Abu Bakr al-Turtushi
'Abu Bakr Muhammad at-Turtushi (Arabic: ابو بكر محمد بن الوليد الطرطوشي) (1059 – 1126 CE; 451 AH – 520 AH ), better known as At-Turtushi was one of the most prominent Andalusian political philosophers of the twelfth century. His book Kitāb Sirāj al-Mulūk (The Lamp of Kings) was one of the most important works of political theory to be produced in the medieval Islamic world. At-Turtushi was also an accomplished jurist in the Maliki school.
Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn al-Walid at-Turtushi
|Born||1059 CE (451 AH)|
Tortosa, Taifa of Tortosa
|Died||1126 CE (520 AH)|
Alexandria, Fatimid Caliphate
|Region||Al-Andalus and Egypt|
|Main interest(s)||Fiqh Political Theory|
|Notable work(s)||Siraj al-Muluk fi Suluk al-Muluk (The Lamp of Kings for the Qualities of Kingmanship)|
ِAbu Bakr was born in Tortosa in 1059 in the northern region of Al-Andalus at the Ebro Delta, at a time when the region had become increasingly fragmented and was divided into various taifa kingdoms. He first traveled to Zaragoza, where he became a student under Abu al-Walid al-Baji, a famous scholar and poet. While in Spain, he also familiarised himself with the philosophical and political treatises of the Andalusian polymath Ibn Hazm.
He travelled for knowledge, seeking to educate himself from various scholars in different part of the Muslim world and went as far east as Baghdad. On his way he also stopped at Damascus, Aleppo, Cairo, and Alexandria. He eventually settled in Fatimid Alexandria, where he taught at a madrassa. At-Turtushi strongly opposed the Ismaili ideology of the Fatimid dynasty in Egypt. He also issued a fatwa for Yusuf Ibn Tashfin, the Almoravid ruler of Al-Andulus (Muslim Spain) that allowed him to invade Spain and depose of the divided Taifa kingdoms. His most famous work was Siraj al-Muluk (سراج الملوك) (The Lamp of Kings) an important treatise on political theory.
- Moshe Gil, A History of Palestine, 634–1099, p 424. ISBN 0521599849
- Abu Bakr al-Turtushi’s “Siraj al-Muluk”: A Masterpiece of Andalusi Political Philosophy Archived December 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine