Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti

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Muslim scholar
Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti
Title Al Jabarti
Born 1753,
Cairo, Egypt
Died 1825,
Cairo, Egypt
Ethnicity Somali
Era 18th century-19th century
Region Horn of Africa/North Africa
Main interest(s) Islamic philosophy, Islamic Jurisprudence

Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti (1753-1825) (Arabic: عبد الرحمن الجبرتي‎), full name: Abd al-Rahman bin Hasan bin Burhan al-Din al-Jabarti (Arabic: عبد الرحمن بن حسن بن برهان الدين الجبرتي‎), often simply known as Al-Jabarti, was an Egyptian-born Somali Muslim scholar and chronicler who spent most of his life in Cairo.[1][2]

Biography[edit]

Little is known of Al-Jabarti's life. According to Franz Steiner, he was born in the village of Tell al-Gabarti in the northern Delta province of Beheira, Egypt.[3] Abdulkader Saleh asserts that Al-Jabarti was instead born in Cairo.[4]

Al-Jabarti's family was of Somali background.[1][5][6][7] According to his writings, his name comes from his "seventh-degree grandfather," Abd al-Rahman, who was the earliest member of his family known to him.[8] The older Abd al-Rahman was from the city of Zeila, in present-day northwestern Somalia.[9] He visited the Riwaqs of the Jabarti communities in Mecca and Medina before making it to Egypt, where he became Sheikh of the Riwaq there and head of the Jabarti community (Muslims from the Horn region).[8][7]

Al-Jabarti was trained as a Sheikh at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo. He began keeping a monthly chronicle of local events. This document, which is generally known in English simply as Al-Jabarti's History of Egypt and known in Arabic as Aja'ib al-athar fi al-tarajim wal-akhbar (عجائب الاَثار في التراجم والاخبار), became a world-famous historical text by virtue of its eyewitness accounts of Napoleon's invasion and Muhammad Ali's seizure of power. The entries from his chronicle dealing with the French expedition and occupation have been excerpted and compiled in English as a separate volume entitled Napoleon in Egypt.

According to Marsot, at the end of his life, Al-Jabarti chose to be buried in Tell al-Gabarti, the town to which he traced his descent.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wilfrid Scawen Blunt (1923). "My diaries; Being a Personal Narrative of Events". p. 81. 
  2. ^ Andrew Beattie (2005). "Cairo: A Cultural and Literary History". p. 144. 
  3. ^ al-Jabarti, 'Abd al-Rahman. History of Egypt: 'Aja'ib al-Athar fi 'l-Tarajim wa'l-Akhbar. vol.1. Franz Steiner Verlag Stuttgart. 1994.
  4. ^ Abdulkader Saleh, "Ǧäbärti," in von Uhlig, Siegbert, ed., Encyclopaedia Aethiopica: D-Ha. Wiesbaden:Harrassowitz Verlag, 2005, p.597.
  5. ^ Molefi K. Asante (2002). "Culture and Customs of Egypt". p. 21. 
  6. ^ Desmond Stewart (1981). "Great Cairo, mother of the world". p. 173. 
  7. ^ a b Mohamed Haji Mukhtar (1987). "Arabic Sources on Somalia". p. 149. 
  8. ^ a b David Ayalon, "The Historian al-Jabartī and His Background," Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1960, p.238
  9. ^ Clément Huart (1903). "A History of Arabic Literature". p. 423. 
  10. ^ Marsot, Afaf Lutfi el-Sayyed. "A Comparative Study of Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti. and Niqula al-Turk," Eighteenth Century Egypt: The Arabic Manuscript Sources. Los Angeles: Regina Books, 1990.

Further reading[edit]

Napoleon in Egypt: Al-Jabarti's Chronicle of the French Occupation, 1798. Shmuel Moreh, translator. ISBN 1-55876-070-9

External links[edit]