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(431 words)

Author(s): Sourdel, D.
, Abū ʿAbd allāh Ṃuhammad b. ʿAbdūs , a scholar born in al-Kūfa, who played a political rôle at the beginning of the 4th/10th century on account of his relations with the viziers of the time. He succeeded his father in the office of

Ibn K̲h̲āḳān

(413 words)

Author(s): Sourdel, D.
, name of several secretaries and viziers of the ʿAbbāsid period. (1) …

Ibn al-D̲j̲arrāḥ

(347 words)

Author(s): Sourdel, D.
Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad b. Dāwūd b. al-D̲j̲arrāḥ . secretary of state of the ʿAbbāsid caliphs and uncle of the famous vizier ʿAlī b. ʿĪsā [ q.v.]. He belonged to a family of Iranian origin which had formerly been converted to Christianity and then embraced Islam. His father Dāwūd had been secretary under al-Mutawakkil and he himself began his career in government service during the caliphate of al-Muʿtaḍid and the vizierate of ʿUbayd Allāh b. Sulaymān, whose son-in-law he became. He was director of taxes for the eastern provinces and ac…


(389 words)

Author(s): Sourdel, D.
(Ar.), a word with a number of varied meanings due to its dual etymology, Latin or Greek as the case may be. Deriving from palatium it means “palace” (Masʿūdī,


(13,969 words)

Author(s): Sourdel, D. | Bosworth, C.E. | Hardy, P. | İnalcık, Halil
(A., pl.. g̲h̲ilmān ), word meaning in Arabic a young man or boy (the word is used for example of the ʿAbbāsid princes al-Muʿtazz and al-Muʾayyad, sons of al-Mutawakkil, at the time when their brother, the caliph al-Muntaṣir, attempted to make them renounce their rights to the succession (al-Ṭabarī, iii, 1485), while the son of al-Wāt̲h̲iḳ, whom they hesitated to proclaim caliph because of his youth, is described as g̲h̲ulām amrad “beardless” (al-Ṭabarī, iii, 1368…

Ibn Mak̲h̲lad

(299 words)

Author(s): Sourdel, D.
, name of several secretaries or viziers of the ʿAbbāsid period, who did not however all belong to the same family. al-Ḥasan b. Mak̲h̲lad b. al-D̲j̲arrāḥ was a secretary of Christian origin and recently converted to Islam, who served the caliph al-Mutawakkil and became vizier under al-Muʿtamid, for the first time in 263/877, then in 264-5/878-9, and was dismissed from the government on the insistence of the regent al-Muwaffaḳ. He seems to have been exiled to Egypt, where he was at first welcomed by…

Aḥmad b. Abī K̲h̲ālid al-Aḥwal

(452 words)

Author(s): Sourdel, D.
, secretary to al-Maʾmūn, was of Syrian origin and the son of a secretary of Abū ʿUbayd Allāh. He took advantage of his former connections with the Barmakids to enter the service of al-Faḍl b. Sahl. Indeed the Barmakids were already under an obligation to his father, and he himself had managed to be of service to the disgraced Yaḥyā. Apparently even before the capture of Bag̲h̲dād he went to Ḵh̲urāsān and, as the result of a letter of recommendation which Yaḥyā had given to him before his death, he was placed in charge of several dīwāns at Marw. After the return of th…


(681 words)

Author(s): Sourdel, D.
, the name borne by several physicians of a celebrated Christian family originally established at D̲j̲undaysābūr. It was from there that Ḏj̲urd̲j̲īs b. D̲j̲ibrīl b. Buk̲h̲tīs̲h̲ūʿ, who was director of the hospital of this town and well known for his scientific writings, was called to Bag̲h̲dād in 148/765 to attend the caliph al-Manṣūr, ill with a stomach complaint. By successful treatment he won the confidence of the sovereign, who asked him to remain in the capital, but he wished to revisit his native land in 152/769. Buk̲h̲tīs̲h̲ūʿ b. Ḏj̲urd̲j̲īs. to whom …


(248 words)

Author(s): Sourdel, D.
, name given to Aḥmad b. ʿUbayd Allāh b. Aḥmad b. al-K̲h̲aṣīb . vizier of al-Mukṭadir and al-Ḳāhir, who was probably the grandson of al-Muntaṣīr’s vizier Aḥmad b. al-K̲h̲aṣīb [see al-d̲j̲ard̲j̲arāʾi ]. He was originally secretary to the caliph’s mother, and then suddenly was made vizier after the fall of al-K̲h̲āḳānī, but only filled this office for a few months (Ramaḍān 313-D̲h̲u ’l-Ḳaʿda 314/Nov. 925-Jan. 927). Faced with the hostility of the military leaders, and treating adminis…


(629 words)

Author(s): Buhl, F. | Sourdel, D.
, “depression”, “plain encircled by higher ground”, a geographical term denoting various regions in the Muslim countries. 1. The best known is the G̲h̲awr in Palestine, which corresponds with the deep hollow, called Aulôn in the Septuagint, through which the Jordan flows, between Lake Tiberias and the Dead Sea, and which is merely a section of the central Syro-Palestinian rift-valley. At first, the G̲h̲awr consists of a plain, overshadowed by the mountains of Samaria on the one side and Mount ʿAd̲j̲lūn on …

Bukayr b. Māhān

(407 words)

Author(s): Sourdel, D.
, abū hās̲h̲im , propagandist of the ʿAbbāsids at the end of the Umayyad caliphate, was a native of Sid̲j̲istān and had at first been secretary of the governor of Sind’ al-Ḏj̲unayd b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān. In 102/720-1 he was converted to the anti-Umayyad cause by Maysara ¶ al-ʿAbdī and Muḥammad b. Ḵh̲unays, and he put at the disposition of their party the fortune which he had amassed in business in Sind. After the death of Maysara he was entrusted with the direction of the movement in 105/723-4 and he was unusually active i…


