Ibn Khallikan

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Shams al-Dīn Abū Al-ʿAbbās Aḥmad Ibn Muḥammad Ibn Khallikān
TitleChief Judge
Personal
BornSeptember 22, 1211
Irbil (now Iraq)
DiedOctober 30, 1282(1282-10-30) (aged 71)
ReligionIslam
RegionMiddle East
DenominationSunni
JurisprudenceShafi'i[1]
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[2] (Arabic: أحمد بن محمد بن إبراهيم أبو العباس شمس الدين البرمكي الأربيلي الشافعي‎) (September 22, 1211 – October 30, 1282) was a 13th-century Shafi'i Islamic scholar who compiled the celebrated biographical encyclopedia of Arab scholars, Wafayāt al-Aʿyān wa-Anbāʾ Abnāʾ az-Zamān ('Deaths of Eminent Men and History of the Sons of the Epoch').

Life[edit]

Born in Arbil, Iraq on September 22, 1211 (11 Rabī’ al-Thānī, 608), into a respectable family that claimed descent from Barmakids,[2] Ibn Khallikan's studies began in Arbil, took him first to Aleppo, then Damascus,[3] then Mosul to study jurisprudence, and finally Cairo, where he settled.[4] He gained prominence as a jurist, theologian and grammarian.[4] 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."[5]

He married in 1252[4] and was assistant to the chief judge in Egypt until 1261, when he assumed the position of chief judge in Damascus.[3] He lost this position in 1271 and returned to Egypt, where he taught until being reinstated as judge in Damascus in 1278.[3] He retired in 1281[4] and died in Damascus on October 30, 1282 (Saturday, 26th of Rajab 681).[3]

Wafayāt al-Aʿyān wa-Anbāʾ Abnāʾ az-Zamān[edit]

Wafayāt al-aʿyān wa-anbāʾ abnāʾ az-zamān (وفيات الأعيان وأنباء أبناء الزمان) ('Lives of Eminent Men and the Sons of the Epoch').[6][3] Begun in 1256 this eight-volume biographical reference dictionary of Islamic scholarship and literature was completed in 1274.[3] 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.[3] An English translation by William McGuckin de Slane, in four volumes, published between 1801–1878, runs to over 2,700 pages.[7][4] The British scholar Reynold A. Nicholson called it the "best general biography ever written".[5]

References[edit]

  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 978-9004081185.
  2. ^ a b J.W., Fück. "IBN K̲H̲ALLIKĀN". Brill. doi:10.1163/1573-3912_islam_sim_3248. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Encyclopædia Britannica Online, Ibn Khallikān". 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Ibn Khallikan". Humanistic Texts.org. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  5. ^ a b Ludwig W. Adamec (2009), Historical Dictionary of Islam, p.139. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810861615.
  6. ^ Wafayāt al-aʿyān wa-anbāʾ abnāʾ az-zamān
  7. ^ Ibn Khallikan's Biographical Dictionary

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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