Hazrat Qazi Ayyad

Qāḍī ʿIyāḍ
Born Ceuta
Died 1149/554
Era Islamic Golden Age
Occupation Qadi
Religion Islam
Denomination Sunni
Jurisprudence Maliki



‘Iyad ibn Musa (1083–1149) (Arabic: القاضي عياض بن موسى‎, in French transliteration Qadi Iyad, formally Abu al-Fadl ‘Iyad ibn Amr ibn Musa ibn ‘Iyad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdillah ibn Musa ibn ‘Iyad al-Yahsubi al-Sabti Arabic: أبو الفضل عياض بن موسى بن عياض بن عمرو بن موسى بن عياض بن محمد بن عبد الله بن موسى بن عياض اليحصبي السبتي‎[1]), born in Ceuta,[2] then belonging to the Almoravid dynasty, was the great imam of that city and, later, a qadi in the Emirate of Granada.

Qadi Iyaḍ was born into an established family of Arab origin in Ceuta.[3] As a scion of a notable scholarly family, ʿIyad was able to learn from the best teachers Ceuta had to offer. The judge Abu ʿAbd Allah Muhammad b. ʿIsa (d. 505/1111) was ʿIyad’s first important teacher and is credited with his basic academic formation. Growing up, ʿIyad benefited from the traffic of scholars from al-Andalus, the Maghrib, and the eastern Islamic world. He became a prestigious scholar in his own right and won the support of the highest levels of society.[4]

In his quest for knowledge, Iyad spent part of 507/1113 and 508/1114 visiting Cordoba, Murcia, Almeria, and Granada. He received ijāzas from the most important traditionist of his time, Abū ʿAlī al-Ṣadafī (d. 514/1120) in Murcia, and met with some of the most celebrated scholars of the moment, such as Ibn al-Hajj (d. 529/1134), Ibn Rushd (d. 520/1126), and Ibn Hamdin (d. 508/1114).[5]

ʿIyad was appointed judge of Ceuta in 515/1121 and served in the position until 531/1136. During his tenure as judge of Ceuta he was extremely prolific. Iyad’s overall fame as a jurist and as a writer of fiqh (positive law) was based on the work he did in this city.[6]

Iyad was also appointed the judge of Grenada where he worked for just over a year.[7]

He headed a revolt against the coming of the Almohades to Ceuta, but lost and was banished to Tadla and later Marrakech. He was a pupil of Abu Abdillah ibn Isa, Abu Abdillah ibn Hamdin and Abu al-Hassan ibn Siraj, and was a teacher of Averroes and Ibn Maḍāʾ.

He died in 1149.[8] Because he refused to acknowledge Ibn Tumart as the awaited Mahdi, Qadi Ayyad was executed with a spear and his body subsequently cut to pieces. Although he was opposed to the Almohads and the ideas of Ibn Hazm, he did not hold enmity for the Zahirite school of Sunni Islam, which the Almohads and Ibn Hazm followed. Ayyad’s comments on Ibn Hazm’s teacher Abu al-Khiyar al-Zahiri were positive, as was Ayyad’s characterization of his own father, a Zahirite theologian.[9]

Cadi Ayyad University, also known as the University of Marrakech, was named after him. Qadi Ayyad is also well known as one of the seven saints of Marrakech and is buried near Bab Aïlen.

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He was one of the most famous scholars of Maliki law and author of the well-known Ash-Shifa[10] on the virtues of the prophet and Tartib al-mardarik wa-taqrib al-masalik li-marifat alam madhab Malik, a collection of biographies of eminent Malikis, a.o. Abu Bakr ibn al-Arabi.[11] Qadi `Iyad’s other well-known works include:

Ikmal al-mu`lim bi fawa’id Muslim, a famous commentary on Sahih Muslim which transmitted and expanded upon al-Maziri’s own commentary, al-Mu`lim bi-fawa’id Muslim. Qadi `Iyad’s own commentary was utilised and expounded upon heavily by Al-Nawawi in his own commentary of Sahih Muslim.
Bughya al-ra’i lima Tadmanahu Hadith Umm Zara` min al-Fawa’id, published with Tafsir nafs al-Hadith by Al-Suyuti.
al-I`lam bi Hudud Qawa’id al-Islam, written on the five pillars of Islam.
al-Ilma` ila Ma`rifa Usul al-Riwaya wa Taqyid al-Sama`, a detailed work on the science of Hadith.
Mashariq al-Anwar `ala Sahih al-Athar, based on al-Muwatta of Malik ibn Anas, Sahih Al-Bukhari of Imam Bukhari and Sahih Muslim by Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj.
al-Tanbihat al-Mustanbata `ala al-kutub al-Mudawwana wa al-Mukhtalata.
Daqa`iq al-akhbar fi dhikr al-janna wa-l-nar, a “eschatological manual” describing the joys of jannah (heaven) and the horrors of jahannam (hell)