By Nabil Mouline
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Al-Mu'ayyad fi'l-DÌn al-ShÌrzÌ (d. 470/1087) was once a superb, multi-talented Fatimid student of Persian foundation. He excelled as a missionary-agent, statesman, poet, preacher and theologian. in keeping with his autobiography, this paintings offers an perception into the striking existence and achievements of al-Mu'ayyad via very important levels of his occupation, describing his bold try to win over the Buyids of western Iran to the Fatimid reason, his risky flight to Cairo and eventually his day trip to Syria and Iraq to accumulate an alliance of neighborhood rulers opposed to the invading Saljuk Turks.
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Additional info for The Clerics of Islam: Religious Authority and Political Power in Saudi Arabia
In 1284, having received a solid training in all domains of Islamic knowledge, Ibn Taymiyya began teaching in the family madrasa before moving on to the mosque of the Umayyad. In 1291, the year the Crusades ended, he received official authorization to issue fatawa. Ibn Taymiyya’s first intervention in the public sphere took place during his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1292: he denounced suspect rituals and popular practices and called for orthodoxy and orthopraxy to be respected. The following year, he had the occasion to express this opinion publicly and vigorously when the authorities refused to apply the legal punishment against a Christian accused of having insulted the Prophet.
In the interest of imposing their domination over the juridico-religious space of the conquered territories, the Ottomans encouraged expansion of the Hanafi-Maturidi tradition, which they promoted to the rank of official school of the empire. While several Hanbali ulama produced reference works in Islamic law between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries—al-Mardawi (d. 1480), al-Hajjawi (d. 1560), al-Karami (d. 1624), and al-Buhuti (d. 1641)—Hanbali tradition crucially lacked figures whose charisma and ideological authority were capable of causing a stir or leaving an impression.
A brief survey of his career will allow us to see how he deployed an ethic of responsibility to preserve orthodoxy, orthopraxy, and the political order. Born in Baghdad around 780, Ahmad ibn Hanbal belonged to an Arab lineage of which some members served the Abbasid Caliphate. He began his initiatory journey in his native town, where he frequented various teaching circles (halaqat al-‘ilm). His desire to acquire as much knowledge as possible and collect a large number of prophetic traditions encouraged him to undertake a long voyage to southern Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and the Hijaz.