« PreviousContinue »
scholastic theologian), and a mawla to the family of Abd Kais, was the chief doctor of the Basra Motazelites, one of their most learned men, and the author of discourses, conferences, and controversies on subjects connected with the Motazelite tenets. He was an able disputant, employing the strongest proofs and an abundance of demonstrations and decisive arguments. It is related that having met Salih Ibn Abd al-Kaddùs in great grief for the loss of his son, he said to him: "I know not why you should grieve for him, since, according to you, man "is like the corn growing in the field." To this Sâlih replied: "Abù 'l-Hudail ! "I grieve for his loss, for the sole reason that he had not yet read the Kitâb "as-Shukuk (book of doubts)."-"And what book is that, Sâlih?"-“It is a "work composed by me, and whoever reads it is led to doubt of every thing 675" that exists, so as to imagine that it exists not; and to doubt of every thing that
"does not exist, so as to imagine that it exists."—"Well," said Abû 'l-Hudail, "doubt of your son's death, and do as if he was not dead, although he is so ; "and doubt also about his reading of the Kitâb as-Shukuk, so that you may imagine he has read it, although he never did." One of Abû 'l-Hudail's works bears the title of Milds: Milàs was a Magian who had embraced the Moslim faith after getting up a conference between Abu 'l-Hudail and some Dualists (1), in which the latter were reduced to silence by their adversary. A number of schoolmen were assembled in the presence of Yahya Ibn Khâlid the Barmekide, and he asked them to describe the true nature of love: each of them said something on the subject, and Abû Hudail, who was one of the company, spoke as follows: "O vizir! love seals up the eyes and the heart; its pasture-ground is "the body, and its watering-place the liver (2); he who is possessed by it re"volves in his mind a crowd of fantastic thoughts; the enjoyment of his wishes " is never free from alloy, and the accomplishment of his desires is never pure "from trouble; contrarieties hasten to afflict him, whilst he himself drains the "beverage of death, and quenches his thirst at the ponds of sorrow for the loss "of the beloved unless, indeed, that love come from an ardour of character "and a vivacity of disposition which render the lover like a mettlesome steed, "heedless of the voice of control and not to be reclaimed (3) by the check of "reprimand." Thirteen schoolmen were present at this sitting, and Abû 'lHudail was the third who spoke. To avoid lengthening this article, I suppress what the others said. I read in a collection of anecdotes, that an Arab woman,
a native of the desert, described love in these terms: "It tries to be concealed "from sight, and yet it is too great to be kept secret; it lies hidden (in the bosom) (6 as fire in the flint; if you strike it, it is given out, and if you let it alone, "it remains unseen if it be not a mode of madness, it is at least an essence "extracted from magic." Abû 'l-Hudail was born A. H. 131 (A. D. 748-9), or, by other accounts, either in 134 or the following year; he died in the year 235 (A. D. 849-50) at Sarra man ràa. Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (vol. I. p. 75) places his death in the year 226, and al-Masûdi states, in his Muruj ad-Dahab (or meadows of gold), that he died in the year 227. Before his death, he lost the use of his sight, and his intellect grew disordered. He did not, however, forget any of the fundamental principles of doctrine, but the weakness of his head put it out of his power to maintain a discussion or confute an adversary.
(1) The Magians were called Dualists, because they believed in the existence of two independent first causes, one producing good and the other evil.
(2) See vol. I. page 116, note (5). (3) I read
. The whole passage is more or less corrupted in each of the manuscripts.
ABU ALI AL-JUBBAI.
Abû Ali Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhâb Ibn Salâm Ibn Khâlid Ibn Humrân Ibn Abbân, generally known by the appellation of al-Jubbâi, was one of the doctors of the Motazelite sect, and an able master in the science of dogmatic theology. His ancestor Abbân was a mawla to (the khalif) Othmân Ibn Affàn. Al-Jubbâi acquired his knowledge of theology from Abû Yûsuf Yâkûb Ibn Abd Allah as-Shahhâm al-Basri, who was at that time the head of the Motazelite sect at Basra. He left a number of celebrated discourses on the doctrines of the Motazelites. It was from him that the Shaikh as-Sunna (the sunnite doctor) Abû 'l-Hasan al-Ashari (vol. II. p. 227), learned dogmatic theology, and some of the learned have transmitted down to us the following account of a discussion which the pupil had with his master: he proposed to him the case of three brothers,
one of whom was a true believer, virtuous and pious; the second an infidel, a debauchee and a reprobate; and the third an infant: they all died, and al-Ashari wished to know what had become of them. To this al-Jubbài answered: "The
"virtuous brother holds a high station in paradise; the infidel is in the depths "of hell, and the child is among those who have obtained salvation."-"Suppose now," said al-Ashari, "that the child should wish to ascend to the place occupied by his virtuous brother, would he be allowed to do?"-"No," replied al-Jubbài; "it would be said to him: Thy brother arrived at this place through his numerous works of obedience towards God, and thou hast 674no such works to set forward.'"-" Suppose then," said al-Ashari, "that "the child say: "That is not my fault; you did not let me live long enough, "neither did you give me the means of proving my obedience.'" "In that
