Al-Qifti or Ibn al-Qifti (Djamal al-Din Abu 'l-Hasan 'Ali b. Yusuf b. Ibrahim b. 'Abd al-Wahid al-Shaybani) (lived ca. 1172-1248) was a medieval Muslim writer. He is remembered today mainly for his History of Learned Men.
Life and Works
26 of his works are known by title, of which only two survive:
- The History of Learned Men (Kitab Ikhbar al-'ulama' bi-akhbar al-hukama' , usually referred to simply as Ta'rikh al-hukama' ), which exists in an epitome by al-Zawzani (written in 1249). It contains 414 biographies of physicians, philosophers and astronomers.
- Inbah al-ruwat 'ala anbah al-nuhat which contains about a thousand biographies of Muslim scholars.
Some fragments survive of the posthumous Akhbar al-Muhammadin min al-shu'ara' (Ms. Paris Arab. 3335).
The lost works dealt mostly with historiography, including a history of Cairo, a history of the Seljuks, and histories of the Mirdasids, of the Buyids, of Mahmud b. Sabuktakin, of the Maghreb, and of the Yemen.
- A. Dietrich, "Al-Qufti" in Encyclopedia of Islam (1999)
- A. Müller, Uber das sogenannte [arabic] des ibn el-Qifti, Actes du huitieme Congres International des Orientalistes, Section i, Leiden 1890, p. 15-36. Online at Google books here 
- R. Sellheim, in Oriens, viii (1955), 348-52.
- ed. J. Lippert, Leipzig 1903. Online at Google Books here .
- parts i-iii ed. by Muh. Abu 'l-Fadl Ibrahim, Cairo AH 1369-74
- English translation of a portion of Al-Qifti's Tarikh al-hukama - dealing with the destruction of the library of Alexandria.