Born at Córdoba, he was an important official at the court of the Andalusian ruler al-Mansur and published several works on history which have only survived in part. His books constitute one of the most important sources for the study of the Andalusian history, especially the history of Córdoba and the kings of the taifas. His work also provides an early reference to Viking raiders, called Majus by him.
He died in Córdoba in 1075.
The following works are ascribed to Ibn Hayyan:
- Tarikh Fuqaha Qurtuba
- Al-Kitab al ladi Jama'a fihi bayna Kitbay al-Qubbashi wa Ibn Afif
- Intijab al-Jamil li Ma'athir Banu Khatab
- Al-Akhbar fi'l Dawla al-Amiriya (in 100 volumes)
- Al-Batsha al-Kubra (in ten volumes).
- Al-Muqtabis fi Tarikh al-Andalus (in ten volumes)
- Kitab al-Matin.
His best-known works are al-Muqtabis and al-Matin.
- Christys, Ann (2015). Vikings in Spain. Bloomsbury. p. 21. ISBN 9781474213752.
- Meouak, Mohamed, "Kitāb al-muqtabis fī ta'rīkh rijāl al-Andalus, part of Al-ta'rīkh al-kabīr." Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History. , 2012. Reference. 27 February 2012 <http://referenceworks.brillonline.com/entries/christian-muslim-relations/kitab-al-muqtabis-fi-tarikh-rijal-al-andalus-part-of-al-tarikh-al-kabir-COM_23341>
- Abd al-Rahman al-Hajji (ed.), Al-Muqtabis. Beirut: 1965. Partial Spanish translation in F. Corriente and M.J. Viguera, Cronica del Califa Abdurrahmen III entre les anos 912 y 942 (Zaragoza, 1981)
- David J. Wasserstein. The Caliphate in the West: An Islamic Political Institution in the Iberian Peninsula.