ʿAŻOD-AL-DĪN ĪJĪ, QĀŻĪ ABU’L-FAŻL ʿABD-AL-RAḤMĀN B. ROKN-AL-DĪN AḤMAD B. ʿABD-AL-ḠAFFĀR B. AḤMAD BAKRĪ MOṬARREZĪ ŠABĀNKĀRĪ ŠĪRĀZĪ, famous Shafeʿite jurist and Asḥʿarite theologian. He was born at Īj (Īg or Īk), then the chief town of the district Šabānkāra in Fārs, in 680/1281 or shortly afterwards. (The later dates 708 or “after 700” given by such Arab biographers as Ebn al-ʿEmād, Ebn Ḥajar, Soyūṭī, and others, are plainly erroneous.) He was a descendant of a family which traced its genealogy back to the caliph Abū Bakr. Although he may have been sure of inheriting the office of his father, who had already been qāżī of the same place, he tried to make his fortune with Ḵᵛāja Rašīd-al-dīn Fażlallāh, the influential vizier of the Il-khanids Ḡāzān Khan (694-703/1295-1304) and Öljeitü (Oljāytū) (703-16/1304-16). In 706/1306 he arrived in Solṭānīya, which had just been chosen as the new capital of the Il-khanid empire by Öljeitü. His older contemporary, Ebn al-Fowaṭī (642-723/1244-1323) reports in his Majmaʿ al-ādāb fī moʿjam al-alqāb (ed. Moṣṭafā Jawād, Damascus, 1962, IV, 1, pp. 444f. no. 634) some gossip about his licentious behavior and about his eventual removal from the court to Kermān. But he is mentioned together with his brother ʿEmād-al-dīn, his teacher Faḵr-al-dīn Aḥmad b. Ḥasan Čahārbartī (Jārabardī in Arabic sources, d. 746/1345), and the doyen of the Iranian ʿolamāʾ at the time, ʿAbdallāh b. ʿOmar Bayżāwī (d. 716/1316), in a list of fifty-one scholars whom Rašīd-al-dīn asked his son (Amīr ʿAlī, the governor of Baghdad) to present with copious donations; he himself was far away in Syria, obviously in 712/1312-13, during Öljeitü’s only campaign against the Mamluks (cf. Mokātabāt-e rašīdī [Letters of Rašīd-al-dīn Fażlallāh], ed. M. Šafīʿ, Lahore, 1947, p. 59; Russ. tr. A. I. Falina, Rashid ad-din. Perepiska, Moscow, 1971, p. 126). The sequence of names in the latter seems to indicate that Ījī lived at that time in Tabrīz where his teacher Čahārbartī was acknowledged as the best authority in grammar and the religious sciences (Brockelmann, GAL II, p. 246, S. II, p. 257). We know however, through a passage in Ḥāfeẓ-e Abrū’s Majmaʿ al-tawārīḵ, that during Öljeitü’s reign he also belonged to the teaching staff of a mobile madrasa (madrasa-ye sayyāra) which had been established by the il-khan at the suggestion of Rašīd-al-dīn and which accompanied the army (Ḏayl-e Jāmeʿ-al-tawārīḵ-e rašīdī, ed. K. Bayānī, 1st ed., Tehran, 1317 Š./1938, p. 48 n. 1 [on p. 53]; 2nd ed., Tehran, 1350 Š./1971, p. 101 n. 1 [on p. 104]: read Ījī instead of Avajī). The vizier mentions him again a few years later in his will (in 719/1319 or shortly before), in connection with two madrasas in Šabānkāra whose considerable endowment (waqf ) income went to Ījī and his sons (Mokātabāt, p. 232, Russ. tr., p. 271).

At that time, however, the founder of the Muzaffarid dynasty, Mobārez-al-dīn Moḥammad, had already started to make himself master of Šabānkāra. This may have added to Ījī’s readiness to return to the capital when Öljeitü’s son Abū Saʿīd Bahādor Khan (r. 716-36/1316-35) nominated him supreme judge of the Il-khanid empire (qāżī al-mamālek). He owed this promotion to the fact that Abū Saʿīd, in contrast to his father, no longer adhered to the Shiʿite creed; Shiʿite sources like Šūštarī’s Majāles al-moʾmenīn or Ḵᵛānsārī’s Rawżāt al-jannāt leave no doubt that Ījī always defended the Sunnite cause. He attached himself to Ḡīāṯ-al-dīn Moḥammad, the son of Rašīd-al-dīn, who became vizier in 727/1327; in the following years, until Ḡīāṯ-al-dīn’s execution in 736/1336, he dedicated several works to him. His scholarly reputation spread far beyond the borders of Iran: he is called pādešāh-e ʿolamāʾwa ḵosrow-e dānešmandān in the Tārīḵ-egozīda (p. 654); he is also mentioned in the biographical dictionaries of the Mamluk empire (e.g., Ebn Ḥajar ʿAsqalānī and Ebn Taḡrīberdī, and Moḥammad b. Toḡloq, sultan of Delhi (r. 725-52/1325-51), sent him a donation without having ever met him (Ebn Baṭṭūṭa [Paris] III, p. 254; tr. Gibb, p. 677). Ījī’s relations with his former teacher Čahārbartī deteriorated; he had asked him for an explanation of Zamaḵšarī’s commentary on Sūra 2:23 in Kaššāf (for the transmission of which Čahārbartī was the best authority at that time); receiving a rather condescending answer, he had attacked him in a lengthy reply (cf. Sobkī, Ṭabaqāt al-šāfeʿīya IV, p. 108).

