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Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr (more commonly known as Ibn Qayyim or Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah) (1292-1350CE / 691 AH- 751 AH) was a famous Sunni Islamic jurist, commentator on the Qur'an, astronomer, chemist, philosopher, psychologist, scientist and theologian. Although he is commonly referred to as "the scholar of the heart," given his extensive works pertaining to human behavior and ethics, Ibn Qayyim's scholarship was focused on the sciences of Hadith and Fiqh.


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His Name and Lineage

He is Abu 'Abdillah, Shams ad-Din, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr ibn Ayyub ibn Sad ibn Hariz ibn Makki Zayn ad-Din, az-Zur'i then ad-Dimashqi, Al-Hanbali. He is famous as Ibn Qayim al-Jawziyyah.


His Birth

The biographical reference works are in agreement that he was born in the year 691 H (1292CE). His student, asSafadi, mentioned that he was born on the 7th of Safar in that year. Ibn Taghri Bardi, Ad-Dawudi, and as-Suyuti followed him in that view.


The Title "ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah"

This great Imam is well-known amongst both the early scholars and the later scholars as ibn Qayum al Jawziyyah. Some shorten it and simply say ibn al Qayyim. The biographical reference works are in agreement that the one who became famous with the title "Qayyim al-Jawziyyah" was his father: Shaykh Abu Bakr ibn Ayyub az-Zur'i. He was the Qayyim, or director, of al-Madrasah al-Jawziyyah (the Jawzi school) in Damascus for a long period of time. Therefore, he was called "Qayyim al-Jawziyyah." Afterwards, his offspring and his grandchildren became famous with this ascription.


Qayyim, in the language, means someone who is in charge of directing and managing something. As for its definition according to its technical usage, it does not go beyond that. It has the same meaning as Nazir or Wasi so a person can be called the Nazir of a school, its Wasi, or its Qayyim. They all have the same meaning. It is sufficient source of his pride that he should be in charge of this school because of the great influence it had amongst all the schools of that time.


Scholars on Him

Ibn Hajr said about him: "He had a courageous heart, was vast in knowledge and was well acquainted with the differences (of opinion) and the madhaahib of the Pious Predecessor."


Muhammad bin Alee ash-Shawkaanee said: "He restricted (himself) to the (most) authentic of evidences, and admired acting upon them. He did not depend upon opinion (rai’), would overcome (others) with the truth and would not be harsh with anyone with respect to it."


Ibn Katheer said: "He was attached to occupying himself with knowledge, day and night. He would pray and recite the Qur’aan much and was of excellent character, show great affection and friendship. He would not be jealous or envious."


Ibn Katheer also said: "I do not know, in this time of ours, anyone in the world who worships greater than him. He used to have a particular manner with respect to the prayer. He would lengthen it a great deal, would extend its bowing and prostrating. Many of his associates would censure him at times but he would never return and leave alone this (action of his), may Allaah have mercy upon him."


And Mullaa Alee al-Qaaree said: "And whoever investigates the book Sharh Manaazil us-Saa’ireen (i.e. Madaarij us-Saalikeen), it will become plain and clear to him that both of them (meaning Ibn al-Qayyim and Ibn Taymiyyah) were amongst the most senior from Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah and amonsgt the Awliyaah (of Allaah) of this Ummah."


Al-Haafidh as-Suyootee said: "And he became one of the senior scholars in tafseer (exegesis), hadeeth, usool, furoo’ (subsidiary matters) and Arabic language."


He authored and compiled in the field of fiqh , usool, siyar (biography), history and the sciences of hadeeth. Alongside this, he was a linguist, well-acquainted with grammar, and a poet. He had written much poetry.


His teachers

He studied under Ash-Shibab an-Nabilisi, Abu Bakr ibn 'Abd ad-Da'im, Al-Qadhi Taqi ad-Din Sulayman, 'Isa al-Mut'im, Fatimah bint Jawhar, Abu Nasr al-Baha' ibn Asakir, 'Ala' ad-Din al-Kindi, Muhammad ibn 'Abdul-Fath al-Ba'labaki, Ayyub ibn al-Kamal and Al-Qadhi Badr ad-Din ibn Jama'ah.


He took knowledge of the laws of inheritance from Isma'il ibn Muhammad and read the Arabic language to 'Abdul-Fath al-Ba'labaki and Al-Majd at-Tunisi. He studied fiqh with a certain groups of scholars, amongst them being Isma'il ibn Muhammad al-Harrani, and he took 'Usul al-Fiqh from As-Safi al-Hindi. As for his greatest teacher and his shaykh whom he accompanied for seventeen years of his life, and who left the greatest impact upon him - then that is the Imam, the Mujaddid (Reviver), Taqi ad-Din ibn Taymiyyah.


His students

As for his own students, then they are many. Amongst them were his son 'Abdullah; Ibn Kathir - the author of Al-Bidayah wa'n-Nihayah; the Imam and Hafidh, 'Abdur-Rahman ibn Rajab al-Baghdadi al-Hanbali - the author of Tabaqat al-Hanabilah; and also Shams ad-Din Muhammad 'Abdul-Qadir an-Nabilisi.


His works

Leaving behind many written works, amongst the most famous of which are:

  1. Shifaa ul-Aleel
  2. Miftaah Daar us-Sa’aadah
  3. Zaad al-Ma’aad fee Hadyi Khair il-Ibaad
  4. Haadi ul-Arwaah ilaa Bilaad il-Afraah
  5. Ighaathatul-Lahafaan fee Hukm Talaaq al-Ghadbaan
  6. Al-Jawaab Kaafee liman Sa’ala an Dawaa ish-Shaafee
  7. Madaarij us-Saalikeen fee Manaazil is-Saa’ireen
  8. Tahdheeb Sunan Abee Daawood
  9. As-Sawaa’iq ul-Mursalah alal-Jahmiyyah wal-Mu’attilah
  10. Raf’ Yadain fis-Salaat
  11. Kitaab ul-Kabaa’ir
  12. Hukm Taarik us-Salaat
  13. Al-Kalim ut-Tayyib wal-Amal us-Saalih
  14. Sharh Asmaa il-Husnaa
  15. A’laam al-Muwaqqi’een an Rabbil-Aalameen.


His death

He passed on to the mercy of His Lord at the latter time of Isha', on the night of Thursday, 13th of Rajab in the year 751H (1350CE) and was buried at the foot of Mount Qasiyun by Damascus, leaving behind many written works




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