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  1. June 2004 – June 2006

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Ibn Khaldun quotesEdit

My understanding is that quotes are normally placed in a separate but linked Wikiquote article, as with Albert Einstein, Edward Gibbon, or Winston Churchill. Wikiquotes, moreover, is currently completely lacking an entry for Ibn Khaldun. I will therefore move the quotes section there, unless somebody objects. - Mustafaa 01:01, 9 June 2006 (UTC)


Korotayev A. & Khaltourina D.Edit

The reason why I deleted the entry on June 21st has not been addressed - in fact it even got worse. Now we have a whole paragraph on a recently published book posted by an anonymous user (83.167.112.6 and before that 195.2.80.66) who put this book into the references for quite a few other articles. This reeks of self-promotion. But more importantly: this is an encyclopedic entry and we want to keep the bibliography as short as possible, only referring to works of general interest and high acclaim - I would know of quite a few other texts that seem to me to be of similar relevance, that is they are interesting (as I think this title here is, too) reads and they relate to Ibn Khaldun but they are not central or informative enough to be added to this already long list, in addition, if you read the blurb on the book that is linked in the entry, you will also see that Ibn Khaldun is not central enough for this book to be part of the blurb. Therefore: please keep from readding the article without prior discussion. --Ozean 10:00, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Ibn Khaldun’s dislike / respect / admiration for different culturesEdit

From my perspective this whole discussion seems unnecessary. Of course, Ibn Khaldun has preferences for certain cultures and harbours suspicions or stereotypes about other cultures. This can probably said for many historians or scholars of the social or cultural. However, in an article on Marx or Toynbee you would also not state his particular respect for English ingenuity, French lazyness or whatever other stereotype he might reproduce. This is an encyclopedia and I would vote to only include such statements in cases where they are central or of particular importance for the theory or biography of the author. And I definitely agree with reverting an entry that gives several, paragraph long citations that serve to prove a minor aspect of the theory. From my perspective, not even the comment on Berber culture is necessary, even though this is an aspect of his theory that I have seen serious scholars talk about (of course, those were scholars from the Maghrib ;) ). If I remember this correctly, there have been edit wars before in this article where Tunisians claimed him to be Tunisian (what a surprise & what an anachronism) and people from Egypt call him an Egyptian and so on and so forth. He most definitely was a man that lived in many parts of the Arab speaking world. Everything else is said in the biography itself.--Ozean 21:03, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

You're right, as is user:Irishpunktom below. Their are a plethora of similarly racist quotes one can pull out of the writings of Medeival figures. The insertion of this particular one is clearly POV editing. I'm removing it.--Kitrus 09:48, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
You could perfectly argue that he was Andalusian too, as his parents were indeed, and Ibn Khaldun also spent a great part of his life back in al-Andalus. Regards, Asteriontalk 21:40, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Those quotes were added as a counterpoint to the claim that he was an Arab which his writings reveal him not to be, he was in fact a Berber, a notion which is supported by his writing in his "History of the Berbers" . In The Muqaddimah, a book filled with extreme criticisms about the Arabs where he states things like "they are the most savage human beings that exist. Compared with sedentary people, they are on a level with wild, untamable animals and dumb beasts of prey.". He clearly takes the position throughout those writings that he was not an Arab as he describes the arabs as they , not as we and he repeatedly describes them in a disdainful fashion, somthing which would be quite dishonorable if he had been an Arab. There are certain editors who have been insisting that Ibn Khaldun be portrayed as an Arab rather than as a Berber or a Tunisian, this ia a misrepresentation of his background. I suggest that he be listed as a Tunisian to avoid as this would make no reference to ethnicity --CltFn 12:01, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm fine with adding evidence giving contrary views regarding his race, but the quote, as I mentioned above is unnecessary. He could have been a self hating Arab (see self-hating Jew); he could have written the comment in an angry fit. In the end it doesn't matter. What does matter is that its quoted at length for some reason and doesn't belong in the article.--Kitrus 05:15, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
It does belong in the article as a support for the point explained above.--CltFn 07:04, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, I have been bold and just got rid of the adjectives altogether, neither Berber, nor Arab, just "historiographer born in modern day Tunisia". Anyone reading the rest of the article will get a clearer picture. Regards, Asteriontalk 17:28, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Asterion’s change. However, if I understood this correctly it means that we can rid of the lengthy quotes and all the baggage that is attached to them. Therefore I will delete them, for the reasons why, see above and PoV below.--Ozean 09:30, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Ok , as a compromise I have thus shortened the quotes so that everyone can be happy now.--CltFn 14:18, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, why do you think we need them at all? Even if it would just be abbreviated single sentence quotes, I would think that there are many other parts of Ibn Khaldun’s work that are much more significant than these rants. Did you not argue against these ethnicity related issues yourself above? Why should it be necessary to include this in an encyclopedic article? I am not interested in Thukidides’, Aristotle’s, St. Thomas’, St. Augustin’s, Marx’s, or Comte’s stereotypes and rants about certain ethnic groups if I look them up in an encyclopedia. Of course, one can discuss such ethnic stereotypes and it is an important task to discuss these issues, but this is something that can or should be done in articles that focus on such issues - at least as long as these stereotypes are not central to the person’s work or historical role. In addition, wikiquotes is the place into which quotes belong. I leave it to someone else to delete the quotes once more, so that it becomes clear that this is not only my view.
We include material in Wikipedia because it is relevant to the articles we are writing. If you read the The Muqaddimah you will see that it is a central thesis to this work. Khaldun was simply describing events and societal behavior as he saw them in the 14th century. It is not up to us to filter the material because of some misguided belief that it promotes a stereotype.--CltFn 15:40, 11 November 2006 (UTC)


I've removed the following:

In any case, In any case, his writings however express contain a great deal of uncomplimentary commentary on Arab culture:

  • Arabs dominate only of the plains, because they are, by their savage nature, people of pillage and corruption. They pillage everything that they can take without fighting or taking risks, then flee to their refuge in the wilderness, and do not stand and do battle unless in self-defense. So when they encounter any difficulty or obstacle, they leave it alone and look for easier prey. And tribes well-fortified against them on the slopes of the hills escape their corruption and destruction, because they prefer not to climb hills, nor expend effort, nor take risks.'[1]

Khaldun on the other hand expresses a great admiration for the Persians. .

