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Islamic jurist born to an Arab family with origins in the region of Jazira Sharik present day Cap Bon Tunisia A close companion and later rival of the North African jurist Abu ʿImran al Fasi d 1039 Abu Bakr ibn ʿAbd al Rahman was fortunate to receive his early education in al Qayrawan under two eminent scholars of Islamic law Ibn Abi Zayd al Qayrawani d 996 and Abu al Hasan al Qabisi d 1012 Abu Bakr was considered to be among the most talented of al Qabisi s many pupils and it was under his tutelage that Abu Bakr learned to compose Islamic legal opinions otherwise known as fatwas He subsequently embarked on the journey eastward in 987 both to undertake the pilgrimage to Mecca and to further his education with established scholars in the cultural capitals of the Islamic east Abu Bakr is reported to have spent time ...

Article

Abu al-Walid Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Rushd, more commonly known as Averroës, was born in Córdoba, Spain. His father, a judge in Córdoba, instructed him in Muslim jurisprudence. In his native city he also studied theology, philosophy, and mathematics under the Arab philosopher Ibn Tufayl and medicine under the Arab physician Avenzoar. Averroës was appointed judge in Seville in 1169 and in Córdoba in 1171; in 1182 he became chief physician to Abu Yaqub Yusuf, the Almohad caliph of Morocco and Muslim Spain. Averroës's view that reason takes precedence over religion led to his being exiled in 1195 by Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur; he was restored to favor shortly before his death.

Averroës held that metaphysical truths can be expressed in two ways: through philosophy, as represented by the views of Aristotle and through religion which is truth presented in a ...

Article

Russell Hopley

jurist, was born in al-Qayrawan in southern Tunisia to a family that originated among the Banu Birzal tribe of Zenata Berbers. His full name was Abu ʾl-Qasim b. Ah.mad b. Muh.ammad al-Balawi al-Qayrawani al-Burzuli.

Burzuli received his early education in al Qayrawan where he pursued a traditional course of study in the Islamic sciences and showed considerable promise in the field of Islamic law Central to his training in jurisprudence was the eminent theologian Ibn ʿArafa d 1401 who played a significant role in the elaboration of the Maliki school of Islamic law in North Africa in the fourteenth century Burzuli likewise received a firm grounding in the various fields of Islamic learning at the hand of several influential scholars from al Qayrawan among them Abu Muh ammad al Shabibi d 1380 an important jurist with whom Burzuli served a lengthy apprenticeship and from whom he learned the skill of ...

Article

Russell Hopley

, North African jurist, was born in the city of Fez to a prominent Arab family known as the Banu Abi Hajj. His full name was Abu ʿImran Musa bin ʿ Isa bin Abi Hajj Bubuj al-Ghafajumi al-Fasi.

Al Fasi undertook his early education in al Qayrawan at the hand of a number of prominent scholars of Islamic law including the eminent Maliki jurist Abu ʾl Hasan al Qabisi d 1012 Upon the death of al Qabisi it is said that al Fasi spent the following month mourning over the grave of his former teacher during which time he appeared to al Fasi in a dream enjoining him to return to al Qayrawan to take up a career in teaching He subsequently traveled to Cordoba in Muslim Spain to pursue his studies with several Andalusian luminaries including Jafar al Asili d 1001 a legal scholar who had earlier played a ...

Article

North African Islamic theologian and jurist, was born in the city of al-Qayrawan to an Arab family with origins in the Hadramawt region of southern Arabia. His nisba al-Muradi further suggests a lineage among the Madhij Bedouin of Maʾrib in the Yemen. Al-Hadrami received his early education in al-Qayrawan, where he was able to study with a number of luminaries, including the influential jurist Abu ʿImran al-Fasi (d. 1039). He quickly drew the notice of his teachers for his formidable intellect and impressive command of the Arabic language. Al-Hadrami subsequently departed al-Qayrawan, possibly prompted by the Bedouin invasions of the mid-eleventh century, and took up residence in the Moroccan city of Aghmat, southeast of Marrakech. Here, he embarked on a career teaching the Islamic sciences, and he is known to have produced at least one student of note, the theologian Abu al-Hajjaj Yusuf bin Musa al-Kalbi al-Darir (d. 1126).

It ...

Article

Russell Hopley

Tunisian jurist, was born in the Tunisian city of al-Qayrawan to a wealthy family originally from the large tribal confederation of the Nafzawa. His full name was Abu Muhammad ʿAbd Allah ibn Abi Zayd ʿAbd al-Rahman al-Nafzawi ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani.

Ibn Abi Zayd undertook his early studies in al-Qayrawan, where he quickly gained the recognition of his peers for his intelligence, generosity, and piety. He was fortunate to be able to study with a number of luminaries in a variety of fields, among them Ibn al-Labbad (d. 944) in the area of Islamic jurisprudence, and al-Kanishi (d. 958), from whom he received an extensive education in classical Arabic poetry and adab Ibn Abi Zayd undertook the pilgrimage to Mecca while still a young man and it was during his travels in the cultural capitals of the Islamic east that he came into contact with several important intellectual currents ...

