Sayf ibn Umar al-Usayyidi al-Tamimi (Arabic: سيف بن عمر‎) was an early Islamic historian and compiler of reports who lived in Kufa. He wrote Kitāb al-futūh al-kabīr wa 'l-ridda, which is al-Tabari's main source for the Ridda wars and early Muslim conquests. It also contains important information about the structure of early Muslim armies and government. According to al-Dhahabi, Sayf died during the reign of Harun al-Rashid (786-809).[1]


Little is known about Sayf, except that he lived in Kufa and belonged to the tribe of Banu Tamim.[1]

Reliability of his narrationsEdit

The reliability of his hadiths has long been contested.[1]

His narrations are said to be influenced by the tribal traditions of Banu Tamim.[1] However, he also collected accounts that highlight other tribes.[1]

Modern Shia viewsEdit

Shia researcher Arzina Lalani suggests that Sayf is the first person who mentions Abdullah ibn Saba in his writings. His claim that a Yemeni Jew was allegedly a founder of Shia Islam, was picked on by al-Tabari. She states that his account of early Islamic history was heavily influenced by later Sunni historiography.[2]

According to a book called Abdullah bin Saba (عبدالله بن سبا) authored by Shia researcher Murtaza Askari the 12 the most popular Rijali (someone who knows about Ilm al-Rijāl) scholars, believed Sayf was not a reliable transmitter of Hadith. They are as follows: Yahya bin Moein, Al-Nasa'i, Abu Dawood, Ibn Sakan, Abu Hatim Muhammad ibn Idris al-Razi Ibn Hibban, Al-Daraqutni, Al-Hakim Nishapuri, Firoozabadi,[who?] Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani, Al-Suyuti, and Safi Al din.[who?][3]

It has been recorded in Tahdib al-Kamal, that Yahya bin Moein held this view.[4]


  • Kitāb al-futūh al-kabīr wa 'l-ridda
  • Kitab al-Jamal wa masir Aisha wa Ali. This work deals with the Battle of the Camel. Saif transmitted his report through Shoayb ibn Ibrahim.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e Donner, Fred (1995). "Sayf B. ʿUmar". Encyclopaedia of Islam. 9 (2nd ed.). Brill Academic Publishers. pp. 102–103. ISBN 90-04-10422-4.
  2. ^ "Ghadir Khumm - Islamic Studies - Oxford Bibliographies - obo". Archived from the original on 2017-08-02.
  3. ^ Abdullah bin Saba(عبدالله بن سبا), by Murtaza Askari[need quotation to verify]
  4. ^ Tahdib al-Kamal, Volume 25 page 101[verification needed]

Further readingEdit

  • Landau-Tasseron, Ella (January 1990). "Sayf Ibn 'Umar in Medieval and Modern Scholarship". Der Islam. 67: 1–26. doi:10.1515/islm.1990.67.1.1. ISSN 0021-1818.
  • Linda D. Lau (1978). "Sayf b. 'Umar and the battle of the Camel". Islamic quarterly. 20-23: 103–10.

External linksEdit