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Taqi al-Din al-Subki (Arabic: أبو الحسن تقي الدين علي بن عبد الكافي السبكي‎) was a famous[5] Shafi'i scholar,[6] hadith master, jurist,[7] Qur'anic exegete and chief judge of Damascus[6]

Taqi al-Din al-Subki
TitleSheikh ul-Islam[1] Qadi al-Qudah[2]
BornAH 683 (1284 CE)[1]
DiedAH 756 (1355 CE)[1]
EraMedieval era
RegionArab World
Main interest(s)Islamic theology, Hadith, Islamic jurisprudence
Senior posting


Birth and EducationEdit

Taqi al-Din al-Subki was born in the village of Subk in Egypt.[1] He received his Islamic education in Cairo by such scholars as Ibn Rif'a in Sacred Law, al-Iraqi in Qur'anic exegisis and al-Dimyati in hadith.[4] He also traveled to acquire knowledge of hadith from the scholars of Syria, Alexandria and the Hijaz.[4] Eventually he taught at the Mansuriyya school located in the Ibn Tulun's mosque.[1]

Chief Judge of Syria and DeathEdit

Having left Egypt in his youth, al-Subki settled down in Syria where he rose through the ranks to the position of chief judge of Syria, the preacher of the Umayyad mosque at Damascus and a professor in several colleges.[3] He presided as chief judge for seventeen years, at the end of which he became ill, was replaced by his son Taj al-Din al-Subki and returned to Cairo where he died in 756 / 1355[4]


Subki belonged to the Sunni Ash'ari school of theology and in line with his school strongly opposed anthropomorphism.[8] He also vehemently defended the Ashari view that Paradise and Hell Fire are eternal and to that end wrote a comprehensive treatise entitled "Al-I'tibar" in which he stated that: "The doctrine of the Muslims is that the Garden and the Fire will not pass away. Abu Muhammad ibn Hazm has transmitted that this is held by consensus and that whoever opposes it is an unbeliever by consensus". Subki reiterates this elsewhere in the treatise although he is careful to clarify that he does not label any particular person an unbeliever.[9]


  • Shifa' as-Siqam fi Ziarat khayr al'Anam (شفاء السقام في زيارة خير الأنام) - 'Healing illness in the course of good sleep' (in Arabic)
  • al-Sayf al-Saqil fi ar-radi ala ibn Afil (ibn al-Qima) (السيف الصقيل في الرد على ابن زفيل (ابن القيم)) - 'Sword of Saqil, Response to Ibn Afil'
  • ad-Durra al-Madiat fi ar-Rud 'ala Ibn Taymiyah (الدرة المضية في الرد على ابن تيمية) - 'Past Pearls, response to Ibn Taymiyah'
  • al-'Itibār bī baqā' al-janat wa'l-nār fi ar-rad 'ala ibn Taymiyah wa ibn al-Qiyam al-Qayilin bī fana' an-Nār. (الاعتبار ببقاء الجنة والنار في الرد على ابن تيمية وابن القيم القائلين بفناء النار) - Contemplation of the eternity of Paradise and Hell, A response to Ibn Taymiyah and Ibn al-Qayyim on the temporality of Hell.
  • Naqid al-‘Ijtimā’ wa’l-‘Iftirāq fī Masā’il al'Aymān wa’t-Talāq (نقد الاجتماع والافتراق في مسائل الأيمان والطلاق) - 'Critique of Communion and Separation in Matters of Faith and Divorce.'
  • Al-'Ashbāh wa’n-Naẓā’r (الأشباه والنظائر) - 'Analogues and Pairs' (in Arabic, 3 vols)
  • 'Ibraz al-Hukam min hadīth rafa' al-Qalam (إبراز الحكم من حديث رفع القلم) - 'Illustration of ruling in hadith "Raising the Pen"'.


  1. ^ a b c d e Mohammad Hassan Khalil, Islam and the Fate of Others: The Salvation Question, Oxford University Press, 3 May 2012, p 89. ISBN 0199796661
  2. ^ Hoover, Jon (2009). Islamic Universalism: Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya’s Salafi Deliberations on the Duration of Hell-Fire (The Muslim World). 99. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. p. 184.
  3. ^ a b Ignaz Goldziher, A short history of classical Arabic literature, Published June 30th 1966 by Lubrecht & Cramer Ltd, p 144.
  4. ^ a b c d Keller, The Reliance of the Traveler, Amana Publications, p 1102. ISBN 9780915957729
  5. ^ Franz Rosenthal, Muslim intellectual and social history: a collection of essays, p 26. ISBN 9780860782575
  6. ^ a b Yossef Rapoport, Marriage, Money and Divorce in Medieval Islamic Society, p 101. ISBN 9780521847155
  7. ^ Leigh Chipman, The World of Pharmacy and Pharmacists in Mamlūk Cairo, p. 149. ISBN 9789004176065
  8. ^ Kristen Stilt, Islamic Law in Action: Authority, Discretion, and Everyday Experiences in Mamluk Egypt, p 81. ISBN 0199602433
  9. ^ Jon Hoover, Islamic Universalism: Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya’s Salafi Deliberations on the Duration of Hell-Fire, p 187 (quoting Subki, Al-I'tibar, p32)