Baqillani, Al- (?–1013)

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BAQILLANI, AL- (?–1013)

Qadi Abu Bakr Muhammad b. al-Tayyib b. Muhammad, also known as Ibn al-Baqillani, was an Ash˓arite theologian and Malikite jurisprudent. Al-Baqillani was regarded as the second founder of Ash˓arism for his contribution to the systematization of the school.

Born in Basra he lived mostly in Baghdad, and studied theology under al-Ash˓ari's students Ibn Mujahid al-Ta˒i and Abu 'l-Hasan al-Bahili, and fiqh (jurisprudence) under Abu ˓Abdallah al-Shirazi and Ibn Abu Zayd al-Qayrawani. He attended discussion meetings with representatives of other schools in Shiraz, was sent to Constantinople as a special envoy to Byzantine rulers, served as a judge (qadi) in Uqbera and Saghr towns, and taught in Baghdad until his death in 1013.

Well known for his disputational skills and polemical writings, al-Baqillani's books are mainly on theology. A large work, Hidayat al-mustarshidin wa al-maqna˓ fi usul al-din, is preserved at al-Azhar library (ms. no. 342) in Cairo. His works, which largely collected and classified Ash˓arite views, played a major role in the establishment and spread of the school. He emphasized the existence of atoms in order to avoid the idea of pre-eternity of the universe and elaborated some concepts in Sunni kalam, such as empty space, the continuous creation of accidents due to their incapability of lasting more than one unit of time, and the rational possibility of miracles. However, he preserved the Salafi (Salafiyya) tendency of not interpreting Qur˒anic expressions attributed to God suggesting anthropomorphism. Most of his books include lengthy polemics against other monotheistic religions. His skepticism toward the compatibility of ancient metaphysics with Islamic doctrines led him to oppose the use of formal logic in religious disciplines. In some issues of Islamic legal methodology, such as ijtihad and ijma˓, he influenced later jurists.

See alsoAsh˓arites, Ash˓aira ; Kalam .


Chaumont, E. "Baqillani, théologien ash'arite et juriste malikite, contre les legistes à propos de l'ijtihad et de l'accord unanime de la communauté." Studia Islamica 79 (1994): 79–102.

Grunebaum, Gustave E., von. A Tenth-Century Document ofArabic Literary Theory and Criticism: The Sections on Poetry of al-Baqillani's I˓jaz al-Qur˒an. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1950.

Haddad, Wadi Z. "A Tenth-Century Speculative Theologian's Refutation of the Basic Doctrines of Christianity: al-Baqillani." In Christian-Muslim Encounters. Edited by Y. Yazbeck Haddad and Wadi Zaydan Haddad. Gainsville: University Press of Florida, 1995.

M. Sait Özervarli

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Baqillani, Al- (?–1013)

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Baqillani, Al- (?–1013)