About the Treatise

Posted on December 9, 2006. Filed under: 202 - Advanced Asma wa Sifaat |

The treatise comes nearly a century after Ibn ’Aqil’s death, indicating his continuing influence over some of the Hanbalis. Ibn al-Jawzi, being one of the most prominent Hanbalis influenced by Ibn ’Aqil’s writings, does spring to mind as the one being addressed by Ibn Qudama in this treatise; however, the wording therein indicates that those addressed were most probably alive at the time it was written, that is between 603 and 620 AH, whereas Ibn al-Jawzi passed away in the year 597 AH. Nevertheless, it is still quite possible that Ibn al-Jawzi was one of those intended by this treatise, since historically, he is the most prominent, if not the only candidate for censure, who was renowned as a spiritual student of Ibn ’Aqil, and an inheritor of his legacy. The obvious link between Ibn ’Aqil and Ibn al-Jawzi was confirmed in Dhayl ’ala Tabaqat al-Hanabila by Ibn Rajab where it states: “[Ibn al-Jawzi] would also hold Abu al-Wafa Ibn ’Aqil in great respect, and follow most of his beliefs, in spite of refuting him in some issues. Despite Ibn ’Aqil’s excellence in Kalam, he was not au fait on traditions and narrations, due to which he was inconsistent in this subject, with variegated opinions. Ibn al-Jawzi’s opinions were as vegetated as his.”[1]

There are several titles this treatise is known by, the most prominent of them: tahrim al-nadhar fi kutub ’ilm al-kalam (The Prohibition of Studying Works on Speculative Theology). It was translated into English and published by George Makdisi in 1962. This version is, in essence, Makdisi’s translation; however, we have taken the liberty to alter the translation where necessary, and further added explanatory notes.

[1] Ibn Rajab, al-Dhayl ‘Ala Tabaqat al-Hanabila 2/487-8, ed. Dr. al-‘Uthaimin, Maktabat al-‘Ubaikan 2005

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