Module Three: Tarikh al Rusul wa al Muluk of Imam al Tabari. Section One: The nature of the Tarikh of Imam al Tabari and its academic significance.

Section Three: The Smear Campaign of Rafd Against Him.
October 7, 2019
Section Two: The principle sources of Imam al Tabari in discussing the fitnah
October 8, 2019

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Module Three: Tarikh al Rusul wa al Muluk[1] of Imam al Tabari.

Section One: The nature of the Tarikh of Imam al Tabari and its academic significance.

Section Two: The principle sources of Imam al Tabari in discussing the fitnah.

Section Three: His methodology in writing his Tarikh.

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Section One

The nature of the Tarikh of Imam al Tabari and its academic significance

 

I. The Tarikh of Imam al Tabari

Imam al Tabari speaks of the nature of his Tarikh in the introduction to his book. He says:

 

وأنا ذاكر في كتابي هذا من ملوك كل زمان من لدن ابتدأ ربنا خلق خلقه إلى فنائهم ، من انتهى إلينا خبره ، من أبتدأه الله تعالى بالاله ونعمه فشكر نعمه من رسول مرسل أو ملك مسلط أو خليفة مستخلف ، فزاده إلى ما ابتدأه به من نعمة في العاجل نعما ، وإلى ما تفضل به عليه فضلا ، ومن أخر ذلك له منهم وجعله له عنده ذخرا ، ومن كفر منهم نعمه فسلبه ما أبتداه به من نعمه وعجل له نقمه ، ومن كفر منهم نعمه فمتعه ما أنعم به عليه إلى حين وفاته وهلاکه ، مقرونا ذكر كل من أنا ذاكره منهم في كتابي هذا يذکر زمانه وجمل ما كان من حوادث الأمور في عصره وأيامه

In this book of mine, I shall mention whatever information has reached us about kings throughout the ages from when our Lord began the creation of His creation to its annihilation. There were messengers sent by Allah, kings placed in authority, or Khalifas positioned in succession. Allah had early on bestowed His benefits and favours upon some of them.

They were grateful for His favours, and He thus gave them more favours and bounty in addition to those bestowed by Him upon them in their fleeting life, or He postponed the increase and stored it up for them with Himself. There were others who were not grateful for His favours, and so He deprived them of the favours He had bestowed upon them early on and hastened for them His revenge. There were also others who were not grateful for His favours, He let them enjoy them until the time of their death and destruction. Every one of them whom I shall mention in this book of mine will be mentioned in conjunction with his era but only summaries of the events in his day and age will be added.[2]

 

It should be borne in mind that Imam al Tabari penned his Tarikh in order to reinforce a core ideology emanating from his beliefs and perception of faith. The ideology of faith in the commands, prohibitions, justice, judgment, and decree of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. This ideology extends to the include belief in a continuous tradition of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala that does not change. It further takes into account the belief that every individual is free, able to make a choice, and governed by his servitude to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and weight of vicegerency on this earth by way of which he ought to establish the Shari’ah of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. This ideology culminates in the belief that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will reward the faithful obedient servants whilst He will punish the disloyal sinful ones.

Thus, his historical view when assessing events is governed by a thought process that is illuminated by a deep belief in Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and a profound understanding of his laws and injunctions. Similarly, the methodization of his work, taking inspiration from the lives of Prophets and Kings, is based upon principles that seek to reveal lessons of a continuous tradition of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in relation to humanity. These lessons are for the intellectual to ponder over and realise the tradition of assistance that is granted to the believers who enact his laws; be it the Prophets or their followers. Similarly, the tradition of destroying the oppressors and their cronies and at times giving them respite till they taste the punishment on the Day of Qiyamah. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

إِنَّا لَنَنصُرُ رُسُلَنَا وَالَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا فِيْ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيَوْمَ يَقُوْمُ الْأَشْهَادُ

Indeed, We will support Our messengers and those who believe during the life of this world and on the Day when the witnesses will stand.[3]

 

Imam al Tabari divided his work into two distinct parts. The first part deals with vicegerency and human origins. It discusses the descent of Adam ‘alayh al Salam to the earth and the incident of Qabil and Habil followed by a profile of the various Prophets ‘alayhim al Salam. It deals with the lives of Nuh, Ibrahim, Lut, Ismail, Ayub, Shu’ayb, Yaqub, Yusuf, Musa, Ilyas, Dawood, Sulaiman, Salih, Yunus, ‘Isa, and Muhammad—pre migration—may peace and blessings be upon them all.

