Life and Theology of Abū l-Yusr al-Bazdawī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ

Life and Theology of Abū l-Yusr al-Bazdawī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ

By Sheridan Polinsky

Life 1

Education, Works, and Activity –

Abū l-Yusr Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. al-Ḥusayn b. ‘Abd al-Karīm b. Mūsā b. Mujāhid al-Bazdawī  رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ (hereafter Abū l-Yusr) was born in 421/1030. His surname, “al-Bazdawī”, derives from a fortified area known as Bazda located roughly 35 km from Nasaf (modern-day Qarshi, Uzbekistan) on the road to Bukhara,2 though it is not clear whether he originated from there or elsewhere. He appears to have first studied with his father, Abū l-Ḥasan, who he tells us had learned from his grandfather, ‘Abd al-Karīm رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ (d. 390/999), a direct student of the great Transoxanian Ḥanafite of the previous century, Abū Manṣūr al-Māturīdī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ(d. 333/944).3 Abū l-Yusr رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ explains that ‘Abd al-Karīm رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ retrieved from al-Māturīdī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ the doctrines (ma‘ānī) set forth in the books of the Transoxanian Ḥanafites (aṣḥābinā) as well as in al-Māturīdī’s رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ key theological work, Kitāb al-Tawḥīd, and his exegesis of the Quran, Ta’wīlāt al-Qur’ān.4 His father’s instruction thus initiated him into a strong family scholarly tradition that, as we will see below, continued with the following Bazdawī generation.

Besides his father, only two of the Transoxanian scholars Abū l-Yusr رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ received tutelage from can be identified: Ya‘qūb b. Yūsuf b. Muḥammad al-Sayyārī al-Nīsābūrī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ 5 and Ismā‘īl b. ‘Abd al-Ṣādiq رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ (d. 494/1101).6 Little information can be gathered from Arab biographical works about either figure. Al-Nīsābūrī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ studied jurisprudence with a certain Abū Isḥāq al-Nawqadī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ. He was known as one of the most outstanding memorizers of the Quran (ḥuffāz) in Transoxania and participated in the transmission of at least two books. Al-Ṣādiq رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ is described as a “god-fearing jurist” and a student of Abū l-Yusr’s رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ great-grandfather, ‘Abd al-Karīm رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ. The latter point is questionable since if the year given for al-Ṣādiq’s  رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُdeath (494/1101) is correct, he almost certainly was not the student of ‘Abd al-Karīm رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, who passed away more than a hundred years earlier in 390/999. This inconsistency might reflect the Ḥanafite biographers’ interpretation of the Arabic term jadd, which could mean either grandfather or ancestor. Here, they seem to have understood it in the former sense when saying that al-Ṣādiq رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ was the student of Abū l-Yusr’s jadd ‘Abd al-Karīm رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ. In any case, what can be established with certainty is that whether as ‘Abd al-Karīm’s رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ student or Abū l-Yusr’s رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ teacher, al-Ṣādiq رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ appears to have had some role in the transmission of knowledge in the Bazdawī family.

Certainly, this meager amount of information that can be retrieved about Abū l-Yusr’s رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ education and teachers leaves much to be desired about the course of his intellectual formation. We can add, however, that at least in terms of theology, he appears to have engaged in some degree of independent study of the works of several major Muslim theologians and philosophers. He tells us that he examined (naẓartu) some such works and came across (wajadtu) others. These include the writings of the Muslim philosophers (falāsifa), such as Abū Yūsuf al-Kindī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ (d. 252/866) and Abū Ḥāmid al-Isfizārī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ (fl. mid-fourth/tenth century);7 those of the Mu‘tazilites, such as Abū Isḥāq al-Naẓẓām (d. 220-30/825-35), Abū ‘Alī al-Jubbā’ī (d. 303/915-6), Abū l-Qāsim al-Ka‘bī (d. 319/931), and Qāḍī ‘Abd al-Jabbār (d. ca. 415/1025); and those of the mujassima (corporealists), such as Muḥammad b. Hayṣam (d. 419/1019).8 To be sure, he did not treat these writings as sources for the development of his ideas, for he found nothing impressive therein. The writings of the Muslim philosophers, he believed, lead to destruction and are filled with idolatry (shirk), even if composed under the pretext of establishing God’s unity (tawḥīd); those of the Mu‘tazilites give rise to doubts about and weaken one’s faith, as well as justify adherence to heresy; and the mujassima are simply the evilest heretics. For these reasons, he forbids the ownership and perusal of the works of any of these figures or their fellow school proponents.9

