Ibn Khallikan

Shams al-Dīn Abū Al-ʿAbbās Aḥmad Ibn Muḥammad Ibn Khallikān
TitleChief Judge
BornSeptember 22, 1211
Irbil (now Iraq)
DiedOctober 30, 1282(1282-10-30) (aged 71)
RegionMiddle East
Notable work(s)Deaths of Eminent Men and History of the Sons of the Epoch

Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm Abu ’l-ʿAbbās S̲h̲ams al-Dīn al-Barmakī al-Irbilī al-S̲h̲āfiʿī[2] (Arabic: أحمد بن محمد بن إبراهيم أبو العباس شمس الدين البرمكي الأربيلي الشافعي‎) (September 22, 1211 – October 30, 1282) was a 13th-century Shafi'i Islamic scholar who compiled the celebrated biographical encyclopedia of Arab scholars, Wafayāt al-Aʿyān wa-Anbāʾ Abnāʾ az-Zamān ('Deaths of Eminent Men and History of the Sons of the Epoch').


Born in Arbil, Iraq on September 22, 1211 (11 Rabī’ al-Thānī, 608), into a respectable family that claimed descent from Barmakids,[2] Ibn Khallikan's studies began in Arbil, took him first to Aleppo, then Damascus,[3] then Mosul to study jurisprudence, and finally Cairo, where he settled.[4] He gained prominence as a jurist, theologian and grammarian.[4] An early biographer described him as "a pious man, virtuous, and learned; amiable in temper, in conversation serious and instructive. His exterior was highly prepossessing, his countenance handsome and his manners engaging."[5]

He married in 1252[4] and was assistant to the chief judge in Egypt until 1261, when he assumed the position of chief judge in Damascus.[3] He lost this position in 1271 and returned to Egypt, where he taught until being reinstated as judge in Damascus in 1278.[3] He retired in 1281[4] and died in Damascus on October 30, 1282 (Saturday, 26th of Rajab 681).[3]