Similarly, Imam al Tabari has, in this first part, given historical accounts of the previous nations. He discusses the Persians, the Banu Isra’il, and the Arabs. He outlines the history of the Sasanians from its inception; under Manushahr, to the era of Khosrow Parviz. He discusses the Battle of Dhi Qar and Yazdegerd ibn Shahriyar[4]. Persians and Sassanid history form a large part of the Tarikh of Imam al Tabari especially the latter[5], as the historical records of this time period had been circulated with much attention given to the Sassanid-Arab relations. Imam al Tabari then details the history and narrations of the Banu Isra’il. He also recounts the Roman Empire, listing the names and eras of its Emperors[6] whilst giving far less detail than that given under the discussion of the Sassanid Empire.

He then relates the events of ‘Ad, Thamud, Jurhum, Judays, and Tism.[7] This is followed by discussing the Kingdoms of Yemen; the Tababi’ah and others. The incident of Judhaymah al Abrash with al Zabba’; the renowned Queen is related.[8] The incidents of al Munadhirah and al Ghasasinah[9] has been discussed here. He then goes on to discuss the forefathers of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and profile the life of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam before prophethood.[10]

It becomes apparent in this first part that Imam al Tabari outlines events without delving into specifics, either due to the fear of lengthening the book beyond its scope, or due to a lack of confidence in these details considering the long time period, possibility of embellishments and non-continuity of the chain of narrators. Or perhaps these details simply don’t hold much importance in his view.

The second part of the book deals with the events of Islamic history, post-migration of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam up to the year 303 A.H/915 A.D. Imam al Tabari recounts the events of migration, battles of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his emissaries, and delegations that came to him. He further discusses the life, characteristics, and death of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[11]

He then begins discussing the era of the Rightly Guided Khalifas by narrating the caliphate of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the battles against apostasy in his era.[12] He recounts the conquests that came about during the reign of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum.[13] This is followed by the fitnah that began taking shape in the era of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu which ultimately led to his confinement and assassination.[14] The themes after this are dedicated to the events and fitnah during the era of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu culminating with the battles of Jamal and Siffin.[15] The consequences of these events are discussed in the light of Tahkim (arbitration) and physical confrontation with the Khawarij.[16] Imam al Tabari thereafter discusses the abdication of al Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu wherein he ceded the caliphate to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu as a result of which the Muslims came together under one banner and one khalifah; an event that caused that year to be known as ‘Am al Jama’ah (year of reconciliation).[17]

This dates the beginning of the Umayyad Dynasty under the leadership of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and some of the most significant events that occurred in during his reign; taking the pledge of allegiance in favour of his son, Yazid[18], and the revival of conquests which had fallen dormant during the era of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu due to the fitnah.[19] Imam al Tabari then goes on to discuss the events that occurred during the reign of Yazid; such as the murder of Hussain and the Battle of Harrah.[20] This is followed by the passing down of the caliphate after the death of Muawiyah ibn Yazid[21] marking the end of the Sufyanid line and the inception of the Marwanid line of the Banu Umayyah.[22]

Generally, Imam al Tabari does not omit major events that occurred during the Umayyad Dynasty. He includes incidents such as the clash between the Umayyads and ‘Abdullah ibn Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarding the caliphate[23], the mobilisation of Al Mukhtar ibn Abi ‘Ubaidullah al Thaqafi[24], the uprising of ‘Abdur rahman ibn al Ash’ath[25] against al Hajjaj ibn Yusuf al Thaqafi[26] at Sijistan[27], and the conflicts between the Umayyads and the Khawarij.[28]

