibn al-Jawzi s criticism of Tasawwuf did not spare the famous and respected ascetics, such as al-Junayd, Bishr alHafi, and even his co-Madhabist, Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylani, in censure of whom he wrote Dhamm Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylani (Censure of Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylani). Ibn al-Jawzi s criticisms of the Sufis were directed at several fronts. He criticised them for the prevalence of pantheism amongst their ranks, and to that end he wrote Al-Qati li Muhal al-Lijaj bi Muhal al-Hallaj censuring al-Hallaj, the famous pantheist who claimed to be God, and was subsequently executed by the agreement of the jurists.[31] He attacked the Sufis for demeaning all aspects of worldly life, such that they would wilfully and unwisely give away their belongings to remain poor. Ibn al-Jawzi states: What the ignorant amongst the ascetics call reliance (tawakkul), that is to spend all that one owns, is not legislated in religion. For the Prophet said to Kab b. Malik: Keep some of your wealth.[32] The Sufis were characterised by their deriding attitude towards the sacred knowledge, in favour of asceticism. Ibn al-Jawzi criticised them saying: From the amazing ways in which the devil plays his tricks, is by beautifying abandonment of knowledge. Yet, they [the Sufis] did not simply stop at that, but also engaged in insulting those busy with knowledge. This, only if they understood, is tantamount to insulting the Shariah; for the Messenger of Allah said: Convey from me[33] Ibn al-Jawzi s remarks, ridiculing the early ascetics, only underline his rigid anti-Sufi attitude. He says about the early ascetics: I saw most of them in confusion. Those of them with good intentions are also not following the mainstream path in most of their

affairs. A number of early ascetics wrote various books for their followers that are crammed full of abominations, and inauthentic reports, in which the authors instruct with that which is at odds with the Shariah; such as the works of al-Harith al-Muhasibi or Abu Abd Allah al-Tirmidhi, Qut al-Qulub by Abu Talib al-Makki, or al-Ihya of Abu Hamid [al-Ghazzali] al-Tusi. If a beginner were to open his eyes and desire to tread the path through these books, they would have led him to blunders, for they based their works on awkward narrations. I saw most of the people deviating from the Shariah, to whom the words of the ascetics became the Shariah itself. Hence, it was claimed: Abu Talib al-Makki said: From the Salaf were those who would weigh their daily intake against fresh branch-ends from palm-trees and notice it decreasing everyday! This practise was not known by the Messenger of Allah nor his Companions, rather they would eat but not to their fill. The life of the Messenger of Allah and his Companions was not like that of the ascetics of today. For the Messenger of Allah would laugh, joke, choose the best of things, race with Aisha may Allah be pleased with her. He would eat meat, love sweet dishes and water will be sweetened for him to drink. This is also how his companions were, until the ascetics discovered paths (taraiq), as if it were the beginning of another Shariah.[34] It is also vital to bear in mind that the remarks above were directed to a very small minority of the Sufis. As for the vast majority, for them Ibn al-Jawzi had the following to say: As for those who had incorrect intentions, from the hypocrites and the pretentious ones, for the sake of worldly gains, and for their hands to be kissed out of respect, then there is no discussion with them, and they are the majority of the Sufis![35] Philosophers Ibn al-Jawzi dedicated a section of Talbis Iblis to the philosophers who had taken a route, other than that of the prophets in their search for the truth. He describes their intellectual ailment saying: They believed in what their speculations dictated to them without referring to the prophets. From them are those who believed in the doctrine of alDahriyya that the world has no creator Most of them affirmed an eternal cause (illa qadima) for the world, and then stated that the world is eternal, which has always been in existence along with Allah They also concealed their doctrine by saying: Allah is the creator of this world, meaning: figuratively and not literally Their doctrine also includes that the world is ever lasting; just as its existence has no beginning, it has no end. They also believed that Allahs knowledge and ability is in fact His essence, in order to avoid affirming multiple eternal entities The philosophers also denied the resurrection, the return of souls to the bodies, and the bodily existence of Paradise and Hell, claiming that the two were merely paradigms for people to understand the concept of spiritual reward and punishment.