"Thus the founders of grammar were Sibawaih and after him, al-Farisi and Az-Zajjaj. All of them were of Persian descent…they invented rules of (Arabic) grammar…great jurists were Persians… only the Persians engaged in the task of preserving knowledge and writing systematic scholarly works... The intellectual sciences were also the preserve of the Persians, left alone by the Arabs, who did not cultivate them…as was the case with all crafts" [2]


As Asterion, mentioned, I don't see why his admiration for Persians is of any relevance unless one has an agenda of showing that. His admiration for the Persians isn't exactly his central masterpiece or his contribution to humanity. Furthermore, his disdian for "Arab" traits is in no way a proof that he is not Arab! Finally, Ibn Khuldoon uses the classical notion of Arab, as in bedouin nomad roaming the desert, while this section seems to imply that he is talking about the modern notion of "Arab" ( which is completely different from the above). I understand that some might not like to view Ibn Khuldoon as an Arab, but trying to turn the page into one of slander against certain "people" and pro others isn't exactly great academic work.--Homer58 22:29, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

I very strongly agree – I have been to a conference on I.K. in Algeria this summer and although the focus on his work was quite broad, this certainly was not a topic that anyone considered of relevance.--ozean 10:03, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Please stop the edit war. Regarding the status of I.K.'s work and why it is important, these quotes and the whole issue is so insignificant that it just does not belong into an encyclopedic article. I have written an article on I.K. for the forthcoming 2nd edition of the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences which had to go through peer review - I would never ever have thought of putting information as unimportant regarding the work of I.K. as the stuff that we discuss here into this article. I am sure they would have dropped me and quickly got someone else to do the job. Please stop making this article about a wonderful scholar to an everlasting POV issue. --ozean 11:12, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
It may not be important to you, but it's still important to other editors. Personally, I find the information to be interesting, and helpful to readers on what the man's views were. Khoikhoi 11:20, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
This discussion is stealing my time. The German translator of the Muqaddima says regarding the use of the term Arab in the quoted passage, that it (I translate) "often is only a term for the nomadic Arab tribes, who, like the Banu Hilal or Banu Sulaim, often played a destructive role in the history of the arab-islamic medieval age". You can believe me, quoting this passage does not make sense and it does not give an adequate view of I.K.'s understanding of Arabs and their culture at all. And the quote regarding the Persians is of even less importance. As has been said before and as is already written in the article: the significant distinction for I.K. is the one between nomadic / Berber tribes and urban / settled population. This distinction is what makes I.K. still be important. Everthing else would represent I.K. in a POV way. And as I said: this is not my isolated personal view but the view of the (both Oriental and Western) scholarly community that does actual research on I.K., translates his work, looks at the original manuscripts etc.--ozean 15:36, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
There are literally dozens of scholarly books which have reproduced I.K's quote and these books are written by Major scholars and Professors. The Search for Arab Democracy - Discourses & Counter Discourses: Discourses and Counter-Discourses By L Sadik is one book. I do not see why there should not be a quote section with I.K's quote in there. Also Ibn Khaldun makes a general statement first then he talks about Syria, Yemen and then Banu-Hilal and Banu-Sulaim.. I agree that is should not be the main focus of the article, but it is not POV to insert them. His statements about Persians is quoted by lots of scholar including Richard Frye. Of course he has statements about blacks and slavs which are very negative as well. We can perhaps have a section on Ibn Khaldun's view on different groups and quote it. Note the concept of racism and why it is wrong is a concept that humans have collectively reached only in the last century and Ibn Khaldun should not be chastized for prevalent views in his time. So I think his quotes on Slavs, Blacks, Arabs and Persians make an informative section. --alidoostzadeh 01:54, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Ali doostzadeh, thanks for putting this into perspective. My main problem was that this was taking up a very prominent place in the beginning of the article, which would, from my perspective as a Western sociologist (i.e. not someone who is familiar with literature dealing with different ethnicities and ethnic identities in the Orient), (a) not represent the things that are central about I.K. and (b) easily put those off who identify themselves as being Arab and thus being treated in a derogatory way. I agree that a dedicated section on I.K.’s views on different ethnic groups or races would indeed be informative, especially if it puts these quotes into the context of I.K.’s place & time and if it also discusses the impact I.K. attributes to climate etc. which in turn makes certain people be in a certain way (i.e. social attributes of a group being a result of living conditions - at least to a significant degree). Obviously, others have more expertise in this regard than I do and perhaps they can generate such a section. It was a very important undertaking for me to protect this otherwise excellent article from becoming tainted by what others could perceive as a blatantly racist position of I.K. if it is presented in the way it currently is. In any of the articles that I edited before (mostly in the German Wikipedia) I have never entered the battlefield of ethnic identity issues before and I do not know how to deal with people who in their talk pages obviously are treated as people that do controversial edits, entering edit wars and generating flames. I want this to be a place of discussion, not of anonymous edits and reverts that ignore what is being written on the discussion pages.--ozean 12:11, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
The fact is racism until 100 years ago was prevalent in lots of places. (up to 50 years ago in the USA). I.K's quote on Slavs, Blacks, Arabs, Persians and other groups I think are interesting (even if they are racist ) and are informative for readers. He considers climate and sedentary culture vs nomadic culture as you said and we can mention this as well. So I think we generally agree that we should have a section in the end about I.K's view on different Tamadon's (civilizations). I think putting a section on I.K's view on different civilizations and culture and writing them down (I have so far found his view on Arabs, Blacks, Persians and Slavs) should be informative for users. Since he is the most important Islamic scholar in the field of sociology and I do not know what use there would be if we censore those views. Also I do not think it is relavent to the biography section either. So lets get some more feedback from other users and we can proceed forward. --alidoostzadeh 00:12, 11 December 2006 (UTC)


It is amazing how when some people with an agenda push really hard their distored and biased viewpoint becomes a central piece of an article. As another contributor put it, how "two cherry picked quotes" that have no purpose but to somehow show that Arabs are backwards and Persians are great come to dominate a talk on Ibn Khuldoon is beyond my comprehension. Apparently the main contribution of Ibn Khuldoon to humanity and civilization is lambasting "Arabs" (although he uses the term in a completely differnt meaning than the mainstream modern meaning, which goes unmentioned in the article) and praising Persians. What great scholarly work.

