Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani

Born on 897

Died on 967

Ali ibn al-Husayn al-Iṣfahānī;

(Arabic: أبو الفرج الأصفهاني‎), also known as Abul-Faraj (897–967 CE) was an historian of Arab-Quraysh origin, who is noted for collecting and preserving ancient Arabic lyrics and poems in his major work, the Kitāb al-Aghānī.

Abu al-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī was born in Isfahan, Persia (present-day Iran) but spent his youth and made his early studies in Baghdad (present-day Iraq). He was a direct descendant of the last of the Umayyad caliphs, Marwan II, and was thus connected with the Umayyad rulers in al-Andalus, and seems to have kept up a correspondence with them and to have sent them some of his works. He became famous for his knowledge of early Arabian antiquities.

His later life was spent in various parts of the Islamic world, in Aleppo with its Hamdanid governor Sayf ad-Dawlah (to whom he dedicated the Book of Songs), in Ray with the Buwayhid vizier Ibn ‘Abbad, and elsewhere.

Although he wrote poetry, also an anthology of verses on the monasteries of Mesopotamia and Egypt, and a genealogical work, his fame rests upon his Book of Songs (Kitab al-Aghani).