Abu Hayyan al-Gharnati

Abū Ḥayyān al-Gharnāṭī ("Abū Ḥayyān from Granada", full name Muḥammad ibn Yūsuf bin ‘Alī ibn Yūsuf ibn Hayyān an-Nifzī al-Barbarī Athīr al-Dīn Abū Ḥayyān al-Jayyānī al-Gharnāṭī al-Andalūsī,[3]) was a commentator on the Quran. He has earned near universal recognition as the foremost Arabic grammarian of his era.[4][5] He is also notable as the only known Arabic linguist to have taken a strong interest in languages other than Arabic, authoring a number of works both on comparative linguistics and extensively analyzing and explaining the grammars of other languages for native speakers of Arabic.[6]

Abū Ḥayyān al-Gharnāṭī
Died1344 (aged 87–88)
EraIslamic Golden Age
Main interest(s)Tafsīr, Arabic
Senior posting
Arabic name
Personal (Ism)Muḥammad
Patronymic (Nasab)ibn Yūsuf bin ‘Alī ibn Yūsuf ibn Hayyān an-Nifzī al-Barbarī
بن يوسف بن علي بن يوسف بن حيان
Teknonymic (Kunya)Abū Ḥayyān
أبو حيان
Epithet (Laqab)Athīr al-Dīn
أثير الدين
Toponymic (Nisba)al-Gharānaṭī; Al-Andalusi; al-Jayyāni


Early life

He was born in Spain in November of 1256[4][7] to a family of Berber origins.[8][9] Gharnati's place of birth has been a matter of dispute, with historians having placed it both as Jaén and Granada, from which his appellation "Gharnati" was taken.[10] Because Jaén was a dependency of Granada at the time, it is possible that there is no conflict between the two appellations.

Gharnati was considered tall and he had long hair. In his old age, his beard and hair turned grey, but he was generally described with handsome features.[10]


At a young age, Gharnati left Spain and traveled extensively for the sake of his studies.[4][10] Within Spain, he traveled to Málaga, Almería before moving on through Ceuta, Tunis, Alexandria, Cairo, Damietta, Minya, Kush and ‘Aydhab in Africa.[3][10] Eventually, he reached Mecca for the sake of the Muslim pilgrimage and visited Medina before returning to Alexandria. Gharnati memorized the entirety of the famous Kitab of Sibawayh by heart; it was the first treatise ever written on Arabic grammar, and Gharnati held is as much an authority within the Arabic language as are Hadith, or the recorded statements of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, in Islamic law.[11]

Gharnati was a student of Ibn al-Nafis, viewed as a redeeming quality in favor of Ibn al-Nafis by traditionalists such as Al-Dhahabi, who held positive views of Gharnati.[12]


After traveling to Mamluk Egypt, Gharnati was appointed as a lecturer of the science of Qur'anic exegesis at the college named after the sultan of Egypt, Al-Mansur Qalawun, in Alexandria.[13] Later, he also spent a period teaching the same subject in the Mosque of Ibn Tulun in Cairo.[4][11]

Gharnati was also favored in the court of an-Nasir Muhammad; he and Fatḥ al-Din Ibn Sayyid al-Nās were often the presiding "judges" during poetic contests during al-Nasir's reign.[14] When Gharnati's daughter Nudhar died, he received special permission for her body to be interred at his family's property rather than a formal cemetery.[10] Permission for such burials were not typically granted, though Gharnati's standing with the royal court allowed the bereaved father his request. Gharnati composed an elegy praising his daughter's standing among the era's intellectual circles,[15] indicating the extent that her death affected him.


Gharnati died on a Saturday in July in the year 1344 in his home in Cairo,[4][7] just after the last evening prayer.[16] He was buried the next day in the cemetery of Bab al-Nasr in Islamic Cairo. When news of his death reached Damascus, the general public mourned his death due to his renown.[16]


Gharnati was known for his preference for the Ẓāhirī madhhab of Sunni Islam,[17] though it has also been claimed that he later switched over to the Shafi'i madhhab.[18] Gharnati himself denied switching to the Shafi'i or any other view when asked toward the end of his life in Egypt, claiming that anyone who had known the Ẓāhirī school could never leave it.[19]

He was known as a critic of Sufism, especially of Sufi metaphysics such as ibn Arabi, Mansur Al-Hallaj, Ibn al-Farid, Ibn Sab'in and Abu al-Hasan al-Shushtari, all of whom Gharnati regarded as impious heretics.[5] Gharnati saw his criticism of Sufism as a defense of laymen Muslims who might unwittingly follow it, a position with which most of the Muslim scholars of Andalus agreed.[20]

In regard to the Arabic language, Gharnati was fond of the views of fellow Ẓāhirī and Andalusi, Ibn Maḍāʾ. Like Ibn Mada, Gharnati denied the existence of linguistic causality, instead holding the view that language, like all other things, is caused by God.[21] His suspicion of Arabic grammarians was from a theological standpoint, just as those "eastern grammarians" supported linguistic causality from their own opposing, yet still Muslim, standpoints.

