Ibn 'Asakir

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Ibn ʻAsākir
Born 499AH 1106[1]
Died 571AH 1175[1][2]
Era Medieval era
Region Damascus (Burid dynasty/Zengid dynasty)
Religion Islam
Denomination Sunni
Jurisprudence Shafi'i
Creed Ash'ari[3][4]
Main interest(s) History

Ibn 'Asakir (Arabic: ابن عساكر‎) (1105–1175) was a Sunni Islamic scholar,[1] a historian[5] and a student of the Sunni mystic Abu al-Najib Suhrawardi.[6]


His full name was Ali ibn al-Hasan ibn Hibat Allah ibn `Abd Allah, Thiqat al-Din, Abu al-Qasim, known as Ibn `Asakir al-Dimashqi al-Shafi`i al-Ash`ari.[1]


Born in Damascus, during the reign of atabeg Toghtekin, 'Asakir received an extensive education, as befitting someone from a wealthy family.[7] By 1120, he was attending lectures of al-Sulami at the Shafi'i madrasa, which was built by atabeg Gumushtegin.[8] He traveled to Baghdad, following the death of his father, and went on hajj in 1127. He returned to Baghdad to hear lectures at the Nezamiyeh, from Abu l'Hasan al-Ansari(a pupil of al-Ghazali), lectures on the hadith of Abi Salih al-Karamani and Ibn al-Husayn Abu 'l-Kasim.[citation needed]

By 1132, Asakir returned to Damascus being married within the year. Civil disturbances forced him to leave Damascus and travel from Isafahan to Merv, where he met Abu Sa'd 'Abd al-Karim al-Samani. With al-Samani he travel to Nishapur and Herat and by 1139 he had passed through Baghdad on his way back to Damascus. Throughout his journey he collected numerous hadiths and had become a hafiz.[8]

Under the patronage of Nur ad-Din Zangi, Asakir wrote the Tarikh Dimashq. In 1170, Nur al-Din built the madrasa Dar al-Hadith for Asakir.[9][10]


  • History of Damascus (Arabic: Tarikh Dimashiq) is one of most important books about the Islamic history of Syria, covering the life of important figures who resided in or visited Damascus. That is not limited to the assessment of narrators of hadith, Ilm ar-Rijal,[11] but also includes historical and political figures. When it comes to Islamic figures, Ibn Asakir tried to collect everything that has been said about that figure, true or false, with full chain of narration. It also contains a huge collection of Arabic poems. It was printed recently in seventy two volumes.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Ibn Asakir
  2. ^ Salaam Knowledge
  3. ^ Aaron Spevack, The Archetypal Sunni Scholar: Law, Theology, and Mysticism in the Synthesis of Al-Bajuri, p 55. State University of New York Press, 1 Oct 2014. ISBN 143845371X
  4. ^ Brown, Jonathan (2013). The Canonization of al-Bukhari and Muslim: The Formation and Function of the Sunni Hadith Canon (Islamic History and Civilization). Brill. p. 219. ISBN 9004158391. 
  5. ^ al-Suhrawardi, F. Sobieroj, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. IX, ed. C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs and G. Lecomte, (Brill, 1987), 778.
  6. ^ al-Suhrawardi, F. Sobieroj, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. IX, 778.
  7. ^ Ibn Asakir, N. Elisseeff, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. III, ed. B.Lewis, V.L. Menage, C.Pellat and J.Schacht, (Brill, 1986), 713.
  8. ^ a b Ibn Asakir, N. Elisseeff, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. III, 714.
  9. ^ Ibn Asakir, Andrew J. Newman, Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, ed. Josef W. Meri and Jere L. Bacharach, (Routledge, 2006), 351.
  10. ^ Carole Hillenbrand, The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives, (Routledge, 2000), 127.
  11. ^ Ibn Asakir
  • Zayde Antrim, "Ibn Asakir's Representations of Syria and Damascus in the Introduction to the Tarikh Madinat Dimashq," International Journal of Middle East Studies, 38,1 (2006), 109-129.