Critical Biography on ‘Abd Al-Raḥmān Al-Ījī

Critical Biography on ‘Abd Al-Raḥmān Al-Ījī

By Muhammad Hanif Al Hakim[1]



‘Abd Al-Raḥmān, well-known as ‘Aḍud al-Dīn al-Ījī, was one of Muslim theologians whose fame was based on his treatises al-Mawāqif fī ‘ilm al-Kalām. He had as well written many works in different branch of knowledge, but unfortunately his biographical account has not been recorded systematically and deeply excavated so far. Thus the reader could not easily get information about his life, works, intellectual milieu, etc. It is for the purpose of fulfilling this need and discovering those facts, therefore, this short article is about to begin.

Al-Ījī’s Personality

He is ‘Aḍud al-Dīn ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ibn Aḥmad ibn ‘Abd al-Ghaffār al-Bakrī al-Shīrāzī[2]. He was probably born after 680/1281[3] in Ig, the chief town of Shabānkāra, with abundant of wealth and bestowed a pleasant for seeking knowledge[4]. The epithet of ‘Aḍud al-Dīn (the assistant of religion) is often awarded to him most probably by virtue of being a Judge (al-qāḍī) in various cities most the time of his life[5], while both al-Ījī and al-Shīrāzī were attached for they refer to places in which he was born there and in which he was a Judge (al-qāḍī) in the latter. In addition, al-Bakrī was added for he was descendant of the rightly-guided caliphate Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq[6]. He was Shafi‘ī jurist[7] and Ash‘arī theologian. He was distinguished scholar, who was effective in speech, very welcome to any delegates coming to him, and generous towards his students.

 His Intellectual Networking

He began his theological education mainly among the pupils[8] of al-Bayḍawī[9]. It is also said that he was student of al-Jārbirdiyy (d.746.H) from whom al-Ījī had long debate regarding commentary of Qur’anic verse ‘Fa ātū bi sūratin min mithlihi”[10]. History witnessed that he became the centre of intellectual figure in period, hence people begun to study various knowledge from him. Some of his renowned students[11] are Shams al-Dīn al-Kirmānī[12], Ḍiyā’u al-Dīn al-‘Afīfī[13], Sa‘d al-Dīn al-Taftāzānī[14].

 Brief Account on His Life

The last Īlkhan[15] Abū Sa‘īd (716-36/1316-36), invited him to his court in Sulṭāniyya and appointed him qādī al-mamālik[16], probably on the suggestion of his vizier Ghiyāth al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Rashīd al-Dīn (728-36/1328-36), with whom al-Ījī had formed an acquaintance. In 730/1330 al-Ījī’s reputation as scholar is mentioned for the first time in contemporary source[17]. Later, probably after the execution of Ghiyāth al-Dīn and the death of Abū Sa‘īd (736/1336), al-Ījī appears as chief qāḍī in Shīrāz, at the court of the Injū Abū Isḥāq. It was here that Ḥāfiẓ met him (Dīwān, ed. Qazwīnī Ghaniyy, 363, 7). In between 753-754, the Muẓaffarid Mubāriz al-Dīn was planning to conquer Abū Isḥāq’s kingdom for himself. However, al-Ījī attempted, as the latter’s delegate, to make peace between the two, but unfortunately he did not succeed[18]. At this time Mubāriz al-Dīn was his guest for a few days in Shabānkāra. Once again al-Ījī returned for a short time to Shīrāz. However, during the siege of the town (754/1353) he went over to Mubāriz al-Dīn and withdrew to Shabānkāra. There Shāh Shujā‘, Mubāriz al-Dīn’s son, visited him a year later.

