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On the character, content, and authorship of Itmam Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma and the identity of the author of Muntakhab Siwan al-hikma.

The Siwan al-hikma sequence of texts is, in its narrow meaning, a corpus of three biographical and doxographical dictionaries of philosophical and medical scholars, written between the late tenth and the early thirteenth centuries. These books are Siwan al-hikma (The Cabinet of Wisdom) itself, Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma (The Continuation of "The Cabinet of Wisdom"), authored by Zahir al-Din Ibn Funduq al-Bayhaqi (d. 565/1169-70), and Itmam Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma (The Completion of "The Continuation of the Cabinet of Wisdom"), by a yet unidentified author who is one of the foci of this article. In addition to these three texts there are several abbreviations of the original Siwan al-hikma as well as further abbreviations of these abbreviations, so that the overall number of extant works that belong to the Siwan al-hikma sequence of texts comes to at least seven. (1)

In the past, Siwan al-hikma was often ascribed to Abu Sulayman al-Sijistani (d. ca. 377/987-8), an influential philosopher and a student of Yahya ibn 'Adi (d. 363/974), whose teachings are preserved in the writings of his follower al-Tawhidi (d. between 400 and 414/1009 and 1023). In an important article in 1981, however, Wadad al-Qadi showed that Abu Sulayman could not have been the author of the book; she suggested Abu 1-Qasim al-Kirmani, the "Ghulam of al-Amiri" (d. ca. 410/1020) instead. (2) Joel Kraemer suggested that the book was "a compendium of texts that were studied in lessons or discussions in Sijistani's circle." (3) Abu 1-Qasim al-Kirmani was a member of that circle.

The abbreviated versions of Siwan al-hikma are of great importance because the original text of the book is lost. There are at least two direct abbreviations. The earlier of the two, Mukhtasar Siwan al-hikma (Abridgement of The Cabinet of Wisdom"), was written by the philosopher Zayn al-Din 'Umar ibn Sahlan al-Sawi (d. ca. 540/1145) in the early part of the sixth/twelfth century. (4) A second abbreviation, Muntakhab Siwan al-hikma (Selection from "The Cabinet of Wisdom"), was written less than one hundred years later at the turn of the seventh/thirteenth century by an unknown author, whose identity is also a target of this paper. Muntakhab al-hikma is a much more thorough work than the mukhtasar of al-Sawi and it has shaped our view of what the original Siwan al-hikma looked like. (5) There is most probably a third direct abbreviation of certain parts of Siwan al-hikma in a text known as the "Philosophical Quartet," Mukhtar min kalam al-hukama' al-arba'a al-akabir. (6)

It is worth noting that the biographical information in the Siwan al-hikma corpus had no direct influence on the best known and most widely read historians of philosophy and the sciences in Islam, i.e., Ibn al-Nadim (d. 385/995), Ibn (d. 646/1248), and Ibn Abi Usaybi'a (d. 668/1270). (7) While Ibn al-Qifti and Ibn Abi Usaybi'a represent the Syrian school of writers on the history of philosophy and the sciences in Islam, the Siwan al-hikma corpus originated in Iraq and western Iran and moved eastward--first, with the Tatimma to Khurasan, and then with the Itmam, as we will see, even further to the east. The Siwan al-hikma sequence represents an Iranian strand of the history of philosophy and the sciences in Islam that was picked up by Iranian historians such as al-Shahrastani (d. 548/1153) and very extensively by al-Shahrazuri (fl. 687/1288). (8) It remains to a significant degree independent of the Syrian tradition of Ibn al-Qifti, Ibn Abi Usaybi'a, and also Yaqut al-Rumi (d. 626/1229), which has shaped our perspective of this history. It is also worth noting that while Ibn al-Nadim, Ibn Ibn Abi Usaybi'a, and Yaqut al-Rumi make diligent efforts to inform their readers of the dates of the lifetimes of the scholars covered in their works, such dates are a rarity in the Siwan al-hikma corpus. In his Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma al-Bayhaqi makes some effort to provide historical dates for the scholars he discusses, but they are almost entirely absent from the abbreviations of Siwan al-hikma and the Itmam. (9)

The Siwan al-hikma corpus has attracted a significant amount of attention among Western scholars. Although manuscripts of some of the extant works are available in Western libraries, most prominently in London, Berlin, and Leiden, serious research only began in 1931 when Martin Plessner described three manuscripts of texts from the sequence in Istanbul libraries. (10) These manuscripts represent the most widespread configuration of texts of this corpus, bringing together in one volume Muntakhab Siwan al-hikman, al-Bayhaqi's Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma, and Itmam Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma. (11) The creator of this configuration was the compiler of Muntakhab Siwan al-hikma, a figure who is known as the muntakhib. At the beginning of this volume, he explains that he abbreviated Siwan al-hikma and added the Tatimma by al-Bayhaqi and a third short text, the Itmam, which he himself authored. The beginning of Muntakhab Siwan al-hikma reads:
  The wise and virtuous man who is the selector (muntakhib) of this
  book--may God have mercy on him--said: (12) I decided to put down
  in writing historical accounts of the philosophers (hukama'), their
  names, some of what they have said, and their character traits. In
  doing so I selected (intakhabtu) from the book Siwan al-hikma the
  reports on the older ones (qudama'). At the end of that I wrote down
  the book Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma by the virtuous imam Zahir al-Din
  Abu 1-Hasan ibn Abi 1-Qasim al-Bayhaqi--may God have mercy on him. At
  the end of that I put (wada'tu) an epistle and called it Itmam Tatimma
  and I transmit in it the poetry of the recent philosophers (al-muta'
  akhkhirun min al-hukama) and with it I seal the historical accounts.

These words clarify that the muntakhib is the same person who authored the Itmam. Since Plessner's article of 1931 various attempts have been made in the West to identify this person, yet none has been successful. Unbeknownst to many Western researchers, however, is a suggestion Muhammad Taqi Danishpazhuh (1911-1996) made in 1959 in a Persian scholarly journal. An Iranian scholar with a famously encyclopedic knowledge of Arabic and Persian literatures, Danishpazhuh published an edition of an anonymous Arabic philosophical doxography from the seventh/thirteenth century preserved in a manuscript at the Escorial Library in Spain. (14) In the introduction to that edition Danishpazhuh makes an attempt to determine the possible sources of the short text, which leads him to a comprehensive discussion of other known philosophical doxographies and dictionaries of philosophical scholars in Islam. (15) In that context he deals with the Siwan al-hikma corpus and he describes eight manuscripts that contain texts belonging to it. (16) Danishpazhuh sought to find out who compiled the most common configuration of texts--in other words, he tried to determine the identity of the muntakhib and the author of the Itmam. He discusses the possibility that it was Abu Isbaq Ibrahim ibn Muhammad, known as Ghadanfar Tabrizi (d. ca. 690/1291). Ghadanfar Tabrizi is known for having made an excerpt of a popular medical textbook by Hunayn ibn Ishaq (d. 260/873). (17) He is also the author of al-Mushatta li-risalat al-Fihrist, a catalogue of the works of al-Biruni (d. ca. 442/1050), which he compiled in 683/1284 as an appendix to al-Biruni's own catalogue of works by Abu Bakr ibn Zakariyya' al-Razi (d. 313/925 or 323/935). (18) We will see that the muntakhib distinguishes himself by an intimate knowledge of al-Biruni's life, which will eventually lead us to his identification.

Despite his fitting numerous criteria of the muntakhib, Danishpazhuh asserted that Ghadanfar was not the compiler since Ghadanfar himself had made an excerpt from that book. Ghadanfar is the author of Ta liq min kitab Muntakhab al-hikma (Notes from the Book "Selection from the Cabinet of Wisdom"), which is preserved in a unique manuscript in Leiden. This short text is an abbreviation of the muntakhib's abbreviated Siwan al-hikma. It condenses not only Muntakhab Siwan al-hikma but also the other two texts. Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma and the Itmam, offering its readers a Miniaturbild ('miniature'), to use Martin Plessner's term, of the type of book put together by the muntakhib. The Leiden manuscript was copied by one of Ghadanfar's students, a scholar by the name of Ibn a1-Ghulam al-Qunawi, in the year 692/1293. (19) Since Ghadanfar abbreviated the Itmam along with the two other texts, it is highly unlikely that he authored the abbreviated text as well.

We will also see that Ghadanfar lived one or two generations too late. The terminus ante quem for the composition of this volume is 639/1241, the date when the oldest manuscript was copied. (20) Ghadanfar was active in the second half of the seventh/thirteenth century in what was most likely an Il-Khanid scholarly environment. Although we have no certain death date, he informs us in an autobiographical passage of his year of birth, which was 629/1232-3. (21) This disqualifies him as the author of a book that was copied just nine years later.

In his discussion of the three texts brought together in the manuscript by the muntakhih. Danishpazhuh offers an important clue in a short note where he says. "I have come to believe that Sirr al-surur of al-Ghaznawi and the Itmam are one and the same book." (22) Danishpazhuh had dealt with Sirr al-surur earlier in his article, (23) and he noted that Katib Celebi describes it as an anthology of Arabic poetry by Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi al-Ghaznawi. The book is not known to be extant, however. Danishpazhuh had read a short Arabic note at the end of a Persian astronomical manuscript at the University Library in Tehran in which a passage from the lost Sirr al-surur is quoted, and he had seen that very same text, which describes the author of the astronomical work, in one of the manuscripts of Itmam Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma. (24) Thus his conclusion that Sirr al-surur and the Itmam are one and the same work. Danishpazhuh also posited that Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi was the scholar who compiled the type of manuscript we associate with the muntakhib of Siwan al-hikma. (25)

Although I came across Danishpazhuh's Persian article only after I had completed my own research on the authorship of Itmam Tatimmat Siwan ai-hikma, I have little to add to his findings. While I disagree on some minor points--for instance. I do not believe that Sirr al-surur and the Itmam are "one and the same" (haman)--I, too, identify Mu'in al-Din Abu l-Ala' Muhammad ibn Mahmud a1-Nisburi (or, al-Naysaburi) al-Ghaznawi as the author of that book, and thus the muntakhib of Siwan al-hikma. In the following I will describe Itmam Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma and its contents and provide further evidence for Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi's authorship. I will also gather all available information on the author and draw some conclusions on the type of manuscript he created. The article is brought to a close by an appendix listing the thirty-nine authors who have entries (tarajim) in the Itmam.