He then turns to the devils deceptions of the Muslim philosophers, who admired Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and others for their excellence in metaphysics, yet didnt realise their mediocrity in theology. They were consequently, intellectually suspended in a world between Greek philosophy and Islamic theology. Ibn al-Jawzi remarks: We noticed the philosophers from the adherents to our religion, that their philosophical path earned them confusion, hence, they adhered to neither philosophy, nor Islam. In fact, amongst them is one who fasts the Ramadan and prays, and then begins to object at the Creator and prophethood, and denies the resurrection. Ibn al-Jawzi then wonderfully summarises the underlying cause of deviancy amongst the so-called Muslim philosophers and the Muslim monks, saying: Because the philosophers were close in time to the advent of our Shariah, as were the monks; some of our co-religionists stretched out their hands for the former, while the others for the latter. Hence, you see many of the dull-witted, when they look into doctrine, they become philosophers; and when they look into asceticism, they became monks. We ask Allah to make us steadfast upon our religion[36] Other Philosophies and Schisms Ibn al-Jawzi s masterpiece Talbis Iblis, in part, is regarded to be a critical heresiographical work which accounts the doctrine and criticisms of various religions and sects. Amongst the list of religions and philosophies criticised by Ibn al-Jawzi were Sophisticism (sawfastaiyya), al-Dahriyya, Tabaiyyun, Dualism (thanawiyya), Paganism, Zoroastrianism, the pre-Islamic ignorance (jahiliyya), the denial of prophethood, the Jews, the Christians, the Sabians, Astrologers, deniers of resurrection, and the believers in metempsychosis (tanasukh). The schisms and sects criticised by Ibn al-Jawzi include the Khawarij, the Rafidites (shias) and the Esoterics (batiniyya). Social and Ethical Ills Ibn al-Jawzi s age saw many social and ethical ills creeping amongst the ranks of notables such as the jurists, traditionists, linguists and preachers. Naturally, a considerable portion of Talbis Iblis reflects his efforts in challenging the growing corruption and an endeavour to bring about change. He mentions the recitors of the Quran who, on one hand, devoted their lives learning the most eccentric modes of recitation, whilst neglecting the basics of Islamic knowledge. This, according to Ibn al-Jawzi , often caused the recitors to introduce practises and traditions previously unheard of in Islamic history.[37] The traditionists also became a target of his criticisms for their excessive focus on transmission of the texts without understanding the essence and the meaning of those traditions. Their lack of understanding often forced them to pass erroneous and baseless verdicts. Another illness to be found amongst the traditionists at the time of Ibn al-Jawzi was their desire for fame by travelling far and wide in search of the shortest chains, or

