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The book Al-Imamah wa Al-Siyasah (الإمامة والسياسة) and its attribution to Ibn Qutayibah


The book of Al-Imamah wa Al-Siyasah (الإمامة والسياسة)  by Ibn Qutayibah has a strange presentation for what happened in Al-Saqeefah and the relationship between the Companions and themselves. How authentic is the book? Is it really written by Ibn Qutayibah?


Kitab “Al-Imamah wa Al-Siyasah” is falsely attributed to Ibn Qutayibah Al-Daynoori (ابن قتيبة الدينوري), for the following reasons:

1. The scholars who wrote the biography of Ibn Qutayibah did not mention any book of Ibn Qutayabah named “Al-Imamah wa Al-Siyasah”. Ibn Qutayibah’s books include “Al-Ma’arif”, and the books that is mentioned by the author of “Sahib Al-Dhonoon”.

2. If a person reads Al_Imamah wa Al-Siyasah, he would notice that Ibn Qutayabah lived in Damascus and Maghrib, whereas in reality he did not leave Baghdad but to Daynoor.

3. The method and the course that the real author of “Al-Imamah wa Al-Siyasah” used, differs completely from the method and the course of Ibn Qutayabah in his books that we have. One of the main characteristics in the methods of Ibn Qutayabah is that he writes long prefaces or introductions explaining his method and the reasons for the writing of the book. In the opposite side, we see the author of “Al-Imamah wa Al-Siyasah” has a very short preface, not more than 3 lines..

4. The real author of Al-Imamah wa Al-Siyasah narrated from Ibn Abi Layla in a way that you feel he got it from him personally, that the authoer met Abi Layla face to face (Talaqa a’anhu). The full name of Ibn Abi Layla is Muhamed bin Abdulrahman bin Abi Layla the jurisprudent, the judge of Kufah, who died in 148H, and it is known that Ibn Qutayabah was born in 213H, after the death of Ibn Abi Layla by 65 years.

5. Even the orientalists questioned the true identity of the book’s authoer First of them was De Gainjose in his book “The history of the Islamic rule in Spain”, then Dr. R. Dozi supported him in his book “The Political and the Lecture History of Spain”, and the book mentioned Brokilman in “Tareekh Al-Adab Al-Arabi”, the Baron De Slan in the index of the “Arabic manuscripts” in Paris Library under the name of “Narrations of Al-Imamah wa Al-Siyasah”, and Margholios in “Dirasat a’an Al-Mu’arekheen Al-Arab”, and they all decided that the book is falsly attributed to Ibn Qutayabah and that he could not be the real author.

6. The narrators and the Sheikhs that Ibn Qutayabah usually narrates from in his books were never mentioned in any place in the book of Al-Imamah wa Al-Siyasah.

7. It seems from the book that the author tells the news of the invasion of the Andulus orally from people who contemporaried the invasion period, like “I was told by a Muwla for Abdullah bin Musa” and it is known that the Fath of Andulus was in 92H, before the birth of Ibn Qutayabah by about 120 yrs.

8. Al-Imamah wa Al-Siyasah contains horrible historical mistakes, like making Aba Al-Abbas and the Saffah (The Slayer) two different people, making Haroon Al-Rasheed the immediate successor to Al-Mahdi, saying that Haroon Al-Rasheed gave Wilayat Al-A’ahd for his son Al-Ma’moon then to Al-Ameen, but if we go back to Ibn Qutayabah book “Al-Ma’arif” we find that he gaves us correct infiormations about Al-Saffah and Haroon Al-Rasheed which disagrees with what the author of Al-Imamah wa Al-Siyasah said.

9. In the book, there are many narrators that Ibn Qutayabah never narrated from, e.g. Abi Maryam, and Ibn A’feer.

10. In the book, there are sentences that are not in the writings of Ibn Qutayabah, like “Qal Thuma Ina”, “it was mentioned about some cheifs”, and “some cheifs told us” and like these structures which are far from the methods and sentences of Ibn Qutayabah and were never mentioned in any of his books.

11. It is obvious that the author of Al-Imamah wa Al-Siyasah does not care about arrangements, organization, and order, for he states the information, then goes to another one and jumps to complete the first information. This chaos does not agree with the method of Ibn Qutayabah who looks for organization and order.

12. The author of Al-Imamah wa Al-Siyasah narrates from two of the biggest Egyptian scholars, and Ibn Qutayabah never entered Egypt and never was a pupil for these two scholars.

13. Ibn Qutayabah has a very high rank among the scholars, for he is from Ahl Al-Sunnah and Trust (Thiqah) in his knowledge and religion. Al-Salafi said: “Ibn Qutayabah was from the Thiqat and Ahl Al-Sunnah, Ibn Hazm said: “he was thiqah in his religion and knowledge”, Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdadi said the same, Ibn Taymiyah said about him: “ibn Qutayabah belongs to Ahmad, Ishaq and one of who supports the famous Sunni schools”, and he is the Speaker for Ahl Al-Sunna as Al-Jahidh is the speaker of Mu’atazilah. A man in this rank among the great scholars could not be the author of Al-Imamah wa Al-Siyasah which changed the history and attributed to the Companions what is not true.

14. In Ibn Qutayabah’s book “Al-Ekhtilaf fi Al-Lafd wa Al-Rad ala Al-Jahamiyah wa Al-Mushabiha” he said that the Rafidah are kafirs because they slandered the Companions of the Prophet (pbuh), then he says: “and I saw them too when they saw the Rafida’s exaggeration in the love of Ali and prefer him on who the Prophet (pbuh) preferred, and their claims that Ali was a partner of Muhamed (pbuh) in his prophethood, and the knowledge of the unknown is for the Imams from his sons and these talks and the secret matters that consolidated to the lies, kufr, extreme ignorance and stupidity, and they saw them slandering the best Companions and their hatred towards them”, then can someone attribute Al-imamah wa Al-Siyasah to him which is full of slanders against the great Companions?

Source: Kitab Al-Imamah wa Al-Siyasah fi Meezan Al-Tahqeeq Al-Elmi, Dr.Abdullah Aseelan

Posted here by 13S2010

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