Background

Posted on December 7, 2006. Filed under: 202 - Advanced Asma wa Sifaat |

Ibn ’Aqil was one of the most notable, intelligent and eloquent Hanbalis of his time. However, in his early days, he was censured by his fellow Hanbalis for attending lessons with Ibn al-Walid and Ibn al-Tabban, the two renowned Mu’tazili Shaykhs. Ibn Rajab asserts that Ibn ’Aqil would study kalam with them in secret; that often there would appear from him signs of heresies, some of which remained with him until he died, despite of his sincere repentance.

It was not until 461 AH, that it was discovered in some of his writings praise for the Mu’tazila, and prayers for al-Hallaj, the infamous pantheist. The writings were then presented to the powerful and influential leader of the Hanbalis, Sharif Abu Ja’far, much to his horror, though not surprise, after which he issued a decree that Ibn ’Aqil be pursued and killed on sight. Following the decree, Ibn ’Aqil went into hiding for four years, until he finally decided to repent from his heresies in the presence of Sharif Abu Ja’far and the rest of his Hanbali colleagues.

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