SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- The North African Arabic poet, literary figure, and critic, Abu Ali Qairawani
On 20th of the Islamic month of Zil-Qa'dah in 456 AH, the North African Arabic poet, literary figure, and critic, Abu Ali Qairawani, passed away at the age of 66. Born in what is now Morocco, after basic studies he travelled to Qairawan, in what is now Tunisia, to attend the classes of prominent scientists. He honed his skills in poetry and literature. His poems are mainly odes, which depict the different phases of his social and literary life. He created a new approach in criticism of literary works. He has left behind several books including a biography of past and contemporary poets.
The Maliki jurisprudent and judge, Mohammad ibn Baqillani
On 23rd of the Islamic month of Zil-Qa'dah in 403 AH, the Maliki jurisprudent and judge, Mohammad ibn Tayyeb Qadhi Abu Bakr Baqillani, died at the age of 65. He lived most of his life in Baghdad and strove to promote the Sunni sect of Asharism. A prolific writer, among his works is the book titled "E'jaaz al-Qur'an" that speaks of the eternal miracle of the Holy Scripture, the miracles of the Prophet, and rebuts Brahmanism, Dualism, Trinitarianism, etc.
The esteemed Egyptian legist and historian, ibn Zulaq
On 25th of the Islamic month of Zil-Qa'dah in 387 AH, the esteemed Egyptian legist and historian Abu’l Hasan ibn Ibrahim ibn Zulaq, passed away. Among his works, mention could be made of the book "Kitab Sirat al-Mu‘iz" on the life of the Fatemid Ismaili Shi'ite Caliph Mu'iz, who shifted his seat of power to Egypt from what is now Tunisia in North Africa, after his general Jowhar as-Siqili conquered the Land of the Nile and built the city of Cairo including the famous al-Azhar Academy. Ibn Zulaq is considered a reliable authority on the history of Egypt, as he was witness to most events of his times.
The prominent Iranian Islamic scientist, historian, and thinker, Ibn Meskawaiyh
On 9th of the Islamic month of Safar in 421 AH, the prominent Iranian Islamic scientist, historian, and thinker, Abu Ali Ahmad ibn Mohammad ibn Yaqoub ibn Meskawaiyh, passed away at the age of 101 years. He was born in the city of Rayy, presently a southern suburb of modern Tehran, and was an accomplished scholar in all the sciences of his era.
He conducted studies and researches in medicine, chemistry, history and philosophy, and wrote valuable works in these fields. He was a follower of the school of Prophet Mohammad’s (SAWA) Ahl al-Bayt. He has left behind a large number of works in Arabic, including "Tahzib al-Akhlaaq", which was translated into Persian over two centuries after his death by the prominent scientist, Khwaja Naseer od-Din Tusi.
His other famous book is the voluminous "Tajareb al-Umam", which states the important events until 372 AH, and is considered as one of the authentic historical books. He was also devoted to literature and was an accomplished poet. His collection of poems shows his thoughts, and mastery over the languages, as is evident by the book he wrote in his native Persian titled “Javidan-e Kherad” on literature and poetry
The famous Sunni Islamic scholar and literary figure, Ibn Abi'l-Hadeed Mu'tazili
On 1st of the Islamic month of Zil-Hajjah in 586 AH, the famous Sunni Islamic scholar and literary figure, Izz ad-Din Abdul-Hameed ibn Abi'l-Hadeed Mu'tazili, was born in Mada'en. Among his books is the "Sharh Nahj al-Balagha", the famed commentary on the "Nahj al-Balagha" (Highways of Eloquence), which contains some of the sermons, letters, and sayings of the Commander of the Faithful, the Leader of the Pious, the Prophet's vicegerent, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS).
The Muslim scientist Banna al-Marrakushi
On 9th of the Islamic month of Zil-Hijjah in 654 AH, the Muslim scientist Abu'l-Abbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Banna al-Marrakushi was born in Morocco. He was a mathematician, astronomer, Islamic scholar, Sufi, and astrologer. The crater Al-Marrakushi on the Moon is named after him. He has left behind 82 important books.
The well-known Muslim author, exegete, and linguist, Ibn-e Anbari
On 10th of the Islamic month of Zil-Hijjah in 328 AH, the well-known Muslim author, exegete, and linguist, Abu-Bakr Baghdadi, known as Ibn-e Anbari, died at the age of 57. He had a sharp memory and was known for his ethical virtues. Those, who attended his classes, said that he only relied upon his memory in his classes; hardly using books. His books include "Adaab al-Kateb".
