Khalifa ibn Khayyat

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Muslim scholar
Khalifa ibn Khayyat
Era Islamic golden age
Notable work(s) Tabaqat (biographies) and Tarikh (history)

Abū 'Amr Khalifa ibn Khayyat al Laythī al 'Usfurī (born : 160/161 A.H/777 A.D– died 239/240 A.H/ 854 A.D) was an Arab historian.

His family were natives of Basra in Iraq. His grandfather was a noted muhaddith or traditionalist, and Khalifa became renowned for this also. Among the great Islamic scholars who were his pupils were Bukhari and Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

He is known to have written at least four works, of which two have survived. These are the Tabaqat (biographies) and Tarikh (history). The latter is valuable as being one of three of the earliest Arabic histories, but the full text was not known until an 11th-century copy was found in Rabat, Morocco in 1966 (published in 1967).


  • J. Schacht (1969), "The Kitab al-Tarih of Khalifa bin Hayyat", Arabica, 16, 79–81. Schacht found the manuscript, and in the article reviews its publication by one of his former students.

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