The thought of two other Muslim scholars that Abū l-Yusr رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ reports having been acquainted with, namely, ‘Abdallāh b. Sa‘īd Ibn Kullāb رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ (d. ca. 241/855) and Abū l-Ḥasan al-Ash‘arī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ (d. 324/935), contributed more to his theological edification, at least on a conscious level. Although, as will be discussed below, Abū l-Yusr  رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ does not quite consider them Sunnites, whom he himself claims to represent, he estimates that their opinions and those of their followers are largely in harmony with Sunnite doctrines. He thus permits the ownership and perusal of their works as long as one understands their errors in certain matters of faith. While he admits to not having been in direct contact with Ibn Kullāb’s رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ writings, he says that he came across around two hundred of al-Ash‘arī’s رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ books on kalām and reports that al-Mūjiz al-Kabīr encompasses the content of all the others.10

Despite Abū l-Yusr’s رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ strong acquaintance with Islamic theology and philosophy, they were not his main areas of concentration. Only one of his nine known works, Uṣūl al-dīn, deals with theology; the rest have to do with jurisprudence.11 Among these, only two have been published, namely, the Kitāb fīhi ma‘rifat al-ḥujaj al-shar‘iyya,12 which focuses on legal theory (uṣūl al-fiqh), and a treatise on determining the qibla, which has been translated and analyzed by David A. King.13 The others are: al-Muraṭṭab, a commentary on the al-Jāmi‘ al-ṣaghīr of the early Ḥanafite jurist Abū ‘Abdallāh al-Shaybānī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ (d. 189/804); al-Wāqi‘āt, about legal cases (wāqi‘āt); and al-Mabsūṭ, about legal rules (furū‘). In his K. fīhi ma‘rifa, Abū l-Yusr رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ twice refers to his book al-Ghinā’,14 as well as vaguely to a “brief, abridged book” (kitāb ṣaghīr mukhtaṣar) and a “medium-sized book” (kitāb wasaṭ),15 both on legal theory. Additionally, one of his most prominent students, Abū Ḥafṣ ‘Umar al-Nasafī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ (d. 537/1142), averred, hyperbolically, that “the East and West are filled with his writings in theory (uṣūl) and practice (furū‘)”.16 However, whether this implies that the number of his works is more than nine and, if so, how much more, is unclear.

Besides writing, Abū l-Yusr رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ engaged in other professional activities. In 481/1088, he was appointed as a judge (qāḍī) in Samarqand,17 where he speaks of having witnessed the invasion of the Saljuk sultan Malik Shāh I (r. 465-85/1072-92; d. 485/1092) during the same year.18 He says that he came to Samarqand in 473/1080-1,19 but it appears that he may have alternated between there and Bukhara since he reports having been in the latter city in 478/1085-6,20 where, in addition to being one of the most skilled disputers, he taught jurisprudence and dictated his teachings and hadiths at a madrasa known as al-Dār al-Jūzjāniyya,21 presumably named after Abū Sulaymān al-Juzjānī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ (d. after 200/815)22 or his student and al-Māturīdī’s teacher, Abū Bakr al-Juzjānī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ.23 It was also in Bukhara that Abū l-Yusr رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ passed away on 9 Rajab 493/May 20, 1100 at roughly seventy years of age.

Family and Students 

With this scanty amount of information available about the life of Abū l-Yusr رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, we can only draw up a rough portrait of this scholar’s life and accomplishments. It is therefore helpful to briefly survey some of the prominent members of his family and his notable students to better understand his background, significance, and legacy.

