Home / news / Ibn Khaldun’s modern rational faces … the historian who was neglected by the Arabs and known by the Ottomans and the orientalists

Ibn Khaldun’s modern rational faces … the historian who was neglected by the Arabs and known by the Ottomans and the orientalists

It is not strange that the historian Abd al-Rahman ibn Khaldun was called the “Arab Montskyou.” Since his intellectual image was completed during the seventeenth century from Orientalism, as one of the flags of Arab history during the medieval era, Europeans hastened to pay attention to his heritage, study, verify and dismantle it, and highlight what is included in the book “Al-Abr’s History” And the Divan of the Beginning and the News in the days of the Arabs, Persians and Berbers, and those of their contemporaries who were of the greatest authority “of knowledge and science.

Especially since the author of “the book” is a historian, judge, scholar and sociologist who is considered one of the most important historical sources in the Far Maghreb during the thirteenth century AD, which broadened the horizon of history science, and he was keen at that early time to make historical writing, knowing its laws, causes and foundations, which are based It is like any other science within the field of the humanities.

On this basis, the image of Ibn Khaldun within the Orientalist writings remained imprinted with a lot of apprehension at times and interest in him at other times, due to the scientific sobriety that characterized Ibn Khaldun, whether as a practitioner of political power through the judiciary or through his historical books, which played a major role in highlighting his image as a scholar since he abandoned Politics and his retirement from the life of the elite and prestige after the death of his family.

At that time, Ibn Khaldun decided in his privacy to devote himself to worship and authorship in the science of history, that retreat with which most Arab historians became controversial in the medieval and modern era, due to the intellectual strength that distinguished his writings, so that the only image that the world maintains today of Ibn Khaldun is not The image of the politician or the man of the judiciary, but the scholar who collects in his educational attainment and the founder of the science of human urbanism for which he was famous.

Ibn Khaldun and art

Artistically and cinematically, the character of Ibn Khaldun did not gain the attention of some Arab and foreign directors, whether fictional or documentary, in comparison with other personalities such as Al-Farabi, Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd, Ibn Arabi and other Arab thinkers, whom the camera shed light on, because of their great biography and ideas as phenomena that sprang up in the margins Arab societies penetrated the center, and with it its traditional oral structure, in many subjects, which served as intellectual certifications during the medieval era.

The novel remains the only literary genre that accompanied Ibn Khaldun’s intellectual and emotional biography. We refer here, for example, without limitation, to the novel “The Allama” by the Moroccan thinker Bensalem Himmich, who singled out this novel with great care, both in terms of language and the hidden worlds of Ibn Khaldun’s biography. Khaldoun.

In this novel, Himmish sheds light on topics and issues that were not covered by most of the intellectual studies, which were exposed to the Khaldouni body through study and analysis, knowing that Hamish himself had previously carried out a deep intellectual study entitled “The Khalduniya in the Light of the Philosophy of History”.

Orientalist interests

On the importance of Ibn Khaldun, its value and its discovery in the context of Orientalism, the Lebanese historian Khaled Ziada says to Al-Jazeera Net that it is common that “Ibn Khaldun was re-discovered by European researchers at the beginning of the nineteenth century, after he was absent from the Arabs for 4 centuries.”

They only rediscovered it through orientalists, who drew attention to his importance as the author of a theory in the rise and collapse of states, before Western researchers discovered that he was the founder of sociology (al-Omran), and many studies were written about Ibn Khaldun, his importance and theories by European and Arab researchers and scholars.

The correct view is that the Arab historians who came after him neglected his mention and its impact, with the exception of Taqi al-Din al-Maqrizi (d .: 845 AH / 1442 CE), the author of the history of “The Conduct to Know the Countries of Kings” and the author of the book “Relief of the Ummah by Uncovering the Sorrow”, in which he takes the principle of Ibn Khaldun (injustice is a foreword to the destruction of construction) , “The causes of famines are not natural, but rather the reason for the rulers’ mismanagement. “

From “attribution” to “urban laws”

On this basis, the Arabs paid attention to the importance of Ibn Khaldun and his position as a historian who was proactive in providing indications about the science of history and its laws, and to get it out of a blind narrative tract that does not see the event except in its transmission and narration without scrutiny in its sources, documents and narratives, which made Arab historical writing since its early stages, It takes a news dimension with distinction, as it was based on the concept of khabar and the approach of “isnad”. Its features have crystallized within many historical sources, most notably the Book of Tabari “The History of Nations and Kings” or “The History of the Apostles and Kings” known as the history of al-Tabari, which is the first historical work. Methodology for writing Arab and Islamic history.

