Al-Baqillani in Constantinople

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


An Example of Wit and Wisdom in Articulation


[The following discourse of Imam Abu Bakr al-Baqillani (rahimahullah) and the Roman King of Constantinople, is found in Al-Khateeb’s ‘Tareekh al-Baghdad’, 5/379]:


“The King of Iraq (named ‘Adud al-Dawla) chose and sent them to Constantinople in 371H, some of the senior scholars of his time to debate with the City’s Christians. When the King of the Romans heard of the arrival of Abu Bakr al-Baqillani, he ordered his servicemen to reduce the height of the door entrance so that as Al-Baqillani enters, he would have to lower his head and his body by kneeling before the King of the Romans and his entourage.


Abu Bakr understood this trickery and so he turned his body backwards and knelt down to entered the door, walking backwards making directing his backside to the King of the Romans rather than his face! By this, the King learned that this imam was astutely shrewd.


Abu Bakr entered and he was not unaware of the manners in acknowledging the People of the Book, so he turned to an elder Monk and (making small talk) asked him, ‘How are you and how are you parents and children?’ The King of the Romans was angered by this question and, ‘Don’t you know that Monks do not marry nor have children!?’


Abu Bakr said, ‘Allah is the greatest! Monks are prohibited to marry and bear children and yet you accuse your Lord of marrying Mary and fathering Jesus!?’ The anger of the King only increased by this.


Then the King said rudely, ‘(Isn’t) what you said what A’ishah did!?’

Abu Bakr said, ‘If A’ishah has been accused (as was the case by the hypocrites), then Mary has also been accused similarly (by the Jews). Yet both are pure, but A’ishah was married and did not have children, while Mary gave birth without marriage! Whom would be the first to be falsely accused, may Allah bless them both.’


The King ran amok! And then asked, ‘Did your Prophet go to battles?’

Abu Bakr said, ‘Yes’.

The King asked, ‘Was he fighting from the front?’

Abu Bakr said, ‘Yes’.

The King asked, ‘Did he win?’

Abu Bakr said, ‘Yes’.


The King asked, ‘Has he been defeated (in some battles)?’

Abu Bakr said, ‘Yes’.

The King explaimed gleefully, ‘Amazing! He was a Prophet and yet he was defeated?’

Abu Bakr responded, ‘He’s you Lord (i.e. Jesus) and yet he was crucified!?’


We’re amazed at their kufr.


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