al-Bāqillānī, Muhammad ibn al-Tayyib ibn Muhammad ibn Ja`far
ibn Qāsim, Shaykh al-Islām,
Bakr ibn al-Bāqillānī al-Basrī al-Baghdādī al-Mālikī al-Ash`arī (d
403), eulogized by al-Dhahabī as "the
erudite Imām, peerless Master of the mutakallimīn, and foremost of the
Scholars of usūl, author of many
books, the examplar of perspicuity and
intelligence." Elsewhere he exclaims: "There is not, among all the Ash`arī Scholars of kalām,
anyone better than him!" 
said: "He is known as the Sword of the Sunna (Sayf
al-Sunnah) and the Spokesman of the Community (Lisān
al-Umma), a mutakallim
who spoke the language of the hadīth
Scholars, adhering to the doctrine of Abū
al-Hasan al-Ash`arī, and the apex of Mālikī Scholars in his time. His gathering in
al-Basra was huge." Al-Khatīb narrates that
Ibn al-Bāqillānī's nightly wird - at home or abroad - consisted in
twenty tarwīha or twenty pauses,
each pause separating sets of two to four rak`ats.
al-Bāqillānī took al-Ash`arī's
teachings from Ibn Mujāhid. He used to
say: "I consider the best part of me the time when I fully understand
He used al-Ash`arī's method to defeat
virtually every sect in his time - including the Christians - among
them the Rāfida, Mu`tazila,
and Hashwiyya. Against the latter he
claims that the letter s in bismillāh,
which comes after the letter b, and the letter m which comes after the
letter s, have no beginning, he has taken leave of everything rational,
denied what is obligatorily known, and contradicted the obvious.... And
how can we hope to direct through proofs someone mulish enough to deny
what is necessarily known?
Abūal-Qāsim ibn Burhān al-Nahwī
said: "Whoever hears al-QādīAbū Bakr debate, will never again feel pleasure
at hearing another mutakallim, faqīh, or orator." He took the MālikīSchool
from Abū Bakr al-Abharī.Abū al-Walīd
al-Bājī narrates that al-Dāraqutnī's deference to Ibn al-Bāqillānī was the cause of the hadīth Master Abū
Dharr al-Harawī's adoption of the Mālikī school of Law and the Ash`arī school of doctrine.
Al-Khatīb narrated that Ibn al-Bāqillānī's
nightly devotion consisted in forty rak`ats whether at home or while travelling, after which he wrote thirty-five
pages of text which, after the Fajr prayer, he would pass on to others
to read out loud for proof-reading and editing.
the time the Caliph `Adud al-Dawla sent Ibn al-Bāqillānī
as an envoy to the emperor of the Eastern Romans, he was asked to enter
through a low door to see the emperor and realized that this was done
by design so as to make him enter on his knees; whereupon he entered on
his knees but with his back turned, approaching the emperor backside
first. In the course of this conversation he noticed, next to the
emperor, a church dignitary. He turned to him and asked: "How are your
wife and children?" Hearing this, the emperor said: "Lo! Do you, the
spokesman of Islām, not know that a monk
is exempt of such matters?" Ibn al-Bāqillānī
replied: "You exempt a monk from such matters, but you do not exempt
the Lord of the Worlds from having a mate and child?"
Ibn Hajar reported from Ibn al-Bāqillānī
that there is Consensus in Islām on the
fact that the order of the verses in each of the Sūras
of the Qur'ān and their successive
arrangement in the present order in the mushaf
is so decreed by Allāh Most High, and on
that basis has the Community related it from the Prophet
Allāh bless and
greet him -.
Of the "story of the cranes" in the Sīra,
Ibn Hajar said: "Al-Qādī
`Iyād did well when he said, 'It is
possible the Prophet
Allāh bless and
greet him - was mentioning the belief of the pagans by way of
derision,' noting that at that time it was permitted to speak in the
midst of prayer. To this position leaned Ibn al-Bāqillānī."7
al-Bāqillānī is the paragon of the
fundamental unity of Islamic schools and love for the sake of Allāh among scholars that hold different views.
In his book Manāqib al-A'imma he showed that the Companions were
all rewarded for their ijtihād
despite the divergences that befell between them. He was the arbitrator
between the Sūfīs of the university of Qayrawān and Ibn AbīZayd al-Mālikī
when the latter denied that Allāh could be
seen in this world8
He was profoundly admired by the Hanbalīs
of Baghdād although he was the chief
authority of the Ash`arī school in his
time. When he died, the Shaykh of the Hanbalīs
and Ibn al-Bāqillānī's friend of seven
years, Abū al-Fadl
al-Tamīmī, came barefoot to his funeral
with others of his school and ordered a herald to open the procession
shouting: "This is the Aider of the Sunna
and the Religion! This is the Imām of
Muslims! This is the defender of the Sharī`a!
This is the one who authored 70,000 folios!" He was buried near the
grave of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, and his grave
is a place of visitation, seeking blessings (tabarruk), and
praying for rain (istisqā').
* Fadl al-Jihād
* Hidāyat al-Mustarshidīn.
* Al-Ibāna `an IbtālMadhhab Ahl al-Kufr wal-Dalāla
("Exposition of the Invalidity of the School of the People of Disbelief
* I`jāz al-Qur'ān.
In this work, Ibn al-Bāqillānī contrasts
several orations of the Prophet
Allāh bless and
greet him -, the Companions, and others with the Qur'anic style to
demonstrate the inimitability of the Qur'anic style. He presents a
detailed critique of the Mu`allaqa
of Umru' al-Qays and al-Bahtarī'sLāmiyya
- both considered masterpieces of literary achievement - and points out
their defects and weaknesses. However, he believes inimitability does
not depend on rhetoric but is merely enhanced by it.
* Al-InsāffīmāYajibuI`tiqāduhuwalāYajūzu al-Jahlu bih. In this book Ibn al-Bāqillānī demonstrates that
(1) the Divine Attributes are in now way conceived as limbs (jawārih);
(2) the Divine Attributes that suggest emotions such as love, anger,
approval, mercy, friendship, enmity, etc. denote His will of a certain
state for their object;
(3) the Divine Attributes of Essence (sifātdhāt) have no beginning nor does His
description by the same have any beginning, while His Divine Attributes
of Act (sifātaf`āl) are preceded by Him (sabaqahā): He exists before them, without
(4) His Speech is an Attribute of Essence;
(5) the created act of recitation is other than the uncreated Qur'ān being recited;
(6) every īmān is islām but not vice-versa; and other
foundational Ash`arī tenets.
* Manāqib al-A'imma.
* Tamhīd al-Awā'ilfīTalkhīs
al-Dalā'il, his most famous work, in
which he expands on the doctrines discussed in the Insāf
and refutes unislamic creeds such as Trinitarianism and Brahmanism.
 This is in line with the position
related from ImāmMālik
whereby the Creator cannot be seen by the created with eyes that are
bound for extinction - that is, in the world - but only with eyes that
are bound for everlastingness See our article, "The Vision of Allāh in the World and the Hereafter" http://www.sunnah.org/aqida/haddad/Beatific%20Vision.htm.
(p. 217-225); Siyār
(13:114-116 §3724); TārīkhBaghdād (5:379-383); al-Qādī
al-Madārik (1:242-259, 4:585-602); Ibn `Imād, Shadharāt
al-Dhahab (3:168-170); al-Darqash, Abū
Muhammad `Abd Allāh ibn AbīZayd (p.