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Abū al-Wazīr

(1,252 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Gholami, Rahim
Abū al-Wazīr, ʿUmar b. Muṭarrif b. Muḥammad al-ʿAbdī (d. 188/804), was a man of letters, a genealogist ( nassāba), and also the secretary to several of the early ʿAbbāsid caliphs. Al-Ṣābiʾ called him ‘Abū al-Wazīr b. Hānī’, possibly because of the name of one of his forefathers (p. 28). The title ‘al-ʿAbdī’ indicates that he was a mawlā of the Banū ʿAbd al-Qays tribe (Abū al-Faraj, 3/46; Yāqūt, 16/72). His father, Muṭarrif, was a scribe from Marw (al-Jahshiyārī, 227) and entered the service ¶ of the ʿAbbāsid al-Mahdī, al-Manṣūr's heir-apparent, when he was staying in Persia (14…

Burayda b. al-Ḥuṣayb

(985 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Abbas, Najam
b. ʿAbd Allāh al-Aslamī (d. 63/683), a Companion of the Prophet. Although his name was ʿĀmir, he was known as Burayda (Ibn Ḥajar, Nuzhat, 1/120). Nothing is recorded about his life before he embraced Islam. According to reports, when the Prophet Muḥammad migrated to Medina, he passed by a locality called Ghamīm, and when Burayda came face to face with the Prophet, he embraced Islam on the spot (al-Ṭabarī, 534; Khalīfa, 68; Ibn Ḥajar, al-Iṣāba, 1/146). Subsequent to his conversion, about eighty members of the al-Aslamī tribe also embraced Islam, a fact which reflects B…

al-Bukhārī, Muḥammad

(9,037 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Gholami, Rahim
b. Ismāʿīl b. Ibrāhīm al-Juʿfī (13 Shawwāl 194–1 Shawwāl 256/24 July 810–1 September 870), one of the most prominent Sunni traditionists and the author of one of ‘the six books ( al-kutub al-sitta)’ or ‘the six authentic ones ( al-ṣiḥāḥ al-sitta)’, referring to the collections of prophetic sayings deemed to be of the highest degree of authenticity within Sunni Islam. This work is known either as al-Jāmiʿ al-ṣaḥīḥ or, more popularly, as Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī. His ancestor, Bardizbah (Bazdizbah), was a Soghdian peasant and a Zoroastrian. His nisba al-Juʿfī derived from his great-grandfa…

Abū Dāwūd al-Sijistānī

(5,477 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Khodaverdian, Shahram
Abū Dāwūd al-Sijistānī, Sulaymān b. al-Ashʿath b. Isḥāq b. Bashīr b. Shaddād b. ʿAmr b. ʿImrān al-Azdī (202–275/817–888), was a well-known traditionist and ¶ compiler of the ḥadīth collection known as Sunan Abī Dāwūd, the third of the six canonical books of ḥadīth ( al-Ṣiḥāḥ al-sitta). The title ‘al-Sijistānī’, occasionally ‘al-Sijzī’ (cf. Abū ʿAwāna, 1/191), which usually comes after his kunya, indicates that he came from Sīstān. The author of Tārīkh-i Sīstān (p. 19) refers to him as one of the outstanding scholars of the region, and there is no evidence for the a…

Abū al-Dunyā

(2,384 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Zand, Roxane
Abū al-Dunyā was a man from the Maghrib, about whose alleged longevity stories have circulated since the 4th/10th century. Some writers, such as Abū Bakr al-Mufīd al-Jarjarāʾī, recorded his name and nisba as Abū ʿAmr ʿUthmān b. al-Khaṭṭāb b. ʿAbd Allāh b. al-ʿAwwām al-Balawī (see al-Ḥākim, 10; al-Khaṭīb, 11/297; al-Juwaynī, 1/198), but in the reports of Ibn Akhī Ṭāhir al-ʿAlawī and Abū Saʿīd b. ʿAbd al-Wahhāb al-Rāzī he is referred to as ʿAlī b. ʿUthmān b. al-Khaṭṭāb b. Murra b. Muʾayyad (Ibn Bābawayh, 2/538–544; cf. al-Khaṭīb, 11/299; Ibn Rushayd, 3/67–70). In some of the stories ab…