With Abū Saʿīd’s death in 736/1335 and Ḡīāṯ-al-dīn’s ensuing execution, Ījī lost his position as qāżī al-mamālek. After some years, which he seems to have spent in Šabānkāra, he joined the court of the Īnjū Abū Esḥāq at Shiraz, where he became a qāżī al-qożāt. It was here that he met Ḥāfeẓ and ʿObayd Zākānī; Ḥāfeẓ praised him, in retrospect, as one of the five most important people of his time in Fārs (Dīvān, ed. M. Qazvīnī and Q. Ḡanī, Tehran, 1320 Š./1941, pp. 363-67), whereas ʿObayd Zākānī tells some facetious anecdotes about him in his Ḥekāyāt-e fārsī (Kollīyāt-e ʿObayd-e Zākānī, ed. P. Atābakī, Tehran, 1321 Š./1942, pp. 311ff.). When after 750/1350, Abū Esḥāq found himself increasingly confined by Mobārez-al-dīn’s expansion, he sent Ījī to negotiate with him. Ījī was received with great respect but the political mission was a complete failure; Mobārez-al-dīn was apparently too sure of his success to give in. Ījī seems to have adjusted himself to the new situation; before returning to Abū Esḥāq he received Mobārez-al-dīn as his guest in Šabānkāra; and when Shiraz was besieged by the Muzaffarid army in 754/1353, he managed to leave the town secretly. He retired to Šabānkāra where Mobārez-al-dīn’s son Shah Šojāʿ visited him one year later, after having subdued a rebellion initiated by a certain ʿEmād-al-dīn Maḥmūd Kermānī in favor of Abū Esḥāq. Either this rebel or Malek Ardašīr, the last atābak of Šabānkāra (who, according to EI1 IV, p. 242 rose against the Muzaffarids in 755/1355 or 756/1356, but who is reported to have lived much earlier according to other sources, cf. B. Spuler, Mongolen3, p. 147), imprisoned Ījī in the fortress of Deraymīān at Īj, where he died in 756/1356.

Ījī’s works, intended as systematic handbooks for teaching in madrasas, have no claim to originality, but they were well-organized and had profited from the long scholarly tradition which had survived the Mongol invasion. Their popularity is evident from the great number of commentaries. Most have not yet been intensively studied; the best bibliographical surveys are those by C. Brockelmann (GAL II, pp. 267ff., S. II, pp. 287ff.) and by A. Ateş, (“Îcî,” İA V, pp. 921ff.). They deal with the following disciplines:

