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IBN HISHĀN—IBN QUTAIBA

IBN HISHĀM [Abū Maḥommed ‛Abdulmalik ibn Hishām ibn Ayyūb ul-Himyarī] (d. 834), Arabian biographer, studied in Kufa but lived afterwards in Fostāt (old Cairo), where he gained a name as a grammarian and student of language and history. His chief work is his edition of Ibn Isḥāq’s (q.v.) Life of the Apostle of God, which has been edited by F. Wüstenfeld (Göttingen, 1858–1860). An abridged German translation has been made by G. Weil (Stuttgart, 1864; cf. P. Brönnle, Die Commentatoren des Ibn Isḥaq und ihre Scholien, Halle, 1895). Ibn Hishām is said to have written a work explaining the difficult words which occur in poems on the life of the Apostle, and another on the genealogies of the Himyarites and their princes. (G. W. T.) 


IBN ISHĀQ [Mahommed ibn Isḥāq Abū ‛Abdallāh] (d. 768), Arabic historian, lived in Medina, where he interested himself to such an extent in the details of the Prophet’s life that he was attacked by those to whom his work seemed to have a rationalistic tendency. He consequently left Medina in 733, and went to Alexandria, then to Kufa and Hira, and finally to Bagdad, where the caliph Manṣūr provided him with the means of writing his great work. This was the Life of the Apostle of God, which is now lost and is known to us only in the recension of Ibn Hishām (q.v.). The work has been attacked by Arabian writers (as in the Fihrist) as untrustworthy, and it seems clear that he introduced forged verses (cf. Journal of the German Oriental Society, xiv. 288 sqq.). It remains, however, one of the most important works of the age.  (G. W. T.) 


IBN JUBAIR [Abū–l Ḥusain Maḥommed ibn Aḥmad ibn Jubair] (1145–1217), Arabian geographer, was born in Valencia. At Granada he studied the Koran, tradition, law and literature, and later became secretary to the Mohad governor of that city. During this time he composed many poems. In 1183 he left the court and travelled to Alexandria, Jerusalem, Medina, Mecca, Damascus, Mosul and Bagdad, returning in 1185 by way of Sicily.

The Travels of Ibn Jubair were edited by W. Wright (Leiden, 1852); and a new edition of this text, revised by M. J. de Goeje, was published by the Gibb Trustees (London, 1907). The part relating to Sicily was published, with French translation and notes, by M. Amari in the Journal asiatique (1845–1846) and a French translation alone of the same part by G. Crolla in Museon, vi. 123-132. (G. W. T.) 


IBN KHALDŪN [Abū Zaid ibn Maḥommed ibn Maḥommed ibn Khaldūn] (1332–1406), Arabic historian, was born at Tunis. He studied the various branches of Arabic learning with great success. In 1352 he obtained employment under the Marīnid sultan Abū Inān (Faris I.) at Fez. In the beginning of 1356, his integrity having been suspected, he was thrown into prison until the death of Abū Inān in 1358, when the vizier al-Hasan ibn Omar set him at liberty and reinstated him in his rank and offices. He here continued to render great service to Abu Salem (Ibrahim III.), Abū Inān’s successor, but, having offended the prime minister, he obtained permission to emigrate to Spain, where, at Granada, he was received with great cordiality by Ibn al Ahmar, who had been greatly indebted to his good offices when an exile at the court of Abu Salem. The favours he received from the sovereign excited the jealousy of the vizier, and he was driven back to Africa (1364), where he was received with great cordiality by the sultan of Bougie, Abu Abdallah, who had been formerly his companion in prison. On the fall of Abu Abdallah Ibn Khaldūn raised a large force amongst the desert Arabs, and entered the service of the sultan of Tlemçen. A few years later he was taken prisoner by Abdalaziz (‘Abd ul ‛Azīz), who had defeated the sultan of Tlemçen and seized the throne. He then entered a monastic establishment, and occupied himself with scholastic duties, until in 1370 he was sent for to Tlemçen by the new sultan. After the death of ‛Abd ul ‛Azīz he resided at Fez, enjoying the patronage and confidence of the regent. After some further vicissitudes in 1378 he entered the service of the sultan of his native town of Tunis, where he devoted himself almost exclusively to his studies and wrote his history of the Berbers. Having received permission to make the pilgrimage to Mecca, he reached Cairo, where he was presented to the sultan, al-Malik udh-Dhahir Barkuk, who insisted on his remaining there, and in the year 1384 made him grand cadi of the Malikite rite for Cairo. This office he filled with great prudence and probity, removing many abuses in the administration of justice in Egypt. At this time the ship in which his wife and family, with all his property, were coming to join him, was wrecked, and every one on board lost. He endeavoured to find consolation in the completion of his history of the Arabs of Spain. At the same time he was removed from his office of cadi, which gave him more leisure for his work. Three years later he made the pilgrimage to Mecca, and on his return lived in retirement in the Fayum until 1399, when he was again called upon to resume his functions as cadi. He was removed and reinstated in the office no fewer than five times.