(4,692 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Qasemi, Jawad
Alfāẓ (sing. lafẓ, lit. ‘utterances’), is a term for an integral part of the principles of jurisprudence ( uṣūl al-fiqh), which concerns questions of language as an introduction to deducing legal rules from the proofs ( adilla, sing. dalīl) provided by the Qurʾān and sunna. The chapter on alfāẓ is always placed at the beginning of works on uṣūl al-fiqh, and includes a discussion of how language is connected to the principles of jurisprudence and the part it plays in juristic definitions. It was generally viewed as less important than adilla, and therefore only included as a kind of p…


(4,391 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Umar, Suheyl
Al-Awzāʿī, Abū ʿAmr ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿAmr (88–2 Ṣafar 157/706–22 December 774), a Syrian jurist, muḥaddith and founder of a school of jurisprudence which had followers in Syria and al-Andalus until the 4th/10th century. Some sources say that his family were either Yemenis captured during the Muslim wars of conquest ( al-futūḥāt; al-Masʿūdī, 3/304) or from Sindh (al-Dhahabī, Siyar, 7/109); however the preferred opinion is that he belonged to the Sībān clan of the Ḥimyar tribe. His nisba, al-Awzāʿī, stems from his residence in al-Awzāʿ, a suburb of Damascus (see al-Bukhār…

ʿAbd Shams

(837 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Gholami, Rahim
ʿAbd Shams, was the son of ʿAbd Manāf b. Quṣayy (q.v.), an ancestor of the Quraysh, father of Umayya, from whom the dynasty of the Umayyads were descended. He was named after ‘Shams’, which was ¶ apparently one of the deities worshipped by the Quraysh (see Abū ʿUbayd al-Bakrī, 3/808–809). His father, ʿAbd Manāf, was the father of Hāshim, head of the clan of the Hāshimids, and great-grandfather of the Prophet Muḥammad. Based on a report frequently repeated in the sources, ʿAbd Shams and Hāshim were twins, whose foreheads were connected at birth. They could not be sep…


(1,348 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Khaleeli, Alexander
al-Bāṭirqānī, Abū Bakr b. Faḍl b. Muḥammad (372–460/982–1068), was a Qurʾān reader ( qāriʾ ) and traditionist ( muḥaddith) from Iṣfahān. His nisba is from Bāṭirqān, a district near Iṣfahān’s Ḥasanābād gate, which is now within the city limits. The first unambiguous report regarding his education goes back to the year 387/997, when he would have been fifteen years old; it states that he studied Qurʾān recitation in Iṣfahān under the talented reciter Muḥammad b. ʿAbd al-Azīz al-Kisāʾī (see al-Dhahabī, Maʿrifa, 1/342; Ibn al-Jazarī, 1/96, cf. 2/173). He also completed his edu…

ʿAlī b. Abī Ḥamza al-Baṭāʾinī

(1,961 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Negahban, Farzin
ʿAlī b. Abī Ḥamza al-Baṭāʾinī, Abū al-Ḥasan (d. ca. 202/818), was one of the founders of the Wāqifa school and a distinguished narrator of Imāmī ḥadīths. He was a client ( mawlā) of the ‘Helpers’ (al-Anṣār) and lived in Kūfa (al-Najāshī, 249; al-Ṭūsī, al-Rijāl, 245, 339). His father Abū Ḥamza Sālim is held to have been a companion of Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq (al-Ṭūsī, al-Rijāl, 218). Al-Baṭāʾinī also studied for a while under Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq (d. 148/765), is regarded as one of his companions (al-Barqī, ‘al-Rijāl’, 25; al-Najāshī, 249; al-Ṭūsī, al-Rijāl, 245), and narrated a number of ḥadīths from …

