Ahmed Mohammed al-Maqqari

Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad al-Maqqarī al-Tilmisānī (or al-Maḳḳarī) (أحمد المقري التلمساني, 1632-1577)[1] — was an Algerian scholar, biographer and historian who is best known for his Nafḥ al-ṭīb,S a compendium of the history of Al-Andalus which provided a basis for the scholarly research on the subject until the twentieth century.

Ahmed Mohammed al-Maqqari
Tlemcen, Algeria
Cairo, Egypt
Academic background
InfluencesMuhammad al-Bukhari,
Academic work
Main interestsHistory of Al Andalus, Ṣaḥīḥ of Muhammad al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, the muwaṭṭa', the Ash-Shifa, and life of Ibn al-Khatib
Notable worksRawdat al-As and Nafḥ al-ṭīb


A native of Tlemcen and from a prominent intellectual family originally from the village of Maqqara, near M'sila in Algeria.[1] After his early education in Tlemcen, al-Maqqari travelled to Fes in Morocco and then to Marrakech, following the court of Ahmad al-Mansur. On al-Mansur's death in 1603, al-Maqqari established himself in Fes, where he was appointed both as mufti and as the imam of the Qarawiyyin mosque by al-Mansour's successor, Zidan Abu Maali.

In 1617, he left for the East, possibly following a quarrel with the local ruler, and took up residence in Cairo, where he composed his best known work, Nafḥ al-ṭīb.[1] In 1620 he visited Jerusalem and Damascus, and made five pilgrimages over six years. At Mecca and Medina he gave popular lectures on ḥadīth. In 1628 he was again in Damascus, where he continued his lectures on Muhammad al-Bukhari's collection of Ḥadīth ('Traditions'), and spoke much of the glories of Muslim Iberia, and received the impulse to write his work on this subject later. That year he returned to Cairo and spent a year in writing his history of Spain from material he had mainly collected at the Sa'dian library in Marrakesh— surviving MSS are now held in part at El Escorial, Madrid. He died in 1632 during preparations to settle in Damascus.[2]


  • Rawdat al-As al-'Aatirat al-Anfaas fi Dhikar men Laqaituhu min Aa'alaam Marrakesh wa Fes (روضة الآس العاطرة الأنفاس في ذكر من لقيته من أعلام الحضرتين: مراكش وفاس) - 'The Garden of Myrtle of Aromatic Scents and the Memories of The Scholars (ulema) Whom I Met in the Two Metropolises: Marrakesh and Fes' : Al-Maqqarī dedicated this to his patron Ahmad al-Mansur.
  • Nafḥ al-ṭīb min Ghusni il-Andalus ar-Ratiib wa Dhikar Waziiriha Lisaan Id-Diin Ibn il-Khatteeb) (نفح الطيب من غصن الأندلس الرطيب وذكر وزيرها لسان الدين بن الخطيب) - 'The Breath of Perfume from the Branch of Flourishing Al-Andalus and Memories of its Vizier Lisan ud-Din ibn ul-Khattib': His greatest work in two-parts; i) a history of Muslim Iberia compiled from descriptions by many authors; published by William Wright, Christoph Krehl, Reinhart Dozy and Gustave Dugat as Analectes sur l'histoire et la littérature des Arabes d'Espagne (1855–1861),[3] and in an abridged English translation by Pascual de Gayangos (1840–1843) titled The history of the Muhammadan dynasties in Spain.[2]; ii) a biography of Ibn al-Khatib. A complete Arabic edition was published at Bulaq (1863), Cairo (1885) and Beirut (1968). A complete English translation is yet to be published.


  • Al-Makkari, القسم الأول من كتاب نفح الطيب, من غصن الأندلس الرطيب, و ذكر وزيرها لسان الدين بن الخطيب لأبي العباس أحمد بن محمد المقري [al-Qism al-awwal min kitāb nafḥ al-ṭīb, min ghuṣn al-Andalus al-raṭīb, wa-dhikr wazīrihā Lisān al-Dīn ibn al-Khaṭīb li-Abī al-ʻAbbās Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad al-Maqarrī]/Analectes sur l'histoire et la littĕrature des Arabes d'Espagne, ed. by R. Dozy and G. Dugat, L. Krehl and W. Wright, 2 vols in four parts (Leiden: Brill, 1855-61), 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2 (edition of the nafḥ al-ṭīb)
  • al-Maqqarı̄, Nafḥ al-Ṭı̄b min Ghuṣn al-Andalus al-Raṭı̄b, ed. by I. ‘Abbās (Beirut: Dār Ṣādir, 1968)


1.^ Nafḥ al-ṭīb min ghuṣn al-Andalus al-raṭīb wa-dhikr waziriha Lisān al-Dīn ibn al-Khaṭīb (نفح الطيب من غصن الأندلس الرطيب وذكر وزيرها لسان الدين بن الخطيب)


  1. ^ a b c Josef W. Meri (31 October 2005). Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. p. 478. ISBN 978-1-135-45603-0.
  2. ^ a b   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainThatcher, Griffithes Wheeler (1911). "Maqqarī". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 17 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 664–665.
  3. ^ Maqqarī (al-) 1855.
  • Al-Maqqari's "Breath Of Perfumes", in: Charles F. Horne, Sacred Books and Early Literature of the East: Medieval Arabic, Moorish, and Turkish, ISBN 0-7661-0001-4.
  • Makkari (al-), Ahmed ibn Mohammed (2002). The History of the Mohammedan Dynasties in Spain. Royal Asiatic Society Books.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

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