This is besides the other scattered events which he has recounted regarding the appointment of governors, emissaries, leaders in Hajj, and records of conquests during the era of the Umayyad Dynasty. At the end discussing the events of a year he mentions the names of governors and leaders of Hajj. Similarly, he mentions the names of leaders of battles if there were any in that year.[29] He profiles every khalifah from the Khalifas of the Umayyad Dynasty at the date of their death. For example, he profiles Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu at his death recounting his life and events that relate to him.[30]

Imam al Tabari then outlines the rise of the Abbasid Dynasty by a major proponent of the movement in the east; Abu Muslim al Khurasani.[31]  He details the events that led to the rise of this dynasty, mainly due to the weakening of the Umayyad Dynasty as a result of infighting between the sons of the house of al Hakim[32] and the strengthening of the Abbasids. He then mentions the Khalifas of this dynasty in succession and the events in their eras, notably the rise to the seat of caliphate and fall from it. And as per his habit, he profiles them at the end of every year.[33]

He then references the battles against the Romans as well as the summer and winter raids into enemy territory.[34] He recounts the border patrols[35], conflicts with the Khawarij[36], matters of strife such as the Alawite rebellion against the Banu al ‘Abbas[37], pursuing the heretics, the Baramikah catastrophe in the era of al Rashid[38], the uprising of some Arab tribes due to the preference given to the Persians and Turks[39], the dispute between the sons of al Rashid regarding the Sultanate[40], and the revolts of the Rawandiyyah, Kharamiyyah, Zanj, and Qaramitah[41].

He then mentions the struggle for leadership after the caliphate of al Mu’tasim[42] and the rise and dominion of the Turks in whose hands the Khalifas had become a play thing, appointing, demoting, and killing[43] at whim which significantly weakened the Abbasid leadership and began a tumultuous period.

 

II. The academic significance of his Tarikh.

The book of Imam al Tabari is unique in the long time period it covers, large volume of information it contains, and multitude of sources. It is also remains distinct as a compendium of narrations, articles, and booklets of historians from a time before it. The Imam thus absorbed most of that which preceded it. He created an encyclopaedia which was of considerable benefit, as many early sources had later went missing. The book of Imam al Tabari, essentially an encyclopaedia persevered these lost works. Many works of al Mada’ini, Saif ibn ‘Umar, al Waqidi, Ibn Shabbah, Hisham ibn Muhammad al Kalbi, al Sha’bi[44], al Asma’i, ‘Uwanah ibn al Hakam, al Haytham ibn ‘Adi[45], and others were lost. Imam al Tabari absorbed these and added tens of narrations to each which he had gained from his teachers, especially the scholars of hadith and tafsir.

Other unique characteristics of his book lay in the preservation of chains of transmission, referencing opinions, and gathering differing narrations regarding a single event. This enables the academic to recognize the strength of each narration by way of critiquing the chain of transmission, knowing its narrators, and sources whilst at the same time providing the opportunity to evaluate one narration against another. This makes it easy to identify any impairing defect (‘Ilal) in the chains of narrations and sift the strong from the weak. The brilliance of his Tarikh also lays in the chronological order it is set in. This aids the reader or researcher in noting the socio-political stages of the Muslim ummah throughout its history as well as the periods of strength and weakness that brightened and plagued it. Observing these stages concurrent to the efforts of jihad and adherence of society to the laws and injunctions of the shari’ah brings about the realization that whenever the ummah adhered to the shari’ah of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and continued striving in jihad it held, strong and majestic. On the other hand, it becomes clear that when the ummah deviated from the shari’ah, gave up striving in jihad, sunk into internal conflicts, and began contesting the seat of leadership, it resulted in weakening and falling into helplessness.

