Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad ibn Jarīr al-Ṭabarī (/ˈtɑːbəri/; Persian: محمد بن جریر طبری‎, Arabic: أبو جعفر محمد بن جرير بن يزيد الطبري‎) (224–310 AH; 839–923 AD) was an influential Persian[2][3] scholar, historian and exegete of the Qur'an from Amol, Tabaristan (modern Mazandaran Province of Iran), who composed all his works in Arabic. Today, he is best known for his expertise in Qur'anic exegesis, Islamic jurisprudence and world history, but he has been described as "an impressively prolific polymath. He wrote on such subjects as poetry, lexicography, grammar, ethics, mathematics, and medicine."[4]

His most influential and best known works are his Qur'anic commentary known as Tafsir al-Tabari and his historical chronicle Tarikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk (History of the Prophets and Kings), often referred to Tarikh al-Tabari. Although it eventually became extinct, al-Tabari's madhhab flourished among Sunni ulama for two centuries after his death.[5] It was usually designated by the name Jariri.

Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari
Al-Tabari's name in Arabic calligraphy
Born839 AD (224 AH)
DiedMonday, 28 Shawwal 310 AH/ 17 February 923 AD (Julian Calendar) (aged 86)
EthnicityTabari (Mazanderani)
EraMedieval era
JurisprudenceFounded the Jariri madh'hab
Senior posting


قبر الامام الطبري 4
Tomb of at-Tabarīs in Bagdad, Iraq

Tabari was born in Amol, Tabaristan (some 20 km south of the Caspian Sea) in the winter of 838–9.[6] He memorized the Qur'an at seven, was a qualified prayer leader at eight and began to study the prophetic traditions at nine. He left home to study in 236AH[7] (850–851AD) when he was twelve. He retained close ties to his home town. He returned at least twice, the second time in 290AH (903AD) when his outspokenness caused some uneasiness and led to his quick departure.[8]

He first went to Rayy (Rhages), where he remained for some five years.[9] A major teacher in Rayy was Abu Abdillah Muhammad ibn Humayd al-Razi, who had earlier taught in Baghdad but was now in his seventies.[10] While in Ray, he also studied Muslim jurisprudence according to the Hanafi school.[11] Among other material, ibn Humayd taught Jarir Tabari the historical works of ibn Ishaq, especially al-Sirah, his life of Muhammad.[12] Tabari was thus introduced in youth to pre-Islamic and early Islamic history. Tabari quotes ibn Humayd frequently, but little is known about Tabari's other teachers in Rayy.[10]

Tabari then travelled to study in Baghdad under ibn Hanbal, who, however, had recently died (in late 855 or early 856).[13] Tabari possibly made a pilgrimage prior to his first arrival in Baghdad.[13] He left Baghdad probably in 242 A.H. (856–7)[14] to travel through the southern cities of Basra, Kufah and Wasit.[13] There, he met a number of eminent and venerable scholars.[14] In addition to his previous study of Hanafi law, Tabari also studied the Shafi'i, Maliki and Zahiri rites.[15] Tabari's study of the latter school was with the founder, Dawud al-Zahiri,[16] and Tabari hand-copied and transmitted many of his teacher's works.[17] Tabari was, then, well-versed in four of the five remaining Sunni legal schools before founding his own independent, yet eventually extinct, school. His debates with his former teachers and classmates were known, and served as a demonstration of said independence.[18] Notably missing from this list is the Hanbali school, the fourth largest legal school within Sunni Islam in the present era. Tabari's view of Ibn Hanbal, the school's founder, became decidedly negative later in life. Tabari did not give Ibn Hanbal's dissenting opinion any weight at all when considering the various views of jurists, stating that Ibn Hanbal had not even been a jurist at all but merely a recorder of Hadith.[19]

On his return to Baghdad, he took a tutoring position from the vizier, Ubaydallah ibn Yahya ibn Khaqan.[20] This would have been before A.H. 244 (858) since the vizier was out of office and in exile from 244 to 248 (858–9 to 862).[20] There is an anecdote told that Tabari had agreed to tutor for ten dinars a month, but his teaching was so effective and the boy's writing so impressive that the teacher was offered a tray of dinars and dirhams. The ever-ethical Tabari declined the offer saying he had undertaken to do his work at the specified amount and could not honourably take more.[21] That is one of a number of stories about him declining gifts or giving gifts of equal or greater amount in return.[21]

In his late twenties, he travelled to Syria, Palestine and Egypt.[22] In Beirut, he made the highly significant connection of al-Abbas b. al-Walid b. Mazyad al-'Udhri al-Bayruti (c.169-270/785-6 to 883–4). Al-Abbas instructed Tabari in the Syrian school's variant readings of the Qur'an and transmitted through his father al-Walid the legal views of al-Awza'i, Beirut's prominent jurist from a century earlier.

