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Ibn Khaldun : His Life & Works
Ibn Khaldun : His Life & Works
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Details:  Ibn Khaldun : His Life & Works : New,
*[A5] Paperback - 170 pages,
ibn Khaldun [d.808h],
by Mohammad Abdullah Enan,
Published by Islamic Books Trust.

Description :

Ibn Khaldun the fourteenth century Arab historiographer and historian, isviews as the founder of modern historiography, sociology and economics. He lived during a turbulent part of history, and out of his experiences he "conceived and created a philosophy of history that was undoubtedly the greatest work ever created by a man of intelligence ..."

This work tells of the period of unrest in Ibn Khaldun's life marked by political rivalries. It was during this turbulent period which provided him with the opportunity to write the Muqaddimah (or Prolegomena) earning him an immortal place among historians, sociologists and philosophers.

About Ibn Khaldun :

He is ‘Abd al-Raḥmān b. Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan b. Jābir b. Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm b. ‘Abd al-Raḥmān Ibn Khaldūn. According to Ibn Khaldūn, his ancestors originated in Ḥaḍramawt, Yemen.

Ibn Khaldūn was born in Tunis on 27 May 1332 /1 Ramaḍān 732. He received a traditional education that was typical for one of his family’s rank and status. He learned first at the hands of his father, who was a scholarly person. He memorised the Qur’an, learned grammar, jurisprudence, ḥadīth, rhetoric, philology, and poetry. He reached a certain proficiency in these subjects and received certification in them.

Ibn Khaldūn continued his studies until the age of nineteen, when the great plague swept over the lands from Samarqand to Mauritania. It was after this plague that Ibn Khaldūn received his first public assignment, marking the start of his political career, and forever changing his life. Ibn Khaldūn travelled from Tunisia, Algeria and used to stay in Fez to further his studies. At this time, Fez was a capital of Morocco and enjoyed the company of many scholars from all over North Africa and Andalusia.

The political climate was tense and Ibn Khaldūn again tested his fate and conspired against the wazīr with al-Manṣūr. This loyalty was short-lived as well. He conspired with Sultan Abū Sālim, who overthrew al-Manṣūr. Ibn Khaldūn took the position of secretary (literally, “repository of secrets,” amīn al-sirr). In this, Ibn Khaldūn excelled in his position and composed many poems. He occupied the position for two more years and was then appointed Chief Justice. He showed great ability in this position, but, as a result of constant rivalry with high officials, he lost favor with the sultan.

At the age of forty-five, he enjoyed a peaceful existence, and began to write his famous work, the Muqaddima, and the first version of his universal history. He dedicated his work to the current amīr of Constantine, Sultan Abū l-‘Abbās. But tranquility did not last long for Ibn Khaldūn, as he needed reference works that were not available at his far outpost. He used the occasion of Abū l-‘Abbās’s conquest of Tunisia to go to Tunis. This was the first time he had returned to the town of his birth since leaving it more than twenty-seven years earlier.

His fame for his writings had already preceded him. He lectured at al-Azhar and other fine schools. When he met Sultan al-Ẓahir Barqūq (r. 784–801/1382–1399), he appointed him to a teaching post at the Kamāliyya school. He again enjoyed the favors of the sultan. He was appointed a Mālikī judge at the sultan’s whim, and anger. He fared well and tried to fight corruption and favouritism. 

Ibn Khaldūn again took permission to go on ḥajj to the Holy Lands. He returned and was well received, and appointed to a teaching position in the newly-built school, Bayn al-Qaṣrayn. He lectured in ḥadīth, particularly Imām Mālik’s Muwaṭṭā. He was then appointed to the Sufi khanaqa (school) of Baybars with a generous salary. But soon, the state of affairs of Egypt was disturbed, as a rival of Sultan Barqūq, Yalbughā al-Nāṣarī, organized a successful revolt in 791/1388. Sultan Barqūq staged a counter-revolt and was restored to his former throne. During this period, Ibn Khaldūn lost and then had his position restored with the return to power of the victorious Sultan Barqūq.

All the while, Ibn Khaldūn devoted his time to lecturing and studying, as well as to completing his universal history. After Yalbughā al-Nāṣarī’s revolt, he wrote about ‘aṣabiyya and its role in the rise and fall of states. He applied his theory to the Egyptian theater from the time of Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn. Fourteen years after leaving the position of chief Mālikī judge, Ibn Khaldūn was reassigned to the post upon the death of the presiding judge.

Upon Ibn Khaldūn’s return to Egypt, he was restored to his position as Mālikī judge. Due to the political situation within the community of Mālikī judges, Ibn Khaldūn was dismissed and reinstated three times during the five-year period. He died while in office on 26 Ramaḍān 808/17 March 1406. He was buried in the Sufi cemetery outside Bāb al-Naṣr, Cairo, at the age of seventy-four.

Also see Islamic History,
Also see Sirah, Biographies.

*Dimensions : 21.7 x 14.9cm.

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This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 15 May, 2019.