Aqida/Kalam Timeline



Abu al-Hasan al-Ashari

260 - 324

Abu Bakr Baqillani

338 - 403

Imam Abu Bakr Baqillani is Muhammad ibn al-Tayyib ibn Muhammad ibn Jafar, Abu Bakr al-Baqillani. An Islamic judge who awas born in Basra in 338/950, he became one of the foremost figures in Islamic scholastic theology (ilm al-kalam), and because of his logical acumen and swift, unhesitating replies, the caliph `Adud al-Dawla dispatched him as an envoy to the Byzantine court in Constantinople, and he debated with Christian scholars in the presence of their king. He lived most of his life in Baghdad, where he authored a number of works on tenets of Islamic belief and died in 403/1013. (Reliance, x32)

Al-Khatîb narrated that Ibn al-Bâqillânî's nightly devotion consisted in forty rak`ats whether at home or while travelling, after which he wrote thirty-five pages of text which, after the Fajr prayer, he would pass on to others to read out loud for proof-reading and editing. (Dr. G. F. Haddad)

He was profoundly admired by the Hanbalîs of Baghdâd although he was the chief authority of the Asharî school in his time. When he died, the Shaykh of the Hanbalîs and Ibn al-Bâqillânî's friend of seven years, Abû al-Fadl al-Tamîmî, came barefoot to his funeral with others of his school and ordered a herald to open the procession shouting: "This is the Aider of the Sunna and the Religion! This is the Imâm of Muslims! This is the defender of the Sharîa! This is the one who authored 70,000 folios!" He was buried near the grave of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, and his grave is a place of visitation, seeking blessings (tabarruk), and praying for rain (istisqâ'). (Dr. G. F. Haddad)

Abd al-Karīm ibn Hawāzin Qushayri

376 - 465

Imam al-Juwayni

419 - 478

The Imam of the Two Sanctuaries Juwayni is Abd al-Malik ibnAbdullah ibn Yusuf ibn Muhammad, Abu al-Maali Rukn al-Din Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni, a scholar in tenets of faith and the Imam of the Shafii school of his time, originally from Juwain (in present-day Afghanistan), born in 410/1028. He was educated by his father, and after his death read his father’s entire library and then took his place as teacher at Nishapur, though he was later forced to travel to Baghdad because of trouble between the Asharis, Mutazilites, and Shiites. After meeting the greatest scholars of Baghdad, he went on to Mecca, living in the Sacred Precinct for four years, after which he moved to Medina and taught and gave formal legal opinion (fatwa), gaining his nickname, the Imam of the Two Sanctuaries, i.e. of Mecca and Madina. At length he returned to Persia, where the vizier Nizam al-Mulk, having built a first Nizamiyya Academy in Baghdad for Abu Ishaq Shirazi to teach in, built a second one for al-Juwayni in Nishapur. It was here that the Imam wrote in earnest, completing his fifteen-volume Nihaya al-matlab fi diraya al-madhhab [The utmost of what is sought: on understanding the evidence of the Shafii school] which no one in the field of Islamic law has ever produced the like of, as well as other works in tenets of faith, Ashari theology, fundamentals of Islamic legal methodology, and Shafi`i law. Among his greatest legacies to Islam and the Muslims was his pupil Ghazali, who is said to have surpassed even the Imam at the end of his life. He died in Nishapur in 478/1085. (Reliance, x212)

Among his sayings: "I did not utter one word of kalâm before first memorizing twelve thousand folios of the words of the qadi Abu Bakr [al-Baqillani] alone." (Dr. G. F. Haddad)

Ibn al-Sam'ani in Dhayl Tarikh Baghdad narrated from Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Abi 'Ali al-Hamadhani that Imam al-Haramayn said: "I read fifty thousand times fifty thousand [folios]. Then I left behind the people of Islam and their Islam of outward sciences in those books. I took to the vast sea and probed what Muslims deem prohibited to probe. I did all this in the pursuit of truth. I used, in bygone times, to flee from imitation. Now I have returned from all this to the word of truth: 'Cling to the faith of old women' ('alaykum bi dîn al-'ajâ'iz). If Allah does not catch me with His immense kindness so that I shall die with the faith of old women and my final end be sealed with the uprightness of the People of Truth and the pure declaration: lâ ilâha illallâh - then woe to al-Juwayni's son!" (Dr. G. F. Haddad)

Abu Hamid al-Ghazali

450 - 505


479 - 548

first to develop a methodological approach to the study of religions

Salah al-Din Ayyubi

532 - 587

Fakhr al-Din al-Razi

544 - 606

Known as Fakhr al-Dīn Rāzī, Abu Muhammad ibn Umar was a sixth century hijri theologian and physician. Born in Rayy, a suburb of present-day Tehran, he studied vast range of subjects from the mathematical and natural sciences to philosophy and theology to law and spirituality. Identifying with the Shafi'i school in law and Ashari school in theology, he was drawn to philosophy at a young age and sat in the same class as al-Suhrawardi. His travels took him as far Bukhara, and India by some accounts. Like Imam al-Ghazali, he was known for how well he represented the arguments he set out to refute. His ability to identify weaknesses in his opponents' argument gave him the title Imām al-Mushakkikīn(of those who strike doubt into others). In his clinical practice in Herat, he was known for his diagnostic precision. Jalal al-Din Rumi described his talent simply, "Fakhr-i Razi cuts science into little pieces/And casts them before children telling them, come, come." His magnum opus Tafsir al-Kabir, whose original name is Mafātīḥ al-Ghayb(Keys to the Unseen) demonstrates the synergy al-Razi established between reason and revelation. Among his works are an analysis of Zamakhshari's syntax and a critical exposition of philosophical methods and analytical commentary on Ibn Sina'a al-Qanun fi al-Ṭibb. His ideas reflect an inter-disciplinary penchant, as he integrated theology and tasawwuf in Lawāmiʿ al-Bayyināt, theology with ethics in Asrār al-Tanzīl, and all of the rational, religous, and natural sciences in his encyclopedia Jāmiʿ al-ʿUlūm. His love for the Quran emanates from a quotation at an advanced age, ""I have experienced all the methods of theology and all the ways of philosophy, but I did not find in them the benefit which could equal the benefit I derived from the reading of the exalted Qur'an."

Ibn Arabi

561 - 638

Adad al-Din al-Iji

700 - 756


712 - 791

Ibn Khaldun

732 - 808


830 - 895

Abdul Hakim Siyalkuti

968 - 1066

Imam Laqani

980 - 1041

Shah Waliyullah

1114 - 1176

Imam Ahmed Dardir

1130 - 1201

Ibrahim al-Bajuri

1198 - 1276

Bakhit al-Muti'i al-Hanafi

1270 - 1354

Mustafa Sabri

1285 - 1373

Zahid al-Kawthari

1296 - 1371


Abu Hanifa



Imam al-Tahawi

239 - 321

Abu Mansur al-Maturidi


Abu Mu'in al-Nasafi

450 - 508

Najm al-Din Umar Nasafi

480 - 537

Abu Yusr al-Bazdawi

520 - 593

Abu Barakat al-Nasafi

650 - 710

Kamal Ibn al-Humam

790 - 861

Mulla Ali Qari

950 - 1014

Ahmed Sirhindi

974 - 1034

Kamal al-Din al-Bayadi

1006 - 1087

Anwar Shah Kashmiri

1292 - 1352


Ibn al-Jawzi

508 - 597

Ibn Qudama

541 - 620

Ibn Taymiyah

661 - 728

Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya

691 - 751