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Muslim historian
Name: Muḥammad ibn Isḥaq ibn Yasār
Title: Ibn Isḥaq
Birth: 85AH 704CE [1]
Death: 150–153AH (767–770CE [2]
Ethnicity: Arab
Main interests: Biography of the Islamic prophet Muhammad
Influenced: Ibn Hisham and Tabari

Muḥammad ibn Isḥaq ibn Yasār (Arabic: محمد بن إسحاق بن يسار‎, or simply Ibn Isḥaq ابن إسحاق, meaning "the son of Isaac") (died 767, or 761 (Robinson 2003, p. xv)) was an Arab Muslim historian and hagiographer. He collected oral traditions that formed the basis of the first biography of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. This biography is usually called Sirat Rasul Allah ("Life of God's Messenger").

Contents

Life

According to Guillaume (pp. xiii-xiv), Ibn Isḥaq was born circa AH 85, or roughly 704 CE, in Medina. He was the grandson of a man, Yasār, who had been captured in one of Khalid ibn al-Walid's campaigns and taken to Medina as a slave. Yasār converted to Islam and was freed. Yasār's son Isḥaq was a traditionist, who collected and recounted tales of the past. Muḥammad ibn Isḥaq was thus carrying on the work of his father.

At the age of thirty, he traveled to the Islamic province of Egypt to attend lectures given by the traditionist Yazīd ibn Abū Habīb. He later traveled eastwards, towards what is now ‘Irāq. There, the new Abbasid dynasty, having overthrown the Umayyad caliphs, was establishing a new capital at Baghdad. Ibn Isḥaq moved to the capital and likely found patrons in the new regime. (Robinson 2003, p. 27) He died in Baghdad in 767 CE.

Work

Ibn Isḥaq wrote several works, none of which survive. His collection of traditions about the life of Muhammad survives mainly in two sources:

  • an edited copy, or recension, of his work by his student al-Bakka'i, as further edited by Ibn Hisham. Al-Bakka'i's work has perished and only Ibn Hisham's has survived, in copies. (Donner 1998, p. 132)
  • an edited copy, or recension, prepared by his student Salamah ibn Fadl al-Ansari. This also has perished, and survives only in the copious extracts to be found in the volumimous historian al-Tabari's. (Donner 1998, p. 132)
  • fragments of several other recensions. Guillaume lists them on p. xxx of his preface, but regards most of them as so fragmentary as to be of little worth.

According to Donner, the material in Ibn Hisham and al-Tabari is "virtually the same". (Donner 1998, p. 132) However, there is some material to be found in al-Tabari that was not preserved by Ibn Hisham. The notorious tradition of the Satanic Verses, in which Muhammad is said to have added his own words to the text of the Qur'an as dictated by a jinn is found only in al-Tabari.

The English-language edition of Ibn Ishaq currently used by non-Arabic speakers is the 1955 version by Alfred Guillaume. Guillaume combined Ibn Hisham and those materials in al-Tabari cited as Ibn Isḥaq's whenever they differed or added to Ibn Hisham, believing that in so doing he was restoring a lost work. The extracts from al-Tabari are clearly marked, although sometimes it is difficult to distinguish them from the main text (only a capital "T" is used).

See also

References

  1. ^ Mustafa al-Suqa, Ibrahim al-Ibyari and Abdu l-Hafidh Shalabi, Tahqiq Kitab Sirah an-Nabawiyyah, Dar Ihya al-Turath, p. 20
  2. ^ Ibid, p. 20

Bibliography

  • Donner, Fred, Narratives of Islamic Origins, The Darwin Press, 1998
  • Guillaume, A., The Life of Muhammad, Oxford University Press, 1955, reprinted in 2003. ISBN 0-19-636033-1.
  • Robinson, Chase, Islamic Historiography, Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0521588138
  • Wansbrough, John, Quranic Studies, 1977, as reprinted in 2004, ISBN 0197135889
  • Wansbrough, John, The Sectarian Milieu, 1978, as reprinted in 2005. ISBN 019713596X.

Muslim historian
Name: Muḥammad ibn Isḥaq ibn Yasār

Title: Ibn Isḥaq
Birth: 85 AH /704 CE[1]
Death: 150–153 AH/767–770CE[1]
Ethnicity: Arab
Main interests: Biography of the Islamic prophet Muhammad
Influenced: Ibn Hisham and Tabari

Muḥammad ibn Isḥaq ibn Yasār (Arabic: محمد بن إسحاق بن يسار‎, or simply Ibn Isḥaq ابن إسحاق, meaning "the son of Isaac") (died 767, or 761 (Robinson 2003, p. xv)) was an Arab Muslim historian and hagiographer. He collected oral traditions that formed the basis of the first biography of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. This biography is usually called Sirat Rasul Allah ("Life of God's Messenger").