peculiar traditions. Some of the traditionists were accused by Ibn al-Jawzi of disparaging their colleagues whom they were jealous of, under the guise of al-Jarh wa al-Tadil.[38] Although, the jurists had always taken pride in objective and unbiased attitude towards juristic research, by the age of Ibn al-Jawzi , blind partisanship towards the established madhabs began to take root, which eroded the spirit of objectivity to an extent, and gave birth to madhabist bias in juristic discourse. Ibn al-Jawzi challenged the growing trend by saying: Lethargy prevailed over the latter jurists that they could not study the science of traditions; so much so, that I noticed some of the senior jurists remark in their works about traditions found in authentic collections: It is not possible for the Prophet to have said such-and-such! I then noted that he would support his argument in an issue saying: Some of them narrated that the Prophet said such-and-such. He would then respond to the authentic tradition, which his opponent used in support of his argument, saying: This tradition is not known! All of this is a crime against Islam. Ibn al-Jawzi equally criticised the jurists for associating with the authorities without censuring them for their oppression and unjust dealings, which, as he argues, resulted in three vices: One: The ruler assumes, if I was not correct, the jurist would have censured me. How can I not be right, when the jurist is happy to consume from my wealth? Two: The layperson assumes, There is neither anything wrong with this ruler, nor his wealth, or his actions, for such-and-such jurist barely leaves his company. Three: The jurist, who thereby, corrupts his religion. The devil also deceived a group from the scholars, who remained aloof from the rulers and turned to worship and religion instead. The devil then beautified for them to backbite those of the scholars who enter upon the rulers, and therefore accumulated for them two wrongs: back biting others, and praise of one self.[39] Ibn al-Jawzi also focuses his criticisms on the preachers who failed to act upon that which they preached and sought fame; the poets and linguists who often lacked religiosity; the rulers who habitually bypassed the Sharai injunctions in pursuit of their political goals; and the masses for their heedlessness and ignorance of their religious, social and moral responsibilities. Ibn al-Jawzi s criticisms, as presented in Talbis Iblis, proved to be a timeless collection of guidance and wisdom for the individual and the society, perhaps arguably, but sadly, more applicable in our time than his.

Criticisms of Ibn al-Jawzi


Ibn al-Jawzi , being a remarkable critic, was censured himself on a number of issues, some of which follow: Profuse errors in his works

Although Ibn al-Jawzi is remembered as a voluminous writer, the obvious disadvantage was the subsequent colossal number of errors in his works. For often, he would finish a book, and instead of revisiting it for corrections, he would begin another one; similarly, at times, he would write two books in different subjects simultaneously. He would frequently quote passages from various sources in different sciences, without thoroughly studying and researching. Thus, it is reported that he would say: I am a compiler and not an author. His errors in Hadith Although, Ibn al-Jawzi displayed great dislike for many authors to narrate week, and sometimes fabricated traditions in their works, while al-Ghazzali being the foremost of his victims; he, ironically, was guilty of the same. According to al-Dhahabi, while he was known with the exalted title of al-Hafidh, it was not due to his mastery in the science of traditions, but as a result of his vast knowledge and memorisation of copious narrations. Al-Dhahabi also mentions Ibn al-Akhdar being asked about Ibn al-Jawzi : Would not you respond to some of the errors of Ibn al-Jawzi ? He said in reply: One can only critically study someone whose errors are relatively few. As for him, then he has countless errors. Al-Dhahabi then quotes al-Sayfs unwarranted comment: I have never seen anyone who is relied upon in his religion, knowledge and intellect, admiring Ibn alJawzi. Al-Dhahabi then beautifully concludes: If Allah is pleased with him, then they are irrelevant.[40] Al-Mawdhuat is amongst the famous works of Ibn al-Jawzi on fabricated traditions, which received wide acceptance as well as criticisms, the primary reason for which was his inclusion of numerous traditions that were, perhaps weak (dhaif), but not at all fabricated (mawdhu). Many of such traditions are found in the books of Sunan, and in fact, one in Sahih Muslim. A number of latter traditionists pursued his errors, such as alHafidh al-Iraqi, Ibn Hajar and al-Suyuti in his work al-Laali al-Masnuah. Self-eulogy Ibn Rajab quotes Ibn al-Qadisi from his Tarikh that from the objections many had against Ibn al-Jawzi was that his speech consisted of eulogy, pride, presumptuousness, and frequent claims; no doubt he was guilty of some of that, may Allah overlook his faults.[41] Ibn al-Jawzi s description of his sermons, fame and glory in his alMuntadham are an obvious reflection of such objections, which often puzzles the average reader with respect to his piety and humility on one hand, and his eulogy and assertions on the other. However, it seems Ibn al-Jawzi was well aware of such criticisms, and perhaps he even responded to them, albeit indirectly, saying: After I had devoted myself to a study of these latter (i.e. the traditions) and to the sciences which fall under rubric of hadith,