Itmam Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma is without doubt the wallflower within the Siwan al-hikma corpus of texts in that it has attracted the least attention. Even scholars very familiar with the Muntakhab and/or the Tatimma often know little about this third text. The short work of roughly sixty pages contains articles on thirty-nine authors of philosophical and scientific works. The book begins with al-Farabi (d. 339/950-1) and Ibn Sina (d. 429/1037). It is significant that some scholars who lived earlier than Ibn Sina, such as his teacher Abu Sahl al-Masihi (d. 408/1017), the Christian philosopher Yahya ibn Adi, and other philosophers of the fourth/tenth century, such as Shuhayd ibn al-Husayn al-Balkhi (d. 315/927) or Abu Sulayman al-Sijistani, are mentioned after him. (26) This shows that the order of treatment is not purely chronological; a certain idea of rank has also gone into it. The book thus reproduces an Avicennan understanding of the history of philosophy in Islam. Ibn Sind, the great master, is preceded only by al-Farabi, who with Aristotle is the only authority Ibn Sind acknowledges in his works. Ghadanfar Tabrizi's excerpt of the book in the Leiden manuscript lacks the entry on al-Farabi, thus further underscoring the centrality of Ibn Sina for the falsafa movement that the book portrays. (27)

Despite the Avicennan picture this book presents of the falsafa movement, the scholars mentioned therein need not all be Avicennans or Aristotelians, as the example of al-Biruni, whom I will discuss below, shows. The tarajim are devoted to scholars who were active in the fields of philosophy, mathematics, and the natural sciences, most often medicine. The majority of these figures are known to us from other sources, most importantly al-Bayhaqi's Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma or the parallel Syrian tradition of philosophical historiography in Ibn al-Qifti and Ibn Abi Usaybi'a. Yet there are twelve entries on scholars whom I could not identify in any other source. The list of scholars is roughly chronological, beginning with authors of the fourth/tenth century and proceeding into the fifth/eleventh and sixth/twelfth centuries. It ends with an entry on Shihab al-Din Yabya al-Suhrawardi, whose death in 587/1191 is mentioned and thus gives us the terminus post quern for the composition of this book. It should be noted that al-Suhrawardi seems to be the only scholar included who is known to have died after al-Bayhaqi. The book, therefore, is only a very limited update of Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma, and its "completion," i.e., itmam, consists of the addition of a certain facet to the Tatimma and Muntakhab Siwan al-hikma that the author thinks is underrepresented in these two books. In its introduction the author says:
  This is the epistle that is appended to the book Tatimmat Siwan
  al-hikma, which I promised in the first part, the abridgement
  (mukhtasar) of Siwan al-hikma. Here I brought together some of
  the useful lessons of the philosophers and some of their poetry
  that are worthy of those two sources (hadhayni l-aslayni, meaning
  the two earlier texts), so that this book (viz., the collection of
  three texts put together by the muntakhib) is a better carrier,
  more beneficial, more perfect, and more complete--with God's help
  and Him granting us good success. (28)

Useful lessons (fawa'id) and poetry (ash'an) are what this book wants to provide. Indeed, most of the entries contain only poetry and no other information whatsoever about the authors of the lines quoted, making Itmam Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma more an anthology of poetry than a history of the philosophical movement. All the elements that make a history such as that of Ibn Abi Usaybi a so interesting are lacking. The Itmam's author is not interested in informing his reader about when these philosophers and scientists lived--I came across very few historical dates--or what their major achievements in philosophy or medicine were. The author's main concern is the poetry that these scholars produced. In the entry on Ibn Sina, for instance, we read that he was born in the vicinity of Bukhara yet spent most of his days in Isfahan, where he acted as vizier to the Kakuyid Ala al-Dawla, in whose service he died in 428 A.H. at the age of 58. Then follows some hyperbole about his greatness and his work until the subject of his poetry is reached, at which point eight dense pages of poetry and aphorisms ascribed to Ibn Sina follow. Most of the other entries are composed in the same way, though none reaches the length of that on Ibn Sina. Most are, in fact, very brief, with just the name of the philosopher or scientist followed by the words The said in his poetry ..." (qala fi shi'rihi ...) or something similar and a number of lines of poetry.

The poems in this book are mostly written by authors connected with the falsafa movement. At times, as in the case of Abu l-Barakat al-Baghdadi (d. ca. 560/1165), they are anonymous poems written about the life of a certain fay/curt/or physician.29 It seems clear, however, that except for a few entries that will be discussed below, this book has no ambition to be a history of the philosophical movement the way, e.g., al-Bayhaqi's Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma attempts to be. In those cases where some information is given, as in the entry on Ebn Sind, it is hardly original. Despite this, there are a few pieces of biographical information in this book that are truly original. The author, for instance, knows that al-Lawkari (d. after 503/1109), a second-generation student of Ibn Sina, worked with Umar al-Khayyam, Ibn Kushik, and al-Wasiti, from which we can deduce that he was part of the group of scholars whom Sultan Malikshah around 467/1074 charged to develop the so-called Jalalian calendar. (30) The Itmam is the earliest known work that mentions al-Lawkari's connection with these scholars, and thus our ultimate source for this information. Another piece of original information comes in the very short entry on Abu A1i al-Masumi, one of Ibn Sina's most important students. Here the author knows that al-Masumi was killed in 420/1029 in Rayy when Mabmud ibn Sebuktegin sacked the city "and killed those who devoted themselves to the ancient sciences (muntahali 'ilm al-awa'il)." (31)

Although these pieces of information are original to the Itmam, they are not exactly news to us. Al-Shahrazuri used the Itmam in Nuzhat al-arwah wa-rawdat al-afrah his biographical dictionary of philosophers and scientists, and he extracted this original information and included it in his own book so that we already know these two biographical snippets even if they have not yet been noted in the most recent secondary literature. (32) There is, however, an interesting comment on al-Suhrawardi's death that is not preserved elsewhere, not even in a1-Shahrazuri's long biography of this philosopher. (33) Shortly before his death in 587/1191, al-Suhrawardi was in some kind of tutor position to al-Malik al-Zahir Ghazi (568-613/1173-1216), one of Salah al-Din's (d. 589/1193) sons. Five years earlier Salah al-Din had appointed his son as governor over Aleppo. On al-Suhrawardi's death the author of the Itmam says the following:
  Al-Malik al-Zahir, son of Sahib al-Din, the sultan of Syria, killed
  him in the citadel of Aleppo as a result of some fabrications about
  him by the religious scholars (fuqaha') triggered by envy. They said
  he made claims of prophecy but he was innocent of that--God will
  reckon between him and the envious. (34)

This is the earliest literary reaction to al-Suhrawardi's death, written, as we will see, only a few years after the event. Although this report left its traces in what has become the canonical report of al-Suhrawardi's killing in al-Shahrazuri--some phrases appear there verbatim--it differs in that the author of the Itmam ascribes the order to kill al-Suhrawardi to the eighteen-year-old al-Malik al-Zahir Ghazi himself and not, as claimed by al-Shahrazuri and other historians, to his father Salah al-Din. (35) The Itmam also informs us that the view that al-Suhrawardi's death was a result of trumped-up charges by the religious scholars of Aleppo circulated very early after his killing.

The short note in the entry on al-Masumi illustrates the Itmam author's effort in most of the tarajim to be brief and to focus on biographical information that made a truly original contribution to what is already known. The entry on al-Masumi in al-Bayhaqi's Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma clarifies al-Ma'sumi's position within the tradition of falsafa; the author of the Itman adds only what was not known to al-Bayhaqi and he preserves six lines of al-Ma'sumi's poetry. (36)

The focus on poetry and what is truly original in terms of information on these authors leads us to a discussion about the author of the text. There are at least two tarajim in this book that are significantly longer than all the others--with the exception of that on Ibn Sana--and these shall lead us to the identification of the author.


Already in 1931 Helmut Plessner suggested a time span for the active life of the author of the Itmam. Since the book mentions al-Suhrawardi's death and since the oldest manuscript was copied in 639/1241, the time period of his writing can be reduced to the fifty years following 587/1191. Plessner voiced the expectation that with such a short period, "it can be hoped for that [the muntakhib] will be successfully identified." (37) Summarizing her own work and the research of several of her colleagues, Wadad al-Qadi in 1981 wrote that "the Muntakhab was written (...) in the latter decades of the sixth/twelfth century or in the first decades of the seventh/thirteenth century." (38)

While by and large correct, Wadad al-Qadi's comment is based on a minor mistake and we can be even more precise and exclude the first decades of the seventh/thirteenth century. Al-Qadi and several other scholars before her, among whom were Joel Kraemer and Daniel Gimaret, had studied the interpolations of the muntakhib within Muntakhab Siwan al-hikma i.e., passages that were clearly authored by the muntakhib and do not belong to the text from which he made his selection. They pointed to a particularly interesting interpolation in which the muntakhib refers to his personal acquaintance with one Baha' al-Din Muhammad al-Tabari. (39) Kraemer, al-Qadi, and Dimitri Gutas assumed he was a scholar of the early seventh/thirteenth century when, in fact, he was active more than half a century earlier in the middle of the sixth/twelfth century. They included the "first decades of the seventh/thirteenth century" in their dating of the muntakhib's activity based on an unreliable piece of information they found in Brockelmann. Since Baha al-Din Muhammad al-Tabari was an established scholar in the middle of the sixth/twelfth century, few of his acquaintances could still have been alive during the early decades of the seventh/thirteenth century. (40)

One of the most extraordinary features of the Itmam is the long entry on al-Biruni. (41) While most entries in the book are just a few lines long, that on al-Biruni stretches over more than seven densely packed pages. And, while most other entries, including other long ones on Ibn Sina, for instance, offer just a bare minimum of historical prose and focus on the poetry that these philosophers produced, the entry on al-Biruni features more than five pages of prose. The first half of these five pages gives an account of al-Biruni's dealings with the Samanid and the Ghaznawid rulers at whose courts he worked. The second half is the text of the introduction to al-Biruni's astronomical work dedicated to Mas'ud ibn Mahmud al-Qanun al-mas'udi, reproduced here, the author says, to give a specimen of the eloquence of al-Birtuni's Arabic prose (42). The entry includes only two long and three short poems at the end. In the two longer poems al-Biruni makes extensive autobiographical statements. They are, like much of the original information in the Itmam, not unknown to us. Heinrich Suter and Eilhard Wiedemann had understood the importance of these poems and published a German translation with comments in 1922 (43). Since then these two poems have always been treated as being among the most important sources on al-Biruni's life (44).