With respect to his family, we have already mentioned his great-grandfather ‘Abd al-Karīm رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ. Little more can be said about him since neither the Ḥanafite biographers who mention him24 nor Abū l-Yusr رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ attribute any works or particular teachings to him. His prime significance thus appears to lie in his role as a student of al-Māturīdī and transmitter of his doctrines, even if only or primarily through the Bazdawī family. This, of course, was no small feat, since it contributed not only to the erudition of his descendant Abū l-Yusr رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, but also to that of the latter’s brother, Abū l-‘Usr ‘Alī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ (d. 482/1089). Abū l-‘Usr رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ was considerably more prolific than Abū l-Yusr رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ. He authored an eleven-volume al-Mabsūṭ;25 two commentaries, one on al-Shaybānī’s رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ al-Jāmi‘ al-kabīr and the other on his al-Jāmi‘ al-ṣaghīr;26 and the Kanz al-wuṣūl ilā ma‘rifat al-uṣūl, a handbook of Ḥanafite legal theory that quickly became a classic in the field of jurisprudence together with ‘Abd al-‘Azīz b. Aḥmad al-Bukhārī’s رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ (d. 730/1330) extensive commentary.27 Ḥanafite biographers offer us little other information about Abū l-‘Usr رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, though the  fact that his coffin was brought to Samarqand and buried at the gate of a mosque 28 indicates the standing he enjoyed in his society. He evidently passed on his intellectual passion to his son, Abū Thābit al-Ḥasan رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ (d. 557/1161-2), who, being about twelve years old at the time of his father’s death, was brought to Bukhara, where he was raised and educated by Abū l-Yusr رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ together with the latter’s son, Abū Ma‘ālī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ (d. 542/1147).29 Both of these young Bazdawī boys would eventually become distinguished figures in their own right. Like his father, Abū Ma‘ālī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ was appointed as a judge in Bukhara and for a time dictated his teachings there.30 He also taught hadith in Baghdad and, on his way to perform the hajj, stopped in Merw, where he likewise served as a judge; upon returning from the pilgrimage, he died in Sarakhs.31 Abū Thābit رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, then in Merw, assumed his cousin’s position as a judge in Bukhara for a while before retiring to Bazda, where he eventually died in 557/1161-2.32

The passing of Abū Thābit رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ appears to have brought that of the Bazdawī scholarly tradition as well; no other representative can be identified after him.33 But their influence continued through their writings and students. With respect to Abū l-Yusr رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, the most distinguished of his pupils was undoubtedly the abovementioned Abū Ḥafṣ ‘Umar al-Nasafī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ. Although Abū Ḥafṣ رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ claims to have had more than 500 teachers and devoted one book to listing them (i.e., Ta‘dād shuyūkh ‘Umar),34 the following comment he made about Abū l-Yusr رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ implies that he had a special reverence for him: “He was the master of our companions in Transoxania. He was absolutely the ‘imam of the imams’, the one to whom many flocked (al-mawfūd ilayhi) from distant lands.”35 Nonetheless, in seeking knowledge, Abū Ḥafṣ رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ traveled beyond Transoxania to Baghdad and Mecca, during the course of which he met up with the famous grammarian and Mu‘tazilite exegete, Abū l-Qāsim al-Zamakhsharī  رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ (d. 538/1144).36 In total, Abū Ḥafṣ رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ is thought to have composed around 100 works.37 The twelve of these mentioned by Brockelmann cover a wide range of topics, including jurisprudence, theology, Quranic exegesis, and history.38 The most popular and influential of his writings is without doubt his Māturīdīte creed known as al-‘Aqā’id al-Nasafiyya (or simply al-‘Aqā’id). It helped ensure the preservation and development of al-Māturīdī’s teachings and has been commented on by a number of scholars, the most important of whom is Sa‘d al-Dīn al-Taftazānī  رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ(d. 792/1410).39 In 1590, it was translated into Malay, making it, according to Sayed Naquib al-Attas, the oldest known Malay manuscript.40

