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Muhammad al-Karaji

EraIslamic Golden Age
RegionIranian plateau
Muslim leader

Abu Ahmad Muhammad bin Ali bin Muhammad al-Karaji, better known as al-Qassab, was a Muslim warrior-scholar, exegete and specialist in Hadith studies.[1][2] He has, at times, been confused with his son Abu al-Hasan Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Ali bin Muhammad al-Karaji.


Qassab lived in Karaj in Central Iran. He died in the year 360 according to the Islamic calendar, corresponding to 970 on the Gregorian calendar.[3] Having been a soldier under the Abbasid Caliphate, he received the nicknamed Qassab or "the butcher" due to his skill on the battlefield and the large number of opponents he slayed.[4]

Qassab was considered upon mainstream dogmatics, and was staunchly opposed to both the Mu'tazila and the Jahmites.[5][6][7] In his exegesis of the Qur'an, he would often refer to linguistic arguments in order to prove his point.[1] Qassab was noted among Muslim theologians as holding the view that the testimony of a convicted criminal could later be accepted in unrelated cases if they performed a public repentance from their own crime.[8] Like Ibn Hazm who would come after him, Qassab did not accept the Hadith regarding rejection of the convict's testimony as authentically linked to the prophet Muhammad.[9] The issue is a much debated one in Islamic law.


Qassab authored an exegesis of the Qur'an centered on its applications in Islamic law.[10]

Edited works[edit]

  • Nukat al-Qur'an al-Dallah 'ala al-Bayan. Eds. Ali al-Tuwaijiri, Ibrahim al-Junaydil and Shayi' al-Asmari. Dammam: Dar Ibn al-Qaiyim; Cairo: Dar Ibn 'Affan, 2003. 4 volumes.[2][11]


  1. ^ a b Hussein Abdul-Raof, Theological Approaches to Qur'anic Exegesis: A Practical Comparative-Contrastive Analysis, pg. 147. Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Ahmad Al-Saiid Zaki Hemeidah, Repentance as a Legal Concept, pg. 26. Master's thesis for the University of Arizona's Department of Near Eastern Studies, 2011.
  3. ^ Hemeidah, pg. 117.
  4. ^ Dr. Abdul-Baqi al-Sayyid Abdul-Hadi, Soldiers and Martyrs of the Zahirites. Alhady Alzahry, September 30, 2010.
  5. ^ Um Abdullah al-Misawi, Are Allah's Attributes Real or Figurative?. Beliefs of The Righteous Salaf, February 21, 2012.
  6. ^ Um Abdullah al-Misawi,The Belief In The Throne of Allah. Beliefs of The Righteous Salaf, June 25, 2011.
  7. ^ Um Abdullah al-Misawi, The Belief of the Salaf In Allah's Elevation & Istiwa on the Throne: Scholars After the Salaf, part 3 of 3. Beliefs of The Righteous Salaf, September 19, 2010.
  8. ^ Hemeidah, pg. 121.
  9. ^ Hemeidah, pgs. 127-128.
  10. ^ Hemeidah, pg. 149.
  11. ^ Abdul-Raof, pg. 282.