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Ibn Qiba al-Razi

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Ibn Qiba al-Razi
Personal Information
Full Name Muhammad b. 'Abd al-Rahman b. Qiba
Teknonym Abu Ja'far
Well-Known As Ibn Qiba al-Razi
Death before 317/ 929
Burial Place Baghdad or Kadhimiyya
Scholarly Information
Professors Abu l-Qasim al-Balkhi
Students Ibn Butta al-Qummi
Works al-Insaf, al-Ishhad

Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Qiba al-Rāzī (Arabic: أبوجَعفَر مُحَمَّد بن عَبد الرحمن بن قِبَه الرازي), reputably known as Ibn Qiba al-Razi, was an Imami theologian in early fourth/tenth century. Ibn Shahrashub and al-Najashi have praised him as a skillful theologian with straight beliefs. His debates and discussions with his contemporary rivals from other theological schools manifest his proficiency and great position in the theology. Some of his writings have survived.

Life and Theological Tendencies

Little is known about his personal life, like the exact birth date or when he died; only that he was a Mu'tazili at first and later on, he joined Imamiyya.

Teachers and Students

Abu l-Qasim al-Balkhi has been mentioned as his teacher and Ibn Butta al-Qummi as his student.

As a Reputable Shi'a Theologian

Ibn Shahrashub and al-Najashi have praised him as a skillful theologian with straight beliefs. His debates and discussions with his contemporary rivals manifest his great position and high level in theology. At the time, the most compelling duty of Shi'a theologians was to defend the concept of Imamate according to Twelver Shi'a, against the questions and doubts raised by other Muslim sects.



It's been narrated from Abu l-Husayn Susanjirdi that he said "after visiting the Holy Shrine of Imam al-Rida (a) I went to Balkh to meet Abu l-Qasim al-Balkhi and gave him the book al-Insaf by Ibn Qiba al-Razi; al-Balkhi wrote a book, called Al-Mustarshid fi l-Imama , to repudiate Ibn Qiba's writing. I took the book, Susanjirdi continues, to Ibn Qiba and he gave his replies in a book called: al-Musiathbit fi l-Imama , then I took this second writing of Ibn Qiba to al-Balkhi, to which he wrote his second objection. After this I headed for Ray but by the time I reached there, Ibn Qiba Had died."[1]

Al-Insaf is one of the sources of Ibn Abi l-Hadid in his Commentary on Nahj al-balagha, and he has cited a part of al-Shiqshiqiyya Sermon from al-Insaf. However, except for a part which is preserved within al-Shafi by al-Sharif al-Murtada, not any complete copy of the original work has survived.

Other Writings

Some other parts of Ibn Qiba's writings are preserved in Kamal al-Din by al-Shaykh al-Saduq. These parts mostly represent Ibn Qiba's theological debates with two theologians from other schools of thought that had questioned the belief of Imamiyya in the occultation of the Imam al-Mahdi (a). One of these two is Abu l-Husayn Ali b. Ahmad b. Bashshar who is an adherent to a school called Ja'fariyya al-Khullas; and the other is Abu Zayd al-'Alawi, a Zaydi theologian.

To prove his own theological school and repudiate the school of Imamiyya, Abu Zayd al-'Alawi had compiled a book with the title: al-Ishhad; Ibn Qiba has confuted the book in a work, titled: Naqd kitab al-ishhad (refutation of the book al-Ishhad).

In addition to these works, some other books like: al-Rad 'ala 'Ali b. 'Ali al-Jiba'i , Kitab al-Ta'rif and al-Mas'alat al-mufrada fi l-Imama have been ascribed to him.


  1. al-Najashi, P.376


  • The material for this article is mainly taken from ابن قبه رازی in Farsi Wikishia.
  • Najashi, Ahmad al-. Rijal. Ed. Sayyid Musa Shubayri Zanjani, 1407/1987;