Ibn Taymiyya and His Times

Publication Year



Youssef Rapoport, Ph.D. 2002, and Shahab Ahmed, Ph.D. 1999

  • Written by leading authorities in the field
  • Examines one of the most controversial thinkers in Islamic history

Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328) is one of the most controversial thinkers in Islamic history. Today he is revered by what is called the Wahhabi movement and championed by Salafi groups who demand a return to the pristine golden age of the Prophet. His writings have been a source of inspiration for radical groups to justify acts of violence and armed struggle.

In order to understand the widespread present-day influence and prominence of this rather obscure medieval figure, the book, through a series of articles written by leading authorities in the field, attempts to study Ibn Taymiyya's original contributions to Islamic theology, law, Qur'anic exegesis, and political thought. The book is the first comprehensive academic treatment of Ibn Taymiyya to appear in a Western language in over half a century.

Table of Contents

Foreword, General Editor
List of Contributors
Ibn Taymiyya and His Times, Yossef Rapoport and Shahab Ahmed
Part I. Biography 
1. Ibn Taymiyya wa-jama'atu-hu: Authority, Conflict and Consensus in Ibn Taymiyya's Circle, Caterina Bori
Part II. Theology 
2. God Acts by His Will and Power: Ibn Taymiyya's Theology of a Personal God in his Treatise on the Voluntary Attributes, Jon Hoover
3. The Quranic Rational Theology of Ibn Taymiyya and his Criticism of the Mutakallimun, M. Sait Ozervarli
4. Ibn Taymiyya's 'Theology of the Sunna' and his Polemics with the Ash'arites, Rachael Omari
Part III. Hermeneutics 
5. Ibn Taymiyya and the Rise of Radical Hermeneutics: An Analysis of an Introduction to the Foundations of Quranic Exegesis, Walid A. Saleh
6. Human Choice, Divine Guidance and the Fitra Tradition: The Use of Hadith in Theological Treatises by Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Livnat Holtzman
Part IV. Law 
7. Ibn Taymiyya's Radical Legal Thought: Rationalism, Pluralism and the Primacy of Intention, Yossef Rapoport
Part V. Shi'i and Christian Polemics 
8. Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn al-Mutahhar al-Hilli: Shi'i Polemics and the Struggle for Religious Authority in Medieval Islam, Tariq al-Jamil
9. Apologetic and Polemic in the Letter from Cyprus and Ibn Taymiyya's Jawab al-sahih li-man baddala din al-Masih, David Thomas
Part VI. Legacy 
10. From Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (d.1566) to Khayr al-Din al-Alusi (d.1899): Changing Views of Ibn Taymiyya Amongst non-Hanbali Sunni Scholars, Khaled El-Rouayheb
11. The Sensitive Puritan? Revisiting Ibn Taymiyya's Approach to Law and Spirituality in Light of 20th century Debates on mawlid al-nab?, Raquel M. Ukeles
12. Modern Interpretations and Misinterpretations of a Medieval Scholar: Apprehending the Political Thought of Ibn Taymiyya, Mona Hassam

Series Title
Studies in Islamic Philosophy
Oxford University Press
Karachi and New York