Ibn al-Mughallis

Abdallāh ibn Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad (Arabic: عبد الله أحمد بن محمد), better known as Ibn al-Mughallis (Arabic: ابن المغلس), was a medieval Arab[2] Muslim theologian and jurist.[3][4]

Ibn al-Mughallis
Abdullah bin Ahmad bin Muhammad
EraIslamic Golden Age
(Abbasid era)
RegionAbbasid Caliphate
OccupationIslamic Theologian, Scholar and jurist
Muslim leader
Influenced by
  • Haydarah bin `Umar, Qadi `Abd Allah bin Muhammad, and legal scholar `Ali bin Khalid Al-Basri.[1]


He was the son of the Hadith-scholar Ahmad ibn Muhammad Al-Mughallis Al-Baghdadi.[5]

Ibn al-Mughallis was a student of Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari.[6] Ibn al-Mughallis praised his teacher extensively, referring to him as possessing both the greatest understanding, and concern for scholarship of any theologian Ibn al-Mughallis had known.[3] In particular, Ibn al-Mughallis considered Tabari's History of the Prophets and Kings to be one of the greatest books written at that point in history.[4] Ibn al-Mughallis was also a student of Muhammad bin Dawud al-Zahiri, whose body he ritually washed as part of the Islamic funeral rite.[7][8]

Ibn al-Mughallis later moved west, settling down in the Iberian Peninsula in what was then Islamic Spain. He died in the year 324 according to the Islamic calendar, corresponding to 936 on the Gregorian calendar.[4][9]


Ibn al-Mughallis was a foremost jurist of the Zahirite school of Islamic law, and Zahirite jurisprudence was said to have become popular throughout the Muslim world due to his efforts.[10][11]

Ibn al-Mughallis was supposedly instrumental in the removal of the Arab Banu Salama tribe from Huesca on the Upper March (Arabic: Al-Tagr al-A'la) of Al-Andalus. While initially hesitant when asked to pray to God for the defeat of Banu Salama, he eventually relented after witnessing a particularly revolting act of injustice.[12][13] Ibn al-Mughallis, despite himself being an Arab, supported the Muslim Basque sayyid Bahlul Ibn Marzuq against the tribe's domination in Al-Andalus.[14][15]

According to Ibn al-Nadim, he was famous for writing a systematic refutation of the rival Shafi'ite school of law.[9] Due to Ibn al-Mughallis' poor political and personal relations with Abbasid vizier Ali ibn Isa al-Jarrah, and Jarrah's strong relations with clerics of the Shafi'ite rite, the Zahirite school fell out of favor with the government in Baghdad.[16]


  1. ^ Siyar a`lam al-nubala (سير أعلام النبلاء) ('The Lives of Noble Figures'), at #43.
  2. ^ Bernards, Monique; Nawas, John Abdallah (2005). Patronate And Patronage in Early And Classical Islam. BRILL. p. 235. ISBN 978-90-04-14480-4.
  3. ^ a b Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, History of the Prophets and Kings, trans. Franz Rosenthal. Vol. 1: General Introduction and From the Creation to the Flood, pg. 132. Albany: SUNY Press, 1989.
  4. ^ a b c Boaz Shoshan, Poetics of Islamic Historiography: Deconstructing Ṭabarī's History, introduction, pg. xxvi. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2004. ISBN 9004137939
  5. ^ Siyar a`lam al-nubala (سير أعلام النبلاء) ('The Lives of Noble Figures'), entry #43.
  6. ^ Tabari/Rosenthal, vol. 1, pg. 52.
  7. ^ Louis Massignon, The Passion of Al-Hallaj: Mystic and Martyr of Islam, pg. 169. Trns. Herbert Mason. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994.
  8. ^ Jeffrey J. Kripal, Roads of Excess, Palaces of Wisdom: Eroticism and Reflexivity in the Study of Mysticism, pg. 132. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001.
  9. ^ a b Christopher Melchert, The Formation of the Sunni Schools of Law: 9th-10th Centuries C.E., pg. 185. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 1997.
  10. ^ Mohammad Sharif Khan and Mohammad Anwar Saleem, Muslim Philosophy And Philosophers, pg. 34. New Delhi: Ashish Publishing House, 1994.
  11. ^ The Islamic school of law - evolution, devolution, and progress, pg. 119. Eds. Rudolph Peters and Frank E. Vogel. Cambridge: Harvard Law School, 2005.
  12. ^ Manuela Marin, "Muslim Religious Practices in al-Andalus (2nd/8th-4th/10th Centuries)."Taken from The Legacy of Muslim Spain, pg. 888. Ed. Salma Jayyusi. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 1994.
  13. ^ Göran Larsson, Ibn García's Shuʻūbiyya Letter: Ethnic and Theological Tensions in Medieval al-Andalus, pg. 211. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2003. ISBN 9004127402
  14. ^ Monique Bernards and John Nawas, Patronate And Patronage in Early And Classical Islam, pg. 235.Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2005.
  15. ^ Larsson, pg. 77-78.
  16. ^ Melchert, pg. 189.