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(1,437 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
refers to the ancient Greeks, reflecting the name “Ionians”. Yūnānī means Greek (noun and adjective) and al-yūnāniyya or, less commonly, al-yūnānī (with or without lug̲h̲a or lisān ), the ancient Greek language. The vocalisation yūnānī , instead of yawnānī favoured by some (cf. al-Tawḥīdī, Baṣāʾir , ed. W. al-Ḳādī, Beirut 1408/1988, iii, 11), is stated to be the generally accepted form by al-Samʿānī, Ansāb , ed. Ḥaydarābād, xiii, 536, and may have been favoured by the Arabic word formation fuʿlān . The ancient Near Eastern designation of the “Greeks” a…


(426 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad b. Isḥāḳ b. al-ʿAbbās , 3rd/9th-century historian of Mecca. No information on him was available to later Muslim scholars, or is to us, except what can be learned from his History of Mecca , of which the second half is preserved in a single manuscript in Leiden (cod. or. 463). A small portion of the work has been edited by F. Wüstenfeld, Die Chroniken der Stadt Mekka , Leipzig 1857-61, ii, 3-51. Al-Fākihī was alive and, it seems, quite young during the judgeship of ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Yazīd b. Muḥammad b. Hanzala b. Muḥam…

al-Kindī, Abū ʿUmar Muḥammad

(649 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
b. Yūsuf al-Tud̲j̲ībī , historian of Egypt, was born on yawm al-naḥr (10 D̲h̲u ’l-Ḥid̲j̲d̲j̲a) 283/18 January 897 and died on Tuesday, 3 Ramaḍān 350/Wednesday, 16 October 961. He heard al-Nasāʾī, the author of the Sunan , when the latter lectured in Egypt, and appears to have lectured on ḥadīt̲h̲ himself. Among his teachers and historical informants, Ibn Ḳudayd (d. 312/924-5) seems to have been the most important one. His principal transmitters (cf. his Judges ) was Ibn al-Naḥḥās (323-416/935-1025). This is about all that is known of his life. The…

Ibn Yūnus

(118 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Abū Saʿīd ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Aḥmad al-Ṣadafī (b. 281/894, d. Monday 26 D̲j̲umādā II 347/14 September 958, which, however, was a Tuesday), a grandson of the famous early Egyptian supporter of al-S̲h̲āfiʿī, Yūnus b. ʿAbd al-Aʿlā, and the father of the astronomer (below). He wrote on Egyptian scholars and, in a separate work, on the foreigners who came to visit or settle in Egypt. Both works were much used sources of information for later authors, but they seem not to have been pres…


(2,074 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, the game of chess. The derivation of the word from Sanskrit catur añga “having four ranks” (Nyberg, 54a) is generally accepted. Arab philologists often argued in favour of a vocalisation s̲h̲iṭrand̲j̲ and offered more or less ill-advised attempts at etymology (Lane 1551c, and see R. Ermers, in JAOS, cxiv [1994], 294b). While the form of the word supports the game’s Indian provenience as a war game, chess reached the Near East via Persia, as shown by the many Persian terms employed in it. The Muslim Near East, in turn, transmitted it to Euro…


(507 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, muḥyī al-dīn muḥammad b. sulaymān al-ḥanafī , 9th-15th century scholar and prolific writer on many subjects. Born in, or rather, after, 788/1386-87 in Ṣarūk̲h̲ān [ q.v.] in a place called Kökd̲j̲ekī, apparently situated near Bergama as indicated by the additional nisba al-Barg̲h̲amī, he came to Egypt after 830/1427 and was soon welcomed into the leading scholarly circles there. Čaḳmaḳ appointed him a professor in the Zāwiyat al-As̲h̲raf S̲h̲aʿbān and later promoted him to the academic deanship ( mas̲h̲yak̲h̲at al-tadrīs ) of S̲h̲aʿbān’s Turba. The id…