Given the unusual length of his own prose in comparison to al-Biruni's poetry, the author of the Itmam must have thought differently about this scholar than, e.g., about al-Ma'sumi or Ibn Sina. Compared with most of the other tarajim in the book, the one on al-Biruni offers substantial original information. In fact, it is a very important source on the life of al-Biruni and by far the longest entry on him in all of classical Islamic literature. Ibn Abi Usaybi'a, for instance, has just a very brief entry on al-Biruni (45). Ibn al-Qifti and Ibn Khallikan have none at all.

The Itmam entry on al-Biruni was copied by at least two later authors. Al-Shahrazuri in his Nuzhat al-arwah copies half of the entry verbatim--the first half with the historical account on al-Biruni's life--and leaves out the poetry (46) He does not identify his source. This should not surprise us as al-Shahrazuri used the Siwan al-hikma corpus of texts intensively and systematically extracted biographical information from it without acknowledgements. It is the second quotation that leads us to the author of the book. In his dictionary of poets and litterateurs, Irshad al-arid (also known as Mu'jam al-udaba reproduces almost the same text on al-Biruni that we find in al-Shahraziki (47) Both al-Shahrazuri and Yaqut extract most of the information they have on al-Biruni from the entry on him that we find in Itmam. All other information on al-Biruni in these two authors is either orally transmitted or based on manuscript copies of his works. Unlike al-Shahrazuri, Yaqui was a conscientious scholar and tells us his source. He introduces the long quote on al-Biruni's life with the words "[al-Biruni] is mentioned by Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi, who says ..." (dhakarahu Muhammad ibn Mahmud fa-qala ...). What Follows takes up more than half of Yaqut's entry on al-Biruni. It is the first half of the entry on al-Biruni in the Itmam (48) Yaqut's closes his long quote with "This is what Muhammad ibn Mahammad says (49)."

The two references at the beginning and end of the quote point to Mu'in al-Din Abu l-'Ala' Muhammad ibn Mahmud ibn Abi l-Hasan al-Nisaburi al-Ghaznawi. Yaqut cites him several times in Mu'jam al-udaba', informing his readers on some of these occasions that he takes his information from Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi's book Sirr al-surur, which is lost. At the end of his entry on al-Biruni, Yaqui quotes two longer poems by al-Biruni and four smaller pieces of poetry. The longer ones are the two famous autobiographical poems. Yaqut introduces the six poems by saying that he has them from the book Sirr al-surur (50). Four of these six poems are also included in al-Biruni's entry in the Itmam (51).

Sirr al-surur was an anthology of poetry with biographical information on poets. Yaqut quotes it several other times in his Mujam al-udaba, such as in the entries on the grammarians Abu 'Amir al-Jurjani and Ibn Janni al-Nahwi (d. 392/1001), on the jurist and adib al-Mawardi (d. 450/1058), on the poet Muhammad ibn Ishaq al-Bahathi, and on Abu.1 I-Salt Umayya al-Misri (d. 529/1134), an author who also appears with a relatively long article in Itmam Tatimma (52). In his bio-bibliographical dictionary Kashf al-zunun, Katib celebi describes Sirr al-surur as a biographical work on poets--a book in the genre of tabaqat al-shu'ara'--who lived during the same era as its author (53).

Thus Yaqut informs us that Muhammad ibn Mahmad al-Nisaburi was the author of the entry on al-Biruni that we find in the Itmam. It is quite clear that Yaqat has his information on al-Biruni and his poetry from al-Nisaburi's lost Sirr al-surur. From what we know, Yaqilt did not use any of the texts in the Siwan al-hikma corpus: had the collection of biographical works on philosophers that the muntakhib put together been available to him, it would have shown in his writings. Despite the fact that Yaqut did not consult the Itmam, his verbatim quote allows us to conclude that Mubammad ibn Mahmub a1-Nisaburi, the author of the lost Sirr al-surur, is also the author of the Itmam. To prove this last point, we first have to clarify who Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi was and when he lived.

Among the biographical historians only al-Safadi (d. 764/1363) has an entry on him, although in terms of hard historical information he can only quote from the earlier historian al-Sam'ani (d. 562/1166), in whose lost Ta'rikh Marw is found the following, according to al-Safadi:
I met [Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi] in Balkh in the month of
Rajab 547 [June 1152]. He is from the people of Ghazna and he was a
virtuous imam full of knowledge, cultivated, well educated in adab,
and with an eloquent style who remembered a lot. He collected a nice
book (kitab malih) on the poetry of his era and called it Sirr
al-surur (54).

The year 547/1152 is somewhat early for the author of a book that was written after 587/1191. More confusing is al-Sam'ani's use of the past tense: Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi was a virtuous imam, etc. Did al-Sam'ani believe he was dead when he wrote these lines? If he was indeed the author of the Itmam, Muhammad ibn Mahaamad ibn Mahmud al-Nisabari was one, if not two generations younger than al-Sam'ani. Al-Sam'ani adds that Muhammad ibn Mahmud lived in Ghazna, but that his family, i.e., his father, was from Nishapfir. The ruler of Ghazna sent Muhammad ibn Mahmud twice on a diplomatic mission to Sultan Sanjar (d. 552/1157), who resided in the countryside of northern Khurasan between Nishapur, Tus Marw, and Balkh. Sanjar fell from power in 548/1153.

Al-Sam'ani's note on Muhammad ibn Mahmud's father may lead to a clearer understanding as to when our author lived. His father was Najm al-Din Abul l-Qasim Mahmud ibn Abi l-Hasan (or, 'Ali) ibn al-Husayn al-Nisabari, known also as Bayan al-Haqq. Like his son he was an adib and a poet. He was also the author of works of Qur'an and hadith commentary, several of which are extant (55). It seems that he was born in Qazwin and moved to Nishapur. His is a commonly found entry among the bio-bibliographers of Arabic and Islamic literature, who are, however, not certain about his date of death. The earliest source on his life is yet again Yap in his Mu'jam al-udaba'; he praises the quality of Bayan al-Haqq's works, yet gives no indication when he lived (56). Al-Safadi contributes new information about him, mostly consisting of titles of books that he wrote and additional lines of poetry. He also cannot tell us when Bayan al-Haqq lived or died (57). Katib celebi lists four of his works but also does not know his date of death. In two entries he leaves a blank space for his death date in the hope that he--or someone else--might fill it in later (58). Bagdath Ismail Pap, who wrote the continuation of Katib celebi's Kashf al-zunun at the turn of the twentieth century, adding another five book titles to Bayan al-Haqq's list of works, is the first to provide an indication as to when he lived. One of Bayan al-Haqq's works, Bagdath Pap says, was finished in 553/1158-9 in Khujand at the Syr Darya in today's Tajikistan (59). This date is picked up by Carl BrockeLmann, who says he was active in 553/1158, and by 'Umar Ricia Kahhala and Khayr al-Din Zirikli, who both write that Bayan al-Happ died ca. 550/1155 (60).

In all likelihood Bagdatli Pap found the date 553/1158-9 in the colophon of a manuscript of the work in question. If the father died after 553/1159 it is quite possible that the son was still alive thirty-four years later when al-Suhrawardi was killed in 587/1191. And it is possible that al-Sam'ani met the young or middle-aged Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisabari in 547/1152 in Balkh. Their meeting more than forty years before the Itmam was written should not discount Muhammad ibn Mahmud as the author of this book. He could have met al-Sam'ani in 547/1152, he could have lived up to the end of the sixth/twelfth century, and he also could have been in contact with Baha'al-Din al-Tabari, who was an established scholar around 563/1168, when al-Bayhaqi mentions him in his Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma.

This is as far as the Arabic biographical literature gets us. Yet Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-NisAburi wrote at least two works in Persian, from which he is somewhat better known (61). Like his father he wrote a book of Qur'an commentary, Tafsir-i basa'ir yamini, "a long book," writes KAtib celebi, "of several volumes (62)." This work is extant in about a dozen manuscripts and its first part was edited in 1980 (63). According to a note in a colophon, Muhammad ibn Mahmud completed this commentary in 545/1150. i.e., during his father's lifetime. (64) The second book in Persian is a short work on music (65). It appears that in his earlier years Muhammad ibn Mahmud followed the interests of his father and wrote on the Qur'anic sciences in Persian, a language in which his father apparently did not publish. Muhammad ibn Mahmud also developed an interest in Arabic poetry and in Arabic biographical and wisdom literatures. This triggered the compilation of Sirr al-surar as well as of the kind of manuscript that is our most important witness to the Siwan al-hikma corpus of texts.

Finally, it should also be mentioned that in a different context Muhammad Taqi Danishpazhuh suggested Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi as the author of the Persian Saljuq-nama (or Zikr-i salatin-i al-i saljuq), a history of the Great Saljuq sultans that stretches roughly over the period 425-581/1033-1186. The unique manuscript of the book at the Royal Asiatic Society in London does not mention its author, yet Persian bibliographical tradition ascribes it to someone with the name Zahir al-Din Nisaburi or Nishapuri, (66) about whom very little is known except that he was active at the court of the last of the Saljuq rulers in Iran, Tughril III ibn Arslan (r. 571-93/1176-94), in Hamadan and that he must have been quite old by this time as he had tutored Tughril's father Arslan Shah (r. 556-71/116176) before the middle of the sixth/twelfth century in Tikrit in Iraq. (67) The author of Saljuq-nama thus lived during the very same decades as Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi. Since Katib Celebi gives Muhammad ibn Mahmad al-Nisaburi the laqab Zahir al-Din when he describes him as the author of Basa'ir-i yamini, Danishpazhuh inferred that he was the same person as the author of Saljuq-nama. (68) This is unlikely, however, given that the author of Saljuq-nama lived in the western parts of the Iranian world and in Iraq in a Saljuq court environment, while Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi is not known to have traveled further west than Khurasan and is associated with the Ghaznawid court in central Afghanistan. Moreover, the laqab and the kunya of Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi were almost certainly Mu'in al-Din Abu l-A'la'. (69) Zahir al-Din Nisaburi (d. ca. 582/1187), the author of Saljuq-nama, was in all likelihood someone with a similar name who lived almost exactly contemporaneously with Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi. It would seem that Katib Celebi and following him Muhammad Taqi Danishpazhuh confused the two and erroneously assigned the laqab Zahir al-Din to our Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi.

From what we know, Mu'in al-Din Abu 1-A-A'la' Muhammud ibn Mahmud ibn Abi l-Hasan al-Nisaburi al-Ghaznawi lived during the middle and the second half of the sixth/twelfth century and is, therefore, a possible author of Imam Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma. Yet there is still the possibility that both raga and the author of the Itmam are quoting the entry on al-Biruni from Muhammad ibn Mahmud's book Sirr al-surur and that the author of the Itmarn fails to indicate this borrowing. Al-Shahrazuri, for instance, does precisely that when he copies the entry on al-Biruni into his Nuzhat al-arwah without identifying its source. This would mean that Yaqut and the author of the Itmam used the same source, namely, Muhammad ibn Mahmud but that the latter was not the author of the Imam. The unknown author of the Itmam may have been negligent in dealing with his sources--which is not at all unusual in the literature we are dealing with here.

A first argument against this assumption is that there is at least one other entry in Yaqut's Mu'jam al-udaba' where he quotes Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi as a source and where we find the quoted text verbatim in the Itmam. (70) A second, stronger argument is the fact that the author of the Itmam was a very conscientious scholar who was painstakingly accurate in dealing with his sources. When Wadad al-Qadi analyzed the interpolations the muntakhib made to the original text of the Siwan al-hikma, she came to the same conclusion. Each time the muntakhib added a piece of information--which is mostly an explanation of a philosopher's saying--or a textual passage to the original text of Silvan al-hikma, he identified the author of the addition either by attributing it to its original source, "someone says ..." (qala fulan ...), or by introducing it with "I say ..." (qulyu ...). (71) The author of Itmam Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma, who is, of course, the same as the muntakhib, is equally scrupulous when dealing with his sources. In the entry on Abu Sa'id al-Mantiqi al-Shirazi in the Itmam, for instance, he notes at the beginning that he received his information from a text by a certain al-Fadil Abu Nag a1-Farisi. (72) In the entry on Abu 1-Salt Umayya (d. 529/1134), a renowned poet who also has a long entry in Ibn Abi Usaybi'a, he notes that he had received information from one Abu Muhammad (Abd Allah al-Shami, who had heard Abu 1-Salt Umayya recite his own verses. 73 Other examples could be added. The number of people who appear as sources in the Itmam is so large that a fully indexed future edition of the text will be very useful just from this perspective alone and may lead to lost examples of literature in the same genre. All this brings me to the conclusion that the author of the Itmam would have very likely referenced Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi had he taken the information from his book Sirr al-surur--as Yaqut did. The fact that he did not is a strong indication that Munammad ibn Mahmmud is the author of both the lost anthology of poetry Sirr al-surur and the extant Itmam Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma.

A third and final argument for Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi being the author of the Itmam and the muntakhib of Siwan al-hikma can be made from the language style. The author writes a very eloquent and flowery, almost baroque Arabic. The entry on al-Biruni--which, as confirmed by Yaqut. (74) was written by Muhammad ibn Mahmud begins with the praise: "In mathematics he had a lead whose dust the [other] runners could not penetrate nor [even] those who had diligently trained and who had expertise could catch up with him in his arena" (lahu fi l-riyadiyyati l-sabaqu alladhi lam yashaqq al-muhdiruna ghubarahu wa-lam yalhaq al-mudammiruna l-mujayyiduna midmarahu). (75) Almost the same phrase is used when the author of the Itmam describes the philosopher al-Lawkari: "He ran ahead of his companions 'Umar al-Khayyam, Ibn Kushak, and al-Wasiti in the arena of philosophy so that none of them could penetrate his dust" (asbaqa [sic] iqranahu ... fa-la yashaqqu minhum ghubarahu). (76) Although not the strongest of arguments since it is not very rare, the use of ghubar 'dust' (which someone's intellectual run creates, in other words, one's eminence in a field) is close enough to posit that one and the same author is using a chosen metaphor. Yaqut and al-Shahrazuri evidently appreciated Muhammad ibn Mahmud's prose and they duly copied his metaphors in their own books, al-Shahrazuri implicitly claiming them as his own.

Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi's local background provides further confirmation for his authorship of the Itmam. Al-Safadi describes him as a resident and a scholar of Ghazna who visited Khurasan, which would explain why al-Biruni's entry is so different from most of the others. Al-Biruni spent the second half of his life in forced exile at the court of the Ghaznawid dynasty in Ghazna. The extraordinary long entry in the Itmam includes detailed information of al-Biruni's activities in Ghazna and his relations with several members of the Ghaznawid ruling family. Here Muhammad ibn Mahmud has made an important contribution to the history of falsafa since the entry adds original material not found in Siwan al-hikma or in al-Bayhaqi's Tatimma. (77)

There is at least one more author in the Itmam with a local background in Ghazna: Abu I-Rabi' Sulayman ibn 'Iyad al-Iskandari, who was born in Egypt, where he studied with Abu l-Salt Umayya al-Misri. Abu 1-Rabi' al-Iskandari traveled eastward and resided ca. 516/1122-3 for two years in Ghazna before he continued on to India, returning to Ghazna later. His entry of seven pages is almost as long as that of al-Biruni. (78) The bulk of his entry, however, is made up of his poetry. The author of the Itmam informs us that he heard some of the poetry from Abu l-Rabi' al-Iskandarl himself, further confirming a local connection to Ghazna and to the middle of the sixth/twelfth century. (79) The personal connection to Abu al-Iskandari also explains why Yaquit quotes Muhammad ibn Mahnud as an authority on Abu l-Salt Umayya al-Misri, who never came to the Muslim East yet figures prominently in the Imam and, as Yaqut informs us, in Sirr al-surur. (8) The author's Ghaznawid background equally explains the original information we find about Ibn Sina's student al-Ma'sumi, which is that he was killed during the mass execution of so-called heretics and batinis by the troops of Mahmud of Ghazna in Rayy in 420/1029. It seems that this event was remembered in Ghazna, where the renowned philosophers who were killed in those days might have been a source of pride. The author's expertise in the local history of Ghazna has shaped many features in this book and further studies of the text of the Itmam may reveal more connections to Ghazna and the far eastern edge of the Islamic world.

In 1959 Muhammad Taqi Danishpazhuh suggested that Itmam Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma and Sirr al-surur were one and the same book authored by Mein al-Din Abu Mu'in al-Din Abu 1-A'la Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi al-Ghaznawi (d. ca. 590/1194), who was, therefore, also the muntakhib of Siwan al-hikma. While agreeing on the authorship of these three books, I do not think that the Itmam is the same book as Sirr al-surur. Those who saw the lost Sirr al-surur describe it as a tabaqat work on the poets and poetry of the author's time and they do not mention that the poets quoted therein were all philosophers, scientists, or physicians. They also give the impression that it was a substantial book, whereas the Itmam comprises only some sixty pages. It seems more likely that the latter is an excerpt from the former. Having first compiled Sirr al-surur, Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi later used certain entries (tarajim) from that work and added them to his own selection from Siwan al-hikma and to al-Bayhaqi's Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma in order to make this collection "a better carrier, more beneficial, more perfect, and more complete." (81) In fact, we know that Sirr al-surur was a different and longer book than the Imam because the information on Abu 'Amir al-Jurjani, Ibn Janni al-Nahwi, al-Mawardi, and Muhammad ibn Ishaq al-Bahathi that Yap found in the Sirr al-surur is not in the Itmam. (82)

We can be certain which of the two books came first. Since al-Sam'ani mentions Sirr al-surur as a work by Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi, some version of that book must have been available in 562/1166, when al-Sam'ani died. It is clear that Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi produced the kind of manuscript we now associate with his name quite late in life. If he wrote a Persian Qur'an commentary in 545/1150 and was on a diplomatic mission to Khurasan in 547/1152, he must have been at an advanced age when he compiled the Itmam after 587/1191.

That the Itmam is an excerpt from Sirr al-surur is further suggested by its inclusion of more than a dozen authors who are not known for any significant achievements in philosophy, the natural sciences, or medicine. Their real achievement is in Arabic poetry. It seems that Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi sifted through his more comprehensive book on poetry. Sirr al-surur, for authors, and this process generated entries on well-known figures, such as Ibn Sind and al-Biruni, but also on less well-known or even unknown figures who were known as poets but whose only connection with the subject matter of the book that he compiled was a certain element in their name pointing to their day-to-day profession as physicians, astrologers, or pharmacists, as al-tabib, al-munajjim, or al-saydalani, or even al-hakim. He did add at least one original entry, that on al-Suhrawardi.

Finally, one can only be puzzled that the identity of Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi as the author of the Itmam and muntakhib of Siwan al-hikma remained unknown for such a long time. Despite Ghadanfar Tabrizi living only three or four generations after Muhammad ibn Mahmud and, like him, being very interested in the life and works of al-Biruni--both scholars developed an expertise in the then rather small field of al-Biruni studies and are, in fact, our most important sources on him--he did not know that Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi wrote the Itmam, with its very substantial information on al-Biruni's life, nor that he abbreviated Siwan al-hikma. At least he makes no mention of this in his own abbreviation of the type of book that Muhammad ibn Mahmud created, which is preserved in a Leiden manuscript. This either indicates a very limited circulation of this type of book soon after it was published--so limited that the name of the creator could become detached from the text he created--or it implies that Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi wanted to remain unrecognized in his role of compiler of this book. Perhaps he intended that he be known the way he is referred to at the beginning of MS Istanbul, Suleymaniye Yazma Eser Kutuphanesi, Haci Besir Aga 494, as merely "the muntakhib of this book." (83)


Below are poets and authors with an entry in Itmam Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma; if no identifers follow the entry, I have not been able to trace the person.

1. al-mu'allim al-thani Aba Nasr Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Tarhan al-Farabi (171b/137b/126b/129a) (84) = al-Farabi (d. 339/950-1); GAL, 1: 210.

2. Sharaf al-Mulk al-shaykh al-ra'is Abu A1i al-Husayn ibn 'Abd Allah Ibn Sina (172a/137b/127a/126b) = Ibn Sina (d. 429/1037); GAL, 1: 452.

3. Yahya ibn 'Adi (177b/142a/131b/133b) (d. 363/974); GAL, 1: 207.

4. Bukayr ibn Ahmad al-Shaml (177b/142a/131b/.133b).

5. al-hakim Abu Sahl al-Masihi (178b/143a/132b/134b) = Abu Sahl 'Isa ibn Yabya al-Masihi (d. 408/1017); GAL, 1: 238; Suter, 180; (85) TSH, 88-90/95-96 (no. 47); (86) IQ, 408; (87) Shahr., 2: 37; (88) IAU, 1: 327-28/436. (89)

6. al-ustadh Abu Rayhan al-Biruni (181b/146a/135b/137a) = al-Biruni (d. ca. 442/1050); GAL, 1: 475; Suter, 218; TSH, 62-64/72-74 (no. 28); Yaqui., 5: 2330-35; (90) Shahr., 2: 85-89; IAU, 2: 20-21/459.