--Homer58 05:03, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

I am a native Arab speaker and I would like to add a clarification on the use of the words "Arab" and "Nomad". In Arabic, there are three words to describe "Arab", "Nomad", and "Arab Nomad". "Arab" is translated to ( عربي, arabi), "Nomad" is translated to badawī ( بدوي) and is often translated in English into Bedouin. The "Arab Nomad" is translated to(اعرابي, arabi). Note how both words are "phonetically" pronounced "arabi" in English, because the first two letters اع are both pronounced "A" in English, the added letter to the word "Arab" that makes it "Arab Nomad", ("ا"), is pronounced "A". Having read his Muqaddimah "Prolegomena", Ibn Khaldun is definitly using the word for "Arab Nomad" in his description.

File:Ibn Khaldun.JPG

Ibn Khaldun look like Arab Semitic people in this the image--AhmadinVVVW (talk) 11:45, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

his parents traveled from Asfahan Khorasan Persia (see reference by L.M. 3). His parents were in andalsian court and taught IK Arabic and Persian, his father's Persian name was Reza Ajwad of Asfahan. according his book (Vanti Asfandar in Persian). After he was removed from his position in Andalusia he revealed his Persian ancestry. But this doesnt add anything to the main contributions and would be better moved to a lower section of the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.109.133.116 (talk) 04:30, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ [1]. The Muqaddimah, Translated by F. Rosenthal
  2. ^ The Muqaddimah, Translated by F. Rosenthal (III, pp. 311-15, 271-4 [Arabic]; R.N. Frye (p.91).

PoVEdit

By giving two cherrypicked quotes absent of context or scholarly analysis, absent of others on similar subjects, we suffer a POV problem. Further, the title of a Book was given as refernce to said quotes, but does not give its ISBN, Publisher of page number (for verification purposes). --Irishpunktom\talk 14:26, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

I also add my voice to Irishpunktom. The quotes obviously serve no purpose but to further an agenda of showing how great Persians are and how backwards arabs are. This is not hidden by some trying to wrap it up "as an interesting assessment of Ibn Khaldun's view on different cultures." If that truly is the writers' aim, write a comprehensive section that deals with this issue explicitly and directly, not by only presenting two random quotes that are not in any way representative of Ibn Khaldun's contribution to humanity's understanding and knowledge.--Homer58 05:18, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

I am going to add Ibn Khaldun's assessment on Blacks, Slavs, Jews, Greeks and etc. also. This will take time also. If we put the quote in the context, Ibn Khaldun considers a variety of factors including sedentary culture, climate, life-style and etc in making civilizations. For example he blames the harsh warm climate of Africa and extreme cold of northern europe as the reason why civilization did not flourish (at his time) amongst Blacks and Slavs. Also I do not see him distinguishing between bedouin and non-bedouin Arabs. Here is a list of variety of quotes that some other user had collect: [2]. Note also Ibn-Khaldun praises the Arabic language. He has also praised jews in some parts as well. So the section is a good compromise and can be informative. --alidoostzadeh 05:58, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Of course he doesn't make a distinction since the modern meaning of the word didn't exist back then. The point is not whether he makes a distinction or not. The point is he uses the term to refer bedouin nomads, the meaning that it signified back then, which is a completely different meaning from what the word stands for today (like many other words their meanings change over time), so this needs to be made very clear. This is because the way the article was written seemed to imply that he had this view of all Arabs in the modern sense (indeed a link is placed to the wikipedia entry Arabs), which is very deceptive.

And about the article being informative and a good compromise: A section on whether Ibn Khaldun liked to cross dress and wear drag can be informative and even entertaining, but I fail to see why it is included in an article that is supposed to show and outline his MAIN AND MOST IMPORTANT points and ideas. Unless it is explicitly grounded in a framework of his sociological views on e.g. sedantry versus nomadic life etc, these quotes amount to no more than a thinly veiled agenda to promote one side over the other. Just look at the history of how they developed in this article to see this. First we are offered the excuse that they are to show he is not actually Arab (which makes the inclusion of the Persian quotes bizarre), now we are asked to believe that they are to show his sociological views on different societies, and we'll add a few more quotes on different "people" just give to this idea a a facade of legitimacy. This does not hide that all of this "new section" is simply developed to provide a cover for these two quotes, and indeed is completely structured around them. The arguments have changed, warped, twisted, moved from one tot he other, but the quotes have stayed the same. I think it's clear to most objective people, even though many other excuses have been offered, what is the point of displaying these two quotes.

Is it a compromise? I agree: a compromise between a side with a specific agenda and those who have to accomodate them based on the idea of every view, no matter how biased, should be included. It just shows you how when you push for something hard enough on wikipedia, no matter how distorted it is, it gets included one way or another.

