Shams al-Dīn Abū Al-ʿAbbās Aḥmad Ibn Muḥammad Ibn Khallikān
|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 b. Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm Abu ’l-ʿAbbās S̲h̲ams al-Dīn al-Barmakī al-Irbilī al-S̲h̲āfiʿī (Arabic: أحمد بن محمد بن إبراهيم أبو العباس شمس الدين البرمكي الأربيلي الشافعي) (September 22, 1211 – October 30, 1282) was a Shafi'i Islamic scholar of the 13th century and is famous as the compiler of a great biographical dictionary of Arab scholars, Wafayāt al-Aʿyān wa-Anbāʾ Abnāʾ az-Zamān (Deaths of Eminent Men and History of the Sons of the Epoch).
Born in Arbil, Iraq on September 22, 1211 (11 Rabī’ al-Thānī, 608), into a respectable family that claimed descent from Barmakids, Ibn Khallikan's studies began in Arbil. These took him on to Aleppo, then to Damascus. and then to Mosul to study jurisprudence ], before settling down finally in Cairo. 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).
Ibn Khallikan began compiling his renowned biographical dictionary entitled Wafayāt al-aʿyān wa-anbāʾ abnāʾ az-zamān (وفيات الأعيان وأنباء أبناء الزمان) (Deaths of Eminent Men and History of the Sons of the Epoch). in 1256, which he completed in 1274, as an eight-volume work of reference of Islamic scholarship and literature. Deaths of Eminent Men excludes biographies already sufficiently covered, such as the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and the caliphs. It was translated into English by William McGuckin de Slane, (1801–1878), and is over 2,700 pages, in four volumes. 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 (New Edition). Volume III (H-Iram). Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. p. 832. ISBN 9004081186.
- J.W., Fück,. "IBN K̲H̲ALLIKĀN". Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Brill. doi:10.1163/1573-3912_islam_sim_3248. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- "Encyclopædia Britannica Online, Ibn Khallikān". 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- "Ibn Khallikan". Humanistic Texts.org. 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