The Leading and Renowned Muslim Scholars
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 3rd of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 567AH, the Hanbali hadith scholar and Arabic grammarian, Abdullah Ibn Ahmad al-Khashshab, passed away in Baghdad at the age of 75. He is the author of “Tarikh Mawaleed al Ai’mmah wa Wafaatehim. He should not be confused with the Imami scholar Ibn al-Khashshab of Aleppo, Syria, who wrote a 4-volume annotated commentary on “al-Muqtassid” (a grammar manual by Ibn Hubayrah), and was martyred by Malik as-Saleh (son of Sultan Salah od-Din Ayyoubi) after writing a commentary on the famous sermon of Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS) titled “ash-Sheqsheqiyya” (Roar of a Camel).
On 4th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 576 AH, the Baghdadi grammarian, poet, and author, Mohammad Ibn Mohammad Ibn Muwaheb, famous as Ibn Khorasani, because of his origin in northeastern Iran, passed away at the age of 82. Among his works, mention could be made of a voluminous diwan of Arabic poetry.
On 4th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 608 AH, the poet and scholar Abu’l-Qasim Hibatollah bin Ja'far, known as Qazi as-Sa'eed Ibn Sana ul-Mulk, famous for the treatise "Dar at-Tiraaz" which he devoted to the genre of “muwas̲h̲s̲h̲ah” poetry, passed away in Cairo at the age of 63. He belonged to a distinguished scholarly family of Fatemid Egypt, and was well versed in hadith and the exegesis of the holy Qur'an in addition to Arabic grammar. He lived in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria as well, and for a time served as Qazi or judge in Damascus under the new Ayyoubid Dynasty, founded in Egypt and Syria by the Kurdish conqueror, Salaheddin Ayyoubi, in whose praise he composed some of his poems. His poetical compositions include an account of the Epic of Ashura (Moharram 10) and the tragic martyrdom of Imam Husain (AS), the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
On 24th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 710 AH, the prominent Iranian physician, mathematician, physicist, astronomer, poet and philosopher, Qotb od-Din Mahmoud Ibn Zia od-Din Masoud Kazerouni, popularly known as Mullah Qotb Shirazi, was born in the southern Iranian city of Kazeroun. He studied medicine under his father, who practiced and taught medicine at the Mozaffari hospital in Shiraz. He also studied the “al-Qanoun fi’t-Tibb” or the Canon of Medicine of the Iranian-Islamic genius, Abu Ali ibn Sina, along with its commentaries.
In particular he read the commentary of Fakhr od-Din Razi on this book and raised many issues of his own, resulting in the writing of his own commentary, where he resolved many of the issues of this book, especially in the company of the famous genius of his age, Khwaja Naseer od-Din Tusi, who established the observatory at Maragha in northwestern Iran. In Maragha, he acquired other sciences under the guidance of Naseer od-Din Tusi, who taught him astronomy as well as Ibn Sina’s masterpiece on remarks and admonitions titled “al-Isharaat wa'l-Tanbihaat”.
One of the important scientific projects was completion of the new astronomical table or Zij. Qotb od-Din Shirazi subsequently traveled to Khorasan, where he stayed to study under Najm od-Din Katebi Qazvini in the town of Jovayn. Later he journeyed to Qazvin, Isfahan, Baghdad, and Qonya in Anatolia or modern day Turkey, where he studied the “Jam'e al-Osoul” of Ibn Atheer with Sadr od-Din Qonawi. The governor of Qonya made him judge of the cities of Sivas and Malatya, where he compiled “Meftah al-Meftah” on Arabic grammar and rhetoric, and “Ikhtiyaraat al-Mozaffariya” on astronomy.
He was sent as envoy by the Ilkhanid ruler of Iran-Iraq, Ahmad Tekudar, to Sayf od-Din Qalawun, the Mamluk ruler of Egypt, where he collected various critiques and commentaries on Ibn Sina’s Qanoun and used them in his commentary on the “Kulliyaat”. The last part of Qotb ad-Din Shirazi's active career was teaching in Syria the “Qanoun” and the “Kitab ash-Shefa” – the philosophical magnum opus of Ibn Sina. Later he left for Tabriz where he died. He wrote in both Arabic and Persian on a wide variety of topics including medicine, astronomy, geography, mathematics, philosophy and religion. Among his works is “Nihayat al-Idraak fi Dirayaat al-Aflaak” on the movement of planets, and he identified observations by Ibn Sina on the transits of Venus and Mercury, centuries before European scientists.
