Qadi Iyad Maliki || Qazi Ayyaz Maliki || قاضی عیاض مالکی || Biography of Qadi Iyad

 Qadi Iyad Maliki || Qazi Ayyaz Maliki || قاضی عیاض مالکی || Biography of Qadi Iyad

Qadi Iyad Maliki || Qazi Ayyaz Maliki || قاضی عیاض مالکی || Biography of Qadi Iyad

Qadi Iyad, (Qazi Ayyaz, قاضی عیاض) born in Ceuta Spain, then belonging to the imperial Berber Muslim dynasty (Almoravid dynasty – 1050-1117CE) centered in the territory of present-day Morocco, was the scholar of Maliki fiqah and great imam of that city and, later he appointed in 1121 a Qadi (Judge) in the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada and their he worked more than a year.



Qadi Iyad (Qazi Iyyaz) was born on 15th of Shaban, 476 AH (28th December, 1083 CE), six months after the Almoravid takeover of the city.  He obtained the license (Ijazah) at the age of 22 from Hafiz Abu Ali al-Ghassani (حافظ ابو علی الغثانی) and this endorsed Qadi Iyad to take knowledge from al-Ghassani. There is no evidence that Qadi Iyad had studied the Islamic sciences at an initial age.



He came from an eminent family that traced its backgrounds back to the tribal of Yemen Arabs. His great-grandfather, Amr moved to Ceuta from Fez, the oldest town in the central Morocco, around the time of Ibn-e-Abi Amir (r. 368–392 H/978–1002 CE), the chief minister and de facto ruler of the Umayyad caliphate of Cordoba.




Qadi Ayyaḍ studied under various important members of the scholars and formed Friendships with many of them in both his native town and al-Andalus. These included Ibn-e-Ḥamdin and Ibn-e-Rushd al-Jadd (d. 520 H/1126 CE), the most prominent Maliki jurist of his day in the Islamic West, in addition to the aforementioned al-Ṣadafi and Siraj bin Abd-ul--Malik. From his historical work focused on his educators and scholars, al-Ghunya (“The Richness”), it is known that he was taught by around 100 teachers, and that they were not only from the Islamic West but also the East, with Qadi Iyaḍ himself remaining in the Maghrib.


Qadi Iyad visited the city of Cordoba, Spain during his travels seeking knowledge in Al-Andalus. He left Ceuta on two occasions, one of which was to travel to Andalus seeking out scholars with whom he could take knowledge. Between 507-1113 and 508-1114. He also visited Cordoba, Almeria, Murcia, and Granada.


During this time, he learned Hadith from the famed scholar, Qadi Abu Ali bin Sukrah al-Sadafi (قاضی ابو علی بن سکراح الصدفی). Qadi Iyad remained with him closely. Qadi Iyad also took Hadith from following prominent hadith scholars:


·        Abu Bahr bin Al-Aas (ابو بحر بن العاص)

·        Muhammad bin Hamdayn (محمد بن حمدان)

·        Abu al-Husayn Siraj al-Saghir (ابوالحسین سراج الصغیر)

·        Abu Muhammad bin Attab (ابو محمد بن عطاب)

·        Hisham bin Ahmad (ہشام بن احمد) and many other scholars


He learned Islamic Jurisprudence (fiqah) from Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Isa al-Tamimi (ابو عبد اللہ محمد بن عیسی التمیمی) and Qadi Muhammad Abdullah al-Masili (قاضی محمد عبد اللہ المسیلی).


Shams-ul-Din al-Dhahabi (شمس الدین الذھبی) (d. 748 H/1348 CE) – a widely respected historian, ḥadith expert, and biographer from early Mamluk Damascus dynasty - added to these descriptions. He mentioned Ayyaḍ in a number of his works, such as Tareekh-ul-Islam Wafayat-ul-Mashahir wal Alam (تـاريـخ الإسـلام و وفـيـات الـمـشـاهـيـر و الأعـلام) (“The History of Islam & Deaths of the Famous People and Signs”) and its synopses, Tadhkirat-ul-Huffaẓ (“Memorial of the Quran Masters”) and Siyar alam al-nubalaʾ (“The Lives of Noble Figures”), and others.




During his stay in Ceuta, Qadi Iyad served as a judge in the city for most of his career. Although the city is now a Spanish constituency, city of Ceuta was at the time an prominent Muslim-governed city on the African side of the Straits of Gibraltar


During 515 AH/1121 CE he was appointed judge in Ceuta and served in this position until 531 AH/1136 CE. Later on, he again re-appointed as judge and served again in Ceuta from 539-543 AH/1145-48 CE.  His tenure as a judge in Ceuta was probably his most productive period, his casework created the foundations for his works in fiqh.


The Station of Qadi Iyad




KHALAF B. SHAKWAL said of him:


“He is among the people of knowledge and polymaths, of great intelligence and understanding. He performed the duties of a judge in Ceuta for a long time, in which he earned a praiseworthy reputation. Then he travelled from there for a judgeship in Granada. However, he did not stay there long. Thereafter, he came to us in Cordoba and we took from him.”