Although the creed essentially consists of a collection of phrases taken from his teacher Abū l-Mu‘īn al-Nasafī’s رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ (d. 508/1114) Tamhīd li-qawā‘id al-tawḥīd,41 Abū l-Yusr’s رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ influence on Abū Ḥafṣ رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ reveals itself in the latter’s Sufi heresiography. Nine of the eleven deviant Sufi sects as well as the one righteous Sufi sect identified by Abū Ḥafṣ رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ are also found in Abū l-Yusr’s رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ Sufi heresiography (contained in his Uṣūl al-dīn) with the same or similar descriptions. In fact, apart from adding two sects, Abū Ḥafṣ رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ lists them in almost exactly the same order as Abū l-Yusrرَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ.42 Abū Ḥafṣ’ رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ treatise was eventually twice reproduced, nearly verbatim, for opposite purposes, first by the Shi‘ite scholar Muḥammad al-Ḥurr al-‘Āmilī (d. 1104/1692) to refute Sufism, and then by the Turkish Sufi and scholar İbrahim Hakkı Erzurumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ (d. 1194/1780) to defend it.43 If only indirectly, then, Abū Ḥafṣ رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ contributed to the influence of Abū l-Yusr’s رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ scholarship long after his death.

Two other students of Abū l-Yusr رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ less important than Abū Ḥafṣ رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ but nonetheless worthy of mention are ‘Abd al-Karīm al-Ṣabbāghī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ and Aḥmad al-Khulmī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ (d. 547/1152). Al-Ṣabbāghī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ authored a commentary on Abū l-Ḥusayn al-Qudūrī’s رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ (d. 428/1037) famous Ḥanafite legal handbook, Mukhtaṣar, as well as possibly Ṭilbat al-ṭalaba, a book about Ḥanafite legal terminology that has also been attributed to Abū Ḥafṣ رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ.44 Al-Khulmī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ studied with Abū l-Yusr  رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ in Bukhara and occasionally even stood in for him as a judge.45 The extent of his literary production  is not clear, but a certain Abū Sa‘d recounts having met him in Balkh and received from him a large, multi-volume book comprising the dictations of three scholars, including Abū l-Yusr رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ, whom he studied with in Bukhara.46



1 For medieval and pre-modern Arab biographical sources on Abū l-Yusr’s life, see Abū Sa‘d ‘Abd al-Karīm b. Muḥammad b. Manṣūr al-Tamīmī al-Sam‘ānī, al-Ansāb, vol. 2 (Hyderabad: al-Fārūq al-Ḥadītha lil-Ṭabā‘a wa-l-Nashr, 1397/1977), 201-2; Shams al-Dīn Abī ‘Abdallāh Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. ‘Uthmān al-Dhahabī, Tārīkh al-Islām wa-wafayāt al-mashāhīr wa-l-a‘lām, vol. 10, ed. Bithār ‘Awwād Ma‘rūf (Beirut: Dār al-Gharb al-Islāmī, 1424/2003), 746; Muḥyī l-Dīn Abū Muḥammad ‘Abd al-Qādir b. Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. Naṣrallāh b. Sālim Ibn Abī l-Wafā’, al-Jawāhir al-muḍiyya fī ṭabaqāt al-Ḥanafiyya, vol. 4, ed. ‘Abd al-Fattāḥ Muḥammad al-Ḥulw (N.p.: Hujar lil-Ṭabā‘a wa-l-Nashr wa-l-Tawzī‘ wa-l-I‘lān, 1413/1993), 98-9; Abū l-Fidā’ Zayn al-Dīn Qāsim b. Quṭlūbughā, Tāj al-tarājim, ed. Muḥammad Khayr Ramaḍān Yūsuf (N.p.: Dār al-Qalam, 1413/1992), 275; Abū l-Ḥasanāt Muḥammad ‘Abd al-Ḥayy al-Laknawī, al-Fawā’id al-bahiyya fī tarājim al-Ḥanafiyya, ed. Muḥammad Badr al-Dīn Abū Firās al-Nuʻmānī (Cairo: Dār al-Kitāb al-Islāmī, n.d.), 188. For modern sources, see Hellmut Ritter, “Philologika. XIII: Arabische Handschriften in Anatolien und İstanbul,” Oriens 2, no. 2 (Dec., 1949): 305; Hans Peter Linss, Probleme der islamischen Dogmatik: Das Kitāb uṣūl al-dīn des Abū ’l-Yusr Muḥammad al-Bazdawī (Essen: Thales Verlag, 1991), 8-13; Aḥmad b. ‘Awḍallāh b. Dākhil al-Lahībī al-Ḥarbī, al-Māturīdiyya: dirāsatan wa-taqwīman ([Riyad]: Dār al-‘Āṣima lil-Nashr wa-l-Tawzī‘, 1413 [1992 or 3]), 115-8; ‘Abd al-Qādir b. Yāmīn b. Nāṣir al-Khaṭīb, introduction to Ma‘rifat al-ḥujaj al-shar‘iyya, by Abū l-Yusr Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-Bazdawī (Beirut: Mu’assasat al-Risāla lil-Ṭabā‘a wa-l-Nashr wa-l-Tawzī‘, 1420/2000), 3-9; Aḥmad Ḥijāzī al-Saqā, “Sīrat Abī l-Yusr Muḥammad al-Bazdawī, mu’allif Kitāb Uṣūl al-dīn,” in Uṣūl al-dīn, by Abū l-Yusr Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-Bazdawī, ed. Hans Peter Linss, amended and annot. Aḥmad Ḥijāzī al-Saqā (Cairo: al-Maktaba al-Azhariyya lil-Turāth, 2002), 9-12 (a translation of most of Linss’ chapter); Éric Chaumont, introduction to Kitāb fīhi ma‘rifat al-ḥujaj al-shar‘iyya; Livre où repose la connaissance des preuves légales, by Abū l-Yusr Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-Bazdawī, ed. Marie Bernand and Éric Chaumont (Cairo: al-Maʻhad al-ʻIlmī al-Faransī lil-Āthār al-Sharqiyya/Institut français d’archéologie orientale, 2003), 5-8; Angelika Brodersen, Der unbekannte kalām: Theologische Positionen der frühen Māturīdīya am Beispiel der Attributenlehre (Munich: LIT Verlag, 2014), 26-7.
2 al-Sam‘ānī, al-Ansāb, vol. 2, 201.

