Friday, July 11, 2014

A00027 - Ibn al-Hajj, Moroccan Scholar and Theologian

Moḥammed ibn Hajj al-Abdari al-Fassi (or Mohammed Ibn Mohammed ibn Mohammed Abu Abdallah Ibn al-Hajj al-Abdari al-Maliki al-Fassi; Arabic: إبن الحاج العبدري الفسي‎) was a Moroccan Maliki fiqh scholar and theologian writer. Originally from Fes, he would finish his life in Egypt where he died in 1336. He is most remembered for his famous book "al-Madkhal".

Ibn al-Hajj studied under many scholars of high standing in various cities and provinces, including Tunis, Al-Qairawan, Alexandria, Cairo, in addition to Madinah and Makkah. 

Ibn al-Hajj al-Abdari wrote Madkhal Ash-Shara Ash-Shareef Ala Al-Mathahib (Introduction to Islamic Jurisprudence According to Schools of Thought). The book was published in 4 volumes of over 300 pages each and addresses many different subjects. In the first volume, Ibn al-Hajj includes 22 chapters, each addressing one question where practice is at variance with Islamic teachings. He scrutinizes the practice and points out the proper way to follow. Thus, there are chapters on intention, pursuing knowledge, prayer, the position of a mosque as a place of education, offering prayers at home, the behavior of scholars during scholarly debate, etc. The second volume has 62 chapters with a similar number of questions, including the Prophet’s birthday, the position of Madinah, the manners to be followed by students, women’s behavior, etc. The whole book is written in this way, without any particular thread for the arrangement of its chapters and questions. It is not a book on fiqh in the usual sense, nor is it a book of education and its methods, or a book of hadith or Qur’anic commentary, but it includes something of all these disciplines. Ibn al-Hajj's views are very much influenced by al-Ghazali's Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din.  Ibn al-Hajj spent much of his life in Tunis and Egypt and, for some time, taught at the university of Fes, Al-Qarawiyyin.  He was buried in Qarafa (Egypt).

Ibn al-Hajj is noted for what he said about the developing concept of schools.  He said: "The schools should be in the bazaar or a busy street, not in a secluded place. ... It is a place for teaching, not an eating house, so the boys should not bring food or money. ... In the organization, a teacher must have a deputy to set the class in their places, also visitors according to their rank, to awaken the sleepers, to warn those who do what they ought not or omit what they ought to do, and bid them listen to the instruction. In class, conversation, laughing and jokes are forbidden."

No comments:

Post a Comment