Abū al-Muʾthir

(1,996 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Gholami, Rahim
Abū al-Muʾthir, al-Ṣalt b. Khamīs al-Bahlawī al-ʿUmānī, was an Ibāḍī faqīh (jurist) in Oman during the 3rd/9th century. His Bahlawī nisba (designation of origin) comes from Bahlāʾ, a place near Nizwā. There is little information about his childhood and youth. For a while he studied under Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad b. Maḥbūb b. Raḥīl (d. 260/874) in Ṣuḥār, and was also taught by some other shaykhs of the time such as Abū Ziyād Waḍḍāḥ b. ʿUqba (see Ibn Jaʿfar, 1/229, 327; Abū Saʿīd al-Kadumī, al-Jāmiʿ, 1/17–18, 221; al-Kindī, Muḥammad, 4/189, 7/137; cf. Abū al-Muʾthir, ‘al-Aḥdāth’, …

Abū al-Faḍl al-Tamīmī

(1,503 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Rezaee, Maryam
Abū al-Faḍl al-Tamīmī, ʿAbd al-Wāḥid b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz b. al-Ḥārith b. Asad (341–410/952–1020), a Ḥanbalī scholar. He was born into a learned family in Baghdad: his grandfather, al-Ḥārith, had been a traditionist, and his father was one of the leading Ḥanbalīs in Baghdad (see al-Khaṭīb, 10/461; for further details regarding his genealogy, see al-Maqqarī, 3/121). In Baghdad, he learnt the Islamic sciences from his father and from scholars of different tendencies, encompassing both extremist Ḥanbalīs on the one hand and Shiʿi scholars on the other. He …

Abū Bakr al-Sijistānī

(945 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Cooper, John
Abū Bakr al-Sijistānī, Muḥammad b. ʿUzayr (d. ca. 330/942), was an exegete, man of letters and the author of various works in the field of gharīb al-Qurʾān (the knowledge of rare or unfamiliar Qurʾānic terms). In some sources, such as the works of al-Dāraquṭnī (d. 385/995) and al-Khaṭīb al-Baghdādī, he is called Muḥammad b. ʿAzīz (Ibn Nuqṭa, 7/7). Most sources, however, call him ‘Muḥammad b. ʿUzayr’, although his name is sometimes recorded as Muḥammad b. ʿUzayr b. Aʿyun (Ibn Qāḍī Shuhba, 189), Muḥammad b. ʿUmar b. Aḥmad ( Pertsch, no. 522; Voorhoeve, 260) or Muḥammad b. ʿUmar b. Aḥ…

Abū al-Layth al-Samarqandī

(5,621 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Rabbani, Azar
Abū al-Layth al-Samarqandī, Naṣr b. Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Ibrahīm b. al-Khaṭṭāb, known as ‘Imām al-Hudā’ (d. 373/983), was a jurist and ascetic of Transoxania, who wrote a catechism of the Ḥanafī school of jurisprudence in Sunni Islam. The title ‘Imām al-Hudā’ (Leader of Right Guidance) (ʿAbd al-Qādir, 2/196) attributed to him was earlier given to Abū Manṣūr al-Māturīdī, another Ḥanafī theologian from Transoxania (ʿAbd al-Qādir, 2/130, 362; for other attributions of this title, see al-Ḥakīm al-Samarqandī, 148). The year of Abū al-Lay…

Abū Zakariyyā al-Janāwunī

(662 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Rezaee, Maryam
Abū Zakariyyā al-Janāwunī, Yaḥyā b. al-Khayr b. Tūzīn, was an Ibāḍī jurist from the Jabal Nafūsa (Nefousa), who lived in the 6th/12th century. He was a native of Ijnāwun (which lay east of Jabal Nafūsa) and was born into a learned family. His grandfather, Abū al-Khayr Tūzīn al-Janāwunī, was himself a renowned scholar who was blessed at birth by Abū al-Khayr Tūzīn al-Zawāghī, and for this reason Yaḥyā was ¶ named after him (al-Shammākhī, 2/28). Since al-Zawāghī lived during the reign of the Zīrid al-Muʿizz b. Bādīs (r. 406–453/1016–1061) (al-Shammākhī, 2/26) the em…