7. al-hakim Nasir al-Harmazdi (186a/150a/139b/141b) = Nasir al-Harmazdi al-Ma'su-rabadhi; TSH, 158-59/159-60 (no. 100).

8. al-faqih a1-Ma'sumi (186a/150a/139b/141b) = Abu 'Ali Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Ma'sumi (d. 420/1029); GAL, 1: 458; TSH,95-96/102-3 (no. 52); Shahr., 2: 40-41.

9. Abu 1-Shabal al-tabib (186a/150b/140a/142a), mentioned in Yapqut 1: 107?

10. Shuhayd ibn a1-husayn al-Balkhi (186a/150b/140a/141b) = Abu 1-Hasan Shuhayd ibn al-Husayn al-Balkhi (d 315/927); Storey, 5: 227, 624-25; (91) Yaqut, 3: 1421-22; IAU, 1: 311/417.

11 Abu Ja'far al-Harrani al-tabib (186b/150b/140a/14211).

12 Abu Sulayman al-Mantiqi al-Sijazi (186b/151a/140b/142b) = Abu Sulayman Muhammad ibn Tahir al-Sijistani (d. ca. 377/987): GAL. S I: 377; TSH, 74-75/82-83 (no. 36); IQ, 282; Shahr., 2: 91-96; IAU, 1: 321-22/427-28.

13. Abu l-Qasim al-tabib al-Baghdali al-mulaqqab bi-Muntajab al-Mulk (186b/151a/141b/142a).

14. 'Ali al-Mahmudi al-tabib (or, mutatabbib) bi-Jurjan (186b/151a/140b/142b).

15. al-Kamil al-Isfahani (187a/151a/140b/142b).

16. Abu l-Husayn ibn Ahmad al-Isfara'ini al-munajjim (187a/151a/140b/142b).

17. Abu Sahl al-Nili (187a/151b/141a/142b) = Abu Sahl Sa'id ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Nili al-Nisaburi (d. 420/1029); TSH, 101/108-9 (no. 57); Yaqut, 3: 1368; Shahr., 2: 43-44; IAU, 1: 253-54/431-32.

18. Abu l-Barakat al-Baghdadi (187b/151b/141a/143a) = Abu 1-Barakat Hibat Allah ibn Malka al-Baghdadi (d. ca. 560/1165); GAL, S I: 831; Suter, 300; TSH, 150-53/152-53 (no. 93); Shahr., 2: 87-88; IAU, 1: 278-80/374-76.

19. Hibat Allah al-Asturlabi (187b/151b/141a/143a) = Badi' al-Zaman Abu 1-Qasim Hibat Allah ibn al-Husayn al-Asturlabi (d. 534/1139-40); Suter, 278; Yaqui:. 6: 2769-71; IAU, 1: 280-82/376-80.

20. al-hakim al-Mawsili al-mutawwatin bi-Nisabur (187b/152a/141b/143a).

21. al-hakim Abu 1-'Abbas al-Fadi ibn Muhammad al-Lawkari (187b/152a/141b/143b) = al-Lawkari (d. after 503/1109); GAL, 1: 460; TSH, 120-22/126-27 (no. 69); Shahr., 2: 54-55.

22. Abu Ss'id a1-Mantiqi al-Shirazi (189a/153b/142b/144b).

23. al-faylasuf Hujjat al-Haqq 'Umar ibn Ibrahim al-Khayyami (189a/153b/143a/144b) = 'Umar al-Khayyam (d. ca. 517/1123); GAL, 1: 471; Suter, 266; TSH. 112-17/119-23 (no. 66); IQ, 243-44; Shahr., 2: 48-53.

24. Abu 1-Salt Umayya ibn Abi 1-Salt al-Misri (190a/154a/143b/145b) = Abu 1-Salt Umayya ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz (d. 529/1134); GAL, 1: 486; Suter, 272; Yaqut, 2: 740-43; Shahr., 2: 57; IAU, 2: 53-62/501-15.

25. Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-munajjim (191a/155a/144b/146b).

26. Abu Talib al-'Attaf (191a/151b/144b/146b).

27. Abu 1-Rabic Sulayman ibn 'Iyad (or, Fayad) al-Iskandari (191a/155b/144b/146b) = was active in Ghazna 516/1122-23; Yaqut, 3: 1399-400 (there, Sulayman ibn Fayad al-Iskandarani).

28. al-imam Muhammad ibn 'A1i al-Harithan al-Sarakhsi (194b/159a/148a/149a); also in TSH,159-60/160 (no. 101); Shahr., 2: 81.

29. al-shaykh Abu Sa'id ibn Sulayman al-Harawi (195a/159b/148b/149b) = Isma'il al-Harawi (?); TSH,97-98/104-5 (no. 54); Shahr., 2: 42.

30. al-shaykh Abu 1-'Ali' Sa'id ibn Abi l-Fath ibn Abil-Faraj (196a/160b/149b).

31. al-shaykh Abu l-Mahamid Muhammad ibn Mahmud ibn Mas'ud al-Zaki (197b/161b/150b) = Zahir al-Haqq Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Ghaznawi (fl 550/1155); TSH 14950/151-52 (no. 92); GAL, S I: 863-64; Suter, 496; Storey, 2: 47.

32. Abu Nasr Muhammad ibn Sa'id al-Alma "i (?) al-Nisaburi (198b/162b/151b).

33. Abu 1-Qasim al-'Ala ibn 'A1i al-Abraquhi (200a/164b/153b).

34. al-qadi al-imam Lisdn al-Haqq (Umar ibn Sahlan al-Sawi (200a/164b/153b) = 'Umar ibn Sahlan al-Sawi (d. ca. 540/1145); GAL, S I: 830; TSH, 127-29/132-34 (no. 74); Shahr., 2: 56-57; IAU, 2: 171,184/646,662.

35. al-hakim 'inda l-wahhab al-tabib al-Nisaburi (200b/164b/154a) = (?) Najib al-Din Abu Bakr al-Tabib al-Nisaburi; TSH, 157/158-59 (no. 99).

36. Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Ma'muri al-Bayhaqi al-As1, a1-Isfahani a1-Watan (200b/165a/154a) = Muhammad ibn Abmad al-Ma'muri al-Bayhaqi (fl. 485/1092): TSH, 162-64/163-65 (no. 104); Yaqut, 5: 2355-56; Shahr., 2: 83.

37. al-qadi Abu 'Ali al-Tabib al-Nisaburi (200b/165a/154a) = (?) Najib al-Din Abu Bakr al-Tabib al-Nisaburi; TSH,157/158-59 (no. 99).

38. Abu 1-Ma'ali al-Rashidi (201a/165a/154a) = Abu 1-Ma'a1i Majdud ibn Abi Nag ibn Muhammad al-Rashidi (d. ca. 438/1045); TSH, 145-46/148 (no. 90).

39. al-imam al-faylasuf Shihab al-Din al-Suhrawardi (203a/167b/156b) = Yahya ibn Habash al-Suhrawardi (d. 587/1191); GAL, 1: 437; Yaqut, 6: 2806-9; Shahr., 2: 119-43; IAU, 2: 167-71/641-46.

(1.) For a description of the full Siwan al-hikma corpus, including the abbreviations and their manuscripts, see Dimitri Gutas. "The Siwan al-hikma Cycle of Texts," JAOS 102 (1982): 645-50.

(2.) Wadad al-Qadi, "Khali Siwan Structure, Composition, Authorship and Sources," Der Islam 58 (1981): 87-124. The assertion that Abu Sulayman al-Sijistani was not the author of Siwan al-hikma was made earlier by Daniel Gimaret, "Sur un passage enigmatique d'Ibn 'Asakir," Studia Islamica 47 (1978): 144-63. esp. 154-55. Abu 1-Qasim al-Kirmani (whose laqab may have been Ala al-Din) was probably the same faylasuf with whom Ibn Sind was engaged in a dispute around 405/1015: see Yahya Michot's introduction to his edition and translation of Ibn Sina, Lettre au vizir Abu Sa'd (Paris/Beirut: Les Editions Al-Bouraq, 1421/2000), 19-27. He may also be the author of two short works on astrology; see Heinrich Suter. Die Mathematiker find Astronomen der Araber und ihre Werke (Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, 1900), no. 205.

(3.) Joel L. Kraemer, Philosophy in the Renaissance of Islam: Abu Sulayman al-Sijistani and His Circle (Leiden: E. J. Brill. 1986), 119. See also his comment on p. 123: "Abu Sulayman was not the author of the Siwan al-hikma in the modern sense of authorship. The texts contained in the work were either studied in his school or collected by him and by his associates."

(4.) The text, which is extant in a single manuscript (Istanbul, Suleymaniye Yazma Eser Kutuphanesi, Fatih 3222, Us. la-60b), has been edited by R. Mulyadhi Kartanegara. "The Mubtasar Siwan al-hikma of 'Umar b. Sahlan al-Sawi: Arabic Text and Introduction" (Ph.D. thesis, Univ, of Chicago, 1996). This mukhtasar abbreviates only Siwan al-hikma and does not include Tatimmta Siwan al-hikma as claimed by Gutas, "The Siwan al-Hikma Cycle of Texts," 646, 647. Had al-Sawi abbreviated the latter, it would have challenged our assumption that he died more than a decade before al-Bayhaqi wrote his Tatimma. Gutas's misunderstanding may stem from the fact that there is also an incomplete copy of Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma in MS Fatih 3222, fols. 75a-134b, ending in the entry on Zayn al-Din Isma'il al-Husayni (no. 111).

(5.) Mutuakhab Siwan al-hikma is available in at least four manuscripts (see below, n. 11) and has been edited twice, first by 'Abd al-Rahman al-Badawi, in Abu Sulayman al-Sijistani, Siwan al-hikma wa-thalath rasa'il (Tehran: Bunyad-i Farhang-i Iran, 1974), 75-364, and then by Douglas M. Dunlop, as The Muntakhab Siwan al-hikmah of Abu Sulaiman as-Sijistani Arabic Text. Introduction and Indices (The Hague: Mouton, 1979).

(6.) The text has been edited and translated by Dimitri Gutas, Greek Wisdom Literature in Arabic Translation: A Study of the Graeco-Arabic Gnomologia (New Haven: American Oriental Society. 1975). On the relationship of the "Philosophical Quartet" to Siwan al-hikma, see pp. 429-35.

(7.) Al-Qadi, "Kitab al-Hikma," 98-99. See Ibn al-Nadim, al-Fihrist li-l-Nadim, ed. A. F. Sayyid. 4 vols. (London: Al-Furqan Foundation, 1430/2009): Ibn al-Qifti, Ta'rikh al-hukama', ed. J. Lippert (Leipzig: Dietrich, 1903): and Ibn Abi Usaybi'a, 'Uyun al-anba' fi tabaqat al-attiba', ed. A. Wuller, 2 vols. (Cairo: al-Matba'a al-Wahbiyya, 1299/1882), and ed. N. Rida (Beirut: Dar Maktabat al-Hayat, [1965]).

(8.) Al-Shahrastani, al-Milal wa-l-nihal, ed. W. Cureton, 2 vols. (London: Society for the Publication of Oriental Texts, 1842-46), and al-Shahrazuri, Nuzhat al-arwah wa-rawdat al-afrah, ed. Kh. Ahmad, 2 vols. (Hyderabad: Matba'at Majlis Da'irat al-Ma'arif al-'Uthmaniyya. 1396/1976). On the sources used by al-Shahrazuri in Nuzhat al-arwah, see Emily Cottrell. "Shams al-Din al-Shahrazuri et les manuscrits de La Promenade des es et le Jardin des rejouissances: Histoire des philosophes." Bulletin d'Etudes Orientales 56 (2004-5): 225-60.

(9.) Al-Bayhaqi's Tatimmat, Siwan al-hikma, which was composed around 563/1168, has been edited three times: ed. M. Shafi (Lahore: Univ. of Punjab Publications, 1935): ed. M. Kurd Ali (Damascus: Matba at al-Taraqqi. 1946; repr. Byblos/Paris: Dar Bibliyun, 2007); and ed. R. al-Ajam (Beirut: Dar al-Fikr al-Lubnani, 1994). There is also a partial English translation: Max Meyerhof, "Ali al-Bayhaqi's Tatimmat Siwan al-Hikma: A Biographical Work on Learned Men of the Islam," Osiris 8 (1948): 122-217.

(10.) Martin Plessner, "Beitrage zur islamischen Literaturgeschichte," Islamica 4 (1931): 525-61, esp. 534-38; repr. in Beitrage zur Erschliessung der arabischen Handschriften in Istanbul und Anatolien, ed. F. Sezgin, 4 vols. (Frankfurt: Institut fur die Geschichte der Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften, 1986), 1: 749-85, esp. 758-62.

(11.) There are four known representatives of this type of manuscript, the oldest being MS Istanbul. Murad Molla Halk Kutuphanesi 1431 (formerly 1408) with a colophon dated Rabi II 639/October 1241. The other three manuscripts are Istanbul, Koprulu Kutuphanesi I 902 (eighth/fourteenth century); Istanbul, Suleymaniye Yazma Eser Kutuphanesi, Haci Besir Aga 494 (689/1290), and London, British Library Or. 9033 (eighth/fourteenth century). In the introduction to his edition of Muntakhab Siwan al-hikma (pp. xxvii-xxx), Dunlop describes them and notes correctly that the four manuscripts represent two different families: MSS Koprulu and Haci Besir Aga are one family and MSS Murad Molla and London another. His observation that the Koprulu family "appears to be more original," however, cannot be supported by my analysis. While it is true that the Murad Molla family has evident corruptions when compared with the Koprulu one, it also has lines of text not contained in the latter, sometimes containing important information or comments, e.g., at the beginning of the entry on Abu 1-Barakat al-Baghdadi where it says that his conversion to Islam was sincere and his "journey toward it" (al-rihla ilayhi) a result of his philosophical studies (MSS Murad Molla, fol. 141a; London, Or. 9033, fol. 143a). For a description of the Koprulu manuscript, see also Ramazan Sesen et al., Fihris makhtutat makhtutat Kuprili, 3 vols. (Istanbul: IRCICA, 1986), 1: 445-46.

(12.) This sentence is in only one of the four manuscripts of the text, namely, Istanbul, Haci Besir Aga 494, fol. lb. It is included in al-Badawi's edition of Muntakhah Siwan al-hikma, 77, and Dunlop (p. 3) lists it as a variant reading.

(13.) Muntakhab Siwan al-hikma, ed. al-Badawi, 77; ed. Dunlop, 3.

(14.) Muhammad Taqi Danishpazhuh, "Mukhtasar fi dhikr al-hukama al-yunaniyyin wa-l-milliyyin," Farhang-i Iran Zamin 8(1338/119591): 311-31. The article is available online in a newly typed version at (accessed August 18, 2011). On the anonymous doxographic text preserved in MS Escorial 635, fols. 68b-72b, see also the description in Hartwig Derenbourg et al., Les manuscrits arabes de l'Escurial, 3 vols. (Paris: E. Leroux, 1884-1941), 1: 443.

(15.) Muhammad Taqi Danishpazhuh, "Muqaddima bar Mukhtasar fi dhikr al-hukama," Farhang-i Iran Zamin 8 (1338/[1959]): 283-310. The article is available online in a newly typed version at (accessed August 18, 2011).

(16.) Ibid., 291-94. Microfilms of some or those manuscripts were available to Danishpazhuh.

(17.) Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Ghadanfar al-Tabrizi's Hasil al-masa'il is an excerpt of Hunayn ibn Ishaq's Masa il fi l-tibb li-l-muta'allimin. The text is available in manuscript in Istanbul (Suleymaniye Yazma Eser Kutuphanesi, Ayasofya 3555, fols. 149b-56a, and Fatih 5300, fols. 321-48) and Mosul (Attarbashi 14). See Fuat Sezgin, Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums, 9 vols. (Leiden: E. J. Brill. 1967-1984), 3: 251; Ramazan Sesen et al., Fihris makhtutat al-tibb al-isami bi-l-lughat al-arabiyya wa-l-turkiyya wa-l-farisiyya fi maktabat Turkiya (Istanbul: ISAM, 1984), 210; and Ramazan Seen. Nawadir al-makhtutat al-arabiyya fi maktabar Turkiya, 3 vols. (Beirut: Dar al-Jadida, 1975-1982), 3: 128.

(18.) Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Ghadanfar al-Tabrizi, al-Mushatta li-risalat al-Fihrist, in Fihrist kitabha-yi Razi ve-namahha-yi kitabha-yi Biruni, ed. M. Muhaqqiq (Tehran: Danishgah-i Tihran, 1366 [1987]). 75-110.

(19.) Leiden University Library, Cod. Gal. 133. pp. 66-78. The Itmam is abbreviated on pp. 77-78. See the descriptions in Dunlop's introduction to his edition of Muntakhab siwan al-hikma (pp. xxix-xxx) and in M. J. de Goeje et al., Catalogus codicum orientalium Bibliothecae Academiae Lugduno Batavae, 6 vols. (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1851-1877), 2: 292-96. The manuscript also contains copies of al-Biruni fihrist of Abu Bakr al-Razi's books (pp. 33-48) and of Ghudanfar's al-Mushatta (pp. 49-65). All these texts were copied in 692/1292-3 by Ibn al-Ghulam. Judging from the eulogies in the manuscript, Ghadanfar had by this Lime already died: see C. Eduard Sachau in the introduction to his edition of al-Biruni's al-Athar al-baqiya: Chronologie orientalischer Volker (Leipzig: F A. Brockhaus, 1878), xv.

(20.) MS Murad Molla 1431, lot. 157a bears a colophon dated Rahi' II 639/October 1241.

(21.) More correctly, spring 629/1232 to spring 630/1233. Ghadanfar writes (al-Mushatta, 104) that he was horn 14 solar years (sana farisiyya) after al-Biruni died, which he believed was in Rajab 440/Decemher 1048 (al-Mushatta, 80). See Sachau in the introduction of his edition Chronologie orientalischer Volker, xv. In reality al-Biruni may have died two or three years later. Danishpazhuh probably overlooked the fact that sana farisiyya is a reference to the solar (probably the Jalali) calendar and he calculated a slightly earlier year of birth on the basis ot the hijri lunar calendar.

(22.) Danishpazhuh, "Muqaddimah bar Mukhtasar fi dhikr al-hukama," 294.

(23.) Ibid., 289-91.

(24.) Danishpazhuh read the Arabic note describing Ahu l-Muhamid Muhammad ihn Mas'ud al-Ghaznawi (fi. 550/1155) at the end of a manuscript of his Kifayat al-ta'lin fi sina'at al-tunjim. That passage identifies Sirr al-surur of Muhammad ihn Mabmud al-Nisaburi as its source for information. Danishpazhuh found the very same text in Ihn Mas'ud's tarjamu in Itmam Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma, (Haci Beir Aga 494, fol. 161b).

(25.) Danishpazhuh. "Muqaddimah bar Mukhtasar fi dhikr al-hukama'," 290-91, 294.

(26.) According to the muntakhib's classification, the latter three should be considered among the "older ones" (qudama') as they have entries in Siwan al-hikma itself: see Muntakhab Siwan al-hikma, ed. Badawi, 306, 311-15. 327-28: ed. Dunlop, 127.127-32,140.

(27.) Plessner, "Beitrage," 536.

(28.) Itmam Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma, fol. 171b/137b/126b/129a. These folio numbers refer to the following manuscripts: Istanbul, Koprulu I 902/Haci Aga 494/Murad Molla 1431/London, Or. 9033 (the latter only up to fol. 149b). I am indebted to the late Franz Rosenthal for letting me make a copy of his photostat of the London manuscript.

(29.) Ibid., fol. 187b/151b/141a/143a. Murad Molla 1431 and London, Or. 9033 (as well as al-Shahrazuri, Nuzhat al-arwah, 2: 79) ascribe the anonymous poem about his conversion to Islam to Abu 1-Barakat al-Baghdadi himself.

(30.) Ibid., fol. 187b/152a/141b/143b.

(31.) Ibid., fol. 186a/150a/139b/141b. On this event, see C. E. Bosworth, The Ghaznavids: Their Empire in Afghanistan and Eastern Iran 994-1040 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press. 1963), 53-54, and Frank Griffel, Apostasie und Toleranz im Islam (Leiden: Brill, 2000), 182-85.

