Al-Quda'i

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Muḥammad ibn Salāma al-Quḍā'ī
Born Abū 'Abdallāh Muḥammad ibn Salāmah ibn Ja'far al-Quḍā'i- aš-Šāfi'ī
Died 1062
Nationality Egyptian
Occupation Judge, preacher and historian
Known for The Prophet's genealogy, his birth, his emigration and his death

Muḥammad ibn Salāma al-Quḍā'ī (died 1062) was a Shafi'i judge, preacher and historian in Fatimid Egypt. He is known as author of a work called "The Prophet's genealogy, his birth, his emigration and his death." The manuscript has been preserved.[1] He was of Iranian origin.[2]

Career[edit]

al-Quḍā'ī was a scribe in the chancery under the vizier Alī ibn Aḥmad al-Jarjarā'ī (died 1045). He was in the chancery at the same time as the scholar al-Mu'ayyad al-Shīrāzī (died 1078). He served under the Fatimids as a judge over the Sunni population. He performed the Hajj in 1053. In 1055 he made a journey to Byzantium as emissary of the caliph.[3]

He earned great respect for his scholarship, particularly regarding hadith, and many hadith works include him as one of their transmitters. The jurist al-Silafī (died 1180) said of him, "His fame absolves me from lengthy expositions... he is counted among the trustworthy and reliable transmitters." According to his student Ibn Mākūlā, "He was a master of many different sciences... I do not know anyone in Egypt who approaches his stature."[3]

Work[edit]

Apart from his work on Muhammad, al-Quḍā'ī also wrote a terse history of the prophets and caliphs.[1] He said in the introduction that he had observed brevity, but that it was "amply sufficient for entertainment and conversation."[4] In some cases his history of a caliph would give little more than a short character sketch, the names of his wives and children, and names of officials during his rule.[5] Although al-Quḍā'ī's history of the Fatimids has been lost, it was used by al-Maqrizi and others in later works.[6] His description of Fustat before its decline and ruin after his death was a key resource for al-Maqrizi in understanding the former topography of the city.[7] He also wrote a pamphlet that contained some of the best-known Maliki laws.[8]

His book of the parables and teachings of the Prophet, a hadith collection, was widely read. Four Morisco versions from Spain are known, three from Almonacid. One is in Arabic, one only in aljamia and two are bi-lingual.[9] His work on the Prophet's life has not been examined. It was the basis for a work by Shīrawayh al-Daylamī that was criticized by Ibn Taymīya for fanciful and adulatory statements about Muhammad, which indicates that the work by al-Quḍā'ī was also concerned more with the Prophet as an exemplary man than as a religious and political leader.[1]

Bibliography[edit]

His recorded works include:[10]

  • The Blazing Star - a collection of sayings ascribed to Muhammad
  • A Treasury of Virtues - a collection of saying by Ali
  • Al-Qudai's History - prophets and caliphs up to the caliph al-Zahir
  • The merits of al-Shāfi'ī - on the founder of the legal school (lost)
  • Compendium of Teachers - list of hadith sources used by al-Quḍā'ī (lost)
  • Institutes of Egypt - a history of Egypt (lost)
  • Qu'ran Commentary (lost)
  • The Preacher's Pearl and the Worshiper's Treasure (possible authorship)
  • Details of Reports and Gardens of Lessons - wisdom sayings (possible authorship)

References[edit]

Citations

  1. ^ a b c Katz 2007, p. 8.
  2. ^ Young, M.J.L.; Latham, J.D.; Serjeant, R.B., eds. (2006). Religion, learning, and science in the ʻAbbasid period (1. publ. ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 211. ISBN 9780521028875. In the middle of the fifth/eleventh century, al-Quda'i was at work in Egypt. He was Iranian by birth (...) 
  3. ^ a b Qutbuddin 2013, p. 15.
  4. ^ Rosenthal 1968, p. 292.
  5. ^ Rosenthal 1968, p. 87.
  6. ^ Daftary 1992, p. 146.
  7. ^ Walker 2002, p. 145.
  8. ^ Rosenthal 1968, p. 420.
  9. ^ Harvey 2008, p. 146.
  10. ^ Qutbuddin 2013, p. 15-16.

Sources