Religious Studies and Theology, Vol 32, No 2 (2013)

The Book of Allusions: A New Translation of the Title to Ibn Khaldun’s Kitāb al-‘Ibar

Waseem El-Rayes
Issued Date: 28 Feb 2014

Abstract


This paper provides a new translation and analysis of Ibn Khaldun’s title to his magnum opus kitāb al-‘ibar, wa dīwān al-mubtada’ wa al-khabar, fī ayyām al-‘arab wa al-‘ajam wa al-barbar, wa man ‘āṣarahum min dhawī al-sulṭān al-akbar, known in short as Kitāb al-‘Ibar (or as I translate it, Book of Allusions). This translation and analysis articulates the relationship between Ibn Khaldun’s style of writing and the substance of his teaching. It begins by giving an account of Kitāb al-‘Ibar’s overall structure and teachings and then proceed to demonstrate how these are skillfully captured in the title. As I argue here, paying attention to the style of writing is an important interpretative tool necessary to reveal the depth of Ibn Khaldun’s teachings. This new translation and analysis shows how, despite Kitāb al-‘Ibar apparent concern with history, this book is intended by Ibn Khaldun to be primarily about politics, seeking to challenge well established and honored notions of the origins of political power.

Download Media

PDF (Price: £17.50 )

DOI: 10.1558/rsth.v32i2.163

References


Al-Azmeh, Aziz. Ibn Khaldūn. London: London and Totowa, N.J.: Frank Cass, 1982.

Badawī, Abd al-Raḥmān. Mu’alafāt Ibn Khaldūn. Cairo: al-Majlis al-A‘lā li-al-Thaqāfa, 2006.

al-Dūrī, ‘Abd al-Azīz. Baḥth fī nash’at ‘ilm al-ta’rīkh ‘inda al-‘arab. Beirut: Al-Maṭba‘a al-Kāthūlīkīya, 1960. Part I trans. Lawrence I. Conrad, The Rise of Historical Writing among the Arabs. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983.

Fleisch, H. “Khabar.” In Encyclopaedia of Islam. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1954-.

Gabrieli, F. “‘Adjam.” In Encyclopaedia of Islam. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1954-.

Gottschalk, H. L. “Dīwān.” In Encyclopaedia of Islam. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1954-.

Ibn Khaldūn, ‘Abd al-Raḥmān. The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History, trans. by Franz Rosenthal. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967. 3 Volumes.

Ibn Khaldūn, ‘Abd al-Raḥmān 1858. Muqaddimat Ibn Khaldūn, Prolégomènes d’Ebn-Khaldun, Texte Arabe Publié, D’Après Les Manuscrits de la Bibliothèque Impériale, ed. Benjamin Duprat, Paris: Benjamin Duprat, 1858. Reprint: Beirut: Maktaba Lubnan, 1970.

Ibn Khaldūn, ‘Abd al-Raḥmān 1858. Al-Ta‘rīf bi-ibn Khaldūn wa riḥlatihi gharban wa sharqan. Ed. Muḥamad ibn Tāwīt al-Ṭanjī. Cairo: al-Hay’a al-‘Āmah l-Quṣūr al-Thaqāfa, 1951. Reprint: 2006.

Ibn Manẓūr, Muḥammad ibn Mukarram. Lisān al-‘Arab. 15 vols. Beirut: Dār al-Thaqāfa, 1995-56.

Khalidi, Tarif. Islamic Historiography: the Histories of al-Mas‘ūdī. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1975.

Khoury, R. G. “al-Mubtada’.” In Encyclopaedia of Islam. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1954-.

Lane, Edward William. Arabic-English Lexicon. 8 vols. New York: Frederick Ungar 1958 [London, 1863].

Mahdi, Muhsin. Ibn Khaldun’s Philosophy of History: A Study in the Philosophic Foundation of the Science of Culture. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1964.

Maimonides, Moses. The Guide of the Preplexed. Trans. Shlomo Pines. Chicago & London: 1963.

Mittwoch, E. “Ayyām al-‘Arab.” In Encyclopaedia of Islam. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1954-.
Parens, Joshua and Josep C. Macfarland. Medival Political Philosophy: A Source Book. 2nd Edition. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2011.

Robinson, Chase F. Islamic Historiography. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003

Rosenthal, Franz. A History of Muslim Historiography. 2nd ed. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1968.

Rosenthal, Franz. “Introduction” to Ibn Khaldun, The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History, trans. by Franz Rosenthal. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967

Schmidt, Nathaniel. Ibn Khaldun: Historian, Sociologist, and Philosopher. New York: AMS Press Inc., 1967.

Simon, Róbert Ibn Khaldun: History as Science and the Patrimonial Empire, trans. by Klara Pogatsa. Budapest: Akakemiai Kiado, 2002.

Troupeau, G. “al-Mubtada’.” In Encyclopaedia of Islam. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1954-.

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.





Equinox Publishing Ltd - 415 The Workstation 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)114 221-0285 - Email: info@equinoxpub.com

Privacy Policy