I repeat my request that for the samke of scholarly work, unbiasedness, and indeed editors' reputations, these quotes should be removed.--Homer58 16:38, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Again other users wanted to see the quote so I can not decide for them. But if you feel it is particularly offensive (and if that is the case then I have no intention to offend anyone) you can take out the quote about Arabs if other users agree. Of course Ibn Khaldun's views on Blacks and Slavs are offensive as well...Although I still believe we should not judge a scholar of that time for that frame of thought. Indeed it would be almost unusual for someone at that age to view mankind as equal. His overall assessment of Greeks and Jews are positive.. Some users might find such information useful. Either way if other users feel it is particularly offensive then I am not hear to hurt anyone's sensibilities. But the quote on Persians is informative with regards to the contributions of Islamic civlization, the disciples that were cultivated, sedentary culture and also the achievements and contributions of pre-Islamic Iran in propelling the post-Islamic civilization. --alidoostzadeh 02:07, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

It's not a matter of it being offensive, although it might indeed be for some people. If offence was the reason I would've stated so. It's the irrelevance and biasedness of the quotes. I think I made my point pretty clear in the previous contributions, so I refer back to them.--Homer58 02:47, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

For me it is also not only about it being offensive (although this is an aspect of the reading experience which should be considered in its own right: thinking about representation includes thinking about perception) - my main concern is that this is an insignificant aspect of I.K.’s work. Representing it here distracts from the more important aspects of his work (as I wrote: it would never have crossed my mind to waste valuable space in the encyclopedic article that I wrote on I.K. with this, there are much important things that one could and should write about his work). I drew back when you said that other scholars find this important, because I thought: "Well, what do I know." However, if these other scholars only quote these passages in a more anecdotal way in some out of the way location in their books, then this would certainly strengthen the argument against including these passages. As has been said: statements like these are not at all uncommon for his era - it is really necessary to include these statements for every single one of the scholars of that time? From my perspective it is not necessary and (for the other reasons mentioned) not necessarily recommendable. However, if it is included it would only not harm this article too much if it is at least done correctly and shows how he applies the more interesting categories of living conditions, climate, trade etc.--ozean 09:51, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
To be fair, I have added Ibn Khaldun's remarks about other civilizations such as Jewish Kingdoms, Greek scientific contributions, and Arab conquests (in the early 7th century).Heja Helweda 01:03, 15 December 2006 (UTC)


The entry about "Negroes" is selective quoting and isn't even coherent as it doesn't describe any particular culture and/or civilization, it has no place being there.Taharqa 20:45, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Assessment on different civilizationsEdit

I am baffled by the presence of the "Assessment on different civilizations" section in the article. I really enjoyed reading the article until I got to that heading. The section is a hodge-podge selection of enormous quotes showing exactly what one would expect: that Ibn Khaldun was a product of his time, and had biases and stereotypes about the peoples around him. Is this pertinent to a clear understanding of his historical merit? Why is it taking up 25% of the article? The comments above have not provided a satisfactory answer.

I am not arguing that a scholarly analysis of how Ibn Khaldun's biases impacted his writings would not make a great article -- in a scholarly journal. It's a fascinating topic, but it requires a great deal of work and I would expect to see far more than a smattering of quotes. In the context of this article, the reader has no way of assessing the real meaning of these quotes. Are they isolated instances of bias? Are they representative of common biases of the time? Are there contradictory passages in other works? How do they bear on a nuanced understanding of Ibn Khaldun's legacy?

I realize I'm joining this discussion five months late, but I strongly support removing this section entirely. If a consensus forms around keeping a vestige, then those who support its presence need to find a single quote from one of the scholars who are interested in this aspect of Khaldun (as mentioned at the start of the section). We could include the quote, or (better yet) summarize it, in the "Assessments of Ibn Khaldun's Contributions" section.

Taranah 19:23, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

No surprise, I agree completely and your reaction is exactly what I feared this section would generate in its readers. A quote from a scholar that puts I.K.’s biases into context would definitely be sufficient. I am pretty sure that if I would have tried to put this kind of information into the entry on I.K. that I wrote for the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (2nd ed., Palgrave MacMillan), the editors would probably have looked for someone else who can concentrate on what is important about this scholar. --ozean 12:22, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

After a week there has been no negative opinion voiced. Should anything be preserved of this section? I am not convinced that even a one line summary is notable enough to be retained in the article. But I assume there are those who would disagree. Also, I believe all the quotes are located on wikiquote. I haven't checked the end of the article, but we should make sure there is a link to that repository so people can read the quotes for themselves. Taranah 17:38, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

I think the quotes are interesting and informative. Regarding one of your points, his stance on blacks is discussed by multiple scholars on the topic of Islam and slavery, and perhaps a discussion of his racist views by those scholars would be preferable to the quote, though that one quote does pop up in many discussions. But there's no need to remove it until such a replacement passage can be written. Arrow740 06:35, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
I also think that Taranah’s suggestion to quote a secondary source (or, probably better, write a few sentences on this issue accompanied with one or two references) instead of lengthy quotes in the article is reasonable. I would never expect an encyclopedic article to give several quotes longer than one or two sentences for a scholar. And these quotes would be central to the work of the scholar.
An example:
instead of writing
“Kant was a mysogynists. About women in general he wrote ‘They should do the following tasks in the manor: x, y, z but also u and v.’ But about German women he wrote ‘German women, in particular those called Gertrude, are clever interpreters of the Bible.’ Whereas older women ’Have collected a great deal of wisdom that is related to what we call reason and aesthetic judgement, because of their involvement in the sublime experience of bratwurst preparation.’ However, about women that are pregnant he wrote ‘bliblabliblabla' and then some more.”
one should write
“As recent studies in the field of gender studies have shown, Kant presents women in ways that are original for his time. While he presents them as being able to develop certain skills and knowledge relating to the sublime(ref1), he scolded German women as being too involved in scholastics(ref2).”
Because many people here insist that we should give room here to I.K. racist remarks, it seems that we cannot completely skip them. A concise sentence or two on this issue should be enough to allow the readers to make themselves an image of I.K. (I do not have the expertise to say that I.K. was more racist than his contemporaries or less so – I only know that “environmental & social factors” play a central and original part in the Muqaddima.) If we want to quote something from the Muqaddima it should probably be dealing with asabiyah or with his concept of culture or with the differences between nomadic and sedentary life. (And if you quote Kant in an encyclopedia you should probably quote his categoric/moral imperative or his definition of reason or of judgement.)--ozean 12:37, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

