This Salafee Imaam became well-known with the title Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah because his father was the principal of the school al-Jawziyyah in Damascus. As for his name, it is: Shams ud-Deen, Abu Abdullaah, Muhammad bin Abu Bakr ibn Ayyoob az-Zaree (an ascription to Azra which is in the south of Syria), then Dimashqee, Hanbalee.
He was born on the 7th of Safar in the year 691H (1292 CE) and was raised in a house of knowledge and excellence and this offered him the chance to take knowledge from the senior scholars of his time, at a time when the various sciences (of knowledge) had flourished. He studied under ash-Shihaab an-Naabilisee, Abu Bakr bin Abd ud-Daayim, al-Qaadee Taqee ud-Deen Sulaimaan, Eesaa al-Mutim, Faatimah bint Jawhar, Abu Nasr Muhammad bin Imaad ud-Deen ash-Shairaazee, Ibn Maktoom, al-Bahaa bin Asaakir, Alaa ud-Deen al-Kindee, Muhammad bin Abu al-Fath Balabkee, Ayyoob bin al-Kamaal and al-Qaadee Badr ud-Deen bin Jamaaah.
He took the knowledge of the laws of inheritance from Ismaaeel bin Muhammad and read the Arabic language to Abu Fath al-Balabkee and al-Majd at-Toonisee. He studied fiqh with a group of scholars, amongst them Ismaaeel bin Muhammad al-Harraanee. He took usool (fundamental issues regarding creed etc.) from As-Safee al-Hindee. As for his greatest teacher and his shaikh whom he accompanied for 17 years from the years of his life, and who left the greatest impact upon him, then that is the Imaam, the Mujaddid, Taqee ud-Deen Ibn Taymiyyah. He (Ibn al-Qayyim) took the same methodology as him and traversed his path in waging war against the People of Innovations and Desires and those who deviated from the religion.
As for his own students, then they are many. Amongst them, his son Abdullaah, Ibn Katheer, the author of al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah, and the Imaam and Haafidh, Abdur-Rahmaan bin Rajab al-Baghdaadee, al-Hanbalee, the author of Tabaqaat ul-Hanaabilah, and also Shams ud-Deen Muhammad bin Abdul-Qaadir an-Naabilisee.
Ibn al-Qayyim lived in a time in which there was strife and internal confusion and chaos, as well as an external threat which was menacing the Islamic state. For this reason, he used to order for the rejection of separation and disunity and holding fast to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) . Amongst his goals was returning to the fountains of the original (and pure) religion and purifying it from the innovations and desires. So he called for the destruction of the madhhab of taqleed (blind-following) and a return to the madhhab of the Salaf and traversing upon their way and methodology. And because of this we see that he did not restrict himself to the Hanbalee madhhab and often he would take the opinion and view of one of the various madhhabs or perhaps he may have an opinion which conflicts the opinion of all the other madhhabs. Therefore, his madhhab was ijtihaad and the rejection of taqleed. As a result of this he incurred great harm and was imprisoned along with his shaikh, Ibn Taymiyyah, in the same prison, but in isolation from him. He was not released from the prison until after the death of the shaikh.
He took to teaching and giving verdict for a number of years and (all) the people, without exception benefitted from him. The scholars also testified to his knowledge and piety, Ibn Hajr said about him: “He had a courageous heart, was vast in knowledge and was well acquainted with the differences (of opinion) and the madhaahib of the Salaf.”
Shaikh ul-Islaam, Muhammad bin Alee ash-Shawkaanee said: “He restricted (himself) to the (most) authentic of evidences, and admired acting upon them. He did not depend upon opinion (rai), would overcome (others) with the truth and would not be harsh with anyone with respect to it.”
Ibn Katheer said: “He was attached to occupying himself with knowledge, day and night. He would pray and recite the Quraan much and was of excellent character, show great affection and friendship. He would not be jealous or envious.”
Ibn Katheer also said: “I do not know, in this time of ours, anyone in the world who worships greater than him. He used to have a particular manner with respect to the prayer. He would lengthen it a great deal, would extend its bowing and prostrating. Many of his associates would censure him at times but he would never return and leave alone this (action of his), may Allaah have mercy upon him.”
And Mullaa Alee al-Qaaree said: “And whoever investigates the book Sharh Manaazil us-Saaireen (i.e. Madaarij us-Saalikeen), it will become plain and clear to him that both of them (meaning Ibn al-Qayyim and Ibn Taymiyyah) were amongst the most senior from Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaaah and amonsgt the Awliyaah (of Allaah) of this Ummah.”
Al-Haafidh as-Suyootee said: “And he became one of the senior scholars in tafseer (exegesis), hadeeth, usool, furoo (subsidiary matters) and Arabic language.”
He authored and compiled in the field of fiqh , usool, siyar (biography), history and the sciences of hadeeth. Alongside this, he was a linguist, well-acquainted with grammar, and a poet. He had written much poetry.
He passed on to the mercy of His Lord at the latter time of Ishaa, on the night of Thursday, 13th of Rajab in the year 751H (1350 CE) and was buried at the foot of Mount Qaasiyoon by Damascus, leaving behind many written works, amongst the most famous of which are:
- Shifaa ul-Aleel
- Miftaah Daar us-Saaadah
- Zaad al-Maaad fee Hadyi Khair il-Ibaad
- Haadi ul-Arwaah ilaa Bilaad il-Afraah
- Ighaathatul-Lahafaan fee Hukm Talaaq al-Ghadbaan
- Al-Jawaab Kaafee liman Saala an Dawaa ish-Shaafee
- Madaarij us-Saalikeen fee Manaazil is-Saaireen
- Tahdheeb Sunan Abee Daawood
- As-Sawaaiq ul-Mursalah alal-Jahmiyyah wal-Muattilah
- Raf Yadain fis-Salaat
- Kitaab ul-Kabaair
- Hukm Taarik us-Salaat
- Al-Kalim ut-Tayyib wal-Amal us-Saalih
- Sharh Asmaa il-Husnaa
- Alaam al-Muwaqqieen an Rabbil-Aalameen.
May Allaah have mercy upon this great and notable Imaam, benefit the world by him and elevate his position, rank after rank, in the Hereafter.