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commence by that and by grammar; you should then pass to arithmetic, " "and, having acquired an idea of its rules, you may proceed to the study of "' the Koran, which, by means of these preparatory labours, will be found
much easier than it generally is. You may then commence dogmatic
theology (osul ad-din) and the fundamentals of jurisprudence (osal al-fikh); " after which you may proceed to dialectics (djedel), and from that to the
Traditions and the sciences connected with them.' He disapproves of teaching two sciences simultaneously, unless the pupil be remarkably intelligent. Such are the counsels of the kûdli, and I acknowledge that the
plan laid down by him is excellent; but settled custom, that influential “ element in the human character, renders it inadmissible. In taking the “ Koran for the basis of education, people are actuated by the desire of me“ riting the divine favour, as, by this means, they protect youth against its
own follies and preserve it from that levity of mind which not only ruins the knowledge already obtained or interrupts its acquisition, but would also prevent the young Moslim from learning the Koran. Indeed, whilst under the guardianship of his family, he may be retained in habitual submission, but, when the age of puberty delivers him from control, the storms of
passion may soon cast him away on the coast of folly. They therefore “ take advantage of the time during which he is under command, to teach him
the Koran, so that, at a later period, he may not be entirely ignorant of its “ contents. However, were it certain that the student would persevere in “the pursuit of knowledge and submit to receive instruction, the system
proposed by the kâdi would be the best which the people of the East and the West could adopt ; but God ordains what he pleaseth, and no change can be effected in His decisions."
To proceed from this first step so well described by Ibn Khaldûn and follow the
young Moslim in his path through the higher departments of study, we must have recourse to the biographical notices on their learned men. The life of Avicenna offers us a transitory glance at his early education, and therefore merits attention, but much fuller information will be obtained from the autobiography of Abd al-Latîf. In this work, he gives us a perfect outline of his own studies under some of the most distinguished masters of the epoch. Were this treatise less known, I should have felt it indispensable to insert an
extract from it here, but it has been rendered fully accessible by two editions, one in Arabic and Latin by Mousley, and the other in Arabic and French by de Sacy; the latter so admirably translated and commented that, were I to undertake a new version of it into English, I feel I should rest far- very far indeed—beneath that illustrious orientalist, my deeply venerated master.
Another contribution to the same stock of documents is surnished by Ibn Khaldûn in his autobiography. He informs us that, having learned to read the Koran and got it off by heart, he read it again according to each of the seven readings or editions, and then combined these various readings in a final repetition of the text. During this occupation he went over the Koran twentyone times, and in a twenty-second repetition, he went over all the various readings. He finished by the lecture of the two editions, or systems of read.ings, taught by Yakûb (1). At this period, two other works occupied his attention: the Lâmiya, a poem of Ibn Firro as-Shâtibi, on the readings of the Koran, and the Râiya, another poem by the same author on the orthography of that book (2). He next studied the Takassi, a treatise composed by Ibn Abd alBarr (3) on the Traditions cited in the Muwatta (4), and a great number of other works, such as the Tashil (5) of Ibn Mâlik and Ibn al-Hadjib's (6) abridgment of jurisprudence, but these last he did not get off by heart. During the same period he cultivated the art of grammar under the tuition of his father and of the first masters. He perused also the Six Poets (7), the Hamása, the poems of Abû Tammâm (8), part of al-Mutanabbi's (9) poetical works, and some of the pieces preserved in the kitáb al-Agháni (10). Under Shams ed
(1) He means Yakub Ibn Ishak al-Hadrami, one of the great readers. His life is given by Ibn Khallikân.
(2) See page 499 of this volume. By the Lamiya, Ibn Khaldun means to designate Ibn Firro's Hirz alAmâni.
(3) Io a subsequent volume will be found the life of Ibn Abd el-Barr. (4) See page 549, note (12), of this volume.
(5) This is a treatise on grammar by Ibn Malik, the author of the Alfiya, who died A. H. 672 (A.D. 1273-4). See M. de Sacy's Anthologie Grammaticale, pages 203, 218, and Fluegel's Hajji Khalifa, tom. II. page 290.
(6) See page 193 of this volume.
(7) The six poets are Amro 'l-Kais, Nabigha, Alkama, Zohaih, Tarafa, and Antara. See page x of my preface to the Diwan d'Amro 'l-Kais.
(8) See vol. I. page 348.
dîn al-Kisai, chief traditionist of Tunis, he perused Muslim's collection of Traditions and received a general licence (izáza). In law he studied the abridgment of the Mudawwana (1) composed by Abû Said al-Baradâi, and the exposition of the doctrines held by the sect of Målik. He followed, besides, a general course of law and learned Mâlik's Muwatta ; certificates were also obtained by him authorizing him to teach that book, the Sirat ar-Rasûl (2), the treatise of Ibn Salâh on the Traditions, and many other works. He obtained access to the library of Abd al-Muhaimin al-Hadrami, chief traditionist and grammarian of Morocco, who had accompanied to the city of Tunis Abû 'lHasan, the sovereign of that empire, in the quality of secretary of state. This collection of books consisted of more than three thousand volumes on the Traditions, law, grammar, philology, the intellectual sciences, general literature, and poetry; these manuscripts were all of the highest correctness and their authenticity was guaranteed by certificates annexed to them. Under another master he studied logic, dogmatic theology, juris prudence, and all the intellectual and philosophical sciences. Whilst pursuing his studies, he followed the public lectures at Tunis, and altended the assemblies held by the first doctors and professors of the place. He finally devoted three years to study under a shaikh called Abû Abd Allah al-Abbali (SL:!) “ and then”, says he, “ I felt that I knew something.” Ibn Khaldún terminated his studies in the twentieth or twenty-first year of his age (3).