scarcely a tradition was mentioned to me but that it was possible for me to say: It is a sound tradition (sahih), or a good tradition (hasan), or an absurd tradition (muhal). There are to be found in my books of wadh, achievements which even those experts [in this art] find impossible to match. I mention these achievements only out of gratitude, not out of pride, because those who see them will be astonished. But as for myself, I see only the excellence of the One who has made possible these achievements, and the inadequacy of my thanksgiving. Most assuredly, it was He who empowered me to speak extemporaneously for entire meetings without having to recourse to what I had memorised. Sometimes as many as fifteen verses [from the Quran] were recited in my presence at these meetings, following which I would immediately deliver a khutba relevant to each of the verses. And now I implore God to give me sincerity of purpose and assist me in profiting from my learning so that He may be the Master of that [learning] and the Sovereign Lord over it[42] Theological errors Ibn al-Jawzi created a storm in the traditionalist-textualist Hanbali school by writing his infamous book Daf Shubah al-Tashbih bi Akuff al-Tanzih (Rebuttal of the Insinuations of Anthropomorphism at the Hands of Divine Transcendence), which drew fierce attacks from all corners of the Hanbali world. The book came is a reaction to Ibn Hamid, Abu Yala and his Shaykh Ibn al-Zaghuni, who too were accused of fanaticism in their approach to affirming Allahs Attributes, for often they would use baseless and unfounded narrations to affirm them. Ibn Taymiyya writes about the three aforementioned: from the third category are those who heard the traditions and the narrations, glorified the beliefs of the early Muslims, yet also shared some of the principles of the JahmiteMutakallimun. They did not have as much expertise in the Quran, Hadith and traditions, as did the Imams of sunnah and hadith; neither from the angle of distinguishing between the Sahih and the Dhaif, nor from the angle of grasping the meanings of those texts. They also deemed some of the rational arguments of the Jahmite-negators to be correct, and therefore, saw a visible contradiction between the two (text and rationale). This was the case with Abu Bakr Ibn Furak, al-Qadhi Abu Yala, Ibn Aqil, et al. Due to this, they would sometimes prefer the method of allegorical exegesis (tawil), as did Ibn Furak and his likes while commenting on problematic traditions; or sometimes, they would leave the meanings to Allah (tafwidh) saying: the apparent meaning must be retained (tujra ala dhawahiriha), as did al-Qadhi Abu Yala and his likes; and sometimes, their opinions would differ, hence, they would prefer the former method at times, and the latter at other times, as was the case with Ibn Aqil and his likes. Moreover, they would often mention amongst the problematic traditions, narrations that were false and fabricated, not knowing that they were forged; or not knowing the same tradition with a different wording which may solve the dilemma.[43] Ibn al-Jawzi was more impressed with Ibn Aqil than the others mentioned by Ibn Taymiyya, due to which he would often favour tafwidh, while sometimes opting for