I am willing to try to find a good replacement quote, but I need some suggestions for books or articles to dig through. I am by no means an expert on Ibn Khaldun — I just noticed that this section of the article stood out as bizarre. Can anyone recommend a title or two (perhaps, as Arrow740 mentioned, on the topic of Islam and slavery?) I checked that article, but Khaldun is not mentioned and there are a lot of possible references. Taranah 15:05, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

I still await a good reference so we can improve this section. Since the original discussion, I have been working by way through both The Muqaddimah (Dawood/Rosenthal) and Ibn Khaldun's Philosophy of History (Mahdi). I have seen nothing to suggest that the quotes in this section of the Wikipedia article are either notable or in any way representative of Ibn Khaldun's contribution to civilization. It seemed, a month ago, that we had a grudging consensus to replace the section with a good summarizing quote from a scholar. I have access to good libraries if someone can provide me with a source. –Taranah 02:23, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
I added a citation tag to the intro of this section. A basic citation would at least provide minimal justification for some mention of all this bizarre material. Then, perhaps, we can clean it up by summarizing the bulk of it in a single paragraph. As it stands, I still strongly believe that this section demeans Ibn Khaldun's legacy. I understand that there is a deeper political subtext to this conversation, but I don't think this is the appropriate place to stake out a cultural conflict. –Taranah 23:27, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
i agree that the inclusion of carefully selected primary source quotes - quite obviously intended to forward a certain impression of Ibn Khaldun - is quite unacceptable in its current state, and is a hinderance to the article as a whole. ITAQALLAH 23:12, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Disagree. It isn't all primary sources. The quote about black people is sourced to Lewis (a secondary source). The quotes are necessary to show Ibn Khaldun's views on race. Not everything about this persons beliefs is good.--SefringleTalk 20:42, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Such quotes without context are misleading. The whole section could be replaced with a simple sentence saying "Although Ibn Khaldun's immense contribution to historiography is uncontested, he did share many of the prejudices common to his cultural context and thus some of his observations would be considered racist by modern standards." But that's a truism about any ancient thinker! Of course some of his observations strike us as anachronistic... by definition.

More importantly, the section stands out because it is unencyclopedic. It relies on extended quotations without scholarly analysis. Not only are the quotes completely unrepresentative of Ibn Khaldun's legacy, but without context they mislead the reader into thinking that he wrote extensive racist tracts. Articles about similar ancient figures summarize a scholarly analysis of their life and contributions. We do not see extended sections of quotations in articles about Averroes, Biruni or Sima Qian (to cite examples of other ancient historians). Nor do we even see such a section in lengthy articles about ancient thinkers like Aristotle. That last article is a great example of how a critical section might be handled more appropriately. (See, specifically, the sentence about his theory of the natural slave.)

If you have a copy of the Lewis book, I'd like to read a more extended version of his analysis. Maybe we can use a single quote from that book (quoting Lewis, rather than Ibn Khaldun) to briefly explain that Ibn Khaldun's writings have been criticized as being racist. I do not think that is an ideal solution, because such a critique could apply to all similar ancient figures (and thus isn't notable), but it is a compromise which would greatly improve the article.

Taranah 21:41, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Last years in EgyptEdit

The final paragraph of this section includes these two sentences: "During this time he also formed an all male club named Rijal Hawa Rijal. Their activities attracted the attention of local religious authorities and he was placed under arrest." Does anybody know anything more about this? What was the significance of it being "all male?" What type of activity attracted the attention of the religious authorities? Was he jailed for long? Since he dies in the next sentence, I'm not clear whether this was a big scandal leading up to his death, or a minor incident. I figured if I was confused, there are plenty of other lay readers who will have questions too. Perhaps someone with more knowledge (or references) can flesh this out a bit. Taranah 05:39, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

civilizations or racesEdit

Kitrus, why did you make a second revert without prior discussion? Obviously, this is a contested issue which should be discussed to avoid starting an edit war. I think the term civilization is closer to the meaning intended by Ibn Khaldun – and I think that correctness of terminology is what is important here. As you can see on this talk page, there has been a lot of discussion about this issue already (discussion in which you participated). The change you made does not respect this discussion, looking for a consensual solution. To the contrary, you make the issue even more controversial by choosing the word race and arguing that the term civilization is “Softening, evasive language”. This is not a convincing argument in this case (you did a hardening of a formerly established more neutral term, not the other way round). If you cannot give a good argument for keeping the term races, we should keep the established term civilizations. Ibn Khaldun is not a theorist of race but of civilizations – that is why his work is still famous, after all. I think choosing the term race would misrepresent his work.--ozean 08:58, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Tunisian or not - issue revisitedEdit

CltFn, you have already – and unsuccessfully – tried to make that change before, as is documented in the discussion archive [3]. The argument still stands, he calls himself Arab, Tunisia was not existant as a state at his time of birth and he also lived for a long time in regions that nowadays belong to other countries (most importantly Egypt and Spain). Thus, I will revert the change you made. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ozean (talkcontribs) 08:08, August 24, 2007 (UTC)

He was actually born in Tunis..it was his home. Moi13

Founding Father or Forerunner (and what about Hegel)Edit

Even though I have the greatest respect for I.K. I still cringe when I see him titled as the father of all the disciplines that are listed in the beginning paragraph. Although there are of course many respectable authors to give him these high credits, you will find many, probably more, who point out that he did not "father" these disciplines, because he did not cause or raise them – instead, he more or less preceded them (in his great genius). I would actually prefer a different formulation, which would display this more clearly. As it is now, this long list is impressive but also potentially overstating and thus potentially distracting from his real genius. Anyone disagree with that? I wanted to put this forward to discussion before editing anything, because of the somewhat volatile dynamics the edits on I.K. sometimes develop ;) In addition, I only have fuzzy memories of sources discussing a link to Hegel (and did find nothing on that in my excerpts of several secondary texts), thus this seems strange to me. Can anyone tell me who would construct such link / has discovered it? Otherwise, I would be sceptic to call him "an influence on" Hegel. --ozean (talk) 13:08, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

