Page images
[ocr errors]

controversy, and a commentary on the Kulliyat (universalia) of Avicena's Canon. He wrote also a treatise on physiognomy, and another on the merits of as-Shafi. All his works are highly instructive, and have got into circulation (even) in (distant) countries, and, by an effect of the good fortune which attended him in these treatises, the public took them for class-books and rejected those of former authors. He was the first who introduced the systematical arrangement so remarkable in his writings, and which had never been employed by any person before his time. He preached with most impressive effect, both in Arabic and Persian; in the midst of his exhortations, feelings of compunction would draw floods of tears from his eyes. The conferences which he held at Herât were attended by the principal doctors of the orthodox sects and the chiefs of the philosophical schools, who come to propose questions to him and hear his excellent answers. By his efforts a great number of the Karrâmiya (9) and other sects were converted to the sunnite doctrines. At Heråt, they gave him the title of Shaikh al-Islâm (the chief of Islamism). His first studies were made under his father, and, after his death, he went to al-Kamål as-Simnâni, and remained with him as a pupil for some time; he then returned to Rai and studied under alMajd al-Jili, a disciple of Muhammad Ibn Yahya (vol. II. page 628). When al-Majd al-Jili was called to Maràgha, in order to give lessons in that city, Fakr addin accompanied him, and continued, for a long period, to study scholastic theology and philosophy under his tuition. It is said that he knew by heart the Imam al-Haramain's treatise on scholastic theology, entitled as-Shâmil. Having then proceeded to Khowârezm, be displayed the highest abilities in all the branches of science, and maintained a controversy with the people of that place on questions connected with the doctrines of his sect and with the principles of faith. Being expelled from the city (10), he passed into Transoxiana, where he experienced a similar treatment, upon which he returned to Rai. There was then living in Rai an able physician, who possessed a large fortune and had two daughters. Having fallen sick, and perceiving death to be inevitable, he gave each of those girls in marriage to a son of Fakhr ad-din. On his demise, the latter took possession of all his property, and this was the origin of his wealth. He was constantly travelling from place to place: having gone to Ghazna to recover a sum of money which he bad advanced to Shihab ad-din al-Ghůri, the sovereign of that city, he not only met a most honorable and kind reception, but

was enabled, by the protection of the prince, to gain a large sum (besides what he had received). He then returned to Khoråsàn, and attached himself to the sultan Muhammad Ibn Tukush, surnamed Khowàrezm Shâh : this prince treated him with great favour and elevated him to the very highest posts in the empire. The virtues and merits of Fakhr ad-din were boundless. To his knowledge of all these sciences, he joined a talent for poetry, and in one of his pieces he says :


Human reason can reach only to the extent of its chain; the utmost efforts of mortals mostly serve to lead them into error. Our souls and our bodies are at variance, and the sum of our worldly enjoyments is but bane and evil. Though we pass our lives in investigation, all we can collect may be reduced to this: it is said, or they say (11). How many men, how many empires have we seen flourishing, and which rapidly disappeared; how many mountains to the summits of which men have ascended, who are now gone, and the mountains remain.

The learned men of all the neighbouring countries went to consult him) and persons journied forth from every region to visit him. Sharaf ad-din Ibn Onain,

a poet, whose life we shall give, relates that he happened, on a winter's day, to be present, with a numerous audience of men eminent for talent, at one of the lessons given by Fakhr ad-din in the college of Khowârezm, and that much snow had fallen, that country being extremely cold. Whilst the lesson was going on, a pigeon, pursued by a bird of prey, alighted near the professor, and the other bird disappeared on seeing the people assembled there. As the pigeon was unable to fly off, owing to the effects of terror and of cold, Fakhr ad-din went over to it on finishing his lecture, and expressed his pity for the poor thing, as he took it up in his hand. On this, Ibn Onain recited extempore the following lines :

Son of the generous! son of those who fed the poor in winter, when scarcity prevailed and the snow covered the earth! — of those who protected the unfortunate when their souls trembled under the sword and the gory-pointed spear! Who told the dove that your mansion was a sanctuary, and that you were an asylum for the timorous ? It came to visit thee when its death was near, and you bestowed on it new life, in saving it from destruction. Could it receive (such) presents (as men obtain), it would leave thy hand, bearing off a large donation. It came with its complaints to the Solomon of the age (12), whilst death gleamed at it from beneath the wings of a rapacious, vigorous bird attracted by the sight-nay, by the shadow-of food, and it fled before him with a trembling heart.

