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Ibn al-At̲h̲īr

(1,870 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, a family name (borne by a number of apparently unrelated families) which was given great and deserved lustre by three brothers, Mad̲j̲d al-Dīn, ʿIzz al-Dīn, and Ḍiyāʾ al-Dīn, who achieved literary fame in the fields of, respectively, philology and religious studies, historiography, and literary criticism. Their father, Muḥammad b. ʿAbd al-Karīm (often but apparently incorrectly: Muḥ. b. Muḥ. b. ʿAbd al-Karīm), whose life spanned the largest part of the 6th/12th century, was a high official of the Zangids of Mosul, stationed in Ḏj̲azīrat Ibn ʿUmar (hence the nisba al-D̲j̲azarī). H…


(259 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, the name of two tenth-century historians, Abū Muḥammad ʿAbd Allāh b. Aḥmad b. Ḏj̲aʿfar (b. 282/895-6, d. 362/972-3) and his son, Abū Manṣūr Aḥmad b. ʿAbd Allāh (327/939-398/1007). ʿAbd Allāh’s great-grandfather had been brought to the ʿIrāḳ from Farg̲h̲āna and had become a Muslim under al-Muʿtaṣim. ʿAbd Allāh himself was a student of the great Ṭabarī, whose works he transmitted, and he achieved high rank in the army. ¶ He went to Egypt where his son, it seems, was born, and he and his family remained there. He wrote a continuation of al-Ṭabarī’s historical work, entitled al-Ṣila or al-Mud̲h…


(1,033 words)

Author(s): Becker, C.H. | Rosenthal, F.
, aḥmad b. yaḥyā b. ḏj̲ābir b. dāwūd , one of the greatest Arabic historians of the 3rd/9th century. Little is known of his life. Neither the year of his birth nor that of his death is directly attested. From the dates of his teachers, it is evident that he cannot have been born later than the beginning of the second decade of the 9th century A.D.; for the d…

Ibn al-Dubayt̲h̲ī

(380 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, D̲j̲amāl al-Dīn abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad b. Saʿīd b. Yaḥyā . an ʿIrāḳī historian, was born in Wāsiṭ on Monday, 26 Rad̲j̲ab 558/Sunday, 30 June 1163, and died in Bag̲h̲dād on Monday, 8 Rabīʿ II 637/7 November 1239. His History of Wāsiṭ is not preserved. His History of Bag̲h̲dād, variously called d̲h̲ayl or mud̲h̲ayyal and extant in individual manuscripts, continues the work of al-Samʿānī, which in turn was a continuation of the Taʾrīk̲h̲ Bag̲h̲dād

Ibn ʿAbd al-Ḥakam

(958 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
refers to the son and the four grandsons of ʿAbd al-Ḥakam (said to have died in 171/787-88), a wealthy and influential family of legal scholars and historians in 3rd/9th century Egypt. The Banū ʿAbd al-Ḥakam were among those who introduced Mālikism into Egypt. They were also intimately connected with al-S̲h̲afiʿī [ q.v.], providing the initial financing of his stay in Egypt. Al-S̲h̲āfiʿī is said to have died in their house (Ibn Farḥūn, 134), and he was buried in their family plot. Later, they dissociated them…


(975 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Taḳī al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. ʿAlī al-Makkī al-Ḥasanī al-Mālikī (775-832/ 1373-1429), historian of Mecca, was, through family connexions and upbringing, eminently qualified for his lifework as the outstanding historian of his native city. His father Aḥmad (754-819/1353-1416) had received an excellent scholarly education and was married to a daughter of the Meccan chief judge Abu ’l-Faḍl Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz al-Nuwayrī; a daughter of his…


(1,294 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, normalised mindīl , from Latin/Greek mantēl ( e, -um, ium ), entered Arabic speech in pre-Islamic times, presumably through Aramaic, and has remained in use to this day. Its principal meanings were those of handkerchief, napkin, and towel. Mandīl was, however, understood generally as “piece of cloth” and used for many other purposes, such as covering or carrying something or serving, attached to the body, as an untailored part of dress. Numerous other words were available in Islamic languages as synonyms of mandīl in both its specific and its generalised meanings. Arabic thus had …


(645 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad b. S̲h̲ākir al-Dārānī al-Dimas̲h̲ḳī (686[?]-764/1287-1363), Syrian historian. The date of his birth is uncertain, since only one ms. of Ibn Ḥad̲j̲ar’s Durar fills the blank that was to contain it. It is plausible, however, and neither confirmed nor contradicted by the fact that a highly personal obituary notice in the ʿUyūn (Ms. Cambridge 699, fols. 7b-8a, anno 735) speaks of a young scholar born in 706/1306 as “our friend” (


(182 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, abū zakariyyāʾ yazīd b. muḥ. b. iyās b. al-ḳāsim , historian of Mosul, who died in 334/945-6. While the work on Mosul by Ibrāhīm b. Muḥ. b. Yazīd al-Mawṣilī, who lived a generation before Al-Azdī, appears to have been concerned only with the biographies of religious scholars, al-Azdī wrote both on the "Classes of Mosul ḥadīt̲h̲ Scholars" and on the political history of Mosul, either in one combined or in two separate works. His treatment of ḥadīt̲h̲ scholars is known only from quotations and seems to have been restricted to the limited information usually found in rid̲j̲āl