In regard to the Turkic languages, Gharnati entered Egypt when it was ruled by the Mamluk Sultanate and regarded their variety as the most superior form of the language. He was apparently also familiar with Kipchak and Turkmen languages, but considered them inferior to the primary dialect as it had evolved in Mamluk Egypt.[22]


Gharnati's prowess in both the religious and linguistic fields has been noted. He was referred to as the king of his age in grammar, having known no rival during his lifetime.[10] For that reason, historians have alternated between referring to him as Abu Hayyan "al-Gharnati" (the man from Granada) and Abu Hayyan "al-Nahwi" (the grammarian). Additionally, he was considered an expert in the fields of hadith, historiography and Sharia.

Gharnati's studies of grammar were governed by overarching principles he laid out such as "one must base rules of Arabic on frequency of occurrence" and "analogous formations that contradict genuine data found in good speech are not permitted."[11] His approach to grammar has been described by Brill's Encyclopaedia of Islam as remarkably modern, and Gharnati's respect for facts and unusual objectivity have also been noted.[11]


The total number of works attributed to Gharnati was 65, though today only 15 of those survive.[11] Gharnati is famous for his book in explaining the linguistic meanings of Quran, called "al-Bahr al-Muhit," which was composed toward the end of his life.[23] The voluminous book's composition was aided by Al Mansur. The work is extraordinarily rich in non-canonical qira'at or variant readings of the Qur'an, some of which were not contained in any prior commentaries.[24]

Gharnati was also one of several grammarians to compose a commentary on ibn Malik's Alfiya,[7][25] a seminal work in the field of Arabic grammar. Gharnati was also distinguished among linguists of the Arabic language by his interest in other languages, having also authored works on the grammars of Amharic, Middle Mongol, the Berber languages and the Turkic languages.[6] Aside from him, virtually all other well-known linguists of the Arabic language showed almost no interest in other languages, and in many cases considered all other languages inferior.[26] Gharnati would often illuminate Arabic grammatical concepts by quoting from other languages.[11] He wrote Kitab al-Idrak li-Lisan al-Atrak[27] a book on the Turkish language.


