Ismail ibn Hammad al-Jawhari

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Abu Nasr Isma'il ibn Hammad al-Jawhari also spelled al-Jauhari (died 1002 or 1008) was a Turkic[1][2] lexicographer and the author of a notable Arabic dictionary.

He was born in the city of Farab (Otrar) in Transoxiana (in today's southern Kazakhstan). He studied Arabic language first in Baghdad and then among the Arabs of the Hejaz.[3] Then he settled in northern Khorasan (at Damghan and subsequently at Nishapur). He died at Nishapur while attempting flight from the roof of a mosque, possibly either inspired by an earlier glider flight by Abbas Ibn Firnas,[4] or due to delusions of being a bird.[5]


  • Taj al-Lugha wa Sihah al-Arabiya (الصحاح تاج اللغة وصحاح العربية)[6] "The Crown of Language and the Correct Arabic" - His magnum opus dictionary of Arabic; often abbreviated as al-Sihah fi al-Lugha, "The Correct Language", and al-Sihah (الصحاح).[7] It contains about 40,000 dictionary entries.[8] Written in Nishapur, it was incomplete at his death and completed by a student. Al-Jawhari uses an alphabetical ordering system with the last letter of a word's root being the first ordering criterion. Al-Sihah is a principle Arabic dictionary of the medieval era and later compilers of Arabic dictionaries incorporated its material. Over the centuries several abridgements and elaborations in Arabic were produced and a large portion was copied into the huge 13th century dictionary compilation Lisan al-Arab; published online at[3] A fully searchable online edition available at
  • edition begun by E. Scheidius with a Latin translation, but one part only appeared at Harderwijk (1776)
  • Complete edition, Tabriz (1854)
  • Complete edition, Cairo (1865)
  • many abridged and Persian language editions.[9]

In 1729 Ibrahim Muteferrika's Arabic-Turkish dictionary, based on Jawhari's, became the first book printed by printing press of Ottoman era.[10]


  1. ^ الذهبي, شمس الدين. سير أعلام النبلاء - ج 25 : الفهارس 2 (in Arabic). IslamKotob.
  2. ^ L., Kopf,. "al-D̲j̲awharī".
  3. ^ a b Book Arabic Lexicography: Its History..., by John A. Haywood, year 1965, chapter six: "The Ṣaḥāḥ of al-Jauharī".
  4. ^ Lynn Townsend White, Jr. (Spring, 1961). "Eilmer of Malmesbury, an Eleventh Century Aviator: A Case Study of Technological Innovation, Its Context and Tradition", Technology and Culture 2 (2), p. 97-111 [100f.]
  5. ^ Youssef, H. A., Youssef, F. A., & Dening, T. R. (1996). Evidence for the existence of schizophrenia in medieval Islamic society. History of Psychiatry, 7(25), 059. doi:10.1177/0957154x9600702503
  6. ^
  7. ^ Sprenger, p82
  8. ^ History of Humanity, edited by Muḥammad ʻAdnān Bakhīt, year 2000. The section headed "Grammar and Lexicography" written by Ahmad Yusuf Al-Hasan.
  9. ^ See library catalogs at Also C. Brockelmann, Geschichte der arabischen Literatur (Weimar, 1898).
  10. ^ The al-Sihah of al-Jawhari was rendered as an Arabic–Turkish dictionary by Vankulu (died 1592) and was published in Istanbul in 1729. This publication is of significance in the history of publishing under the Ottomans, as discussed in the article about its publisher Ibrahim Muteferrika. Further information at ref.

External links[edit]