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Ibn ʿAsākir and family

(2,047 words)

Author(s): Mourad, Suleiman A.
The ʿAsākir family (Banū ʿAsākir) was prominent in mediaeval Damascus. It produced several notable Shāfiʿī scholars who occupied prestigious scholarly and judicial positions in Damascus and Syria and shaped intellectual and religious life there between the fifth/eleventh and eighth/fourteenth centuries. Even though each male member of the family was known by the name of Ibn ʿAsākir (along with an honorific peculiar to each), the reference when used on its own in mediaeval literature refers invaria…
Date: 2018-07-12

Ibn Khafīf

(3,184 words)

Author(s): Sobieroj, Florian
Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad b. Khafīf b. Isfakshādh (Iskafshādh) al-Ḍabbī al-Shīrāzī (c.268–371/882–982), known as Ibn Khafīf, was a Ṣūfī, ascetic, and prolific writer of Shirazi origin with an Ashʿarī orientation. By virtue of his many encounters with the great masters, his immense achievements, and his long life, he was considered the “seal of Ṣūfism” ( khātam al-ṣūfiyya; Junayd, 38–9). 1. Life His mother was of Nīshāpūrī descent, and his father, mostly absent, served as a Daylamī commander in the army of the Ṣaffārid ʿAmr b. Layth (r. 265–87/879–900) (al-Daylamī, Sīrat, 9) (the Ṣaffā…
Date: 2018-07-12

Ibn Mayyāda

(707 words)

Author(s): Hussein, Ali Ahmad
Ibn Mayyāda, Abū Sharāḥīl (or Shuraḥbīl) (al-)Rammāḥ b. Abrad b. Thawbān (d. 149/766), was a Bedouin poet. His tribe was the Murra, a branch of the Dhubyān (a subtribe of the Ghaṭafān). He lived in western Najd (in the north-central Arabian Peninsula), in or near a place called Ḥimā Ḍariyya, close to the Ḥijāz. His father was a shepherd, despite being a descendant of al-Ḥārith b. Ẓālim (d. 600 C.E.), the leader of the Ghaṭafān, and a grandson of Salmā, the daughter of the famous poet Kaʿb b. Zuha…
Date: 2018-07-12

Ibn Ḥayyūs

(727 words)

Author(s): Papoutsakis, Nefeli
Abū l-Fityān Muḥammad b. Sulṭān b. Muḥammad Ibn Ḥayyūs (394–473/1003–80) was a prominent Syrian poet descended from the Arabian Ghanī tribe. The scion of a notable Damascene family, he started his career as a eulogist of Anūshtakīn al-Dizbirī, the Fāṭimid governor of Damascus and Syria (419–33/1028–42), on whom he composed forty odes that celebrated his just rule and victories over his enemies, both the Byzantines and the local Arab tribes and rulers that opposed Fāṭimid rule. He also eulogised some of …
Date: 2018-07-12

Ibn Harma

(1,166 words)

Author(s): Weipert, Reinhard
Ibn Harma, Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm b. ʿAlī b. Salama b. ʿĀmir b. Harma al-Fihrī al-Madanī (d. mid-to-late second/eighth century), was an Arab poet of Medina, whose lifetime spanned the Umayyad and ʿAbbāsid eras. His poetry praises, among others, prominent figures of both dynasties and descendants of the fourth caliph, ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib. His nasab, or lineage—albeit in a shorter form—is known from Ibn al-Sikkīt (d. 244/858) (followed by Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī, d. 356/967, in al-Aghānī), who left out b. ʿĀmir, and by Ibn al-Nadīm (d. 380/990), who calls him only Ibrāhīm b. ʿA…
Date: 2018-07-12

Ibn Manẓūr

(2,101 words)

