Defence Against Disaster
Qadi Abu Bakr ibn al-‘Arabi
Aisha Abdurrahman Bewley (translation)
In Accurately Determining the Positions of the Companions after the Death of the Prophetﷺ
This is an unparalleled study of the controversies and trials that arose among the first generations of Islam, starting with the sedition at the time of ‘Uthman that led to his murder. It continues right through to the terrible events that brought about the death of al-Hussein ibn Ali.
Given that the author assumes a command of the source texts and knowledge of the events and personalities involved that is now much rarer than it was, the commentary by Muhibb ad-Din al-Khatib is extremely valuable for the modern reader. He also gives a biography of Qadi Abu Bakr that helps the reader realise the vastness of his scholarship.
Qadi Abu Bakr (468 – 543 AH/1076 – 1148 CE) was born and grew up in Seville and as a young man travelled with his father in search of knowledge to Egypt, Sham and Iraq, meeting and studying with the greatest scholars alive among whom was Imam al-Ghazali. When he returned to Andalusia, the people of knowledge immediately recognised the immensity of his learning and gathered around him, among them such luminaries as Qadi ‘Iyad, author of the Shifa, and Qadi Abu-l-Walid ibn Rushd the great Maliki and grandfather of the philosopher and author of the Bidayat al-Mujtahid.