Tabari arrived in Egypt in 253AH (867),[23] and, some time after 256/870, he returned to Baghdad,[24] possibly making a pilgrimage on the way. If so, he did not stay long in the Hijaz. Tabari had a private income from his father while he was still living and then the inheritance.[25] He took money for teaching. Among Tabari's students was Ibn al-Mughallis, who was also a student of Tabari's own teacher Muhammad bin Dawud al-Zahiri; Ibn al-Mughallis lavished Tabari with almost excessive praise.[26][27] He never took a government or a judicial position.[28]

Tabari was some fifty years old when al-Mu'tadid became caliph. He was well past seventy in the year his History was published. During the intervening years, he was famous, if somewhat controversial, personality. Among the figures of his age, he had access to sources of information equal to anyone, except, perhaps, those who were directly connected with decision making within the government. Most, if not all, the materials for the histories of al-Mu'tadid, al-Muktafi, and the early years of al-Muqtadir were collected by him about the time the reported events took place. His accounts are as authentic as one can expect from that period.[29]

Tabari's final years were marked by conflict with the Hanbalite followers of Al-Hasan ibn 'Ali al-Barbahari, a student of the students of Ibn Hanbal. Tabari was known for his view that Hanbalism was not a legitimate school of thought, as Ibn Hanbal was a compiler of traditions and not a proper jurist.[30] The Hanbalites of Baghdad would often stone Tabari's house, escalating the persecution to the point where Abbasid authorities had to subdue them by force.[31] The Baghdad chief of police tried to organize a debate between Tabari and the Hanbalites to settle their differences. While Tabari accepted, the Hanbalites did not show up but instead came later to pelt his house with stones again. The constant threat of violence from the Hanbalites hung over Tabari's head for the rest of his life.[32]

Tabari finally died on February 17, 923.[32] Abbasid authorities actually buried Tabari in secret as they feared mob violence by the Hanbalites.[33] Regardless, Tabari was remembered positively by contemporaries such as Ibn Duraid,[32] and the Hanbalites were condemned by Abbasid authorities in their entirety for persecuting opponents, roughly a decade later.[34]

Personal characteristics

He is described as having a dark complexion, large eyes and a long beard. He was tall and slender[35] and his hair and beard remained black until he was very old. He was attentive to his health, avoiding red meat, fats and other foods he deemed unhealthy. He was seldom sick before his last decade when he suffered from bouts of pleurisy. When he was ill, he treated himself (to the approval of physicians). He had a sense of humour, though serious subjects he treated seriously. He had studied poetry when young and enjoyed writing, reciting and participating in poetic exchanges. It is said that he was asked in Egypt about al-Tirimmah and was able to recite this 7th century poet's work for Egyptians who had merely heard al-Tirimmah's name.[36] He was witty and urbane, clean and well mannered.[37] He avoided coarse speech, instead displaying refined eloquence.[38] He had a good grounding in grammar, lexicography and philology. Such were considered essential for Qur'anic commentary. He knew Persian and was acquainted with the origins of various foreign loan words in Arabic from a number of other languages.

He died in Baghdad on February 17, 923.[39]

Persian version by Balami of Universal History by Tabari
Bal'ami's 14th century Persian version of Universal History by Tabari


Qur'an Tabari
Opening lines of the Quran from a Persian translation of Tabari's tafsir

Al-Tabari wrote history, theology and Qur'anic commentary. His legal writings were published first and then continued to appear throughout his life. Next were his commentaries on the Qur'an. Lastly, his history was published. His biographers stress his reverence for scholarship and his keen intent to offer his readers hard fact.

He did not hesitate to express his independent judgement (ijtihad).[40] He stated his assessment as to which of the sources he cited was accurate. This was more understandably an aspect of his theology than of his history. This does not mean he saw himself as innovative. On the contrary, he was very much opposed to religious innovation. The story goes that when he was near death ibn Kamil suggested he forgive his enemies. He said he was willing to do so, except for the person who had described him as an innovator.[41] In general Tabari's approach was conciliatory and moderate, seeking harmonious agreement between conflicting opinions.[42]

Initially he identified as a Shafi'ite in Fiqh law and Shafi'ites were happy to have him so considered. He was later seen as having established his own school. Although he had come to Baghdad in youth to study from Hanbal, he incurred the vehement wrath of the Hanbalites.[43] Tabari's madhhab is usually designated by the name Jariri after his patronymic.[44] However, in the keenly competitive atmosphere of the times, his school failed to endure.[45]

Al-Tabari's jurisprudence belongs to a type which Christopher Melchert has called "semi-rationalistic", largely associated with the Shafi'i madhhab. It was characterized by strong scripturalist tendencies. He appears, like Dawud al-Zahiri, to restrict consensus historically, defining it as the transmission by many authorities of reports on which the Sahaba agreed unanimously. Like Dawud al-Zahiri, he also held that consensus must be tied to a text and cannot be based on legal analogy.[46]

While we still lack a satisfactory scholarly biography of this remarkable scholar, interested readers now have access to a meticulous and well-annotated translation of the sections from al-Tabari's chronicle, which constitute the most important primary source for the history of his reign. Anyone familiar with al-Tabari's chronicle knows what a formidable challenge it poses for a translator, especially for one attempting to make it accessible to an audience that includes non-specialists. There is, first of all, the obstacle of al-Tabari's Arabic prose, which varies greatly in style and complexity according to the source he is using (and apparently quoting verbatim). The sections in the McAuliffe translation, drawn mostly from al-Mada'ini and 'Umar ibn Shabba, do not represent the most obscure passages to be found in al-Tabari, but they are nonetheless full of linguistic ambiguities and difficulties for the translator.[47]

He wrote extensively; his voluminous corpus containing three main titles:

The first of the two large works, generally known as the Annals (Arabic Tarikh al-Tabari). This is a universal history from the time of Qur'anic Creation to 915, and is renowned for its detail and accuracy concerning Muslim and Middle Eastern history. Tabari's work is one of the major primary sources for historians.

  • The Commentary on the Qur'an – (Arabic: جامع البيان عن تأويل آي القرآن, Jami` al-bayan `an ta'wil 'ay al-Qur'an, commonly called Tafsir al-Tabari)

His second great work was the commentary on the Qur'an, (Arabic Tafsir al-Tabari), which was marked by the same fullness of detail as the Annals. Abul-Qaasim Ibn 'Aqil Al-Warraq (رحمه الله) says: " Imām Ibn Jarir (رحمه الله) once said to his students: “Are you all ready to write down my lesson on the Tafsir (commentary) of the entire Holy Quran?" They enquired as to how lengthy it would be. "30 000 pages"! he replied. They said: "This would take a long time and cannot be completed in one lifetime. He therefore made it concise and kept it to 3000 pages (note, this was in reference to the old days when they used ink and hard-paper which was a bit long format today). It took him seven years to finish it from the year 283 until 290. It is said that it is the most voluminous Athari Tafsir (i.e., based on hadith not intellect) existent today so well received by the Ummah that it survived to this day intact due to its popularity and widely printed copies available worldwide. Scholars such as Baghawi and Suyuti used it largely. It was used in compiling the Tafsir ibn Kathir which is often referred to as Mukhtasar Tafsir at-Tabari.

A persual of Tabari shows that in fact he relied on a variety of historians and other authors such as Abu Mihnaf, Sayf b. 'Umar, Ibn al-Kalbi, 'Awana b. al-Hakam, Nasr b. Muzahim, al-Mada'ini, 'Urwa b. al-Zubayr, al-Zuhri, Ibn Ishaq, Waqidi, Wahb b. Munabbih, Ka'b al-Ahbar, Ibn al-Matni, al Haggag b. al-Minhal, Hisham b. 'Urwa, al-Zubayr b. Bakkar and so forth, in addition to oral accounts that were circulating at the time. In recounting his history, Tabari used numerous channels to give accounts. These are both channels that are given by the same author in a work, such as for example three different accounts that start with the isnad al-Harita.[48]

Texts relating to al-Tabari

It is thus an extremely early witness to the reception of al-Tabari's text-indeed much earlier than the sources that are customarily pressed into service to improve our understanding of the Ta'rikh al-rusul wa-l-muluk, e.g., Miskawayh, Ibn 'Asakir, Ibn al-Athir, and Ibn Khallikan. Second, since al-Azdi was writing in the decades following al-Tabari, his Ta'rikh can say something about the reception of al-Tabari's Ta'rikh among those who immediately followed the great master. That al-Tabari's history was immensely significant we can all agree; but as to precisely how he became so significant there is no clear consensus.8 Third-and returning to Forand's insight-al-Azdi frequently drew on the same authorities tapped by al-Tabari, but whose works are for the most part now lost, such as Abu Ma'shar (170/786), Abu Mikhnaf (157/774), al-Haytham ibn 'Adi (207/822), al-Mada'ini (around 228/843), and 'Umar ibn Shabba (262/878).[49]

In 78.29 the Qur'an says "each thing we enumerate as [or in] a kitab", and al-Tabari appends to the verse by way of elaboration "its number, its amount, and its extent-the knowledge of (any) thing does not escape us" (XXX: 10). This might suggest that al-Tabari considered kitab merely as a metaphor for Allah's knowledge. However, from al-Tabari's comments elsewhere on Allah's knowledge it is quite evident that he is not speaking metaphorically. For example, in 35.11 where the Qur'an states that the length or shortness of a person's life is in a kitab is explained by al-Tabari as "it is in a kitab with Allah, written (maktab) which he computes and knows" (XXII: 71-2).[50]

Al-Tabari reports that al-Mahdi was just about to promote Harun as heir apparent ahead of Musa when he died, and adds by way of corroboration another report that al-Mahdi set off for Masabadhan in a great hurry. However, it may be doubted that al-Mahdi at the time shared the reporter's subsequent knowledge of his imminent demise there, and none of the other reported circumstances of his death suggest that he was in a hurry to go anywhere. On the contrary, the sources in general make it clear that he had gone to Masabadhan for recreation, and they occasionally say so explicitly. Al-Tabari does say explicitly that envoys were sent to the provinces, where they obtained the oath of allegiance not only to al-Hadi as caliph but also to Harun as heir apparent (wali l-'ahd) (38). This was probably the first occasion on which Harun was so acknowledged. Harun himself, with the advice of al-Rabi', sent out these envoys, and all of this must have been presented to his brother on his return as a fait accompli.[51]

After so many exchanges of recrimination with his own men, and after various attempts to regroup what was becoming a progressively disorderly army, 'Ali is reported by Tabari in a most revealing passage to have explained his acceptance of the arbitration as such: "It is no sin but only a failure of judgement." Nothing sums up the moral and religious complexity of the situation better than this sentence. The group that made a big issue of 'Ali's dilemma were the Kharijites, who for reasons of their own could see clearly the religious and political issues involved, who agreed neither with 'Ali nor with his opponent but were in turn incapable of administering a polity of their own. Tabari's account also brings that out very clearly when he relates (p. 115) how the assembled Kharijites, who were quite willing to expound the reasons for their recession from 'Ali's forces, would one by one refuse to take the leadership of their own group, a situation quite characteristic of religious purists when confronted with "dirty" politics.[52]

Realistic depictions alternate with formalized and archetypal narrative. Tabari is careful to give his reports of these conquests a religious frame (expressions such as "Nu'aym wrote to 'Umar about the victory that God had given him" [pp. 25–26] abound), though it is worth noting that Tabari describes the initiation of the campaign in pragmatic rather than ideological terms. He states that 'Umar's decision to invade came as a result of his realization "that Yazdajird was making war on him every year and when it was suggested to him that he would continue to do this until he was driven out of his kingdom" (p. 2). The religious frame in Tabari's account is therefore not inflexible or exclusive.[53]

Early Islam scholars

Early Islamic scholars
Muhammad (570–632) prepared the Constitution of Medina, taught the Quran, and advised his companions
`Abd Allah bin Masud (died 650) taughtAli (607-661) fourth caliph taughtAisha, Muhammad's wife and Abu Bakr's daughter taughtAbd Allah ibn Abbas (618-687) taughtZayd ibn Thabit (610-660) taughtUmar (579-644) second caliph taughtAbu Hurairah (603 – 681) taught
Alqama ibn Qays (died 681) taught
Husayn ibn Ali (626–680) taughtQasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr (657-725) taught and raised by AishaUrwah ibn Zubayr (died 713) taught by Aisha, he then taughtSaid ibn al-Musayyib (637-715) taughtAbdullah ibn Umar (614-693) taughtAbd Allah ibn al-Zubayr (624-692) taught by Aisha, he then taught
Ibrahim al-Nakha’i taught
Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin (659–712) taught
Hisham ibn Urwah (667-772) taughtIbn Shihab al-Zuhri (died 741) taughtSalim ibn Abd-Allah ibn Umar taughtUmar ibn Abdul Aziz (682-720) raised and taught by Abdullah ibn Umar
Hammad bin ibi Sulman taught
Muhammad al-Baqir (676-733) taughtFarwah bint al-Qasim Abu Bakr's great grand daughter Jafar's mother
Abu Hanifa (699 — 767) wrote Al Fiqh Al Akbar and Kitab Al-Athar, jurisprudence followed by Sunni, Sunni Sufi, Barelvi, Deobandi, Zaidiyyah Shia and originally by the Fatimid and taughtZayd ibn Ali (695-740)Ja'far bin Muhammad Al-Baqir (702–765) Ali's and Abu Bakr's great great grand son taughtMalik ibn Anas (711 – 795) wrote Muwatta, jurisprudence from early Medina period now mostly followed by Sunni in Africa and taught
Al-Waqidi (748 – 822) wrote history books like Kitab al-Tarikh wa al-Maghazi, student of Malik ibn AnasAbu Muhammad Abdullah ibn Abdul Hakam (died 829) wrote biographies and history books, student of Malik ibn Anas
Abu Yusuf (729-798) wrote Usul al-fiqhMuhammad al-Shaybani (749–805)
Al-Shafi‘i (767—820) wrote Al-Risala, jurisprudence followed by Sunni and taughtIsmail ibn Ibrahim
Ali ibn al-Madini (778–849) wrote The Book of Knowledge of the Companions
Ibn Hisham (died 833) wrote early history and As-Sirah an-Nabawiyyah, Muhammad's biography
Isma'il ibn Jafar (719-775)Musa al-Kadhim (745-799)
Ahmad ibn Hanbal (780—855) wrote Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal jurisprudence followed by Sunni and hadith booksMuhammad al-Bukhari (810-870) wrote Sahih al-Bukhari hadith booksMuslim ibn al-Hajjaj (815-875) wrote Sahih Muslim hadith booksMuhammad ibn Isa at-Tirmidhi (824-892) wrote Jami` at-Tirmidhi hadith booksAl-Baladhuri (died 892) wrote early history Futuh al-Buldan, Genealogies of the Nobles
Ibn Majah (824- 887) wrote Sunan ibn Majah hadith book
Abu Dawood (817–889) wrote Sunan Abu Dawood Hadith Book
Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni (864- 941) wrote Kitab al-Kafi hadith book followed by Twelver Shia
Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (838–923) wrote History of the Prophets and Kings, Tafsir al-Tabari
Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari (874–936) wrote Maqālāt al-islāmīyīn, Kitāb al-luma, Kitāb al-ibāna 'an usūl al-diyāna
Ibn Babawayh (923-991) wrote Man la yahduruhu al-Faqih jurisprudence followed by Twelver Shia
Sharif Razi (930-977) wrote Nahj al-Balagha followed by Twelver Shia
Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (1201-1274) wrote jurisprudence books followed by Ismaili and Twelver Shia
Al-Ghazali (1058–1111) wrote The Niche for Lights, The Incoherence of the Philosophers, The Alchemy of Happiness on Sufism
Rumi (1207-1273) wrote Masnavi, Diwan-e Shams-e Tabrizi on Sufism
Key: Some of Muhammad's CompanionsKey: Taught in MedinaKey: Taught in IraqKey: Worked in SyriaKey: Travelled extensively collecting the sayings of Muhammad and compiled books of hadithKey: Worked in Iran

See also



  1. ^ Jonathan A.C. Brown (2007), The Canonization of al-Bukhārī and Muslim: The Formation and Function of the Sunnī Ḥadīth Canon, p. 151. Brill Publishers. ISBN 9789004158399.
  2. ^ Daniel, Elton L. "ṬABARI, ABU JAʿFAR MOḤAMMAD B. JARIR". ENCYCLOPÆDIA IRANICA. Retrieved 4 December 2016. of the most eminent Iranian scholars of the early Abbasid era...
  3. ^ Gaston Wiet, etc, "The Great Medieval Civilizations: cultural and scientific development. Volume 3. The great medieval civilizations. Part 1", Published by Allen and Unwin, 1975. pg 722:In the meantime another author, Tabari, Persian by origin, had been unobtrusively at work on two monumental pieces of writing, a commentary on the Koran ..
  4. ^ Lindsay Jones (ed.), Encyclopedia of religion, volume 13, Macmillan Reference USA, 2005, p. 8943
  5. ^ A.C. Brown, Jonathan (2014). Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet's Legacy. Oneworld Publications. p. 193. ISBN 978-1780744209. Although it eventually became extinct, Tabari's madhhab flourished among Sunni ulama for two centuries after his death.
  6. ^ Franz Rosenthal, trans., The History of al-Ţabarī (State University of New York Press, 1989), Volume 1, pp. 10–11
  7. ^ Rosenthal, pp. 15–16
  8. ^ Rosenthal, p. 11
  9. ^ Rosenthal, p. 16
  10. ^ a b Rosenthal, p. 17
  11. ^ Devin J. Stewart, "Muhammad b. Jarir al-Tabari's al-Bayan 'an Usul al-Ahkam and the Genre of Usul al-Fiqh in Ninth Century Baghdad," pg. 325. Taken from Abbasid Studies: Occasional Papers of the School of Abbasid Studies, Cambridge, 6–10 January 2002. Edited by James Montgomery. Leuven: Peeters Publishers and the Department of Oriental Studies, 2004.
  12. ^ Rosenthal, p. 18
  13. ^ a b c Rosenthal, p. 19
  14. ^ a b Rosenthal, p. 20
  15. ^ Ibn al-Nadim, al-Fihrist, pg. 291. Ed. Rida Tajaddud. Tehran: Dar al-Masirah, 1988.
  16. ^ Christopher Melchert, The Formation of the Sunni Schools of Law: 9th–10th Centuries C.E., pg. 185. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 1997.
  17. ^ Yaqut al-Hamawi, Irshad, vol. 18, pg. 78.
  18. ^ Stewart, Tabari, p. 326.
  19. ^ al-Hamawi, vol. 18, pg. 57–58.
  20. ^ a b Rosenthal, p. 21
  21. ^ a b Rosenthal, p. 22
  22. ^ Rosenthal, p. 23
  23. ^ Rosenthal, p. 27
  24. ^ Rosenthal, p. 31
  25. ^ Rosenthal, p. 14
  26. ^ History of the Prophets and Kings, trans. Franz Rosenthal. Vol. 1: General Introduction and From the Creation to the Flood, pg. 52. Albany: SUNY Press, 1989.
  27. ^ Boaz Shoshan, Poetics of Islamic Historiography: Deconstructing Ṭabarī's History, introductio, pg. xxvi. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2004. ISBN 9004137939
  28. ^ Rosenthal, p. 36
  29. ^ Saliba, George. The History of Al-Ṭabarī = Taʻrīkh al-rusul wa ʻl-mulūk. Vol. XXXVIII. New York: State University of New York, 1985. Print.
  30. ^ Yaqut al-Hamawi, Irshad, vol. 18, pg. 57-58.
  31. ^ History of the Prophets and Kings, General Introduction, And, From the Creation to the Flood, pg. 73. Trsn. Franz Rosenthal. SUNY Press, 1989. ISBN 9781438417837
  32. ^ a b c History, trns. Franz Rosenthal, pg. 78.
  33. ^ Joel L. Kraemer, Humanism in the Renaissance of Islam: The Cultural Revival During the Buyid Age, pg. 61. Volume 7 of Studies in Islamic culture and history. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 1992. ISBN 9789004097360
  34. ^ Joel L. Kraemer, pg. 62.
  35. ^ Rosenthal, p. 40
  36. ^ The History of al-Tabari Vol. 1, p. 46
