Ibn Abi l-Hadid

Priority: c, Quality: b
Without references
From wikishia
Ibn Abi l-Hadid
Commentator of Nahj al-Balagha
Full Name'Abd al-Hamid b. Hibat Allah al-Mada'ini
TeknonymAbu Hamid
Epithet'Izz al-Din
Well-known AsIbn Abi l-Hadid al-Mu'tazili
Religious AffiliationMu'tazilite
Place of BirthAl-Mada'in
Places of ResidenceAl-Mada'in, Baghdad
Death/MartyrdomAfter 650/1252
Burial PlaceBaghdad
EraMongol dynasty
ProfessorsAbu l-Baqa' al-'Ukbari, Abu l-Khayr Musaddiq b. Shabib al-Wasiti and ...
Notable rolesFaqih, Poet
WorksSharh Nahj al-balagha, Al-Falak al-da'ir 'ala l-muthul al-sa'ir, Al-'Abqari al-Hisan and ...

ʿIzz al-Dīn Abū Ḥāmid ʿAbd al-Ḥamīd b. Hibat Allāh (586-after 650/ 1190-1252) (Arabic:عِزّالدین ابوحامد عبدالحمید بن هبةالله) known as Ibn Abi l-Ḥadīd, was a poet, literary man, and commentator of Nahj al-Balagha who lived in the 7th/13th. He was Shafi'i in fiqh and was Mu'tazili in usul al-din (principles of faith). However, he believed that Imam 'Ali (a) was superior to the other Rashidun Caliphs, and that anyone who revolts against him, is a rebel, fasiq (someone who openly commits a sin and practically disobeys Allah's commandments), and an infernal, unless he repents of his deeds. Al-'Ayniyya, a qasida (a style of composing a poem) which he composed to eulogize Imam 'Ali (a), is written with gold in the margin of the Imam's (a) darih.


'Izz al-Din Abu Hamid Adb al-Hamid b. Hibat Allah b. Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Husayn b. Abi l-Hadid al-Mada'ini, was born in first of Dhu l-Hijja 586/December 30, 1190 in al-Mada'in and grown up there.

He got his position as clerk in the secretariat, because he was a friend of Ibn 'Alqami (d. 656/1258), Shi'i Minister of al-Musta'sim, the last 'Abbasid Caliph. Therefore his two works, Qasa'id al-sab' and Sharh Nahj al-balaghah (Commentary on Nahj al-balagha) are dedicated to Ibn 'Alqami.

In 642/1244-5, Baghdad was set upon by the Mongols, but 'Abbasid army which was commanded by Sharaf al-Din Iqbal al-Sharabi who was Musta'sim's commander in chief, defeated the Mongols. Ibn Abi l-Hadid believed that this triumph was gained by Ibn 'Alqami's expedient, therefore he composed a qasida to pay tribute to Ibn 'Alqami. Some verses of this qasida are found in Comments on the Peak of Eloquence. He first undertook the position as clerk in the Court Formalities Office. In 629/1231-2, he was appointed as clerk in treasury, and after a while, took up his new post as clerk in the secretariat. In Safar of 642/June-August of 1244 was delegated to supervise Hillah, then he became khwahij (someone who was responsible for educating and training the King's children) of Emir 'Ala' al-Din al-Tabbars, and after that, he became the supervisor of the al-'Azudi Hospital, and finally, supervisor of the Baghdad libraries.

When Holaku Khan attacked Baghdad in 655/1257-8, Ibn Abi l-Hadid was sentenced to capital punishment, but Ibn al-'Alqami and Khwajih Nasir al-Din al-Tusi mediated and he survived, but after a while, he passed away in Baghdad.

Historians do not agree on Ibn Abi l-Hadid's date of death. He passed away in 650/1252-3 according to what al-Dhahabi says in his book, Tarikh al-Islam. According to Al-Wafi bi l-wafayat, he passed away in 655/1257-8. Ibn Abi l-Hadid passed away in 656/1258 according to Ibn Futi.

Scholarly Activities

He was taught firs in his birthplace, al-Mada'in. There he learned all the Kalam schools and found himself inclined to Mu'tazila school. Then he went to Baghdad and learned a lot form masters. In Baghdad, he was taught and gained knowledge by the great scholars and masters who were mostly Shafi'i and participated in scholarly and literary assemblies. According to Ziya' al-Din Yusuf b. Yahya al-Husayni al-San'ani, author of the Nasmat al-sahar, he became Jahizian Mu'tazili. He learned moral codes from Abu l-Baqa' al-'Ukbari and Abu l-Khayr Musaddiq b. Shabib al-Wasiti.

He had a nice poetic gift and composed poems on different themes, but his liturgy and mystical poems are more celebrated. He had a considerable knowledge of early history of Islam. Al-'Allamah al-Hilli (d. 726/1325) narrated from his father, and his father narrated from Ibn Abi l-Hadid.


