Abu al-Hasan ʿAbd al-Jabbar ibn Ahmad ibn Khalil ibn ʿAbdallah al-Hamadani al-Asadabadi (935 CE – 1025 CE) was an Islamic jurist and hadith scholar who is remembered as the Qadi al-Qudat (Chief Magistrate) of the Buyid dynasty and the last great scholar of the Mu'tazilite school of Islamic theology, and a reported follower of the Shafi‘i school.[1][2] Abd al-Jabbar means "Servant of al-Jabbar (the Almighty)."[3] The Mu'tazila call him "Qadi al-Qudat" (قاضي القضاة) and do not give this title to anyone else.[4]

He was born in Asadabad near Hamadan, Iran. He settled in Baghdad, until he was invited to Rey in 367 AH/978 CE by its governor, Sahib ibn Abbad, a staunch supporter of the Mu'tazila theological movement . He was appointed chief Qadi of the province. On the death of ibn 'Abbad in 995 CE, Abd al-Jabbar was deposed and arrested by the Buyid Amir, Fakhr al-Dawla, because of a slighting remark made by him about his deceased benefactor. He died later in 415 AH/1025 CE.

Qadi ʿAbd al-Jabbar's magnum opus, the Kitab al-mughni fi abwab al-tawhid wa l-ʿadl (Book of the plenitude on the topics concerning unity and justice), often shortened to al-Mughni, is a comprehensive twenty volume "summa" of Mu'tazilite theology of the same magnitude as St. Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica and Summa Contra Gentiles.[1] It presented Mu'tazili thought under the two headings of God's oneness (tawhid) and his justice (adl). He argued that the Ash'arite separation between the eternal speech of God and the created words of the Qur'an made God's will unknowable.

He and his Mu’tazilite circle were contemporaries of Ibn Sina (better known in the West as Avicenna).[5]


Qadi Abd al-Jabbar was the author of more than 70 books.[6]

Tathbit Dala’il

Abd Al-Jabbar produced an anti-Christian polemic text Tathbit Dala’il Nubuwwat Sayyidina Muhammad, (‘The Establishment of Proofs for the Prophethood of Our Master Mohammed’).[9]

English translations


  1. ^ a b Martin, Richard; Woodward, Mark; Atmaja, Dwi (1997). Defenders of Reason in Islam: Mu'tazilism from Medieval School to Modern Symbol. Oneworld. p. 49.
  2. ^ Jane Dammen McAuliffe. Encyclopaedia of the Qurʼān. 2003, volume 3. Page 439. Article by Claude Gilliot.
  3. ^ Juan Eduardo Campo. Encyclopedia of Islam (2009). Page 515. "The Quran states, “The most beautiful names belong to God (Allah) so call on him by them; but shun such men as use profanity in his names: for what they ... of God), Abd al-Salam (Servant of Peace), or Abd al-Jabbar (Servant of the Powerful)."
  4. ^ Subki, Tabaqat al-Shafi'iyah: Page 220
  5. ^ Ruffus, Anthony; McGinnis, Jon (2015-01-28). "Willful Understanding: Avicenna's Philosophy of Action and Theory of the Will" (PDF). Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie. 97 (2): 160–195. doi:10.1515/agph-2015-0007. ISSN 0003-9101.
  6. ^ Kifayat Ullah, Al-Kashshaf: Al-Zamakhshari's Mu'tazilite Exegesis of the Qur'an, de Gruyter (2017), p. 110
  7. ^ Lika, Eva-Maria (7 November 2017). Proofs of Prophecy and the Refutation of the Isma'iliyya: The Kitab Ithbat nubuwwat al-nabi by the Zaydi al-Mu'ayyad bi-Ilah al-Haruni (D. 411/1020). ISBN 9783110541793.
  8. ^ Dhanani, Alnoor (July 1, 2014). "Basran Mu'tazilite Theology: Abu 'Ali Muhammad b. Khallad's Kitab al-Usul and Its Reception". The Journal of the American Oriental Society. 134 (3): 548–550. doi:10.7817/jameroriesoci.134.3.548 – via go.gale.com.
  9. ^ 'Abd al-Jabbar, Tathbit dalailal- nubuwwa, ed. 'A. 'Uthman, 2 vols., Beirut 1966