In 1400 he was sent to Damascus, in connexion with the expedition intended to oppose Timur or Tamerlane. When Timur had become master of the situation, Ibn Khaldūn let himself down from the walls of the city by a rope, and presented himself before the conqueror, who permitted him to return to Egypt. Ibn Khaldūn died on the 16th of March 1406, at the age of sixty-four.

The great work by which he is known is a “Universal History,” but it deals more particularly with the history of the Arabs of Spain and Africa. Its Arabic title is Kitāb ul‛Ibar, wa dīwān el Mubtada wa’l Khabar, fī ayyām ul ‛Arab wa’l‛Ajām wa’l Berber; that is, “The Book of Examples and the Collection of Origins and Information respecting the History of the Arabs, Foreigners and Berbers.” It consists of three books, an introduction and an autobiography. Book i. treats of the influence of civilization upon man; book ii. of the history of the Arabs and other peoples from the remotest antiquity until the author’s own times; book iii. of the history of the Berber tribes and of the kingdoms founded by that race in North Africa. The introduction is an elaborate treatise on the science of history and the development of society, and the autobiography contains the history, not only of the author himself, but of his family and of the dynasties which ruled in Fez, Tunis and Tlemçen during his lifetime. An edition of the Arabic text has been printed at Būlāq, (7 vols., 1867) and a part of the work has been translated by the late Baron McG. de Slane under the title of Histoire des Berbères (Algiers, 1852–1856); it contains an admirable account of the author and analysis of his work. Vol. i., the Muqaddama (preface), was published by M. Quatremère (3 vols., Paris, 1858), often republished in the East, and a French translation was made by McG. de Slane (3 vols., Paris, 1862–1868). The parts of the history referring to the expeditions of the Franks into Moslem lands were edited by C. J. Tornberg (Upsala, 1840), and the parts treating of the Banu-l Aḥmar kings of Granada were translated into French by M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes in the Journal asiatique, ser. 9, vol. xiii. The Autobiography of Ibn Khaldūn was translated into French by de Slane in the Journal asiatique, ser. 4, vol. iii. For an English appreciation of the philosophical spirit of Ibn Khaldūn see R. Flint’s History of the Philosophy of History (Edinburgh, 1893), pp. 157–170.  (E. H. P.; G. W. T.) 


IBN KHALLIKĀN [Abū–l ‛Abbās Aḥmad ibn Khallikān] (1211–1282), Arabian biographer, was born at Arbela, the son of a professor reputed to be ascended from the Barmecides of the court of Harun al-Rashid. When eighteen he went to Aleppo, where he studied for six years, then to Damascus, and in 1238 to Alexandria and Cairo. In 1252 he married and became chief cadi of Syria in Damascus in 1261. Having held this office for ten years, he was professor in Cairo until 1278, when he again took office in Damascus for three years. In 1281 he accepted a professorship in the same city, but died in the following year.

His great work is the Kitab Wafayāt ul-A‘yān, “The Obituaries of Eminent Men.” It contains in alphabetical order the lives of the most celebrated persons of Moslem history and literature, except those of Mahomet, the four caliphs and the companions of Mahomet and their followers (the Tābiūn). The work is anecdotal and contains many brief extracts from the poetry of the writers. It was published by F. Wüstenfeld (Göttingen, 1835–1843), in part by McG. de Slane (Paris, 1838–1842), and also in Cairo (1859 and 1882). An English translation by McG. de Slane was published for the Oriental Translation Fund in 4 vols. (London, 1842–1871). Thirteen extra biographies from a manuscript in Amsterdam were published by Pijnappel (Amsterdam, 1845). A Persian translation exists in manuscript, and various extracts from the work are known. Several supplements to the book have been written, the best known being that of Maḥommed ibn Shākir (d. 1362), published at Cairo 1882. A collection of poems by Ibn Khallikān is also extant. (G. W. T.) 


IBN QUTAIBA, or Kotaiba [Abū Maḥommed ibn Muslim ibn Qutaiba] (828–889), Arabian writer, was born at Bagdad or