  1. ^ Alois Richard Nykl, Hispano-Arabic Poetry and Its Relations with the Old Provençal Troubadours, pg. 358. Slatkine, 1946.
  2. ^ Consuelo Lopez-Morillas, The Quran in Sixteenth-Century Spain, pg. 49. Volume 82 of Támesis: Serie A, Monografías. Tamesis, 1982. ISBN 9780729301213
  3. ^ a b "Names of Zahiri Scholars". Archived from the original on 2013-01-11.
  4. ^ a b c d e S. Glazer, Abu Ḥayyān At̲h̲īr al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Yūsuf al-G̲h̲arnāṭī. Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Brill Online , 2012. Reference. 29 December 2012.
  5. ^ a b Alexander D. Knysh, Ibn Arabi in the Later Islamic Tradition. Pg. 168. State University of New York Press: Albany, 1999.
  6. ^ a b Kees Versteegh, The Arabic Linguistic Tradition, pgs. 10 and 164. Part of Landmarks in Linguistic Thought series, vol. 3. New York: Routledge, 1997. ISBN 9780415157575
  7. ^ a b c Versteegh, Arabic, pg. 168.
  8. ^ The Berbers and the Islamic state: the Marīnid experience in pre-protectorate Morocco, pg. 9. Markus Wiener Publishers, 2000. ISBN 9781558762244
  9. ^ Robert Irwin, Night and horses and the desert: an anthology of classical Arabian literature, pg. 352. Westminster: Penguin Books, 1999.
  10. ^ a b c d e f "The History of the Mohammedan Dynasties in Spain," taken from Ahmed Mohammed al-Maqqari's Nafhut Tibb min Ghusn al-Andalus al-Ratib wa Tarikh Lisan ad-Din Ibn al-Khatib. Translated by Pascual de Gayangos y Arce from copies in the British Museum. Pg. 424. London: The Orientalist Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. Sold by W. H. Allen Ltd and M. Duprat.
  11. ^ a b c d e f Encyclopaedia of Islam, vol. I, A-B, pg. 126. Eds. Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen Gibb, J.H. Kramers, Évariste Lévi-Provençal and Joseph Schacht. Assisted by Bernard Lewis and Charles Pellat. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 1979. Print edition.
  12. ^ Fancy, Nahyan A. G. (2006), "Pulmonary Transit and Bodily Resurrection: The Interaction of Medicine, Philosophy and Religion in the Works of Ibn al-Nafīs (died 1288)", Electronic Theses and Dissertations, University of Notre Dame, pg. 147-148
  13. ^ Ahmed Mohammed al-Maqqari, trs. Pascual de Gayangos y Arce, pg. 423.
  14. ^ Devin J. Stewart, "Ibn Hijjah al-Hamawi." Taken from Essays in Arabic Literary Biography: 1350-1850, pg. 143. Eds. Malcolm Lowry and Devin J. Stewart. Volume 2 of Essays in Arabic Literary Biography. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2009. ISBN 9783447059336
  15. ^ Extraordinary Women of Al-Andalus. Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain. Unity Productions Foundation: 2007.
  16. ^ a b Ahmed Mohammed al-Maqqari, trns. by Pascual de Gayangos y Arce. Pg. 425.
  17. ^ al-Maqrizi, al-Muqni al-Kabir, vol. 7, pg. 505.
  18. ^ Michael Carer, "The Andalusian Grammarians: Are they different?" Taken from In the Shadow of Arabic: The Centrality of Language to Arab Culture, Pg. 34. Ed. Bilal Orfali. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2011. Print. ISBN 9789004215375
  19. ^ Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, al-Durar al-Kamina, vol. 4, pg. 304.
  20. ^ Knysh, pg. 169.
  21. ^ Michael Carter, "The Andalusian Grammarians," pg. 39.
  22. ^ Versteegh, Arabic, pg. 169.
  23. ^ Abdulmageed Falah, Grammatical Opinions of Abu Hayyan Andalusi between Theory and Practice. Arab Journal for the Humanities. Academic Publication Council, Kuwait University: Vol. 29, Issue 116. 2011.
  24. ^ Theodor Nöldeke, Gotthelf Bergsträsser, Friedrich Schwally and Otto Pretzl, The History of the Qur'an, pg. 578. Ed. Wolfgang H. Behn. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2013. ISBN 9789004228795
  25. ^ Aryeh Levin, Arabic Linguistic Thought and Dialectology. Pg. 347. The Max Schloessinger Memorial Foundation/Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Jerusalem, 1998. Printed by Academon Press.
  26. ^ Versteegh, Arabic, pg. 106.
  27. ^ Davidson, Alan (1983). Food in Motion. Oxford Symposium. p. 13. ISBN 9780907325154.

External links

Al-Qadr (surah)

Sūrat al-Qadr (Arabic: سورة القدر‎, "Power, Fate") is the 97th sura of the Qur'an with 5 ayat. It is a Meccan sura. The Surah has been so designated after the word al-qadr in the first verse. It is mainly about power.


Arabic (Arabic: العَرَبِيَّة‎) al-ʻarabiyyah [alʕaraˈbijːa] (listen) or (Arabic: عَرَبِيّ‎) ʻarabī [ˈʕarabiː] (listen) or Arabic pronunciation: [ʕaraˈbij]) is a Central Semitic language that first emerged in Iron Age northwestern Arabia and is now the lingua franca of the Arab world. It is named after the Arabs, a term initially used to describe peoples living from Mesopotamia in the east to the Anti-Lebanon mountains in the west, in northwestern Arabia, and in the Sinai Peninsula. Arabic is classified as a macrolanguage comprising 30 modern varieties, including its standard form, Modern Standard Arabic, which is derived from Classical Arabic.

