When we read the biography of ibn 'Ata' Allah (also referred to as ibn 'Ata' al-Iskandari -from Alexandria-) ابن عطاء الله السكندري. We usually read that he was following the maliki school of jurisprudence and it is also said that he was a scholar and an opponent of Sufism before meeting his sufi teacher abul 'Abbas al-Mursi أبو العباس المرسي. It is said that he used to say:
All translation in this post are of my own take them carefully!

"من قال أن هنالك علماً غير الذي بأيدينا فقد افترى على الله عز وجل"
"Whoever pretended that there's a knowledge apart of that we have in hands, he has fabricated a lie against Allah the Almighty."

He is also known as the teacher of the well known Shafi'i scholar Taqi ad-Dyn as-Subki تقي الدين السبكي the father of Taj ad-Dyn as-Subki تاج الدين السبكي.

I also found in ibn al-'Imad's ابن العماد الحنبلي book Shadharaat a-Dhahab شذرات الذهب:

وقال الكمال جعفر: سمع من الأبرقوهي، وقرأ النحو على الماروني، وشارك في الفقه والأدب، وصحب المرسي."شذرات الذهب " لابن العماد (6 /20).
Al-Kamal Ja'afar said: He heard the Al-Abarqohy and he learnt nahw (Arabic grammar) from al-Maroni, and he has some contibutions in Fiqh and Adab and he accompanied al-Mursi.

Ahmad Zarruq أحمد زروق an author of one of the commentaries of ibn 'Ata' Allah's "Hikam" wrote in his introduction of the commentary:

كان جامعاً لأنواع العلوم من تفسير وحديث وفقه ونحو وأصول وغير ذلك كان متكلماً على طريق أهل التصوف واعظا انتفع به خلق كثير وسلكوا طريقه.
He gathered different kinds of knowledge like tafsir, hadith-sciences, fiqh, nahw', osol and other sciences and he was among those who spoke in the manner of Sufis and he was a preacher from whom many people have gathered benefit and followed his path.

If he was a scholar there must be at least a mentioning of some of his works or contributions in the jurisprudence or other "Islamic sciences", but all one can easily find are his works on Sufi or Sufi related topics.

I'd like to know if there are works that can be identified as his works on Jurisprudence?

1 Answer 1


Ibn Farhun ابن فرحون al-Maliki in his list or short biography's of maliki scholars called ad-Dibaj al-Mudhahab fi ma'rfifati a'ayan 'ulama' al-Madhhab الديباج المذهب في معرفة أعيان علماء المذهب which is one of the latest biographies of Maliki scholars the author became qadi at Medina 793 a.H. and died there 799 a.H. listed a few books ibn 'Ata' Allah has commented (I found in Volume 2 page 43 under those who's names were 'Abdulkarim عبد الكريم -see also here-). Here's a translation of the entry:
In the following I will translate from Arabic as these are my own translation take them carefully!

عبد الكريم بن عطاء الله
'Abdulkarim ibn 'Ata' Allah
هو أبو محمد عبد الكريم بن عطاء الله الإسكندري كان إماماً في الفقه والأصول والعربية اختصر التهذيب اختصاراً حسناً واختصر المفصل للزمخشري وكان رفيقاً للشيخ أبي عمرو بن الحاجب في القراءة على الشيخ أبي الحسن الأبياري وتفقها عليه في المذهب وألف البيان والتقريب في شرح التهذيب وهو كتاب كبير جمع فيه علماً جماً وفوائد غزيرة وأقوالاً غريبة نحو سبع مجلدات ولم يكمل رحمة الله عليه.
He is abu Muhammad 'Abdulkarim ibn 'Ata' Allah al-Iskandari. He was a leader (Imam) in fiqh, osol and Arabic he summarized at-Tahdib with a good summary, and also al-Mufassal of imam az-Zamakhsgari and he was acompanion of the sheikh abu 'Amr ibn al-Hajib as students of sheikh abu al-Hassan al-Abyari and both learnt the maliki fiqh from his teaching and he also compiled at-Bayan wa taqrib fi sharh at-Tahdhib which is a big book in which he collected a far-ranging knowledge and many helpful meanings and strange (or singular) statements in about 7 volumes but he was not able to finish it may Allah have mercy on him.

By at-Tahdeeb التهذيب imam ibn Farhun refers to at-Tahdeeb fi ikhtisar al-Mudawana التهذيب في اختصار المدونة ( the summary of al-Mudawana of imam Suhnun سُحْنُون or Sahnun سَحْنُون one of the earliest books on fiqh cases) by Abu Sa'id al-Bardha'ay أبو سعيد البراذعي from Kairouan who died 372 a.H..
By al-Mufassal المفصل he clearly refers to the book of imam az-Zamakhsahri الزمخشري (the Mu'tazili author of the well known tafssir al-Kashaaf which shows deep knowledge in Arabic and its grammar) which has the full title: al-Mufassal fi sina'atu al-'i'raab wa al-Anmudhaj wa al-Mufrad al-Mua'allaf المفصل في صنعة الإعراب، والأنموذج، والمفرد المؤلف.

Ibn al-Hajib ابن الحاجب is a well known Maliki scholar and muqr'i and son of a Kurdish soldier from among the guard of Salah ad-Din's ´maternal cousin who was a prince. He travelled a lot to gain knowledge and he had contributions in the science of qir'aat, osool and the maliki fiqh beside Arabic linguistics and Kalam.

Their teacher abu al-Hassan al-Abyari أبو الحسن علي بن إسماعيل بن علي الأبياري (557-618 a.H.)) is the author of At-Tahqiq we al-Bayan fi Sharh al-Burhan “التحقيق والبيان في شرح البرهان” which is a commentary on al-Burhan of imam al-Haramyn (osol al-Fiqh) and he also wrote several commentaries on al-Bardha'ay's at-Tahdheeb. Sadly this scholar who had a leading role in maliki fiqh in Egypt at his time is rather less known than his students. His hometown Ibyar is still a small village in Egypt between Alexandria and Kairo and close to Tanta and was among the places ibn Batutta visited in Egypt.

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