Ibn Khallikan

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[pp. 396-399]


(1211 - 1281 A.D.)

Shams ad-dīn Aḥmad b. Muḥ. Ibn Khallikān; born in Arbela, died in Damascus. Chief qāḍī in Cairo and Damascus.

Wafayāt al-a'yān (The Biographies of Illustrious Men)

Ed.: F. Wüstenfeld, 3 vols.,Göttingen 1835-43; Muh. Muhiy ad-din A. Hamid, 6 vols., Cairo 1936-48; Ihsan 'Abbas, Beirut 1963 ss. Engl. Transl.i De Slane, 4 vols., Paris 1842-71; repr.. Karachi 1961.

T.: Cairo and Beirut A:0

Nr. 115. Bishr al-Marīsī. Abū 'Abd ar-Raḥmān Bishr b. al-Ghayyāth b. Abī Karīma, al-faqīh al-ḥanafī was one of the freed slaves (mawālī) of Zayd b. al-Khaṭṭab. Ha learned fiqh from al-qāḍī Abū Yūsuf al-Ḥanafī, but later devoted himself to theology (kalām). He was the first to put forth the opinion that the Qur'ān had been created. Slanderous sayings are attributed to him in connection with this subject. He was also a murjite "murjī"<ref>“Murjī’”, a follower of the “murji’a” Islamic sect, which held the opinion that a Muslim does not lose his faith solely by committing a sin.</ref> ; after him the community of people from al-Marīs followers of murji'a was named. He used to say that worship of the Sun or of the Moon is no [act of] blasphemy (kufr) but rather a sign (ʿalāma) of "kufr" ... He had discussions with al-imām ash-Shāfi'ī. He did not master the Arabic grammar (an-naḥū) and spoke rather broken Arabic. According to a tradition (ḥadīth) transmitted by Ḥammād b. Salmā [and others] his father was a Jewish goldsmith from Kūfa. Ibn Abī 'Awn, the secretary said in his Kitāb al-Ajwiba that the mother of Bishr al-Marīsī made the Islamic profession (shahāda) before the judges under dict-[p. 397]-ation by [another] woman. The Prosecutor (al-khaṣm) said to the Judge: ‘Don't you see that she is being prompted?' She replied: 'You ignorant! God Almighty said: 'Whenever one of the two errs, the other reminds the erring one.' He died at Baghdad in the month of Dhu-l-Hijja of the year 210 H. - or 219 H. - according to others [833 or 834 A.D.].

Al- Marīsī. This name is related to al-Marīs which is a village (qarya) of Egypt, as stated by the vizier Abū Sa'd [at-Tustarī] in his Kitāb an-nutaf wa-ṭ-ṭuraf ("A Pinch of Novelty and Curiosity"). I heard someone in Fusṭāṭ saying: - The Marīs are a race of Blacks (Sūdān) who dwell between Nubia and Aswān, towards Egypt, although they racially are Nūba (ka'annahum jins min an-nūba). Their country borders on Aswan. In winter they have a cold wind blowing from the south which they call "al-marīsī", as they claim that it originates in that land, but God knows better. (Beirut I, pp. 227 - 228).

Nr. 127. Tūrānshāh. ... He was the brother of Saladin. In the year 568 H. [1172 A.D.] he was sent to conquer Nubia before leaving for Yemen. When he arrived there [Nubia] he found the country not worth the trouble, therefore he turned back taking with him a large booty of slaves. He received many fiefs (iqṭā'āt) from his brother. His representatives (nuwāb) in Yemen used to bring him large sums of money. [Yet] he died leaving a debt amounting to 200.000 dinars, which his brother Saladin settled for him. (Beirut I, pp. 306 - 309).

Dhū-l-Nūn- Abū-l-Fīḍ Thūbān b. Ibrāhīm ... al-Miṣrī called Dhū-l-Nūn. This famous pious man was a member of a tarīqa. He was unsurpassed in science (ʿilm), self-restraint (warʾ) behaviour (? ḥāl) and courtesy (adab). Ibn Yusef recorded that he was wise and eloquent and that [p. 398] his father was of Nubian origin - according to some, he was from Akhmīm, and a slave (mawlā) to al-Quraysh. It has been reported about him that al-Mutawakkil asked to see him at Baghdad. When he entered into the presence of the Caliph he addressed (wa'z) him so that al-Mutawakkil burst into tears and after having honoured him ordered him to go back. He was thin and lean, had a red complexion except for his white beard. His shaykh in the ṭarīqa was one Shuqrān al-'abīd... Some fuqarāʾ became his disciples. He died in the year 245 H. [859 A.D.]. (Beirut I, pp. 315 - 319).

Nr. 489. 'Umara al-Yamanī. ... The Jurists (fuqahāʾ) of Miṣr unanimously sentenced that he should be executed and advised the Sultan to rid himself of such a man [in the Kharīda<ref>Written by ‘Imad ad-dīn al-Isfahānī, Saladin’s secretary.</ref> it is said that] he was in Nubia, [a fact] which is a matter of wonder beyond any description. In fact, no literate person (adīb) there is held in honour even though he were the most brilliant poet or the best prose writer. He satirised a high-placed emir. (Beirut II, p. 435).

Nr. 518. Kāfūr. Abū-l-Musk Kāfūr b. 'Abdalla was a slave in Cairo. Abū Bakr Muḥammad Tughj al-Ikhshīd bought him in the year 312 H. [924 A.D.] from one Muḥammad b. Wahb b. 'Abbās. Under the Ikhshīd he gained promotion very rapidly. He had a very dark complexion. More information about him can be found in the book of Ibn Ṭabāṭābā. (Cairo III, p. 620).

Saladin... He appointed Bahā'uddīn Qarāqūsh superintendent (ustādh dār) of the Palace of al-'Aḍid [p. 399] with order to keep everything until Saladin came to take over. He moved the family (ahl) of al-'Aḍid to another part in separate quarters and appointed someone to look after them. ... He expelled all the Negro servants (ʿabīd) and hand-maids (imāʾ) [from the Palace]: some of them he set free, some others he gave as a present to friends and the remainder he sold: thus he emptied the palace of all its former occupants.

... News reached Saladin that a man by name al-Kanz had rallied a multitude of Blacks (sūdān) at Aswān with the intention of restoring the Egyptian [Fatimite] dynasty (ad-dawla al-miṣriyya). As the Egyptians are volatile people, they joined the aforesaid Kanz. Saladin sent against him a numerous army under the command of al-Malik al-'Ādil who attacked the insurgents and cut them to pieces on 7th Ṣafar 570 H. [7 September 1174 A.D.]. (Cairo VI, p. 157).