Some Remarks on Ibn Taymiyya's Acquaintance with Imāmī Shīism in light of his Minhāj al-sunna al-nabawiyya

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Minhaj al-sunna al-nabawiyya fī naq kalam al-shīa al-qadariyya is Ibn Taymiyya's (d. 728/1328) famed voluminous response to Minhaj al-karama fī marifat al-imama, a significantly shorter treatise by his Imāmī contemporary, al-Allama al-illī (d. 726/1325). Focusing on parts of Minhaj al-sunna in which Ibn Taymiyya's perception of Imāmī Shīism comes to the fore, this article sets out to evaluate to what extent his criticism of this manifestation of Islam was founded. Despite the obvious polemical nature of this work, I argue that the juxtaposition of Ibn Taymiyya's portrayal of Imāmī Shīism in Minhaj al-sunna with both the information in Imāmī Shīī sources until his time and current academic research on Shīism reveals that he had a comprehensive acquaintance with a variety of Shīī tenets and historical developments. This observation is particularly interesting and important in view of al-?illī's alleged dismissive reaction to Ibn Taymiyya's counterwork and the general contemptuous attitude toward Minhaj al-sunna in Imāmī scholarly circles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-475
Number of pages20
JournalIslam - Zeitschrift fur Geschichte und Kultur des Islamischen Orients
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston 2020.


  • Ilkhanid
  • Imāmī Shīa
  • hadīth
  • intellectual history
  • polemic
  • theology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History


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