of the People of Islam (Aqa'id Ahl al-Islam)
Imam 'Izz ibn 'Abd al-Salam (577 - 660H)
'Abd al-Aziz ibn 'Abd al-Salam ibn Abu al-Qasim ibn al-Hasan, 'Izz al-Din al-Sulami was born in Damascus in 577H. A Shafi'I scholar, he was educated in Damascus and was nicknamed the Sultan of Scholars. In 599AH he moved to Baghdad, then returned to Damascus to teach and lead the Friday prayers at the zawiya of Imam Ghazali, and later at the Umayyad Mosque.
Ibn 'Abd al-Salam condemned the ruler of Greater Syria al-Salih Ismail ibn al-Adal from the pulpit for his surrender of the Palestinian fortress Safad to the Crusaders. He was imprisoned for this action. When finally freed, he moved to Cairo, where he was appointed as judge and imam of the Friday prayer. He gained such prestige that he was able to enforce the Islamic code of law with near impunity in the face of rulers and weaker-willed personalities.
He later resigned from his position as judge to work on a number of outstanding works on Shafi'I jurisprudence, Quranic explanation, the bases of Islamic rulings, formal legal opinion, government, and sufism. It is recorded that he kept the company of Imam Abul al-Hasan al-Shadhili, founder of the Shadhili tariqa, and that he authored numerous works on tasawwuf which are now lost. He died in Cairo at the age of eighty-one.