3 Abū l-Yusr Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-Bazdawī, Uṣūl al-dīn, ed. Hans Peter Linss, amended and annot. Aḥmad Ḥijāzī al-Saqā (Cairo: al-Maktaba al-Azhariyya lil-Turāth, 2002), 14. Abū l-Yusr also mentions that he learned a couple of hadiths from his father. See al-Bazdawī, 159 and 162.

4 al-Bazdawī, 14.

5 Linss, Probleme, 8. On him, see al-Sam‘ānī, al-Ansāb, vol. 7, 328-9; Ibn Abī l-Wafā’, al-Jawāhir, vol. 3, 641; al-Laknawī, al-Fawā’id, 233.

6 On him, see Ibn Abī l-Wafā’, al-Jawāhir, vol. 1, 416; al-Laknawī, al-Fawā’id, 46.

7 Al-Isfizārī was in the tradition of al-Kindī, though almost nothing is known about his life. The only surviving work of his is a book covering twenty-eight metaphysical topics, namely, the Kitāb masā’il al-umūr al-ilāhiyya wa-hiya thamāniyya wa-‘ishrūn mas’ala. See Elvira Wakelnig, “Die Philosophen in der Tradition al-Kindīs: al-‘Āmirī, al-Isfizārī, Miskawayh, as-Siğistānī, und at-Tawḥīdī,” in Islamische Philosophie im Mittelalter: Ein Handbuch, ed. Heidrun Eichner, Matthias Perkams, and Christian Schäfer (Darmstadt: WBG [Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft]), 2013), 239.

8 The term mujassima, which I have translated as “corporealists”, but may be more literally rendered as “those who make corporeal”, was applied by Muslim scholars to figures and groups they believed conceive of God as a body, even if their notions of “body” did not necessarily involve physicality. See W. Montgomery Watt, The Formative Period of Islamic Thought (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1973), 247-8. Ibn Hayṣam was a Karrāmite scholar responsible for the transformation of his group’s teachings in the fourth/tenth century. See Ulrich Rudolph, al-Māturīdī und die sunnitische Theologie in Samarkand (Leiden; New York; Köln: E.J. Brill, 1997), 87; Ulrich Rudolph, al-Māturīdī and the Development of Sunnī Theology in Samarqand, tr. Rodrigo Adem (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2015), 80. For Abū l-Yusr, the mujassima include, in addition to Ibn Hayṣam, the respective followers of three figures: Muḥammad b. Karrām (d. ca. 255/868), Muqātil b. Sulaymān (d. 150/767), and Hishām b. al-Ḥakam (d. 179-99/795-815). See al-Bazdawī, Uṣūl, 258-9. Although he does not call them mujassima, he also attributes the view that God is a body to the Jews. See al-Bazdawī, 33. See also Chapter 5 of this thesis where these attributions are discussed in more detail.