Author(s): Baalbaki, Ramzi
Jamāl al-Dīn Abū l-Faḍl Muḥammad b. Mukarram b. ʿAlī b. Aḥmad Ibn Manẓūr al-Anṣārī al-Ruwayfiʿī al-Ifrīqī al-Miṣrī is most famous for having compiled the Lisān al-ʿArab (“The tongue of the Arabs”), a lexicon that comprises five earlier works and is considered one of the most authoritative in the tradition. He was born in Cairo on 22 Muḥarram 630/8 November 1232 and died on 10–11 Shaʿbān 711/23–24 December 1311. He was called al-Ruwayfiʿī after Ruwayfiʿ b. Thābit, a Companion of the prophet Muḥammad. He served in the dīwān al-inshāʾ (chancery) in Cairo and then as qāḍī of Tripoli. He beca…
Date: 2018-07-12

Ibn al-Fāriḍ

(1,755 words)

Author(s): Homerin, Th. Emil
ʿUmar b. ʿAlī b. al-Murshid b. ʿAlī Ibn al-Fāriḍ al-Saʿdī is the most celebrated Ṣūfī Arab poet in the history of Islam. He was born in Cairo on 4 Dhū l-Qaʿda 576/23 March 1181 after his father had moved there from Hama, probably to serve in the judiciary, where he was a women’s advocate in legal proceedings involving their share of inheritance (fāriḍ), hence ʿUmar’s eventual title of Ibn al-Fāriḍ. ʿUmar’s father oversaw his son’s education in the religious sciences, and in Arabic language, literature, and poetry. ʿUmar also studied ḥadīth with al-Qāsim Ibn ʿAsākir (d. 527/1203), a r…
Date: 2018-07-12

Ibn Fūrak, Abū Bakr Muḥammad

(1,087 words)

Author(s): Nguyen, Martin
Abū Bakr Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan Ibn Fūrak al-Iṣfahānī (d. 406/1015–6) was an important proponent of the early Ashʿarī school of theology and a Shāfiʿī legal scholar. Judging from his nisba, he was probably from the city of Isfahan. Ibn Fūrak’s theological training began in Baghdad, under the tutelage of a direct disciple of Abū l-Ḥasan al-Ashʿarī (d. 324/935–6), the little known Abū l-Ḥasan al-Bāhilī (fl. fourth/tenth century), who also instructed Abū Isḥāq al-Isfarāyīnī (d. 418/1027) and Abū Bakr al-Bāqillānī (d. 403/1013), …
Date: 2018-07-12

Ibn al-Qaysarānī, Muḥammad b. Naṣr

(1,069 words)

Author(s): Bauer, Thomas
The Syrian poet Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad b. Naṣr b. Ṣaghīr al-ʿAkkāwī al-Ḥalabī, known as al-Qaysarānī or Ibn al-Qaysarānī (478–548/1085–1153), is famous for his panegyrics, especially those he composed for ʿImād al-Dīn Zangī (r. 521–41/1127–46) and his son Nūr al-Dīn b. Zangī (r. 541–65/1146–74), and his love poems about people from the region of Anṭākiya. Ibn al-Qaysarānī was born in ʿAkkā (Acre, Palestine) in 478/1085 and grew up in nearby Qaysāriyya (Caesarea Maritima) until his family fled to Damascus (probably in 494/1101) to take refuge from t…
Date: 2018-07-12

Ibn al-Muzawwiq

(689 words)

Author(s): Onimus, Clément
Ibn al-Muzawwiq (d. 833/1430), also known as Ibn al-Sadīd, Fakhr al-Dīn Mājid b. Abī l-Faḍāʾil b. Sanā l-Mulk, and sometimes as ʿAbdallāh b. al-Sadīd al-Qibṭī (for his Coptic ancestry), was a judge and a secretary of the Mamlūk sultanate. His entire career was tied to his special relationship with his patron, the powerful secretary Ibrāhīm Ibn Ghurāb (d. 808/1406), who effectively ruled the sultanate in 808/1405–6, during the reign of Sulṭān al-Nāṣir Faraj (r. 801–8/1399–1405, 808–15/1405–12). Ibn al-Muzawwiq is first mentioned when he succeeded Ibn Ghurāb, on 29 Rabīʿ …
Date: 2018-07-12

Abū Zurʿa al-Dimashqī

(672 words)