As the modern written language, Modern Standard Arabic is widely taught in schools and universities, and is used to varying degrees in workplaces, government, and the media. The two formal varieties are grouped together as Literary Arabic (fuṣḥā), which is the official language of 26 states, and the liturgical language of Islam. Modern Standard Arabic largely follows the grammatical standards of Classical Arabic, and uses much of the same vocabulary. However, it has discarded some grammatical constructions and vocabulary that no longer have any counterpart in the spoken varieties, and has adopted certain new constructions and vocabulary from the spoken varieties. Much of the new vocabulary is used to denote concepts that have arisen in the post-classical era, especially in modern times. Due to its grounding in Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic is removed over a millennium from everyday speech, which is construed as a multitude of dialects of this language. These dialects and Modern Standard Arabic are described by some scholars as not mutually comprehensible. The former are usually acquired in families, while the latter is taught in formal education settings. However, there have been studies reporting some degree of comprehension of stories told in the standard variety among preschool-aged children. The relation between Modern Standard Arabic and these dialects is sometimes compared to that of Latin and vernaculars (or today's French, Czech or German) in medieval and early modern Europe. This view though does not take into account the widespread use of Modern Standard Arabic as a medium of audiovisual communication in today's mass media—a function Latin has never performed.

During the Middle Ages, Literary Arabic was a major vehicle of culture in Europe, especially in science, mathematics and philosophy. As a result, many European languages have also borrowed many words from it. Arabic influence, mainly in vocabulary, is seen in European languages, mainly Spanish and to a lesser extent Portuguese, and Catalan, owing to both the proximity of Christian European and Muslim Arab civilizations and 800 years of Arabic culture and language in the Iberian Peninsula, referred to in Arabic as al-Andalus. Sicilian has about 500 Arabic words as result of Sicily being progressively conquered by Arabs from North Africa, from the mid-9th to mid-10th centuries. Many of these words relate to agriculture and related activities. Balkan languages, including Greek and Bulgarian, have also acquired a significant number of Arabic words through contact with Ottoman Turkish.

Arabic has influenced many languages around the globe throughout its history. Some of the most influenced languages are Persian, Turkish, Spanish, Urdu, Kashmiri, Kurdish, Bosnian, Kazakh, Bengali, Hindi, Malay, Maldivian, Indonesian, Pashto, Punjabi, Tagalog, Sindhi, and Hausa, and some languages in parts of Africa. Conversely, Arabic has borrowed words from other languages, including Greek and Persian in medieval times, and contemporary European languages such as English and French in modern times.

Classical Arabic is the liturgical language of 1.8 billion Muslims, and Modern Standard Arabic is one of six official languages of the United Nations. All varieties of Arabic combined are spoken by perhaps as many as 422 million speakers (native and non-native) in the Arab world, making it the fifth most spoken language in the world. Arabic is written with the Arabic alphabet, which is an abjad script and is written from right to left, although the spoken varieties are sometimes written in ASCII Latin from left to right with no standardized orthography.

Fatḥ al-Din Ibn Sayyid al-Nās

Muhammad bin Muhammad al-Ya'mari, better known as Fath al-Din Ibn Sayyid al-Nās, was a Medieval Egyptian theologian who specialized in the field of Hadith, or the recorded prophecies and traditions of the Muslim prophet Muhammad. He was well known for his biography of Muhammad.

Ibn Maḍāʾ

Abu al-Abbas Ahmad bin Abd al-Rahman bin Muhammad bin Sa'id bin Harith bin Asim al-Lakhmi al-Qurtubi, better known as Ibn Maḍāʾ (Arabic: ابن مضاء‎; 1116–1196) was an Arab Muslim polymath from Córdoba in Islamic Spain. Ibn Mada was notable for having challenged the traditional formation of Arabic grammar and of the common understanding of linguistic governance among Arab grammarians, performing an overhaul first suggested by Al-Jahiz two-hundred years prior. He is considered the first linguist in history to address the subject of dependency in the grammatical sense in which it is understood today, and was instrumental during the Almohad reforms as chief judge of the Almohad Caliphate.

Ibn Taymiyyah

Taqī ad-Dīn Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah (Arabic: تقي الدين أحمد ابن تيمية, January 22, 1263 - September 26, 1328), known as Ibn Taymiyyah for short, was a controversial medieval Sunni Muslim theologian, jurisconsult, logician, and reformer. A member of the Hanbali school of jurisprudence founded by Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ibn Taymiyyah was also a member of the Qadiriyya Sufi order founded by the twelfth-century mystic and saint Abdul-Qadir Gilani. A polarizing figure in his own lifetime, Ibn Taymiyyah's iconoclastic views on widely accepted Sunni doctrines such as the veneration of saints and the visitation to their tomb-shrines made him unpopular with the majority of the orthodox religious scholars of the time, under whose orders he was imprisoned several times.Often viewed as a minority figure in his own times and in the centuries that followed, Ibn Taymiyyah has become one of the most influential medieval writers in contemporary Islam, where his particular interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah and his rejection of some aspects of classical Islamic tradition are believed to have had considerable influence on contemporary Wahhabism, Salafism, and Jihadism. Indeed, particular aspects of his teachings had a profound influence on Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the founder of the Hanbali reform movement practiced in Saudi Arabia known as Wahhabism, and on other later Wahabi scholars. Moreover, Ibn Taymiyyah's controversial fatwa allowing jihad against other Muslims is referenced by al-Qaeda and other jihadi groups.

Ibn al-Nafis

Ala-al-din abu Al-Hassan Ali ibn Abi-Hazm al-Qarshi al-Dimashqi (Arabic: علاء الدين أبو الحسن عليّ بن أبي حزم القرشي الدمشقي), known as Ibn al-Nafis (Arabic: ابن النفيس), was an Arab physician from Damascus mostly famous for being the first to describe the pulmonary circulation of the blood. The work of Ibn al-Nafis regarding the right sided (pulmonary) circulation pre-dates the later work (1628) of William Harvey's De motu cordis. Both theories attempt to explain circulation.

As an early anatomist, Ibn al-Nafis also performed several human dissections during the course of his work, making several important discoveries in the fields of physiology and anatomy. Besides his famous discovery of the pulmonary circulation, he also gave an early insight of the coronary and capillary circulations, a contribution for which he is sometimes described as "the father of circulatory physiology".Apart from medicine, Ibn al-Nafis studied jurisprudence, literature and theology. He was an expert on the Shafi'i school of jurisprudence and an expert physician. The number of medical textbooks written by Ibn al-Nafis is estimated at more than 110 volumes.

List of Ash'aris

The list of prominent Ash'aris includes prominent adherents of the Ash'ari theological school.


Ibn Furak

Abu Mansur Al-Baghdadi


Al-Bayhaqi, Hadith, Fiqh scholar

Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi

Abu Al-Walid Al-Baji


Al-Ghazali, Hujjat al-Islam (Authority of Islam), Jurist, Philosopher, Theology (Tauhid)

Ibn Khaldun, Muslim Scientist, Forerunner of Modern Disciplines in Sociology, Demography, Historiographer, Historian, Economics, Political Science

Fakhr Al-Din Al-Razi, Muslim Scientist, Tafsir (Exegesis), Principles of Islamic jurisprudence, Rhetoric, Kalam, Islamic Philosophy, Logic, Astronomy, Ontology, Chemistry, Physics, Medicine, Anatomy


Sayf Al-Din Al-Amidi

Salahuddin al-Ayyoubi (Saladin), Founder of Ayyubid Dynasty, Islamic Caliphate of Ayyubid Dynasty, Sultan of Egypt and Syria, Islamic scholar, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques

Izz Al-Din ibn 'Abd Al-Salam

Ibn 'Asakir

Al-Nawawi, Hadith scholar, Shafi'i Sunni Jurist, Theologian, Biographer

Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani, Shaykh al-Islām (Outstanding scholars of the Islamic sciences), Hadith scholar, Shafi'i Sunni scholar, Tafsir scholar

Al-Qastallani, Sunni Islamic scholar in Hadith and Theology, Commentary on the Sahih al-Bukhari

Abu Hayyan Al-Gharnati

Jalal Al-Din Al-Suyuti, Theologian, Shafi'i scholar, Scholar on Ijtihad, Hadith, Quranic Exegesis (Tafsir), Aqidah (Tawhid)

Zakariyya Al-Ansari

Taqi Al-Din Al-Subki, Shafi'i scholar, Master in Tafsir (Qur'anic Exegesis) and Prophetic Hadith (Sunnah), Shaykh al-Islām (Outstanding scholars of the Islamic sciences), Qadi (Chief Judge in Islamic Shari'ah Court)

Taj Al-Din Al-Subki

Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami


Ibn 'Ata' Allah Al-Iskandari (or Al-Sakandari)

'Abdullah Ibn 'Alawi Al-Haddad

Muhammad Zahid Al-Kawthari

Muhammad Al-Tahir Ibn 'Ashur

Muhammad Sayyid Tantawy, former Grand Mufti of Egypt, Islamic scholar

Muhammad Alawi al-Maliki, Islamic scholar, Habib, Al-Marfullah

Mohamed Said Ramadan Al-Bouti, Syrian scholar, Shaykh of the Levant

Abdallah Bin Bayyah, Specialist in 4 Islamic School of Thoughts, proponent in Maliki School of Thought

