Some of the Prominent Muslim Scholars
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 18th of the Islamic month of Rajab in 426 AH, the Spanish Muslim mathematician, astronomer, and physician, Asbagh ibn Mohammad Ibn Samh al-Gharnati, passed away at the age of 56 years. He wrote his "Kitab az-Zaij" in astronomy mainly based on the Iranian Islamic scientist, Mohammad ibn Musa Khwarezmi's book "Sindhind". He also wrote a treatise on the construction of the astrolabe and another on its use. This Spanish Muslim scholar also extensively quotes in his "Kitab al‐Amal", another Iranian Islamic astronomer, Ahmad ibn Abdullah Habash al‐Haseb al-Mervazi of Merv, Khorasan, which is evident of the profound influence of the Islamic east on Europe.
On 16th of the Islamic month of Rajab 539 AH, the hadith scholar of Spanish Muslim origin, Mohammad ibn Abdul-Malik ibn Khayroun, passed away. Among his extant works is the book “al-Miftah”.
On 19th of the Islamic month of Rajab in 474 AH, the Spanish Muslim scholar Abul-Waleed Suleiman ibn Khalaf Maleki passed away in Spain. He was a skilled memorizer and exegete of the Holy Qur'an, as well as a poet. He lectured theology in Andalusia and thereafter in Mecca and Baghdad. Among his valuable books and treatises, mention can be made of “Tafsir al-Qur’an” and “al-Ishara”.
On 26th of the Islamic month of Rajab in 558 AH, the historian and hadith scholar, Mohammad bin Sa'eed Ibn Dubaysi, was born in Iraq. Among his works is the summarization of the voluminous “History of Baghdad” of the famous Khateeb al-Baghdadi.
On 26th of the Islamic month of Rajab in 681 AH, the famous biographer of Kurdish origin, Shams od-Din Abu'l-Abbas Ahmad Ibn Mohammad Ibn Khallikan passed away in Damascus at the age of 73. He was born in Arbil in northeastern Iraq and studied in Aleppo, Damascus, and Mosul before settling in Cairo, where he served as assistant to the chief judge of Egypt. Later he became the chief judge of Damascus. His most renowned work is the biographical dictionary entitled "Wafayaat al-Ayaan wa-Anba Abna az-Zamaan" (Deaths of Eminent Men and Accounts of the Sons of the Epoch), which took eighteen years to complete. This book does not include biographies of individuals already sufficiently covered, such as the Prophet and the caliphs. It was translated into English by William McGuckin de Slane.
On 4th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 440 AH, the Iranian mystic and poet, Abu-Saeed Abi’l-Khair, passed away at the age of 83 in his native Khorasan. He was an expert on the exegesis of the Holy Qur’an, in addition to hadith, and jurisprudence, and was very deeply devoted to the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt. The important details of his thoughts and life are known from the book “Asrar at-Tawhid” (Mysteries of Monotheism) written by his grandson, Mohammad Ibn Munawwar, after his death. An accomplished poet, he mostly composed quatrains.
On 4th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 683 AH, the Iranian statesman, Shams od-Din Mohammad ibn Baha od-Din Mohammad ibn Mohammad Juwaini was martyred by the Mongol ruler, Arghun Khan on the alleged charges of poisoning of his father Abaqa Khan, who actually died of excessive drinking. A vizier and Sahib-Divan or Minister of Finance for 22 years under three Ilkhans – i.e. Hulagu, Abaqa and Ahmad Tekuder –both his grandfather Mohammad and his father Baha od-Din, had held the post of Sahib-Divan for Mohammad Jalal od-Din Khwarezmshah and Chingiz Khan's son Ogedei Khan respectively. Born in Juwain, near Naishapour in Khorasan, he was a skillful political and military leader, who is also known to have patronized arts and culture. His brother is the famous historian Ata ol-Molk Juwaini, the author of "Tarīkh-e Jahan-Gusha".
On 5th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 313 AH, the famous Iranian Islamic physician and chemist, Mohammad ibn Zakariyah Razi, passed away at the age of 62. Born in the city of Rayy, he initially followed his father's profession of a goldsmith, before turning to chemistry in addition to honing his skills in other sciences, such as medicine, geometry, logic, and philosophy. He wrote almost 250 works in different scientific fields, including “al-Hawi”, “al-Mansouri”, and “Sayrat al-Falsafiyah”.
On 9th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 577 AH, the theologian and lexicographer, Abul Barakaat Abdur-Rahman ibn Mohammad, popularly known as “Ibn-e Anbari”, passed away in Baghdad. He has left behind numerous books and treatises, including “al-Asraar al-Arabiyya”.
On 12th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 498 AH, the famous Spanish Muslim hadith scholar and physician, Hassan ibn Hafez Andalusi, passed away. He was a prominent scholar of Arabic literature, and among his works, mention could be made of a biography of prominent figures of his era.