Author(s): Judd, Steven C.
Abū Zurʿa ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿAmr al-Dimashqī (d. 282/895) was born into a family of Damascene muḥaddiths, sometime before 200/815. Few details of his life are preserved. He apparently travelled with his father to Ḥimṣ and Rāmallāh in 211/826 and later travelled to other Syrian cities in order to pursue ḥadīth transmitters. He reportedly visited Egypt in 219/834 and probably visited Baghdad, Kufa, and Basra as well. He died in Damascus in 281/895. He was a noted muḥaddith, whose teachers included Ibn Ḥanbal (164–241/780–855), Yaḥyā b. Maʿīn (158–233/775–848), and a number…
Date: 2018-07-12

Bashīr b. Saʿd

(534 words)

Author(s): Lecker, Michael
Bashīr b. Saʿd (d. c. 12/633) was one of the Anṣār and a Companion of the prophet Muḥammad. He belonged to a branch of the Khazraj—one of the two main Arab tribes of Medina, the Aws being the other—called al-Ḥārith b. al-Khazraj, and, more precisely, to a subdivision of the Ḥārith called Mālik al-Agharr (Caskel, 1:188). Bashīr, who was one of the few who were literate before Islam (Ibn Saʿd, 3:531), became famous for his role in the meeting that was held after Muḥammad’s death at the saqīfa of the Banī Sāʿida (the roofed assembly hall of the Sāʿida, another branch of the Khazraj). At that meeting …
Date: 2018-07-12

ʿAbbād b. Ziyād b. Abī Sufyān

(452 words)

Author(s): Keshk, Khaled M. G.
ʿAbbād b. Ziyād b. Abī Sufyān (d. 100/718; sometimes designated by the sources as Ibn Sumayya and other times, but more rarely, as Ibn Abī Sufyān) was one of four sons of Ziyād b. Abīhi (d. 53/673), ʿUbaydallāh (d. 67/686), ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, and Salm (d. 73/692) being the others. All four brothers served as generals or governors under the Sufyānids. It is not certain how old ʿAbbād was at the time of his death in 100/718 (Ibn ʿAsākir, 26:234; al-Dhahabī, 398), but from the following accounts it can be assumed he was at least in his early seventies. In 41/6…
Date: 2018-07-12

ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz b. al-Ḥajjāj b. ʿAbd al-Malik

(601 words)

Author(s): Judd, Steven C.
ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz b. al-Ḥajjāj b. ʿAbd al-Malik (d. 126/744) was an Umayyad prince who was married to a daughter of the caliph Hishām b. ʿAbd al-Malik (d. 125/743). Al-Ṣafadī and Ibn ʿAsākir report that his mother was Rayṭa bt. ʿUbaydallāh b. ʿAbdallāh, making him a half-brother to the first ʿAbbāsid caliph Abū l-ʿAbbās al-Saffāḥ (d. 136/754). Other sources note only that his mother was an umm walad. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz b. al-Ḥajjāj is seldom mentioned in historical sources before he became involved in the third fitna, in which he supported the efforts of Yazīd b. al-Walīd (Yazīd III, re…
Date: 2018-07-12

Ḥumayd b. Thawr al-Hilālī

(1,099 words)

Author(s): Weipert, Reinhard
Ḥumayd b. Thawr al-Hilālī was an Arab poet of the first/seventh century. Information about his person is scarce and often contradictory. In his genealogy, for instance, his grandfather’s name is ʿAbdallāh according to Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī and Ibn ʿAsākir, but Ḥazn b. ʿAmr according to Ibn al-Kalbī. Al-Jumaḥī says that ʿAmr b. ʿAbd Manāf, not ʿĀmir b. Abī Rabīʿa b. Nahīk as Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī and Ibn ʿAsākir stated, was his great-grandfather. His kunya (teknonym) is subject to similar confusion: Ibn ʿAsākir and Yāqūt transmit Abū l-Muthannā; less frequent is A…
Date: 2018-07-12

Abū l-Aʿwar al-Sulamī

(514 words)