It is worthy of mention that though the focal point of the Tarikh and a great portion of its subject matter is dedicated to states, rulers, and authority; it does not disregard monitoring and mentioning of socio-economic trends throughout the ages. The author discusses the uprising of the scholars in Iraq[46], the Sudanese revolt in Madinah[47], the public upheaval in Baghdad[48], Arab sectarian antagonism in Basrah, Khurasan, and Sham[49], and the contention between the Arabs and non-Arabs[50]. All of these were a result of socio-economic grievances and disregard to a harmonious governance approach. Similarly, the academic will note sectarian movements of a political or military nature such as those introduced by the Khawarij[51], Shia[52], Kharamiyyah[53], Rawandiyyah[54], Zanj[55], and Qaramitah[56]; together with the stages of consolidation and action they passed through. This was done under a rule wherein they could appeal to sentiments of exploitation to various segments of society by way of social injustices to the peasants, tradespeople, and general public which came as a result of internal instability and strife amongst the Abbasid Dynasty.

Another distinction of the Tarikh of Imam al Tabari is that it highlights important administrative information of annual appointments such as revenue collectors, commanders of the pilgrims, regional governors, and chief justices.[57] Similarly, it highlights information pertaining to urban development and expansion of Islamic cities[58], particularly that of Baghdad. It recounts the developmental stages of urban expansion that created the city.[59] It also details the stages of expansion of the two holy cities; Makkah al Mukarramah and Madinah al Munawwarah.[60]

Some Arab academics have erred in their study of the book. For example, Jawad ‘Ali in his work titled Mawarid Tarikh al Tabari published by Majallah al Majma’ al ‘Ilmi al Iraqi[61] and Shakir Mustafa in his book titled Al Tarikh al Arabi wa al Mu’arrikhun[62] have deemed the Tarikh of Imam al Tabari to have focused solely on the feats and actions of individuals together with opining that the work according to Imam al Tabari is a historical record of political events, rulers, battles, and armies.

This opinion is far from fact. It is, in fact, an injustice to Imam al Tabari who has clarified his approach and view to history in the introduction to his book. Besides, he has not disregarded the political, social, and administrative aspects in his Tarikh as has been elucidated.

It should also be noted that the work Tarikh al Rusul wa al Muluk is considered a great accomplishment that denotes the profound knowledge of the author. None of the early or later day historians have embarked on gathering and presenting such a multitude of narrations in a single book. Neither have any of them shown the keen interest that Imam al Tabari displayed in gathering multitudes of narrations. His work therefore stands out as a treasure of narrations and texts that have been sought out within the realm of possibility. Furthermore, this was done with absolute neutrality, total integrity in narrating, and complete comprehensiveness in presentation. These are the reasons that his book has attained distinction and fame that other books of history have not.

Owing to this, historians that have come in the eras after that of Imam al Tabari find themselves dependent upon his book in aspects that relate to the first three centuries of Islamic history.

Individuals have worked diligently on his Tarikh since its release. His book was laboriously copied out by hand time and again. It became a thing of admiration in libraries of Kings and rulers. Al Maqrizi[63] states that the library of al ‘Aziz bi Allah al Fatimi[64] boasted more than twenty copies of it, one of them in the writing of the author himself.[65]

Historians took to appending it periodically from the appendix of Gharib ibn Sa’d[66], author of Silah Tarikh al Tabari, to the one written by King al Salih Ayub ibn al Kamil[67].

Similarly, many abbreviated his Tarikh. Ibn Nadim has counted amongst these, Muhammad ibn Sulaiman al Hashimi[68], Abu al Hussain al Shimshati[69], and others[70].