I support the idea of rewording that section. Even if there are scholars who consider him to be the father of all those disciplines, it always sounded a bit insecure to me (like we're trying to puff him up since, unfortunately, some people have never heard of him). You could post your proposed rewrite here to invite further comments... sometimes people don't react until they see the actual text. As for Hegel, I can't help you there. --Taranah (talk) 15:21, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
One possibility, which in my mind would grant these fathering-claims more space than they should have would be to just attach the following to the list of his fatherings: “,[6] and is viewed as a father of modern economics.[7][8] However, since these scientific disciplines have been institutionalized by many different actors in the course of the 19th and 20th century, Ibn Khaldun is sometimes more cautiously being characterized as the forerunner of these disciplines.” But from my perspective it would be more accurate to put this qualification before the list and then attach the list: “He is a forerunner of many modern social scientific disciplines, preceding them but not necessarily directly influencing them during their institutionalization in the 19th and 20th century.[footnote linking to Simon 2002, for example] However, some academics claim that Ibn Khaldun can be seen as the father of many different disciplines such as (here comes the well-researched list that we have now and which I would not like to throw out).” What do you think? This question goes, of course, to Jagged 85 too, who has invested so much time into maintaining and improving this article. :) --ozean (talk) 12:14, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
I also support rewording that section, calling someone the "father" of a discipline implies a quantum leap from prior knowledge if not the founding of that discipline altogether, as well as a strong influence over subsequent developments. I don't think overstating his achievements is doing Ibn Khaldun a service. "early work", "early ideas" "forerunner" etc might be better descriptions. 82.231.41.7 (talk) 21:09, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
He doesn't seem to have similar views to Hegel. In any case, I've never read anything about influence. Sometimes Hegel mentions Hindu and Buddhist religious ideas in passing, as he wrote during a period of intense German interest in that area, and because of his association with mystical Christianity through Boehme. I don't think he followed many North African or Arab sources, however. Anyway, isn't a lot of this original synthesis or research? Just stick with the claims of credible sources, and if you get two credible sources that disagree, post both. If you can only find one or two sources claiming Khaldun was the founder of some study, and it's clearly a judgment, qualify the statement or identify the source in the article.69.94.192.147 (talk) 03:02, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for all your suggestions. After all the slack I've been getting for shamelessly adding a lot of "father of" references in quite a few articles in the past, I've been trying to tone down on that lately... Anyway, I like the suggestions I've seen here, so I think I'll change it to "forerunner" instead and will try to explain that what he did is anticipate many elements of these disciplines rather than actually founding them. Jagged 85 (talk) 04:25, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

EvolutionEdit

The section, by its title, implies early work/thoughts related to evolution, however, the translation seems to indicate ideas about creation and outlines a rather mystical interpretation of the observed order in nature that bears little resemblance to later ideas of common descent through evolution. As such, I believe the title is misleading as it is. 82.231.41.7 (talk) 21:09, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

I've removed the Evolution section from this article, since the Biology section in Muqaddimah already covers the same thing. Jagged 85 (talk) 04:27, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

In Our TimeEdit

The BBC programme In Our Time presented by Melvyn Bragg has an episode which may be about this subject (if not moving this note to the appropriate talk page earns cookies). You can add it to "External links" by pasting * {{In Our Time|Ibn Khaldun|b00qckbw}}.

Rich Farmbrough, 03:15, 16 September 2010 (UTC).

CleanupEdit

For background information, please see RFC/U and Cleanup. With 131 edits, User:Jagged 85 is the main contributor to this article by far (2nd: 43 edits). The issues are a repeat of what had been exemplarily shown here, here, here or here. I stubbed mainly the lead with its forerunner/father/founder complex (no. 4) and the subsequent ethnic claim debate about Ibn Khaldun's Arab versus Berber origins. The basis is the last pre-Jagged version from 8 April 2006. Also removed Islamic dates per Wikipedia:ERA. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 21:21, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

