Thursday, May 29, 2014

A00022 - Hamawi, Yaqut ibn 'Abdullah al-Rumi al-, Islamic Biographer and Geographer

Hamawi, Yaqut ibn 'Abdullah al-Rumi al-
Yaqut ibn 'Abdullah al-Rumi al-Hamawi (1179–1229) (Arabic: ياقوت الحموي الرومي‎) was an Islamic biographer and geographer renowned for his encyclopedic writings on the Muslim world. "al-Rumi" ("from Rum") refers to his Greek (Byzantine) descent; "al-Hamawi" is taken after Hama, Syria, and ibn-Abdullah is a reference to his father's name, Abdullah. The word yāqūt means ruby or hyacinth.

Yaqut was working as a slave to a trader, Askar ibn Abi Nasr al-Hamawi, who lived in Baghdad, Iraq.  His master taught him accounting and trading and sent him to trade on his behalf. He later freed him of his obligations and that enabled Yaqut to dedicate himself to his scholarly tasks. He was one of the last scholars who had access to the libraries east of the Caspian Sea before the Mongol invasion of Central Asia. Yaqut travelled to the peaceful scholarly city of ancient Merv in present-day Turkmenistan. There Yaqut spent two years in libraries, learning much of the knowledge he would later use in his works. Yaqut spent the last few years of his life in Aleppo and died there.

The works of al-Hamawi include the following:

  • Kitab mu'jam al-buldan (معجم البلدان "Dictionary of Countries")
  • Mu'jam al-udabā', (معجم الأدباء "Dictionary of Writers") written in 1226.
  • al-Mushtarak wadh'ā wal-Muftaraq Sa'qā (المشترک وضعا والمفترق صعقا )

A00021 - Hamdun ibn al-Hajj, Moroccan Scholar

Hamdun ibn al-Hajj or in full Abu al-Fayd Hamdun ibn Abd al-Rahman ibn Hamdun ibn Abd al-Rahman Mohammed ibn al-Hajj al-Fasi al-Sulami al-Mirdasi (1760–1817) was one of the most outstanding scholars of the reign of Mulay Suleiman of Morocco.  He was a committed Tijani Sufi but also an outspoken critic of some of the practices of Sufism in that time. Hamdun ibn al-Hajj was also one of the best known poets of the period and the author of a diwan (Silsilat Dhakhair al-turath al-adabi bi-al-Maghrib). He also wrote a commentary on Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani's Muqaddimaha gloss on Taftazani's treatise on the Mukhtasar and a series of Diwans including a controversial poem dedicated to Amir Sau'ud ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A00020 - Malik Bendjelloul, Oscar Winner for "Searching for Sugar Man"

Bendjelloul, Malik
Malik Bendjelloul (September 14, 1977 – May 13, 2014) was an Algerian Swedish Academy-Award-winning  documentary filmmaker, journalist and former child actor. He is best known for his 2012 documentary, Searching for Sugar Man, which won an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

000019 - Nazim al-Haqqani, Sufi Spiritual Leader

Nazim al-Haqqani or Mehmet Nâzım Adil (Arabic: محمد ناظم الحقاني ‎, April 21, 1922  / Sha'ban  23, 1340 AH – May 7, 2014), formally referred to as Muhammad Nazim Adil al-Qubrusi al-Haqqani (Turkish: Nazım Kıbrısi), often called Shaykh (or Sheikh) Nazim, was a Turkish Cypriot Sufi Sheikh and leader of the Naqshbandi-Haqqani Order.