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Ibn al-Sikkit

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Companion of Imam (a)
Ibn al-Sikkit
Full Name Abu Yusuf, Ya'qub b. Ishaq al-Dawraqi al-Ahwazi
Companion of Imam al-Jawad (a) and Imam al-Hadi (a)
Teknonym Abu Yusuf
Epithet Ibn al-Sikkit
Birth 186/802
Place of Birth Dawruq (a city in Khuzistan), Iran
Place(s) of Residence Baghdad
Death/Martyrdom Rajab 5th, 244/October 21, 858
Cause of
Death/Martyrdom
Martyred by al-Mutawakkil

Abū Yūsuf, Yaʿqūb b. Isḥāq al-Dawraqi al-Ahwāzī, known as Ibn al-Sikkīt (b. 186/802 d. 244/858) is a Persian Shi'a Muhaddith and a great figure in Arabic lexicology and syntax. He was one of the close companions of Imam al-Jawad (a) and Imam al-Hadi (a).

He was called Ibn al-Sikkit (son of silent), because his father practiced prolonged silences. He is an important scholar of Arabic syntax and literature and his most important work is "Islah al-mantiq."

When al-Mutawakkil, the Abbasid Caliph, asked him to compare al-Mutawakkil's sons (al-Mu'taz and al-Mu'ayad) with Imam Ali's sons (Imam al-Hasan (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a)) he said, "By God, Qanbar, the servant of Ali b. Abi Talib is superior to your sons and their father." Therefore, he was killed by al-Mutawakkil's order.

Birth and Kuniya

It is said that he was born in 186/802 in Dawraq a city in Khuzistan, Iran. Later he moved to Baghdad along with his family.

His Kuniya is Abu Yusuf. Al-Sikkit was his father's sobriquet, which was given to him for his prolonged silences.

Scholarly Status

Shi'a scholars have counted him among the close and respected companions of Imam al-Jawad (a) and Imam al-Hadi (a). They said that he is Thiqa (reliable) and one of the great scholars in Arabic lexicology and syntax, and there is no dispraise about him.

- Afandi Isfahani says, "Tha'lab said that after Ibn A'rabi no one is more knowledgeable in Arabic lexicology than Ibn al-Sikkit."

- Mudarris Tabrizi writes: "Ibn al-Sikkit is an imam (great figure) in poetry, literature, syntax and lexicology. He is the standard-bearer of sciences of Arabic language and one of the eminent reliable Shi'a figures in Baghdad. His status was acknowledged and confirmed by Rijal scholars, and he was an expert in poetry and Qur'anic Sciences. He has met with eloquent Arab litterateurs and has quoted what he had heard from them."

Works

Ibn al-Sikkit has many works, which are counted among the most important sources of Arabic lexicology and syntax.

  1. Islah al-mantiq that is his most famous book.
  2. Al-Aḍdad
  3. Al-Alfaz
  4. Al-Qalb wa l-ibdl
  5. commentary on Divan al-hudai'a
  6. commentary on Divan al-khunasa'
  7. Divan turfat b. 'Abd
  8. commentary on Divan of 'Urwa b. Ward
  9. commentary on Divan of Qays b. al-Khatim
  10. commentary on Divan of Al-Nabigha al-Dhubyani
  11. commentary on Divan al-muzarrad
  12. Al-Bahth
  13. Al-Maqsur wa l-mamdud
  14. Mantiq al-tayr and mantiq al-rayahin

Martyrdom

It is reported that he was martyred in Rajab 5th, 244/October 21, 858, at the age of 58. There are different reports about how he was martyred. Some say that he was martyred because he was a Shi'a and they narrate that al-Mutawakkil, the Abbasid Caliph, asked him to compare al-Mutawakkil's sons (al-Mu'taz and al-Mu'ayad) with Imam Ali's sons, Imam al-Hasan (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a). He said, "By God, Qanbar, the servant of Ali b. Abi Talib is superior to your sons and their father"; therefore, he was killed by al-Mutawakkil's order. It is also reported that al-Mutawwakil's servants threw him on ground and trampled on him, then they took him to his home where he passed away.

References