^ABD AL-QAHIR At-Tamimi AL-BAGHDADI
^Abd al-Qahir ibn Tahir ibn Muhammad, Abu Mansur al-Naysaburi al-Tamimi al-Baghdadi al-Shafi^i al-Ash^ari (d. 429), al-Ustadh, the imam, jurist, scholar of principles and kalam, man of letters, poet, prosodist, grammarian, and mathematician, one of the imams of the principles of the Religion and foremost authorities of Islam by its most eminent and competent scholars.
He is al-Bayhaqi‘s senior and the exact contemporary of Abu Dharr al-Harawi and Abu Muhammad al-Juwayni among the third-generation Ash^ari imams. He came to Naysabur with his father and spent his entire fortune in support of the scholars of knowledge until he became able to teach in seventeen different disciplines. He was Abu Ishaq al-Isfarayini‘s senior student. Abu Mansur succeeded Abu Ishaq al-Isfarayini as headmaster in the mosque of ^Aqil, where al-Bayhaqi, Abu al-Qasim al-Qushayri and Nasir al-Marwazi studied under him. He narrated hadith from al-Isma^ili and Abu Ahmad ibn ^Adi. Among his works:
1. Ahkam al-Wat‘ al-Tamm, also known as Iltiqa‘ al-Khitanayn, a book on sexual ethics and pertaining laws in Islam, in four volumes.
2. Bulugh al-Mada min Usul al-Huda
3. Fada‘ih al-Karramiyyah
4. Fada‘ih al-Mu^tazilah
5. al-Fakhir fi al-Awa‘il wa al-Awakhir
6. al-Farq Bayn al-Firaq, his major heresiological reference-work together with the Milal. In it he states the following positions:
– “It is obligatory to declare as unbeliever someone who says that Allah has limits.” The mushabbihah (anthropomorphist) creed is that “Allah has limits that He knows of.”
– “Ahl al-Sunnah reached consensus that Allah, the Flawless, the Exalted, is not bounded by place.” He then reports the saying of ^Ali: “Allah created al ^Arsh (the Throne) as an indication of His power, not for taking it as a place for Himself.”
7. Ibtal al-Qawl bi al-Tawallud
8. al-^Imad fi Mawarith al-^Ibad, on inheritance laws.
9. al-Iman wa Usuluh
10. al-Kalam wa al-Wa^id
11. Manaqib al-Imam al-Shafi^i
12. Mashariq al-Nur wa Madarik al-Surur fi al-Kalam
13. al-Milal wa al-Nihal, a heresiological reference-work.
14. Mi^yar al-Nadhar
15. Nafy Khalq al-Qur’an
16. Naqd Abi ^Abd Allah al-Jurjani fi Tarjih Madhhab Abi Hanifah 17. Nasikh al-Qur’an wa Mansukhuh
18. al-Qadayah fi al-Dawr wa al-Wasayah
19. Sharh Hadith Iftiraq Ummati ^ala Ihda wa Sab^in Firqah
20. Sharh Miftah Ibn al-Qass on Shafi^i fiqh21. al-Sifat
22. Tafdil al-Faqir al-Sabir `ala al-Ghani al-Shakir
23. Tafsir al-Qur’an
24. al-Tahsil fi al-Usul
25. al-Takmilah fi al-Hisab
26. Ta’wil Mutashabih al-Akhbar
27. Usul al-Din, in which he cites, among those who consider the verse of istiwa‘ one of the mutashabihat, Imam Malik ibn Anas, the seven jurists of Madina, and al-Asma^i.
Toward the end of Abu Mansur al-Baghdadi‘s life the Turkmen dissension forced him out of Naysabur to Isfarayin, where he died and was buried next to his teacher Abu Ishaq.
Main sources: Ibn ^Asakir, Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari (p. 249-250); al-Dhahabi, Siyar A^lam al-Nubala‘ (13:372 #3991); Ibn al-Subki, Tabaqat al-Shafi^iyyah al-Kubra (5:136-148 #468).
1 This position was refuted by Ibn Furak and the majority of Shafi^is, and Ibn al-Subki discussed the dubious authenticity of its attribution to al-Shafi^i in his Sharh al-Minhaj.