Muhammed ibn Umail al-Tamimi

Born on 900

Died on 960

Ibn UmaylSenior ZadithMuhammed ibn Umail al-Tamîmî;

(Arabic: محمد بن أميل التميمي) was an alchemist of the tenth century. He can be dated to 900–960 AD (286-348 AH) on the basis of the names of acquaintances he mentioned. About his life, since he lived in seclusion, very little is known. Ibn Umayl may have been born in Spain of Arabic parents for a Vatican Library catalogue lists one manuscript with the nisba Andalusian but his writings suggest he mostly lived and worked in Egypt. He also visited North Africa and Iraq. Ibn Umayl has been considered a Gnostic Hermetist who seems to have led an introverted life style, which he recommended to others in his writings. Statements in his writings, comparing the Alchemical oven with Egyptian temples suggest that he might have lived for some time in Akhmim, the former centre of Alchemy. He also quoted alchemists that had lived in Egypt: Zosimos of Panopolis and Dhul-Nun al-Misri.

In later European literature, ibn Umayl became known by a number of names: his title Sheikh become ‘senior’ by translation into Latin, the honorific al-sadik rendered phonetically as ‘Zadith’ and ‘ibn Umail’ becoming by erroneous translation ‘filius Hamuel’, ‘ben Hamuel’ or ‘Hamuelis’.

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