?Abd Al-Jabbar (935–1025)

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˓ABD AL-JABBAR (935–1025)

˓Abd al-Jabbar was a Mu˓tazilite theologian and Shafi˓ite jurist, known as Qadi ˓Abd al-Jabbar b. Ahmad al-Hamadani. He was born in Asadabad in Iran about 935, studied kalam with Abu Ishaq al-˓Ayyash in Basra, and associated with the prominent Mu˓tazilite scholar Abu ˓Abdullah al-Basri in Baghdad. ˓Abd al-Jabbar was appointed as chief judge of Rayy with a great authority over other regions in northern Iran by the Buyid wazir Sahib b. ˓Abbad in 977. Following his dismissal from the post after the death of Ibn ˓Abbad, he devoted his life to teaching. In 999 he made a pilgrimage to Mecca through Baghdad, where he spent some time. He taught briefly in Kazvin (1018–1019) and died in 1025 in Ray.

As the teacher of the well-known Mu˓tazilites of the eleventh century, such as Abu Rashid al-Nisaburi, Ibn Mattawayh, Abu 'l-Husayn al-Basri, and as the master of Mu˓tazilism in its late period, ˓Abd al-Jabbar elaborated and expanded the teachings of Bahshamiyya, the subgroup named after Abu Hashim al-Jubba˒i. He synthesized some of the Mu˓tazilite views with Sunni doctrine on the relation of reason and revelation, and came close to the Shi ite position on the question of leadership (imama). He is also a significant source of information on ancient Iranian and other monotheistic religions.

˓Abd al-Jabbar wrote many works on kalam, especially on the defense of the Qur˒an, and on the Prophet of Islam. Some of his books, including most of his twenty-volume work al-Mughni, have been published. Commentaries on two of his lost books, Sharh al-usul al-khamsa by Qiwam al-Din Mankdim and al-Muhit bi'l-taklif by Ibn Mattawayh, are also available.

See alsoKalam ; Mu˓tazilites, Mu˓tazila .


Frank, Richard M. "The Autonomy of the Human Agent in the Teaching of ˓Abd al-Gabbar." Le Museon 95 (1982): 323–355.

Heemskerk, M. T. Suffering in the Mu˓tazilite Theology: Abd al-Jabbar's Teaching on Pain and Divine Justice. Leiden: Brill, 2000.

Hourani, George F. Islamic Rationalism: The Ethics of Abd al-Jabbar. Oxford, U.K.: Clarendon Press, 1971.

Peters, J. R. T. M. God's Created Speech: A Study in theSpeculative Theology of the Mu˓tazili Qadi l-Qudat Abul-Hasan ˓Abd al-Jabbar bn Ahmad al-Hamadani. Leiden: Brill, 1976.

M. Sait Özervarli