A. Theology: (1) al-Mawāqef fī ʿelm al-kalām, Ījī’s most famous work, probably composed before 730/1330 (it is mentioned in the Tārīḵ-egozīda [p. 808.15], which was written in that year) for Ḡīāṯ-al-dīn Moḥammad b. Fażlallāh (Kašf al-ẓonūn [Istanbul], p. 1891), but subsequently dedicated to Abū Esḥāq. The book sets out in the style of a summa theologica, in concise language, the traditional ideas of late Asḥʿarite theology; it is based mainly on the Moḥaṣṣal of Faḵr-al-dīn Rāzī (d. 606/1209) and the Abkār al-afkār of Sayf al-dīn Āmedī (d. 631/1233), in places also on the former’s Nehāyat al-ʿoqūl fī derāyat al-oṣūl. The oldest commentary was written by Ījī’s disciple, Šams-al-dīn Kermānī (d. 786/1384), but the commentary which always enjoyed the highest popularity was the one written by Šarīf Jorjānī and finished in 807/1404-05 at Samarkand (GAL II, p. 269; Ateş, op. cit., pp. 923ff.; L. Gardet and M.-M. Anawati, Introduction à la théologie musulmane, Paris, 1948, pp. 165ff., 370ff.). (2) Jawāher al-(ʿolūm fi’l-)kalām, dedicated to Ḡīāṯ-al-dīn Moḥammad and commented upon for the first time as early as 770/1368, for the Muzaffarid ruler Qoṭb-al-dīn Shah Maḥmūd, the brother of Shah Šojāʿ (GAL II, p. 270; ed. Abu’l-ʿAlāʾ ʿAfīfī, Majallat kollīat al-ādāb [Jāmeʿa Meṣrīya] II, 1934, pp. 133ff.). The exact relationship between the Mawāqef and the Jawāher has still to be investigated. Both works are structured after the same pattern and contain almost the same material, but the Jawāher is shorter. The commentary by ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān b. ʿAbd-al-Qāder Fāsī (d. 1096/1685) mentioned by Esmāʿīl Pasha (Īżāḥ al-maknūn, Istanbul, 1945-47, p. 378) as having been finished on 18 Šaʿban 1078/2 February 1668, is preserved in a manuscript at Medina. (3) Al-ʿAqāʾed al-ʿażodīya, a short catechism which Ījī finished immediately before his death (cf. GAL II, p. 270; the last edition of the text together with the commentaries of Dav(v)ānī (d. 907/1501) and Moḥammad ʿAbdoh [d. 1323/1905] is by Solaymān Donyā, al-Šayḵ Moḥammad ʿAbdoh bayn al-falāsefa wa’l-kalāmīyīn, Cairo, 1377/1958).

B. Jurisprudence: (1) A commentary to Ebn al-Ḥājeb’s (d. 646/1249) abridgement (Moḵtaṣar) of his own Montaha ’l-soʾūl (sūl) wa’l-amal fī ʿelmay al-oṣūl wa’l-jadal, on oṣūl al-feqh and dialectics, finished 26 Šaʿbān 734/2 May 1334 (Kašf al-ẓonūn [Istanbul], p. 1853; GAL I, p. 372, S. I, p. 537; Ateş, op. cit., p. 922). Ebn al-Ḥājeb had based himself on Āmedī’s Eḥkām fī oṣūl al-aḥkām (cf. GAL I, p. 494, S. I, p. 678); both of them were Malekites. Ījī, on the contrary, was a Shafeʿite; in oṣūl al-feqh the difference of maḏhab did not matter very much. (2) Resāla fī ādāb al-baḥṯ, which may be subsumed here insofar as it treats the art of dialectics like the former work (cf. GAL II, p. 267). It seems noteworthy that Ījī, in spite of his being supreme judge, did not write anything on forūʿ. The intellectual climate of the later Il-khanid empire with its mixture of Mongol and Muslim law may have suggested a certain reserve.

C. Tafsīr: A commentary on Bayżāwī’s Anwār al-tanzīl wa asrār al-taʾwīl entitled Taḥqīq al-tafsīr fī takṯīr al-tanwīr (cf. GAL II, p. 267; Ateş, op. cit., p. 922).

D. Ethics: al-Resāla al-šāhīya fī ʿelm al-aḵlāq (dedicated to Abū Esḥāq Īnjū, who had the title Shah?). Cf. GAL II, p. 270. The work takes up a specific Iranian tradition represented, e.g., by Naṣīr-al-dīn Ṭūsī’s Aḵlāq-e nāṣerī (completed 33/1235) and later by Davānī’s (d. 907/1501) Aḵlāq-e jalālī. It treats, in concordance with the Greek pattern, the basic elements of the three branches of practical philosophy: individual ethics, economics, politics. The earliest commentary was written by Šams-al-dīn Kermānī (d. 786/1384; Kašf al-ẓonūn [Istanbul], p. 37). There is a Turkish translation by Moḥammad Amīn b. Moḥammad Asʿad (Istanbul, 1281/1864; cf. Ateş, op. cit., p. 923).

E. Rhetoric and linguistics: (1) al-Fawāʾed al-ḡīāṯīya, an abridgement of the section on rhetoric (i.e., part III) from Sakkākī’s encyclopedic Meftāḥ al-ʿolūm, and dedicated to Ḡīāṯ-al-dīn Moḥammad (cf. GAL II, p. 271). The oldest commentary was written for Shah Šojāʿ by Moḥammad b. Ḥājjī b. Moḥammad Boḵārī Saʿīdī and finished in 760/1359 (Kašf al-ẓonūn [Istanbul], p. 1299); another one was composed shortly afterwards by Šams-al-dīn Kermānī (d. 786/1384). (2) Al-Modḵel fī ʿelm al-maʿānī wa’l-bayān wa’l-badāʾeʿ (cf. GAL II, p. 270). (3) Al-Resāla al-ważʿīya al-ʿażodīya, a short treatise with numerous commentaries, on ʿelm al-ważʿ, the reflection about the relation between expression and meaning, especially with regard to technical terms (cf. ibid., p. 268).