tawil. Such a contradictory stance is demonstrated by his interpretation (tawil) of the Face of Allah, as referring to Allahs essence in Daf Shubah al-Tashbih[44]; and then the rebutting the Mutazilites for the very interpretation he is guilty of in Majalis Ibn alJawzi.[45] In a similar vein, he censures those who opt for Tawil and brands them negators of Attributes, and further denounces the Mutazalite interpretation of Hands as bounties, Ascension (istawa) as seizure (istawla), or Descent (nuzul) as mercy; yet he is found guilty of the same errors in Daf Shubah al-Tashbih.[46] Towards the end of his work, Ibn al-Jawzi remarks: When a group of ignorant ones learnt of my book, they were disappointed, for they had become accustomed to the beliefs of their anthropomorphist leaders. Thus they said: This is not the madhab. I say (Ibn al-Jawzi ): This is not your madhab, nor the madhab of your teachers whom you blind follow. I have, however, exonerated the madhab of Imam Ahmad, and cleared him from the false narrations and nonsense utterances, without blind following anyone in my beliefs.[47] No doubt, none can challenge Ibn al-Jawzi s assertion with respect to himself; but as for exonerating Imam Ahmad of beliefs he considered anthropomorphic, then the scarcity of quotes from Imam Ahmad in his work, despite their copious presence in other popular and widely accepted Hanbali sources, remains a far cry from his claim. Al-Dhahabi also noticed Ibn al-Jawzi s departure from the doctrine of Imam Ahmad and remarked: his excellence continued to increase and gain popularity until he died. May Allah have mercy on him and forgive him! Only if he had not indulged in allegorical exegeses (tawil) and opposed his Imam![48] Inevitably, he received criticisms by various Hanbali authorities, from his age up until the present time. Amongst his contemporary critics was the Hanbali Shaykh of Iraq, Abu al-Fadhl Ishaq b. Muhammad al-Althi, who addressed Ibn al-Jawzi in harsh words in a letter, most of which was quoted by Ibn Rajab in Dhayl[49]. From the highlights of the letter, is al-Althis remarks addressing Ibn al-Jawzi : Amazing is of one who adheres to the madhab of the Salaf, and does not deem permissible to indulge in Kalam, who then moves to interpret that which he did not tolerate at first. He then says: If we say such and such, it would lead to such and such. If you interpret the divine Attributes based upon linguistic interpretations, deeming it permissible for you, and refuse to accept the advice, (then know that) this is not the madhab of the great Imam, Ahmad b. Hanbal May Allah sanctify his soul. Therefore, it is not fitting for you to attribute yourself to him with such beliefs. So chose for yourself a different madhab, if it is possible for you. For our (Hanbali) colleagues have not ceased to proclaim the blatant truth at all times, even if they were struck with the swords, not fearing anyones criticism.

Thus, Ibn al-Jawzi s account in nearly all Hanbali biographical works remained tainted with this criticism. IbnRajab quotes Ibn al-Qadisis remarks on Ibn al-Jawzi s controversy: [The error] for which he was criticised by a group of our scholars and Imams from the Maqdisis and the Althis [Hanbalis], was his tendency towards allegorical exegesis (tawil) in some of his speech. Their criticisms were severe in that regard. No doubt, his beliefs in this issue were quite contradictory. Even though he was well-versed in traditions and narrations regarding the subject matter, he was not well-aware of the responses to the doubts of the Mutakallimun, nor the extent of their fallacy. He would also hold Abu al-Wafa Ibn Aqil in great respect, and follow most of his beliefs, in spite of refuting him in some issues. Despite Ibn Aqils excellence in Kalam, he was not au fait on traditions and narrations, due to which he was inconsistent in this subject, with variegated opinions. Ibn al-Jawzi s opinions were as vegetated as his. Ibn Rajab then quotes Ibn Qudama saying: Ibn al-Jawzi was the leading authority on the art of preaching in his age. He also authored excellent works in various sciences, and his efforts were generally accepted. He would teach law (fiqh) and author works to that end, just as he had memorised traditions and also authored in that respect. However, we are not pleased with his writings with respect to sunnah (doctrine), nor his approach.[50] The latest rebuttal of Daf Shubhat al-Tashbih is a two volume book by a contemporary Hanbali theologian and a traditionist, Sulayman b. Nasir al-Alwan called: Ithaf ahl alFadhl wal-Insaf bi Naqdh Kitab Ibn al-Jawzi Daf Shubah al-Tashbih wa Taliqat alSaqqaf (An Offering to the Noble and Just, by Rebuttal of the book by Ibn al-Jawzi Daf Shubah al-Tashbih, and commentary of al-Saqqaf thereupon) Due to Ibn al-Jawzi s theological slips, some modern-day, and rather zealous Asharites have described him as an Ashari who took a staunch Ash`ari stance in doctrine; which is a rather astonishing claim, since none from the Muslim biographers or historians ever described him as such. On the contrary, despite sharing some aspects of doctrine with the Asharites, he was nevertheless, a staunch Ashari detractor, as demonstrated above and in a number of his works.

