This part deals with the first half of Muslim historians. These include the early leading figures such as Ibn Hisham and al Tabbari. It also covers the historians of the period of the Crusades, North Africa and Spain, as well as Egypt. It explains that for Muslim historians, truth was the central concern, and it shows the extents such historians went to in their search of trusted links to the sources of facts. The works of many such historians, and their diverse editions and translations, are also looked at in good detail.
Figure 1: The Mongol Emperor Timur on his throne, after an Indian miniature by Rembrandt van Rijn. © Musée du Louvre/Bridgeman Art Library. In 1400, at the age of 67 or 68, Ibn Khaldun (1322-1406) was compelled by the Mamluk sultan al-Nasir to travel to Damascus in an effort to convince Timur to spare the city. But the talks failed, and Damascus was mercilessly attacked. (Source).
History is ‘the teacher of life’ reminds us De Somogyi. Everything that exists, he holds, can only be correctly understood by its past. Therefore, history is no abstract study but provides the key to the right appreciation of everything that is part of our own present. Consequently, the precise and true recording of past events is of great significance for the understanding of the present. That is why historical interest is one of
The oldest mental activities of mankind, which can be found even in the remotest periods of religious, national, or any other type of human society."
Centuries earlier, Muslims had recognised this, the role of history as a guide to our present, and even to help us march on towards the future. Perhaps the one who puts it better than all is the Egyptian historian, al Jabarti (1754-1822), who says:
Know that history is a discipline that seeks to learn the changing conditions of peoples, their countries, their laws, their customs, their crafts, their lineages, and dates of death. Its subject is the circumstances (of the lives) of such past figures as prophets, saints, scholars, wise men, poets, kings, and sultans. Its purpose is to uncover what the past was and how it existed, to discover the lesson to be gained from these events, to be well advised by them, and to acquire the faculty of understanding the changes wrought by time, so that the wise person may be warned of those situations in which former nations have vanished, follow their good deeds and avoid their evil tenets, forsake the transient, and diligently seek that which endures.".
The role of history in guiding us through the present and the future is, of course, understood in some nations more than others, whereby historians take on the leading role in conducting the affairs of such nations especially in times of conflict and crises. We could see, for instance, how Britain relied on eminent historical figures such as Sykes and Toynbee in its conduct of the First World War (1914-1918), whilst during the Second World War (1939-1945), Churchill, one of the most prolific writers on historical subjects, led the destinies of the country. For, indeed, only knowledge of nations and lessons of history (the latter tending to repeat itself, generally, and its rules adaptable at all times and in all places, like any science), providing the necessary light to conduct the most effective policy in times of duress in particular. In fact should we go back to early Islam, to the Caliphate of Abu Bakr (632-634), we quickly realise that the main reason he was able to defeat the tribes that were involved in the Riddah Wars (Wars of Apostasy), were his integrity, the respect Arabs in general, and Muslims in particular, had for him due to his closeness to the Prophet, but also his knowledge of the Arab tribes. No-one in Arabia, Rogerson remarks, knew the mesh of tribal identities better than him, who had been studying it for some fifty years. For although Abu Bakr was faced with the re-conquest of the entire tribal Arabia, he also knew there were many ways in which to do it. Thanks to this knowledge, whichever part of Arabia he looked at, and whichever tribe he considered, he adopted the right tactics, knowing which tribes would remain loyal or could be gained back peacefully, and which ones required a degree of force. The latter was necessary in the case of a number of tribes, which had chosen open military confrontation. From the start the Caliph’s actions were vindicated and thoroughly. He sent messages to the leaders of the tribes of Aslam, Ghifaar, Muzainah, Ashja', Juhainah, and Ka'ab, and as he expected, they remained faithful to the state. They answered his call, filling the streets of Madinah with their troops, who brought along with them horses, camels, and weapons, all of which were placed under the direct control of Abu Bakr.
Learning/teaching/writing history demands one fundamental requirement: truth. The Ottoman Turkish historian, Naima (d.1716) who, whilst raising the first important point (history as a teacher/guiding light) also insists on this golden rule:
There are certain vital conditions and important rules for those who record events and for those scholars who write history:
- First: They must be reliable in what they say, and must not make foolish statements or write spurious tales. If they do not know the truth about any particular question, they should address themselves to those who have fathomed it, and only then put down whatever they have ascertained to be the fact.
- Second: They should disregard the disquieting rumors which are gossiped about among the common people. Instead they must prefer the reliable, documented statements of men who knew how to record what actually did happen. How often do men of feeble intellect base their conclusions upon their own fallible imaginings! Although the actual nature of many events, and also the causes behind them, are well known to those who had a hand in them, such writers nevertheless spread abroad erroneous or completely unfounded accounts. Every century has many writers who accept widely spread popular rumors of this sort as fact and write them down for posterity without even once having examined into them.
- Third: Whatever the sphere of human life to which the question of which an historian is treating belongs, he should not be content simply to tell the story but should also incorporate useful information directly into his narrative. It is of no great consequence merely to recount campaigns and seasons of repose from campaigning, arrivals and departures, appointments to office and removals from office, and peace and war. Rather, historians ought first to inform themselves, from those who have proper information concerning the question in hand, of what was the divinely ordained condition of any age in history; of how, in a given century, the affairs of men were going forward, and in what direction; of what ideas and counsels were predominating in problems of administration and finance -in short, historians must first ascertain what it was that men thought and what it was over which they disagreed, what it was they believed to be the best course in the conduct of war and in making terms with the foe, what were the causes and the weaknesses which were then bringing triumph or entailing destruction. Then, after an historian has ascertained all these things, he should present his findings on the basis of their reliability. When this has been accomplished, later readers will be able to avail themselves of the different benefits of experience’s teachings. Put simple annals, devoid of these useful features, are in no way different from so many Hamza-names.
- Fourth: historians should speak frankly and fairly, ever mindful of the powers of the common people. They should not be fanatic or boastful or falsely modest or scandalous. If they must shield or praise some friend who does not deserve it, they should not exaggerate beyond the bounds of reason. And if, to attain their end, they must criticize and censure great men of praiseworthy works, they should never be unjust. In any case, they must take care to present the real nature of the question, regardless of what it may be.
- Fifth: Historians should abandon overly varied phraseology and overly obscure expressions. Instead they should choose easy phrases which the reader can fully grasp. Words that send one to the dictionary, and constructions and phrases fit for a style book are not suitable for a history. As if the author’s purpose were to display his talents and eloquence and mastery of rhetoric in a work designed for the learned.
- Sixth: Historians should quote in full any interesting correspondence of which they can get hold, useful anecdotes, verses and prose passages appropriate to the topic, works of unusual content, and epigrams.
Now, as we have seen in the previous part, and summed up briefly here, it is of the utmost importance that we recognise two crucial facts:
- Firstly that our knowledge, or most of it, derives from Western sources, including our knowledge of the works of Muslim historians. And until the day there are enough Muslim historians of the highest calibre, i.e historians who are read and enjoyed not just amongst their local tribe or circle, but historians who can be appreciated from America to China passing by Europe, Africa and the Arab-Muslim world, until then, reliance must be placed on Western sources in a very large measure.
- Western sources, as also explained in part one, are not just excellent but also necessary, and yet, they contain some of the most toxic stuff once can come across. They ought be manipulated with the care an eye surgeon exerts whilst performing his/her operations. Any careless act, and one is conveying to a wider audience the most lethal of knowledge. This is the tragedy of dealing with Muslim related subjects in our day: how much of the material is kosher, and how much is infected, and who is capable of knowing everything amongst us ‘scholars.’ Our limits are great and so is our responsibility, and however shrewd we can be, we know the dangerous grounds we are progressing through. Yet knowledge must be conveyed, otherwise the whole Islamic nation, including ourselves, would remain in a safe perimeter, but locked in that safe perimeter, whilst the foe lays more mines all around an ever shrinking perimeter, which is the case at the moment.
In seeking to inform on Muslim historians and their works, we find that the literature on them is extensively varied and abundant, but with variant quality as far as its integrity/mischievous side is concerned. This information is in the form of original manuscripts, possibly thousands of them, scores of treatises by individual historians, many secondary works in the form of articles, and other larger works, some very bulky in size and contents. As with much else, works in German dominate, above all Wustenfeld’s Geschichtsschreiber der Araber und ihre Werke. Also necessary to look into, and much more recent, but still in German, is Sezgin’s Geschichte des arabischen Schriftums. There are some works in French, but not as rich as in geography. In English, there is Rosenthal’s A History of Muslim Historiography, and Dunlop’s section on the subject in his Arab Civilization to AD 1500. Humphrey’s summary in the Dictionary of the Middle Ages presents good information on the Ottomans and Ibn Khaldun. There are also scores of articles and entries on the subject in dictionaries, lexicons and encyclopaedias. An important source in English, however, and by far, remains Sarton’s Introduction to the History of Science, that is the appropriate sections in each volume. Sarton literally enlightens on each and every Muslim historian, East and West, and gives the bibliography related to each. He passes little judgment as far as the ideology of the scholar is concerned, and, above all, keeps away from the usual practice of seeing good and excellence in every Islamic dissention, or source of dissention.
So keeping in mind the caveat raised in the paragraph previous to this one (trying to write but with our limits in understanding what is good and what is toxic), we outline the main streams of Muslim historians. It is impossible here to cite all historians, and at the length those cited deserve. This author lacks the resources, skills, knowledge, and competence to do so.
