Ibn Khallikan

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Shams al-Dīn Abū Al-ʿAbbās Aḥmad Ibn Muḥammad Ibn Khallikān
Title Chief Judge
Born (1211-09-22)September 22, 1211 in Irbil (now Iraq)
Died October 30, 1282(1282-10-30) (aged 71) in Damascus (now Syria)
Ethnicity Kurdish
Region Middle East
Religion Islam
Denomination Sunni
Jurisprudence Shafi'i[1]
Notable work(s) Deaths of Eminent Men and History of the Sons of the Epoch

Shams al-Dīn Abū Al-ʿAbbās Aḥmad Ibn Muḥammad Ibn Khallikān (Arabic: شمس الدين أبو العباس أحمد بن محمد بن خلكان‎‎, ) (September 22, 1211 – October 30, 1282) was a 13th Century Shafi'i Islamic scholar of Arab[2] or Kurdish[3][4][5][6] origin. He was described 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."[7]


Ibn Khallikan was born in Arbil, Iraq on September 22, 1211, studied there and in Aleppo and Damascus.[8] He also studied jurisprudence at Mosul and then settled in Cairo.[9] He gained prominence as a jurist, theologian and grammarian.[9] Ibn Khallikan married in the year 1252.[9]

He was an assistant to the chief judge in Egypt until 1261 when he assumed the position of chief judge in Damascus.[8] Ibn Khallikan was removed from this position in 1271, returned to Egypt and taught there until being reinstated as judge in Damascus in the year 1278.[8] He retired from this position in 1281[9] and died in Damascus on October 30, 1282.[8]


Ibn Khallikan's most renowned work is the biographical dictionary entitled Wafayāt al-aʿyān wa-anbāʾ abnāʾ az-zamān (Deaths of Eminent Men and History of the Sons of the Epoch).[8] He began compiling this work in 1256 and continued until 1274, referencing the works of earlier scholars.[8] Deaths of Eminent Men does not include biographies of individuals already sufficiently covered, such as the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and the caliphs.[8] This work has been translated into English by William McGuckin de Slane, (1801–1878), and is over 2,700 pages long.[9] The British scholar Reynold A. Nicholson called it the "best general biography ever written".[7]


  1. ^ Lewis, B.; Menage, V.L.; Pellat, Ch.; Schacht, J. (1986) [1st. pub. 1971]. Encyclopaedia of Islam (New Edition). Volume III (H-Iram). Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. p. 832. ISBN 9004081186. 
  2. ^ (Ed.) Kenneth M. Setton, Harry Williams Hazard, Norman P. Zacour, A History of the Crusades: The Impact of the Crusades on Europe, University of Wisconsin Press, 1990, s. 681.
  3. ^ Level, Brigitte (1988). A travers deux siècles: le Caveau, société bachique et chantante, 1726-1939 (in French). Presses Paris Sorbonne. p. 31. ISBN 9782904315565. 
  4. ^ http://www.kurdishacademy.org/?q=node/773 (According to the british kurdish academy of london, ibn kahlikkan is kurdish)
  5. ^ "Dictionnaire biographique d'Ibn Khallikan, Volumes 1 et 2". 1867. Retrieved 2016-08-23. 
  6. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=q_189OeDwSMC&pg=PA500 (According to the journal "Encyclopaedic Ethnography of Middle-East and Central Asia: A-I. vol. 1, Volume 1 ", Ibn Khallikan is a Kurdish intellectuel)
  7. ^ a b Ludwig W. Adamec (2009), Historical Dictionary of Islam, p.139. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810861615.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "Encyclopædia Britannica Online, Ibn Khallikān". 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c d e "Ibn Khallikan". Humanistic Texts.org. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 


  • Ibn Khallikān (1843) Ibn Khallikan's Biographical dictionary, M. de Slane trans. Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland, 1843. Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3 & Vol. 4

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