(2,134 words)

Author(s): Sourdel, D.
, town in central Syria, 54 km. north of Ḥimṣ and 152 km. south of Ḥalab on the road which connects these two towns, and built on both banks of the Nahr al-ʿĀṣī [ q.v.] or Orontes, which at this point winds a great deal. The steppe plateau which surrounds the town is in part made into ploughed land (cereals), Mediterranean-type orchards and market gardens, thanks to the hydraulic installations which bring water from the river to its fertile soil. The town of Ḥamāt goes back to early antiquity: it was occupied by the Hittites, who left inscriptions there, then, in about the …


(272 words)

Author(s): Sourdel, D.
, Abū Isḥāḳ Muḥammed b. Aḥmad al-Karāriṭī secretary and vizier during the ʿAbbāsid era. Born in Iskāf on the Nahrawān, in ʿIrāḳ, he appears for the first time in 320/932 as the secretary of the police chief of Bag̲h̲dād, Ibn Yāḳūt; he was arrested at the sa me time as his master, in Ḏj̲umādā I 323/April 935, and had to pay a large fine. He was appointed vizier by the Caliph al-Muttaḳī in S̲h̲awwāl 329/July 941, but was dismissed by the great amīr Kūrankīd̲j̲ as early as D̲h̲u’l-Ḳaʿda 329/July-August 941. Having regained his post under Ibn Rāʾiḳ after the flight of the amīr, he was arrested soon …

Dār al-Ḥikma

(429 words)

Author(s): Sourdel, D.
, “house of wisdom”, used by Arab authors to denote in a general sense the academies which, before Islamic times, spread knowledge of the Greek sciences, and in a particular sense the institute founded in Cairo in 395/1005 by the Fāṭimid caliph al-Ḥākim. Since the short-lived appearance of the Bayt al-Ḥikma [ q.v.] of al-Maʾmūn, several libraries had been founded in ʿIrāḳ and Persia providing not only information on traditional learning, but also an introduction to classical sciences ( ʿulūm al-awāʾil ) (see Dār al-ʿilm ). Such establishments were very successful in Egypt under t…

Ibn Rāʾiḳ

(374 words)

Author(s): Sourdel, D.
, or Muḥammad b. Rāʾiḳ , first amīr al-umarāʾ [ q.v.] of the ʿAbbāsid caliphate. The son of an officer of the caliph al-Muʿtaḍid, and of K̲h̲azar origin, Ibn Rāʾiḳ had been chief of police, and then chamberlain during the reign of al-Muḳtadir. On the accession of al-Ḳāhir, at first in disgrace for having supported the former caliph and having fled from Bag̲h̲dād, he succeeded in being made governor of Baṣra. When, on the accession of al-Rāḍī, he was made governor also of Wāsiṭ, he became one of the most p…

Aḥmad b. Yūsuf

(223 words)

Author(s): Sourdel, D.
b. al-ḳāsim b. ṣubayḥ , abū ḏj̲aʿfar , secretary to al-Maʾmūn. He belonged to a mawālī family of secretaries and poets originating from the neighbourhood of al-Kūfa. His father, Yūsuf, was secretary to ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿAlī, ¶ then to Yaʿḳūb b. Dāwūd, and finally to Yaḥyā the Barmakid. It appears that Aḥmad held a secretarial post in ʿIrāḳ at the end of the caliphate of al-Maʾmūn. He was presented to al-Maʾmūn by his friend Aḥmad b. Abī Ḵh̲ālid, and soon attracted notice by his eloquence. He became an intimate of al-Maʾmūn, and at a date impossible to determine accurately, was placed in charge of the d…


(1,549 words)

Author(s): Sourdel, D.
, a town in southern Palestine which from ancient times had been an agricultural and caravan centre, situated 4 km. from the sea, on the route leading from Palestine to Syria and at the junction of the caravan-routes coming from Arabia. A frontier-town which often changed hands through the course of the centuries, the ancient ʿAzza , which had been one of the capitals of the Philistines, later became, under the Greek name Gaza , a flourishing Hellenistic city, and afterwards a Roman town belonging to Judaea. In the Byzantine period it formed part…

Ibn al-Zayyāt

(244 words)

Author(s): Sourdel, D.
, Muḥammad b. ʿAbd al-Malik , vizier of the ʿAbbāsid period. Belonging to a family of merchants who held official positions at the court, Ibn al-Zayyāt attracted attention for his qualities as a secretary and a man of letters, was appointed vizier by the caliph al-Muʿtaṣim in about 221/833, and, with the chief ḳāḍī , Ibn Abī Duʾād, contributed to the direction of the general policy of the empire. Remaining vizier during the caliphate of al-Wāt̲h̲iḳ (227-32/842-7), he encouraged the caliph to impose heavy fines on several secretaries, in particular on the assistants of two Turkish leaders who were taking ov…


(4,559 words)

Author(s): Sourdel, D. | Bosworth, C.E. | Lambton, A.K.S.
, term which may be translated approximately as chamberlain, used in Muslim countries for the person responsible for guarding the door of access to the ruler, so that only approved visitors may approach him. The term quickly became a title corresponding to a position in the court and to an office the exact nature of which varied considerably in different regions and in different periods. Basically the Master of Ceremonies, the ḥād̲j̲ib often appears as being in fact a superintendent of the Palace, a chief of the guard or a righter of wrongs, s…
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