Sa'ad al-Din Masud ibn Umar ibn Abd Allah al-Taftazani (Persian: سعدالدین مسعودبن عمربن عبداللّه هروی خراسانی تفتازانی) also known as Al-Taftazani and Taftazani (1322–1390) was a Muslim Persian polymath.[6][2][7][8][9][10]

CreedAshari[3][4] Maturidi
Main interest(s)Linguistics, Theology, Islamic jurisprudence, Rhetoric, Logic
Muslim leader

Early life and educationEdit

Al-Taftazani was born in 1322 in Taftazan, Khorasan in Iran, then in the Sarbedaran state.[1][11] He completed his education in various educational institutions in the cities of Herat, Ghijduvan, Feryumed, Gulistan, Khwarizm, Samarkand and Sarakhs. He mainly resided in Sarakhs. He was active during the reign of Timur, who noticed him as a promising scientist and supported his scholarship, and was part of his court. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani famously remarked about him that "science ended with him in the East" and "no one could ever replace him".[12] He died in Samarkand in 1390 and was buried in Sarakhs. He practiced and preached in the Hanafi and Ashari[3] schools. He was of the Hanafi school in matters of Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and an Ashari with regard to issues of Aqidah (Islamic creed).[13]


During his lifetime, he wrote treaties on grammar, rhetoric, theology, logic, law and Quran exegesis.[2] His works were used as textbooks for centuries in Ottoman madrasahs.[11] and are used in Shia madrasahs to this day.[14] He completed "Sharh-i az-Zanjani" which was his first and one of his most famous works at the age of 16.[15] He also wrote a commentary of the Qur'an in Persian and translated a volume of Sa'adi's poetry from Persian into Turkish.[citation needed] But it was in Arabic that he composed the bulk of his writing.

His treatises, even the commentaries, are "standard books" for students of Islamic theology and his papers have been called a "compendium of the various views regarding the great doctrines of Islam".[1]


Ibn Khaldun said of him: [16][17]

I found in Egypt numerous works on the intellectual sciences composed by the well-known person Sa'd al-Din al-Taftazani, a native of Herat, one of the villages of Khurasan. Some of them are on kalam (speculative theology) and the foundations of fiqh and rhetoric, which show that he had a profound knowledge of these sciences. Their contents demonstrate that he was well versed in the philosophical sciences and far advanced in the rest of the sciences which deal with Reason.

Writings by Al-TaftazaniEdit


  • Sharh az Zanjani (aka. Serh ul Izzi fi't-Tasrîf, a.k.a. Sa'diyye). (738 A.H.). His first work.
  • Al-Irsad (a.k.a. Irsad ul Hadi). (778 A.H.).
  • al-Ni'am al-Sawabigh fi Sharh al-Nawabigh.


  • Al-Mutawwal (747 A.H.).
  • Al-Mukhtasar (a.k.a. Muhtasar ul Ma'ani). (756 A.H.).
  • Sharh'u Miftah il Ulum (a.k.a. Mirtah il Ulum). (787 A.H.).


  • Sherh ur Risalet ash Shamsiyye (a.k.a. Sharh ush Shamsiyya). (752 A.H.).
  • Maqasıd ut Talibin fi Ilmi Usul id-Din (a.k.a. Al-Maqasid). (784 A.H.).
  • Tezhib ul Mantiq Wa al Kalam. (739 A.H.).
  • Sharh ul Aqaid in Nasafiyye (767 A.H.; commentary on Abu Hafs Omar al-Nasafi's creed).

Legal SciencesEdit

  • at-Talwih fi Kashfi Haqaiq at Tanqih (758 A.H.).
  • Hashiye tu Muhtasar il Munteha. (770 A.H.).
  • Miftah ul Fiqh (a.k.a. Al-Miftah). (782 A.H.).
  • Ihtisaru Sharhi Talhis il jami il Kabir. (785 A.H.).
  • Al-Fatawa al Hanaffiya. (759 A.H.). A detailed compilation of his juristical decisions during his juristicaal career.
  • Sharh ul Faraid is Sirajiyya.