He was Mu'tazili in Usul al-Din, and was Shafi'i in Furu' al-Din. It is said that his denomination was in the middle of the Sunni and Shi'a. According to Sharh Nahj al-balagha, he explicitly shows his concurrence with al-Jahiz, and that is why he is regarded as Jahizian mu'tazili. Ibn Kathir believed that he was ghali (someone who exaggerates) Shi'i, but analysis of Sharh Nahj al-balagha demonstrates that it is not the case and in fact, we can think of him as a moderate Mu'tazili. In the beginning of his book, he states that all the Mu'tazili authorities hold that giving bay'a to Abu Bakr was religiously right, and specifies that there is no hukm from the Prophet (s) that this bay'a is right, and it is so because people chose him to be the Caliph.

Opinion about Imam 'Ali (a)

Ibn Abi l-Hadid was a disciple of the Mu'tazili school of Iraq, that is why he believed that Imam Ali (a) was superior to the other Rashidun Caliphs and specifies that Imam 'Ali (a) was superior to the others in respect of rewards and praiseworthy traits. But he believed that Imam's (a) superiority is not necessary, and the beginning sermon of the book confirms it: God is praised who preferred the super to the superior.

Ibn Abi l-Hadid states about those who wage the Battle of Jamal against Imam Ali (a): We all Mu'tazili believe that these are all annihilated, except Aisha, Talha and al-Zubayr, because these three repented of their sin, and if they did not so, they were infernal because they insisted on rebelling.

He wrote about the army of Syria which participated in the Battle of Siffin: We all Mu'tazili believe that they are all annihilated, whether their heads or their followers, because they insisted on rebelling and died of this.

He also writes about Khawarij: We all Mu'tazili absolutely agree that they are infernal.

As a general rule, our followers believe that any fasiq who dies, is infernal, and there is no doubt that anyone who rebels against true Imam is fasiq.


Sharh Nahj al-balagha

It is said that Ibn Abi l-Hadid wrote almost 15 books. The following are the most well-known:

  • Sharh Nahj al-balagha (Commentary on Nahj al-balagha)
  • Al-Falak al-da'ir 'ala l-muthul al-sa'ir that is critique of al-Muthul al-sa'ir fi adab al-katib wa al-sha'ir of Ziya' al-Din Abu l-Fath known as Ibn Athir Jazari al-Musili (558-637/1162-3 to 1239-40). This book is very important in bilaghat (rhetoric), and so reliable in criticism. It was written in thirteen days.
  • Al-Sab' al-'Alawiyyat or Qasa'id al-sab' al-'Alawiyyat that was written in al-Mada'in, in 611/1214-5 and was dedicated to Ibn 'Alqami. The themes of the qasa'id are eulogy of the Prophet (s) and Imam 'Ali (a), conquest of Khaybar, conquest of Mecca, and martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a). This book was published over and over. Ibn Hammad al-'Alawi, Shams al-Din Muhammad b. Abi l-Rida, Radi Istarabadi (d. 686/1287-8) Mahfuz b. Washah al-Hilli and so on, are commentators of this book.

Al-'Ayniyya, a qasida which he composed to eulogize Imam Ali (a), is one of these seven qasidas and is written with gold in the margin of the Imam's (a) darih.

  • The Versification of the al-Fasih tha'lab, that was done in twenty four hours. The original version of the al-Fasih tha'lab, was written by Abu l-'Abbas Ahmad b. Yahya, known as Tha'lab al-Kufi al-Nahwi (200-291/815-6 to 903-4), is a short dictionary that was of interest to a wide range of readers.

The less important works of Ibn Abi l-Hadid are:

  • Al-'Abqari al-hisan, that includes kalam, logic, natural, usul, history and lyrics.
  • Al-Ta'liqah on two works of Imam Fakhar al-Din al-Razi: 1) Muhassal afkar al-mutaqaddimin wa l-muta'akhkhirin (philosophical and kalam), and 2) al-Mahsul fi 'ilm al-usul.
  • Al-'I'tibar 'ala kitab al-dhari'a fi usul al-shari'ah. Al-Dhari'ah fi usul al-shari'ah was written by al-Sharif al-Murtada (d. in 436/1044)
  • Commentary on Difficult Parts of al-Ghurar. Al-Ghurar was written by Abu l-Hasan al-Basri
  • Al-Wushah al-dhahabi fi 'ilm al-'adabi
  • Divan i Shi'r (collection of poetries)

He also criticized Ghazali's al-Mustasfa min 'ilm al-usul, and wrote commentaries on al-Zamakhshari's kalam book, Ayat al-bayyinat, and on Ibn Sina's medical work, Manzuma.

See Also


The material for writing this article is mainly taken from ابن ابی الحدید in Farsi wikishia.