Figure 2a-b: Front cover of the first complete English translation of Ibn Khaldun's Al-Muqaddima by Franz Rosenthal published in 3 volumes in 1958. The Muqaddima, often translated as "Introduction" or "Prolegomenon," is the most important Islamic history of the premodern world. Written by Ibn Khaldun, this monumental work laid down the foundations of several fields of knowledge, including philosophy of history, sociology, ethnography, and economics.
1. Early Islamic Historians
Makhrama b. Nawfai az-Zuhri, who with Aqil b. Abi Talib, the elder brother of Ali, who was commissioned by Caliph Omar to make lists and a register of the Arab tribes, and Daghfal an-Nassaba (‘the Genealogist’) in the time of Mu’awiya, are some of the early historians of Islam. From these early times, Muslim historiography was characterized by a continuous narrative, in which each event is set out in the words of contemporaries and eyewitnesses. The mass of the learning was conveyed by reciters (rawis) who passed on the narrative to their successors. As is known with al Bukhari, for instance, to Muslims the degree of honesty of the authority is absolutely fundamental. Early Muslims had a particular aversion for the untrue and the unsure, and the pains they went through to reach the source, and the even greater pains they went through to form a chain of reliable links was extraordinary. The desire to clear up the undecided points in the teaching of the Prophet led to the formation of a Muslim school at Madinah, where the memory was assisted by written notes such as those taken down by Hasan of Basra (d. A.D. 728); oral tradition, however, still continued to be the one recognized authority, but in the second century, i.e. from 719 to 816, books, as we understand them, began to appear: the production of these received a definite impetus by the practice of studying genealogy, particularly in relationship to the Prophet, and thus we have the beginnings of written Muslim history.
The eager quest for truth aside, the other fundamental remark to make at this point is that history, as a discipline/science/subject has origins in both early Islam, and is intimately linked to the Islamic faith through the life and deeds of the Prophet. It is this element which stirred the rise of Muslim civilization not the usual mumbo jumbo we find in the vastest majority of works, including that Caliph al Ma’mun had a dream about Aristotle and woke up to start Muslim civilisation.
Amongst the early historians of Islam was Wahb Ibn Munabbih (d. 728) a Yemenite author. He reported on legends and reflected on the people of the book, as well as on oral traditions. He was also well acquainted with Biblical texts. His book Al-Mubtada (The beginning) is lost, but fragments can be found in Ibn Qutayba and Al-Tabari. Although Ibn Munabbih cannot be considered as a reliable historian, yet he exerted a certain influence on his followers.
On the whole, early Muslim historical writings were primarily concerned with the biography of Prophet Muhammad (the genre known as Sirat Rasul Allah) and the first wars of Islam (Al-maghazi). Both genres started under the Umayyad. Muhammad ibn Ishaq (d. 768) related the first known Sira or biography of the Prophet. Mohammed Ibn Ishaq’s work is lost, but the book that has come down to us is the one that passed through the hands of Ibn Hisham (d. 206 A.H/833.), who, without interfering with the text, has left it enriched with his own critical and philological notes.
Abu Muhammad Abdul-Malik ibn Hisham ibn Ayyub al-Himyari (d.833) was raised in Al-Basrah (Basra). Then he went to Egypt where he met Imam Al-Shafi’i. In addition to editing Ibn Ishaq’s biography, Ibn Hisham wrote a book on the lineage and kingship of Himyar, and a third work was an explanation of unclear Arabic poems. He died in Al-Fustat (Egypt). In the handling of his material on the Sirah of the Prophet, Ibn Hisham shows a distinct advance upon Ibn Ishaq. Though he leaves the text un-interfered with, he yet collects the varying traditions, reveals critical insight, shows an inclination to test the sources from which the information comes, and expresses his opinion on their authenticity or otherwise. He explains out-of-the-way expressions, words, phrases, and treats the entire subject from the standpoint of a trained philologist. In his edition of Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Hisham abstained from changing or adding anything unless he was explaining or refuting a narration. Whenever he made a modification he stated ‘Ibn Hisham said.’ His main purpose of citing Ibn Ishaq’s biography was to make an abridgment. Still reading Ibn Hisham in the original version is very complicated in places, for the author gives many versions of every fact and lengthy accounts of the sources. The passion for, not to say the obsession with, truth, at times can exhaust even the most patient reader, but it is to the credit of those early writers of Islam not to simplify (or as we would say cut corners,) for indeed, historical truth is priceless. Ibn Hisham’s method was also followed by al Tabari, and this makes these two early historians of Islam by far the most reliable historians of early times not just amongst Muslims but amongst all early historians, whether Muslim or non Muslim, for no other historian gives you such strong variety, chain of links, and narrations of facts. Ibn Hisham and al Tabari can be contrasted with other early historians of Islam such as al Wakidi, al Ya’qubi, Abu Mikhnaf, and a few others who were the very opposite; either relying on weak narrations, or giving their own versions, or simply contradicting themselves from literally one page to the other in regard to about everything, and have thus to be manipulated with the greatest of care.
Ibn Hisham also writes at great length about men present in battles, the names of captives, and other subjects. In Ibn Hisham's work we can also read about the creation of the world, Biblical prophets, and the advent of Islam. He rids his accounts of unreliable legends and poetry. The actions and deeds of the Prophet are scrupulously noted, and his battles described in great detail.
Ibn Hisham’s Sirat Muhammad rasul Allah is considered by Dunlop one of the best existing authorities on the life of the Prophet of Islam. The Arabic text of Ibn Hisham, in three volumes, was published at Göttingen by Wustenfeld, whilst a German translation was made by Weil, and an English translation by A. Guillaume. For those of us relying on European languages more than Arabic, a great assistance has been given in recent years by a group of proficient Muslim scholars who have done the excellent task of making Ibn Hisham not just more accessible, but also because of their proficient use of Arabic and better knowledge of Islam, have made his text reliable unlike his treatment by Western sources.
Al-Waqidi (d. 823), as noted in the previous part, is by far one of the most unreliable historians around, and is to be greatly dismissed for the reasons outlined.
With Ibn Sa’d (d. 845), a pupil and secretary of Al-Waqidi, begins the genre of biographies of Tabaqats (classes). His treatise Kitab al-tabaqat al-Kabir (the great book of classes), first deals with the biographies of the Prophet, his companions and later dignitaries of Islam till 845. Ibn Sa’d elaborates on the qualities of the Prophet and the main traits of his mission. Taking into account the works of his predecessors, Ibn Sa’d gives a larger focus to the embassies sent to the Prophet or sent by him. It is the first major example of religious biography, universal in scope, trying to include all the religiously relevant persons of Islamic history, comprising 4,250 entries, 600 of them women. Ibn Sa'd’s work can be found in a Sachau’s edition and in others.
Al-Baladhuri (d. 892) covers Islamic history from its origins until the Abbasids. His works include Kitab Futuh al-buldan and Kitab ansab al-ashraf, the first of these making his reputation. It is also considered an indispensable reading in the matter of the early Muslim conquests (Futuhat). It goes on from Arabia to Syria, and Mesopotamia and progresses both in a geographical and chronological order. The author takes his information from people, scholars and officials, relying on a vast correspondence and making investigations for accurate information. All details matter to him: culture, economy, politics, social acts, but he chooses very strictly and observes a critical approach, seeking to remain objective as much as possible. Al-Baladhuri also gives a very interesting account on the Muslim presence in southern Italy, a twenty or thirty year history, about which nothing else would be known if it was not for him. According to al-Mas’udi, ‘we know no better book on the conquests of the lands than al-Baladhuri’s’.
Figure 3: Modern view of Abd Al-Rahman Ibn Khaldun, the founder of a modern approach to the study of history and sociology, imagined by an Arab artist. (Source).
Al-Tabari remains the greatest of all amongst Muslim pre-Ibn Khaldun historians. According to Ibn Khallikan, the general History of at-Tabari (known to Europeans as the Annals) whose original title was Ta’rikh ar-Rusul wa’l-Muluk (history of the Apostles and Kings), was the soundest and most reliable work of its kind.
Al-Tabari (d.923) was born at Amul, north of the Elburz range in the coastal lowlands of the Gaspian Sea then called Tabaristan, and died in Baghdad. He was a precocious student who was, as he himself states, a hafiz or memoriser of the Qur’an aged seven, qualified as an imam or leader of Muslim worship aged eight and studied the Prophetic traditions aged nine, and it seems well-authenticated that he left home aged twelve. After several years spent as a poor wandering scholar in Arabia, Syria, and Egypt, he settled down as a jurist in Baghdad. His comfortable, if not luxurious, financial and economic circumstances enabled him to eat temperately, dress modestly and generally to avoid excess in all things. Anecdotal evidence suggests that he never accepted any official employment (such as that of judge, for which he would have been well qualified), although his post as tutor to the son of a vizier would doubtless have given him that high position had he wished for it. These stories stress his high moral standards and his great probity, with a reluctance to accept in return for services costly gifts which he did not feel he had earned or for which he could not give equally valuable presents in return.
