Ibn Khallikan

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Shams al-Dīn Abū Al-ʿAbbās Aḥmad Ibn Muḥammad Ibn Khallikān
ابن خلكان
TitleChief Judge
Born22 September 1211
Died30 October 1282(1282-10-30) (aged 71)
RegionMiddle East
Notable work(s)Deaths of Eminent Men and History of the Sons of the Epoch

Aḥmad bin Muḥammad bin Ibrāhīm bin Abū Bakr ibn Khallikān[a][3] (Arabic: أحمد بن محمد بن إبراهيم بن أبي بكر ابن خلكان; 22 September 1211 – 30 October 1282), better known as Ibn Khallikān, was a renowned Islamic historian who compiled the celebrated biographical encyclopedia of Muslim scholars and important men in Muslim history, Deaths of Eminent Men and the Sons of the Epoch ('Wafayāt al-Aʿyān wa-Anbāʾ Abnāʾ az-Zamān').[4] Due to this achievement, he is regarded as the most eminent writer of biographies in Islamic history.[5]


Ibn Khallikān was born in Erbil on 22 September 1211 (11 Rabī’ al-Thānī, 608), into a respectable family that claimed descent from Barmakids,[3] an Iranian dynasty of Balkhi origin.[6] Other sources describe him as Kurdish.[7]

His primary studies took him from Arbil, to Aleppo and to Damascus,[8] before he took up jurisprudence in Mosul and then in Cairo, where he settled.[9] He gained prominence as a jurist, theologian and grammarian.[9] 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."[10]

He married in 1252[9] and was assistant to the chief judge in Egypt until 1261, when he assumed the position of chief judge in Damascus.[8] He lost this position in 1271 and returned to Egypt, where he taught until being reinstated as judge in Damascus in 1278.[8] He retired in 1281[9] and died in Damascus on 30 October 1282 (Saturday, 26th of Rajab 681).[8]


  1. ^ Also known as Abū ʾl-ʿAbbās S̲h̲ams al-Dīn al-Barmakī al-Irbilī al-S̲h̲āfiʿī (Arabic: أبو العباس شمس الدين البرمكي الأربلي الشافعي)


  1. ^ Lewis, B.; Menage, V.L.; Pellat, Ch.; Schacht, J. (1986) [1st pub. 1971]. Encyclopaedia of Islam. Vol. III (H-Iram) (New ed.). Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. p. 832. ISBN 978-9004081185.
  2. ^ Schmidtke, Sabine (2016). The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Theology. Oxford University Press. p. 556. ISBN 9780199696703.
  3. ^ a b J.W., Fück. "Ibn Khallikan". Encyclopaedia of Islam (Second ed.). Brill. doi:10.1163/1573-3912_islam_sim_3248.
  4. ^ "Ibn Khallikan".
  5. ^ El Hareir, Idris; Mbaye, Ravane (2011). The Spread of Islam Throughout the World. UNESCO Pub. p. 295.
  6. ^ Frye, R. N.; Fisher, William Bayne; Frye, Richard Nelson; Avery, Peter; Boyle, John Andrew; Gershevitch, Ilya; Jackson, Peter (26 June 1975). The Cambridge History of Iran. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521200936.
  7. ^ "Ibn Khallikan's Biographical Dictionary, Volumes 1 and 2". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Retrieved 11 September 2022.
  8. ^ a b c d "Encyclopædia Britannica Online, Ibn Khallikān". 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  9. ^ a b c d "Ibn Khallikan". Humanistic Texts.org. Archived from the original on 20 October 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  10. ^ Ludwig W. Adamec (2009), Historical Dictionary of Islam, p.139. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810861615.


  • Ibn Khallikan (1842–1871). Ibn Khallikan's Biographical Dictionary, Translated from the Arabic (4 vols.). Translated by Baron Mac Guckin de Slane. Paris: Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland.