Ibn Asakir (Arabic: ابن عساكر, romanizedIbn ‘Asākir; 1105–c. 1176) was a Sunni Islamic scholar,[1] a historian[5] and a disciple of the Sufi mystic Abu al-Najib Suhrawardi.[5]

Ibn‘Asākir, ‘Alī ibn al-Ḥasan
BornMuharram 499AH / September, 1105[1]
Died11 Rajab, 571AH/ 24 January 1176 [1][4] (aged 71)
EraMedieval era
RegionDamascus (Burid dynasty/Zengid dynasty)
Main interest(s)Hadith, History
Muslim leader


His full name was ‘Alī ibn al-Ḥasan ibn Hibat Allāh ibn `Abd Allāh, Thiqat al-Dīn, Abū al-Qasim, known as Ibn `Asakir al-Dimashqi al-Shafi`i al-Ash`ari (الحافظ المورخ علی بن الحسن بن ھبۃ اللہ بن عبداللہ بن الحسین الدمشقی الشافعی).[1]


Born in Damascus, during the reign of atabeg Toghtekin, Ibn Asakir received an extensive education, as befitting someone from a wealthy family.[6] By 1120, he was attending lectures of al-Sulami at the Shafi'i Madrasa, which was built by atabeg Gumushtegin.[6] He travelled to Baghdad, following the death of his father, and went on hajj in 1127. He returned to Baghdad to hear lectures at the Nezamiyeh, from Abu l'Hasan al-Ansari (a pupil of al-Ghazali), lectures on the hadith of Abi Salih al-Karamani and Ibn al-Husayn Abu 'l-Kasim.[citation needed]

By 1132, Ibn Asakir had returned to Damascus and married that year. Civil disturbances forced him to leave Damascus and travel from Isfahan to Merv, where he met Abu Sa'd 'Abd al-Karim al-Samani. With al-Samani he travel to Nishapur and Herat and by 1139 he had passed through Baghdad on his way back to Damascus. Throughout his journey he collected numerous hadiths and had become a hafiz.[6]

Under the patronage of Nur ad-Din Zangi, Ibn Asakir wrote the Tarikh Dimashq. In 1170, Nur al-Din built the Madrasa Dar al-Hadith for Ibn Asakir.[7][8]

Ibn Asakir studied under 80 female Muslim scholars.[9]


  1. History of Damascus (Arabic: Tarikh Dimashq) is one of the most important books about the Islamic history of Syria, covering the life of important figures who resided in or visited Damascus. That is not limited to the assessment of narrators of hadith, Ilm ar-Rijal,[1] but also includes historical and political figures. When it comes to Islamic figures, Ibn Asakir tried to collect everything that has been said about that figure, true or false, with full chain of narration. It also contains a huge collection of Arabic poems. It was printed recently in 74 volumes plus six volumes containing indices only.
  2. Al-Muwaafaqaat `alaa Shuyukhu-l-A'immati-th-Thiqaawt (72 volumes).
  3. `Awali Malik ibn Anas wa Dhayl 'alaa `Awali Malik ibn Anas (50 volumes).
  4. Manaaqib ash-Shubbaan (15 volumes).
  5. Al-Mu`jam (12 volumes) listing only the names of his shaykhs.
  6. Fadaa'il Ashaabi-l-Hadeeth (11 volumes): Fadl al-Jumu`a, Fadl Quraysh, Fada'il al-Siddiq, Fada'il Makka, Fada'il al-Madina, Fada'il Bayt al-Muqaddas, Fada'il `Ashura', Fada'il al-Muharram, Fada'il Sha`ban.
  7. Ghawraaw'ibb Malik (10 volumes).
  8. Al-Suba`iyyat (7 volumes), listing narrations with chains containing only seven narrators up to the Prophet -- Allah bless and greet him --.
  9. Yawmi-l-Mazeed (3 volumes).
  10. Al-Ishraf `ala Ma`rifatu-l-Atraf.
  11. Akhbar al-Awza`i.
  12. Al-Musalsalat.
  13. Bayan al-Wahm wa al-Takhlit fi Hadith al-Atit ("The Exposition of Error and Confusion in the Narration of the [Throne's] Groaning")
  14. At-Tawbah wa Sa'atu-r-Rawhmatullaah (Repentance and the Intensity of the Mercy of Allaah)
  15. Al-Arba'oon fee Manaaqib Ummahaati-l-Mu'mineen (R) (including Fadlu Ummu-l-Mu'mineen Aa'ishah (R))
  16. Arba`un Hadithan fi al-Jihad.
  17. Arba`un Hadithan `an Arba`ina Shaykhan min Arba`ina Madeenah.
  18. Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari fima Nusiba ila al-Imam Abi al-Hasan al-Ash'ari is a biography of Al-Ash'ari, relaying his ancestry, his conversion from Mu'tazilism and his subsequent "middle position" creed, i.e. Orthodox Sunni Islam.[10] In it, Ibn Asakir lays out Ash'ari's "middle position" in 13 points, highlighting two opposing and extreme views in each and discussing the middle position Ash'ari took. For example, he writes:[11]

