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 Taqi al-Din Ahmad ibn 'Ali ibn 'Abd al-Qadir ibn Muhammad al-Maqrizi

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PostSubject: Taqi al-Din Ahmad ibn 'Ali ibn 'Abd al-Qadir ibn Muhammad al-Maqrizi   13/11/2010, 6:26 pm

Taqi al-Din Ahmad ibn 'Aliibn 'Abd al-Qadir ibn Muhammad al-Maqrizi (1364 – 1442); Arabic:تقىالدين أحمد بن على بن عبد القادر بن محمد المقريزى, was an Egyptian historianmore commonly known as al-Maqrizi or Makrizi. Although he was "a Mamluk-erahistorian and himself a Sunni Muslim, he is remarkable in this context for his unusuallykeen interest in the Ismaili Fatimid dynasty and its role in Egyptianhistory."[1]


Al-Maqrizi was born in Cairo and spent most ofhis life in Egypt,where he was trained in the Hanifite school of law; however, he later became a Shafi'itewith an inclination to Zahirite views. Al-Maqriziconfessed to his contemporaries that he believed that he was related to theFatimids through the son of imam al-Muizz. Ibn Hajarpreserves the most memorable account: his father, as they entered the al-HakimMosque one day, told him "My son, you are entering the mosqueof your ancestor." However, his father also instructed al-Maqrizi not toreveal this information to anyone he could not trust; Walker concludes:

Ultimately it would be hard to conclude that al-Maqriziconceived any more than an antiquarian interest in the Fatimids. His mainconcern seems more likely to be the meaning they and their city might have forthe present, that is, for Mamluk Egypt and its role in Islam. (p.167)

In 1385, he went on theIslamic pilgrimage, the Hajj.For some time he was secretary in a government office, and in 1399 became inspectorof markets for Cairo and northern Egypt. Thispost he soon gave up to become a preacher at the Mosque of 'Amr ibn al 'As, president ofthe al-Hakim Mosque, and a lecturer on tradition.In 1408, he went to Damascus to become inspector of the Qalanisryya and lecturer.Later, he retired into private life at Cairo.

In 1430, he again went onHajj with his family and travelled for some five years. His learning was great,his observation accurate and his judgement good, but his books are largelycompilations, and he does not always acknowledge the sources upon which herelied.


Most of Al-Maqrizi'sworks, exceeding 200[2],are concerned with Egypt.The most important is the Mawaiz wa al-'i'tibar bi dhikr al-khitat waal-'athar (2 vols., Bulaq, 1854), translated into French by UrbainBouriant as Description topographique et historique de l'Égypte(Paris, 1895–1900; compare A. R. Guest, "A Listof Writers, Books and other Authorities mentioned by El Maqrizi in hisKhitat," in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1902,pp. 103–125).

Of his History of theFatimites an extract was published by J.G.L. Kosegarten in his Chrestomathia(Leipzig, 1828), pp. 115–123; the History of the Ayyubit and MamelukeRulers has been translated into French by Etienne Marc Quatremère (2 vols., Paris,1837–1845).

Maqrizi began a large workcalled the Muqaffa, an encyclopediaof Egyptian biography in alphabetic order. Another Egyptian historian, al-Sakhawi,believed this would require eighty volumes to complete, but only sixteen werewritten. Three autograph volumes exist in manuscript in Leiden, and onein Paris.

Smaller works

  • Mahomeddan Coinage (ed. O. G. Tychsen, Rostock, 1797; French translation by Silvestre de Sacy, Paris, 1797)
  • Arab Weights and Measures (ed. Tychsen, Rostock, 1800)
  • Arabian Tribes that migrated to Egypt (ed. F. Wüstenfeld, Göttingen, 1847)
  • Account of Hadhramaut (ed. P. B. Noskowyj, Bonn, 1866)
  • Strife between the Bani Umayya and the Bani Hashim (ed. G. Vos, Leiden, 1888)
  • Historia Regum Islamiticorum in Abyssinia (ed. and Latin trans. F. T. Rink, Leiden, 1790).


  • Al Mawaiz wa al-'i'tibar bi dhikr al-khitat wa al-'athar (about the planning of Cairo and its monuments)
  • Al Selouk Leme'refatt Dewall al-Melouk (about Mamluk history in Egypt)
  • Ette'aaz al-honafa be Akhbaar al-A'emma Al Fatemeyyeen Al Kholafaa (about the Fatimid state)
  • Al Bayaan wal E'raab Amma Be Ard Misr min al A'raab (about the Arab Tribes in Egypt)
  • Eghathatt Al Omma be Kashf Al Ghomma (about the famines that took place in Egypt)
  • Al Maqfi (biographies of princes and prominent personality of his time)

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