Conclusion
Ibn al-Jawzi lived for over eighty-six years, which he dedicated to learning, teaching, preaching and correcting the ills in the society. He delivered his first sermon at the age of ten, and continued with his profession until he died, thus having preached for 71 years of his life, taking into account his detention in Wasit. After the birth of the publishing industry, many of his works gained extraordinary popularity amongst the masses, and were thus reprinted by various publishers, and even rendered into English and French by academics. Ibn al-Jawzi has also become a subject of numerous research papers and

studies, which include: Ibn al-Jawzi by Abd al-Aziz al-Ghazzawali; Ibn al-Jawzi wa maqamatuhu al-Matbuah by Ali Jamil Muhanna; Abu al-Faraj Ibn al-Jawzi wa Arauhu al-Kalamiyya wal-Akhlaqiyya by Dr. Amina Muhammad Nasir; al-Usul alNafsiyya li al-Tarbiya ind al-Imam Abi al-Faraj Ibn al-Jawzi by Hasan Abd al-Aal; Muallafat Ibn al-Jawzi by Dr. Abd al-Hamid al-Alwaji; and in the orientlist world he has been a subject of various studies by H. Laoust and Merlin Swartz. Endnotes

[1] There is much dispute over the year of his birth. Ibn Rajab mentions five different dates: 508, 509, 510, 511 and 512; year 511 being the most probable due to several indications mentioned by Ibn Rajab in his Dhayl 2/462, ed. Dr. al-Uthaimin, Maktabat al-Ubaikan 2005 [2] Ibn al-Jawzi , Manaqib al-Imam Ahmad p. 706, Dar Hajar, 1988 [3] Ibn al-Jawzi , Mashyikha, al-Sharika al-Tunusia, Tunisia, 1988. [4] Al-Dhahabi, Siyar Alam al-Nubula 15/74, Dar al-Fikr, 1997; Bakr Abu Zayd, alNadhair 113, Dar al-Aasima, 1423AH [5] Ibn al-Jawzi , Al-Muntadham 10/205, Dar al-Fikr, 1995 [6] Ibid. 10/362 [7] Ibn Rajab, al-Dhayl Ala Tabaqat al-Hanabila 2/464, ed. Dr. al-Uthaimin, Maktabat al-Ubaikan 2005 [8] H. Laoust, Ibn al-Jawzi , Encyclopaedia of Islam, Brill [9] Ibn Rajab, al-Dhayl Ala Tabaqat al-Hanabila 2/465, ed. Dr. al-Uthaymin, Maktabat al-Ubaikan 2005 [10] Ibid. 2/466 [11] Ibid. 2/476 [12] Ibid. 2/478 [13] A symbolic act indicating remorse for sins committed, says Merlin Swartz in his edition of Kitab al-Qussas p 231, and further claims it to be an ancient Semitic practice. [14] Ibn al-Jawzi , al-Muntadham 10/574, Dar al-Fikr, 1995