  • Sharh 'Aqaid al-Nasafi: This is a commentary on Abu Hafs Umar al-Nasafi's treatise on the creed of Islam. Taftazani's commentary on this work soon became the most acclaimed commentary. By 17th century, there were more than fifty further commentaries that were written on Taftazani's "Sharh 'Aqaid al-Nasafi".
  • Hashiyye Ala al-Kashshaf. (789 A.H.). This is an unfinished work of his.
  • Al Arbain.
  • Sharh ul Hadis ul Erbain en Neveviyye.
  • Hashiyat al kashaf (extremely rare work by Taftazani) never finished by the scholar or unknown compiled during his lifetime. There are 3 manuscripts that have shed light on the subject and are known to the public in museums and private collections. One is dated 1147AH (private Saudi collection and is the oldest dated copy of his work some 357 years after his death), one dated 1209 AH, and one dated 1237AH.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Al-Taftazani, Sad al-Din Masud ibn Umar ibn Abd Allah (1950). A Commentary on the Creed of Islam: Sad al-Din al-Taftazani on the Creed of Najm al-Din al-Nasafi (Earl Edgar Elder Trans.). New York: Columbia University Press. p. XX.
  2. ^ a b c "Al-Taftazanni Sa'd al-Din Masud b. Umar b. Abdullah", in Encyclopedia Islam by W. Madelung, Brill. 2007
  3. ^ a b c Kaukua, Jari (31 October 2015). Sgarbi M. (ed.). "Al-Taftazānī". Encyclopaedia of Renaissanace Philosophy: 1–2. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-02848-4. hdl:10278/3726814. ISBN 978-3-319-02848-4. Retrieved 21 June 2020. A famous fourteenth-century theologian and jurisprudent, al-Taftāzānī is one of the last representatives of the high tide of Ash'arite philosophical theology.
  4. ^ a b Aydin, Omer (2005). Gunduz, Sinasi; Yaran, Cafer (eds.). "Change and Essence: Dialectical Relations Between Change and Continuity in the Turkish Intellectual Tradition". Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Change. IIA. CRVP. 18: 105. ISBN 1-56518-222-7. In my opinion, al-Taftazani and al-Jurjani reconciled the Asharite and Maturidite schools.
  5. ^ Khadduri, Majid. "Elder (tr.): A Commentary on the Creed of Islam (Book Review)." Middle East Journal 4 (1950): 262.
  6. ^ Al-Taftazani, Sad al-Din Masud ibn Umar ibn Abd Allah (1950). A Commentary on the Creed of Islam: Sad al-Din al-Taftazani on the Creed of Najm al-Din al-Nasafi (Earl Edgar Elder Trans.). New York: Columbia University Press. p. XX.
  7. ^ Elias John Wilkinson Gibb, History of Ottoman Poetry, Volume 1, London, 1900. excerpt from pg 202: "..the next work in Turkish poetry is versified translation of Sa'adi's Bustan or 'Orchard' made in 755 by the great and famous Persian schoolmen Sa'd-ud-Din Me'sud-i-Teftazani."
  8. ^ Gerhard Endress, An Introduction to Islam, translated by Carole Hillenbrand, Columbia University Press, 1998. excerpt from pg 192: "Death of Sa'ad al-Din al-Taftazani, Persian historian and philosopher at the court of Timur"
  9. ^ Allen J. Frank, Islamic Historiography and "Bulghar" Identity Among the Tatars and Bashkirs of Russia, Brill, 1998. excerpt from pg 83:One of the most curious aspects of the Tawarikh i-Baghdadiya are the repeated references to the great Persian theologian Sa'd al-Din Taftazani (1322-1389), who did in fact associate with Timur.
  10. ^ Knysh, A. D. (1999). Ibn ʻArabi in the Later Islamic Tradition: The Making of a Polemical Image in Medieval Islam. New York. State University of New York Press. p. 144.
  11. ^ a b Halil Inalcik, "The Ottoman Empire", Published by Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., 2000. except from pg 175:"The Ottoman ulema equally respected Sa'ad al-Din al-Taftazani from Iran and Sayyid Sharif al-Jurjani from Turkestan, both of whom followed the tradition of al-Razi and whose work formed the basis of Ottoman Medrese education"
  12. ^ Al-Asqalani, Ibn Hajar. al-Durar al-Kamina.
  13. ^ Salamé, C. (1974). Introduction. In Al-Taftazani, Sad al-Din Masud ibn Umar ibn Abd Allah, Sharh al-Aqaid en-Nasafiyyah fi Usül al-Din wa Ilm al-Kalam. Damascus: Wazarat al-Thaqafah wa al-Irshad al-Qawmi.
  14. ^ Roy Mottahedeh, The Mantle of the Prophet; Momen, Introduction to Shi'i Islam.
  15. ^ Ibn ul Imad, Imad. (1989). Sezherat uz-Zeheb. Beyrut.
  16. ^ Smith, J. R.; Smith, J.; Smith, L. B. (1980). Essentials of World History. Barron's Educational Series, p. 20,
  17. ^ Ibn Khaldun (1969). The Muqaddimah, an Introduction to History (Rosenthal, F. Trans., Dawood, N. J. Ed.). Bollingen series, 160. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. p. 92.

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