He was now able to follow a career in a great variety of branches of knowledge. This was to embrace not only history, Qur’an exegesis, Hadith and Fiqh, but he also possibly wrote in the field of ethics and had interest in Arabic poetry. For forty years he devoted himself to composing an enormous universal history: Tarikh al-Rusul wa'l Muluk, (History of the Apostles and the Kings), to which the Europeans refer as The Annals. In it, al-Tabari studies the Islamic period up to 915, a few years prior to his death. His work gives us the best accounts of some early events of Islamic history. Known as a commentator of the Qur’an, he applies a critical methodology of hadith. He undertakes a series of travels through Iraq, Syria and Egypt, taking witnesses from his contemporaries. As an objective historian, he hardly expresses any judgement and keeps a global vision of history. What survives fills fifteen large volumes; we are told that the original was ten times as long. His method is chronological, describing events year by year, and usually traditional—tracing the narratives through one or more chains of Hadith to an eyewitness or contemporary of the incident, and his method has the virtue of stating sources carefully. Indeed, his principal authorities for the history are not, in general, any of the books, but chains of tradition going back wherever possible to eye-witnesses of the various occurrences. This was the method already employed in Al-Tabari’s time by the experts in the science of Hadith. The method was applied with rigour by the best of these experts (muhaddithun), who had criteria for estimating the value of the different traditions, with which Al-Tabari as a distinguished student of the religious sciences was perfectly familiar (his Tafsir or Qur’an Commentary has been as highly regarded by Muslims as his History, and he had an extensive work Tahdhib al-Athar-actually on Hadith).
On the whole, according to Dunlop, with the exception of Ibn al-Athir, whose great history Al-kamil, has not been translated in its entirety (by the time Dunlop was writing, in the early 1970s) into any western language, the Annals of al-Tabari is the best work in Arabic for information about the historical development of Islam and the Caliphate. Decisive moments of Islamic history are best described in this work. The Battle of Al-Qadisiyya (fought early 637), for instance, which decided the fate of Persia, is best described by him. Al-Tabari also provides a good description of the early caliphate, including Omar’s, and his social and other reforms. Al-Tabari also gives one of the best accounts of the bloody Carmathian uprising which occurred just before his death. His book is a major source of information for scholars, which according to Ibn Khallikan is the soundest and most reliable of its kind. For the history of Islam the Annals is no doubt the best single narrative work, at least for its scope (fifteen volumes in the Leiden edition of De Goeje). Rosenthal considered that Al-Tabari brought to his work the scrupulousness and indefatigable long windedness of the theologian, the accuracy and love of order of the scholarly jurist, and the insight into political affairs of the practicing lawyer-politician. It was, thus, only natural that his work never ceased to exercise a considerable influence upon future historians, serving as a model of how history ought to be written.
Al-Tabari is also the author of many other works. According to the biographer-traveller, Yaqut (d. 1229), Al-Tabari had planned a commentary on the Qur’an ten times more voluminous than the one he completed; that is 30,000 pages rather than 3,000. It was only the anguished protests of his pupils that led him to a smaller number. Al-Tabari is also said to have projected the precise number of pages for his universal history, 30,000 only to reduce that to the same 3000, because of the same youthful protests.
As-Süli (Abu Bakr Muhammad b. Yahya) (335/946 or 356), descendant or at least great-nephew of a Turkish prince, Sul Tigin of Jurjin, and a skilled chess-player, was a figure of some importance, as the author of a literary history, Kitab al-Awraq fi Akbar Ahl al-Abbas Wa sha’rihim (Book of Pages on the history of the Abbasids and their Poetry) was a courtier of the Caliphs al-Muktafi and al-Muqtadir, and enjoyed court favour later. His Kitab al-Awraq appears to have been divided originally into five or six parts, of which four have survived. J. Heyworth Dunne edited the last of these in 1934 under the title Kitab al-Awrak, Section on Contemporary Poets, and an edition of the whole work was planned and has perhaps been carried out in Haidarabad. Another portion of his work was edited by Heyworth Dunne, the Akhbar ar-Radi wa’l-Muttaqi bi’llah (History of the Caliphs ar-Radi and al-Muttaqi), and later translated by M. Canard. This is a good history on the court and the capital (like some of the Byzantines), al-Suli’s focus, as Canard indicates, is politico-literary biography.
Abdus al-Jahshiyari (d. 942) is the author of a Kitab al-Wuzara’ wa’l-Kuttab (Book of the Viziers and Secretaries), an extensive work which began in pre-Islamic times, and gave an account of the secretaries of the Prophet and the secretaries of his successors down to the end of the Umayyad Caliphate, the narrative constituting something like a history of the administration of the Islamic land until the advent of the ‘Abbasids; with the latter the wazirate made its appearance, the first Abbasid wazir having been Abü Salama Uafs b. Sulayman al-Khallal.
The importance of the Kitab al-Wuzara was first shown, as was appropriate and natural, by an Austrian Orientalist, A. von Kremer in his paper Ueber das Budget der Einnahmen unter der Regierung des Harun alrasid, contributed to the proceedings of the 7th International Congress of Orientalists. The work is particularly useful in respect to the finances of the Abbasids in Harun al Rashid’s time.
Commenting on the works of the early historians of Islam, Khuda Bukhsh says:
What strikes us most in the oldest historical works of the Arabs is their enthusiasm and their overpowering conviction of the importance of their endeavour. Nor can we fail to notice their inexhaustible industry in collecting information from most diverse sources and weaving it into one complete chaplet. Every statement is traced back to its ultimate source, and every link in the long chain of narrators is carefully set forth. All this indubitably attests zealous research."
2. Historians of Muslim Spain and North Africa
In Muslim Spain as in the East, history was abundantly cultivated. Its form and content, the modern historian of Muslim Spain, Chejne, says, conformed to an Eastern model. Judging from the ample biographical references to Hispano-Arabic historians and their works, one must conclude, he adds, that the historical literature of Al-Andalus was indeed enormous. Unfortunately the bulk of this output has been lost, and the small numbers that have escaped destruction or negligence are scattered in libraries in Madrid, Toledo, Al-Zaytuna Mosque in Tunis, Fes, Cairo and European cities.
Figure 4: Map of the Crusader States in the Islamic Middle East around 1100. Adapted from Muir's Historical Atlas: Medieval and Modern (London: 1911). (Source).
The beginning of a long development of historical writing was made in the ninth century with the works of Ibn Habib (d. in Cordova 239/854), Yahya al-Ghazal (d. 864), who was the author of an urjuza, i.e. a poem in the rajaz metre, on the Muslim conquest of Spain, Ibn Muzayn (d 872-3), Tamim b. Amir b. Alqama (d.896, author of an urjuza on Spanish Muslim history down to time end of the reign of Abd ar-Rahman II (i.e 852) and, most important of all, Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Razi called at-Tarikhi (The historian) (274/887-344/955), member of a family of historians, whose works included an extensive Akhbar Muluk al-Andalus wa-Khadamatihim wa-Ghazawatihim wa-Nakabatihim (Accounts of the Kings of Spain, their Servitors, their Wars and Woes), and a Sifat Qurtuba wa-Khitatiha wa-Manazil al-Uzam’ biha (Description of Cordova and its Settlements and the Houses of the Great therein). For further information about these early Spanish historical works, which for the most part are lost or if they survive do so only fragmentarily, ought to be consulted the Ensayo Bio-bibliografico sobre los Historiadores y Geógrafos Arabigo-Españoles of Francisco Pons Boigues.
On the other hand, we still have al-Iqd al-Farid (The Precious Necklace) of Ibn ‘Abd Rabbihi (born in Cordova in 246/860, died 328/940), which includes among a multiplicity of matters of its numerous books (each named after a precious stone, and thought of as the jewels which form the ‘Necklace’), a history of Umayyad of Spain, culminating with a rajaz poem on the military expeditions under Abd ar-Rabman III an-Nassir (300/912—350/961). Ibn Abd Rabbihi, whose greatest interest was adab and who wrote much poetry, has the merit of being contemporary with the events he describes.
In the 10th century were completed two works of immense importance, the Akhbar Majmüa fi Fath al-Andalus (Collected Notices on the Conquest of al-Andalus), by an unknown author who lived during in the notable reign of Abd ar-Rabman III, and the Ta’rikh Iftitah al-Andalus (History of the Conquest of al-Andalus) of Ibn al-Qutiya (d. 367/977). Both these books have been known in the West at least since the nineteenth century.
The author of the Tarikh Iftitah al-andalus is specially interesting as a descendant of the former ruling dynasty in Visigothic Spain before the coming of the Muslims, and the name Ibn al-Qutiyya, ‘son of the Gothic woman’, no doubt refers to Sarah the Goth. Abu Bakr Muhammad b. Omar, known as Ibn al-Qutiyya, bore this name because his ancestor ‘Isa, a freedman of the Umayyad caliph ‘Omar b. ‘Abd al-’Aziz, had married a Spanish princess named Sara, a daughter of the Gothic King, Oppas (Olemundo, according to Ibn al Qutiyya) and grand daughter of Witiza, a member of the last ruling Visigoth Dynasty of Spain (701-710). Ibn al Qutiyya himself was born in Cordova and studied in Seville, the home of his family, under a great number of scholars. He was introduced to the Caliph al-Hakam II as the greatest scholar of the land and put over the shurta (police) of Cordova after holding for a time the office of Qadi (judge). He was a philologist, a grammarian, a historian and even a poet. He died at a great age in Cordova in 977.
Ibn al-Qutiyya himself was a typical Muslim scholar, and highly regarded for his historical knowledge. He is the author of Tarikh Fath al-Andalus, a history of Spain from the Muslim conquest to the reign of Caliph ‘Abd al-Rahman III, published by the Academy of Madrid in 1868; then translated by the great Spanish scholar, Ribera. There are also French extracts and uses of it, amongst which is Reinaud who composed his Invasion des sarrazins. Cherbonneau has used the Ms 1867 to publish translations of two extracts the first and the shortest relating to the rule of al-Hakam ben Hisham (i.e Hakam I). The second, longer, relates to the Muslim conquest of Spain. The work is greatly used by Dozy in his Histoire des Musulmans d’Espagne, which was subsequently translated into English as Spanish Islam: a History of the Muslims in Spain. The work of Ibn al-Qutiyya is available only in one manuscript, No 1867 at the Bibliotheque Nationale de Paris. Another copy was kept in Constantine, Algeria, in the rich collection of Si Hamouda, but the vagaries of history (and the violent history of French Algeria) have destroyed this collection.