Many have translated this monumental work of his as well. Muhammad ibn ‘Ubaidullah al Bal’ami[71] translated it into Farsi upon the instruction of Amir Mansur ibn Nuh al Samani[72]. This Farsi translation was then translated into Turkish during the Ottoman Caliphate and was published in Astana the year 1260 A.H/ 1844 A.D. The Turkish translation was translated into French by Hermann Zotenberg and was published in Paris the year 1291 A.H/ 1874 A.D. This was used to translate the book into other European languages.[73]

The Arabic manuscript was first published by orientalists in Leiden, Netherlands the year 1297 A.H/1879 A.D. It was then published by Al Matba’ah al Hussainiyyah in Egypt the year 1339 A.H/1920 A.D. It was thereafter published by Dar al Istiqamah in Egypt the year 1358 A.H/1939 A.D. The latest and what is considered the most accurate print was by Dar al Ma’arif in Egypt with the annotations of Abu al Fadl Ibrahim. This was published the year 1387 A.H/ 1967 A.D.

 

NEXT⇒ Section Two: The principle sources of Imam al Tabari in discussing the fitnah


[1] The book title could be translated as Annals of the Apostles and Kings or History of the Prophets and Kings.

[2] Al Tabari: Al Rusul wa al Muluk, vol. 1 pg. 6.

[3] Surah Ghafir: 51.

[4] Tarikh al Rusul, first and second parts.

[5] Ibid, vol. 2 pg. 37.

[6] Ibid, vol. 1 pg. 606.

[7] Ibid, vol. 1 pg. 629.

[8] Ibid, vol. 1 pg. 613.

[9] Ibid, vol. 1 pgs. 193-213.

[10] Ibid, vol. 1 pg. 239.

[11] Ibid. Refer to the end of the second volume and beginning of the third volume.

[12] Ibid, vol. 3 pg. 249.

[13] Ibid. Refer to the third volume and beginning of the fourth volume.

[14] Ibid, vol. 4 pg. 263 and after.

[15] Ibid. Refer to the end of the fourth volume and beginning of the fifth volume.

[16] Ibid, vol. 5 pg. 67.

[17] Ibid, vol. 5 pg. 158.

[18] He is Yazid ibn Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, Abu Khalid al Qurashi, al Umawi, the khalifah.

  • Al Dhahabi says profiling him, “He was strong, brave, opinionated, resolute, intelligent, and eloquent. He was a good poet, a Nasibi, rude, harsh, and tough. He drank wine and was involved in evil. His reign began with the murder of Hussain and ended with the Battle of Harrah. People showed aversion to him. His life was bereft of blessings—his reign lasted less than four years—and many opposed him after Hussain. Amongst his good recorded is the Battle of Constantinople wherein he led an army. An army that had the likes of Abu Ayub al Ansari radiya Llahu ‘anhu. We do not curse him nor express love for him. Many of the Khalifas from Dynasties—the Umayyad, Abbasid, and others—were like him and many worse than him.”

He passed away the year 64 A.H/683 A.D. His life has been recorded by Khalifah: Al Tarikh, pgs. 211-262; Ibn Qutaybah: Al Ma’arif, pg. 153; Al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam an-Nubala’, vol. 1 pg. 35; and Ibn al Kathir in Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 8 pg. 226.

[19] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, vol. 5 pgs. 229-301.

[20] Ibid, vol. 5 pg. 400 and after and pg. 485 and after.

[21] He is Muawiyah ibn Yazid ibn Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, Abu Layla al Qurashi al Umawi, the khalifah.

  • Al Dhahabi says, “He was young, pious, and better than his father. He ruled for forty days and then abdicated. He refused to appoint a successor.”

His life has been recorded by Khalifah: Al Tarikh, pg. 255; Ibn Qutaybah: Al Ma’arif, pg. 154; and Al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam an-Nubala’, vol. 1 pg. 139.

[22] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, vol. 5 pg. 53.

[23] Ibid, vol. 1 pg. 173.

[24] Ibid, vol. 1 pg. 38.

[25] He is ‘Abdur rahman ibn Muhammad ibn al Ash’ath ibn Qais al Kindi. Governor of Sijistan. Al Hajjaj deployed him as the governor of Sijistan where he gave rise to a rebellion. He marched with a large army which consisted of scholars and pious people when al Hajjaj violated the sacred bounds. A battle ensued between the two and Ibn al Ash’ath was defeated. He sought refuge at Ratbil, Sijistan. However, they betrayed him and sent him to al Hajjaj in chains. It is said that when he neared Iraq, he threw himself of a derelict tower and met his end. This was in the year 84 A.H/703 A.D. His life has been recorded by, by Khalifah: Al Tarikh, pgs. 280-288; and Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, vol. 6 pgs. 326-393.