The well-known Muslim historian and narrator of hadith, Abu Abdullah Waqedi
On 11th of the Islamic month of Zil-Hijjah in 207 AH, the well-known Muslim historian and narrator of hadith, Abu Abdullah Waqedi, died in Baghdad. It is said that he copied the works of Ibrahim bin Mohammad bin Abi Yahya, a disciple of the Prophet's 6th Infallible Heir, Imam Ja'far as-Sadeq (AS), by attributing them to himself. Among his works is the book titled "al-Maghazi" on the campaigns of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He also compiled another renowned work, "Akhbar al-Makkah" or the History of Mecca.
The Muslim mathematician Ali ibn Ahmad Antaki
On 13th of the Islamic month of Zil-Hajjah in 376 AH, the Muslim mathematician Ali ibn Ahmad Antaki, passed away. He was born in the Syrian city of Antakya (formerly Antioch), which is currently in Turkey, and later took up residence in the city of Baghdad to learn sciences. Among the books written by him is "al-Mawazin al-Aadadiyah".
The famous historian Ibn Qifti
On 21st of the Islamic month of Zil-Hijjah in 568 AH, the historian Jamaleddin Abu’l-Hassan Ali ibn Yousuf ash-Shaybani, known popularly as Ibn Qifti, was born in the small Egyptian village of Qift. He studied in Cairo, and moved to Bayt al-Moqaddas and later to Aleppo in Syria, where he compiled most of his works. Some 26 of his works are known by their titles, of which only two survive. The first one is “Tarikh al-Hukama”, or “The History of Learned Men”, which contains 414 biographies of physicians, philosophers and astronomers.
The second extant work is a biography of about a thousand Muslim scholars. The lost works of Ibn Qifti dealt mostly with historiography, including the History of Cairo, The History of the Seljuqs, and histories of the Mirdasids of Syria, of the Buwayhids of Iraq and Iran, of Sultan Mahmoud Ghaznawi of Khorasan and what is now Afghanistan, in addition to separate histories of the Maghreb, and of Yemen.
The religious scholar and literary figure, Abu'l-Fazael Amedi
On 26th of the Islamic month of Zil-Hijjah 559 AH, the religious scholar and literary figure, Abu'l-Fazael Amedi, was born in the Iraqi city of Waset. In Baghdad he mastered such sciences as theology, jurisprudence, literature, and mathematics. He was an excellent poet and passed away in his hometown at the age of 49.
The Arab grammarian Abu'l-Abbas Mohammad al-Mubarrad
On 28th of the Islamic month of Zil-Hijjah in 285 AH, the Arab grammarian Abu'l-Abbas Mohammad al-Mubarrad died in Baghdad. He is regarded as the leader of the Basran grammarians against the Kufan School. He has criticized some points in the grammar of the famous Iranian grammarian of Arabic language, Sibawayh, the greatest writer of his own school. His main work is the grammatical book "al-Kamel". Although a Sunni Muslim, al-Mubarrad has mentioned the account that Princess Shahr-Banu – daughter of Yazdegerd III, the last Sassanid Emperor of Iran – had married Imam Husain (AS) and was the mother Imam Zayn al-Abedin (AS).
The grammarian and hadith narrator, Ibn Ahmad Khayyat
On 29th of the Islamic month of Zil-Hijjah in 320 AH, the grammarian and hadith narrator, Abu-Bakr Mohammad ibn Ahmad Khayyat, died. He was of Iranian stock from Samarqand in Central Asia, which is now in the present day Republic of Uzbekistan. He went to Iraq for higher studies and settled there after visiting different cities. Among his works mention can be made of "Ma'ani al-Qur’an".
The Arabic grammarian and philologist, Nazr Ibn Shumayl
On 30th of the Islamic month of Zil-Hijjah in 206 AH, the Arabic grammarian and philologist of Basra, Nazr Ibn Shumayl, died in Khorasan in the city of Merv, which is presently in the Republic of Turkmenistan. He is believed to be the first to compile a work on "Ilm Ghara'eb al-Hadith" (Uncommon Aspects of Hadith). He was a student of the famous lexicographer, Khalil ibn Ahmad al-Farahidi, and a classmate of the celebrated Iranian grammarian of Arabic, Sibawaih. In Khorasan, he became rich as a result of the favours of the Abbasid caliph, Mamoun and his Iranian vizier, Fazl Ibn Sahl.