Abu Abd Allah al-Husain al-Wasiti says that he heard Fakhr ad-din repeat the

following line from the pulpit, at Heråt, on concluding a discourse wherein he reproved the people of that city :

A worthy man is despised during his lifetime, but when removed by death, his loss is severely felt.

Fakhr ad-din mentions, in his work entitled Tahsil al-Hakk, that he studied dogmatic theology under his father Dià ad-din Omar, who had learned that science from Abu 'l-Kasim Salman Ibn Nasir al-Ansari (13), who had been instructed in it by the Imam al-Haramain (vol. II. p. 120), to whom it had been taught by Abû Isbak al-Isfaràini (vol. 1. p. 8), who had received his information in it from the shaikh Abû 'l-Husain al-Bâhili, whose master was the shaikh asSunna, Abû 'l-Hasan Ali Ibn Ismail al-Ashâri (vol. II. p. 227), who had studied it under Abû Ali al-Jubbài (v. II. p.669), whose (motazelite, doctrines al-Ashåri afterwards abandoned, and having then returned to orthodox principles, he took the defence of the doctrines held by the sunnites and the (Moslim) community. As for Fakhr addin's knowledge of the Shafite doctrines, he had received it from his father, to whom it had been taught by Abu Muhammad al-Farrà al-Baghawi (v. I. p. 419), who had studied that science under the kûdi llusain al-Marwarrùdi (v. I. p. 418), who had been taught it by al-Kaffål al-Marwazi (v. II. p. 26), who received his information in it from Abû Zaid al-Marwazi (v. II. p. 613), who had learned it under Abu Ishak al-Marwazi (vol. I. p. 7), to whom it had been taught by Abù ’l-Abbâs Ibn Suraij (vol. I. p. 46), who had for preceptor Abù ’l-Kasim al-Anmâti (vol. II. p. 186), who had studied it under Abù Ibrahim al-Muzani (v. I. p. 200), who had been instructed in it by the imâm as-Shâfi v. II. p. 569). -Fakr ad-din ar-Razi was born at Rai on the 25th of Ramadàn, A. H. 544 Jan. A. D. 1150), some say 543; and he died at Herât on Monday, the 1st of Shawwal, A. H. 606 (March, A. D. 1240). On the evening of the same day, he was 667 interred at the mountain contiguous to the village of Muzdàkhản. I saw the dying injunctions dictated by him to one of his pupils, and they clearly prove the soundness of his religious belief.— Muzdåkhân is the name of a village near Herât.

(1) The relative adjectives at-Taimi al-Bakri indicate here that Fakr ad-din ar-Razi was a descendant of the khalif Abou Bakr, one of whose ancestors was Taim, the son of Murra, the son of Kaab, the son of Luwaiyi, the son of Ghalib, the son of Fihr Koraish.

(2) The words list me, here rendered by philosophy, signify literally, the science of the ancients.

p. 300.

By the ancients is meant the Greeks.

(3) These forty Traditions relate to the dogmas of faith. He drew them up for the use of his son. See Fluegel's Hajji Khalifa, tom. I. p. 242.

(4) Hajji Khalifa calls this work a Summary of reflexions made by ancient and modern philosophers.

(8) Hajji Khalisa notices the title of this work, but does not inform us why these researches were called Imadian.

(6) What those questions were I have not been able to discover.
(7) This is said by Hajji Khalifa to be a work on the dogmas of religion.
(8) See Fluegel's Hajji Khalifa, tom. I.

(9) The Karràmians, followers of Muhammad Ibn Karrâm, held the principle of anthropomorphism. See an account of this sect in Sale's Preliminary Discourse to the Koran.

(10) Probably the city of Korkenj or Jurjaniya, the capital of Khowarezm. (11) Read IjJl in the Arabic text.