Article

Russell Hopley

historian and jurist, was born in Tadla in the region north of the Moroccan High Atlas. His full name was Abu Yaʿqub Yusuf ibn al-Zayyat al-Tadili. As a young man, al-Tadili was a follower of the venerated twelfth-century Moroccan mystic Abu ʾl-ʿAbbas al-Sabti (d. 1204). He received an education in the various fields of Islamic law, and he subsequently accepted the position of qadi among the Ragraga Berbers west of Marrakesh. Al-Tadili is best known for the hagiographical collection he authored, the Tashawwuf ila rijal al-tasawwuf, that includes biographical notices on 279 holy men and mystics who lived in North Africa from the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries. Most of the mystics dealt with in the Tashawwuf were active in southern Morocco; however, there are several notices concerning prominent holy men from Fez, Meknes, Ceuta, Tlemcen, and Bijaya. Al-Tadili remarks in the prologue to the Tashawwuf that his ...

Article

Moroccan writer and explorer, was born in Tangier, Morocco, into a well-respected Berber family of judges who adhered to the Maliki school of jurisprudence. Toward the end of his life he recounted his journeys in a book entitled A Gift to the Observers Concerning the Curiosities of Cities and the Marvels Encountered in Traveling. The work is one of the principal sources available to modern researchers for the social, economic, and political conditions of the fourteenth-century Islamic world. Although not as well known, Ibn Battuta’s travels were more extensive than the journeys of his younger European contemporary, Marco Polo. Over a period of twenty-eight years, he crossed the breadth of Africa and Asia and visited the equivalent of approximately forty-four modern countries. He combined his travels with scholarly pursuits, or with professional posts such as that of judge (qadi in cities along the way A native speaker ...

Article

Barbara Worley

Like the majority of North Africans, Ibn Battutah (whose full name was Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad ibn’Abd Allah al-Lawati at-Tanji ibn Battutah) was ethnic Berber, and his family traced its ancestry to the nomadic Luwata ethnic group originating in Cyrenaica west of the Nile Delta. Born into the Muslim religious elite in Tangier, Morocco, he would have received a classical literary education in addition to rigorous studies in Islam.

Ibn Battutah wrote poetry in addition to traveling across Africa, Arabia, Asia Minor, India, and China. Most important of his works are his descriptions of the life and culture of peoples of the Niger Basin and Central Sahara, among the earliest and by far the most detailed. After Ibn Battutah returned from his voyages he recounted his observations to Ibn Juzayy, who recorded and edited them at Fès, in Morocco.

At the age of twenty-one, Ibn Battutah set out on ...

Article

jurist, historian, and litterateur, was born in the city of Sabta (present-day Ceuta) to an Arab family with origins in the Yemen. ‘Iyad's training in the various branches of Islamic learning was remarkably thorough. He undertook his early education in Sabta at the hand of several scholars, including the jurist ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Isa and the faqih ‘Ali Abu Ishaq al-Fasi. He then traveled to al-Andalus, and there exists notice that he studied there with no fewer than a hundred scholars, among them several leading figures of the age, including the traditionist Abu ‘Ali al-Sadafi of Murcia (d. 1120/21), the jurist Abu al-Walid ibn Rushd of Cordoba (d. 1126), and the religious scholar and jurist Abu Bakr ibn al-‘Arabi of Seville (d. 1148).

Unlike many of his fellow North Africans it appears that Iyad never made the journey to ...

Article

North African jurist active in present-day Tunisia, was born to a family originally from the southern Sicilian town of Mazzara, as the nisba Mazari indicates; it is not known, however, whether his family emigrated to Ifriqiya (roughly the region of present-day Tunisia) before or after his birth in1061. His full name was Abu ʿAbd Allah Muhammad ibn ʿAli ibn ʿUmar al-Tamimi al-Mazari.

Mazari completed his early studies in Sfax as a pupil of Abu al-Hasan al-Lakhmi (d. 1085) and in the city of Sousse under the tutelage of ʿAbd al-Hamid ibn al-Saʾigh (d. 1093 Both men had received a traditional education in the Islamic sciences in the city of al Qayrawan but subsequently departed to the coastal cities of Ifriqiya following the Hilali Bedouin invasion of the Tunisian hinterland and sack of al Qayrawan in the mid eleventh century It should be noted that Mazari unlike many North ...

Article

Sufi mystic and jurist, was born in the Moroccan city of Sabta (present-day Ceuta) to a family of Arab origin. The primary source for the life of Sabti is the Akhbar Abi al-‘Abbas al-Sabti, a hagiography composed in the early thirteenth century by Ibn al-Zayyat al-Tadili (d. 1230/31), who also authored an important prosopography of the saints and holy men of southern Morocco. Sabti received his initiation into Islamic mysticism at the hand of Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Fakhkhar (d. 1190), a former pupil of the esteemed North African jurist al-Qadi ‘Iyad al-Sabti (d. 1147). After completing his education in northern Morocco, Sabti, aged seventeen at the time, traveled to the southern city of Agadir where he taught grammar and mathematics from his modest residence at the funduq muqbil His reputation as a gifted teacher spread quickly and Tadili reports that students from across ...