(1) See vol. II, page 86. (2) Vol. II. page 128.
(3) This notice was just terminated, when a large manuscript, containing the biography of the doctor and historian Ahmad Ibn Ali Ibn Hajar al-Askalani, by the ha fiz Shams ad-din Muhammad as-Sakhảwi, fell into the writer's hands. A chapter of this work is devoted to the history of Ibn Hajar's youth, travels, studies, etc.; but it is drawn up in such a manner that to make an analysis of it would be a very difficult task. We find however that he began by learning the Koran by heart, and proceeded to the study of the Traditions and jurisprudence; following, in fact, the same system which has been already indicated in the introduction of our first volume.
AASIM IBN ABI 'N-NAJUD.
Abu Bakr Aasim was the son of Abů ’n-Najùd Bahdala, a mawla to the tribe of Jadima Ibn Malik Ibn Nasr Ibn Koain Ibn Asad. His acquaintance with the koranic readings drew upon him general notice and ranked him as one of the seven great masters of that science. He had learned it from Abû Abd ar-Rahmàn as-Sulami (1) and Zirr Ibn Hubaish (2); he taught it to Abû Bakr Ibn Aiyâsh (see vol. I. page 553) and Abů Omar al-Bazzâz (3), but these two varied very much in their manner of reading certain words. Aâsim died at Kûfa, A.H. 343 127 (A. D. 744-5).—The word najớd signifies a female wild ass not pregnant ; others say that she is thus designated when keeping watch on the top of a hill. -- Some persons state that Bahdala was his mother's name (not his father's).
(1) Abû Abd ar-Rahman Abd Allah Ibn Habib as-Sulami al-Kufi (a member of the tribe of Sulaim and a native of Kafa) was born in the lifetime of Muhammad. He learned to read the Koran under the tuition of the khalifs Othman and Ali, and then taught the same science in the great mosque of Kûfa. He died A. H. 74 (A.D. 693–4).-(Ad-Dahabi's Tabakat al-Kurra.)
(2) Abù Miryam Zirr Ibn Hubaish Ibn Hubâsa, a member of the tribe of Asad and a native of Kufa, was one of the great masters in the art of reading the Koran. He was celebrated also as a philologist, and died at a very advanced age, A. H. 82 (A. D. 701).—(Ad-Dahabi's Tabakat al-Kurra, fol. 8.)
(3) Abu Omar Hafs Ibn Abi Dawûd al-Bazzaz, the disciple of al-Aasim, was a native of Küfa and a mawla to the tribe of Asad. Born A H. 90 (A.D. 708-9); died A H. 180 (A.D. 796–7).-(Tab. al-Kurra.) VOL. II.
ABU BURDA IBN ABI MUSA.
Abû Burda Aamir was the son of Abû Mûsa Abd Allah Ibn Kais al-Ashari, one of Muhammad's companions, who had come to him from Yemen with the Asharites when they became converts to Islamism (1). Muhammad Ibn Saad mentions in his Tabakåt that Abû Burda succeeded to Shuraih (sce vol. I. p.619) as kàdi of Kûfa. By the nobleness of his conduct and by his virtues he attained a high reputation. Abû Mûsa, when governor of Basra, married Taniya the daughter of Dammún, a native of Tâif, and she bore him Abů Burda; the child was put to nurse with the tribe of Fukaim, which dwelt at al-Ghark (2); when grown a boy, he was dressed in two mantles (burda) by (his foster-father) Abû Shaikh Ibn al-Gharik, and brought to his father, who then surnamed him Abû Burda ; from that time his real name ceased to be given him. Abû Mûsa was kâdi of Basra under the khalif Omar and afterwards, in the reign of Othmân, he acted as a kâdi at Kufa; his (grand)son Bilâl was also kâdi of Basra: this was the circumstance which gave rise to the saying, three kâdis in succession. The poet Zû ’r-Rumma composed a number of splendid poems in praise of Bilal, and in the following verse, addressed to his camel, he alludes to him also:
When thou reachest Bilal the grand son of Abû Mûsa (thy toils are at an end,) and the butcher then may wield his axe to disjoint thy limbs.
He said also of him :
On hearing that the tribe were roaming through the desert with their flocks in search of pasturage, I said to Saidah : “Seek abundance near Bilal !”
Saidah was the name of the poet's camel.—Bilål was one of the deputies in the service of Khâlid al-Kasri (see his life, vol. I. p.484); when the latter was deprived of the government of Arabian and Persian Irak, his successor Yûsuf Ibn Omar ath-Thakafi required from him and his agents an account of what had been done with the revenues of these provinces, and employed torture to make them refund; al-Kasri and Bilål expired under their sufferings. In a book containing a collection of anecdotes I found the following: At a public assembly Abû Burda was extolling the virtues of his father, and mentioned that he had been one of Muhammad's companions; he vaunted also the glory which accrued to himself