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(870 words)

Author(s): Gori, Alessandro
Biography ʿĔnbāqom (or according to a more correct transliteration ʿƎnbaqom) was a Yemeni Muslim (the former hypothesis of a Near Eastern origin has now been definitively dismissed) who converted to Christianity and became the eleventh abbot of the Ethiopian Orthodox monastery of Däbrä Libanos in Šäwa, perhaps the most important monastic establishment in the country. He authored the  Anqaṣä amin, a polemical treatise in Gǝʿǝz (Classical Ethiopic, basically the language of the Ethiopian Christian literary tradition) against Islam, and translated from Arabic into Gǝʿǝz of the  Book…

ʿArab Faqīh

(351 words)

Author(s): Gori, Alessandro
Shihab al-Dīn Aḥmad ibn ʿAbd al-Qādir ibn Sālim ibn ʿUthmān Date of Birth: Late 15th/early 16th century Place of Birth: Yemen/Ethiopia Date of Death: After 1559 Place of Death: Yemen/Ethiopia Biography The biography of Shihāb al-Dīn cannot be reconstructed in any detail, since the only source of information is his Futūḥ al-Ḥabasha, about the Ethiopian  jihād of Aḥmad ibn Ibrāhīm (d. 1543). His nickname, ʿArab faqīh, ‘Arab doctor of law’, is mentioned on the title page of most of the manuscripts of the work. It could refer either to an Ethiopian who was a Musl…

Ḥasan ibn Aḥmad al-Ḥaymī

(525 words)

Author(s): Gori, Alessandro
Ḥasan ibn Aḥmad al-Ḥaymī Date of Birth: 1608 or 1609 Place of Birth: Al-Ḥayma, Yemen Date of Death: 1660 or 1661 Place of Death: Kawkabān, Yemen BiographyPractically nothing is known about the life of Sharaf al-Dīn al-Ḥasan ibn Aḥmad ibn Ṣāliḥ (or Ṣalāḥ) ibn Duʿays ibn Muḥammad ibn Ḥamza al-Ḥaymī, and there is only limited scattered data from which to reconstruct his biography. He was probably born in al-Ḥayma (hence his main  nisba ‘al-Ḥaymī’, by which he is most commonly known), an area near Kawkabān (north-west of Ṣanʿāʾ; from here comes his other  nisba al-Kawkabānī), in 1608 (or, …

 Futūḥ al-Ḥabasha

(991 words)

Author(s): Gori, Alessandro
Futūḥ al-ḤabashaTuḥfat al-zamān;, Bahjat al-zamān‘The conquest of Abyssinia’ Shihab al-Dīn Aḥmad ibn ʿAbd al-Qādir ibn Sālim ibn ʿUthmān Date: Mid-16th century Original Language: Arabic Description Futūḥ al-Ḥabasha is a historical work in the style of classical Arabic futūḥ, maghāzī and  sīra works. The Arabic text was published together with a French translation by René Basset in Algiers in 1897, running to 348 pages. The work contains no sustained criticisms of Christians or Christianity. When Shihāb al-Dīn mentions Christians, he usually does so simply …

Quṭb al-Dīn Muḥammad al-Nahrawālī

(778 words)

Author(s): Gori, Alessandro
Quṭb al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al-Nahrawālī al-Makkī Date of Birth: 1511/12 Place of Birth: Gujarat or Lahore Date of Death: 1582/3 (or 1583/4; according to some sources 1580/1) Place of Death: Mecca BiographyMany aspects of the biography of Quṭb al-Dīn Muḥammad al-Nahrawālī (sometimes erroneously spelt al-Nahrawānī) al-Hindī al-Makkī are still unclear, despite the relative abundance of sources that mention him. According to these, he was born in either Gujarat or Lahore in 1511/12. His family was a branch of the Āl Quṭbī clan…

 Al-barq al-Yamānī fī l-fatḥ al-ʿUthmānī

(1,589 words)

Author(s): Gori, Alessandro
Al-futūḥāt al-‘Uthmāniyya li-l-aqṭār al-Yamāniyya ‘Yemeni lightning, on the Ottoman conquest’‘Lightning over Yemen. A history of the Ottoman campaign 1569-71’ Quṭb al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al-Nahrawālī al-Makkī Date: 1573 Original Language: Arabic Description Al-barq al-Yamānī fī l-fatḥ al-ʿUthmānī is a historiographical work written by Quṭb al-Dīn at the request of Koca Sinān Pasha (Albanian: Sinan Pasha Topoyani; c. 1520-96), the Ottoman conqueror of Yemen ( Fātiḥ-i Yaman), to describe the victorious expansion of the sultan’s rule in southern Arabia and …

 Sīrat al-Ḥabasha

(1,916 words)

Author(s): Gori, Alessandro
Sīrat al-Ḥaymī;, Ṭaraf al-akhbār min natāʾij al-asfār;, Ḥadīqat al-naẓar wa-bahjat al-fikar fī ʿajāʾib al-safar;, Taʾrīkh al-Ḥabasha;, Sīrat al-qāḍī Sharaf al-Dīn al-Ḥasan ibn ʿAlī ibn al-Ḥasan fī dukhūlih arḍ al-Ḥabasha‘A Yemenite embassy to Ethiopia’ Ḥasan ibn Aḥmad al-Ḥaymī Date: Approximately 1650 Original Language: Arabic Description Sīrat al-Ḥabasha was written by al-Ḥaymī in around 1650 in Kawkābān, allegedly at the request of Imam al-Mutawakkil ʿalā Allāh Ismāʿīl (d. 1668). The author presents his text as a travelogue narrating his…

 Anqaṣä amin

(1,710 words)

Author(s): Gori, Alessandro
Anqaṣä amin‘The gate of the faith’ ʿĔnbāqom Date: 1540 Original Language: Ge'ez Description ʿƎnbaqom wrote  Anqaṣä amin in 1540. The work is essentially a polemical treatise against Islam, which ʿƎnbaqom says he purposely wrote for Imām Aḥmad ibn Ibrāhīm (c. 1506-43), the leader of a Muslim expansionist movement against the Christian Ethiopian Empire between 1528 and 1543. In the short introduction to the text (ed. van Donzel, pp. 169-71), ʿƎnbaqom recounts that the place where he was seeking refuge from the wa…