Al-Razi, according to the French historian, Levi Provencal, was the name of three historians of Muslim Spain. Muhammad ben Musa Al-Razi from the town of Ravy in Iran, where he was born, came from the East to Cordova about the middle of the third century AH (864) to trade there. His high degree of Arabic culture gave him a welcome in intellectual circles in the Umayyad capital, and the emir Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-Rahman entrusted him on several occasions with diplomatic missions in the East or in Spain itself. We would have known nothing of Muhammad al-Razi as an historian but for a statement by Ibn Muzain reproduced by the Moroccan writer Muhammad al-Wazir al-Ghassani in his account of an embassy to Spain in 1691. Ibn Muzain there says that in 1078-1079, he found in a library in Seville a little book by Muhammad b. Musa al-Razi entitled Kitab al-Rayat, relating to the conquest of Spain by the Muslims and giving details of the Arab contingents, each distinguished by its standard (raya), who entered the Peninsula with Musa b. Nusair (after 711.)
Ahmad B. Muhammad Razi, son of the preceding, surnamed al-Ta’rikhi (“the chronicler”), was the earliest whose work has been transmitted to us, and is called by the Spaniards ‘El cronista por excellencia’ (the Chronicler per excellence). His Arabic text is lost, but there exists a Castilian version, itself derived from a Portuguese translation. He was born in Spain in 888 and died in 936. He was the pupil of Cordovan scholars of repute. He is reported to have written several historical works; one dealing with the emirs of Al-Andalus; another with the genealogy of famous Andalusians; another with a description of the capital city of Cordova; and a description of roads, the major cities of Al-Andalus, and their characteristics. Only the first work has reached us, but in the Spanish version. It deals with the country under the Visigoths up to the time of Roderick (711) and the Muslim conquest (711 onward) up to the time of al-Hakam II (ruled 961-976.)
Isa b. Ahmad b. Muhammad Razi, son of the previous, and grand-son of the first, continued his father’s Umayyad chronicle down to his own time and extended the portions dealing with earlier periods by using sources which had not been available to his father. He has not been the subject of notice by any of the Spanish biographers already published but he is frequently quoted by later historians, notably by Ibn Hayyan, Ibn Said and Ibn al-Abbar. Isa is credited with a general history of Al-Andalus and a biographical dictionary of chamberlains (hajib). The bulk of the works of the Banu Al-Razi have not come down to us, but they occupy a prominent place in Spanish Muslim historiography as they were frequently cited by later historians such as Al-Maqqari.
Said Al-Andalusi (d.1034), a judge at Toledo, was the author of Tabaqat al-Umam. In it he gives a wide spectrum on civilization up to his time. He studies the people and nations that cultivate science and ranks amongst them the Arabs, Hindus, Iranians, Greeks, and Jews, showing their contribution to scientific progress.
Ibn Hayyan (d.1076) of Cordova was one the greatest historians of the whole Middle Ages. He was born and grew up during the golden era of al Andalus, and was also then educated. This certainly had a great influence on his knowledge of history. He also had renowned teachers including the traditionist Abu Hafs Umar B. Husayn. B. Nabil. His father was secretary to the great last ruler of Muslim Spain before the Reyes of the Taifas (Party Kings): Ibn Abi Amir, al-Mansur (d. 1003). He, himself, served the ‘Amirid (the last rulers of united Muslim Spain early in the 11th century) as a secretary. He witnessed the fall of the Amirid, revolts in Cordova, and the rise of the Party-Kings (1st half of the 11th century). This was a chaotic era, as Al-Andalus broke into thirty or so warring states. Understandably Ibn Hayyan, just like other scholars, Ibn Hazm in particular, was very aggrieved with this. This was all the more aggrieving as Ibn Hayyan, just as ibn Hazm, had witnessed the greatness Muslim Spain had reached under Abd Errahmane III, al Hakam II, and Ibn Abi Amir (Al Mansur). Ibn Hayyan was very virulent when he wrote of numerous personalities of his time, his bitterness towards the divisions and anarchy in the kingdoms of the tawaif, and also at the scantiness of the sources at his disposal when he was writing the history of the fitna.
He was a prolific scholar of various subjects, but his fame rests mainly on his historical works, which were written with discernment and great attention to detail. He wrote a monograph on the Amirids and another dealing with judges. Thanks to his first class learning, and excellence in writing, he had a great impact on followers. The writers who used Ibn Hayyan’s works are Ibn Hazm, Al-Humaydi; al-Dabbi; Ibn Bashkuwal; Ibn al-Abbar; Ibn Bassam; Abd Al-Wahid al-Marrakushi; Ibn Said; Ibn idhari; Ibn al-Khatib; and al-Maqqari. They ascribe seven titles to Ibn Hayyan:
- Tarikh fuqaha Cordova.
- Al-Kitab al ladi jama’a fihi bayna kitbay al-Qubbashi wa Ibn Afif.
- Intijab al-Jamil li Ma’athir Banu Khatab.
- Al-Akhbar fi’l dawla al-Amiriya (in 100 volumes).
- al-Batsha al-Kubra (in ten volumes).
- al-Muqtabis fi Tarikh al-Andalus (in ten volumes).
- Kitab al-matin.
Among the works attributed with greater or less certainty to him, two titles stand out: Kitab al-Muqtabis fi tarikh al-Andalus (Book of Him Who Seeks Knowledge about the History of al-Andalus) in ten volumes, and Kitab al matin (the Solid Book), describing the main events around him. Ibn Hayyan is mentioned as one of the glories of his country in the famous Risala in praise of Spanish Islam by ash-Shaqundi, whose surviving work shows breadth of treatment and conscientious accuracy as to facts. He sought to remain objective in his writing throughout despite the upheavals affecting Muslim Spain, then, not disregarding even those events that pained him. On the Muktabis, Levi Provencal says:
Whenever one considers any particular aspect of Hispano-Umayyad history, one is nearly always obliged to revert to Ibn Hayyan. Without his Muktabis, we should have no quotations from the two Razis, nor from two other chroniclers of the 10th century. Without Ibn Hayyan, Dozy's history would have been impossible."
Ibn Hayyan's original work, the most important in the whole Muslim historiography of the Peninsula is the Matin, which covers the history of his own times, namely, nearly the whole of the 5th/11th century, with an admirable attention to detail and an exactitude which are highlighted by a rare political understanding of events. Kitab al-matin, according to Ibn Sa’id contained nearly sixty volumes, was believed at one time to be held at the Zaytuna in Tunisia. It is very likely that the book disappeared in the wake of the Crusade against Tunis in 1535. The Spanish chronicler Marmol, who accompanied the expedition, tells us of the great damage that was done to the city, the destruction of its libraries and mosques, including the Al Zaytuna, as well as the massacre of its population.
Although all the volumes of the Matin are lost, Ibn Hayyan’s great admirer, the Spanish scholar, Ibn Bassam has preserved for us such numerous and extensive passages that, thanks to the edition of the Dhakhira published in Egypt. The Kitab al-Dhakhira fi mahasin ahl al-jaziira of Ibn Bassam, now edited in eight volumes by Ihsan ‘Abbas is a mammoth work, written in rhymed prose and dedicated to the literati of the peninsula the kutab (scribes), mu’arrikh (historians) and the shu’ara (poets). Written in the 12th century, many of its biographies are recent or contemporary and are filled out with details taken from the Matin of Ibn Hayyan. Fortunately for us, the extracts taken from the Ta’rikh al-kabir are easily distinguishable, because Ibn Bassam is careful to give notice when he is quoting from the Cordoban historian: he prefixes the words qala Ibn Hayyan (“Ibn Hayyan says”) and concludes the extract with intaha kalam Ibn Hayyan (“here ends Ibn Hayyan’s words”). Most of the information relevant to the fitna is contained in the first volume and includes material not to be found elsewhere.
Other than these Spanish historians, more followed, with the main ones published in the series founded by Francisco Codera, Bibiotheca Arabico-Hispana, from 1882 onwards.
Many historians flourished in Marrakech, most living in the surrounding of Caliphs, such as Abu Bakr al-Sanhadji, who wrote extensively on the Almohads, and whose works was traced by Levi Provencal to the Spanish collection at the Escurial. Because observed from very close, the events he describes bear the best of authenticity on the Almohad movement in history.
Abd al Wahid Al-Marrakushi flourished towards the end of the 13th century. He was born in Marrakech on the eighth of July 1185. When nine years of age, he left his native place for Fez, a city renowned for its learned men, where he studied the Qur’an and was the pupil of many eminent doctors, well skilled in grammar and the reading of the Sacred Book. In 1199 he met the great physician Abu-Bekr ibn-Zuhr (Avenzoar), who, at that time, was far advanced in years, but treated Abd al-Wahid, a youth of fourteen, with great kindness. In the year (1206-7) he crossed over to Spain, where he studied under a great number of learned men, well versed in every branch of science, and later studied polite literature at Cordova, under the direction of al-Himyari (who died in H. 610), a professor whom he praises very much and with whom he remained for two years. In 1217, Al-Marrakushi left Seville for Egypt, then like every scholar of the era, he made his pilgrimage to Makkah in the year 1221. In 1224, he completed a history of the Almohad dynasty, preceded by a summary of Spanish history from the Muslim conquest to 1087 (Kitab al-mujib fi talkhis akhbar ahl al-Maghrib). Al-Marrakushi begins his work with the Muslim arrival in Al-Andalus, and describes the country, its early governors, emirs, and caliphs. He often interrupts his account to discuss prominent men of letters, to whom he often devotes more space than that allotted to the rulers. His sources of information, ordinarily acknowledged, consist of data transmitted to him by eyewitnesses or derived from old sources, mainly the works of Ibn Hayyan and Ibn Hazm.
