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Khaldun, Ibn (732–808 ah/1332–1406)

Syed Farid Alatas

Subject History
Sociology » Sociological and Social Theory, Sociology of Religion

Place Africa » Northern Africa

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1300-1399

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Walī al-Dīn ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad ibn Khaldūn al-Tūnisī al-Hadhramī was born in Tunis on 1 Ramadhan of the Muslim year into an Arab family which originated from the Hadhramaut, Yemen and subsequently settled in Seville at the beginning of the Arab conquest of Spain. His ancestors left Spain for North Africa after the Reconquista and settled in Tunis in the seventh/thirteenth century. Ibn Khaldun was a scholar, teacher, and judge but is best known from the nineteenth century as the founder of historiography and sociology. Ibn Khaldun received a customary education in the traditional sciences, after which he held posts in various courts in North Africa and Spain. After a number of unsuccessful stints in office he withdrew into seclusion to write his Muqaddimah , a prolegomenon to the study of history that was completed in 1378 and which introduces what he believed to be a new science he called ‘ilm al-‘umrān al-basharī (science of civilization) or ‘ilm al-ijtimā‘al-insānī (science of human society). Ibn Khaldun's chief works are the Kitab al-‘Ibar wa Dīwān al-Mubtada’ wa al-Khabar fī Ayyām al-‘Arab wa al-‘Ajam wa al-Barbar wa man Āsarahum min Dhawī al-Sultān al-Akbar ( Book of Examples and the Collection of Origins of the History of the Arabs and Berbers ); Muqaddimah ( Prolegomenon ); Lubāb al-Muhassal fī usūl al-dīn ( The Resumé of the Compendium in the Fundamentals ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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