On 28th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 272 AH, the prominent Iranian-Islamic astronomer, philosopher and hadith scholar, Ja'far ibn Mohammad al-Balkhi, popularly known as Abu Ma'shar, passed away in Waset, Iraq, at the ripe old age of 102 years. Born in Khorasan in the city of Balkh, which is presently in Afghanistan, he flourished at the Abbasid court in Baghdad as the greatest astronomer of the era and the subsequent centuries.
He wrote a number of practical manuals on astrology that profoundly influenced Muslim intellectual history and through Latin translations, that of Western Europe and Byzantium. He was well versed in Persian, Arabic, Greek and Sanskrit languages, and according to the famous Persian poet of the subcontinent, Amir Khosro Dehlavi, he came to Benares in India to study astronomy.
Abu Ma'shar, whose name was Latinized by medieval Europe as Albumasar, Albusar, or Albuxar, wrote several books including "Kitab al-Mudkhal al-Kabir ila Ilm Ahkaam an-Nujjum", "Kitāb al‐Milal wa’l-Duwal" and "Kitāb Taḥawil Sini al‐Mawālīd ("Book of the revolutions of the years of nativities"). These and other works were translated into Latin and Greek and had profound effect on western philosophers and scientists such as Albert, Roger Bacon, Pierre d'Ailly, and Pico Della Mirandola.
On 25th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 544 AH, the famous Iranian Sunni Muslim theologian, exegete and polymath Mohammad ibn Omar ibn Husayn al-Taymi al-Tabaristani, popularly known as Fakhr od-Din Razi, was born in the city of Rayy, which is now a southern suburb of modern Tehran. He first studied with his father, and later under Majd al-Jili, who was a student of Ghazali. His commentary on the holy Qur'an titled “Tafsir al-Kabir” is the most varied and many-sided of all extant works of the kind.
He has analyzed and admitted the merits of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt, and has explicitly said on the basis of reliable narrations concerning ayah 33 of Surah Ahzaab that the Verse of Purity relates to Hazrat Fatema Zahra, Imam Ali and their sons Imam Hasan and Imam Husain (peace upon them), and does not include the wives of the Prophet as some allege. He taught at Rayy, journeyed all over the eastern Islamic world, as far as Khwarezm and the court of Sultan Shams od-Din Aibak of Delhi in the east. He settled in Herat where he became head of an academy, and passed away in this same city. In his later years, he also showed interest in mysticism, though this never formed a significant part of his thought. He also wrote on medicines, physics, astrology, literature, history and law. Among his several compilations, mention can be made of the encyclopedic work "Jame' al-Oloum".
On 6th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 253 AH, Junayd Baghdadi, the famous Iranian Muslim Sufi and the central figure in the chain of many Sufi orders, died in Baghdad. He taught in Baghdad most of his life and was an important figure in the development of Sufi doctrine.
On 24th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 354 AH, the famous Arabic poet, Ahmad bin Hassan Kufi, known by his penname “Mutanabbi”, was killed near Baghdad during an encounter with highway brigands at the age of 51. Gifted with sharp intelligence and wittiness, he started writing poetry as a nine-year old. Among the topics he versified were courage, the philosophy of life, and the description of battles.
Many of his poems were and still are widely read by Arabic speakers. His great talent earned him respect from many political leaders of his time, and he praised kings and emirs in return for money and gifts. He joined the court of Sayf od-Dowla in Aleppo and during his 9-year stay in Syria versified his most famous poems. There was great rivalry between him and many of the scholars and poets at Sayf od-Dowla's court, including the latter’s cousin and brother-in-law, Abu Firas al-Hamdani. Mutanabbi lost Sayf od-Dowla's favour because of his political ambition to be a governor. He had no other choice but to leave Aleppo for Egypt to join the court of Abu’l-Misk Kafur. Here also he failed in his political ambitions and after his ridiculing of Kafur in satirical odes, he left for Iraq, where he was killed.
On 25th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 541 AH, the renowned Spanish Muslim hadith scholar and exegete of the Holy Qur’an, Abdul-Haqq Ibn Ghaleb Ibn Abdur-Rahman, popularly known as Ibn Atiyyah, passed away at the age of 60. His father was a well-known scholar of Fiqh and Hadith, who traveled to the eastern parts of the Muslim world to learn under many scholars of repute. He was later appointed a judge in Granada, Ibn Atiyyah initially studied under his father and later under other scholars.
He was a meticulous scholar, and did not confine himself to Islamic studies, but read in all fields, feeling that this would give him a better understanding of the holy Qur’an. He also traveled to all centers and cities in Islamic Spain, meeting a large number of scholars and learning from them. He later became a judge in Muria. At a time when Muslims in Spain were under attack by Christians, he joined the army and fought in several battles, in addition to writing to rulers and reminding them of their duty to Islam. Ibn Atiyyah wrote several books, including “al-Ansab”. A short book called “al-Barnamaj”, which contains biographies of a number of his teachers. He wrote poetry as well, but his main and voluminous work is a commentary on the holy Qur’an, entitled “al-Muharrar Al-Wajeez”, which reflects his broad knowledge in a variety of disciplines.
On 6th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 463 AH, the renowned Iranian Imami theologian, Abu Ya'la Hamza Ibn Abdullah Sallar Ibn Abdul-Aziz Daylami, passed away. He was a prominent student of the celebrated Shaikh Mufid and after him of the renowned Seyyed Mortaza Alam al-Hoda. Among his works, mention can be made of “al-Abwaab wa'l-Fosoul”, “at-Taqrib fi'l-Usoul”, and "al-Marasem al-Alawiyya fi Ahkaam an-Nabawiyya". He is not to be confused with another famous theologian Abu Ya'la al-Ja'fari, the son-in-law of Shaikh Mufid, who passed away ten days later on 16th of Ramadhan in the same year. It is worth noting Abu Ya'la is a common “kunya” (agnomen) of all those persons whose name is Hamza.
On 2nd of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 340 AH, the Iranian Arabic literary figure, lexicographer, and theologian, Abdur-Rahman ibn Ishaq az-Zujaji an-Nahawandi, passed away in Damascus. He was a student of the celebrated Ibn Durayd, and his works include “Kitab al-Izzah”, and “al-Jamal”. In his other work, “al-Amali”, he has recorded the statements and maxims of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (AS).
On 8th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 675 AH, the prominent Iranian astronomer, Najm od-Din Ali Dabiraan al-Katebi, passed away. He was part of the scientific team assembled by Iranian-Islamic genius, Khwaja Nasir od-Din Tousi, at the famous observatory of Maragha, and wrote numerous books on various topics, including “Jame’ ad-Daqa’eq”.
On 11th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 764 AH, the acclaimed historian Mohammad Ibn Shakir al-Kutubi, passed away. His works include Uyun at-Tarikh and Fawat al-Wafiyyat. He has acknowledged the prime position of the Infallible Imams of the Prophet's Household in his works.
On 12th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 597 AH, the famous scholar, Abdur-Rahman Ibn Ali Ibn Mohammad, known as Abu'l-Faraj Ibn al-Jowzi, passed away in Baghdad at the age of 87.. He is known for his works in exegesis of the holy Qur'an as well as his numerous hadith writings and books on history. Although a Sunni, he is also famous for the theological stance that he took against other Hanbalis of his time. Ibn al-Jowzi is perhaps the most prolific author and his writings total over 200 books and treatises, including 10-volume history oks, which are over 300 in numbers. Among his famous books, mention can be made of the 10-volume history "al-Montazam fi Tarikh al-Omam" and a book on the unsurpassed merits of Imam Ali (AS), as well as one permitting the cursing of Yazid Ibn Mu'awiyya, the killer of Imam Husain (AS) titled:"ar-Radd ala'l-Muta’seb al-Anid al-Mane' min Dham al-Yazid"
On 14th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 542 AH, the Malekite hadith scholar, Mohammad Ibn Ali Ibn Mohammad al-Jullabi al-Maghazeli, passed away at the age of 95 in Baghdad. He was the son of Ali Ibn Mohammad al-Jullabi al-Maghazeli, the author of the famous book "Manaqeb (Imam) Ali Ibn Abi Taleb (AS)", which he used to teach and explain to students.