 His Works

Al-Isnawī said in his Tabaqāt that ‘Abd al-Raḥmān was distinguished chief in many branches of knowledge (including kalām and al-Ma‘ānī wa al-bayān) and possessing several famous works[19]. Moreover, al-Subkī added that he was as well excellent in Uṣūlain, Naḥw, and fiqh[20]. His works are mostly abridgment and commentaries of existing treatises produced by scholars prior to his life. Their popularity is evident from the great number of commentaries. According to al-Baghdādī, here is a list of Al-Ījī’s works recorded in his Hadiyyah al-‘Ārifīn[21]:

  1. Ādāb ‘Aḍud al-Dīn[22]

In this work, al-Ījī explained the principals of conducting research in ten chapters. The original script is probably vanished. However, many commentaries about it had been found. One of them is commentary by al-Tibrīzī (d.circa 900) entitled Sharḥ al-Risālah al-‘Aḍudiyyah fī Ādab al-Baḥth.

  1. Akhlāq ‘Aḍud al-Dīn[23]

Summarized in four essays, it was a gist of large volume treatise. The first essay talked about the generalization of theory. Apart from that, his student, Shams al-Dīn al-Kirmānī had made comment on it.

  1. al-Risālah al-‘Aḍudiyyah fī’l-Waḍ‘i.[24]
  2. ‘Aqā’id al-‘Aḍūdiyyah[25]
  3. al-Fawā’id al-Ghiyāthiyyah fi’l-Ma‘ānī wa’l-Bayān[26]

It was an abridgment of the (third) section on rhetoric from al-Sakkākī’s[27] encyclopaedic Miftāḥ al-‘Ulūm[28], which was deliberately dedicated to Ghiyāth al-Dīn Muḥammad Khudā Bandā ibn Arghūn[29].

  1. al-Kawāshif fī Sharḥ al-Mawāqif[30]
  2. al-Mawāqif al-Sulṭāniyyah fī ‘ilm al-Kalām[31]

It is the most celebrated work of al-Ījī. It sets out in the style of a summa theologica, in concise language, the traditional ideas of 6th/12th century Islamic theology. Many came later with its commentary. Some of them, are: al-Sayyid al-Sharīf al-Jurjāni (d.816), Shams al-Dīn al-Kirmānī (d.786), and al-Maulā ‘Alā‘ al-Dīn ‘Ali al-Ṭūsī[32]. The style of writing for this work apparently resembles, more or less, that of the Muḥaṣṣal[33] and Nihāyat al-‘uqūl[34] of Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d.606/1209) and the Abkār al-afkār[35] of Sayf al-Dīn al-Āmidī (d.631/1233).

  1. Bahjah al-Tauḥid[36]
  2. Ishrāq al-Tawārikh[37]
  3. Jawāhir al-Kalām fī Mukhtaṣar al-Mawāqif lahu[38]

It is a monograph identical to al-Ījī’s al-Mawāqif. Regardless it is more light in size than that of al-Mawāqif.

  1. Sharḥ al-Maqālah al-Mufarridah fī Ṣifah al-Kalām[39]
  2. Sharḥ Muntahā al-Sūl wa’l-Amal li Ibn al-Hājib[40]

It is al-Ījī’s commentary on Muntahā ’l-sūl wa’l-amal fī ‘ilmay al-uṣūl wa’l-jadal of Ibn al-Hājib (d.646/1249). ‘Abd Al-Raḥman completed this work on 26th of Sha‘bān 734.A.H.

  1. Taḥqīq al-Tafsīr fī Takthīr al-Tanwīr fī Tafsīr al-Qur’ān[41]
  2. ‘Uyūn al-Jawāhir[42]
  3. Zubdah al-Tārīkh fī Tarjamah Ishrāq al-Tawārikh[43]

His Death

 The province of Kirmān was conquered by Mubāriz al-Dīn in 742/1341. However, in 756/1355, the last atabeg (guardian or an official of Seljuq dynasty) Mālik Ardashir defied Mubāriz al-Dīn and collected an army to resist him. Knowing that threating movement, Mubāriz al-Dīn sent his son, Maḥmūd, to deal with this rebellion. He subdued the place and Ardashir fled[44]. Unfortunately as a bad effect, al-Ījī was imprisoned in the fortress of Diraymiyān (at Ig) and died there in the same year[45].


[1] This article was submitted as assignment of Research Methodology subject at CASIS-UTM by the end of Nov, 2014.

