21 Jumādā al-Thānī '44 — Biography

Brief Biography of: ibn al-Jawzī (رحمه الله)


His Name and Lineage

His name is Abū’l-Faraj Jāmal al-Dīn ‘Abdur-Raḥmān ibn ‘Alī ibn Muḥammad ibn ‘Alī ibn ‘Ubaid Allāh ibn al-Jawzī al-Qurashī al-Tammimi al-Bakrī, and he is from the family of Muḥammad ibn Abū Bakr as-Ṣiddīq, al-Baghdādī al-Ḥanbalī (1).

His Birth and Upbringing

He was born in 509 or 510 AH. Upon teaching adolescence, his aunt took him to ibn Nāṣir from whom he learned a great deal. He came to love preaching while barely having reached the age of puberty, and from then started to give sermons to the people.

His father passed away when he was only at the age of three years old, so his aunt took care of him. His relatives were copper merchants so at times in hadīth hearings he would write his name as ‘Abdur-Raḥmān ibn ‘Alī al-Ṣaffār (i.e, The Coppersmith).

His first hadīth hearing was in 556 AH, as evidenced by al-Dhahabī (2).

While still being very young, he became known as a religious person who would not socialise with anyone and would not eat from any food whose source was doubtful. The only time he would leave his house was for prayer and he would not play with others similar to his age. He was a person of very great determination, ambition and he spent all his life occupying himself in seeking knowledge, preaching and authoring. (3)

His Teachers

He has already introduced his teachers in his book Mashyakbat ibn al-Jawzī (i.e, the scholars who taught ibn al-Jawzī), where he listed many of them. In the field of hadīth, he benefitted from accompanying ibn Nāṣir, in Qurʾān and Adab (i.e, Manners) from Sibt al-Khiyāt and ibn al-Jawāliqī. He was the last to narrate from al-Dinawari and al-Mutawakkili. (4)

His Works

Sheikh al-Islām ibn Taymiyyah said in al-Ajwibah al-Miṣrīyyah:

"Sheikh Abū’l-Faraj excelled in many sciences and has many writings to his account. He would write on many topics, I counted his works I found them to be over one thousand in number. Later, I found out about other works as well." (5)

Mentioned in some of his books, al-Dhahabī said:

"I don't know of a scholar who has written what this man has." (6)

He authored approximately 300 books, some of his printed works include:

His Death

ibn al-Jawzī passed away on Friday, 12th of Ramaḍān 597 AH, and he was buried next to the grave of Imām Aḥmad ibn Hanbal in the cemetery of Bāb Ḥarb.

May Allāh have abundant mercy on ibn al-Jawzī and accept his works, and may Allāh bless you, and shukran.

Sources :

Brief contents of the biography is extracted from the book, Disciplining The Soul by ibn al-Jawzī, with minor changes to the original wording.

1. Thail al-Rauḍataīn page no 21, al-Bidāyah wa’l-Nihāyah page no. 13/26

2. Thail al-Rauḍataīn 21, Thail‘ala Tahaqāt al-Ḥanabila 1/401, Shatharāt al-Thabab 4/330

3. al-Bidāyah wa’l-Nihāyah 13/29, Sa'id al-Khāṭir 238

4. Siyar al-A‘lām al-Nubulā’ 21/366, 367

5. Thail‘ala Tahaqāt al-Ḥanabila 1/415, al-Tāj al-Mukallal 70

6. Tathkirat al-Ḥuffāz 1344