The Wisdom of Ibn Al-Qayyim

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (real name: Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr) was a famous Sunni Islamic jurist, commentator on the Quran, astronomer, chemist, philosopher, psychologist, scientist and theologian. His scholarship was focused on the sciences of Hadith (tradition of the Prophet peace be upon him) and Fiqh ( Islamic jurisprudence). But because of his extensive work pertaining to human behavior and ethics, he is commonly referred to as “the scholar of the heart.”


At the age of 21, he joined the study circle of the Muslim scholarSheikh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, 661H – 728H (1263–1328). This most notable of his teachers kept him in his company for sixteen years as his closest student and disciple. Ibn al-Qayyim was fervent in his devotion to his teacher; defended his religious opinions and approaches; compiled and edited most of his works and taught the same, and later became his successor.

Ibn-al Qayyim devoted long hours to nightly prayers, and was in a constant state of Allah’s remembrance (dhikr), as he was known for his extended prostrations. He believed that “The heart is fortified through fear of Allaah and dhikr” and stated:

“When the heart is nourished with dhikr, its thirst quenched with contemplation and cleansed from corruption, it shall witness remarkable and wondrous matters and be inspired with wisdom.” (The Hardness of The Heart)

The Islamic scholar, Ibn Kathïr, who later on came to be known as the most renowned Muslim scholar and compiler of the most comprehensive Qur’anic commentaries ‘Tafsïr Ibn Kathïr’, was also a student of Ibn-al Qayyim. Ibn Kathir stated that Ibn Qayyim :

“..was constant in humbly entreating and calling upon his Lord. He recited well and I do not know of anyone in the world in this time, who is a greater worshipper than he is. His Salah used to be very lengthy, with prolonged Ruku’ (bowing) and prostrations. His colleagues would criticize him for this, yet he never retorted back, nor did he abandon this practice. May Allah bestow His Mercy upon him.”

Ibn Qayyim was particularly known and commended for his commentaries. Ibn Rajab spoke of his teacher, noting :

“He was an accomplished scholar of Islamic science, and no one could rival him in his deep understanding of  Quran and prophetic sayings, and his interpretations were unique in accuracy.”

Other Major Works

Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya’s contributions to the Islamic library are extensive. He compiled a large number of studies besides his own books, including:

1- Tahthïb Sunan Abi Dãwoud (Emendation of Sunan Abi Dãwoud)

2- Al-Kalãm al-Tayyib wa-al-‘Amal al-Sãlih (The Essence of Good Words and Deeds)

3- Commentaries on the book of Shaikh ‘Abdullãh al-Ansãri: Manãzil-u Sã’ireen (Stations of the Seekers), which is considered the epitome of knowledge of sufi books; besides other manuscripts copied with his own handwriting, and which are preserved in the Central Library in Damascus, Syria.

4- Zad al-Ma’ad (Provision of  Hereafter) – Click here to get this book

5- Al-Waabil Sayyib minal kalim tayyib – a commentary on hadith about Prophet Yahya ibn Zakariyya.

6- I’laam ul Muwaqqi’een ‘an Rabb il ‘Aalamee

7- Tafsir Mu’awwadhatain (Tafsir of Surah Falaq and Nas)

8- Al Faw?’id

9- Ad-D?’i wa Daw? also known as Al Jaw?bul k?fi liman sa’ala ‘an Daw?’i Shaafi

10- Haadi Arwah ila biladil Afrah

11- Uddat as-Sabirin wa Dhakhiratu ash-Shakirin

12- Ighadatu lahfan fi masayid shaytan

13- Rawdhatul Muhibb?n

14- Ahk?m ahl al-dhimma”

15- Tuhfatul Mawdud bi Ahkam al-Mawlud

16- Miftah Dar As-Sa’adah Click here to get this book

17- Jala al-afham fi fadhl salati ala khayral anam

18- Al-Manar al-Munif

19- Al-Tibb al-Nabawiya – a book on Prophetic Medicine (available in English as “The Prophetic Medicine” , printed by Dar al-Fikr in Beirut (Lebanon), or as “Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet Muhammad (sal allahu `alayhi wa salim)” , printed by Darussalam Publications. Click here to get this book

20- Al-Furusiyya

He departed from the world about which he had said:

“Yearning for Allaah and meeting Him is like a gentle breeze blowing upon the heart, blowing away the blazing desire for this world.” (The Hardness of The Heart)

Ibn Al-Qayyim Sayings

Some of his Sayings included the following:

“The highest rank of intention in seeking knowledge is seeking knowledge of the Qur’an and Sunnah and knowledge of the laws of Allah. The meanest intentions are those seeking the answers to hypothetical questions, that is neither divine nor real, or those who are hesitant and follow the words of others and do not have any intention to know what is right. It is rare if any of those obtain benefit from gaining knowledge” [al-Fawwaid]

“Whenever Allah, the Exalted prevents His believing servant from something during this worldly life, He will bestow upon him something which is better and more useful to him. It should be noted that this is only granted to the believers.” [al-Fawwaid]

“The Prophet (peace be upon him) established a relationship between the fear of Allah and good character, because fearing Allah improves the relation between the servant and Allah, andgood character improves the relation between a person and others. Therefore, fearing Allah makes it possible for Allah to love him, and good manners makes it possible for people to love that person.” [al-Fawwaid]

“Be satisfied with whatever Allah grants you from this worldly life. Walking thereon is like walking in a land that is filled with beasts, and water that teams with crocodiles. That which causes delight, turns to be the source of grief. Pain is found in the midst of pleasures, and delights are derived from its sorrows. As a bird sees the wheat, so does one’s insight perceive polytheism, while vain desires render its holder blind.” [al-Fawwaid]

“Whosoever causes his heart to settle with his Lord shall find himself in a calm and tranquil condition and whosoever sends it amongst the people shall be disturbed and excessively perturbed.” (The Hardness of The Heart)