9 al-Bazdawī, Uṣūl, 13.

10 Wa-qad wajadtu li-Abī l-Ḥasan al-Ash‘arī kutuban wa-ghayrahu fī hādhā l-fann mina l-‘ilm, wa-hiya qarīb min
mi’ātay kitāb; wa-l-Mūjiz al-Kabīr ya’tī ‘alā ‘āmma mā fī jamī‘ kutubihi. I read ghayrahu as wafīra (many) since if it were to refer to kutub, it should be ghayrahā with the feminine object pronoun. It seems unlikely that Abū l-Yusr had access to and read through all of these writings; thus, perhaps anna should be inserted between wajadtu and li so that his statement reads, “I found that Abū l-Ḥasan al-Ash‘arī has many books in this field; that is, around two hundred.” See al-Bazdawī, 14 and 250. Al-Mūjiz al-Kabīr has yet to be recovered. The Ash‘arite Ibn ‘Asākir (d. 571/1176), who simply calls it al-Mūjiz, explains that it consisted of twelve volumes arranged according to the subject matter of the views of al-Ash‘arī’s Muslim and non-Muslim opponents. This seems to validate Abū l-Yusr’s claim about it. See Abū l-Qāsim ‘Alī b. al-Ḥasan b. Hibatallāh b. ‘Asākir, Tabyīn kadhib al-muftarī fīmā nusiba ilā-l-Imām Abī l-Ḥasan al-Ash‘arī, ed. Muḥammad Zāhid al-Kawtharī and Ḥusām al-Dīn al-Qudsī (Damascus: Maṭba‘at al-Tawfīq, 1347 [1928]), 129. Of course, Abū l-Yusr was also well aware of the theological writings of his fellow Transoxanian Ḥanafites and those of al-Māturīdī. His perspective on some of these works are discussed below. For a full list of the sources Abū l-Yusr cites in Uṣūl al-dīn, including on theology, Quranic exegesis, hadith, and jurisprudence, see Linss, Probleme, 18-20.

11 Linss, 12 and 12n26.

12 Abū l-Yusr Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-Bazdawī, Kitāb fīhi ma‘rifat al-ḥujaj al-shar‘iyya; Livre où repose la connaissance des preuves légales, ed. Marie Bernand and Éric Chaumont (Cairo: al-Maʻhad al-ʻIlmī al-Faransī lil-Āthār al-Sharqiyya/Institut français d’archéologie orientale, 2003).

13 David A. King, “Al-Bazdawī on the Qibla in Early Islamic Transoxania,” Journal for the History of Arabic Science / Majallat Tārīkh al-ʿUlūm al-ʿArabīyah 7 (Jan., 1983): 3–38

14 al-Bazdawī, 31 and 49.

15 al-Bazdawī, 3.

16 Ibn Abī l-Wafā’, al-Jawāhir, vol. 4, 99; Ibn Quṭlūbughā, Tāj al-tarājim, 275. Uṣūl and furū‘ might also be translated as “theology” and “jurisprudence”, respectively. In any case, it is clear that Abū l-Yusr’s legal writings were influential amongst subsequent jurists. In the introduction to his edition of K. fīhi ma‘rifa, ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Khaṭīb mentions fifteen, mostly Ḥanafite legal works in which Abū l-Yusr’s legal opinions are cited. See al-Khaṭīb, introduction to Ma‘rifat al-ḥujaj al-shar‘iyya, 10-2.

17 Linss, Probleme, 11.

18 al-Bazdawī, Uṣūl, 265.

19 King, “Al-Bazdawī on the Qibla,” 9.

20 al-Bazdawī, Uṣūl, 261.

21 al-Sam‘ānī, al-Ansāb, vol. 2, 202; al-Dhahabī, Tārīkh, vol. 10, 746; Ibn Quṭlūbughā, Tāj al-tarājim, 275.