Al-Marrakushi was very keen on historical truthfulness:
I have put down nothing but what I have found true, borrowing it from books [in the historical introduction], or having heard it from trust-worthy persons, or having seen it myself: with the firm purpose of telling the truth and of being just, as it has been my utmost care not to conceal a single good quality, which the persons I haven spoken of possessed, nor to bestow upon them the slightest encomium they did not deserve".
Dozy, indeed, insists, that in his History of the Almohads, the readers will find that the information Al-Marrakushi gives is priceless, as everywhere, almost at every page, he quotes contemporary witnesses of the events he relates, and amongst these not only the names of the highest officers of the state, but of princes themselves. He himself tells us that he derived the greatest part of his narrative from a highly respectable authority, namely, from Ya’qub, the grandson of the founder of the dynasty, and as he could consult no book on the history of the Almohads, his information was original.
Ibn Sa’id Al-Maghribi (d.1274) was a historian, poet, and man of letters. He was born near the city of Granada, where he received his education. He travelled extensively in the East, visiting North Africa, Syria, and Iraq. He wrote a number of historical works, most of which are extant in manuscript form. He is frequently quoted by contemporary and later authors. His best-known work is his fifteen-volume al-Mughrib fi hula al-Maghrib, two volumes of which have survived. This work is a contemporary history of the period 1135-1243.
Ibn Idhari al-Marrakushi wrote in 1312 a history of Africa and Spain, Kitab al-bayan al-mughrib, which includes the most detailed account of the Umayyad of Cordova. Dozy turned the work into French. A partial translation was made in Spanish by Francisco Fernandez Gonzalez.
It is a comprehensive history of the conquest up to the author’s time (667/1270), arranged chronologically according to important topics. As he tells us in the introduction, Ibn Idhari wrote the work at the behest of friends aware of his interest in the history of caliphs, countries, and emirs of both East and West. Of the three surviving volumes, Volume 1 is entirely devoted to North Africa and includes its major dynasties; Volume 2 deals specifically with Al-Andalus and gives special attention to its rulers, revolts, and dynasties up to the year 1086; and Volume 3 documents the Almoravids (11th-12th centuries) and then the Almohads (12th-13th centuries) until the rise of the Marinids (of Morocco). He quotes the sources he has used such as the Muqtabis of Ibn Hayyan, and the Dhakhira of Ibn Bassam.
His work, or more particularly the third volume, is a most useful source, because it offers the most detailed narrative of the events of the civil wars. He did not see himself as a bahith (researcher), but as a jami’ (compiler). He says in the introduction to his history that ‘I have collected in this book notices and anecdotes taken from the histories and accounts, which I have reunited and have chosen points of interest, uniting what is old with what is new.’ He also quotes the sources he has used: among the twenty six books actually mentioned are included (the Muqtabis, and the Alkhbar al-Dawlat al-amiriya of Ibn Hayyan, and the Dhakhira of Ibn Bassam.) There is no mention of the Matin but it is probable that he had access to information from the Ta’rikh al-kabir, even if second-hand. The Bayan, at least in its first three volumes which describe the events from 21 AH to the arrival of the Almoravids, is a ta’rikh ‘ala s-sinin majmu’a, a carefully selected collection of data from earlier writers, and its importance lies in the nature of that data, much of which would otherwise be unavailable today.
3. The Crusades Episode
The history of the crusades, two centuries of warfare (1095-1291) is well documented by a large number of Muslim historians.
Abu Ya’la Hamza ibn Asad at-Tamimi, known as Ibn al-Qalanisi (Damascus, c. 465/1073-555/1160) was the earliest Muslim historian to write about the Crusades, in his chronicle known as Dhail Tarikh Dimashq (Appendix to the History of Damascus). Ibn al-Qalanisi held various municipal and administrative posts in Damascus, which was then at the front-line of the crusade wars. He writes from first-hand experience of the First and Second Crusades up to the time of Nur Eddin Zangi’s (d. 1174) entry into Damascus (in April 1154). Nur Eddin was the Muslim ruler who united Syria and Egypt in a common fight against the crusaders. Ibn al-Qalanisi’s objectivity about most matters, his eye-witness accounts of events through which he lived, and his use of documents make his chronicle a basic source for the first period of the Crusades. The translation of Ibn al-Qalanisi’s work into English was made by Gibb early in the 20th century under the title The Damascus Chronicle of the Crusades.
Also a witness of the crusades was Usama ibn Munqidh (fl. 1138-1188), born in the castle of Shayzar in the Valley of the Orontes, fifteen miles north of Hama, but who spent his life mostly in Damascus. Ibn Munqidh lived in the times of Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi, and was himself involved in fighting the crusaders. At an old age, he composed Kitab al-I'tibar (learning by example), a book which contains many anecdotes on the customs of the Franks, their inhumanity at peace and at war, and deriding their inferior medical practice. Editions and translations of Ibn Munqidh’s work have been done by Derenbourg in French, Shuman in German, and Porter in English. On the basis of an Escorial (Spain) manuscript, Philip Hitti delivered by far the best work of the lot in English.
Mosul, more than any city in Islam, played the leading role in the Islamic resistance during the crusades. It was the land of the great Seljuk leaders, including Mawdud and Imad Eddin Zangi, who faced the crusader onslaught when the land of Islam was at its most divided. It is all too normal that it gave rise to some of the best historians of the period.
Baha Eddin (1145-1234), one such historian, was known as Ibn Shaddad. It is he who gives us the most complete portrait we have of Salah Eddin as Muslims saw him, and also a vivid account of the third Crusade (1188 ff). D.S. Richards made a recent translation of Ibn Shaddad’s Al-Nawadir al-Sultanyia. We also have the excellent earlier work by the Palestine Pilgrim Society under the title The Life of Saladin. Much of the following is derived from Ibn Khalikan’s (1211-1282) Wafayat al-Iyyan, as found in Richards.
Ibn Shaddad was born in Mosul on 10 Ramadan 539/7 March 1145. His full name was Baha al-Din Abu’l-Mahasin Yüsuf ibn Rafi’ ibn Tamim, the name Ibn Shaddad being derived from an ancestor of his uncles on his mother’s side who brought him up after the early death of his father. He studied, primarily Qur’an, Prophetic Tradition (Hadith) and Muslim law, in his native town before moving to Baghdad, where he became a resident student in the famous Nizamiyya Madrasa, founded by the great Seljuq vizier Nizam al-Mulk. Within a short time he was appointed mu’id there, that is, assistant professor. He stayed ‘for about four years’ and then returned to Mosul in 1173-4 to take up the post of mudarris (professor) at the madrasa that had been established by Kamãl al-Din Muhammad ibn al-Shahrazuri (died 1176), the Qadi and chief administrator of Nur Eddin. By June 1188 Ibn Shaddad was permanently enrolled in the service of Salah Eddin, appointed as judge of the army (qadi al-’askar) and subsequently given judicial and administrative responsibilities in Jerusalem. For the rest of the Sultan’s lifetime Ibn Shaddad was his intimate and close confidant, being seldom absent for any length of time. He died on Wednesday 14 Safar 632/8 November 1234 at the age of 89.
Besides his Nawadir, Baha Eddin also wrote the Dala’il al-ahkam (The Proofs of Judgments) which is said to study the hadiths that underpin certain legal provisions. A copy, dated 1233-4 and made from the author’s own manuscript, is in Paris. The Nawadir al-Sultanya, as Ibn Shaddad himself says at the very end of this work, was written out of a pious wish to record the moral excellencies of its main subject, the Sultan Saladin, and to keep his memory alive amongst Muslims.
Ibn al-Athir (d. 1233) from al-Jazira, north of Baghdad, belonged to a family of learned brothers, and was the author of Kitab al-kamil fi ’l-tarikh (the perfect in history). This work has been edited by the Danish orientalist C.J. Tornberg. According to Dunlop, it is, with the Annals of Al-Tabari, one of the most highly valued and reliable sources of Islamic history. It has been much studied by scholars of the West, Brocklemann making the relationship of the Kamil and the Annals the subject of his doctoral thesis, whilst Sir William Muir uses Ibn al Athir as his chief guide after al-Tabari. The passages from Ibn al-Athir dealing with North Africa and Spain were translated into French by E. Fagnan.
Al Kamil covers the entire Muslim world from Transoxiana to the Maghrib and Spain, one in which the author seeks ‘to trace the causal links of events, and is able to present his facts clearly and convincingly. For the last three centuries and in particular for his own period the scope and balance of his statements, the wealth of material collected and above all his strong and personal view of history make him a very important source,’ says Gabrieli. In regard to the crusades, the book, amongst other events, describes the capture of Antioch in 1098, a crusade the author sees as part of a three pronged attack by the Christian world against Islam: in Spain, in Sicily, and now in the Holy land. Ibn al Athir also gives us some of the best accounts on the Mongol onslaught against Islam as he lived through the events; many of such accounts found in a great diversity of books on the subject such as D’Ohson’s Histoire des Mongols. For his history of the Crusades Ibn al-Athir was an eyewitness who aimed at presenting the essential facts without embellishments, which has contributed to his reputation as the chief historian of the later Crusades.
