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Ibn Khaldoon

  • Date Submitted: 10/31/2010 09:12 AM
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Ibn Khaldun
IBN KHALDUN (1332 - 1395. A.D.)
Abd-al-Rahman Ibn-e-Mohammad is generally known as Ibn Khaldun. With remote ancestors, his parents were originally Yemenite Arabs, and had settled in Spain. But after the fall of Seville, they had migrated to Tunisia. He was born in Tunisia in 1332 A.D. where he received his early education and where, still in his teens, he entered the services of the then Egyptian ruler, Sultan Barquq. His quest for advanced knowledge and a better academic achievement, soon made him leave this service and migrate to Fez. This was followed by a long period of unrest marked by contemporary political rivalries affecting his career. This turbulent period also included a three year refuge in a small village Qalat Ibn Salama in Algeria, which provided him with the opportunity to write Muqaddimah, the first volume of his world history that won him an immortal place among historians, sociologists and philosophers. The uncertainty of his career still continued, with Egypt becoming his final abode where he spent his last 24 years. Here he lived a life of fame and respect, marked by his appointment as the Chief Malakite Judge and lecturing at the Al-Azhar University, but envy caused his removal from his high judicial office as many as five times.
Ibn Khaldun's chief contribution lies in philosophy of history and sociology. He sought to write a world history preambled by a first volume aimed at an analysis of historical events. This volume, commonly known as Muqaddimah or 'Prolegomena', was based on Ibn Khaldun's unique approach and original contribution and became a masterpiece in literature on philosophy of history and sociology. The chief concern of this monumental work was to identify psychological, economic, environmental and social facts that contribute to the advancement of human civilization and the currents of history. In this context, he analysed the dynamics of group relationships and showed how group feelings, al-'Asabiyya, give rise...

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