Brief Biography of Ibn Hazm


Who is the famous ‘alim Ibn Hazam, I read several contradictory opinions concerning him, young people it is the confusion with his readings that we advise you, Is it advisable for non scholar (layman,non qualified person) to read Ibn hazam’s book?


As Salaam Alaikum,

Ibn Hazm was great scholar of Cordoba (Spain) during the period (384 AH – 756 AH). His name is Abu Muhammad Ali ibn Ahmad ibn Saeed ibn Hazm and was of Persian origin. According to the great scholar, Adh-Dahabi, ‘ Ibn Hazm was the sea of knowledge; a man learnt in many sciences and skills and had great insight. He was well versed in literature, history, poetry, dialectics and philosophy. He was prominent in the Islamic Sciences and had great knowledge of hadith. In fact in this, he had no equals. He was however, extremely literalist in minor issues.’ The scholars have further written that Ibn Hazm first studied the Madhab of Imam Shafie, but then adopted his own views later on based on his research. In proving his opinions, he debated with many great scholars and Imams, and was known to be disrespectful in his words and statements to them. He used rough words, impugning and slandering them. On account of this, many leading scholars turned away from his books and ignored them.

They even warned others against his books. It is mentioned that in Jurisprudence he followed the Dhahiri school(literalist school of thought). While writing about Ibn Hazm, Hafiz Ibn Katheer states, ‘He used to criticize the scholars a great deal, verbally and in writing, which led to the generation of resentment, in the hearts of his contemporaries.’

‘He was a confused literalist with regard to minor issues, and he did not believe in analogy (qiyas), whether it was clear or otherwise. This caused the scholars to lose respect for him, and it caused him to make serious mistakes in his views and conduct. Yet, despite that, he was the one who tried to find interpretations other than the apparent meaning when dealing with basic issues and the verses and hadith that speaks of the divine attributes’ (Al Bidaya wan Nihaya – Ibn Katheer).

In conclusion, it can be said, based on the writings of the most reliable scholars that Ibn Hazm was indeed a great scholar. However, on account of his opinions which he adopted based on his personal research, he disagreed with the majority of scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaat in many issues, in which he was mistaken. As mentioned by the scholars, he followed the Dhahiri (literalist) school of thought in Jurisprudence, and in his creed he differed in many fundamentals issues from the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaat. Owing to this, the great scholars of the past have warned against reading his books.


And Allah Knows best

Mufti Waseem Khan