  37. ^ Rosenthal, p. 41
  38. ^ Rosenthal, p. 4o
  39. ^ Rosenthal, p. 78
  40. ^ Rosenthal, p. 55
  41. ^ Rosenthal, p. 61
  42. ^ Rosenthal, p. 56
  43. ^ Rosenthal, p. 63
  44. ^ Rosenthal, p. 64
  45. ^ Rosenthal, p. 66
  46. ^ Devin J. Stewart, "Muhammad b. Jarir al-Tabari's al-Bayan 'an Usul al-Ahkam and the Genre of Usul al-Fiqh in Ninth Century Baghdad," pg. 339. Taken from Abbasid Studies: Occasional Papers of the School of Abbasid Studies, Cambridge, 6–10 January 2002. Edited by James Montgomery. Leuven: Peeters Publishers and the Department of Oriental Studies, 2004.
  47. ^ The History of al-Tabari (Tarikh al-Rusul Walmuluk). Vol. XXVIII: Abbasid Authority Affirmed, the Early Years of al-Mansur A.D. 753-763/A.H. 136–145 by Al-Tabari (Abu Jafar Muhammad Ibn Jarir); Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Review by: Daniel, Elton L. (1997). "Review". International Journal of Middle East Studies. 29 (2): 287–289. JSTOR 164026.
  48. ^ Osman, Ghada. "ORAL VS. WRITTEN TRANSMISSION: THE CASE OF ṬABARĪ AND IBN SAʿD." Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 15 May 2012.
  49. ^ A Local Historian's Debt to al-Ṭabarī: The Case of al-Azdī's Ta'rīkh al-Mawṣil, Chase F. Robinson, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 126, No. 4 (October – December 2006), pp. 521–535, Published by: American Oriental Society, Article Stable URL:
  50. ^ Ṭabarī's Exegesis of the Qur'ānic Term al-Kitāb, Herbert Berg, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 63, No. 4 (Winter 1995), pp. 761–774, Published by: Oxford University Press, Article Stable URL:
  51. ^ "The Succession to the Caliph Mūsā al-Hādī", Richard Kimber, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 121, No. 3 (July – September 2001), pp. 428–448, Published by: American Oriental Society, Article Stable URL:
  52. ^ Tarikh al-rusul wa-l-muluk (History of Prophets and Kings), the History of al-Tabari, vol. XVII, the First Civil War by Abu Ja'far Jarir Ibn Muhammad al-Tabari; G. R. Hawting, Review by: George Saliba, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 30, No. 1 (February 1998), pp. 125–127, Published by: Cambridge University Press, Article Stable URL:
  53. ^ The History of al-Tabari (Tarikh al-rusul wal-muluk). Vol. XIV: The Conquest of Iran by al-Tabari; G. Rex Smith, Review by: Hassan I. Mneimneh, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 28, No. 2 (May 1996), pp. 262–264, Published by: Cambridge University Press, Article Stable URL:


  • C. E. Bosworth, "al-Tabari, Abu Djafar Muhammad b. Djarir b. Yazid" in P. J. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W. P. Heinrichs et al., Encyclopædia of Islam, 2nd Edition. (Leiden: E. J. Brill) 12 Vols. published between 1960 and 2005.
  • Ulrika Mårtensson, "al-Tabari", in Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God, Edited by C. Fitzpatrick and A. Walker, Santa Barbara, ABC-CLIO, 2014, (2 vols.).
  • Franz Rosenthal, (translator), The History of al-Ţabarī, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989, Volume 1.
  • Ehsan Yar-Shater, ed., The History of al-Ţabarī, Albany: State University of New York Press, 40 Vols. published between 1989 and 2007 ISBN 0-88706-563-5

External links

Abu al-Hasan al-Tabari

Abu al-Hasan Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Tabari, born in Amol, was a 10th-century Tabari(mazenderani) physician from Tabaristan.

