Ibn Manzur

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Ibn Manẓūr (Arabic: ابن منظور) (June–July 1233 - December 1311/January 1312) was a North African Berber lexicographer of the Arabic language and author of a large dictionary called Lisān al-ʿArab (the tongue of the Arabs). His full name was: Muhammad ibn Mukarram ibn `Alī ibn Ahmad ibn Manzūr al-Ansārī al-Ifrīqī al-Misrī al-Khazrajī Jamāl al-Dīn Abū al-Fadl (Arabic محمد بن مكرم بن علي بن أحمد بن منظور الأنصاري الإفريقي المصري الخزرجي جمال الدين أبو الفضل)[citation needed]

Biography[edit]

Ibn Manzur was born in 1233. He was of North African, most likely Berber, descent and was reported to have been born in either Tunisia, Libya, or Egypt. Ibn Hajar reports that he was a judge (qadi) in Tripoli, Libya and Egypt and spent his life as clerk in the Diwan al-Insha', an office that was responsible among other things for correspondence, archiving and copying.[1] Fück assumes to be able to identify him with Muḥammad b. Mukarram, who was one of the secretaries of this institution (the so called Kuttāb al-Inshāʾ) under Qalawun. Following Brockelmann, Ibn Manzur studied philology. He dedicated most of his life to excerpts from works of historical philology. He is said to have left 500 volumes of this work. He died around the turn of the years 1311/1312 in Cairo.

Works[edit]

Lisān al-ʿArab[edit]

The Lisān al-ʿArab (لسان العرب, "The Arab Tongue") was completed by Ibn Manzur in 1290. Occupying 20 printed book volumes (in the most frequently cited edition), it is the most well-known dictionary of the Arabic language,[2] as well as one of the most comprehensive. Ibn Manzur compiled it from other sources, to a large degree. The most important sources for it were the Tahdhīb al-Lugha of Azharī, the Muḥkam of Ibn Sidah, the Nihāya of al-Dhahabi and Jauhari's Ṣiḥāḥ as well as the glosses of the latter (Kitāb at-Tanbīh wa-l-Īḍāḥ) by Ibn Barrī. It follows the Ṣiḥāḥ in the arrangement of the roots: The headwords are not arranged by the alphabetical order of the radicals as usually done today in the study of Semitic languages, but according to the last radical [3] - which makes finding rhyming endings significantly easier. Furthermore, the Lisan al-Arab notes its direct sources, but not or seldom their sources, making it hard to trace the linguistic history of certain words. Murtaḍá al-Zabīdī corrected this in his Tāj al-ʿArūs, that itself goes back to the Lisan. The Lisan, according to Ignatius d'Ohsson, was already printed in the 18th century in Istanbul,[4] thus fairly early for the Islamic world.

Published editions of the Lisan al-Arab[edit]

Other works[edit]

  • Aḫbār Abī Nuwās, a bio-bibliography of the Arabic-Persian poet Abu Nuwas; printed (with commentary by Muhammad Abd ar-Rasul) 1924 in Cairo as well as published by Shukri M. Ahmad 1952 in Baghdad.
  • Muḫtaṣar taʾrīḫ madīnat Dimašq l-Ibn ʿAsākir, summary of the history of Damascus by Ibn 'Asakir.
  • Muḫtaṣar taʾrīḫ madīnat Baġdād li-s-Samʿānī, summary of the history of Baghdad by al-Samʿānī (d. January 1167).
  • Muḫtaṣar Ǧāmiʿ al-Mufradāt, summary of the treatise about remedies and edibles by al-Baiṭār.
  • Muḫtār al-aġānī fi-l-aḫbār wa-t-tahānī, a selection of songs; printed 1927 in Cairo.
  • Niṯār al-azhār fī l-layl wa-l-nahār, a short treatise on astronomy about day and night as well as the stars and zodiacs; printed 1880 in Istanbul.
  • Taḏkirāt al-Labīb wa-nuzhat al-adīb (if following Fück identical with Muḥammad b. Mukarram), served al-Qalqaschandi as a source.

Sources[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Cf. H.L. Gottschalk: Art. Dīwān ii. Egypt, in: ²Encyclopaedia of Islam II (1965), p.327-331, here: 328.
  2. ^ Kees Versteegh, The Arabic Language, pg. 63. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2001. Paperback edition. ISBN 9780748614363
  3. ^ Cf. for the arrangement of arabic lexikographical works J. Kraemer: Studien zur altarabischen Lexikographie, in: Oriens 6 (1953), p.201-238.
  4. ^ Cf. C. Brockelmann: Geschichte der arabischen Literatur. Volume II, p. 21 u. Georg Jacob: Altarabisches Beduinenleben: Nach den Quellen geschildert. Mayer, Berlin ²1887, p. XXXV, who both refer to I. d'Ohsson: Allgemeine Schilderung des Othomanischen Reichs. Volume I, p. 573.
  5. ^ Raid Naim. "الباحث العربي: قاموس عربي عربي". Baheth.info. Retrieved 2014-03-05. 
  6. ^ "downloadable". Archive.org. Retrieved 2014-03-05.