I reverted your "stubbing" for the following:
[1] While Jagged has the highest number of edits (131), contributions by other users are quite significant:
Mustafaa (43), ManiF (35), CltFn (33)
In fact, this was the state of the article before Jagged introduced any of his material (March 20, 2007).
[2] "Forerunner/father/founder complex" claims: Except that this was not introduced by Jagged as shown in the above link. Besides it has been shown to you on numerous occasions that many of the claims in the list you linked to were actually stated by reliable sources.
[3] Most importantly: bias in this "cleanup": You claimed that the article was reverted to its pre-Jagged version. That's not true, given that the following sentence in the lead: "However, Ibn Khaldun's ideas were not absorbed by his society and not carried forward by future generations of Islamic scholars" was not in any of the pre-Jagged versions but was kept in the stubbed version for very known reasons, when one would expect it to be cleaned up just like the rest of the claims. (the pre-Jagged version also included claims that some of Ibn Khaldun's views were a precursor to Marx's labour theory of value, this was predictably removed in this "clean up" process).
The clean up for this article would be based on a list of suspected claims that needs to be tagged or removed. Al-Andalusi (talk) 00:29, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
  • [1]Mustafaa, the 2nd most active users, ceased editing the article about the time Jagged 85 stepped in.
  • [2]A common 'technique' by Jagged 85, already pointed out by numerous users in the RFC/U: forerunner/father/founder complex (no. 4)
  • [3]: Checked sources can be reincluded and I checked this source. The reversal of the cleanup would be based on a list of verified claims that first need to be checked and compared with opposing or rivalling claims. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 11:20, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
The forerunners claims were part of the pre-Jagged version; associating it with Jagged won't help your case to stub the article. Also, you cannot defend #3, clearly that was a dishonest move from your side. Now, we need a list of claims that needs to be tagged and checked, since you haven't shown consistency in this "clean up". Al-Andalusi (talk) 19:02, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Any restored contents is considered now your material for which you are now responsible and the inclusion of which you have to justify. So please provide a detailed analysis why we should keep the parts you restored. Specifically, I would like to see two points addressed:
  • Wikipedia:Verifiability: verifying of every single sourced claim – do the referenced sources really support what the WP text claims?
  • WP:CHERRY: sufficient consideration of rivalling, opposing, contradictory claims – does the restored article represent mainstream or standard scholarship or have been certain positions fact picked to advance a WP:POV? So can Ibn Khaldun be rightly called by scholarly consensus the "father" of all these disciplines?
He is considered a forerunner of several social scientific disciplines: demography,[4] cultural history,[5][6] historiography,[7][8][9] the philosophy of history,[10] and sociology.[4][8][9][10][11][12] He is also considered one of the forerunners of modern economics,[8][13][14] alongside the earlier Indian scholar Chanakya.[15][16][17][18] Ibn Khaldun is considered by many to be the father of a number of these disciplines, and of social sciences in general,[19][20] for anticipating many elements of these disciplines centuries before they were founded in the West.
Thanks for your understanding and your active collaboration in the cleanup process. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 22:19, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Apparently, all problems have been resolved. But it doesn't read that way to me: was an Arab historiographer and historian... sometimes viewed as one of the forerunners of modern historiography... alongside the earlier Indian scholar Chanakya... rediscovered by the West in the 19th century as one of the greatest philosophers of Islam. I'm not convinced he was a historiographer: he was a historian. That is, he wrote history. He didn't study it as a subject of itself. Which brings up the rather peacocky and over-enthusiastic refs. Apparently, says the text, he was one of the greatest philosophers of Islam yet being a philosopher isn't even mentioned as one of his traits. Indeed, his primary trait - politician - isn't mentioned in the summary. I think the lesson to be drawn from this is not to say "its in a ref. So we can use it" but to be more cautious William M. Connolley (talk) 12:11, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

The "historiographer" title was reinstated as it is from an older version of the article. I'm not sure what made you think that he was just a historian and not a historiographer, but comes as no surprise to me. As we know, his Muqaddima was a historiographical work, so remarkable that he earned not only the "father of historiography" title but the "true" father (see note 1). Al-Andalusi (talk) 18:04, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
As we know - err, no we don't. Ref 1 is a tripod document of dubious provenance - certainly not good enough for that claim. Do you have any good refs? "Ibn-Khaldun as Poststructuralist"? Don't make me laugh William M. Connolley (talk) 19:03, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Tripod reference was apparently added to support the Arab origin claim. Also, I said "note 1" not "reference 1" for the historiographer claim. A quick search on Google Books would have helped also. Al-Andalusi (talk) 20:26, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Argh. Are you Jagged come again? #1 in your google search (which is never a good way to find refs) says "the most important rep in the phil orientated tradiation of Islamic historiography". But alas, that quote is about Al-Masudi, not IK. #2 is called "IK and modren historiography". And so it goes on William M. Connolley (talk) 21:23, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
And "regarded by some westerners as..." is not good enough for *was* a historiographer. You see the difference? William M. Connolley (talk) 21:29, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Out of the thousands of results the search returns, you picked only a single source that happens to use historiography in reference to a scholar other than Ibn Khaldun, thus concluding that Ibn Khaldun never wrote a historiographical work ?! Even more amusing is the accusation that I misused Google Books to further the historiographer claim, until you "exposed" my conspiracy; it's as if I ever claimed that "the most important rep in the phil orientated tradiation of Islamic historiography" was in reference to Ibn Khaldun. This is pathetic and enough with your typical Jagged accusations every time you're backed into a corner.
I found your second part where you say that just because "some" have regarded him as the father of historiography doesn't make him a historiographer, to be pretty funny I admit. Surely a title like "forerunner/father of" historiography wouldn't be used to refer to a person who was not a historiographer to begin with. Al-Andalusi (talk) 22:10, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
You provided the google search. I looked at the first two entries: both were clear failures. Obviously you never even bothered look at the results you generated. So lets continue. #3 is a fail too. #4 is a technical success, but only because the author has misunderstood the word. So, in what sense is your google search "helpful"? William M. Connolley (talk) 22:17, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Misunderstood the word ? Look this is going nowhere, so if you don't like it take it to the boards. Al-Andalusi (talk) 22:53, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Amazigh man not ArabicEdit

Please be careful, the information about the origins of Ibn Khaldon are Amazigh not Arabic, his name is arabic because he was a muslim man. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 197.128.174.38 (talk) 15:33, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Nonsense. Ibn Khaldun clearly states in his autobiography his Arab lineage that he links back to Hadhramaut. Al-Andalusi (talk) 19:41, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

With all my respects to my Amazigh brothers and sisters, Ibn Khaldun's last name is Al-Ḥaḍrami as clearly stated in his autobiography. Therefore, he is originally from Hadhramaut in Yemen. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 159.0.58.128 (talk) 22:05, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

His name points to a distant connection to Yemen. That tells us little. Where was he born? Where did he grow up? Who were his relatives? How did those who knew him see him? What identity mattered to him? What do the scholars know about his identity? He may have declared that ancestry for reasons like many others did, for social status or some other reason. Maybe he was a Amazigh in origin or an Arab or Muladi or a mixture or something else. His family had been in Al-Andalus, far from Arabia, for many centuries and so his Yemeni ancestry would have been very small and there is an excellent chance that he was mainly of Amazigh or Iberian origin or both and he knew it. That may explain his tendency to admire the Berbers but that is only a guess on my part. Names and what people say are not always accurate.
Good god. Unless you got something to prove this nationalist nonsense, shut up already.175.138.45.80 (talk) 06:42, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Ibn Khaldun was Arab he said that himself in his books. And all the sources prove it S134Baa1 (talk) 04:36, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