If one were restricted to a single Arabic historian for the reconstruction of as long a time as possible of the Arab past, one would probably be well advised to opt for Ibn al-Athir [says Dunlo.".
Ibn al-Athir is also the author of an important work on the history of the Seljuk Turks: Tarikh al-Dawla Al-Atabakiyya.
Ibn Wasil was born in 1207-8. He flourished in Hama, before he was called to Cairo by the Mamluk Sultan Baybars (ruled 1260-1277) who sent him as an envoy to King Manfred of Sicily (ruled from 1258 to 1266). Ibn Wasil remained for a long time at Manfred’s Sicilian court then returned to Hama, where he was appointed as a chief Qadi and professor in the madrasa, and where he died in 1298. He was a shafiite doctor, historian, philosopher, mathematician, who also taught Abu’l Fida mathematics and prosody. He wrote a history of the Ayyubids, entitled Kitab Mufarridj al-Kurub fi akhbar bani Ayyub (the book which dispels sadness with the tales of the Ayyubids), which was continued down to 1295-6 by Ali Ibn abd al-Rahman, secretary to al-Muzaffar III, Abu’l Fida’s predecessor as prince of Hama.
A general history of similar type to Ibn al-Athir’s was the Mir’at az-Zaman fi Tarikh al-Ayan (Mirror of time Age in the history of Famous Men) of Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi (1186-1257). Of the considerable surviving part of Ibn al-Jawzi’s work J.R. Jewett published a facsimile of the years 1101-1256 from a manuscript, once the property of Count de Landberg, in Yale University Library, and the same years were long afterwards given an edition, with Jewett’s pagination in the margin, by the Da’irat al-Ma’arif al-Uthmaniya (the well-known Osmania Oriental Publications Bureau of Haidarabad) This part of the work begins with Raymond of Saint Gilles attack on Tripoli (which he would capture in 1109), and ends with the great floods at Baghdad which led to the evacuation of the palace of the Caliph (at that time the unfortunate al-Musta’sim, the last of the Abbasids, who a year or two later was to be the victim of the Mongol Hulagu (in 1258).
Although Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi did not live long enough to record the final catastrophe, the fall of Baghdad to the Mongols in 656/1258, his work often presents an interesting narrative, arranged like Ibn al-Athir’s in annalistic form, while at the same time, the sequence of events is interrupted to record the biographies of notables, placed at the end of the annals of the year of their death, as usual also in Ibn al-Athir’s Kamil. Sibt ibn al-Jawzi is of course dependent on many authorities, whom he sometimes names. Among his biographies is that of the philosopher Ibn Bajja (Avempace), containing new information derived from a lost Mukhtar min an-Nazm wa’n-Nathr (Choice of Verse and Prose) by Ibn Bashrun. Sibt ibn al-Jawzi’s Mir’at az-Zaman in the author’s own hand was seen by Ibn Khallikan in Damascus in no fewer than forty volumes, and was used by him for his Biographical Dictionary.
The continuation of Ibn al-Jawzi’s Mir’at azZaman by al Yunini of Baalbek (al-Balabakki, d. 1326-7), some of which has also been published by the Osmania Oriental Publications Bureau (Haidarabad). It may be noted that Ibn Khallikan mentions a work of Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi which he calls Kitab Jawharat az-Zaman fi Tadhkirat as-Sultan (perhaps ‘Book of the Jewel of the Age as a Reminder to the Sultan’), a copy or extract of which appears to have been in the former Royal Library, Berlin.
One of Aleppo’s leading historians was Kamal Eddin Ibn al-Adim (1192-1262). He wrote his history of the city most especially through his enormous biographical work, not yet published in modern times: Bughyat al-Talab (The student’s desire), which is a collection of biographies of the famous men of Aleppo arranged alphabetically, of which only a part remains. He also wrote his history of the city: Zubdat al-Halab fi ta’arikh Halab (The cream of the history of Aleppo), which describes the history of Aleppo up to 1243.
Abu Shama (1203-1268) is known for his Kitab al rawdatayn fi akhbar al dawlatayn al nuriya wa’l salihiya (The Book of the two Gardens Relating the Rules of Nur Eddin and Salah Eddin). The imam and jurist Abd Errahmane ibn Ismail ibn Ibrahim born in Damascus in 599 (H) (1202), was known as Abu Shamah because of the large mole above his eyebrow. He learnt the Qur’an by heart when he was 9. He perfected the various ways of recitations when he was 17 and he learnt the Prophet Traditions. He worked as teacher, delivered legal opinions and excelled in the knowledge of Arabic. He was modest in his needs, rejecting positions, preferring, instead, seclusion and the pursuit of knowledge until the day of his death. Two assassins, most certainly Ismailis, came to him pretending they were asking him for a legal opinion, and there beat him to death. Nobody could help him as he lived some distance away from the city. He died on 19th of Ramadan 665 H.
Extracts in French of Abu Shamah (Abu Shama)’s work Kitab al-Rawdateen (Le Livre des Deux Jardins) can be found in the Receuil des Historiens Orientaux. He quotes largely from earlier authors, letters, and official acts, generally with specific acknowledgments. For this reason his work is a very valuable contemporary source. The sources most quoted were Imad Eddin Al-Isfahani, who was secretary to Nur Eddin and then to Salah Eddin, the author of Sana al-Barq al-Shami, and Baha Eddin (already referred to.) As for the two gardens, they are allegorical references to the two dynasties of Nur Eddin Zangi and Salah Eddin.
Ibn al-Furat, unlike Ibn Munqidh, gave accounts of the later stages of Frankish presence, of the time they were being finally driven out by Baybars (about a century after Salah al-Din). Ibn al-Furat was born in Cairo and lived between the years 1334-1405. He wrote his book Tarikh al-duwwal wa-'l-muluk thus some time after the event itself, yet it is a work of great wonder in every sense. This treatise survives, incomplete, in the National Library of Vienna, whilst a section from it, unknown, has long been preserved in the Vatican Library until discovered by the French historian Le Strange. It was he who described this part in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society.
Parts of Ibn al-Furat’s work have been selected and translated by U and M.C. Lyons. They gave those extracts in two volumes, the first of which being the Arabic text, the second its translation. From those extracts can be gleaned some very interesting events of the later stages of the Crusaders' presence in Muslim land such as the recovery of Jerusalem, Tiberias, Ascalon and other places from the Christians. Most of all, Ibn al-Furat describes the rise and campaigns of Baybars and his crushing of Mongols, Crusaders and Armenians.
A great number of crusade historians can be found under the historians of Egypt.
- Muslim History and Historians Part 1: For a Better Approach to Muslim History
- Muslim History and Historians Part 2: Early and Medieval Muslim Historians
- Muslim History and Historians Part 3: Muslim Historians (from the 15th Century down to the 19th)
-Abu al-Fadail: Tarikh al-Mansuri in Bibliotheca Arabo-Sicula; Second Appendix; Leipzig; 1887.
-Abu’l Fida Ismail Ibn Khatir: The Life of the Prophet Mohammed; A Translation of al-Sira al-Nabawiyya; translated by T. Le Gassick; Centre for Muslim Contribution to Civilisation; Garnet Publishing; 1998.
-Abu’l Fida: J. Reiske: Abilfedae Annales Moslemici, Lat. Ex. Ar. Fecit. J. J. Reiske; Leipzig; 1754; Arabic text published in 1789.
-Abu’l Fida in Receuil des Historiens des Croisades, Historiens Orientaux; Vol 1; Paris; 1872; pp. 1-186.
-Abu Shama: Kitab al-rawdatayn; ed., M.H.M. Ahmad; 2 vols; Cairo; 1954; II.
-Al-Andalusi: Tabaqat al-Umam, French translation by R. Blachère, Paris, 1935.
-Ali Riza Pasha, Mir’at al-Cezayir (A View of Algeria), translated into Turkish by Ali Sevki, Istanbul, 1876.
-M. Amari: La Storia dei Musulmani di Sicilia; 3 vols in 4. Lvi + 2086 p; Ristampa Dell’edizione di Firenze, 1854; 1858; 1868; 1872; Catania; F. Guaitolini.
-Anonymous: Akhbar Majmu’a, ed., Lafuente y Alcantara, Madrid, 1867.
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 See for instance, W.S. Churchill: The World Crisis: The Aftermath (London, 1929).
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 B. Rogerson: The Heir of the Prophet Muhammad; Little Brown; London; 2006; p. 142.
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 L.V. Thomas and N. Itzkowitz: A Study of Naima; New York University Press; New York; 1972; pp.113-4.
 F. Wustenfeld, Geschichtsschreiber der Araber und ihre Werke (GAW), Göttingen, 1882 (reprinted New York; Burt Franklin, 1964). See also C. Brockelman’s: Geschichte der arabischen Literatur (after this GAL).
 F. Sezgin, Geschichte des arabischen Schriftums (GAS), Leiden, Brill, 12 vols. (1967-2002); vol. I (1967).
 Franz Rosenthal, A History of Muslim Historiography, Leiden, Brill, 1952, 2nd rev. ed. 1968.
 D.M. Dunlop, Arab Civilization to AD 1500, Longmann, London, 1971, pp. 70-149.
 R. S. Humphreys, "Muslim Historiography", Dictionary of the Middle Ages, Charles Scribners and Sons, New York, vol. 6, pp. 250-5.