Ibn al-Fuwaṭī

(944 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Kamāl al-Dīn ʿAbd al-Razzāḳ b. Aḥmad , historian and librarian, born in Bag̲h̲dād on 17 Muḥarram 642/25 June 1244. At the age of fourteen, he was imprisoned by the conquering Mongols and remained in this situation for, it seems, less than two years. In 660/1261-62, he joined the great schol…


(1,235 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Taḳī al-Dīn Abū ’l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad b. ʿAlī b. ʿAbd al-Ḳādir (766-845/1364-1442), Egyptian historian. His father (d. 779/1378 at the age of fifty), married …

Abū ʿArūba

(231 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, al-Ḥusayn b. Abī Maʿs̲h̲ar Muḥammad b. Mawdūd al-Sulamī al-Ḥarrānī , ḥadīth scholar of Ḥarrān (b. ca. 222/837, d. 318/930-1). Practically nothing is known about his life, except the names of his authorities and his students, some of them very famous personalities. He is said to have been judge or

Ibn Fahd

(1,293 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, an important Meccan family whose activities during a period of two hundred years in the 8th-10th/14th-16th centuries are known in quite considerable detail. The family claimed ʿAlid descent through Muḥammad b. al-Ḥanafiyya. Its members were all well trained in the traditional subjects and learned mainly in S̲h̲āfiʿī but also in Ḥanafī law. Through four successive generations, they boasted of productive historians whose chief interest lay in local history and biography. Through marriage, the Ba…

Ibn al-Tiḳṭaḳā

(387 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Ṣafī al-Dīn Muḥammad b. ʿAlī , ʿIrāḳī historian. A descendant of al-Ḥasan b. ʿAlī through Ibrāhīm al-Ṭabāṭabā, he was born, it seems, shortly after the conquest of Bag̲h̲dād by the Mongols, which he does not mention as having witnessed personally. His father, Tād̲j̲ al-Dīn ʿAlī b. Muḥammad b. Ramaḍān, chief naḳīb of the ʿAlids, had gained great wealth and influence, but in a game of political intrigue against the brothers ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn and S̲h̲ams al-Dīn al-D̲j̲uwaynī [ qq.v.], he lost his life and property (Ibn ʿInaba, ʿUmdat al-ṭālib , al-Nad̲j̲af 1381/1961, 180 f.). His son too, was a naḳīb of the ʿAlids, p…


(158 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
(also s̲h̲ahdānaḳ , s̲h̲āhdānad̲j̲ s̲h̲ādānaḳ , s̲h̲arānaḳ ) hempseed. In Greek pharmacology and throughout its Arabic counterpart, it was known as a rather minor simple, useful for drying out fluid in the ear by dripping its oil into it, harmful in that it caused headache and sexual dysfunction when eaten in large quantities, and the like. The word was commonly accepted as the Persian equivalent of Greek cannabis , Ar. ḳinnab , and hence served as another ¶ term for ḥas̲h̲īs̲h̲ [ q.v.]; this may explain why so many different forms were in use. (F. Rosenthal) Bibliography A. Dietrich, Dioscurides triumphan…


(605 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Abū ʿAlī Muḥammad b. Asʿad , Arab genealogist and historian, b. 525/1131, d. 588/1192. The Ḏj̲awwānī family claimed ʿAlid descent through a son of ʿUbayd Allāh b. al-Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī b. al-Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib. This pedigree was well established at least as early as the first half of the 4th/10th century when Abu ’l-Farad̲j̲ al-Iṣfahānī ( Maḳātil al-Ṭālibiyyīn


(443 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Taʿlīḳa (a., pls. taʿlīḳāt , taʿālīḳ ) in scholarly activity refers to the “appending upon ( ʿala )” a text or the “deriving from ( ʿan )” an author and then to the resulting notes, glosses, comments, excerpts and appendices. Similar in a way to ḥās̲h̲iya [ q.v.], it is, however, much less firmly anchored in manuscripts than ḥās̲h̲iya was originally. ¶ In later centuries, it came to be used quite frequently in titles of essays. Earlier, its supposed use as a title was more descriptive than formal and was often the choice of convenience by someone other than the author. Among titles listed in the Fihrist , Taʿlīḳāt appears only for two alchemical works ( Fihrist, 359, 11. 5, 16) and is of uncertain meaning. In later bibliographies, some titles of works by philosophers and sc…

Abū Maʿs̲h̲ar Nad̲j̲īḥ b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Sindī

(234 words)

Author(s): Horovitz, J. | Rosenthal, F.
al-Madanī , a slave from the Yaman, possibly of Indian parentage, who purchased his freedom and lived in Medina. He was considered a rather "weak" ḥadīt̲h̲ scholar, but h…


(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 ancie…


(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…

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 argument. For all we know, the Muslim ban on all gambling has existed since the time of the Prophet in the same form as later on, and has remained in force throughout. Gambling was conceived as a transact…

Ibn Lahīʿa

(521 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, ʿAbd Allāh b. Lahīʿa b. ʿUḳba…


(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


(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


(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 ad…


(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 …

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

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 Ba…


(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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