The prominent historian and literary figure, Ibn al-Aseer al-Jazari
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 4th of the Islamic month of Jamadi al-Awwal in 555 AH, the prominent historian and literary figure, Abu’l-Hassan Ali ibn Mohammad, better known as Izz-ad-Din Ibn al-Aseer al-Jazari, was born in a Kurdish family in Jazirat Ibn Umar in Iraq, which was then part of the Great Seljuq Empire, with its capital in Isfahan. He spent a scholarly life in Mosul, but often visited Baghdad, where he learned from the Iranian scholar Khateeb-e Tousi.
With the disintegration of the Seljuqid Empire, he was with the army of Salahoddin Ayyoubi in Syria, and has written eye-witness accounts of the battles with the Crusader invaders of Europe, who had usurped Palestine and set up the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. He was about 28 years old when Bayt al-Moqaddas and Palestine were liberated after 88 years of Crusader occupation by the joint Islamic army of Kurds, Turks, Arabs and Iranians.
Ibn Aseer later lived in Aleppo and Damascus and died in Mosul. His chief work is a general history of the world, titled “al-Kamel fi’t-Tarikh” (The Complete History), in which he has included reports of the destructive events taking place in the last years of his life in the Islamic east, particularly in Central Asia and Khorasan, where the barbaric Mongol onslaught was destroying centuries of flourishing civilized life.
He has also written a specialized history of the Atabek Dynasty of Mosul titled “at-Tarikh al-Baher fi’l-Dowlat-al-Atabekiyah bi’l-Mawsil”. Ibn Aseer also wrote the biographical encyclopedia on the companions of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), titled: “Usud al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat as-Sahabah”. Ezz od-Din should not be confused with his elder brother, Majd od-Din Ibn Aseer, the author of "Jame' al-Usoul", which is a compendium of the "Sihah as-Sitta" or the Six Authoritative Hadith Books of Sunni Muslims, compiled almost wholly by Iranian converts to Islam.