[15] Salah al-Safadi, Al-Wafi bil-Wafayat 21/147 Dar Ihya al-Turath 2000, and AlDhahabi, Siyar al-Alam al-Nubala 15/494 and 16/285 [16] Ibn Rajab, Dhayl Ala Tabaqat al-Hanabila 2/458-61, ed. Dr. al-Uthaimin, Maktabat al-Ubaikan 2005 [17] Ibid. 2/490 [18] Al-Zirikli, al-Alam 3/316, Dar al-Ilm lil-Malayin [19] Al-Dhahabi, Siyar al-Alam al-Nubula 15/486, Dar al-Fikr 1997 [20] Year 331/942-3 [21] Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidaya wal-Nihaya 11/206, Maktabat al-Maarif Beirut [22] Ibn al-Jawzi , al-Muntadham 8/219, Dar al-Fikr, 1995 [23] Ibn al-Jawzi made this statement in rebuttal of the Asharites who claimed i) Allah is not above the heavens, for He is directionless and limitless, and ii) Allahs Speech is without letters or sound, and therefore, the Quran which consists of letters is created and not Allahs Speech. The third claim, that the Prophet is no longer a prophet after his demise, is based on the Asharite-atomist principle that accidents could not endure for two instances of time (al-aradh la yabqa zamanayn), and therefore, prophethood being an accident, must end with the demise of the Prophet. The attribution of the last claim to the Asharites is very much disputed, and vehemently rejected by the Asharites, and to this end, al-Bayhaqi wrote Hayat al-Anbiya fi Quburihim (Life of the Prophets in their grave), proving that the Prophets remained prophets after their death. It is also noted by some historians that the Asharite theologian, Ibn Furak, was actually killed by the Seljuki ruler, Ibn Subuktakin for the belief of the former that the Prophet is no longer a prophet; a claim strongly rejected by Ibn al-Subki. (cf. Ibn Hazm, al-Fasl 1/161, and Ibn al-Subki, Tabaqat 4/130-133). Your three shameful facets refers to the Quranic verse: three times of privacy for you 24:58. The incident is reported by Ibn Rajab in alDhayl. ), a well known fruit of which ink is made. Vitriol (), a well known [24] Galls ( kind of salt, which is a medicinal substance, and one of the ingredients of ink. See Lisan al-Arab ( ) and Lanes Lexicon. [25] This is the opinion of the Ashari traditionist Ibn Furak, as he says in Mushkil alHadith wa Bayanuhu p. 159: (The slave-girl) only pointed towards the sky, because she was dumb [26] Ibn al-Jawzi , Sayd al-Khatir p. 131. [27] Ibid p. 132

[28] Ibid p. 29 [29] Ibn al-Jawzi , Talbis Iblis p. 201, Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi 1993 [30] Ibn al-Jawzi , Sifat al-Safwa 1/9, Dar Salah al-Din li al-Turath [31] Ibn al-Jawzi , Talbis Iblis p. 210, Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi 1993 [32] Ibn al-Jawzi , Sayd al-Khatir p. 51 Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi 2004 [33] Ibid. p. 176-7 [34] Ibid. p 309-10 [35] Ibid. p. 311 [36] Ibn al-Jawzi , Talbis Iblis, p 59-65, Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi 1993 [37] Ibid. p. 137-40 [38] Ibid. p. 140-44 [39] Ibid. p. 145-50 [40] Al-Dhahabi, Siyar al-Alam al-Nubula 15/493, ed. Muhibb al-Din al-Amri, Dar alFikr 1997 [41] Ibn Rajab, al-Dhayl Ala Tabaqat al-Hanabila 2/487, ed. Dr. al-Uthaimin, Maktabat al-Ubaikan 2005 [42] Ibn al-Jawzi , Kitab al-Qussas al-Mudhakkirin 234, ed. Merlin L. Swartz, Dar ElMachreq, Beirut 1971 [43] Ibn Taymiyya, Dar Taarudh al-Aql wal-Naql 7/34 [44] Ibn al-Jawzi , Daf Shubhat al-Tashbih p. 12, ed. Al-Kawthari, al-Maktaba alAzhariyya 1998. [45] Quoted by al-Alwan in Ithaf Ahl al-Fadl wal-Insaf 1/128. [46] Ibn al-Jawzi , Sayd al-Khatir p. 81, Majalis Ibn al-Jawzi p. 7 [47] Ibn al-Jawzi , Daf Shubhat al-Tashbih p. 80 [48] Al-Dhahabi, Siyar al-Alam al-Nubula 15/484, Dar al-Fikr 1997.

[49] Ibn Rajab, al-Dhayl Ala Tabaqat al-Hanabila 3/446-453, ed. Dr. al-Uthaimin, Maktabat al-Ubaikan 2005 [50] Ibid. 2/487-8