22 On him, see al-Laknawī, al-Fawā’id, 216.

23 On him, see al-Laknawī, 14. For the place of each Juzjānī in the lines of theological transmission amongst the Eastern Ḥanafites up to the time of al-Māturīdī and his students, see Rudolph, al-Māturīdī und die sunnitische Theologie, 161; Rudolph, al-Māturīdī and the Development, 147.

24 Ibn Abī l-Wafā‘, al-Jawāhir, vol. 2, 458; al-Laknawī, al-Fawā’id, 101. On him, see also Rudolph, al-Māturīdī und die sunnitische Theologie, 157-9; Rudolph, al-Māturīdī and the Development, 144-6.

25 Ibn Abī l-Wafā’, al-Jawāhir, vol. 2, 595; Ibn Quṭlūbughā, Tāj al-tarājim, 206.

26 Ibn Abī l-Wafā’, al-Jawāhir, vol. 2, 595; Ibn Quṭlūbughā, Tāj al-tarājim, 206.

27 Chaumont, introduction to Kitāb fīhī ma‘rifa, 5. Kanz al-wuṣūl is likely the work of Abū l-‘Usr that both Ibn Abī l-Wafā’ and Ibn Quṭlūbughā ambiguously refer to as “a well-known book” on legal theory. See Ibn Abī l-Wafā’, al-Jawāhir, vol. 2, 595; Ibn Quṭlūbughā, Tāj al-tarājim, 206.

28 Ibn Abī l-Wafā’, al-Jawāhir, vol. 2, 594.

29 Ibn Abī l-Wafā’, 76; Ibn Abī l-Wafā’, vol. 4, 407.

30 Ibn Abī l-Wafa’, vol. 1, 309.

31 al-Sam‘ānī, al-Ansāb, vol. 2, 202; Ibn Abī l-Wafā’, al-Jawāhir, vol. 1, 309.

32 Ibn Abī l-Wafā’, vol. 2, 76.

33 Linss, Probleme, 6-7.

34 al-Ḥarbī, al-Māturīdiyya, 121; Brodersen, Der unbekannte kalām, 34.

35 Ibn Abī l-Wafā’, al-Jawāhir, vol. 4, 99.

36 Brodersen, Der unbekannte kalām, 33-4.

37 al-Ḥarbī, al-Māturīdiyya, 121; Brodersen, Der unbekannte kalām, 34.

38 Carl Brockelmann, Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur, vol. 1 (Leiden: Brill, 1937), 758-62; Carl Brockelmann, History of the Arabic Written Tradition, vol. 1, tr. Joep Lameer (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2016), 478-80.

39 Brodersen, Der unbekannte kalām, 35.

40 See his The Oldest Known Malay Manuscript: A 16th Century Malay Translation of the ‘Aqā’id of al-Nasafī (Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya, 1988).

41 Rudolph, al-Māturīdī und die sunnitische Theologie, 279n88; Rudolph, al-Māturīdī and the Development, 252n85.

42 In the published edition of the treatise, the Mutakāsila come immediately before the Mutajāhila, whereas in Uṣūl al-dīn, they come immediately after them. However, as the editor of the treatise, ‘Alī Akbar Diyā’ī, points out, Abū Ḥafṣ should have put them in the opposite order since they are listed that way in the introduction to the published edition as well as in another manuscript of the treatise. Hence, it is likely that the sequences of the two heresiographies were originally the same. See Abū Ḥafṣ ‘Umar b. Muḥammad al-Nasafī, Risāla fī bayān madhāhib al-taṣawwuf, ed. ‘Alī Akbar Diyā’ī, al-Turāth al-‘Arabī 12, no. 46 (1412/1992): 133–41 and 141n51; al-Bazdawī, Uṣūl, 259-62.

43 See Hamid Algar, “Impostors, Antinomians, and Pseudo-Sufis: Cataloguing the Miscreants,” Journal of Islamic Studies 29, no. 1 (2018): 36-8 and 44-6,

44 Linss, Probleme, 12-3.

45 Ibn Abī l-Wafā’, al-Jawāhir, vol. 1, 259.

46 Ibn Abī l-Wafā’, 259.