Contents

Life

According to Guillaume (pp. xiii–xiv), Ibn Isḥaq was born circa AH 85, or roughly 704 CE, in Medina. He was the grandson of a man, Yasār, who had been captured in one of Khalid ibn al-Walid's campaigns and taken to Medina as a slave. He became the slave of Ḳays b. Mak̲h̲rama b. al-Muṭṭalib b. ʿAbd Manāf b. Ḳuṣayy and, having accepted Islam, was manumitted and became his mawlā , thus acquiring the nisba al-Muṭṭalibī. Yasār's three sons, Mūsā, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, and Isḥāq, were all known as transmitters of ak̲h̲bār, who collected and recounted tales of the past. Isḥāq married the daughter of another mawlā and from this marriage Ibn Isḥāḳ was born.[2]

There are no details of his early life, but in view of the family nature of early ak̲h̲bār and ḥadīt̲h̲ transmission, it was natural that he should follow in the footsteps of his father and uncles and become specialized in these branches of knowledge. In 119 AH/737 CE around the age of 30, he arrived in Alexandria and studied under Yazīd b. Abī Ḥabīb has suggested that Ibn Isḥāḳ returned to Medina from Egypt, before finally travelling eastwards towards what is now ‘Irāq.[2] There, the new Abbasid dynasty, having overthrown the Umayyad caliphs, was establishing a new capital at Baghdad. Ibn Isḥaq moved to the capital and likely found patrons in the new regime. (Robinson 2003, p. 27) He died in Baghdad around 150 AH /767 CE. These three brothers arrived Horn Africa, Somalia and many Somali clans have believed that they trace their ancestor from them, Muse, Isaq and Abd al-Rahman.

Works

Ibn Isḥaq wrote several works, none of which survive. Apart from the Sīra an-nabawiyya he is credited with a Kitāb al-Ḵh̲ulafāʾ, which al-Umawwī related to him (Fihrist,92; Udabāʾ, VI, 401) and a book of Sunan (Ḥād̲j̲d̲j̲ī Ḵh̲alīfa, II, 1008).[3]

His collection of traditions about the life of Muhammad also called Sīrat Nabawiyya or Sīrah Rasūl Allāh, survives mainly in two sources:

  • an edited copy, or recension, of his work by his student al-Bakka'i, as further edited by Ibn Hisham. Al-Bakka'i's work has perished and only Ibn Hisham's has survived, in copies. (Donner 1998, p. 132)
  • an edited copy, or recension, prepared by his student Salamah ibn Fadl al-Ansari. This also has perished, and survives only in the copious extracts to be found in the volumimous historian al-Tabari's. (Donner 1998, p. 132)
  • fragments of several other recensions. Guillaume lists them on p. xxx of his preface, but regards most of them as so fragmentary as to be of little worth.

According to Donner, the material in Ibn Hisham and al-Tabari is "virtually the same". (Donner 1998, p. 132) However, there is some material to be found in al-Tabari that was not preserved by Ibn Hisham.

The English-language edition of Ibn Ishaq currently used by non-Arabic speakers is the 1955 version by Alfred Guillaume. Guillaume combined Ibn Hisham and those materials in al-Tabari cited as Ibn Isḥaq's whenever they differed or added to Ibn Hisham, believing that in so doing he was restoring a lost work. The extracts from al-Tabari are clearly marked, although sometimes it is difficult to distinguish them from the main text (only a capital "T" is used).

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Mustafa al-Suqa, Ibrahim al-Ibyari and Abdu l-Hafidh Shalabi, Tahqiq Kitab Sirah an-Nabawiyyah, Dar Ihya al-Turath, p. 20
  2. ^ a b Jones, J.M.B. "Ibn Isḥāḳ , Muḥammad b. Isḥāḳ b. Yasār b. Ḵh̲iyār (according to some sources, b. Ḵh̲abbār, or Kūmān, or Kūtān)." Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Edited by: P. Bearman , Th. Bianquis , C.E. Bosworth , E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2010. Brill Online.
  3. ^ Raven, Wim, Sīra and the Qurʾān – Ibn Isḥāq and his editors, Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an. Ed. Jane Dammen McAuliffe. Vol. 5. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill Academic Publishers, 2006. p29-51.

Bibliography

  • Donner, Fred, Narratives of Islamic Origins, The Darwin Press, 1998
  • Guillaume, A., The Life of Muhammad, Oxford University Press, 1955, reprinted in 2003. ISBN 0-19-636033-1.
  • Jones, J.M.B., Ibn Isḥāḳ , Muḥammad b. Isḥāḳ b. Yasār b. Ḵh̲iyār (according to some sources, b. Ḵh̲abbār, or Kūmān, or Kūtān), Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman , Th. Bianquis , C.E. Bosworth , E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs, Brill, 2010, Brill Online.
  • Raven, Wim, Sīra and the Qurʾān – Ibn Isḥāq and his editors, Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an. Ed. Jane Dammen McAuliffe. Vol. 5. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill Academic Publishers, 2006. p29-51.
  • Robinson, Chase, Islamic Historiography, Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0521588138
  • Wansbrough, John, Quranic Studies, 1977, as reprinted in 2004, ISBN 0197135889
  • Wansbrough, John, The Sectarian Milieu, 1978, as reprinted in 2005. ISBN 019713596X.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

IBN ISHAQ [[[Mahommed Ahmed Ibn Seyyid Abdullah|Mahommed ibn]] Ishaq Abu `Abdallah] (d. 768), Arabic historian, lived in Medina, where he interested himself to such an extent in the details of the Prophet's life that he was attacked by those to whom his work seemed to have a rationalistic tendency. He consequently left Medina in 733, and went to Alexandria, then to Kufa and Hira, and finally to Bagdad, where the caliph Mansur provided him with the means of writing his great work. This was the Life of the Apostle of God, which is now lost and is known to us only in the recension of Ibn Hisham. The work has been attacked by Arabian writers (as in the Fihrist) as untrustworthy, and it seems clear that he introduced forged verses (cf. Journal of the German Oriental Society, xiv. 288 sqq.). It remains, however, one of the most important works of the age. (G. W. T.)


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