This allowed Al-Tabari, at that early time in Islamic history, to become one of the most important historians who made a qualitative and important leap on the level of al-Isnad methodology in the field of historical writing from the religious sciences for greater scrutiny of the news.

The Moroccan thinker Ali Oumlil says in his book “The Historical Discourse: A Study of Ibn Khaldun’s Methodology” about this matter, “If we examine the ground on which al-Tabari built his history, we find ourselves in the matter of a date formulated on the ground of the story. The news in it has been arranged according to events, and every event is supported by an evidence or There are several evidence, and here, in particular, Al-Tabari made an important leap, going beyond the history of the news.

In the face of the Arabs ’forgetting about Ibn Khaldun, Khaled Ziadeh believes that the Ottomans played a great role in introducing the man’s intellectual biography, especially since they were proactive in discovering him. , The Ottoman Turks knew Ibn Khaldun early, and his discovery served to search for the causes of the Ottoman decline.

And the first of the Turks who knew Ibn Khaldun was Haji Khalifa (d .: 1067 AH / 1657 CE), the author of the Encyclopedia “Kashf al-Zhanun About the Topics of Books and the Arts,” in which he refers to the book “The Lessons and the Divan of the Beginning and the News…”, and says that Sheikh Ahmad al-Maqri al-Maghribi (d .: 1631 CE) has Explanation of the book.

Haji Khalifa resorted to the introduction of Ibn Khaldun in a letter he addressed to Sultan Muhammad IV under the title “The Constitution of Work to Fix the Imbalance”, in which he explains the reasons for the Ottoman backwardness – as presented by Ibn Khaldun – and says that states like individuals go through 3 stages: growth, stagnation and decline, and that the Ottoman state She has lived for a long time, the stage of recession has passed, and the features of the third stage have appeared.

Likewise, the historian Ahmed Bin Lotf Allah (d .: 1702 AD) known as the Bashi Minejim had resorted to Ibn Khaldun when he mentioned in his history (Jami` al-Dawal) the need to know construction in order to write history, as well as the historian Mustafa Na`ima (d .: 1716 AD) who mentions Ibn Khaldoun and his book, which includes the gems of science and anecdotes of wisdom and buried knowledge. Naima quotes from Ibn Khaldun in his discussion of the phases of states, but he says that getting out of the final decadence can be done through rational men who are working to prevent the degeneration of the state.

Separate the religious from the epistemological

Although Ibn Khaldun relied on al-Tabari in his writings and relied on them often, al-Tabari did not escape from the harsh criticism directed by Ibn Khaldun for his methodology within historical writing, especially since Ibn Khaldun distinguished himself in his vision and perceptions with an explicit call for rationality, based on the necessity of separation Between the religious and the epistemological, or in other words the separation of the Arabic historical writing, between the science of history as an epistemological science independent of the religious sciences.

On this basis and others, Ibn Khaldun achieved a systematic revolution that made him the most “modern” historian during the medieval era, as he penetrated the paths of a traditional intellectual system upon which Arab history was built from its early stages, working to make urban laws as the most important objective methods and methodological tools to verify and measure the validity of news From its falsehood.

In this regard, Ibn Khaldun says in his introduction, “The modification and dissent are what is considered in the validity of the legitimate news, because most of them are construction costs that the lawmaker has required to work with until it is assumed that they are true, and the way to think validity is to trust the narrators with justice and control. As for news about the incidents, it must be true and correct. The consideration of conformity, therefore, must be considered for the possibility of its occurrence, and that became more important than the amendment and was taken beforehand.

The historian Khaled Ziada notes that “the first translation of parts of the introduction of Ibn Khaldun was made by one of the scholars who held the position of Sheikh of Islam for a period, Beri Zadeh (1748). European countries and Russia. “

Ziada adds that the influence of Ibn Khaldun did not depend on the Ottomans during the nineteenth century.

He concludes that the impact of Ibn Khaldun penetrated through historians and writers of the Ottoman state to perform a vital function to rebuild the state by explaining the causes of deterioration, delay, and the retreat of institutions from performing their functions between the beginning of the 17th century until the end of the 19th century.




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