[2] See entry no.594 at Tabaqāt al-Shāfi‘iyyah by Ibn Qādī Shahbah. Ed. ‘Abd al-‘Alīm Khān, 5 vols. (India: Majlis Dā’irah al-Ma‘ārif al-‘Uthmāniyyah, 1979), 3:33-35. (hereafter cited as TSQS) Cf. entry no.1369 at Tabaqāt al-Shāfi‘iyyah al-Kubrā by al-Subkī. Ed. ‘Abd al-Fattāḥ Muḥammad al-Ḥalwa and Maḥmūd Muḥammad al-Ṭanāḥī, 10 vols. (Dār Ihyā’ al-Kutub al-‘Arabiyyah. N.d), 10:46-78. (hereafter cited as TKS). In several Islamic classical books (TSQS, SD, TKS, and DK), Aḥmad was recorded as the name of his father.

[3] Each resource records differently the date of birth of ‘Abd al-Raḥmān al-Ījī. It is recorded in TKS that he was born after 680.H. Al-Shaukānī in his al-Badr al-Ṭāli‘ (BT), as well as DK and BW, say that he was born after 700.H. To be more specific, Riḍā Kaḥḥālah in his Mu’jam al-Mu’allifīn (MM), TSQS as well SD, say that he was born in 708.H.

[4] See TKS 10:46.

[5] See entry no.2278 at al-Durar al-Kāminah by Ibn Ḥajar al-‘Asqalānī. 4 vols. (Beirut, Dār al-Jayl. N.d), 2:322-323. (hereafter cited as DK). Cf. Shadzarāt al-Dzahab fī Akhbār Man Dzahab by Ibn al-‘Imād. Ed. Maḥmūd al-Arnāūṭ. 10 vols. (Beirut: Dār Ibn Kathīr. N.d), 8:298. (hereafter cited as SD).

[6] See TKS. 10:46.

[7] Most of Classical treatises (TS, TSQS, SD and Bughyat al-Wu‘āt (BW) by al-Suyūtī) regard him as scholar of Shāfi‘ī jurist. Nonetheless, it’s mentioned only in Hadiyyat al-‘Ārifīn (HD) by Ismā‘īl Bāshā al-Baghdādī that he belonged to Ḥanafī.

[8] According to TKS, DK, and BW, at his early age Abd al-Raḥmān al-Ījī began to study from the student of al-Bayḍāwī, that is, Zain al-Dīn al-Hinkī, also from several scholars of the time.

[9] He is ‘Abdullāh ibn ‘Umar ibn Muḥammad ibn ‘Alī al-Shīrāzī who is well-known as Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Bayḍāwī (d.685.H).

[10] See TKS 10:47.

[11] See DK 2:322-323.

[12] He is Muḥammad ibn Yūsuf ibn ‘Aliyy ibn Sa‘īd (d.786/1384). For his short biography, see entry no 707 at TSQS 3:245.

[13] He is ‘Abd Allāh ibn Sa‘d Allāh ibn Muḥammad ibn ‘Uthmān who was known as qāḍī al-qarm al-‘afīfī (d.780). For his short biography, see entry 643 at TSQD 3:125.

[14] He is Mas‘ūd ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd Allāh (d.791.H). For his short biography, see entry 1992 at BW 2:285.

[15] Also spelled Ilkhanid or Il-khan. It was Mongol dynasty that ruled in Iran from 1256 to 1335. Il-khan is Persian for ‘subordinate khan’. See “Il-Khanid dynasty,” in Encyclopaedia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2013.

[16] See TSK 10:46.

[17] See Ḥamdullāh Aḥmad ibn Abī Bakr Ibn Naṣr Muṣtawf al-Qazwīnī. Ta’rīkh Guzīda. Trans and Abridge. E.G Browne and R.A.Nicholson. (Leyden: E.J. Brill, 1910) 2:165 (Hereafter cited as TG). TG was early compiled back in 730.H.

[18] Ibid., 2:165. Mubāriz al-Dīn declined al-Ījī’s suggestion, on the ground that Amīr Shah Abū Isḥāq had already violated his promises eight times.