 G. Sarton: Introduction to History of Sciences, in 3 vols; The Carnegie Institute; 1948.
 F. Wüstenfeld: Die Geschichtschreiber der Araber v. ihre Werke, Gottingen, 1882, 1-2.
 D. Campbell: Arabian Medicine, and its influence on the Middle Ages; Philo Press; Amsterdam; 1926; reprinted 1974; p. 33.
 Ibid, p. 33.
 On this, see: J. Brown: The Canonization of Al-Bukhari and Muslim; Brill, Leyden; 2007; preface.
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 D. Campbell: Arabian medicine, op cit; p. 33.
 C. Bouamrane-L. Gardet, Panorama de la pensée Islamique, Paris, Sindbad, 1984, chapter 12: "History", pp. 252-66; at p. 253.
 A. al-Duri, Baht fi nash'at al-tarikh, pp. 25-7, quoted in Bouamrane-Gardet, Panorama, op. cit.
 S. Khuda Bukhsh: Studies: Indian and Islamic; Kegan Paul; London; 1927; p. 150.
 Ibid; pp. 150-1.
 See the excellent edition: Mohammed Ibn Ishaq (151/769) and Mohammed Ibn Hisham (218/834): Sirat al-Nabiy Salat Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam; ed. M.M. Abd Al-Hamid; Cairo; 1963.
 C. Bouamrane-L. Gardet: Panorama, op cit, p. 252.
 D.M. Dunlop: Arab Civilization, op cit., p. 72.
 Such as by Abdus Salam M. Harun: Sirat Ibn Hisham; Al-Falah Foundation; Cairo; 2000.
 Most particularly his confusing of names, events, places, and so on. He also exaggerates everything to unrealistic proportions.
 R.S. Humphreys: Historiography, op cit., p. 253.
 Edward Sachau (1845-1930), the first general editor of Ibn Sa’d’s Kitab al-Tabaqat: Muhammad Ibn Sa'd [168-230 H], Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, 8 vols. (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1904-1940). See the new edition by Ihsan 'Abbas (Beirut, 1957-1968).
 Edited by de Goeje, Brill, and the edition published in Cairo; English translation by P.K. Hitti; and the German translation of O. Rescher, 2 vols.
 S. Al-Munajjad, A'lam al-tarikh, Beirut, 2 vols., quoted in Bouamrane-Gardet, Panorama, op. cit.
 D.M. Dunlop, Arab Civilization, op. cit., pp. 85-6.
 Ibid; p. 84.
 One only needs at the overwhelming use of him, and the extreme rarity of errors on his part, besides his use of an infinity of original sources.
 Edition Cairo, 10 vols.; French translation reedited in Sindbad, Paris, 1979-1984, 6 vols.
 Ibn Khaliqan: Wafayat al-Ayyan; ed. De Slane; I; p. 640.
 C.E. Bosworth: Al-Tabari; Encyclopaedia of Islam; op cit; vol 10; pp. 11-5; at p. 11.
 W. Durant: The Age of Faith; op cit; p. 238.
 C.E. Bosworth; Al-Tabari; op cit; p. 11.
 Edit Cairo, 10 Vols; Fr tr, reedited Sindbad, Paris, 1979-1984, 6 vols.
 C. Bouamrane-L.Gardet: Panorama de la Pensee Islamique; Sindbad; Paris (1984), p. 255.
 W. Durant: The Age of Faith; op cit; p. 238.
 D.M. Dunlop: Arab Civilisation; op cit; p. 89.
 Jami al-Bayan fi Tafsir (tawil) al-Qur’an; 30 vols; Cairo; 1903; and 1904-12.
 D.M. Dunlop: Arab Civilisation; op cit; p. 89.
 By the time Dunlop was making such a statement, a UNESCO project was under way to produce a complete English translation of the work.
 D.M. Dunlop: Arab Civilization, op cit, p. 92.
 The History of Al-Tabari; vol XII; tr. And annotated by Y. Friedmann; State University; New York Press; 1992; p. 21-22 ff.
 Ibn Khallikan, Wafayat al-a'yan, ed. De Slane, I, 640.
 D.M. Dunlop, Arab Civilization, op. cit. p. 89.
 Leiden, 1879-1901 (reprinted Leiden 1964), including two volumes of Introduction and notes.
 F. Rosenthal: History, op. cit., pp. 134-135.
 Ibid; 135.
 Al-Tabari: Chronique; tr to Fr by H. Zotenberg; Paris; Imprimerie Imperiale; 1874 ff.
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 Al-Tabari: The History of al-Tabari (Tarikh al-rusul wa’l muluk;) tr. by M. Fishbein; State University of New York Press; 1997.
 Ibid; Dahmus p.85.
 D. M. Dunlop: Arab Civilisation; op cit; p. 92-3.
 Cairo, As-Sawi Press; and London Luzac. Title Page: Kitab al-Awrac.
 London, 1935.
 As Histoire de la Dynastie Abbaside de 322 a 333/933; 2 vols; Algiers; 1946; 1950.
 M. Canard: Byzance et les Arabes, ii, ii, Brussels, 1950, p. 28.
 H. Von Mzik: Bibliothek arabischen historiker und Geographen; I; Leipzig; 1926; p. 85.
 Berichte des Vii. internationalen Orienlalisten-Congresses, Vienna, 1889; 1-17.
 S. Khuda Bukhsh: Studies: Indian and Islamic; op cit; p. 150.
 A. Chejne: Muslim Spain, its History and Culture; The University of Minnesota Press; 1974; p. 264.
 D.M. Dunlop: An 11th Century Spanish Account of the Northern Nations, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies; xv (1953), p. 161.
 The Tarikh of Ibn Habib or of a pupil of his is perhaps extant in a Bodleian MS, cf. Brockelmann, GAL (2), i, p. 156.
 Madrid; 1898.
 a synopsis of the work is in Pons Boigues, Historiadores, op cit; pp. 52—6; and Analytical Indices by Muhammad Shafi, Calcutta, 1935-7.
 D.M. Dunlop: Arab Civilisation; op cit; p. 118.
 Akhbar Majmu’a, ed. Lafuente y Alcantara, Madrid, 1867; Ibn al-Qutiyya: Iftitah al-Andalus, ed. Madrid, 1868, trans. J. Ribera, Madrid, 1926.
 Ibn al-Qutiyya: Iftitah al-Andalus, op cit; p. 4ff.
 M. Ben Cheneb: Ibn Kutiya; Encyclopaedia of Islam; 1st series; vol 2; 1927; p. 400.
 D.M. Dunlop: Arab Civilisation; op cit; p. 126.
 Receuil de Textes etc., t. i., Paris 1889, p. 259-80.
 Ibn al-Qutiyya: Iftitah al-Andalus, ed. Madrid, 1868, trans. J. Ribera, Madrid, 1926.
 See: A. Cherbonneau, Histoire du regne d’al-Hakam, in Journal Asiatique., 1853, i. 458 sqq.
 In Journal Asiatique, 1853; vol 1; pp. 458-74.
 In Journal Asiatique, 1856; vol i1; pp. 428-82.
 R. Dozy: Spanish Islam: a History of the Muslims in Spain; tr F.G. Stokes; London; 1913.
 E. Fagnan: Extraits Inedits Relatifs au Maghreb; Algiers; 1924; p. 194.
 E. Levi Provencal: Al-Razi; in Encyclopaedia of Islam; 1st series; vol 3; 1936; p. 1136.
 G. Sarton, Introduction to History of Science, op cit, vol. 1, p. 643.
 E. Levi Provencal: Al Razi; op cit; p. 1137.
 A. Chejne: Muslim Spain; op cit; p. 266.
 E. Levi Provencal: Al-Razi; op cit; p. 1137.
 It is known under the title of La cronica denominada del moro Rasis, ed. P. de Gayangos and R. Menéndez Pidal in Catalogo de Cronicas (Madrid, 1850). Ibn Hazm, Risãlah, in al-Maqqari’s Nafh al-Tib, vol. 4, pp. 156 and 166. The Annals of ‘Isa al-Razi have been translated by E. Garcia Gómez in the recension by Ibn Hayyan under the title of Anales palatinos… por ‘isa ibn Ahmad al-Razi (Madrid, 1967).
 Edit Beirut and Cairo; tr into French by R. Blachere, Paris, 1935.
 P. Chalmeta: Historiografia Medieval hispano-arabica; Al-Andalus; vol 37; 1972; pp. 360-1.
 Ibn bashkuwal; Kitab al-Sila; p. 342; in P.C. Scales: The Fall of the Caliphate of Cordova; Leyden; Brill; 1994; p. 11.
 A. Chejne: Muslim Spain, its History and Culture; The University of Minnesota Press; 1974; p. 267.
 P. Chalmeta: Historiografia Medieval Hispano-Arabica; Al-Andalus; vol 37; 1972; pp. 360-1.
 A. Huici-Miranda: Ibn Hayyan: in Encyclopaedia of Islam; op cit; vol 3; pp. 769-70; at p. 769.
 A. Chejne: Muslim Spain; op cit; p. 267.
 P.C. Scales: The Fall of the Caliphate of Cordova; Leyden; Brill; 1994; p. 11.
 The third part of the Mukttabis has been published by M. M. Antuna, under the title: Chronique du regne du calife umayyade Abd Allah a Cordoue, Paris 1937, and has been translated into Spanish by Kh. Ghorayyib, in Cuadernos de historia de Espana, Buenos Aires 1952; E. Levi-Provencal and E. Garcia Gomez have published the Textos ineditos del "Muqtabis" ... sobre las origenes del reino de Pamplona, in Al-Andalus, xix (1954).