The Egyptian grammarian, Ahmad al-Misri
On 30th of the Islamic month of Zil-Hijjah in 338 AH, the Egyptian grammarian, Ahmad Ibn Mohammad al-Misri, known popularly as Ibn Nahhas, passed away. He travelled to Iraq to study under az-Zajjaj, the famous philologist of Baghdad. Among his books are "E'rab al-Qur'an" on the correct pronunciation of Qur'anic ayahs; "Ishtiqaaq al-Asma al-Husna", on explanation of Divine Attributes, and "Tafsir Abyaat Sibawaih", which is a commentary on the verses of the famous Iranian grammarian of Arabic, Sibawaih.
The Kurdish Islamic scholar, Ibn al-Athir al-Jazari
On 30th of the Islamic month of Zil-Hijjah in 606 AH, the Kurdish Islamic scholar, Majd od-Din Mubarak Ibn Mohammad Ibn al-Athir al-Jazari, passed away in Mosul, where he was attached to the courts of the Zangid Turkic Amirs. He was an expert on hadith and Arabic language, and wrote such books as "Jame' al-Usoul", which is a compendium of the "Sihah as-Sitta" or the Six Authoritative Hadith Books of Sunni Muslims, compiled almost wholly by Iranian converts to Islam – except for the “al-Musnad” of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, who was an Arab. Majd od-Din was the eldest of the three famous scholarly brothers with the surname of Ibn al-Athir – the second Ali being the historian and author of the comprehensive history "al-Kamel fi't-Tarikh" (The Complete History).
The poet, author and literary figure, "Ibn Naqiyya”
On 4th of the Islamic month of Moharam in 485 AH, the poet, author and literary figure, Abu'l-Qasem Mohammad Baghdadi, known as "Ibn Naqiyya", passed away. He is among the innovators of the genre called "Maqamaat" and comes chronologically midway between Badi az-Zamaan al-Hamadani of Iran and Mohammad al-Qassem ibn Ali al-Hariri of Basra.
He amplifies more the irreverent tone than the linguistic register of Badi az-Zamaan Hamadani. The 6th Maqamah of Ibn Naqiyya (one of ten surviving pieces) shows in the author a quite detailed knowledge of philosophy, and from it we sense the growing tension between philosophy and Sunni theology in the eleventh century AD. He depicted the social corruption of his era through such works. He also wrote an exegesis of Holy Qur'an, covering 226 ayahs.
The Moroccan Muslim minister, author, and poet, "Ibn Idris"
On 4th of the Islamic month of Moharam in 1264 AH, the Moroccan Muslim minister, author, and poet, Abu Abdullah Mohammad Amravi Faasi, also known as "Ibn Idris" passed away. He started his studies with memorization of Holy Qur'an and soon mastered grammar. He composed an ode on the invasion of Algeria by the French, inviting Muslims to Jihad. Because of the conspiracies of his opponents, the Moroccan Sultan accused him of provoking riots, imprisoned him and tortured him. After his release, Ibn Idris kept a low profile but continued to compose poetry. The majority of his poems are in praise of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
The historian and geographer, Ibn al-Mujawir
On 7th of the Islamic month of Moharram in 601 AH, the historian and geographer, Yusuf ibn Yaqoub Shaybani Dameshqi, known as Ibn al-Mujawir, was born in the Syrian capital, Damascus. He spent his childhood and youth in Baghdad, learning sciences under the prominent figures of his era. He traveled all over the Arabian Peninsula and wrote the important work, "Tarikh al-Mustabsir", which contains valuable political, geographical, and social information of the whole region. He died at the age of 89 in 690 AH.
The Muslim astronomer, mathematician, and theologian, Ali ad-Durayhim
On 2nd of the Islamic month of Safar in 762 AH, the Muslim astronomer, mathematician, and theologian, Ali ibn Mohammad Ibn ad-Durayhim, passed away. He lived mostly in Syria and Egypt and lectured for many years on various topics. He is considered the pioneer of the science of cryptanalysis.