On 15th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 383 AH, the famous literary figure, Abu Bakr Mohammad Ibn Abbas Khwarezmi, passed away in the northeastern Iranian city of Naishapour. He had a strong memory and was highly talented in memorization of Arabic poems and history. He had inclinations towards the household of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) and has highlighted in his works the tyranny of the caliphs including the Omayyads and the Abbasids. One of his famous works is “ar-Rasa’el”, which is a masterpiece of Arabic literature. He was the maternal nephew (sister’s son) of the famous Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn Rustom Tabari.
On 16th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 463 AH, the eminent theologian and jurisprudent, Mohammad Ibn Hassan Ibn Hamza Abu Ya’la al-Ja`fari, passed away in Baghdad. He was a student and later son-in-law of the celebrated scholar, Shaikh Mufid, and traced his lineage to Ja’far at-Tayyar Ibn Abi Taleb, the elder brother of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (AS). He later became head of the followers of the School of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt, groomed many scholars and wrote several books. He is not to be confused with his contemporary, the Iranian scholar Abu Ya'la Hamza Ibn Abdullah Sallar Ibn Abdul-Aziz Daylami, who also studied under Shaikh Mufid in Baghdad and passed away ten days earlier on Ramadhan 6 in the same year. It is worth noting that Abu Ya'la is a common “kunya” (agnomen) in Arabic of persons named Hamza.
On 16th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 845 AH, the renowned Egyptian Shafe'i scholar and historian, Taqi od-Din Ahmad ibn Ali al-Maqrizi, passed away. Though he lived in the Mamluk era, he was an expert in the history of the Ismaili Fatemid Shi'ite dynasty and its role in Egyptian history. In fact, he regarded himself a descendent of the Fatemid caliph, al-Mo'ez le-Dinillah. Born in Cairo, he traveled widely in the Hejaz and Syria, and for a while worked as a judge in the Egyptian capital. Among his works is a book on Egyptian history titled: “as-Solouk le-Ma'refat ad-Dawal wa'l-Molouk" and “Itte'aaz al-Hunafa be Akhbaar al-A'emmat-al-Fatemiyyeen al-Khulafa” (on the history of the Fatemid state).
On 17th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 124 AH, the scholar Mohammad Ibn Muslim Ibn Obaydullah Ibn Shihab az-Zuhri al-Madani, passed away. He studied for a time under Imam Ja’far as-Sadeq (AS), the 6th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He was a central figure among the early collectors of Sira or biographical accounts of the Prophet, and played a role in standardizing Islamic jurisprudence in those dark and oppressive days of Omayyad rule, when the laws of the state functioned according to the Byzantine or Sassanid rules.
On 20th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 542 AH, the Arabic literary figure, grammarian, and poet, Hibatollah Ibn Ali Ibn ash-Shajari, passed away. He was a descendant of Imam Hasan Mojtaba (AS), the elder grandson of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He spent almost seventy years lecturing on grammar and has left behind numerous works, including: “al-Amali”, and “al-Hamasah”. He has critically evaluated and beautifully explained the poetry of the famous poet, al-Mutanabbi who preceded him by two centuries.
On 20th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 674 AH, the literary figure and historian, Tajoddin Ali Ibn Anjab Ibn Abdullah as-Sa’i, passed away in Baghdad at the age of 81 years. He was the custodian of books at the al-Mustansiriyah School of Baghdad. After the sack of Baghdad by the Mongols of Hulagu Khan and the end of the Abbasid caliphate, he was made in charge of the surviving libraries of Baghdad by the renowned Iranian Islamic scientist, Khwjah Naseer od-Din Tousi. Among his works is “al-Jame’ al-Mukhtasar fi Onwan at-Tarikh wa Uyoun as-Siyar”. He also wrote the book “Nisa' al-Khluafa” on the different types of women patronized by the Abbasid caliphs.