Ibn al-Dāya

(761 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Aḥmad b. Yūsuf b. Ibrāhīm , Ṭūlūnid historian. His father Yūsuf was a fosterbrother of the caliph al-Muʿtaṣim and an administrative assistant to Ibrāhīm b. al-Mahdī. As such, Yūsuf moved in the centre of intellectual life in Bag̲h̲dād and Sāmarrā and counted among his acquaintances many littérateurs and physicians. After the death of Ibn al-Mahdī in 224/839 (and, presumably, in consequence of it), he left Sāmarrā for Damascus and, it seems, moved from there to Egypt where he th…


(1,892 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
is the most common Islamic term for gambling, which is strictly forbidden according to Muslim law. The prohibition goes back to the references to maysir [ q.v.] in Ḳurʾān, II, 219/216, and V, 90 f ./92 f. Maysir was expressly equated with ḳimār in general, supposedly already by ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿUmar (cf. al-Buk̲h̲ārī, al-Adab al-mufrad , Cairo 1375, 325). Voices querying this assumption, and the assumption that the Ḳurʾān had the legal classification of “forbidden” in mind, were rarely raised, and then only for the sake of argumen…

Ibn Lahīʿa

(521 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, ʿAbd Allāh b. Lahīʿa b. ʿUḳba , Egyptian traditionist and judge ( b. ca . 96/688-69, d. Sunday, 15 Rabīʿ I 174/1 August 790, or 23 D̲j̲umādā II 174/6 November 790). The few known facts about his life are that he was appointed judge in 155/772 with a monthly salary of thirty dīnārs , the appointment being the first direct appointment of a chief judge of Egypt by a caliph instead of the provincial governor; that he held the judgeship for over nine years; and that his “books”—that is, primarily, his scholarly notebooks and mate…


(945 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, ʿalam al-dīn al-ḳāsim b. muḥammad b. yūsuf , also called Ibn al-Birzālī, Syrian historian and ḥadīt̲h̲ scholar. He was born in Damascus in D̲j̲umada I or II, 665/February-April, 1267. A case could be made for the earlier date, sometimes mentioned, of 663/1265, but al-Birzālī himself evidently maintained that he was born in 665. His ancestors belonged to the Birzāl [ q.v.] Berbers. His great-grandfather, Zaki al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Yūsuf (b. ca. 577/1181-82, d. in Ḥamā in 636/1239), ¶ had settled in Syria at the beginning of the 7th/13th century. Zakī nl-Dīn’s additional nisba


(396 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, abū ’l-ḥasan aḥmad b. ʿabd allāh b. muḥammad , appears to be the most acceptable form of the name of the alleged author, or final rāwī , of historical novels dealing with the early years of Islam, who also is credited with a mawlid and a fictional life of Muḥammad. The ¶ earliest biography devoted to him is to be found in al-D̲h̲ahabī, Mīzān , Cairo 1325, i, 53. Al-D̲h̲ahabī indignantly describes al-Bakrī as a liar and inventor of untrue stories, whose books were available at the booksellers (and, presumably, enjoyed good sales). Consi…


(547 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Nūr al-Dīn Ibn Rustum , Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz, 7th/13th century ¶ Syrian poet. Born in 619/1222 in Isʿird or Siʿird [ q.v.] in Southeastern Anatolia, which he sentimentally remembers in his Dīwān , he lived in Bag̲h̲dād and visited Egypt, but most of his adult life was, it seems, spent in Damascus (and al-Ṣāliḥiyya). There the ḳaḍī Ṣadr al-Dīn Ibn Sanī al-Dawla (590-658/1194-1260), for whom al-Isʿirdī expressed biting contempt, appointed him one of the official witnesses (attorneys) doing busi…


(297 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Ḥusayn b. Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan , 10th/16th century author of a once popular history of Muḥammad, entitled Taʾrīk̲h̲ al-k̲h̲amīs fī aḥwāl nafs nafīs and preserved in numerous MSS and printed twice (Cairo 1283, 1302). The work is furnished in addition with a brief sketch of subsequent Muslim history. The brief enumeration of Ottoman rulers at the end stops in some MSS with Süleymān Ḳānūnī but usually ends with Murād III (982/1574). The author is also credited with a detailed description of the sa…