[26] Al Dhahabi says profiling him, “Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala destroyed him the year 59 A.H in old age. He was an oppressor and a tyrant. A Nasibi, evil, a blood shedder. He was brave, courageous, conniving, and cunning. He was eloquent and revered the Qur’an. He laid siege to Ibn al Zubair at the Ka’bah and attacked him with catapults. He humiliated the residents of the sacred cities, governed Iraq and the east for twenty years, fought Ibn al Ash’ath, and delayed the times of prayer until Allah removed him. We do not swear him not express love for him. Rather we show disdain to him for the sake of Allah. This being an integral part of faith. He has done good that drowns in the ocean of his evil. In some ways other tyrants were like him yet in some ways his tyranny was unprecedented.” His life has been recorded by Khalifah: Al Tarikh, pgs. 205-357; Al Mas’udi: Muruj al Dhahab, vol. 3 pg. 365; Al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam an-Nubala’, vol. 4 pg. 343; and Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 2 pg. 311.

[27] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, vol. 6 pg. 334.

[28] Ibid. Refer to volume five and six.

[29] Ibid. For example see, vol. 5 pg. 289.

[30] Ibid, vol. 5 pg. 323.

[31] He is ‘Abdur rahman ibn Muslim. Commonly known as Abu Muslim al Khurasani. A proponent of the Abbasid Dynasty and defeater of the Umayyad armies.

  • Ibn Khallikan says, “He was eloquent in both Arabic and Farsi. He was a gifted orator. He narrated poems and was well aware of the state of affairs.”
  • Al Hafiz al Dhahabi states, “He narrated from Abu al Zubair and others. He wasn’t worthy of narrating from as he shed more blood than al Hajjaj. He was an extraordinary and unusual A man who would travel upon a donkey with packsaddle from Sham to Khurasan. He continued to connive and work tirelessly in Marw for ten years till he marched with battalions like mountains toppling dynasties and forming new ones. Abu Jafar al Mansur killed him fearing for his Sultanate the year 137 A.H/754 A.D.”

His life has been recorded by Khalifah: Al Tarikh, pg. 415; Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 10 pg. 207; Ibn Khallikan: Wafayat al A’yan, vol. 3 pg. 145; Al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam an-Nubala’, vol. 6 pg. 48; and Al Dhahabi: Al  Mizan, vol. 2 pg. 589.

[32] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul. See, volume seven.

[33] Ibid. See for example, vol. 7 pg. 649.

[34] Ibid, vol. 8 pg. 320.

[35] Ibid, vol. 8 pg. 313.

[36] Ibid, vol. 8 pg. 142; vol. 7 pg. 498.

[37] Ibid, vol. 7 pg. 552.

[38] Ibid, vol. 8 pg. 287.

[39] Ibid. Refer to the eighth and ninth volume.

[40] Ibid, vol. 8 pg. 364.

[41] Ibid. Refer to the ninth and tenth volume.

[42] He is Muhammad ibn Harun al Rashid, titled al Mu’tasim. The Abbasid Khalifah and conqueror.

  • Al Khatib says, “Al Mu’tasim stormed Byzantine cities the year 223 A.H. vanquishing them.”
  • Al Dhahabi says, “He was strong, resilient, brave, and awe inspiring. However, he lacked knowledge.”

He passed away the year 227A.H/841 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn Qutaybah: Al Ma’arif, pg. 171; Abu Hanifah al Dinawari: Al Akhbar al Tiwal, pg. 401; Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, vol. 9 pg. 118; Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 3 pg. 342; and Al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam an-Nubala’, vol. 9 pg. 290.

[43] Ibid, vol. 9 pg. 222.