On August 1, 946 AD, Ali Ibn Isa Ibn Da’ud al-Jarrah, the famous Iranian vizier of the Abbasid dynasty, died at the at the age of 87. Descended from a family with long history of service at the Abbasid court, he served as vizier from 913-to-917, 918-to-923, and 927-to928. His political career, coinciding with the terminal decline of the Abbasid state, was turbulent, marked by a power struggle with his rival Abu’l-Hasan Ali Ibn al-Furat, resulting in frequent periods of exile, when the latter took over as vizier. Al-Jarrah, in contrast to the largesse of Ibn al-Furat, was austere, which earned him many enemies. He was later remembered as the "good vizier" for his administrative talent and honesty.
On 25th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 695 AH, the scholar Abu Abdullah Mohammed Ibn Ahmad Ibn Khalil al-Khu’i ash-Shafe’i ad-Dameshqi, the author of “Sharh Fosoul Ibn Ma'at”, passed away.
On 27th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 560 AH, the famous Spanish Muslim philosopher and Gnostic, Mohi od-Din bin Mohammad Ibn al-Arabi was born in Andalusia, southern Spain. A child prodigy, after acquiring the sciences of the day, he left Spain at the age of 30 to travel over the Islamic world, acquiring further knowledge and writing books during his journeys, which took him on pilgrimage to Mecca and to far off places like Baghdad in Iraq and Qonya in what is now Turkey.
In 620 AH, he settled in Damascus, where he lectured and wrote books. Among his well-known works are “Fusus al-Hikam” (Bezels of Wisdom), and “Futuhaat al-Makkiyya”. His Gnostic school of thought has continued to have a profound impact over the centuries despite the senseless attacks on him by the pseudo scholar Ibn Taimiyya, who failed to taint Ibn Arabi’s saintly personality for elaborating the Qur’anic concepts of “wasila” (that is, means of attaining the proximity of God) and “shafa’a” (power of intercession) that God has granted to Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) and the Infallible Imams. He passed away in Damascus in 638 AH.
On 29th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 807 AH, the Egyptian Hanafi scholar and historian, Ibn al-Furat, passed away in his hometown Cairo at the age of 72. His history "Tarikh ad-Duwwal wa'l-Muluk" focuses largely on the Crusades.
On 9th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 853 AH, the prominent astronomer-king of the Timurid dynasty, Mirza Mohammad Taraghay Ulugh Beg, was killed by his rebellious son, Abdul-Latif "Pidarkush"(killer of his own father), while on his way to Mecca for pilgrimage after being deposed. Born in Soltaniyeh near Zanjan, northwestern Iran, his father was Shahrukh, the son and successor of the fearsome Turkic conqueror, Amir Timur, while his mother was the cultured and religious Iranian lady, Gowharshad, the builder of the famous mosque in Mashhad adjacent to the shrine of Prophet Mohammad’s 8th Infallible Successor, Imam Reza (AS).
His seat of government was Samarqand (currently in Uzbekistan), where he built an observatory with the assistance of the famous Iranian astronomer, Ghiyas od-Din Jamshid Kashani. He also built the Ulugh Beg Madrasahs in Samarqand and Bukhara, transforming the cities into centres of learning. He ruled for almost half-a-century the present-day countries of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and southern parts of Kazakhstan – and for a while parts of Khorasan. He determined the length of the sidereal year as 365.2570370, making it more accurate than Copernicus' estimate. He also determined the Earth's axial tilt as 23.52 degrees, which remained the most accurate measurement for hundreds of years. In mathematics, he wrote accurate trigonometric tables of sine and tangent values correct to at least eight decimal places. The crater, Ulugh Beg, on the Moon, is named after him.
On 10th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 485 AH, the renowned vizier of the Seljuqid Dynasty, Hassan Ibn Ali Ibn Ishaq Tousi, titled Khwaja Nizam ul-Mulk, was assassinated near Nahavand at the age of 75 while on his way to Baghdad from the capital Isfahan. Born in the northeastern city of Tous, he initially served the Ghaznavid sultans as chief administrator of Khorasan Province. Four years later with the rise of the Seljuqs, he served as vizier to the Sultans, Alp Arslan and Malik Shah I. He set up schools of higher education in several cities, which were named after him as Nizamiyyah and turned out to be models of universities that were later established in Europe.