(32.) Al-Shahrazuri, Nuzhat al-arwah, 2: 41, 54-55. Muhammad Shafr's edition of Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma also provides original information from the Itmam in its notes and he also mentions these two pieces of information. David Reisman gives al-Masami's death date as 430/1038 in The Making of the Avicennan Tradition: The Transmission, Contents, and Structure of Ibn Sina's al-Mubahatat (The Discussions) (Leiden: Brill, 2002), 196, This date comes most probably from Carl Brockelmann, Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur, 2 vols. and Supplement. 3 vols. (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1943-49; 1937-42; henceforth GAL). I: 458, who mentions it as the time of al-Ma'sumi's activity. Since the source of Brockelmann's information is unknown it should not be relied upon. Al-Bayhaqi has no information about when al-Mdsami lived or died: Tatimma, ed. Shafi. 95-96: ed. Kurd Ali. 102-3 (no. 52).

(33.) Al-Shahrazuri, Nuzhat al-arwah, 2: 119-44.

(34.) Itmam, fol. 203a/167b/156b.

(35.) Al-Shahrazuri. Nuzhat al-arwah, 2: 125-26. In his biography of Salah al-Din. al-Nawadir al-sultaniyya wa-l-mahasin al-yusufiyya (Cairo: al-Dar al-Misriyya. 1964). 10, Ibn Shaddad (d. 632/1235) confirms that the sultan was involved, saying that he ordered his son to kill al-Suhrawardi.

(36.) Six lines in Murad Molla 1431 and London, Or. 9033, but only four lines in Koprulu 1902 and Haci Besir Aga 494.

(37.) Plessner, Beitrage. 537: "Damit wird die Zeitspanne, in der der Compendiator gelebt haben kann, so klein. da[beta] es hoffentlich noch gelingen wird, ihn festzustellen."

(38.) Al-Qadi, "Kitab Siwan al-Hikma," 93.

(39.) Muntakhab Siwan al-hikma, ed. Badawi, 287; ed. Dunlop. 116. See Joel L. Kraemer, "A Lost Passage from Philoponus' Contra Aristotelem in Arabic Translation," JAOS 85 (1965): 319 n. 4 (repeated in idem. Philosophy in the Renaissance of Islam, 120-21); Gimaret, "Sur un passage enigmatique d'Ibn Asakir." 155 n. 4; al-Qadi, "Kitab Siwan al-Hikma," 93; Gutas, "The Siwan al-Hikma Cycle of Texts," 647.

(40.) In his Tatimma, completed around 563/1168, al-Bayhaqi mentions Baha al-Din Muhammad ibn Ayyub al-Tabari as an established astronomer. See al-Bayhaqi, Tatimmat al-hikma, ed. Shafi, 84; ed. Kurd Ali, 92 (no. 44). Brockelmann, GAL, S I: 859, claims that al-Tabari wrote a work in 632/1234-5, but this is probably wrong given the fact that he is mentioned in Tatintmat Siwan al-hikma. Whoever was an established scholar ca. 560/1165 was unlikely to be still active seventy years later. Wadad al-Qadi ("Kitab Siwan al-Hikma," 93) identities him with Balla al-Din Abu I-Thana Mahmud ibn Mansur ibn al-Husayn al-Tabari al-Makhzami, who is mentioned in Ibn Abi Usaybia's Uyun al-anba (ed. Muler, 2: 201; ed. Rida, 682), and who was traveling from Damascus to Anatolia in 608/1211-2. While their laqab and nisba are identical, the proper names of these two scholars do not match, and the likely confusion of these two may also account for Brockelmann's mistake.

(41.) Itmam, fols. 181b-85b/146a-50a/135b-39b/137a-41b.

(42.) Compare Itmam, fois. 183a l. 3-84b 1. 4/I47a l. l2-48b l. l 3/1361) l. 14-38a 1.9/138b l. 7-40a 1.1, with the text in al-Biruni. Kitab al-Qanun al-mas'udi. 3 vols. (Hyderabad: Matb'at Majlis Da'irat al-Ma'arif al-'Uthinfiniyya. 1373-1375 [1954-19561]. 1: 1-5.

(43.) H. Suter and E. Wiedemann, "Uber al-Biruni und seine Schriften." Sitzungsberiehte der Physikalisch-medizinisehen Sozietat in Erlangen 52-53 (1920-1921): 55-96. esp. 61-64. The translation was done with the help of Oskar Rescher (later, Osman Reser), an expert on Arabic poetry, and is based on the text in Yaqut's Mu'jam al-udaba' (see below). A German translation of the prose text on al-Biruni in Yaqut (and the Itmam) had already been published by Joseph Hell and Eilhard Wiedemann. "Uber al Bertuni." Mitteilungen zur Geschiehte der Medizin und der Naturwissenschciften 11 (1912): 313-21.

(44.) See the detailed analysis of these poems by Mahan H. Mirza. "The Quest for Knowledge: Biruni's Method of Inquiry" (Ph.D. diss., Yale Univ., 2010). 87-115.

(45.) Ibn Abi Usaybi'a, 'Uyun al-anba, ed. Wuller, 2: 20-21; ed. Rida. 459.

(46.) Al-Shahrazui, Nuzhat al-arwah, 2:85-89. The text is taken from Itmam, fols. 181b-83a l. 3/146a-47a l. 12/135b-36b l. 14/137a-38b l. 7.

(47.) Yaqut al-rumi, Mu'jam al-udaab: Irshad-al-aril ila ma'rifat al-adib, ed. 1. 'Abbas. 7 vols. (Beirut: Dar al-Gharb 1993). 5: 2330-35. Yaqut wrote this book sometime around 620/1223 (see ibid., 5: 2082).

(48.) Compare Yaqut. Md'jam al-udaba'. 5: 2331 1. 7-33 I. 17 with Itmam Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma fols. 181b-83a 1. 3/146a-47a 1. 12/135b-36b 1. 14/137a-38b 1.7.

(49.) Hadha dhakaruhu Muhammad ibn Mahmud: Yaqut, Mu'jam al-udaba, 5: 2333.

(50.) Min kitab Sirr al-surur, ibid., 5: 2334.

(51.) There is one short piece of poetry of three lines in the Itmam (fol. 185b/150a/139b/141b) that is not in Yaqut.

(52.) Yaqua, Mu'jam al-udaba'. 2: 741: 4: 1589; 5: 1956, 2166; 6: 2432.

(53.) Allafahu fi dhikr shu'ara' awanihi: Katib celebi, Kashf al-zunun 'an asami 1-ktaub wa-I-funan, ed. S. Yalt-kaya and K. R. Bilge, 2 vols. (2nd ed., Istanbul: Milli Egetim Basimevi. 1971-1972), 2: 987, 1103. Katib celebi (1: 878) mentions Muhammad ibn Mabmild al-Nisaburi's name a third time as the dedicatee of a book on arithmetic by Jamal al-Din Sa'id ibn Mubainmad al-sughdal-Turkistani (on whom, see Brockelmann, GAL. 2: 211) written in 712/1312. However, there seems to have been a confusion of names. This entry describes Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisabari as a vizier, which no other source mentions. Yaqut, of course, who himself passed away in 626/1229, could not have quoted an author who died almost one hundred years later.

(54.) Al-Safadi, al-Waft bi-l-wafayat, ed. H. Rifler et al., 30 vols. (Istanbul and Wiesbaden: Orient Institut der Deutschen Morgenliindischen Gesellschaft, 1931-2010), 5: 7.

(55.) Two of his works are edited. His shorter Qur'an commentary Ijaz fi ma'ani al-bayan l-Qur'an has been edited twice: ed. H. al-Qasimi. 2 vols. (Beirut: Dar al-Gharb al-islami. 1995), and ed. A. al-Ubayd, 2 vols. (Riyad: Maktabat al-Tawba, 1418/1997). His more extensive work on difficult passages in the Quran has also been edited twice. An incomplete edition (ending with sura 16) was published under the title Wadah al-burhan fi mushkilat al-Qur'an, ed. S. A. Dawadi (Damascus: Dar al-Qalam; and Beirut: al-Dar al-Shamiyya, 1410/1990), and a complete edition appeared under the title Bahir al-burhan fi mushkilitt al-Quran. ed. S. Ba Biqi, 4 vols. (Mecca: Wizaral al-Ta'lim al-'A11,1418-1420/1997-1999). Cf. also the descriptions of two manuscripts of ljaz al-bayan fi maani al-quran in Semi ct al., Fihris mak/spat makhtutat kuprili. 2: 254 (no. 1589/1), and in Wilhelm Ahlwardt, Die Handschriften-Verzeichnisse der Koniglichen Bibliothek zu Berlin: Verzeichnis der arabischen Handschriften, 10 vols. (Berlin: A. W. Schade, 1887-1899), 1: 365 (no. 915). Another of his better-known and quite extensive works is Jumal al-gharaib on difficult words in the hadith corpus (gharib al-hadith), which is also extant but as yet unedited.

(56.) Yaqut. Mu'jam al-udaba', 6: 2686. Cf. also Mutiammad ibn 'All al-Dawudi (d. 945/1538), Tabaqat al-mufassirin. ed. 'A. M. 'Umar. 2 vols. (Cairo: Maktabat Wahba, 1391/1972). 2: 311-12, who repeats's Yaqut's entry.

(57.) Al-Safadi, al-Waft bi-l-wafayat, 25: 284-66.

(58.) Katib celebi, Kashf al-zunun. 1: 601-2, 927, see also 1: 205, 393; 2: 1205.

(59.) Namely, his 1jaz al-bayan fi ma'ani al-quran: Bagdatli Ismail Pap. Idah al-maknan fi dhayl 'ala Kashf al-zunun, 2nd ed. (Istanbul: Milli Egitim Basimevi, 1972). 1: 162 (cf. also 1: 63, 468; 2: 58, 144); idem, Hadiyyat al-'arifin: Asme' wa-athar al-migannifin min Kashf al-zunun, 2 vols. (Istanbul: Wakalat al-Ma'arif: 1951-1955), 2:403.

(60.) Cf. Brockelmann. GAL, 1: 413; S I, 733 (which overlooks the Berlin manuscript); Umar RiJa Kahhala, Mu'jam al-mu'allifin Tarajim musannaft l-kutub al-'arabira, 4 vols. (Beirut: Mu'assasat al-Risala, 1414/1993), 3: 802, no. 16561 (Damascus ed., 12: 157); Khayr al-Din Zirikli, al-A'lam: Qamus tarajim li-ashhar al-rijal wa-l-nise min al-'arab wa-l-mustdribin wa-l-mustashriqin. 10th ed., 8 vols. (Beirut: Dar al-'11m Ii-l-Malayin, 1992). 7: 167. See also Ali Riza Karabulut and Ahmet Turan Karabulut, Diinya kiltaphanelerinde mevcut islam kiiltiir tarihi lie ilgili eserler ansiklopedesi, 6 vols. (Kayseri [Turkey]: Akabe Kitabevi, 120061), 5: 3598 (no. 9762).

