Ibn `Abd al-Barr

This is Abû `Abd Allâh Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Khuwayz Mindâd al-Basrî who narrated hadîth, but did not become known as a Muhaddith, much less a Hâfiz but was one of the Jurists and Usûliyyûn of the Mâlikîs. He died in 390 and thus is not a companion of Imâm Mâlik but came 200 years and seven biographical layers later. His claim of what Imâm Mâlik supposedly said is thoroughly unreliable until he is confirmed independently, even if he produced his chain to Mâlik’s supposed statement (a fortiori if he does not even have a chain as in this case). Hence, Ibn Khuwayz Mindâd’s reports from Mâlik “contain anomalies” and he “contradicts the Madhhab in both Fiqh and Usûl nor do the [Mâlikî] experts rely on his positions” according to al-Qâdî `Iyâd (d 544).[8] `Iyâd also said: “He [al-Mindâd] was not insightful in his positions nor strong in fiqh. Abû al-Walîd al-Bâjî said of him: I never heard him mentioned once by the `Ulama of Iraq.” `Iyâd also exposes him as an extremist in his anti-kalâm stance: “He alienated the Mutakallimîn of Ahl al-Sunna [i.e. the Ash`arîs] and ruled that all of them were among the people of vain lusts (ahwâ) concerning whom Mâlik said his famous statement on [avoiding] their marriage, [rejecting] their witness and leadership, and alienating them.”[9]

Imâm Mâlik certainly did not mean the Ash`arîs but the Mu`tazilîs and their sub-sects by consensus in the statement in question, as is made clear, among others, by Ibn `Abd al-Barr himself in his report from the same Ibn Khuwayz Mindâd on the previous page![10]

It is known that Imâm Mâlik never retained any Mu`tazilîs, Qadarîs, or Khawârij in his Muwatta as narrators while al-Bukhârî, Muslim and their students such as Imâm al-Tirmidhî did narrate from Qadarîs and Jahmîs.[11] Thus the misguided view Ibn Khuwayz Mindâd expressed in including the Ash`arîs among the people of innovation was rejected by his own School and is not considered in the least valid by the major Mâlikî Huffâz and Fuqahâ’ such as Qâdî `Iyâd, al-Mâzarî, Abû Bakr ibn al-`Arabî, Abûl-Walîd al-Bâjî, al-Qurtubî, and others – all thorough Ash`arîs.

Among Ibn `Abd al-Barr’s books:

* Al-Ajwiba al-Mû`iba (“The Comprehensive Answers”);

* Al-`Aql wal-`Uqalâ’ (“Reason and the People of Wisdom”);

* Ash`âr Abî al-`Atâhiya (“The Poems of Abû al-`Atahiya[12]“);

* Al-Bayân fî Tilâwat al-Qur’ân (“The Exposition Concerning the Recitation of the Qur’ân”);

* Al-Farâ’id (“The Laws of Inheritance”);

* Al-Iktifâ’ fî Qirâ’at Nâfi`in wa Abî `Amrin (“The Contentment in Nâfi` and Abû `Amr’s Reading”);

* Al-Inbâh `an Qabâ’il al-Ruwâh (“Drawing Attention to the Nomenclature of the Narrators’ Tribes”);

* Al-Insâf fî Asmâ’ Allâh (“The Book of Fidelity: On the Names of Allâh”);

* Al-Intiqâ’ fî Fadâ’il al-Thalâthat al-A’immat al-Fuqahâ’ Mâlik wal-Shâfi`î wa Abî Hanîfa (“The Hand-Picked Excellent Merits of the Three Great Jurisprudent Imâms: Mâlik, Shâfi`î, and Abû Hanîfa”). Shaykh `Abd al-Fattâh Abû Ghudda said the order in the title reflects the precedence of Madîna over Makka and that of Makka over al-Kûfa.

* Al-Istidhkâr li Madhhab `Ulamâ’ al-Amsâr fîmâ Tadammanahu al-Muwatta’ min Ma`ânî al-Ra’î wal-Athâr (“The Memorization of the Doctrine of the Scholars of the World Concerning the Juridical Opinions and the Narrations Found in Mâlik’s Muwatta’”);

* Al-Istî`âb fî Asmâ’ al-Ashâb (“The Comprehensive Compilation of the Names of the Prophet’s Companions”);

* Jâmi` Bayân al-`Ilmi wa-Fadlihi wamâ Yanbaghî fî Riwâyatihi wa Hamlih (“Compendium Exposing the Nature of Knowledge and Its Immense Merit, and What is Required in the Process of Narrating it and Conveying it”);

* Al-Kâfî fî Madhhab Mâlik (“The Sufficiency in Mâlik’s School of Jurisprudence”);

* Al-Kunâ (“The Patronyms”);

* Al-Maghâzî (“The Battles”);

* Al-Qasd wal-Umam fî Nasab al-`Arab wal-`Ajam (“The Endeavors and the Nations: Genealogies of the Arabs and Non-Arabs”);

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