answered al-Jubbài, "the Almighty would say: 'I knew that if I "allowed thee to live, thou wouldst have been disobedient, and incurred the severe punishment (of hell); I therefore acted for thy advantage.'"-"Well," said al-Ashari," and suppose the infidel brother were here to say: 'O God of "the universe! since you knew what awaited him, you must have known "what awaited me; why then did you act for his advantage and not for "mine ?" Al-Jubbai had not a word to offer in reply. This discussion proves that the Almighty elects some for mercy, and others for punishment; and that his acts are not the results of any motive whatsoever.-I have since read, in Fakhr ad-din ar-Râzi's (vol. II. p. 652) commentary on the Koran, in the sûrat entitled al-fanâm (cattle), that, when al-Ashari ceased attending the conferences held by al-Jubbai and renounced his doctrines, he frequently contested his master's opinions, and each conceived a profound aversion for the other. It afterwards happened, that, one day, when al-Jubbai was holding a conference as an exercise for his disciples, a great number of persons were assembled to hear it, and al-Ashari went there also and concealed himself in a place where al-Jubbâi could not see him. He then said to a woman who was near him: "I will give you a question to propose to this shaikh;" and prompted her to ask one question after another, till at length al-Jubbài was reduced to silence; but he perceived that these questions could not have originated with the woman, and that they must have proceeded from al-Ashari.—I read in Ibn Haukal's geographical work, entitled al-Masâlik va 'l-Mamálik (routes and
realms), in the chapter on Khûzestân, that Jubba is the name of a city and an extensive district covered with date-trees, sugar-cane plantations, etc.; and that it produced Abû Ali al-Jubbâi, the eminent shaikh, the chief of the Motazelites, and the first dogmatic theologian of the age.-Al-Jubbài was born A. H. 235 (A. D. 849-50), and he died in the month of Shaabân, A. H. 303 (Feb.-March, A. D. 916). We have already spoken of his son, Abû Hashim Abd as-Salam, and of the meaning of the word Jubbài (see page 133 of this volume).
THE KADI ABU BAKR AL-BAKILANI.
The kâdi Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn at-Taiyib Ibn Muhammad Ibn Jaafar Ibn al-Kàsim, surnamed al-Bâkilàni and a native of Basra, was a celebrated dogmatic theologian. He professed the doctrines of the shaikh Abu 'l-Hasan Abû al-Ashari (vol. II. p. 227), and, being a staunch partisan and supporter of his opinions, he obtained the presidency of the Asharite sect. He resided at Baghdad, and composed a great number of works on dogmatic theology and other subjects. In learning he stood without a rival, and obtained great renown by his talent as a successful investigator of truth, by the readiness of his replies, and the quantity of Traditions which he had collected. He was noted for his prolixity in discussion, and it happened one day that, whilst engaged in an argument with Abu Saîd al-Hàrûni, during which he multiplied his illustrations and made a discourse of extreme diffuseness, he turned to the auditors and said: "I "take you to witness that, if my adversary repeat what I have just uttered, "without making any change in my words, I shall not require any further an
swer from him." On this al-Hârûni exclaimed: "And I also take you to "witness that if he himself repeat it, I shall admit the whole as true!" The kâdi Abû Bakr al-Bâkilâni died at Baghdad on Saturday evening, the 21st of Zù 'l-Kaada, A. H. 403 (June, A. D. 1013), and was interred the next day. A contemporary poet composed the following elegy on his death:
Behold a mountain (of learning) borne off on the shoulders of men! Behold what brilliant talents are now enclosing in the tomb! Behold the sword of Islamism, now sheathing in its scabbard ! Behold the pearl of Islamism, now restoring to its shell.
His corpse was interred in his house, in the street of the Magians (Darb alMajûs), and the funeral prayer was said over it by his son al-Hasan. It was afterwards removed to the cemetery at the Harb Gate. Bâkilâni is derived from bakila (beans), and designates the seller of such vegetable food. Some pronounce the latter word bâkilla. This relative adjective is formed irregularly, the letter n being inserted (before the formative final letter). It is analogous in its form to the words Sanâni (native of Sand) and Bahrâni (belonging to the tribe of Bahra), which adjectives are employed as the relatives of Sand and Bahrâ. Al-Hariri condemns this form in his Durra tal-Ghawâss, and says that bâkila, with a short final a, takes bakili for its relative, and that bâkillâ, with the long final, takes Bakillawi or Bâkillaiyi. He adds that the relatives derived from Sand and Bahrâ should not be considered as examples proper to sanction a rule, inasmuch as they are exceptional cases. The first form of this relative has not, however, been condemned by as-Samâni (vol. II. p. 156. God best knows which is right.
ABU 'L-HUSAIN AL-BASRI.
Abu 'l-Husain Muhammad Ibn Ali at-Taiyib al-Basri (native of Basra) was a theologian (mutakallim) of the Motazelite school and one of their most distinguished doctors. His language was pure, his style highly elegant, and his information copious. He ranked as the first imâm of that age. A number of excellent works were composed by him on the fundamentals of jurisprudence, such as the Motamid (the well-supported), a voluminous treatise, from which Fakr ad-din ar-Râzi (vol. II. p. 652) extracted the materials of his Kitâb alMahsûl; the Tasaffuh al-Adilla (examination of proofs), in two volumes; the Ghurar al-Adilla (brilliant demonstrations), in one large volume; a commentary on the