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ʿAbdallāh b. ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb

(1,133 words)

Author(s): Görke, Andreas
ʿAbdallāh b. ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb (d. 73/693) was a Companion and brother-in-law of the Prophet Muḥammad and one of the most important transmitters of his sayings. He is often referred to simply as Ibn ʿUmar. ʿAbdallāh b. ʿUmar was born c. 610 C.E., the first son of the caliph-to-be ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb and Zaynab bt. Maẓʿūn. He converted to Islam at an early age, together with his parents, and was about eleven when his family moved to Medina. He was too young to fight at Badr and Uḥud but took part in the Battle of the Trench (al-…
Date: 2019-11-11

al-Barāʾ b. ʿĀzib

(495 words)

Author(s): Görke, Andreas
Al-Barāʾ b. ʿĀzib b. al-Ḥārith (d. c.72/691) was a Companion of the prophet Muḥammad, an important transmitter of his sayings, and a military commander during the early Islamic conquests. He was born about ten years before the hijra (c. 612 C.E.) in Medina as a member of the Banū l-Ḥāritha, a subclan of the Aws, one of the two main Arab tribes of Medina (the other being al-Khazraj). Apparently he converted to Islam before the hijra, at a young age. He was too young to fight at Badr (2/624) but took part in the Battle of the Trench (al-Khandaq), in 5/627, or, according …
Date: 2019-11-11

Aktham b. Ṣayfī

(777 words)

Author(s): Görke, Andreas
Aktham b. Ṣayfī is a semi-legendary figure of pre-Islamic Arabia. The sources portray him as a judge, sage, and poet, from the Usayyid branch of the Tamīm tribe, but otherwise very few details of his life are known with certainty. He is counted among the muʿammarūn—people famous for their alleged longevity—and his lifespan is given variously as 130, 190, 200, or 330 years. The earlier sources do not provide his date of death, while later sources assume that he died around 8/630, probably by extrapolation from the traditions linking Aktham with the prophet Muḥammad (see below). Together wit…
Date: 2019-11-11

ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Ḥabīb al-Fihrī

(970 words)

Author(s): Görke, Andreas
ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Ḥabīb b. Abī ʿUbayda (or ʿAbda) al-Fihrī (d. 137/755) was a military commander and governor in the province of Ifrīqiya at the end of the Umayyad and beginning of the ʿAbbāsid empire. A great-grandson of ʿUqba b. Nāfiʿ (d. 63/683), the general who had led the conquest of North Africa and founded the city of al-Qayrawān, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Ḥabīb belonged to one of the most noble and influential families in North Africa. His father, Ḥabīb, was a leading military commander in Ifrīqiya, and …
Date: 2019-11-11

al-Barāʾ b. Maʿrūr

(539 words)

Author(s): Görke, Andreas
Al-Barāʾ b. Maʿrūr (d. 622 C.E.) was one of the leaders of the Anṣār, the Medinan helpers of the prophet Muḥammad. His fame mainly rests on two episodes: he is said to have been the first to pray in the direction of the Kaʿba when Muḥammad still favoured Jerusalem as the qibla, and, according to some traditions, he was the first to pledge allegiance to Muḥammad at al-ʿAqaba. Both episodes are said to have taken place shortly before the hijra of the Prophet. Al-Barāʾ was at that time the leader of the Banū Salima, a sub-clan of the Khazraj, one of the two main Arab tribes o…
Date: 2019-11-11

al-ʿAbbās b. ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib

(973 words)

Author(s): Görke, Andreas
Al-ʿAbbās b. ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib (d. c. 32/653) was an uncle of the prophet Muḥammad and the eponym of the ʿAbbāsid dynasty. al-ʿAbbās was a half-brother of the Prophet's father ʿAbdallāh. His mother was Nutayla bt. Janāb from al-Namir, a tribe of the Rabīʿa confederation. al-ʿAbbās was the youngest son of ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib and was born two or three years prior to his nephew Muḥammad, i.e., around 567 C.E. He died during the caliphate of ʿUthmān b. ʿAffān (r. 23–35/644–56), aged about 88 (lunar) years. The ʿAbbāsids were descendants of al-ʿAbbās through his son ʿAbdallāh. It is particularly …
Date: 2019-11-11