Author(s): Alajmi, Abdulhadi
Abū l-Aʿwar ʿAmr b. Sufyān b. ʿAbd Shams al-Sulamī (first/seventh century), of the tribe of Sulaym, was one of the commanders of Muslim expeditions in al-Shām (Syria) and one of the most distinguished supporters of the caliph Muʿāwiya (r. 41–60/661–80). His role was significant even before Muʿāwiya’s time: some sources recognise him as a Companion of the Prophet, though not a close one, in spite of his narrations of ḥadīth reported directly from the Prophet (Ibn ʿAsākir, 46:51), while other scholars asserted that he was only a follower and his narrations from the Prophet are indirect mursa…
Date: 2018-07-12

Dukayn al-Rājiz

(507 words)

Author(s): Hämeen-Anttila, Jaakko
Dukayn al-Rājiz (d. 105/723) was an Umayyad poet writing in the rajaz metre. All sources before the sixth/twelfth century know only one rājiz by the name of Dukayn, that is, Dukayn b. Rajāʾ al-Fuqaymī. Ibn ʿAsākir (d. 571/1176) and, following him, Yāqūt (d. 626/1229) distinguish between him and Dukayn b. Saʿīd (d. 109/727—the dates for the two Dukayns are given only by Yāqūt, from an unknown source), but the existence of the latter Dukayn is doubtful, and two trivial rajaz pieces, a five-verse poem in the ramal metre and a poem usually attributed to the pre-Islamic poet al-Samawʾ…
Date: 2018-07-12

Bishr b. al-Walīd b. ʿAbd al-Malik

(481 words)

Author(s): Judd, Steven C.
Bishr b. al-Walīd was one of the thirteen brothers of Yazīd b. al-Walīd who joined the revolt in 126/743–44 against al-Walīd II b. Yazīd, who had acceded to the throne the previous year and was killed in the uprising. Information about Bishr is sparse; neither his birth date nor his death date is recorded in any available source. His mother was an umm walad (slave who bore her master's child), and he appears to have had at least one full brother, Masrūr, with whom he appears in the sources. He reportedly led raids westward from Egypt in 94/713 and led the p…
Date: 2018-07-12

al-Ashʿarī, Abū Burda

(1,545 words)

Author(s): Tsafrir, Nurit | Schacht, Joseph
Abū Burda al-Ashʿarī, ʿĀmir b. ʿAbdallāh (Abī Mūsā) b. Qays (d.103/721-2 or 104/722-3), was generally held to be one of the first qāḍīs of Kufa. He was a son of the Companion Abū Mūsā l-Ashʿarī and an eighth-generation ancestor of the theologian Abū l-Ḥasan al-Ashʿarī (d. 324/935–6). Abū Burda hailed from an aristocratic Kufan family of Yemeni origin that owned property in Kufa (Khalīfa b. Khayyāṭ, Kitāb al-ṭabaqāt, ed. Akram Ḍiyāʾ al-ʿUmarī (Riyad 1402/19822) 68; Hichem Djaït, al-Kūfa, EI2) and Damascus (Ibn ʿAsākir, 43); Abū l-Ḥasan al-Ashʿarī could, in the fourth/tenth…
Date: 2018-07-12

al-Dārānī, Abū Sulaymān ʿAbd al-Raḥmān

(799 words)

Author(s): van Ess, Josef
Abū Sulaymān ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Aḥmad b. ʿAṭiyya al-ʿAnsī al-Dārānī (d. c.215/830) was an early mystic. His family belonged to a South Arabian tribe that had settled in Umayyad Syria, but he spent some time in Iraq; a brother of his lived in Baghdad, probably as a merchant (cf. al-Khaṭīb al-Baghdādī, Taʾrīkh Baghdād, Cairo 1349/1931, 8:366, no. 4464). He was said to have originated in Wāsiṭ, and he certainly visited the Ṣūfī colony in ʿAbbādān, near Baṣra, possibly under the influence of ʿAbd al-Wāḥid b. Zayd from Baṣra. In his later years he live…
Date: 2018-07-12
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