Al-Raghib al-Isfahani

Abul-Qasim al-Hussein bin Mufaddal bin Muhammad, better known as Raghib Isfahani (Persian: ابوالقاسم حسین ابن محمّد الراغب الاصفهانی‎), was an eleventh-century Muslim scholar of Qur'anic exegesis and the Arabic language.[2][3]

Abul-Qasim al-Hussein bin Mufaddal bin Muhammad
DiedAH 502 (1108/1109)[2]
EraLater Abbasid era
Main interest(s)Muslim scholar of Qur'anic exegesis, Arabic language scholar
Notable work(s)Al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Quran
Muslim leader


Al-Raghib Al-Isfahani - meaning "the Isfahanian monk" - was born in Isfahan as his name suggests, though his exact date of birth is not known.[4]

He died in the Hijri year 502, corresponding to 1108 on the Gregorian calendar.[4][5][6]

Al-Isfahani's theological stance seems to have been close to that of the Ash'ari school. In one of his works entitled al-I'tiqadat, Al-Isfahani attacks both the Mu'tazila and the Shi'a showing that questions about his adherence to either of these positions is groundless.[1]

Al-Isfahani was opposed to the emanationism of the Brethren of Purity, preferring creationism instead.[7] The concept of justice, according to al-Isfahani's definition, is "equal retaliation" for wrongdoing.[8]


His work covered topics ranging from ethics to linguistics to Muslim philosophy.[9] One of his most famous works was Al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Quran.

As a man of letters, al-Isfahani was also well-versed in Arabic literature. His literary anthology, which was carefully organized by topic, carried much weight and respect in intellectual circles.[10][11] He was also noted as an early Muslim writer on the topic of blending religious and philosophical ethics.[12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Bosworth, C.E.; van Donzel, E.; Heinrichs, W.P.; Lecomte, G. (1995). Encyclopaedia of Islam (New Edition). Volume VIII (Ned-Sam). Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. p. 390. ISBN 9004098348. |volume= has extra text (help)
  2. ^ a b "Islamic Manuscripts at the University of Michigan: Handlist Accessions 160-192". Archived from the original on 2007-05-13. Retrieved 2006-11-20.
  3. ^ S. Nomanul Haq, "Islamic Religious Doctrine." Taken from Religious Truth: A Volume in the Comparative Religious Ideas Project, pg. 129. Ed. Robert C. Neville. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2001. ISBN 9780791491607
  4. ^ a b al-Raghib al-Isfahani, The Oxford Dictionary of Islam. Ed. Oliver Leaman. Oxford: Oxford Reference, 2012. ISBN 9780199754731
  5. ^ Sarra Tlili, Animals in the Qur'an, pg. 226. Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. ISBN 9781107023703
  6. ^ Hamid Mavani, Religious Authority and Political Thought in Twelver Shi'ism: From Ali to Post-Khomeini, pg. 42. Volume 9 of Routledge Studies in Political Islam. London: Routledge, 2013. ISBN 9781135044732
  7. ^ Encyclopaedia of the Qur'ān, pg. 156. Ed. Oliver Leaman. London: Routledge, 2005. ISBN 9781134339754
  8. ^ Asghar Ali Engineer, "Islam, Women and Gender Justice." Taken from Liberating Faith: Religious Voices for Justice, Peace, and Ecological Wisdom, pg. 355. Ed. Roger S. Gottlieb. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003. ISBN 9780742525351
  9. ^ Ethics in Islamic philosophy
  10. ^ The Muslim Jesus: Sayings and Stories in Islamic Literature, pg. 149. Ed. and trns. Tarif Khalidi. Dissertation series / Society of Biblical Literature. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2001. ISBN 9780674004771
  11. ^ Sahar Amer, Crossing Borders: Love Between Women in Medieval French and Arabic Literatures, pg. 24. The Middle Ages Series. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008. ISBN 9780812201086
  12. ^ Rita Sommers-Flanagan and John Sommers-Flanagan, Becoming an Ethical Helping Professional: Cultural and Philosophical Foundations, pg. 38. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2006. ISBN 9780470080108