It was reported in fatawa collection of Taymiyyah, that Abu-al-Hussain Ahmed ibn Jaafar ibn al-Munady said that there is a consensus about the sphericity of earth; fatawa collection (25/195).

He also said in another fatwa that Ibn-Hazm, and Ibn al-Jawzi said that there is a consensus too; fatawa collection (6/586).

About what Ibn Hazm said, that there is a consensus is reliable, because he mentioned that in one of his book (Al-Fasl fi al-Milal wa al-Ahwa' wa al-Nihal 2/78 "الفصل في الملل والأهواء والنحل")

Could this be considered an Islamic consensus, or some level of consensus?

The full article with sources is on Islam Q&A.

  • 1
    The last fatwa is from Islamqa not Islamweb and it has an English translation islamqa.info/en/118698 on the whole it says there's consensus that the Earth is round!
    – Medi1Saif
    Dec 7, 2016 at 9:12
  • 3
    Honestly as your linked fatwa answers your question it's unclear to me what exactly you want to know!
    – Medi1Saif
    Dec 8, 2016 at 12:56
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    @Envayo there is people consider earth not spherical . but i don't think so . my question is not about satellites or scientists . i am asking about what muslim scholars thought about earth before 1000 year !
    – melbx
    Dec 11, 2016 at 16:41
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    Maybe you mean: Are the statements of ibn al-Jawzi, ibn Hazm and ibn Taymiyyah enough to declare Ijma' (consensus) on the matter...if so consider editing your question ... else as said above your question seems answered.
    – Medi1Saif
    Mar 27, 2018 at 5:59
  • 1
    I edited the question. I know now that's hard to declare consensus on such issues of Tafseer.
    – melbx
    Mar 27, 2018 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


No, attributing a statement to three scholars only does not constitute consensus (ijmā', Arabic: إجماع), or any level of consensus for that matter. However, one has to read the full text of the fatwas to understand their content and context.

The first fatwa in Majmū' al-Fatāwa 26/195 (Arabic only) attributes the words to Imam Ibn al-Munādi. Referring to the fatwa by Ibn al-Munādi, one finds he prefaced his fatwa with "there is no known disagreement among the scholars" (Arabic: لا خلاف بين العلماء) to provide his definition of ijmā'. You may have noticed that almost always this is how scholars word their fatwas to refer to ijmā', which is defined as no disagreement among accredited scholars ('ālim mu'tabar, Arabic: عالم معتبر) for lack of a better term in English.

The second fatwa in Majmū' al-Fatāwa 7/586, likewise, quoted Ibn al-Munādi (same exact reference as in the first one). It then adds that the same ijmā' is agreed upon by Ibn Hazm and Ibn al-Jawzi. Again, you will find that Ibn Hazm's fatwa starts with "No Muslim imam that deserves to be called imam based on knowledge, may Allah be pleased with them, denies the sphericity of the Earth" (Arabic: أن أحداً من أئمة المسلمين المستحقين لاسم الإمامة بالعلم رضي الله عنهم لم ينكروا تكوير الأرض) as per the Islam Q&A article you quoted. This is Ibn Hazm's definition of ijmā'.

So, in conclusion:

  • The fatwas do not attribute ijmā' based on the opinion of the three scholars; rather, it attributes to these scholars that they declared there was ijmā' to either the affirmation that the skies and Earth are spherical (Ibn al-Munādi), or to the lack of rejection of their sphericity (Ibn Hazm).
  • Ijmā' was defined as "no known disagreement among scholars" rather than the layman understanding of "all scholars agree" by these scholars in their fatwas.

The first fatwa also quoted Imam Ibn Hanbal. On another note, he was quoted saying "whoever claims consensus is a liar" (see Tuhfat al-Mas'ūl 2/220), which led some laymen to think that he rejected ijmā', which is not the case as explained on the same page right after the quote.

  • Ijma' sukuti seems to be addressed here. Imam Ahmad's opinion is close to truth, as verifiying a true consensus is rather impossible after the time of the prophet and the early days of the caliphs. And you never know whether a scholar in location X has given a fatwa rejecting an opinion on which there seem to be a consensus even if it is only declared by leading scholars while others just didn't reject it clearly.
    – Medi1Saif
    Mar 28, 2018 at 6:24

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