In fact, Ibn ad-Durayhim was the first to analyze the various capabilities of substitution for cipher, or zero, and to present what is called today the Vigenere Table, although he formulated this table more than two centuries before the European Blaise de Vigenere, who seems to have copied it from Islamic sources. Ibn ad-Durayhim's book entitled "Clear Chapters Goals and Solving Ciphers" was recently discovered, but has yet to be published. It includes the use of the statistical techniques pioneered by the famous philosopher Yaqub bin Ishaq al-Kindi.
The theologian, astronomer and mathematician, Qushju-Zadeh
On December 16, 1474 AD, the theologian, astronomer and mathematician, Ala od-Din Ali ibn Mohammed, Ali Qushji or Qushju-Zadeh (Son of Falconer), passed away in Istanbul at the age of 71. Born in Samarqand, he is believed to be of Iranian origin and played a prominent intellectual role in the court of the astronomer-king Ulugh Beg, after studying under such famous scientists as Qazi-Zadeh Roumi, Ghiyas od-Din Jamshid Kashani and Moin od-Din Kashi. He rejected Aristotelian physics and completely separated natural philosophy from astronomy, allowing it to become a purely empirical and mathematical science.
Long before Copernicus, he provided evidence of the Earth's rotation in his treatise, titled: "Concerning the Supposed Dependence of Astronomy upon Philosophy". He contributed to Ulugh Beg's famous work "Zijj-e-Sultani" and authored several scientific books. He moved to Kerman in southern Iran where he conducted researches on the storms of the Gulf of Oman. In Kerman he completed the book "Hall-e Ishkal-e Qamar" (Explanations of the Periods of the Moon) and also "Sharh-e Tajrid", which is an explanation of the famous Iranian theologian-scientist, Khwaja Naseer od-Din Tousi's "Tajrid al-Kalaam". It is considered one of the important works on physics, optics, metaphysics, and mathematics. He moved to Herat in Khorasan and taught the poet, Mullah Jami, about astronomy.
After a while, he went back to Samarqand, where he worked in the observatory, until Ulugh Beg was assassinated. Ali Qushji, after visiting Herat and Tashkent, went to the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz, where around 1470 the Aq Qoyunlu ruler, Uzun Hassan, sent him as a delegate to the court of the Ottoman Sultan, Mohammad II, for whom he wrote in Persian the treatise on astronomy titled "Risalah dar Hayy’at".
The theologian, physician, astronomer, and mathematician, Kamaleddin Ibn Yunus
On 5th of the Islamic month of Safar in 551 AH, the theologian, physician, astronomer, and mathematician, Kamaleddin Ibn Yunus, was born in Mosul, in Iraq. A prominent scientist of his era, in addition to Islamic knowledge, he was an expert on other religions, to the extent that Jews and Christians referred to him for explanation of passages of the Torah and Bible.
He was also well versed in literature and was a poet. He was a student of the Iranian astronomer, Sharafeddin Muzaffar ibn Mohammad Tusi, and in turn taught mathematics and astronomy to the famous Iranian Islamic genius, Khwaja Naseereddin Tusi. Ibn Yunus died at the age of 88. He wrote several books including "Asraar as-Sultaniyyah" on astronomy.
The physician and Shafei jurisprudent, Ibn an-Nafees
On 21st of the Islamic month of Zil-Qa’dah in 687 AH, the physician and Shafei jurisprudent, Ala od-Din Abu'l-Hassan Ali ibn Abi-Hazm al-Qarshi ad-Dimashqi, known popularly as Ibn an-Nafees, passed away at the age of 77 in Egypt. He is famous for being the first to describe the pulmonary circulation of the blood, three centuries before the European scientist, Miguel Sereto. Born in Damascus, he attended the famous medical college Bimaristan-e Noori, and apart from medicine, he learned jurisprudence, literature and theology.
At the age of 23 he moved to Egypt, where he worked at the an-Nassri Hospital, and subsequently as the chief of physicians at the al-Mansuriyya Hospital. His most voluminous book is "ash-Shamil fi't-Tibb", which was planned to be an encyclopedia comprising 300 volumes, but was not completed as a result of his death. His book on ophthalmology is also an original work.
His most famous book is "Mujaz al-Qanun" (Summary of Law). Another of his famous books, embodying his original contribution, was on the effects of diet on health, entitled "Kitab al-Mukhtar fi’l-Aghziya". His commentaries include one on the ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates' book, and several volumes on the Iranian Islamic genius Abu Ali Ibn Sina's "The Canon of Medicine". He also wrote a commentary on Hunayn Ibn Ishaq's book.