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Ibn al-Dhahabī, he was Shams al-Dīn Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad ibn ʿUthmān ibn Qāymāẓ ibn ʿAbdallāh al-Turkumānī al-Fāriqī al-Dimashqī, (محمد بن احمد بن عثمان بن قيم ، أبو عبد الله شمس الدين الذهبي), (5 October 1274 – 3 February 1348[3]), a Shafi'i Muhaddith and historian of Islam.

Born5 October 1274
Died3 February 1348 (aged 73)
EraMedieval Era (Middle Ages)
Main interest(s)History, Fiqh, Hadith
Muslim leader


Al-Dhahabi was born in Damascus on 5 October 1274. His ancestry was Turkmen from Mayyafariqin, northeast of Diyar bakr. At some point, they moved to Damascus.[4] His name Ibn al-Dhahabi (son of the goldsmith) reveals his father's profession. He began his study of hadith at age eighteen, travelling from Damascus to Baalbek, Homs, Hama, Aleppo, Nabulus, Cairo, Alexandria, Jerusalem, Hijaz, and elsewhere, before returning to Damascus to teach and write. He authored many works and achieved wide renown as a perspicuous critic and expert examiner of the hadith. He wrote an encyclopedic biographical history, and was the foremost authority on the canonical readings of the Qur'an. He studied under more than 100 women.[5] At Baalbek Zaynab bint ʿUmar b. al-Kindī was among his most influential teachers.[6]

Al-Dhahabi lost his sight two years before he died, leaving three children: the eldest, his daughter, Amat al-`Aziz, and his two sons, `Abd Allah and Abu Hurayra `Abd al-Rahman. The latter son taught the hadith masters Ibn Nasir-ud-din al-Damishqi[7] and Ibn Hajar, and through them transmitted several works authored or narrated by his father.


Among al-Dhahabi's most notable teachers in hadith, fiqh and aqida:

  • Abd al-Khaliq bin ʿUlwān
  • Zaynab bint ʿUmar bin al-Kindī
  • Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali ibn Mas‘ud ibn Nafis al-Musali
  • Ibn Taymiyyah Taqi ad-Din Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah
  • Ibn al-Zahiri, Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn `Abd Allah al-Halabi
  • Sharaf-ud-din Abd al-Mu'min ibn Khalaf al-Dimyati, the foremost Egyptian authority on hadith in his time
  • Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Daqiq al-'Id, whom he identified in his youth as Abu al-Fath al-Qushayri, later as Ibn Wahb.[8]
  • Jamal-ud-din Abu al-Ma`ali Muhammad ibn `Ali al-Ansari al-Zamalkani al-Damishqi al-Shafi`i (d. 727), whom he called "Qadi al-Qudat, the Paragon of Islam, the standard-bearer of the Sunna, my shaykh".
  • Ahmad ibn Ishaq ibn Muhammad al-Abarquhi al-Misri (d. 701), from which al-Dhahabi received the Suhrawardi Sufi path.[9]
  • Ibn al-Kharrat al-Dawalibi

Famous StudentsEdit


Dhahabi authored nearly a hundred works, some substantial. His classification of Pre-Islamic Arabian medical practice and prophetic medicine revealed by the Muslim prophet Muhammad is aggregated with ideas and terminologies from Ancient Greek medicine, Hippocrates and Ibn Sina, of whom he quotes heavily.[11]

Popular WorksEdit

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  1. ^ a b Halverson, Jeffry R. (2010). Theology and Creed in Sunni Islam. Pelgrave Macmillan. p. 43. ISBN 9781137473578.
  2. ^ Spevack, Aaron (2014). The Archetypal Sunni Scholar: Law, Theology, and Mysticism in the Synthesis of Al-Bajuri. State University of New York Press. p. 169. ISBN 978-1-4384-5370-5.
  3. ^ Hoberman, Barry (September–October 1982). "The Battle of Talas", Saudi Aramco World, p. 26-31. Indiana University.
  4. ^ Bori, Caterina (2016). "al- Dhahabī". In Fleet, Kate; Krämer, Gudrun; Matringe, Denis; Nawas, John; Rowson, Everett (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam (3rd ed.). Brill Publishers. p. 73. ISBN 9789004305748.
  5. ^ The Female Teachers of the Historian of Islam: al-Ḏh̲ahabī (PDF)
  6. ^ " al-Ḏh̲ahabī." Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Brill Online , 2012. Reference. Princeton University Library. 09 June 2012
  7. ^ al-Sakhawi, al-Daw' al-Lami` (8:103).
  8. ^ Cf. al-`Uluw (Abu al-Fath) and al-Muqiza (Ibn Wahb).
  9. ^ Siyar A`lam al-Nubala [SAN] (17:118–119 #6084, 16:300–302 #5655).
  10. ^ Fozia Bora, Writing History in the Medieval Islamic World: The Value of Chronicles as Archives, The Early and Medieval Islamic World (London: I. B. Tauris, 2019), p. 38; ISBN 978-1-7845-3730-2.
  11. ^ Emilie Savage-Smith, "Medicine." Taken from Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science, Volume 3: Technology, Alchemy and Life Sciences, pg. 928. Ed. Roshdi Rashed. London: Routledge, 1996. ISBN 0415124123
  12. ^ Ibn Hajar, al-Mu`jam (p.400 #1773)
  13. ^ Maxim Romanov, "Observations of a Medieval Quantitative Historian?" in Der Islam, Volume 94, Issue 2, Page 464
  14. ^ Ibn Hajar, al-Mu`jam (p. 400 #1774).