He was the physician of Rukn al-Dawla, a Buyid ruler.

He was author of a compendium of medicine Kitab al-mu'alaja al-buqratiya (Hippocratic treatments), in ten books. It is extant only in Arabic language.

Abū al‐ʿUqūl

Abū al‐ʿUqūl Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al‐Ṭabarī (flourished in Yemen during the 14th century) was a leading astronomer in Ta'izz and the first teacher of astronomy at the Muʾayyadiyya Madrasa. Of Iranian origin, he is known for compiling the largest single corpus of tables for astronomical timekeeping in a specific latitude during medieval times, with over 100,000 entries. Another interesting feature of his work was determining the latitude of Ta'izz as 13° 37' (where the actual is 13° 35').


Abu Muhammad Musa ibn Mahdi al-Hadi (Arabic: أبو محمد موسى بن المهدي الهادي‎) (born: 147 AH (764 AD); died: 170 AH (786 AD)) was the fourth Abbasid caliph who succeeded his father Al-Mahdi and ruled from 169 AH (785 AD) until his death in 170 AH (786 AD).


Al-Husayn ibn Ibrahim ibn al-Hasan ibn Khurshid al-Tabari al-Natili al-Amuli (الحسين بن ابراهيم بن الحسن بن خورشيد الطبري النطيلي الآملی), was a Persian physician from Tabaristan.

He flourished in the 10th century, and was a translator of Greek into Arabic. He dedicated, in 990-991AD, an improved translation of Dioscorides' De Materia Medica to the Prince Abu Ali al-Samjuri.

Al-Tabari (disambiguation)

The name Tabari or al-Tabari means simply "from Tabaristan", an Iranian province corresponding to parts of modern Iranian province of Mazandaran.

More than one scholar is known by this nisbat:

Al-Tabari, Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (838-923), Persian historian and theologian (the most famous and widely influential person called al-Tabari)

Omar Tiberiades (d. c. 815), Persian astrologer and architect

Ali ibn Sahl Rabban al-Tabari, "Ali the scholar from Tabiristan" (838-870 AD) was the writer of a medical encyclopedia and the teacher of the scholar-physician Zakariya al-Razi

Abul Hasan al-Tabari, 10th century Iranian physician

Al-Tabarani, (c. 821-918 CE), recorder of numerous ahadeeth

Ali ibn Sahl Rabban al-Tabari

Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn Sahl Rabban al-Tabari (Persian: علی ابن سهل ربان طبری‎) (c. 838 – c. 870 CE; also given as 810–855 or 808–864 also 783–858), was a Persian Muslim scholar, physician and psychologist, who produced one of the first encyclopedia of medicine entitled Firdous al-Hikmah ("Paradise of wisdom").

Capture of Faruriyyah

The Capture of Faruriyyah in 862 was a military campaign conducted by the Abbasid Caliphate against the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire. Planned during the short caliphate of al-Muntasir (r. 861–862), it was commanded by the Turkish general Wasif, and was intended to strike against Byzantine defensive positions in southern Anatolia. Originally envisioned as a major multi-year operation, the campaign was cut short in the aftermath of the death of al-Muntasir, and only scored a minor success with the capture of the fortress of Faruriyyah.

History of the Prophets and Kings

The History of the Prophets and Kings (Arabic: تاريخ الرسل والملوك‎ Tārīkh al-Rusul wa al-Mulūk), more commonly known as Tarikh al-Tabari (تاريخ الطبري) or Tarikh-i Tabari (Persian: تاریخ طبری‎) is an Arabic-language historical chronicle written by the Persian historian Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (838-923). It begins with the Creation to 915 AD, and contains detail concerning Muslim and Middle Eastern history. An al-Sila, appendix or continuation, was written by Abu Abdullah b. Ahmad b. Ja'far al-Farghani, a Turk student of al-Tabari.

Ibn Hisham

Abu Muhammad 'Abd al-Malik bin Hisham ibn Ayyub al-Himyari (Arabic: أبو محمد عبدالمالك بن هشام‎), or Ibn Hisham, edited the biography of Islamic prophet Muhammad written by Ibn Ishaq. As a master of Arabic philology he was compared to Sibawayh.

Ibn Ishaq

Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq ibn Yasār ibn Khiyār (Arabic pronunciation: [ɪsˈħɑːq]; according to some sources, ibn Khabbār, or Kūmān, or Kūtān, Arabic: محمد بن إسحاق بن يسار بن خيار‎, or simply ibn Isḥaq, ابن إسحاق, meaning "the son of Isaac"; died 767 or 761) was an Arab Muslim historian and hagiographer. Ibn Ishaq collected oral traditions that formed the basis of an important biography of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.


Jariri is the name given to a short-lived school of fiqh that was derived from the work of al-Tabari, the 9th and 10th-century Persian Muslim scholar in Baghdad. Although it eventually became extinct, al-Tabari's madhhab flourished among Sunni ulama for two centuries after his death.