Nizam ul-Mulk is also widely known for his treatise on kingship titled "Siyasat-Nama" or "Siyar al-Molouk"(Book of Government). Although it is claimed he was stabbed by a member of the Assassins (corruption of Hashshashin) sent by his former friend, Hassan Sabbah of Alamut, his son-in-law Muqatel Ibn Atiyyah, has said he was assassinated in the same year as Malik Shah I after a debate between Sunni and Shi'ite scholars that led to his and the Sultan’s conversion to the Creed of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt.
On July 20, 940 AD, the famous calligrapher and vizier, Abu Ali Mohammad Ibn Ali Ibn Muqlah al-Baghdadi ash-Shirazi, was torturously executed by the Abbasid regime in his hometown Baghdad at the age of 56. He is regarded as inventor of the "thuluth" script, the first cursive style of Arabic, though none of his original works remains. By age 22 he was a scribe, and held two important jobs as a government official. He was the vizier three times under the various Abbasid caliphs between 928 and 936. He was imprisoned three times during periods of political turmoil. During one imprisonment, his enemies cut off his right hand. When released, he continued to work with great skill using his left hand.
Finally, he was publicly disgraced, his left hand was severed, his tongue cut, and he was cast into prison where he died. Ibn Muqlah perfected his theory of “al-Khatt al-Mansoub” (Proportioned Script), by which the basic letter-shapes of written Arabic could be controlled. His work was a major milestone in the history of Arabic penmanship. The principles he laid down transformed Arabic script from rudimentary Kufic strokes to a harmoniously structured art form. The order and beauty which Ibn Muqlah devised as visual criteria for the formation of Arabic letter-shapes constituted, first and foremost, an act of worship. The art form into which he converted the execution of written Arabic was one considered truly compatible with preserving and conveying the Word of God as revealed in the Holy Quran. Along with Ibn al-Bawwab and Yaqut al-Musta'simi, he is considered the founder of innovative styles of calligraphy. Among his valuable books, mention can be made of “Risalah fi Ilm al-Khat wa'l-Qalam”.
On 17th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 844 AH, Amir Ali Shir Navai, the acclaimed Central Asian politician, mystic, linguist, painter, and poet, was born in the Khorasani capital, Herat, which is currently in western Afghanistan. He is considered the Father of Chaghatai Turkic literature, and was a prolific author. He also wrote and composed poems in Persian under the penname “Faani”, and has excellent compilations in this language as well to his credit.
He studied in Mashhad, Herat and Samarqand, and when his childhood friend, Sultan Husayn Bayqarah became the principal Timurid ruler of Khorasan, he joined his service and for almost 40 years devoted his efforts to cultural developments including fine arts and the building of public utility works like schools, mosques, caravanserais and hospitals.
In Mashhad, he carried out extensions in the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS), the 8th Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), and after his death in Herat at the age of 63 his body was brought to this holy city and laid to rest in the Aivan (porch) of the grand mausoleum of the 8th Imam. He is regarded as a national hero in the modern republic of Uzbekistan, and in addition to his popularity in the Persian speaking countries of Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, he is famous all over the Turkic-speaking world.
On 20th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 626 AH, the Islamic geographer and biographer, Yaqout ibn Abdullah ar-Rumi al-Hamawi, passed away at the age of 51 in Aleppo, Syria. Renowned for his encyclopedic writings, the epithet "ar-Rumi" refers to his Roman or more properly Greek Byzantine origin, while "al-Hamawi" is taken from the family name of his master who was from Hama in Syria but settled in Baghdad, Iraq. “Ibn-Abdullah” means “son of the servant of God, since the name of his Greek father was rather difficult to pronounce in Arabic.
His master taught him accounting, trading and other sciences before releasing him. Yaqout, in addition to his native Greek and Latin, mastered Arabic, Persian and Turkish, and dedicated himself to scholarly tasks. He was one of the last scholars who visited the famous Islamic libraries east of the Caspian Sea before the devastating Mongol invasion of Central Asia. For instance, he spent two years in the libraries of the Khorasani city of Merv which is currently in the Republic of Turkmenistan.