Ahl al-Kitāb

(2,248 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Qasemi, Jawad
Ahl al-Kitāb (the ‘People of the Book’ or the ‘Possessors of Scripture’), is a term applied to the adherents of the religions who believe in revealed scripture. In Islamic culture it refers chiefly to Jews and Christians. The People of the Book and the Unlettered ( al-Ummiyyūn) The inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula at the advent of Islam can be divided into two main groups: the majority, whether in the cities or deserts, whose prevalent religion was some form of idol-worship, and who were generally deprived of the knowledge of reading and…

ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib b. Hāshim

(1,909 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Khodaverdian, Shahram
ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib b. Hāshim b. ʿAbd Manāf, Abū al-Ḥārith (d. 45 before hijra/578), was the paternal grandfather of the Prophet Muḥammad. Some sources indicate that his original name, Shayba, was embellished with the laqab or title Aḥmad (‘most praised’) (Ibn Hishām, 1/89, 209; ¶ Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, 1/28), while others report that his name was ʿĀmir, or that ʿĀmir was a second name in addition to Shayba (see Ibn Bābawayh, al-Amālī, 700; idem, al-Khiṣāl, 453). While passing through Yathrib (Medina) on one of his trading journeys to Syria, Shayba's father, Hāshim b. ʿAbd M…

Abū Yūsuf

(8,313 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Rezaee, Maryam
Abū Yūsuf, Yaʿqūb b. Ibrāhīm b. Ḥabīb b. Khunays al-Anṣārī (113–182/731–798), was a famous judge ( qāḍī) and one of the founders of the Ḥanafī school of jurisprudence. His forebear was Saʿd b. Bujayr of the Bajīla tribe, who was one of the Companions of the Prophet and one of the first to emigrate from Medina to Kūfa (Ibn Saʿd, 6/34; Ibn Qutayba, al-Maʿārif, 499; al-Dhahabī, 57). According to Abū Yūsuf's own account, his father died while he was ¶ still a child, and because of their poverty and straitened circumstances his mother sent him out to work for a fuller ( qaṣṣār) (al-Khaṭīb, Taʾrīkh, 14/…

Abū Fudayk

(1,304 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Negahban, Farzin
Abū Fudayk, ʿAbd Allāh b. Thawr b. Salama (d. 73/692) was one of the leaders of the Najadāt Khārijīs (seceders). He was from the Banū Qays b. Thaʿlaba, a branch of the larger tribe of Bakr b. Wāʾil (al-Ṭabarī, 6/174), a considerable number of whom had strong Khārijī tendencies. He grew up in the Khārijī circles of Baṣra and accompanied their leaders to Mecca in 64/683–684 when they went to help ʿAbd Allāh b. al-Zubayr (al-Ṭabarī, 5/566; cf. al-Mubarrad, 7/240). After the Khārijīs separated from Ibn al-Zubayr, and w…


(2,185 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Brown, Keven
, Sayyid Ḥasan (1316–1395/1898–1975), the son of Āqā Buzurg b. ʿAlī Aṣghar, was a prominent Shiʿi scholar of the Najaf seminary, who composed various works on jurisprudence ( fiqh), the principles of jurisprudence ( uṣūl al-fiqh) and philosophy ( ḥikma). He was born into a family of sayyids (descendants of the Prophet) in Khurāshā, a village near the town of Bujnūrd in the Iranian province of Khurāsān. Through his father, Āqā Buzurg, his lineage can be traced back to Ibrāhīm al-Mujāb, a grandson of Mūsā b. Jaʿfar al-Kāẓim, the seventh in the…
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