By Michael Cooperson
Premodern Arabic biography has served as an incredible resource for the background of Islamic civilization. within the first book-length learn to discover the origins and improvement of classical Arabic biography, Michael Cooperson demonstrates how Muslim students used the notions of heirship and transmission to rfile the actions of political, scholarly and non secular groups. the writer additionally explains how medieval Arab students used biography to reconstruct the existence tales of vital ancient figures. He then examines the careers of 4 of those figures, interpreting their relationships and their position in later biography.
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Additional resources for Classical Arabic Biography: The Heirs of the Prophets in the Age of al-Ma’mun
MU, I:32. He still worried, though: “I do not deny that it would have been worthier for me to have spent my time at the mosque and at my prayers” instead of writing biography (I: 31–32). 68 Like members of a lineage, members of a normative ·ta¯ ifa have their single ancestor: the ﬁrst person to gain the knowledge or perform the characteristic activity of the group. Moreover, just as each generation of a lineage gives birth to the next, members of a scholarly or occupational ·ta¯ ifa pass their mandate on from one generation of practitioners to the next.
People grasped its principles only by intuition, or by hearing of Persian and Indian ideas on the subject. Then al-Khalı¯l b. Ah·mad derived a metrical system for poetry and music. His system came to the attention of Ish·a¯q b. Ibra¯hı¯m al-Maws·ilı¯, who, with his greater experience as a performer and auditor, perfected it and made it into a science. Since then, every age has had its generation of musicians who learn from those before them, and who along with their musical skill cultivate various reﬁnements of character.
368/979 or 384/994), transmitted in an abridgement by al-H · a¯ﬁ z· al-Yaghmurı¯ (d. 673/1274). 54 On the assumption that its abridgement omits rather than adds material, al-Marzuba¯nı¯’s work performed two signal services for the grammarians. First, it justiﬁes grammar by characterizing it as a guardianship of the Arabic language, the medium of God’s Revelation to Muh·ammad and of the Prophet’s H · adı¯th. Second, it documents the founder’s transmission of this trust to his successors. Just like H · adı¯th-scholars, poets, and musicians, the grammarians could lay claim to a distinctive ilm conveyed intact through the generations.