[44] He is ‘Amir ibn Shurahil ibn ‘Abd Dhi Kibar al Sha’bi al Yemeni Abu ‘Amr. A narrator of the prophetic life and historical events. Similitudes are given owing to his extraordinary memory. He is considered to be reliable. He accepted the appointment of judge for ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz. From his books are, Al Maghazi, Al Shura wa Maqtal ‘Uthman, Al Fara’id wa al Jarahat and Al Kifayah fi al ‘Ibadah wa al Ta’ah. He passed away the year 103 A.H/721 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn Sa’d: Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 6 pg. 246; Al Fasawi: Al Ma’rifah wa al Tarikh, vol. 2 pg. 592; Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 12 pg. 227; Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 5 pg. 65; and Abu Nuaim: Al Hilyah, vol. 4 pg. 310.

[45] He is Al Haytham ibn ‘Adi ibn ‘Abdur rahman al Ta’i al Kufi Abu ‘Abdur rahman. Genealogist and historian. He has many works on history, accolades, and genealogy. Amongst them are, Kitab al Tarikh ‘ala al Sinin, Al Wufud, Khawatim al Khalifas, Tarikh al ‘Ajam wa Bani Umayyah. Khitat al Kufah, Qada’ al Kufah wa al Basrah, Kitab al Dawlah, ‘Ummal al Shart wa Umara’ al Iraq, and Tarikh al Ashraf. He passed away the year 207 A.H. 822 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn al Nadim: Al Fihrist, pgs. 145-146; Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 14 pg. 52; Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 19 pg. 309; and Al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam an-Nubala’, vol. 1 pg. 111.

[46] Tarikh al Rusul, vol. 6 pg. 347.

[47] Ibid, vol. 7 pg. 609.

[48] Ibid, vol. 7 pg. 609.

[49] Ibid, vol. 7 pgs. 30/505 and vol. 8 pg. 262.

[50] Ibid, vol. 7 pg. 285.

[51] Ibid, vol. 5 pg. 165; vol. 7 pg. 498.

[52] Ibid, vol. 5 pg. 551; vol. 7 pg. 552.

[53] Ibid, vol. 9 pg. 23.

[54] Ibid, vol. 7 pg. 505.

[55] Ibid, vol. 9 pg. 407.

[56] Ibid, vol. 10 pg. 23.

[57] Ibid, vol. 3 pg. 342; vol. 5 pg. 308; vol. 7 pg. 142.

[58] Ibid, vol. 6 pg. 383.

[59] Ibid, vol. 7 pg. 614.

[60] Ibid, vol. 5 pg. 622; vol. 6 pg. 435; vol. 7 pg. 500.

[61] Jawad ‘Ali: Mawarid Tarikh al Tabari’, Majallah al Majma’ al ‘Ilmi al Iraqi. Issue 1 1370 A.H. 1950 A.D. pg. 167.

[62] Shakir Mustafa: Al Tarikh al ‘Arabi wa al Mu’arrikhun, vol. 1 pg. 256.

[63] He is Ahmed ibn ‘Ali ‘Abdul Qadir, Abu al ‘Abbas al Hussaini al ‘Abidi al Maqrizi. He was born and brought up in Cairo where he was appointed to intervene in enjoining good and forbidding evil (hisbah), give lectures, and lead the prayer. Amongst his books are, Al Mawaiz wa al I’tibar bi Dhikr al Khutat wa al Athar, Al Suluk li Ma’rifah Duwal al Muluk, Al Bayan wa al I’rab amma fi Ard Misr min al A’rab, Tarikh al Aqbat, Shudhur al ‘Uqud fi Dhikr al Nuqud, Risalah fi al Awzan wa al Akyal, Imta’ al Asma’ bima li al Rasul min al Abna wa al Amwal wa al Hafadah wa al Mata’, Tajrid al Tawhid al Mufid, ‘Iqd Jawahir al Asqat min Muluk Misr wa al Fustat, Al Ilmam bi Akhbar min Ard al Habashah min Muluk al Islam and Al Turuq al Gharibah fi Akhbar Hadar Mawt al ‘Ajibah. He passed away the year 845 A.H/1441 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Sakhawi: Al Tibr al Masbuk, pg. 21; Al Shawkani: Al Badr al Tali’, vol. 1 pg. 79.

