Muhammad ibn Abd al-Karim al-Shahrastani

Discussion in 'Siyar an-Nubala' started by abu Hasan, Oct 22, 2010.

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  1. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    yes, it is the negative. the translation was done on the fly and hence the mistake. it has been corrected.
  2. chisti-raza

    chisti-raza Veteran

    is it really written that he does have a proper understanding of kalam or should it be that he does not?
  3. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator


    Ţabaqāt al-Shāfaýiyyah al-Kubrā; Imām Tājuddīn al-Subki. Volume 6, Pgs 128-130.

    Muĥammad ibn Ábd al-Karīm ibn Aĥmed Abu’l Fat’ĥ – famously known as Al-Shahrastānī.

    He is the author of the book Al-Milal wa’n Niĥal; and in my opinion, this is the best book written on the subject [of heresiology]. Even though, Ibn Ĥazm’s book[1] is more extensive than this one, it is haphazard and lacks organization. Morever, there are [opinions] denigrating the imams of Ahlu’s Sunnah; and in a number of places, he attributes such opinions to Ashárīs, which they do not hold.[2] And on top of this, Ibn Ĥazm himself does not have a proper understanding of the science of kalām, as described by the authorities [in that science].

    Nihāyatu’l Iqdām
    is also Shahrastānī’s work; he has written books other than these two.

    He was an Imām, and a foremost authority and researcher in this science.

    He was a master of Fiqh, Usūl and Kalām.

    Aĥmed al-Khawafiyy was his teacher in Fiqh.

    He was the student of Abū Naşr, the son of Imam Abu’l Qāsim al-Qushayrī the grandmaster, in the twin sciences of Usúl [al-Fiqh] and Kalām.

    He also studied Kalām under the teacher Abu’l Qāsim al-Anşārī.
    Ibn al-Samáānī writes: He arrived in Baghdād in the year 510 AH, and stayed for three years. He held lectures and was well received by the public. In Nishapur, he attended the circle[3] of Abu’l Ĥasan Álī ibn Aĥmed al-Madīnī and others. I asked him about his date of birth, and he said that it was 479 AH. He passed away in 548 AH.

    The above is cited from Ibn al-Samáānī’s Al-Dhayl[4] and also narrated by Ibn Şalāĥ in his Ţabaqāt. I have two [different] copies of Al-Dhayl and I do not find [in it] anything more than what I have cited above; except that he narrates a ĥadīth from him and mentions two authenticated anecdotes; and he[5] said that he heard these [from him] in a discourse: ‘I was asked in a gathering in Baghdad about Mūsā şallAllāhu álayhi wa sallam ; and I replied: Mūsā şallAllāhu álayhi wa sallam turned right and left and he couldn’t see anything of comfort or a dweller retire; and he saw by the side of the mountain, a fire.

    three lines of poetry omitted by translator:: will update shortly]

    This is summarized from Al-Dhayl of Ibn al-Samáānī.

    In Tārīkh[6] of our Shaykh Al-Dhahabī, he says that Ibn al-Samáānī mentioned that he [Al-Shahrastānī] was accused of leaning towards the Ahl al-Qilāá,[7] that is the Ismaýīlīs; and that he [was involved in] preaching and aiding their heresies. And he said in Al-Taĥbīr,[8] that he was accused of being a [closet] heretic[9] and was inclined towards their [Ismayili] beliefs; and that he was a fanatic Shiáh. [summarized from Dhahabi’s note].

    As for Al-Dhayl, there is nothing of the kind[10] in it; rather, this is found in Al-Taĥbīr. I do not know where Ibn al-Samáāni got this from, because the books of Abūl Fat’ĥ [al-Shahrastānī] are contradictory to this accusation.

    I presume, that these are inserted in Ibn al-Samáānī’s book; if not, why does he not mention the same in his [other] book, the Dhayl?[11]

    Nevertheless, a similar statement was said by the author of Al-Kāfī: ‘if he did not have a ravaged áqīdah, nor an inclination towards heretics, he would be considered as an Imām in Islam.’ And he said: ‘We had discussions and debates; and he was foremost in supporting the madh’hab of the philosophers and absolving them.’ That is, Al-Khawarizmi said [the above].


    [FONT=&quot][1][/FONT] Which is also commonly known as Milal wa’n Niĥal and its full name is Al-Fişal fi’l Milali wa’n Niĥal

    [FONT=&quot][2][/FONT] Lit. ‘which they are absolved of’

    [FONT=&quot][3][/FONT] Lit. ‘he heard from’

    [FONT=&quot][4][/FONT] The Appendix

    [FONT=&quot][5][/FONT] Ibn al-Samáānī

    [FONT=&quot][6][/FONT] Tārīkh al-Islām, The History of Islam, by Imām Dhahabi, the author of Siyar Aálām an-Nubalā, Tadhkiratu’l Huffāž and other works.

    [FONT=&quot][7][/FONT] probably a reference to the mountain fortress of Alamut, the stronghold of Nizari Ismayilis.

    [FONT=&quot][8][/FONT] by Ibn Al-Samáānī

    [FONT=&quot][9][/FONT] Mulĥid

    [FONT=&quot][10][/FONT] as mentioned by Dhahabi

    [FONT=&quot][11][/FONT] Note that Subki has commented earlier that he has two copies of Dhayl and neither has this information as claimed by Dhahabi.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010

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