On June 22, 916 AD, Amir Saif od-Dowla, the Hamdanid ruler of Aleppo and most of Syria, was born. Named Ali, he was the son of Abu'l-Hayja Abdullah bin Hamdan, and was a staunch follower of the Prophet's Ahl al-Bayt. He was the younger brother of Nasser od-Dowla the Amir of Mosul. He distinguished himself in battles against the Byzantines and could be called the Warden of the Marches of the Islamic frontier of those days by checking the bid by the Christians to plunder Syria. Saif od-Dowla was a man of letters and surrounded himself with prominent intellectual figures, notably the great Arabic poets, al-Mutanabbi and Abu Firas Hamdani, as well as the noted Iranian Islamic philosopher Abu Nasr Farabi. Saif od-Dowla himself was a poet; his delicate short poem on the rainbow shows high artistic ability.
On 13th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 1200 AH, the prominent religious scholar, Hussein ibn Mohammad Saleh Khaledi, passed away. He was born in Bait al-Moqaddas and learned the common sciences of his day in his hometown. He was a skilled writer and highly talented in writing poems.
14th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 639 AH, the Shafe'i theologian and scientist, Kamal od-Din Ibn Younus, passed away in his hometown Mosul. He was a product of the famous Nizamiyya Academy of Baghdad founded by the Iranian vizier of the Seljuqid Dynasty, Nizam ol-Molk Tusi. He had studied mathematics and geometry under the Iranian scientist, Sharaf od-Din Tusi. He was an astronomer and physician as well, and among his valuable compilations is the book: “al-Asrar as-Soltaniyyah” on astronomy.
14th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 842 AH, the North African Maliki jurisprudent and literary figure, Mohammad ibn Ahmad Ibn Marzouq al-Hafeed, passed away. He performed the Hajj pilgrimage twice at a young age, and travelled over most of North Africa, Egypt, Syria and Constantinople. He belonged to the famous Ibn Marzouq Family of Tilmisan that produced theologians, literary figures, and politicians, thereby significantly influencing the Islamic culture of the people of what is now Algeria and Morocco, his day. He has left behind several books, including a book in verse on the science of hadith, titled “al-Hadiqah”.
On 15th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 837 AH, the poet and scholar Ibn Hujjah Hamawi, passed away. Among his valuable works, mention can be made of his book: “al-Khazanat al-Adab”.
On 16th of the Islamic month of Sha'ban in 612 AH, the Arabic poet and scholar, Abdullah ibn ad-Dahhan Shafe’i, passed away in Baghdad. He was from the city of Mosul and was an expert in the common sciences of his day, such as theology, exegesis of the Holy Qur’an, medicine, and astronomy, and wrote beautiful poems. Besides Arabic, he was fluent in Persian, Turkish, Roman, Sanskrit, and Armenian languages and whenever his non-Arab students did not understand his remarks, he spoke to them in their own language. He went blind in his last years.
On 21st of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 506 AH, the Iranian Sunni Muslim hadith scholar, historian and genealogist, Abdul-Karim Ibn Mohammad as-Sam’ani, was born in the Khorasani city of Marv, which is currently in the Republic of Turkmenistan. After basic Islamic studies in Nishabour, he travelled widely throughout Iran, Iraq, Syria, Hejaz, and Transoxiana to acquire more knowledge. His most important book is “al-Ansaab” on the genealogy of the notables. He has also left behind other valuable books such as “Tarikh-e Marv” (History of Marv).
On 22nd of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 773 AH, the hadith scholar, poet, and historian, Shahabuddin Ahmad ibn Ali ibn Mohammad Ibn Hajar Asqalani, was born in Cairo. He memorized the Holy Qur'an at the age of ten and thereafter traveled to different lands to acquire knowledge and sciences. A prolific writer, he compiled some 150 books and treatises on various topics including the God-given merits of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He died in 852 AH at the age of 79 years and his funeral was attended by an estimated 50,000 people including the Sultan.
On 23rd of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 733 AH, the hadith scholar and literary figure Sharaf od-Din Hussain ibn Abdullah Tayyebi, passed away. He wrote an Exegesis of the Holy Qur'an.
On 23rd of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 817 AH, the prominent Persian poet and literary figure, Noureddin Abdur-Rahman Jami was born in the city of Jam, in Khorasan, northeastern Iran. He went to Samarqand to learn Islamic sciences, literature and history, and visited several other lands, before settling in Herat. He has left behind a large number of works in prose and verse, including “Baharestan”. Jami, who passed away in 898 AH at the age of 81, has also composed beautiful odes in praise of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) and the Ahl al-Bayt.
On 27th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 490 AH, the prominent Islamic scholar, Abu'l-Hassan Ali Ibn Zaid Bayhaqi, popularly known as “Ibn Funduq” and "Fareed-e Khorasan", was born in the city of Bayhaq in northeastern Iran, which later became Sabzevar. He was an expert in hadith, theology, literature, mathematics, and philosophy. His most important book is "Ma'arej Nahj al-Balagha", a commentary on the famous compilation of the eloquent sermons, letters, and maxims of Imam Ali (AS). In Persian he authored “Tarikh-e Bayhaq” on the history of the region, giving geographical and dynastic details. Among his books, mention can also be made of “Lubaab al-Ansaab” on genealogy of notable figures. He passed away in the year 565 AH.