 Al-Shaqundi: Elogio del Islam espanol, trans. E. Garcia Gomez, Madrid, Arabic text in Al-Maqqari, Nafh al-Tib, ed. Cairo, iv, 182. New ed by Sahili ad-Din al-Munajid in Fadail al-Andalus wa ahliha, Beirut, 1387/1968, 29-60.
 D.M. Dunlop: Arab Civilisation; op cit; p. 127.
 E. Levi-Provencal: Histoire de l’espagne Musulmane; Larose; Paris; Vol 3; p.503.
 A. Huici-Miranda: Ibn hayyan; op cit; p. 769.
 Quoted by al-Maqqari, in Nafh al-Tib, ed. Cairo, iv, 172 (ed.Leiden, ii, 122).
 C.Brockelmann: GAL, i.338.
 J.B. Wolf: The Barbary Coast; W.W. Norton & Company; New York; p. 21. G. Welch: North African Prelude; op cit; p. 402. M.J. Deeb: Al-Zaytuna, in The Oxford Encyclopaedia of the Modern Islamic World; edited by J.L. Esposito; Oxford University Press, 1995; vol 4; p. 374. H. Saladin: Tunis et Kairouan; Librairie Renouard; Paris; 1908. p. 18.
 A. Huici-Miranda: Ibn Hayyan; op cit; p. 769.
 Ibn Bassam: Kitab al-Dhakhira fi Mahasin ahl-Jazira; ed. Fuad University, Cairo, 1939-44; a more up to date edition by I. Abbas. Beirut; 1978-9. (8 volumes).
 P.C. Scales: The Fall of the Caliphate of Cordova; op cit; p. 16-7.
 For details see Brockelmann’s GAL.
 G. Deverdun: Marrakech; op cit; p. 263.
 From G. Sarton: Introduction to the history of sciences, op cit; vol ii, pp 1118-9;
 R.P. A. Dozy: The History of the Almohades, by Abd Al-Wahid al-Marrakushi; Amsterdam Oriental Press; 1968; preface; pp. v ff. at p. v.
 R.P. A. Dozy: The History of the Almohades, pp. vi-vii.
 Ibid, p. vii.
 G. Sarton: Introduction to the History of Science; vol 2; p.681.
 A. Chejne: Muslim Spain; op cit; p. 270.
 Al-Marrakushi pp. 3 ff in R.P. A. Dozy: The History of the Almohades, p. x-xi.
 R.P. A. Dozy: The History of the Almohades, p. xi-xii.
 French translation by Edmond Fagnan in Revue Africaine, Vols. 36 and 37, passim; separate edition, 332 p., Alger 1893.
 Critiscism: F. Wustenfeld: Geschichtschreiber der Araber (109, 1881). E. Levi Provencal: Documents inedits d'Histoire almohade; Paris, 1928, p; ISIS, 13, 221).
 R.P. A. Dozy: The history of the Almohads; Leiden 1847; again, 1881.
 A. Chejne: Muslim Spain, its History and Culture; op cit; p. 270.
 Two volumes of the work were edited by Sh. Dayf (Cairo, 1953).
 A. Dozy: Histoire de l’Afrique du Nord et de l’Espagne intitules al-bayano’l Moghrib par Ibn Adhari; 2 vols, Leyden, 1848-1851.
 F.F. Gonzales, Historia de al-Andalus, Granada, 1860, vol. 1.
 A. Chejne: Muslim Spain, its History and Culture; op cit; p. 271.
 Ibn Idhari: Kitab al-Bayan;. E. Ferie: Une Source Nouvelle pour L’Histoire de l’Espagne Musulmane; Arabica; vol 14; pp. 320-6.
 P.C. Scales: The Fall of the Caliphate of Cordova; op cit; p. 19.
 Ibn Idhari: Kitab al-Bayan; ed. G. Colin and E. Levi Provencal; Leiden; 1948-51; vol 2.
 E. Ferie: Une Source nouvelle pour l’Histoire de l’Espagne Musulmane; Arabica; vol 14; pp. 320-6.
 P.C. Scales: The Fall of the Caliphate of Cordova; op cit; p. 20.
 Ibn al-Qalanisi: Dayl Tarikh Dimashk; ed. H.F. Amedroz; Leiden; 1908.
 F. Gabrieli: Arab Historians of the Crusades; London; Routledge; 1957; Introduction.
 Ibn al-Qalanisi: The Damascus Chronicle of the Crusades, tr. of Ibn al-Qalanisi, H.A. R. Gibb; London, Luzac and Co, Ltd, 1932.
 H. Derenbourg, Ousama ibn Mounkidh, 2 vols, publications de l’Ecole des Langues Orientales, Paris 1886-1893; H. Derenbourg, Anthologie de textes arabes inédits par Ousama et sur Ousama, Paris, 1893; H. Derenbourg, Souvenirs historiques et récits de chasse, Paris 1895 (French version of Kitab al-i'tibar).
 G. Shumann, translation of Kitab al-I'tibar, Innsbruck 1905.
 George R. Porter, The Autobiography of Ousama ibn Munqidh, London, 1929.
 G. Sarton, Introduction, op. cit., vol ii, at pp 446-7.
 Philip K. Hitti, An Arab-Syrian gentleman and warrior in the period of the Crusades. Memoirs of Usamah ibn Munqidh, Columbia University, New York, 1929.
 For details, see Receuil des Historiens des Croisades, Historiens Orientaux; Vol iii; Paris; 1884.
 The Rare and excellent History of Saladin or Al-Nawadir al-Sultaniya wa’l mahasin al-Yusufiya, by Baha al-Din Ibn Shaddad; tr by D.S. Richards; Ashgate; 2001. Introduction; pp. 1 ff.
 Beha Eddin: The Life of Saladin; London, Palestine Pilgrim's Text Society, 1897.
 Ibn Khallikan: Wafayat al-Ayyan; vii; pp. 84-100.
 D.S. Richards; 1. Ff..
 For an appreciation of this, see extracts in F. Gabrieli: Arab Historians of the Crusades.
 De Slane: Catalogue des Manuscrits; No 736.
 For details, see also Receuil des Historiens des Croisades, Historiens Orientaux; Vol iii; Paris; 1884.
-Beha Eddin: Al-Nawadir al-Sultaniyya, ed., J. El-Shayyal; Cairo; 1964.
 Edited by J. Tornberg, Leiden, 1851-1876.
 D.M. Dunlop: Arab Civilisation; op cit; p. 128.
 C. Brockelmann, GAL, I, 346.
 Sir William Muir, The Caliphate, preface to the 2nd edition.
 Histoire de l’Afrique du Nord et de l’Espagne, 1904 (as ‘Ibn al-Athir, Annales du Maghreb et de l’Espagne’, Revue Africaine, xi-xiv, Algiers, 1896-1901).
 F. Gabrieli: Arab Historians of the Crusades; op cit; introduction;
 Ibn al-Athir, Al-kamil, X, p. 112 in Franz Rosenthal: A History of Muslim Historiography; 1952, 2nd rev. ed. 1968, p. 147.
 Baron G. d’Ohsson: Histoire des Mongols; 3 vols; La Haye et Amsterdam; 1834.
 Gabrieli: Arab Historians; op cit; Introduction.
 D.M. Dunlop: Arab Civilisation; op cit; p. 129.
 Ibn al-Athir: Tarikh al-Dawla Al-Atabakiyya; ed. A. A. Tulaymat; Cairo; 1963.
See Adolf Friedrich von Schack: Poesie und Kunst der Araber in Spanien und Sizilien; 2 Vols; Berlin; 1865.
 G. Sarton: Introduction; vol 2; op cit; p. 1119.
 See H. Suter: Mathematiker und astronomen der Araber; 1900; p. 157.
 G. Sarton: Introduction; vol 2; p. 1119.
 This facsimile was published at Chicago in 1907.
 Two Volumes, Haidrabad; 1951-2.
 See Muslimheritage.com; entries on Baghdad; Damascus; and Cairo.
 D.M. Dunlop: Arab Civilisation; op cit; p. 130.
 Ed. Haidarabad, 172-3 (anno 533), where the title of the work is given as Mukhtar min an-Nasr etc.
 Ibn Khallikan refers to this autograph several times towards the end of his own work: IBn Khallikan: Wafayat al-Ayan wa-Anba Abna al-Zaman, Biographical Dictionary, tr., M. De Slane Duprat, Paris and Allen & Co., London, 1843. iv, pp. 122 and 244), and appears to have taken notes from it.
 D.M. Dunlop: Arab Civilisation; op cit; p. 130.
 No. 8781, described in W. Ahlwardt’s Catalogue of the Berlin Library, vol. xix. In spite of Ahlwardt’s doubts and the hesitations of Brockelmann (GAL i, 348) the work seems to be identifiable.
 G. Sarton: Introduction; op cit; vol 2; op cit; p. 683.
 See: E. Blochet: l’Histoire d’Alep de Kamaladdin; Revue de l’Orient Latin; 1896 to 1899; French Transation..
 M.M. al Shareef Editor: Noble Dynasties: The history of Nur Ad Din and Saladin; Imam Abu Shamah; Al Falah Foundation, Cairo, Biography of Compiler.
 Receuil des Historiens Orientaux; op cit; vol IV.
 Imad Eddin al-Isfahani: Sana al-Barq al-Shami; summarised by al-Bundari; ed. F. al-Nabarawi; Cairo; 1979.
 Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. 32, 1900, p. 295.
 U. and M.C. Lyons: Ayyubids, Mamluks and Crusaders: Selection from the Tarikh al-Duwal wal Muluk of Ibn al-Furat, 2 vols., W. Heffer and Sons, Cambridge, 1971.