"Likewise, The Najjariyya held that the Creator is in every place without localisation or direction. And the Hashwiyya and Mujassima held that God is localised on the Throne, and that Throne is a place for him, and that He is sitting on it. But al-Ash'ari followed a middle course between them and held that God was when no place was, and then He created the Throne and the [Kursiyy] without His needing a place, and He was just the same after creating place as He had been before He created it."[12]


  • Adh-Dhuhriyyu
  • Al-Jaami' fi-l-Haththi 'alaa Hifzwi-l-'Ilm
  • Dhammu-l-Malaahee
  • Maddhu-t-Tawaadwu'i Wadhammu-l-Kibbr
  • Majjlisaan minn Majaalis fee Masjidi-Dimashqq
  • Majjmoo'a Feehi Khawmsi
  • Sa'ati Rawhmatullaah
  • Nafee Tashbiyah
  • Swiffati-Allaah Ta'alaa

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Ibn Asakir
  2. ^ Aaron Spevack, The Archetypal Sunni Scholar: Law, Theology, and Mysticism in the Synthesis of Al-Bajuri, p 55. State University of New York Press, 1 Oct 2014. ISBN 143845371X
  3. ^ Brown, Jonathan (2013). The Canonization of al-Bukhārī and Muslim: The Formation and Function of the Sunnī Ḥadīth Canon (Islamic History and Civilization). Brill Publishers. p. 219. ISBN 978-9004158399.
  4. ^ Salaam Knowledge
  5. ^ a b F. Sobieroj (1987). "al-Suhrawardi". In C.E. Bosworth; E. van Donzel; W.P. Heinrichs; G. Lecomte (eds.). The Encyclopaedia of Islam. Vol. IX. Brill. p. 778.
  6. ^ a b c N. Elisseeff (1986). "Ibn Asakir". In B. Lewis; V.L. Menage; C. Pellat; J. Schacht (eds.). The Encyclopaedia of Islam. Vol. III. Brill. pp. 713–714.
  7. ^ Newman, Andrew J. (2006). "Ibn Asakir". In Josef W. Meri; Jere L. Bacharach (eds.). Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. Routledge. p. 351.
  8. ^ Carole Hillenbrand, The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives, (Routledge, 2000), 127.
  9. ^ Muhammad Eqbal, Farouque Hassan, “Madrassa (Madrasah),” in Helmut K. Anheier and Stefan Toepler eds. International Encyclopedia of Civil Society (New York: Springer, 2010), p. 964.
  10. ^ McCarthy, Richard J. (1953). The Theology of Al-Ashari. Imprimerie Catholique. p. 145.
  11. ^ McCarthy, Richard J. (1953). The Theology of Al-Ashari. Imprimerie Catholique. p. 171.
  12. ^ McCarthy, Richard J. (1953). The Theology of Al-Ashari. Imprimerie Catholique. p. 172.

External linksEdit