Ibn Kathīr

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Ibn Kathir , Abu l-Fida 'Ismaʿil ibn Umar ( Arabic أبو الفداء إسماعيل بن عمر بن كثير, DMG Abū l-Fidāʾ Ismāʿīl b. ʿUmar b. Kaīr ; born around 1300 in Bosra ; died 1373 in Damascus ) with the honorary title Imad ad-Din  /عماد الدين / ʿImād ad-Dīn  / 'Pillar of Religion' was a Muslim scholar in Damascus.


Ibn Kathīr studied after the death of his father in Damascus and gained a reputation as a Shafiʿite legal scholar, Koran exegete and historian. He was the disciple of Ibn Taimiya and adh-Dhahabi . Through his marriage to the daughter of Syria's most famous scholar al-Mizzi , he had access to the country's most important scholarly circles. In 1345 he was appointed preacher ( chatib ) of the newly founded mosque in Mizza , where his father-in-law lived. From 1366 he held the office of Koran exegete in the Umayyad Mosque of Damascus.


  • al-Bidaya wa-n-nihaya  /البداية والنهاية / al-bidāya wa-n-nihāya  / 'The beginning and the end' is one of the best-known works of Islamic historiography , which ranges from the creation of the world according to Islamic ideas to the biography of the prophets up to the year 1365 and also includes the Islamic conceptions of the end of the world. The most important parts of the work relate to everyday political life at the time. The work was printed several times in the Orient, for the first time in Cairo from 1932 to 1939, in 14 volumes. The fame of this work is confirmed by its frequent mention in later writings of Islamic historiography.
  • تفسير القرآن / Tafsīr al-Qurʾān  / 'The Exegesis of the Koran' follows the Koran commentary by at-Tabarī in its sura / verse arrangement and evaluates old materials in four volumes. T. are not preserved. The Egyptian hadith scholar Ahmad Muhammad Shākir (1892-1958) prepared an adaptation of this work with the title ʿUmdat at-Tafsīr in five volumes, which was published in the years 1956-1958.
  • Fada'il al-Quran  /فضائل القرآن / Faḍāʾil al-Qurʾān  / 'The Advantages of the Koran' was intended as an “appendix” to his Koran exegesis. It contains the history of the Koran text, its collection and record after the death of Muhammad on 58 printed pages . The author relies mainly on the chapters of the same name in the large canonical collections of hadiths and briefly comments on their contents. A register of the hadiths quoted by Ibn Kathir in his commentary was published in Beirut (2nd edition 1987).
  • al-Ijschtihad fi talab al-jihad  /الاجتهاد في طلب الجهاد / al-iǧtihād fī ṭalab al-ǧihād  / 'the effort in desiring jihad '; Written at the request of the governor of Damascus to highlight the virtues of jihad and ribat against Christians on the Mediterranean coast using the Koran and Sunna .
  • al-Jami '  /الجامع / al-Ǧāmiʿ  / 'The Summary' is a large-scale collection of hadiths with the names of the Prophet's Companions in alphabetical order, which are mentioned as mediators of the same in the six canonical collections, in the Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal and in smaller collections. The work served as a reference work for teaching traditional sciences.


  • Carl Brockelmann : History of Arabic Literature . Vol. 2, Brill, Leiden 1949, pp. 60 f. and Second Supplementary Volume. Brill, Leiden 1938, p. 48 f.
  • Norman Calder: Tafsir from Tabari to Ibn Kathir , Problems in the description of a genre, illustrated with reference to the story of Abraham. In: GR Hawting, Abdul-Kader A. Shareef (Ed.): Approaches to the Qur'an . London 1993, pp. 101-140.
  • Jane Dammen-McAuliffe: Quranic Hermeneutics . The views of al-Tabari and Ibn Kathir. In: Andrew Rippin (ed.): Approaches to the history of the interpretation of the Qur'an Oxford 1988, pp. 46-62.
  • Henri Laoust : Art. In: The Encyclopaedia of Islam . 2. A. (New Edition), Vol. 3, Brill, Leiden 1986, p. 817 f.
  • Ders .: Ibn Kathir historien . In: Arabica. 2, 1955, pp. 42-88.
  • Samir Mourad, Explanation of the Koran ( Tafsir ) - based on authentic hadiths and the Tafsiren of Tabari and Ibn Kathir, Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. http://www.didi-info.de/index.php/downloads/viewcategory/3-buecher