Safi al-Din al-Hindi

Safi al-Din al-Hindi al-Urmawi (Arabic: صفي الدين الهندي الأرموي‎) was a prominent Indian Shafi'i-Ash'ari scholar and rationalist theologian.

Safi al-Din al-Hindi
صفي الدين الهِنْدي
TitleImam al-Mutakallimin
DiedSeptember 12, 1334 (aged 81)[1]
Main interest(s)Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), Usul al-Fiqh (principles of jurisprudence), Usul al-Din, Aqidah, Kalam (Islamic theology), Logic
Muslim leader

Al-Hindi was brought in to debate at Ibn Taymiyya during the second hearing in Damascus in 1306. Taj al-Din al-Subki, in his Tabaqat al-Shafi'iyya al-Kubra, reports him to have said: "Oh Ibn Taymiyya, I see that you are only like a sparrow. Whenever I want to grab it, it escapes from one place to another."[2]

He was praised by Taj al-Din al-Subki, Al-Safadi, Shihab al-Din al-'Umari, Shams al-Din ibn al-Ghazzi, and 'Abd al-Hayy al-Hasani.


Safi al-Din al-Hindi was born in Delhi and completed his Islamic education there before settling in Damascus.[3] He visited Egypt and moved to Turkey, where he stayed[4] for eleven years; five in Konya, five in Sivas, and one in Kayseri. He arrived in Damascus in the second half of the 13th century and stayed there until he died.[5]

Safi al-Din al-Hindi studied under Siraj al-Din Urmavi and was said to have indirectly begun his studies with Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, whom he met through his maternal grandfather.[6] He was the teacher of mutakallim (theologian) Sadr al-Din ibn al-Wakil (d. 1317) and Kamal al-Din ibn al-Zamalkani (d. 1327).

His students, Ibn al-Wakil and Ibn al-Zamalkani and he, had been directly involved in Ibn Taymiyyah's famous 1306 Damascene trials, which were addressed to restrain Ibn Taymiyyah's relentless anti-Ash'ari polemics.[7]


Among his best-known writings:

  • Al-Fa'iq fi Usul al-Fiqh (Arabic: الفائق في أصول الفقه‎)
  • Nihayat al-Wusul fi Dirayat al-Usul (Arabic: نهاية الوصول في دراية الأصول‎)
  • Al-Resalah al-Tis'iniyya fi al-Usul al-Diniyya (Arabic: الرسالة التسعينية في الأصول الدينية‎)

Al-Hindi's Tis'iniyya is a straightforward manual of Ash'ari kalam treating the traditional theological topics of God, prophecy, eschatology, and related matters.

At the beginning of the book, al-Hindi explains that the occasion for writing was a disturbance provoked by Hanbalis:

This treatise comprises ninety issues about the foundations of religion (Usul al-Din). I wrote it when I saw students from Syria devoting themselves to learning this discipline after the famous disturbance (fitna) that took place between the orthodox (Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama'a) and some Hanbalis.

This is not a direct refutation of Ibn Taymiyya, but it was most likely written in response to the challenge that he posed.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Safi al-Din | Biography, History, Religion, & Facts".
  2. ^ Ayman Shihadeh, Jan Thiele (2020). Philosophical Theology in Islam: Later Ash'arism East and West. Brill Publishers. pp. 211–216. ISBN 9789004426610.
  3. ^ "Indian Muslim Scholars, from Shah Wali Allah to Allama Iqbal, Have Offered Mixed Praise for Ibn Taymiyyah's Personality and Works | Hassam Munir".
  4. ^ Philosophical Theology in Islam: Later Ashʿarism East and West. BRILL. 2020-05-06. ISBN 978-90-04-42661-0.
  5. ^ "Al-'Alam by al-Zirikli".
  6. ^ "Safi al-Din | Biography, History, Religion, & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  7. ^ Stephan Conermann (2013). Ubi sumus? Quo vademus?: Mamluk Studies - State of the Art. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. p. 63. ISBN 9783847101000.
  8. ^ Ayman Shihadeh, Jan Thiele (2020). Philosophical Theology in Islam: Later Ash'arism East and West. Brill Publishers. pp. 211–216. ISBN 9789004426610.