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Sunday, November 15, 2009


The full name of the author of the book was Abu Muhammad Ali ibn. Ahmad ibn. Saad ibn. Hazm. Although his surname or kunyah was Abu Muhammad, he is well known as Ibn Hazm being attributed to his great grandfather’s name. He was born before sunrise in the last day of the month of Ramadhan in the eastern part of Cordova in 384H/994CE, and his date of death, as mentioned by his student, Said al Jayyani, is on 28th Sha’ban 456H/August 1064CE.[1] He was possibly of Iranian descent; other sources suggest that he came from a family of former Mozarabs and that his great-grandfather had converted from Christianity to Islam.[2]

At the time of Ibn Hazm's birth, his father, Abu ‘Amr Ahmad ibn Sa‘ad was minister to Hisham al-Mu’ayyad in the powerful cabinet of al-Mansur Muhammad ibn Abi 'Amir. Thus, Ibn Hazm came to be brought up in the midst of easy and pampered harem household, characteristised by the medieval Islamic etiquette. His early education and training were entrusted to women[3]. On reaching adolescence, he studied various disciplines i.e the Qur’an, Hadith, Arabic language and grammar, and the Kalam (al-Kalam wa al-Jadal) from many eminent scholars. Among his teachers are Abu Muhammad ar-RahËni ‘Abd Allah ibn Yusuf ibn Nami in Quran, ‘Abd RahmÉn ibn AbÊ YazÊd al-AzdÊ al-MiÎrÊ in KalÉm (al-KalÉm wa al-Jadal)[4], AÍmad ibn al-JassËr and AbË Bakr Muhammad Ibn IsÍÉq al-HamdhÉni in ×adÊth, ‘Abd Allah ibn DaÍÍËn, Ibn al-FarÉdi, and Abu al-KhiyÉr Mas‘Ëd Ibn Muflit in Fiqh, and Muhammad Ibn al-×assan al-MadhÍajÊ well known as Ibn al-KattÉni in logic and philosophy.[5]
From the death of the grand vizier al-Muzaffar in 1008 the Caliphate of Cordoba became embroiled in a civil that lasted until 1031 resulting in its collapse and the emergence of many smaller states called the Taifa's Ibn Hazm's father died in 1012 and Ibn Hazm continued to support the Umayyads, for which he was frequently imprisoned. By 1031 Ibn Hazm retreated to his family estate and Manta Lisham and had begun to express his activist convictions in the literary form.[6] He knew clearly the consequent effect of the crisis prevailing over his time and, hence, took painstaking to remind society of the grave result of religious abuse by writing a religious history of mankind. Here, he centered his analysis of worldviews, ideologies, and religious traditions on rational, historical, and critical grounds. He felt that confusion about the true religion might bring about extreme religious persecution and always in the position of requesting for the re-establishment of the abolished Khilafah as well.
He served as a minister in the government multiple times, under different caliphs. He used to serve under the Umayyad Caliphs of Córdoba, and was known to have worked under Al-Mansur Ibn Abi Aamir, Hajib (Grand Vizier) to the last of the Ummayad caliphs, Hisham III.
The Khilafah of Umayyad in Andalus declined and fell in 392 – 424AH / 1002-1031 CE. In consequence of this tragedy, the Islamic Empire in Andalus succumbed to the Christian power with the fall of Granada lastly in 897 AH / 1492 CE and the Muslims wholly were evacuated from Andalus in 1018 AH / 1609 CE.
[1] Aasi, 43, 45.
[2] Muslim Perception of Other Religions, A Historical Survey. Edited by Jacques Waardenburg.25.
[3] He said in his Ùawq al-HamÉmah (The Ring of the Dove):" I never sat with men until I was already a youth and my beard had begun to sprout. Women taught me the Holy Quran. They recited to me the poetry, trained me in calligraphy”. Aasi, 45.
[4] Ibid.46.
[5] Abu Zahrah, Muhammad, Ibn Hazm: Hayatuhu wa Asruhu, Arauhu wa Fiqhuh (Cairo: Dar al-Fikr al-Arabi,1954) 33-34. See also MaÍmËd ÑAlÊ ×imÉyah, Ibn ×azm wa Manhajuhu fÊ Dirasat al-AdyÉn (al-QÉhirah: DÉr al-MaÑÉrif, 1st edition, 1983), 47-48.
[6] Wikipedia…

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