Abu Mikhnaf

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Muslim historian
Lut ibn Yahya ibn Sa'id ibn Mikhnaf Al-Kufi
Title Abu Mikhnaf
Died AH 157 (773/774) [1][2]
Era Islamic golden age
Jurisprudence Shia
Creed Akhbari
Main interest(s) History of Islam
Notable work(s) Kitab Al-Saqifa, Kitab Al-Ridda, Kitab Al-Shura, Kitab Al-Jamal, Kitab Al-Siffin, Kitab Maqtal Al-Hasan, Kitab Maqtal Al-Husayn, Sirat Al-Hussayn, ...[1]

Abu Mikhnaf (died 774) (Lut ibn Yahya ibn Sa'id ibn Mikhnaf Al-Kufi) (لوط ابن يحيٰ ابن سعيد ابن مخنّف الكوفي ) was a classical Muslim historian from the 8th century.

Life[edit]

Abu Miknaf's name was Lut ibn Yahya, he belonged to Azd tribe and lived in Kufa, he died in AH 157 (773/774).[1][2][4]

Muhammad ibn Mikhnaf was his paternal uncle, he was one of the reporters and was seventeen years old before Battle of Siffin.[5] Muhammad ibn Said Al Kalbi father of famous Al Kalbi was friend of Abu Mikhnaf.[4]

Historiography[edit]

He was the oldest Arab prose writer,[4] an Akhbari (propagator of news or traditions),[2] an important source of early Iraqi historical traditions,[6] and main source of Tabari.[4]

He has presented narratives in abundance of details and fulness, in strikingly frank and arresting manner, in form of dialogue and staging, which he had gathered through independent enquiries, collection of facts and seeking first hand information, but he has not ignored other tradionists, older than or contemporary with himslef, for instance, he has used such authorities as, Amir Al Shahi, Rasibi, Mugalid ibn Said, and Muhammad ib Said Al Kalbi.[4]

Ibn Asakir in his book Ta'rikh madinat Dimashq has listed Ibn Al Kalbi as transmitter of Abu Mikhnaf in several places.[7] Abd al-Malik ibn Nawfal ibn Musahiq who lived in first half of the second century Hijri, Abd al-Rahman ibn Jundab, al-Hajjaj ibn Ali, and Numayr ibn Walah were authority on Abu Mikhnaf.[6]

In "Islamic Historiography", "Chase F. Robinson" has put him in the class of Ibn Ishaq and among the first Muslim historians who contributed about 40 titles in historical tradition of which no fewer than thirteen titles were monographic maqtal works.[2] His monographs were gathered by later historians like Al-Baladhuri and Al-Tabari in their collections.[2] Few of the later Sunni scholars like Al-Dhahabi, Yahya ibn Ma'in, Al-Daraqutni, and Abu Hatim have been critical of him,[8] while some describe him as pure source.[5] Some[who?] modern scholars theorize that he had some proto-Shii tendencies but there are many[who?] counter arguments to these propositions. His works however do lay focus on Ali and his sons Hasan and Husayn.[citation needed]

Works[edit]

Ibn Nadim in Al-Fihrist enumerates 22 and Najashi lists 28 monographs composed by Abu Mikhnaf comprising:[1]

Maqtal Al-Husayn[edit]

Main article: Maqtal Al-Husayn

He was the first historian to systematically collect the reports dealing with the events of the Battle of Karbala. His work was considered reliable among later Shi'a and Sunni historians like Tabari.[1] He has based his work on the eyewitness testimony of Muhammad ibn Qays, Harith ibn Abd Allah ibn Sharik al-Amiri, Abd Allah ibn Asim and Dahhak ibn Abd Allah Abu, Abu Janab al-Kalbi and Adi b. Hurmula, Muhammad ibn Qays.[9]

Futuh Al Sham[edit]

Various works titled Futuh Al Sham by Al Azdi, Ibn Al Kalbi, Ibn A'tham and Al Waqidi were based on Abu Mikhnaf's Futuh Al Sham. Both Ibn ʿAsākīr and Al-Balādhurī traced their narratives back to Abū Mikhnaf.[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Kitab Maqtal al-Husayn, translator's forward
  2. ^ a b c d e Robinson, Chase F. (2004). Islamic historiography (1st, reprinted. ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 28, 34, 35. ISBN 9780521629362. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  3. ^ Abu Mihnaf: ein Beitrag zur Historiographie der umaiyadischen Zeit by Ursula Sezgin
  4. ^ a b c d e Bukhsh, S. Khuda (2000). Studies : Indian and Islamic. London: Routledge. pp. 42, 43. ISBN 0415244641. 
  5. ^ a b Shoshan, Boaz (2004). Poetics of Islamic historiography deconstructing Ṭabarī History. Leiden: Brill. pp. 35, 36, 38, 41, 43, 71, 100, 101, 110, 125, 126, 130, 144, 145, 176, 209, 210, 211, 213, 214, 215, 217, 219, 221, 223, 224, 225, 226, 228, 229, 230, 234, 236, 239, 240, 241, 242, 245, 246, 250, 251, 265. ISBN 9789004137936. 
  6. ^ a b translated, Ṭabarī; Howard, annotated by I.K.A. (1990). The History of al-Tabari Vol. 19: The caliphate of Yazīd b. Muʻāwiyah. Albany: State University of New York Press. pp. 1, 2, 8, 17, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 34, 42, 47, 48, 49, 50, 54, 56, 58, 61, 63, 64, 66, 68, 69, 70, 72, 76, 80, 83, 86, 87, 88, 90, 91, 95, 99, 100, 101, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 114, 115, 116, 120, 121, 122, 125, 127, 132, 135, 137, 139, 144, 148, 149, 150, 154, 159, 160, 164, 166, 167, 168, 170, 175, 177, 181, 183, 189, 195, 197, 198, 199, 209, 211, 214, 216, 234, 235, 242,. ISBN 9780791400401. 
  7. ^ a b Cobb, edited by Paul M. (2012). The lineaments of Islam : studies in honor of Fred McGraw Donner (Volume 95 of Islamic History and Civilization ed.). Leiden: Brill. pp. 167–173. ISBN 9789004218857. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  8. ^ http://library.islamweb.net/newlibrary/showalam.php?ids=12145
  9. ^ History of the Prophets and Kings by Muhammad al-Tabari; Volume XIX The Caliphate of Yazid b. Muawiyah, translated by I.K.A Howard, SUNY Press, 1991, ISBN 0-7914-0040-9

References[edit]