(61). Charles A. Storey and Francois de Blois, Persian Literature: A Bio-Bibliographical Survey, 5 vols. (London: Luzac, 1927-1997), 1: 4-5; ('Ali Naqi Munzavi et al.. Fihris a'lam al-Dharia ila tasanif al-shi'a, 3 vols. (Tehran: Danishgah Tihran, 1377/1998). 3: 2204-5; Agha Buzurg al-Tihrani, al-Dhari'a ila tasanifal-shr'a, 26 vols. (Beirut: Dar al-Adwa', 1983), 3: 122-23; 23: 261.

(62.) Katib celebi, Kashf al-zunun, 1: 246. celebi refers to the author of the Tafsir-i basa'ir-i yamini as Zahir al-Din Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisabur1, making the identification with the author of the Sirr al-surur somewhat difficult given that celebi refers to him as Mucin al-Din Abu 1-Ala Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Qadi al-Ghaznawi. Storey (Persian Literature. 1: 5), for instance, misses the reference to the Sirr al-surur and adds instead three other works mentioned in the Kashf al-zunun that were, however, authored by a different author with a similar name.

(63.) Muhammad ibn Mahmud Nisiiburi, Tafsir-i base'ir-i yarnini, ed. 'A. Rivaqi (Tehran: Bunyad-i Farhang-i Iran, 1359 [19801]). The title refers to Yamin al-Dawla Bahram Shah ibn Ma'sud, the ruler of Ghazna 511552/1117-1157. This edition is the first volume of a multi-volume project and it includes the tafsir up to Q 3:158, am not aware that any subsequent volume has appeared. For a list of manuscripts of this work in Iranian libraries, see Mustafa Dirayati. Fihristvarah-yi dastnivishtha-yi Iran, 12 vols. (Tehran: Kitabkhanah-yi Muzah va-Markaz-i Asnad-i Majlis-i Shura-yi Islam', 1389 [2010]), 2: 509. The manuscripts used in this edition are only poorly identified. They are MS Tabriz, Kitabkhanah-i Milli 3584, as the so-called basis (asas) and two manuscripts at St. Petersburg, one of them maybe Aziatskii Muzei 45, which is a Persian Qur'an commentary by a student of Sayan al-Haqq; see Victor Rosen, Notices sommaires des manuscrits arabes du Musee asiatique (St. Petersburg: Acaddmie Imperiale des Sciences. 1881), 22-23. The Tafsir-i basa'ir-i yamini is also extant in Istanbul. Stileymaniye Yazma Eser Kiittiphanesi. Fatih 301 and 302 (vols. 1 and 2 of the book), and Konya, Mevlana Muzesi 64 (in two vols.). For three other manuscripts in Calcutta, Leiden, and Mashhad, see Storey, Persian Literature, 1: 5.2: 1191-92. Manuscripts in Turkey and Iran are listed in Karabulut and Karabulut. Dunya kutuphanelerinde mevcut kultur tarihi-ile ilgili eserler ansiklopedesi, 5: 3213 (no. 8417), and in Ali Riza Karabulut. Istanbul ve Anadolu kiitiiphanelerinde mevcut el yazmast eserler ansiklopedisi, 3 vols. (Kayseri: Akabe Kitabevi, [2005]), 3: 1383 (no. 4517).

(64.) See the description of the Tabriz manuscript in Vadat, Sayyid Yanusi, Fihrisr-i kitabkhonah-i milli-yi Tabriz, 2 vols. (Tabriz: Kitabkhanah-i Milli, 1348-1350 [1969-1971]), 1: 131-32. Katib celebi (Kashf al-zunun 1: 246) says that Tufsir-i, basa'ir yamini was completed in 577/1181-2, which is unlikely given its dedication to Yamin al-Dawla Bahram Shah.

(65.) The text has been edited by M. T. Danishpazhah, "Risalah dar musiqi az Muhammad ibn Mahmud ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad Nishabari," in Hafted saligi-yi Farruk: Bi-munasabat-i hafuldumim sai-i viladat-i Sayyid Mahmud Farrukh, ed. M. Minuvi (Tehran: Intisharat-i Danishgah, 1344 [1965]), 99-103. See also Agha Buzurg al-Dhari'a ila laser-try' al-shr'a, 23: 261. On the manuscripts of this work, see Dirayati, Fihristvara-yi dastnivishthil-yi Iran 10: 365.

(66.) The Saljuqnama of Zahir al-Din Nishapuri. ed. A. H. Morton (Cambridge: The E. J. W. Gibb Memorial. Trust, 2004), 1-7; Julie Scott Meisami, Persian Historiography to the End of the Twelfth Century (Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press, 1999), 229-37, 255. This text should not be confused with another also referred to as Saljuq-nama, of which an excerpt and its Turkish translation were edited (in 1889 by Charles Schefer and in 1902 by M. Th. Houtsma, respectively; cf. Storey, Persian Literature, 1: 408-10). This is al-Awamir al-'alaniyya fi l-umur al-'ala'iyya, also known as Saljuq-nama or Tarikh-i al-i saljuq dar mamalik-i Rum, of Ibn Bibi (fl. 682/1283), a history of the Saljuq sultans in Anatolia and Asia Minor in the seventh/thirteenth century.

(67.) A. H. Horton, in his introduction to The Saljuqnama of Zahir Nishapuri, 48-49. Cf. also Meisami, Persian Historiography, 255.

(68.) Muhammad Taqi Danishpazhuh, Fihrist mikrufilmha-yi kitabkhanah-i markazi-yi va-markaz-i asnad-i Tihran, 3 vols. (Tehran: Danishgah-i Tihran, 1348-1363 [1967-1984]), 1: 113; 3: 39. 229. See also Dirayati, Fihristvarah-yi dastnivishtha-yi Iran, 11: 1325, who follows Danishpazhuh in identifying Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi as the author of Saljuq-nama.

(69.) This name is associated with the manuscript tradition of Basa'ir-i yamini. See Yunusi, Fihrist-i kitabkhanah-i milli-yi Tabriz, 1: 131, which notes the author's name as Mu'in al-Din Muhammad. Al-Safadi, al-Wafi bi-l-wafayat, 5: 7, records the name as Abu l-A'la' Muhammad. Katib Celebi has both versions: Mu'in al-Din Abu l-A'la' and Zahir al-Din Abu Ja'far; see supra, n. 62. The full name given to Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisaburi by Danishpazhuh (Fihrist mikrufilmha-yi kitabkhanah-i markazi-yi va-markaz-i asnad-i Danishgah-i Tihratz, 1: 113) seems to conflate elements of names from at least two people. The real full name (without further titles of honor such as zahir al-qudat or nasir al-haqq) was most probably Mu'in al-Din Abu l-'Ala' Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Nisabari (or, al-Naysaburi) al-Ghaznawi.

(70.) More than half of the entry on Abu 1-Salt Umayya al-Misri in Yaqut's Mu'jam al-udaba', 2: 740-43, is identified as coming from Sirr al-surur and this text (from pp. 7411.17-743 1.16) is identical with the entry on AbU 1-Salt in the Imam, fols. 190a-91a/154a-55a/143b-44b/145b-46b. Note that the order of poems is different and that the first poem in Yaqut's text from Sirr al-surur is in the middle of the tarjama in the Imam.

(71.) Al-Qadi, "Kitab Siwan al-Hilcma," 89-93.

(72.) limam Taaimmat Siwan al-hikma, 189a/153b/142b/144b. He appears more often as "al-Imam al-Fadil."

(73.) Ibid., 190b/154b/144a/146a. The passage may itself be part of a quote from a text by a certain Talha.

(74.) Yap, Mu'jam al-udaba', 5: 2331.

(75.) Itmam, fol. 181b/146a/135b/137a; Yaqut, Mu'jam al-udaba'), 5: 2331.

(76.) Itmam, fols. 187b-88a/151a/141b/143b.

(77.) Al-Bayhaqi (ed. Shafi', 62-64; ed. Kurd 'Ali, 72-74, no. 28) contains only a short entry on al-Biruni.

(78.) Itmam, fols. 191a-94b/155b-59a/144b-48a/146b-49a. Cf. also his tarjama in Yaqut, Mu'jam udaba', 3: 1399-400, where Muhammad ibn Mahmjd al-Nisaburi is not identified as a source.

(79.) Itmam, fol. 191b/156a/145a/147a. Sulaymam ibn 'Iyad al-Iskandari also appears on fol. 191a/155b/144b/ 146b as an oral witness for the poetry of his teacher Abu 1-Salt Umayya al-Misri.

(80.) See supra, n. 70.

(81.) See the translation connected with n. 28, supra. It is unlikely, however, that the entry on al-Suhrawardi was already in Sirr al-surur (see below), meaning this entry at least was written exclusively for the Imam.

(82.) See supra, n. 52.

(83.) qala ... wa-huwa muntakhib hadha l-kitab; see supra. n. 12.

(84.) For clarification of the folio nos., see supra, n. 28: for a description of the manuscripts, see supra, n. 11.

(85.) Suter = Suter, Die Mathematiker und Astronomen der Araber und ihre Werke.

(86.) TSH = al-Bayhaqi. Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma in the editions of Muhammad Shafi' and Muhammad Kurd 'Ali (plus the number assigned to the tarjama in both editions).

(87.) IQ = Ibn al-Qifti, Terikh al-hukatma, ed. H. Lippert.

(88.) Shahr. = al-Shahrazuri. Nuzhat al-arwah wa-rawdat al-afrah. ed. Hyderabad.

(89.) IAU = Ibn Abi Usaybia, 'Uyun al-anba' fi labaqat al-atibba, in the editions of A. Muller and N. Rida

(90.) Yaqut, Mu'jam al-udaba, ed. I. 'Abbas.

(91.) Storey and de Blois, Persian Literature: A Bio-Bibliographical Survey.


Author's note: I am grateful to Hassan Ansari at the Freie Universitat Berlin for helpful comments and for pointing me to the work of his teacher Muhammad Taqi Danishpazhuh. I also thank M. Cuneyt Kaya at Istanbul Universitesi for his help in acquiring manuscript copies. This research has been supported with a grant of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
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Author:Griffel, Frank
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Date:Jan 1, 2013
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