F. Historiography: Ešrāq al-tawārīḵ, a short survey of the historical facts relevant for a theologian, consisting of an introduction (on the lives of the prophets from Adam to Jesus) and three main chapters (on Moḥammad, on the ʿašara al-mobaššara, and on the most important religious personalities from the Companions until Ḡazālī). The work was translated in a slightly different form, under the title Zobdat al-tawārīḵ, into Turkish by the poet ʿAlī Čelebī (d. 1008/1600; cf. EI2 I, p. 380; cf. GAL II, p. 271; Ateş, op. cit., pp. 922f.



See also Moʿīn-al-dīn Yazdī, Mawāheb-e elāhī dar tārīḵ-e Āl-e Moẓaffar, ed. S. Nafīsī, Tehran, 1326 Š./1947, I, pp. 92f., 241ff., 257.

Maḥmūd Kotobī, continuation of Tārīḵ-egozīda, ed. E. G. Browne, London, 1910, pp. 654ff., 663.

Mīrḵᵛānd (Tehran), IV, pp. 484, 487, 494.

Ḥabīb al-sīar (Tehran) III, pp. 197, 221, 224, 286, 288.

Nūrallāh Šūštarī, Majāles al-moʾmenīn, Tehran, 1375/1955, II, p. 214.

Moḥammad-Bāqer Ḵᵛānsārī, Rawżāt al-jannāt, lith., Tehran, 1263/1846-47, pp. 414f.

Sobkī, Ṭabaqāt1 VI, pp. 108ff., Ṭabaqāt2 X, pp. 46ff. Asnavī, Ṭabaqāt al-šāfeʿīya, ed. ʿA. Jobūrī, Baghdad, 1391/1971, II, p. 238 no. 857.

Ebn Ḥajar ʿAsqalānī, al-Dorar al-kāmena, ed. M. S. Jād-al-ḥaqq, Cairo, 1385/1966, II, pp. 429f. no. 2278.

Abu’l-Fażl ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Soyūṭī, Boḡyat al-woʿāt, ed. M. Abu’l-Fażl Ebrāhīm, Cairo, 1384/1964, II, pp. 75f. no. 1476.

Abu’l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad Maqrīzī, al-Solūk le-maʿrefat dowal al-molūk, ed. M. Moṣṭafā Zīāda, Cairo, 1956-, II, p. 885.10f. (s.a. 753); III, p. 16.7ff. (s.a. 755).

Ebn Taḡrīberdī, al-Nojūm al-ẓāhera X, p. 288.4ff.

Idem, al-Manhal al-ṣāfī (ms.). Ebn al-ʿEmād, Šaḏarāt al-ḏahab, Cairo, 1350-51/1931-32, VI, pp. 174f.

Šawkānī, al-Badr al-ṭāleʿ, Cairo, 1348/1929-30, I, pp. 326f. no. 225.

Qannawjī, al-Tāj al-mokallal, ed. ʿA. Šaraf al-dīn, Bombay, 1383/1963, pp. 379f. no. 408.

Šehāb-al-dīn Aḥmad b. Qāżī, Dorrat al-ḥejāl: Répertoire bibliographique d’Ahmad Ibn al-Qadi, ed. I. S. Allouche, Rabat, 1934-, p. 365 no. 1019.

Taşköprüzade, Meftāḥ al-saʿāda, Cairo, 1968, I, pp. 169f.

Zereklī, Aʿlām, Cairo, 1954-59, IV, p. 66.

Kaḥḥāla, Moʿjam al-moʾallefīn, V, pp. 119f.

Q. Ḡanī, Baḥṯ dar āṯār o afkār o aḥwāl-e Ḥāfeẓ, Tehran, 1321 Š./1942, I, pp. 29, 31, 75, 99ff.

M. ʿA. Modarres, Rayḥānat al-adab, Tehran, 1967-, IV, pp. 142ff.

H. Halm, Die Ausbreitung der šāfiʿitischen Rechtsschule, Wiesbaden, 1974, p. 152.

J. van Ess, Die Erkenntnislehre ʿAḍudadīn al-Īcī, Wiesbaden, 1966.

Idem, “Neue Materialien zur Biographie des ʿAḍudaddīn al-Īğī,” Welt des Orients 9, 1978, pp. 270ff.

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(J. van Ess)

Originally Published: December 15, 1988

Last Updated: August 18, 2011

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Vol. III, Fasc. 3, pp. 269-271