(12) This may perhaps be an allusion to the following legend: “As David was sitting one day at an assem“ bly of the children of Israil, with Solomon before him, a pigeon came and settled close to Solomon, and “ said : 'O son of David! I am one of the pigeons of this mansion, and young ones have never been be" • stowed upon me to rejoice me.' Then Solomon stroked it on the back and said: "Go; thou shalt produce

seventy young ones, and thy breed shall multiply, even unto the day of the resurrection.'' - (Nafdis al-Ardis, MS. No. 620, fol. 136 verso.)

(13) Abu 'l-Kasim Salman Ibn Nasir Ibn Imrån al-Ansari, an able jurisconsult, scholastic theologian, and expositor of the Koran, was a pupil of the Imam al-Haramain and of Abû 'l-Kâsim al-Kushairi. He was noted for his piety and mortified life. His works are, a commentary on the Imâm's Irshad, and the Kitab al-Ghaniya. He died in the month of the latter Jumada, A. H. 512 (Sept.-Oct. A. D. 1118 .-(Tab. as-Shaf.) This work gives the orthography of the name Salman, which is incorrectly written in all our manuscripts of Ibn Khallikân.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


Abû Hâmid Muhammad Ibn Yûnus Ibn Muhammad Ibn Manâ Ibn Malik Ibn Muhammad, surnamed Imâd ad-din (column of the faith), was a doctor of the Shafite sect, and the most able master of that age in Sbafite doctrines, dogmatic theology, and polemics. His reputation was immense, and jurisconsults came from the remotest regions for the purpose of studying under his tuition. Numerous pupils finished their education under him, and became themselves able and distinguished professors. He commenced his own studies, at Mosul, under


his father, a doctor whose life we shall give, and he then proceeded to Baghdad and studied jurisprudence in the Nizâmiya College under as-Sadid as-Salamasi (vol. II. p. 643); he acted also as under-tutor (maid) in the same establishment when Sharaf ad-din Yûsuf Ibn Bendâr ad-Dimishki (1) was professor there. He learned Traditions at Baghdad from Abu Abd ar-Rahmân Muhammad Ibn Muhammad al-Kushmihani, at the time of that doctor's visit, and he received other Traditions from Abû Hamid Muhammad Ibn Abi 'r-Rabi al-Gharnati a native of Granada in Spain). Having then returned to Mosul, he gave

lessons in a number of the colleges there, and composed some works on the doctrines of his sect, such as the Muhît, etc. (the comprehensive, being the combination of what is contained in the Muhaddab and the Wasit) (2); an explanation of al-Ghazzàli's (vol. II. page 621) Wajiz; a treatise on dialectics; an exposition of the Moslim faith, and a taalika (collection of notes) on controverted points of doctrine. This last work he left unfinished. He filled (at Mosul) the functions of preacher in the Mujahidi Mosque, and those of professor in the Ndriya, Izziya, Zainiya, Nafisiya and Aldiyia colleges. Having acquired great influence at the court of Nûr ad-din Arslân Shảh (vol. I. p. 174), sovereign of Mosul, he was occasionally employed by that prince as envoy to the court of Baghdad and to that of al-Malik al-Aadil (brother of the sultan Saldh ad-din). In the year 596 (A. D. 1199-1200) he maintained a discussion before the khalif's council of state, to prove that an insidel could lawfully purchase a Moslim slave (3). On Thursday, the 4th of Ramadàn, A. H. 592 (August, A. D. 1196), he was appointed kaili of at Mosul, but, on Wednesday, the 17th of the month of Safar, of the ensuing year, he was replaced by Abû ’l-Fadail Yahya as-Shahrozûri, surnamed Dià ad-din, the same whom we have spoken of in the life of Kamål ad-dîn (vol. II. page 646). He became chief of the Shafite community at Mosul, and was noted for his profound piety and extreme self-mortification. He never put on new clothes till he had washed them (4), and he never took up a pen to write without washing his hand afterwards. Mild in disposition, he was an agreeable companion in private society, and enlivened it by his anecdotes and verses. Nûr ad-din, the sovereign of Mosul, admitted him into the closest intimacy, and had always recourse to his opinion as a jurisconsult, and his counsel as a statesman. It was for this prince that Ibn Manâ drew up his exposition of the Moslim faith. He never relaxed his efforts till he induced Nûr ad-din to



« PreviousContinue »