Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Ibn Khaldun (1332–1406)
Jennifer A. London
The name Khaldun (meaning eternal or immortal) seems fitting for a scholar who immortalized a theory of world history, its vicissitudes and its connection with ancient Arabia. Ibn Khaldun was not just an intellectual. He pursued many careers, from being the official document signer (Sähib al-'Alâma) and a secretary under the H. afsid dynasty, to heading political missions for the Marïnids and working as a Malikï judge and professor in Egypt. He was even interviewed by the great fourteenth-century Tartar Emperor Tamerlane. As is the case with most great intellectuals, the verdict on his scholarship has been mixed. While some referred to Ibn Khaldun as wall al-din (guardian of the religion), the prominent fourteenth-century Malikï judge Muhammad ibn Arafa al-Warghamï apparently stated that he lost all respect for the office of the jurist when Ibn Khaldun was made one (Rosenwald, 1967, p. lvi). We might wonder if such contempt In ...