What is the Sultan of Constantine?Edit

The article says " In 1352, Abū Ziad, the Sultan of Constantine". I cannot find any reference to this Abu Ziad fellow, apart from in this article. I have no idea what the 'Sultan of Constantine' is. Was he the ruler of Constantine's corpse? How could he have been the ruler of Constantinople when it was in possession of the Byzantines at that period? Hrm? I am completely open to the idea of being wrong, but this is unsourced and seems suspicious. 60.242.167.154 (talk) 04:21, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Constantine is the antique Cirta, a very powerful city in what is now Algeria. The Sultanate of Constantine was pivotal in the fight for power against the Emirate of Bejaia (Bougie-Algeria) where Ibn Khaldun had a political role (Prime Minister/Great Chambellan). The City was named after Emperor Constantine in the 4th century AD. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 105.107.121.244 (talk) 23:45, 12 May 2016 (UTC)

Ibn Khaldun's ethnicityEdit

Source(s) calling him Arab:

  • The Historical Muhammad, Irving M. Zeitlin, page 21;"It is, of course, Ibn Khaldun as an Arab here speaking, for he claims Arab descent through the male line.".
  • The Arab World: Society, Culture, and State, Halim Barakat, page 48;"The renowned Arab sociologist-historian Ibn Khaldun first interpreted Arab history in terms of badu versus hadar conflicts and struggles for power."
  • The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. III, M. Talbi, page 825;"Ibn Khaldun was born in Tunis, on I Ramadan 732/27 May 1332, in an Arab family which came originally from the Hadramawt and had been settled at Seville since the beginning of the Muslim conquest...".

Does the IP have any sources calling Ibn Khaldun a Berber? --Kansas Bear (talk) 15:47, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

Supposed quote from Boulakia in the "notes and references" sectionEdit

"Ibn Khaldun is the forerunner of many economists, he is an accident of history and has had no consequence on the evolution of economic thought...His name should figure among the fathers of economic science.(Boulakia 1971)". This smells like vandalism to me. At least it gave me a chuckle. Does anyone have access to the original source so we can add the original quote? Best, --Spivorg (talk) 21:13, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

Portrait/pictureEdit

I find it odd that the main, identifying picture of Ibn Khaldun on this page is apparently a drawing by the user Waqas Ahmed. A nice one, really, but it's not verifiable for accuracy. I'd appreciate others' opinions. Plarstic (talk) 14:06, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

Sorry, my text was supposed to be in a new section. Please disregard. SaSH172 (talk) 07:31, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Mohammed EnanEdit

Mohammed Enan's Biography only questions the truthfulness of Ibn Khaldoun's multiple claims about his own ethnicity, without providing and sources or evidence for his claims. Him equating his own pure speculation as a viable rebuttal to a famous historian's own words about his ancestry is franlky laughable, let alone incredibly unscholarly and inaccurate. Furthermore, as stated in the very paragraph that cites Mohammed Enan's conspiracy theory, there is a good rebuttal of the logic behind his speculation - after leaving the Iberian Peninsula, the Beni Khaldoun family immediately found themselves under the rule of native North African Berber/Amazigh dynasties that would in fact descriminate against Arabs, yet they never reclaim their old Berber identity. Here is a good critique of Mohammed Enan in his speculation: http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ik/knts.htm#n1

I believe that the inclusion of Mohammed Enan's claims in this article is giving undue weight to speculation in the face of reliable claims by the subject himself. I believe this is highly compromising of this articles NPOV, by blatantly pushing an agenda. I propose that the section be removed (I can't verify the citation either), alongside the rebuttal after it. This will make the section far more streamlined and sensible - without a baseless unreliable rebuttal and counter-rebuttal to Ibn Khaldoun being of Arab descent from Yemen. Thanks. SaSH172 (talk) 07:34, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

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Dr. Hasan's comment on this articleEdit

Dr. Hasan has reviewed this Wikipedia page, and rewrote portions of the text of the Islamic economics article in the comment below. He organized his additions based on the headings that existing in the article. Wikipedians working on this article may find his additions helpful:


is reasonably well written. Under the 'legacy' it refers to a Conference of 2006 held in Spain to commemorate 600 anniversary of the great scholar. This conference was held at the Islamic Centre, Madrid. I was a participant in that conference and had presented the following paper which was in an integrative from much different from others. The paper was later published in the 2007 issue of a journal by oversight without the name of the co-auther one of my students who in fact presented the paper. The paper details with her name inclded are as under.

Hasan Zubair & Norhafiza A.K. Malim (2007): Labour as a Source of Value and Capital Formation: Ibn Khaldun, Ricardo, and Marx – A Comparison1, J.KAU: Islamic Econ., Vol. 20, No. 2, pp: 39-50.


We hope Wikipedians on this talk page can take advantage of these comments and improve the quality of the article accordingly.

Dr. Cabrales has published scholarly research which seems to be relevant to this Wikipedia article:


  • Reference : Hasan Zubair & Norhafiza A.K. Malim (2007): Labour as a Source of Value and Capital Formation: Ibn Khaldun, Ricardo, and Marx – A Comparison1, J.KAU: Islamic Econ., Vol. 20, No. 2, pp: 39-50.

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Is his name really that long?Edit

On the biography section, it says his name is "Abdurahman bin Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Al-Hasan bin Jabir bin Muhammad bin Ibrahim bin Abdurahman bin Ibn Khaldun". I highly doubt his name is that long. It looks like someone double typed it by accident, or vandalized it. But then again, I don't pretend to be an expert in Muslim names. Is this name legitimate? Airgum (talk) 13:41, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

It's a mini-genealogy ("A the son of B who was in turn the son of C" and so on), rather than a name in the usual sense that modern Westerners would be familiar with. AnonMoos (talk) 00:56, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
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