Repentance in the Quran, Hadith, and Ibn Qudāma’s Kitāb al-Tawwābīn

Journal of the American Oriental Society 141 (2):381 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The Quran makes repentance an important element of piety and exhorts believers to repent of their sins. Numerous hadith also emphasize its importance, along with God’s merciful forgiveness of the repentant sinner. In his K. al-Tawwābīn, the Hanbali scholar Ibn Qudāma al-Maqdisī draws on a wide range of akhbār to present examples of repentance of angels, prophets, Companions of Muḥammad, pious mystics, and others, including non-Muslims. Ibn Qudāma’s treatise stands out for his frequent citation of accounts maligned by other scholars as isrāʾīliyyāt. In addition, his willingness to highlight the sins of prophets and the Prophet’s Companions, while in line with other Hanbalis, challenges common notions of prophetic impeccability and the ethical qualities of the ṣaḥāba. In this article we argue that Ibn Qudāma is willing to challenge these notions because of his vision for the construction of the pious self. He sees human initiative in overcoming the self’s natural inclination to sinfulness as a necessary step toward spiritual excellence. In this regard his spiritual vision is shaped by certain Sufi notions. While divine grace still plays a role in the working of repentance, it does not eliminate the need for human initiative. This led Ibn Qudāma to construct a mythical past in which many of the great spiritual figures were involved with a spiritual struggle with their own immoral or impious instincts.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,069

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The Life and Works of Abū al-Ḥusayn ʿAbd al-Bāqī b. Qāniʿ.Pavel Pavlovitch - 2022 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 141 (1):1.
Ibn al-Haytham’s Revision of the Euclidean Foundations of Mathematics.Ahmad Ighbariah & Roy Wagner - 2018 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 8 (1):62-86.
An Ontological Approach to the Repentance in Ibn-e Arabi's Mysticism.Morteza Shajari - 2007 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations at University of Tabriz 1 (202):59-75.
Sunnifying ʿAlī: Historiography and Notions of Rebellion in Ibn Kathīr’s Kitāb al-Bidāya wa-l-nihāya.Aaron Hagler - 2020 - Der Islam: Journal of the History and Culture of the Middle East 97 (1):203-232.


Added to PP

13 (#1,065,706)

6 months
9 (#355,272)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references