[19] See entry no.857 at Tabaqāt al-Shāfi‘iyyah by ‘Abd al-Raḥīm al-Isnawī. Ed. Kamāl Yūsuf al-Ḥūt. 2 vols. (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1987). 2:109. (hereafter cited as TSA).

[20] See TKS 10:46.

[21] Ismāīl Al-Baghdādī. Hadiyyah al-‘Ārifīn. (Beirut: Dār Iḥyā’ al-Turāth al-‘Arabī, 1951), 1:527.

[22] It is recorded in Brockelmaan 2:267 as Risālah fī Ādab al-Baḥth; in Kashf Dzunūn (KD) 1:41 as Ādab al-‘Allāmah ‘Aḍud al-Dīn; in MM as Ādab al-Baḥth al-‘Aḍudiyyah.

[23] It is recorded in Brockelmaan 2:270 as alRisālah al-Shāhīya fī ‘Ilm al-Akhlāq; in KD 1:37 as Akhlāq ‘Aḍud al-Dīn; in MM as Risālah fī ‘Ilm al-Akhlāq.

[24] It is recorded in Brockelmaan 2:268 as alRisālah al-Waḍ‘iyyah al-‘Aḍudiyyah; in KD 1:898 as Risālah fī al-Waḍ‘i; in MM as alRisālah al-‘Aḍudiyyah fī al-Waḍ‘i.

[25] It is recorded in Brockelmaan 2:270 as ‘Aqā’id al-‘Aḍūdiyyah; in KD 2:1144 with the same title as in the former; no record was found in MM.

[26] It is recorded in Brockelmaan 2:271 as al-Fawā’id al-Ghiyāthiyyah; in KD 2:1299 as al-Fawā’id al-Ghiyāthiyyah; in MM as al-Fawā’id al-Ghiyāthiyyah fi’l-Ma‘ānī wa’l-Bayān.

[27] He is Sirāj al-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Abī Bakr ibn Muḥammad ibn ‘Ali (d.626).

[28] See KD 2:1299 and 2:1764.

[29] See brief account on him at TG, 2:147.

[30] No information is found about it

[31] It is recorded in Brockelmaan 2:269 as Kitāb al-Mawāqif fī ‘ilm al-Kalām; in KD 1:1891 as al-Mawāqif; in MM as al-Mawāqif fī ‘ilm al-Kalām.

[32] See KD 1:1891.

[33] Its full title is Muḥaṣṣal Afkār al-Mutaqaddimīn wa al-Muta’akhkhirīn min al-Ḥukamā’ wa al-Mutakallimīn.

[34] Its full title is Nihāyah al-‘Uqūl fī Dirāyat al-Uṣūl fī al-Kalām.

[35] Its full title is Abkār al-Afkār fī al-Kalām.

[36] No information is found about it

[37] It is recorded in Brockelmaan 2:271 as Ishrāq al-Tawārikh; in KD 1:104 as Ashraf al-Tawārikh; no record was found in MM.

[38] It is recorded in Brockelmaan 2:270 as Jawāhir al-Kalām; in KD 1:616 with the same title as in the former; in MM as Jawāhir al-Kalām wa Jawāmi‘u al-Kalim li badā’i‘i al-Ḥukm.

[39] No information is found about it

[40] It is recorded in Brockelmaan 2:271 as Sharḥ Mukhtaṣar al-’Uṣūl; in KD 1:1853 ; in MM as Sharḥ Muntahā al-Sūl wa’l-Amal fī ‘ilmay al-Uṣūl wa’l-Jadal.

[41] It is recorded in Brockelmaan 2:267 as Taḥqīq al-Tafsīr fī Takthīr al-Tanwīr; no record was found in KD; in MM as Taḥqīq al-Tafsīr fī Takthīr al-Tanwīr.

[42] No information is found about it

[43] No information is found about it

[44] See TG, 2:170.

[45] Historians are in agreement of his place and cause of death, but they diverged in deciding date of death. Year 756.H was recorded in TK, BW, BT, HA, and MM as his date of death. Whereas 753.H was recorded in SD and TSQS as his date of death.


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