Abdullah al-Harari

Ahmed El-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar

Ali Gomaa, Egyptian Grand Mufti

Ahmed Kuftaro, former Grand Mufti of Syrian Arab Republic, Advocator of Interreligious Dialogues and Women's Rights, Head of issuing Fatwa throughout the Sunni Islamic world

Habib Ali Al-Jifri

Hamza Yusuf, American Islamic scholar, co-founder of Zaytuna College

Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, Syrian Islamic scholar

Suhaib Webb, American Imam, Shaykh, One of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World

Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, Grand Mufti of Syria

Nuh Ha Mim Keller

Habib Umar bin Hafiz, Shaykh, Habib, Islamic scholar, Dean at Dar al-Mustafa

List of Sunni books

This is a list of significant books of Sunni Islam doctrine.

List of tafsir works

The following is a list of tafsir works. Tafsir is a body of commentary and explication, aimed at explaining the meanings of the Qur'an, the central religious text of Islam. Tafsir works can broadly be categorized by its affiliated Islamic schools and branches and the era it was published, classic or modern. Modern tafsirs listed here are the work of later than the 20th century.

Ma'ariful Qur'an

Ma'ariful Qur'an (Urdu: معارف القرآن‬‎) is an eight-volume tafsir (exegesis) of the Quran written by Pakistani Islamic scholar Mufti Muhammad Shafi (1897–1976). Originally written in Urdu, it is the most prominent work of its author.


The Muqaṭṭaʿāt (Arabic: حُرُوف مُقَطَّعَات‎ ḥurūf muqaṭṭaʿāt, "disjoined letters" or "disconnected letters"; also "mysterious letters") are combinations of between one and five Arabic letters figuring at the beginning of 29 out of the 114 chapters (surahs) of the Quran just after the Bismillāh Islamic phrase. The letters are also known as fawātiḥ (فَوَاتِح) or "openers" as they form the opening verse of their respective surahs.Four surahs are named for their muqaṭṭaʿāt: Ṭā-Hā, Yā-Sīn, Ṣād and Qāf.

The original significance of the letters is unknown. Tafsir (exegesis) has interpreted them as abbreviations for either names or qualities of God or for the names or content of the respective surahs.


Abū Bishr ʻAmr ibn ʻUthmān ibn Qanbar Al-Baṣrī (c. 760–796, Arabic: أبو بشر عمرو بن عثمان بن قنبر البصري‎), known as Sībawayh or Sībawayhi (سيبويه, pronounced Sibuyah in Persian, and Sībawayh in the Arabic tradition) was Persian, a leading grammarian of Basra and author of Arabic linguistics. His famous work, Al-Kitāb, or "The Book", (in 5 vols) is a seminal encyclopedic grammar of the Arabic language.Ibn Qutaybah, the earliest extant source, in his biographical entry under Sibawayhi has simply:

He is ʻAmr ibn ʻUthman, and he was mainly a grammarian. He arrived in Baghdad, fell in with the local grammarians, was humiliated and went back to some town in Fars, and died there while still a young man.

The biographers, Ibn al-Nadim of the 10th century and Ibn Khallikan of the 13th, attribute Sibawayh with contributions to the science of language (i.e. Arabic language and linguistics) unsurpassed by those of former and latter times. He has been called the greatest of all Arabic linguists and one of the greatest linguists of all time in any language.


Zahirism, Ẓāhirī (Arabic: ظاهري‎) madhhab or al-Ẓāhirīyyah (Arabic: الظاهرية‎) is a school of thought in fiqh founded by Dawud al-Zahiri in the ninth century, characterised by reliance on the manifest (ẓāhir) meaning of expressions in the Qur'an and hadith, as well as rejection of analogical deduction (qiyās). After a limited success and decline in the Middle East, the Ẓāhirī school flourished in the Caliphate of Córdoba, particularly under the leadership of ibn Hazm.

Whereas some analysts describe Zahirism as a distinct school of Islam, others have characterized it as a fifth school of thought (madhhab) of Sunni Islam, and still retains a measure of influence and is recognized by contemporary Islamic scholars. In particular, members of the Ahl-i Hadith movement identify themselves with the Ẓāhirī school of thought.

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