Joseph in Islam

Yūsuf ibn Yaʿqūb ibn Is-ḥāq ibn Ibrāhīm (Arabic: يُـوسـف ابـن يَـعـقـوب ابـن إِسـحـاق ابـن إِبـراهـيـم‎) is a Nabi (Arabic: نَـبِي‎, Prophet) mentioned in the Qurʾān, the scripture of Islam, and corresponds to Joseph (son of Jacob), a person from the Tanakh, the Jewish religious scripture, and the Christian Bible, who was estimated to have lived in the 16th century BCE. It is one of the common names in the Middle East and among Muslim nations. Of all of Jacob's children, Joseph was the one given the gift of prophecy. Although the narratives of other prophets are mentioned in various Surahs, the complete narrative of Joseph is given only in one Surah, Yusuf, making it unique. It is said to be the most detailed narrative in the Qur'an and bears more details than the Biblical counterpart.Yusuf is believed to have been the eleventh son of Yaʿqūb (Arabic: يَـعـقـوب‎, Jacob), and, according to many scholars, his favorite. According to Ibn Kathir, "Jacob had twelve sons who were the eponymous ancestors of the tribes of the Israelites. The noblest, the most exalted, the greatest of them was Joseph." The story begins with Joseph revealing a ru'ya (Arabic: رُؤيـا‎, 'dream' or 'vision') to his father, which Jacob recognizes. In addition to the role of God in his life, the story of Yusuf and Zulaikha (Potiphar's wife of the Old Testament) became a popular subject in Persian literature, where it became considerably elaborated over the centuries. More recently, and relying on the Quran and Muslim, Christian and Jewish scholarly sources, Yusuf's story has been depicted in a 45-part TV series (originally in Persian but also dubbed in multiple other languages).

List of Umayyad governors of Iraq

This is a list of governors of the Umayyad province of Iraq.

Manaf (deity)

Manaf (Arabic: مناف‎) was a pre-Islamic Arabian deity, and currently a given name. Personal names incorporating the name Manaf such as "Abd Manaf" show that the deity was widespread among the tribes of Quraysh, Hudhayl, and Tamim.Although famous scholar Al-Tabari calls Manaf "one of the greatest deities of Mecca," very little information is available on the subject. It is sometimes said that women, who normally touched his image as a token of blessing, kept away from it during menstruation.

Today, "Manaf" is a boy name infrequently given mostly in the Arab world. Despite being a boy's name, it can also be given to girls; while "Abd Manaf" has since become virtually unused.

Sahl ibn Bishr

Sahl ibn Bishr al-Israili (c. 786–c. 845), also known as Rabban al-Tabari and Haya al-Yahudi ("the Jew"), was a Syriac Christian astrologer, astronomer and mathematician from Tabaristan. He was the father of Ali ibn Sahl the famous scientist and physician, who became a convert to Islam.He served as astrologer to the governor of Khuristan and then to the vizier of Baghdad. He wrote books on astronomy, astrology, and arithmetic, all in Arabic.

South Arabia

South Arabia is a historical region that consists of the southern region of the Arabian Peninsula, mainly centered in what is now the Republic of Yemen, yet it has also historically included Najran, Jizan, and 'Asir, which are presently in Saudi Arabia, and the Dhofar of present-day Oman.

South Arabia is inhabited by people possessing distinctive linguistic and ethnic affinities, as well as traditions and culture, transcending recent political boundaries. It is roughly the same as Greater Yemen.

Tafsir al-Tabari

Jāmiʿ al-bayān ʿan taʾwīl āy al-Qurʾān (Arabic: جامع البيان عن تأويل آي القرآن‎, lit. 'Collection of statements on interpretation of verses of the Qur'an', also written with fī in place of ʿan), popularly Tafsīr al-Ṭabarī (Arabic: تفسير الطبري‎), is a Sunni tafsir by the Persian scholar Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (838–923). It immediately won high regard and retained its importance for scholars to the present day. It is the earliest major running commentary of the Quran to have survived in its original form. Like his history, al-Tabari's tafsir is notable for its comprehensiveness and citation of multiple, often conflicting sources. The book was translated into Persian by a group of scholars from Transoxania on commission of the Samanid king, Mansur I (961–976).

Tahdhib al-Athar

Tahdhīb al-Āthār (Arabic: تهذيب الﺁثار‎) is a collection of hadith by Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari. Al-Kattani described it as one of al-Tabari's amazing works, although, he did not complete it.

Umar at Fatimah's house

Umar at Fatimah's house refers to the event where Umar and his supporters went to the house of Fatimah, the daughter of the prophet Muhammad, in order to get the allegiance of Ali and his followers after the Saqifah assembly chose Abu Bakr as caliph. This event has been recorded in both Shia and Sunni books. According to Shia beliefs it is said to be the cause of Fatimah's miscarriage of Muhsin ibn Ali, as well as Fatimah's death shortly after.

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