Abu Bakr Ibn Sayyid al-Nās

Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Yahya bin Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Sayyid al-Nas al-Ya'mari, better known as Abu Bakr Ibn Sayyid al-Nās, was a Medieval Muslim theologian. He was the grandfather of Fatḥ al-Din Ibn Sayyid al-Nās, though he died before ever meeting his grandson.

Ibn Sayyid al-Nas
EraMedieval era
RegionNorth Africa


The Ya'mari were an Arab tribe who settled down in Úbeda in the region of Jaén,[1] though Ibn Sayyid al-Nas himself was born in Seville[2] in 1200CE.[3] The family eventually settled in Tunis due to fighting between Christians and Muslims in Spain, where Ibn Sayyid al-Nas had a son. His grandson, also a Muslim theologian and also called Ibn Sayyid al-Nas, was born in Egypt several years after the death of the elder Ibn Sayyid al-Nas.[4]

Ibn Sayyid al-Nas studied religion from an early age. He began his education during his early teens under theologians such as Abu al-Abbas al-Nabati, from whom he learned Muslim jurisprudence on the Zahiri rite for over thirty years.[2] He died in Tunis on June 24, 1261.[3][5]


Ibn Sayyid al-Nas spent a brief period of time in Aznalcázar before moving to North Africa and accepting positions as the imam of mosques in Tangier and later Béjaïa.[2] When his reputation spread into Africa, the Hafsid Caliph Muhammad I al-Mustansir invited him to Tunis where he was a favored scholar of the court until his death.[6] There was a measure of controversy regarding the numerous Ijazah permissions to teach of Ibn Sayyid al-Nas; quite a few of the written permissions were granted by his teacher al-Nabati from al-Nabati's own teachers, whom Ibn Sayyid al-Nas did not meet or study with personally.[7] Ibn Sayyid al-Nas was said to have memorized over ten thousand hadith, or recorded statements of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, along with their chains of authentication; his students were often awed by his ability to accurately recall all of this from memory.[7]


  1. ^ Ibn Hazm, Jamharat ansab al-arab, pg. 293. Ed. Abd al-Salam Muhammad Harun. Cairo: 1982.
  2. ^ a b c Camilla Adang, "Zahiris of Almohad Times." Taken from Biografias Almohades, pg. 465. Eds. Maria Luisa Avila and Maribel Fierro. Part of Estudios Onomastico-Biograficos de Al-Andalus, vol. X. Madrid-Granada: Spanish National Research Council, 2000.
  3. ^ a b Franz Rosenthal, Ibn Sayyid al-Nās Archived 2013-11-03 at the Wayback Machine. Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd ed. Ed. P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill Online. Accessed 30 October 2013.
  4. ^ Alexander D. Knysh, Ibn 'Arabi in the Later Islamic Tradition: The Making of a Polemical Image in Medieval Islam, pg. 67. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1999. ISBN 9780791439678
  5. ^ Scott C. Lucas, Constructive Critics, Ḥadīth Literature, and the Articulation of Sunnī Islam: The Legacy of the Generation of Ibn Saʻd, Ibn Maʻīn, and Ibn Ḥanbal, pg. 110. Volume 51 of Islamic History and Civilization. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2004. ISBN 9789004133198
  6. ^ Adang, pg. 466.
  7. ^ a b Adang, pg. 468.