The jurist (faqih) Muhammad bin Hammadah al-Sibti said:


“The Qadi began training at the age of twenty-eight years and assumed judgeship at the age of thirty-five. He was lenient, but not weak, [and] fierce in defence of the truth. He learned jurisprudence (fiqh) from Abu 'Abdullah al-Tamimi and accompanied Abu Ishaq b. Ja'far. No one in Ceuta wrote more works than him during his time. He wrote the book 'Al-Shifa' fi Sharaf al-Mustafa', 'Tartib al-Madarik wa Taqrib al-Masalik fi Dhikr Fuqaha' Madhab Malik', a multi-volume work, 'Kitab al-'Aqidah', 'Kitab Sharh Hadith Umm Zar'', the book 'Jami' alTarikh' and others.”




Many scholars narrate from Qadi Iyad. Among them are:

·        Imam Abdullah bin Muhammad Al-Ashiri

·        Abu Jafar bin al-Qasir al-Gharnati

·        Al-Hafiz Khalaf bin Bashakwal

·        Abu Muhammad bin Ubayd Allah al-Hijri

·        Muhammad bin al-Hasan al-Jabiri

·        Qadi Muhammad bin Iyad (his son), the Qadi of Denia, Spain.




After Marrakesh (Morrocco), the Almoravid capital, was captured by the Almohads (524–668 H/1130–1269 CE) in 541 H/1147 CE, the supporters of the former continued to resist the Almohads both in the Maghrib and al-Andalus. As such, during this period Ayyaḍ preached jihad against the Almohads in his Friday sermons in Ceuta.  After sometime he changes his views about Almohads and in another sermon, swore an oath of allegiance to them.


Moreover, he was involved in issuing golden dinars in Ceuta at that time. Therefore, he can be considered as a central figure in this resistance, acting as if he were the ruler of the town. After finally conquering Ceuta, the Almohads took Ayyaḍ to Marrakesh;




     Qadi Iyad died in Morocco early in the Almohad period. Much of the city’s famous structural design dates from this era, including the Gate of Bab Agnaou.


Sources disagree on how and where he died but many sources claimed that he died in 1149, He refused to acknowledge Abu Abd Allah Amghar Ibn Tumart  (ابن تومرت) as the awaited Mahdi. Some sources, including one written by his son, Muhammad, describe how he ingratiated himself with the Almohads in Morocco and eventually died of sickness during a military campaign.


Some other sources describe how he died a natural death while he was rural judge near Tadla, while later sources tend to assume a fierce death at the hands of the Almohads followers. Although he was opposed to the Almohads and the ideas of Ibn-e-Hazm, he did not hold hostility for the Zahirite school of Sunni Islam, which the Almohads and Ibn-e-Hazm followed. Iyad's comments on Ibn-e-Hazm's teacher Abu al-Khiyar al-Zahiri (ابو الخیر الظاھری) were positive, as was Iyad's portrayal of his own father, a Zahirite theologian.


Cadi Iyad University, also known as the University of Morocco, was named after him.  Qadi Iyad is also well known as one of the seven saints of Morocco and is buried near Bab Ailen.




Some of the Qadi's well-known works are:


“Al-Shifa bi Tarif Huquq-ul-Mustafa” - translated as “The cure though recognizing the rights of the Chosen One”, an extraordinary number of commentaries have been written on this book, which is one indication of the book’s great status within the Muslim tradition.


“Tartib-ul-Madarik wa Taqrib-ul-Masalik li Marifat Alam Madhab Malik” (تـرتـيـب الـمـدارك و تـقـريـب الـمـسـالـك لـمـعـرفـة أعـلام مـذهـب مـالـك) – It is a collection of about 1,600 biographies of jurists of the Maliki school of law, from the founder, Malik ibn-e-Anas, to Iyaḍ’s own time. It is one of the most important sources for the history of the Maliki School.


“Ikmal-ul-Mualim bi Fawaid-e-Muslim” - Qadi Iyad's own explanation was expanded upon heavily by Imam al-Nawawi in his commentary on Sahih Muslim.


“Al-Ilam bi Hudud-ul-Qawaid-ul-Islam” – literary work on the five basic foundations of Islam.


“Al-Ilm ala Marifa Usul-ul-Riwayah wa Taqyid-ul-Sama” - a detailed work on the science of Hadith.


“Mashariq-ul-Anwar ala Sahih-ul-Athar” - a literary work based on the Muatta of Imam Malik, Sahih-ul-Bukhari of Imam Bukhari, and Sahih-ul-Muslim by Imam Muslim Qusheri.


“Al-Tanbihat al-Mustanbatah ala al-Kutub-ul-Mudawwanah wal-Mukhtalatah”


“Daqaiq-ul-Akhbar fi Dhikr-il-Jannah wal Naar” - a work unfolding the joys of Heaven (Jannah) and the horrors of Hell (Jahannam).

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