[64] He is Nizar ibn Ma’d al ‘Aziz bi Allah al ‘Abidi al Fatimi, Abu Mansur. A ruler of the Fatimid Dynasty. The pledge of allegiance was given to him after the death of his father Al Mu’iz li-Din Allah in Egypt the year 365 A.H/975 A.D. He had a keen interest in linguistics and books. He died the year 386 A.H/996 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn al Athir: Al Kamil, vol. 8 pg. 220/ vol. 9 pg. 40; Al Maqrizi: Al Mawaiz wa al I’tibar bi Dhikr al Khutat wa al Athar, vol. 2 pg. 284.

[65] Shakir Mustafa: Al Tarikh al ‘Arabi wa al Mu’arrikhun, vol. 1 pg. 262.

[66] He is Gharib ibn Sa’d al Qurtubi, physician and historian. He was favoured by the Banu Umayyah in Andalus. Al Nasir appointed him to a position and Al Muntasir made him his scribe. He has works on the topics of medicine and history. Amongst these is the book, Khalq al Janin wa Tadbir al Habala wa al Mawludin. He passed away the year 369 A.H/979 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn ‘Abdul Malik al Marakishi: Al Dhayl wa al Takmilah li Kitabay al Mawsul wa al Silah, 5/1/141.

[67] He is Ayub ibn Muhammad al Kamil. Known as Al Malik al Salih. From amongst the great Ayubid Kings in Egypt.

  • Ibn Wasil says, “Al Malik al Salih Najm al Din was, dignified, chaste, modest, pure, far from levity and frivolity, dignified, and would remain silent for lengthy periods. He bought a large number of Kipchak slaves, who formed the core of his army and upon whom he depended heavily. They were known as the Bahriyyah (River Corps).”

He passed away the year 647 A.H/1249 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn al Jawzi: Mir’at al Zaman fi Tarikh al A’yan, vol. 8 pg. 775; Al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam an-Nubala’, vol. 23 pg. 187; Al Maqrizi: Al Suluk li Ma’rifah Duwal al Muluk, vol. 1 pg. 296; Ibn Iyas: Badai’ al Zuhur, vol.1.

[68] I haven’t come across his profile.

[69] He is ‘Ali ibn Muhammad al Shimshati al ‘Adawi. A scholar of linguistics and history. Amongst his books is Mukhtasar Tarikh al Tabari. He abbreviated the book by omitting the chain of narrations and completed it the year 377 A.H/987 A.D. His life has been recorded by Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 14 pg. 240; and Al Baghdadi: in Hadiyyah al ‘Arifin fi Asma’ al Muallifin wa Athar al Musannifin, vol. 5 pg. 682.

[70] Ibn al Nadim: Al Fihrist, pg. 327.

[71] He is Muhammad ibn ‘Ubaidullah ibn Muhammad al Tamimi al Bal’ami, Abu al Fadl. A minister as well as an eloquent scholar. Isma’il ibn Ahmed al Samani had appointed him. He has written, Talqih al Balagah and Al Maqalat. He passed away the year 329 A.H/940 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn al Athir: Al Kamil, vol. 8 pg. 122; and Ibn al ‘Imad: Shadharat al Dhahab, vol. 2 pg. 324.

[72] He is Mansur ibn Nuh ibn Nasr al Samani. Ruler of cities in Transoxiana. He was based in Bukhara. He passed away the year 366 A.H/977 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn al Athir: Al Kamil, vol. 8 pg. 673; and Ibn Khaldun: Al ‘Ibar, vol. 4 pg. 752.

[73] Shakir Mustafa: Al Tarikh al ‘Arabi wa al Muarrikhun, vol. 3 pg. 262.

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