His two famous voluminous works are “Kitab Mu'jam al-Boldaan (Encyclopedia of Lands) and “Kitab Mu'jam al-Udaba”, (Encyclopedia of Writers).
On 22nd of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 273 AH, the Iranian Sunni Muslim compiler of hadith, Mohammad Ibn Yazid Ibn Majah al-Qazvini, passed away at the age of 64 in his hometown Qazvin – west of modern Tehran. His grandfather had converted from Zoroastrianism and was a client of the ar-Rabi' Arab tribe. He traveled widely over Iran, Iraq, Arabia, Syria and Egypt in search of hadith, before returning to his birthplace Qazvin.
Although he has admitted some of the merits of Prophet Mohammad's (SAWA) Ahl al-Bayt, he, like his five contemporary compatriots, Mohammad Bukhari, Muslim Nishapuri, Abu Dawoud Sijistani, Abu Isa Tirmizi, and Ahmad Nisa'i, failed to have direct contact with the Infallible Imams of the Prophet’s Household or their disciples – probably because of the fear of incurring the wrath of the usurper Abbasid regime – and thus could not collect authentic hadith from the right source. His collection known as "Sunan Ibn Majah" is regarded by Sunni Muslims as one of their six canonical hadith books (Sihah as-Sitta) – the authors of which were all Iranians and grandsons of recent converts to Islam. Ibn Majah also wrote “The History of Qazvin”.
On 1st of the Islamic month of Shawwal in 569 AH, the exegete of the Holy Qur'an, Arabic grammarian and poet, Sa'eed Ibn Mubarak Ibn Dahhan, passed away at the age of 74 in Mosul shortly after losing his eyesight, during a visit to the Vizier, Jamal od-Din Isfahani, while trying chemical experiments to preserve those of his books brought to him from his flooded library in his hometown Baghdad after the Tigris overflowed its banks. All that has remained of his works is his "Fosoul", on the art of prosody, and one "Qasida".
On 2nd of the Islamic month of Shawwal in 583 AH, the Baghdadi poet and literary figure, Mohammad ibn Obaidollah Ibn Abdullah at-Ta’awizi, passed away at the age of 64. He has left behind several long odes in praise of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) and the Infallible Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt.
On 2nd of the Islamic month of Shawwal in 604 AH, the prominent Sunni Muslim Iraqi scholar, Mohammad bin al-Hassan bin Mohammad, Abu Bakr an-Naqqash al-Mawsili, passed away. After studying in Baghdad he traveled to various Islamic lands to acquire knowledge. He was considered an exegete of the holy Qur'an and an authority on hadith. In his book titled “Shifa as-Sudour”, he has mentioned events relating to the historic occasion of Ghadeer-Khom, where on the 18th of Zilhijja in the year 10 AH, on the express commandment of God, while returning from his Farewell Hajj pilgrimage, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) proclaimed Imam Ali (AS) as his vicegerent.
On 6th of the Islamic month of Shawwal in 786 AH, the Arabic poet and hadith scholar, Ismail Ibn Mohammad Ibn Bardis, passed away. Born in Ba'lbak in what is now Lebanon, he pursued higher studies in Damascus under prominent scholars before visiting several Islamic lands. He embarked on a career of teaching, and was known for his frank views. He has left behind a number of hand-written books including “Kashf an-Neqaab Amma Rawa ash-Shaykhaan lil-As-haab"
On 2nd of the Islamic month of Shawwal in 604 AH, the historian, judge, and literary figure, Jamal od-Din Wasel, was born in the city of Hamah, in Syria. He started his studies under his father, who was a teacher at the Naseriyyah School in Bayt al-Moqaddas. Ibn Wasel had a varied career under both the Ayyubid and Mamluk dynasties of Egypt-Syria. He served as an ambassador under the Mamluk sultan, Rukn of-Din Baybars, and had various interactions with the Christian Crusader invaders. He ended his lengthy and distinguished career as Grand Qazi of his home city of Hamah. The major work of Ibn Wasel that addresses the crusades is translated as “The Dissipater of Anxieties Concerning the History of the Ayyubids”. He especially focused on the career and deeds of Salah od-Din during the Third Crusade.