Shams al-Dīn Abū Al-ʿAbbās Aḥmad Ibn Muḥammad Ibn Khallikān (ابن خلكان)
|Born||September 22, 1211|
|Died||October 30, 1282 (aged 71)|
|Notable work(s)||Deaths of Eminent Men and History of the Sons of the Epoch|
Aḥmad bin Muḥammad bin Ibrāhīm Abu ’l-ʿAbbās S̲h̲ams al-Dīn al-Barmakī al-Irbilī al-S̲h̲āfiʿī, ibn Khallikān (1211 – 1282) was a 13th century Shafi'i Islamic scholar who compiled the celebrated biographical encyclopedia of Muslim scholars and important men in Muslim history, Wafayāt al-Aʿyān wa-Anbāʾ Abnāʾ az-Zamān ('Deaths of Eminent Men and History of the Sons of the Epoch').
Ibn Khallikān was born in Erbil on September 22, 1211 (11 Rabī’ al-Thānī, 608), into a respectable family that claimed descent from Barmakids, an Iranian dynasty of Balkhi origin. His primary studies took him from Arbil, to Aleppo and to Damascus, before he took up jurisprudence in Mosul and then in Cairo, where he settled. He gained prominence as a jurist, theologian and grammarian. An early biographer described him as "a pious man, virtuous, and learned; amiable in temper, in conversation serious and instructive. His exterior was highly prepossessing, his countenance handsome and his manners engaging."
He married in 1252 and was assistant to the chief judge in Egypt until 1261, when he assumed the position of chief judge in Damascus. He lost this position in 1271 and returned to Egypt, where he taught until being reinstated as judge in Damascus in 1278. He retired in 1281 and died in Damascus on October 30, 1282 (Saturday, 26th of Rajab 681).
Deaths of Eminent Men and the Sons of the Epoch
Beginning in 1256, Deaths of Eminent Men and the Sons of the Epoch, an eight-volume biographical reference dictionary of Islamic scholarship and literature was completed in 1274. Khallikān documented the lives of notable cultural figures, the celebrated writers, scientists, religious and legal scholars. Complementary to the popular religio-political biographies of the Prophet Muhammad and of the caliphs, it is primarily a literary work. An English translation by William McGuckin de Slane, in four volumes, published between 1801–1878, runs to over 2,700 pages. The British scholar Reynold A. Nicholson called it the "best general biography ever written".
- Lewis, B.; Menage, V.L.; Pellat, Ch.; Schacht, J. (1986) [1st pub. 1971]. Encyclopaedia of Islam. Volume III (H-Iram) (New ed.). Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. p. 832. ISBN 978-9004081185.
- J.W., Fück. "Ibn Khallikan". Brill. doi:10.1163/1573-3912_islam_sim_3248. Cite journal requires
- Frye, R. N.; Fisher, William Bayne; Frye, Richard Nelson; Avery, Peter; Boyle, John Andrew; Gershevitch, Ilya; Jackson, Peter (1975-06-26). The Cambridge History of Iran. ISBN 9780521200936.
- "Encyclopædia Britannica Online, Ibn Khallikān". 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- "Ibn Khallikan". Humanistic Texts.org. Archived from the original on October 20, 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- Ludwig W. Adamec (2009), Historical Dictionary of Islam, p.139. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810861615.
- Wafayāt al-aʿyān wa-anbāʾ abnāʾ az-zamān
- Ibn Khallikan's Biographical Dictionary