(980 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
Abu ’l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad b. al-Ṭayyib b. Marwān, the most prominent disciple of al-Kindī and, like his master, a dedicated advocate of Greek learning at the unsure early stage of its Muslim integration, but with a more pronounced inclination toward adab . He was born around 220/835 and died early in 286/899. A fact attested for his obscure early life is his participation as the delegate of al-Kindī in a multireligious philosophical-theological debate about Christianity and the Trinity (see Moosa and Holmberg). He began his career as an educ…


(2,000 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn K̲h̲alīl b. Aybak , Abu ’l-Ṣafāʾ al-Albakī (696-764/1297-1363), philologist, literary critic and littérateur, biographer, and all-round humanist. Ṣafad was his family’s home, and he was born there. His father, al-Amīr ʿIzz al-Dīn Aybak (b. ʿAbd Allāh!) was of Turkic origin; the nisba al-Albakī, after some mamlūk amīr named Albakī, seems to have belonged to him. From the apparent absence of any mention of him by his son, we may conclude that al-Ṣafadī considered him undistinguished. Relations with his father…


(336 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, a nickname given, allegedly because of his ruddy cheeks, to an early Persian ḥadīt̲h̲ scholar, Abū Aḥmad ʿĪsā b. Mūsā al-Taymī al-Buk̲h̲ārī , who died at the end of the year 186/802. The Arabo-Persian word does mean “rouged”, but it is, of course, highly doubtful whether this is the origin of the name. The nickname was transferred to a later scholar who spent much effort upon collecting ʿĪsā’s traditions and who is known as the author of a History of Buk̲h̲ārā . His name was Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Sulaymān al-Buk̲h̲ārī, known as (al-)G̲h̲und̲j̲ār. He flourished in ¶ the…

Abū Nuʿaym al-Faḍl b. Dukayn al-Mulāʾī

(384 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, ḥadīt̲h̲ scholar and historical informant (b. 130/748, d. 29 S̲h̲aʿbān 219/8 Sept. 834). He was a client of the family of Muḥammad’s Companion Ṭalḥa. He lived in al-Kūfa and made occasional visits to Bag̲h̲dād, where he was once received by al-Maʾmūn. Dukayn’s actual name is said to have been ʿAmr. A son of Abū Nuʿaym, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān (perhaps the author of the Ḳurʾān commentary, referred to in Fihrist , 34), and a grandson, Aḥmad b. Mīt̲h̲am, are mentioned. Abū Nuʿaym is considered a very reliable transmitter of traditions. He is also highly praised…

Ḥamza al-Iṣfahānī

(801 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, ( Ḥamza b. al-Ḥasan , [ Ibn ] al-Muʾaddib ), philologist and historian of the 4th/10th century. Born about 280/893, he died after 350/961 (the year in which his Chronology was completed; note also that ʿAḍud al-Dawla, for whom he is supposed to have written one of his works, was so named only in 351) and, it is said, before 360/970-71. Most of his life was spent in his native Iṣfahān. He mentions three visits to Bag̲h̲dād, one dated in 308/920-1, and another, his third, in 323/935. He had contact with…

Ibn Abi ’l-Dam

(398 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, S̲h̲ihāb al-Dīn Ibrāhīm b. ʿAbd Allāh al-Ḥamawī , historian and S̲h̲āfiʿī jurist. Born in Ḥamāt on 21 Ḏj̲umādā I 583/29 July 1187, he studied in Bag̲h̲dād, taught in Ḥamāt, Aleppo, and Cairo, and finally was appointed judge in his native city. He went to Bag̲h̲dād in 641 on an embassy for the ruler of Ḥamāt, al-Malik al-Muẓaffar, and, in the following year, when he was again on his way to Bag̲h̲dād to announce there the death of al-Malik al-Muẓaffar, he was stricken with dysenter…


(1,745 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
(a.) “connection, pedigree, genealogy” designates the most fundamental organising principle of Arab society. It would seem to be an inheritance from the earliest times. Since no convincing cognate has as yet been determined in other Semitic languages, it is not entirely implausible to suggest a prehistoric relationship between the roots s-b-b and n-s-b, unconsciously reflected in the parallelism of nasab and sabab “rope, connection” in the ḥadīt̲h̲ ( Concordance , ii, 388). Genealogy provides the historical validation of kinship and all that it involves. Kinship alw…
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