The Islamic scholar, the Andalusian philosopher, historian, and theologian (b. 7 November 994, Córdoba [Cordoba], Andalusian Umayyad State – d. August 15, 1064, Manta Misha, Huelva, The Taifa Kingdoms Of Seville / Andalusia). Abu Muhammad Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Saʿid ibn Hazm was born 994.
CE (384 AH) in Cordoba (Qurtuba) in Spain and died 1064/456. His son records that he wrote four hundred books, covering 80,000 pages, but very few survived. Ibn Hazm came from a wealthy and influentialfamily. His father served as Minister under Hisham ibn al-Hakam the Ummayad ruler of Andalus. But Hisham’s successor al-Muʿtaḍid who was a repressive ruler took issue with Ibn Hazm on account of his “unorthodox” writings and his opposition to the Maliki doctrine that was then prevalent in Andalus. Ibn Hazm suffered imprisonment and the burning of his books, yet the calibre of his academic legacy increasingly became the focus of scholarly attention down the ages, especially in our own times.
Ibn Hazm’s Mahalla is a multi-volume comprehensive examination of legal issues from a comparative yet literalist perspective that provides often refreshingly original interpretation of the Qur’ān and Hadith. It is partly due to the exceedingly critical tone of his language that he invoked hostility to his otherwise many valuable contributions. His book on the sources of law is Ihkam al-ahkam fi usul al-ahkam. Besides books on science and medicine, he wrote what some consider the first comparative religious study of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. His book on love The Ring of the Dove exists in a single manuscript transcribed in 1338 CE. The historian of Muslim Spain R. Dozy studied it, and its editors over the years included famous Orientalists such as Ignaz Goldziher and C. Brockelmann. A. J. Arberry translated it as A Treatise on the Art and Practice of Arab Love. Spanish scholars see it as an important basis for Hispano-Arab poetry and literature, and it may have been a crucial piece in the development of the troubadourtradition (e.g., Chansons de Roland).
Below are two extended passages from his work on comparative religion book and his legal book to give a sense of his writing style. Here in Kitab al-Fasl fi al-milal Ibn Hazm takes up the issue, which in his time was highly contentious and divisive, of female prophecy.
The Qur’ān says that God sent angels to women and informed them with true revelation (wahy) from God. The mother of Ishaq was given good news of Ishaq from God. He said, “His wife was standing there and laughed when We gave the good news to her of (the birth of) Ishaq, and after Ishaq, Yaʿqub. She said, Woe is me, shall I bear a child when I am an old woman and this is old man is my husband? This is surely a strange thing. They said, Are you wondering at a command of God?
God’s mercy and blessing on you, people of the House [Q 11:71-73]”. So this address of the angels to the mother of Ishaq from God of good news for her of Ishaq and then Yaʿqub, then of their statement to her, Are you wondering at a command of God, it is not at all possible that this address from the angels could be to any but a prophet of some kind. And we find that God sent Gabriel to Mary mother of Jesus, on them be peace, with an address. He said to her, “I am a messenger of your Lord, to give a gift to you of a pure son” [Q 19:19]. This is a trueprophethood with a true revelation and message from God to her, and
Zakariyah found her having from God daily sustenance arriving to bless him with her as a virtuous daughter. And we find with the mother of Moses, on them be peace, that God
gave revelation to her to cast her child into the Nile. He informed her that the child would return to her. So He made her a prophet sent, and this is prophethood, there is no doubt of it. Of intellectual necessity,anyone with ability to discern will see that if she was not firmly established with prophethood from God, her throwing her child intothe Nile based on a vision she had or based on something that arose in herself or some notion that came up, it would have been the height of insanity and reckless intent; if any of us did that, it would be the worst
evil or the height of insanity, where it would be appropriate to treat his mind in a hospital. No one will doubt it. So it is true, certainly, that the revelation which came to her to cast her child into the Nile was like therevelation that came to Abraham in a dream to sacrifice his son. If Abraham was not a prophet firmly established in the prophethood that came to him to sacrifice his son, he would have sacrificed his son because of a vision he saw or an idea that occurred to him in himself.
Without doubt, doing that without prophethood would have been evil of the worst sort, or insanity in the extreme. This is not doubted byanyone, so their (women’s) prophethood is certain. The following passage is from al-Mahalla and concerns the abandoned baby.
Issue: That a small (child) is found, cast off. It is obligatory that the one in its presence pick him up, and necessarily so, as God said, “Help each other in goodness and piety, and do not help each other in offence and enmity” [Q 5:2], and as God said, “Who saves the life, it is as if he saved the people altogether”[ Q 5:32]. There is no offense greater than the perishing of a child’s soul born in Islam, small, having no fault, and then dying hungry, cold, or eaten by wild dogs. It is authenticated from Messenger, peace be on him, that “Who is not kind to people, God will not be kind to him.” In a section of the Mahalla Ibn Hazm discusses the subject of financialsupport (nafaqah) and entitlement, particularly of the wife from her husband. He expounds the scholastic doctrine of the four leading madhahib on the point that the husband’s obligation to support his wife remains undiminished, regardless of the financial means of the husband and even when the wife was wealthy herself and owned assets.
He then writes that “all of them have fallen into error” and proceeds to encapsulate the spirit of the marital tie in the light of the Qur’anic characterisation of marriage as “friendship and compassion” mawaddah wa rahmah [Q 30:21].
Ibn Hazm writes that it is also the duty of the wealthy wife to support her husband in the event the latter is poor and in need of support. For friendship and compassion cannot be as one-sided as the existing scholastic interpretations have led us to believe. This was a refreshingly original contribution yet remained totally neglected under the weight of hostile responses from both the political and scholastic personalities of his time.
Ibn Hazm is famous for his thorough rejection of qiyas, analogicaln reasoning. Perhaps because analogy was often overextended, Ibn Hazm devoted considerable effort to identify analogy with human criteria for legal proofs and to refute it. The most important aspect of his approach is its holistic nature. Proponents of qiyas might point to “Say not oof to your parents” as being in need of analogical reasoning to derive a list of things one should not say or do toward one’s parents. Ibn Hazm’s approach is instead to examine the entire verse and see that being “toward the parents good” [Q 17:32] is sufficient instruction. Although he rejected juristic analogy (qiyas), he emphasized logical demonstration (burhan) as rational means of proof.
KAYNAK: Ibn Hazm – Critical Originality (iais.org.my, 25 March 2011).