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Rayhanat al-adab

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Rayhanat al-adab
Bibliographical Information
Author Muhammad Ali Mudarris Tabrizi
Original title رَیحانَةُ الاَدَب فی تَراجمِ المَعروفینَ بالکُنیةِ اَوِ اللّقَب
Language Persian
Series 9 volumes
Subject Rijal
Published 1367/1947

Rayḥānat al-adab fi tarājim al-ma'rufin bil-kunyati awi-laqāb (Arabic: رَیحانَةُ الاَدَب فی تَراجمِ المَعروفینَ بالکُنیةِ اَوِ اللّقَب) or kunay wal alqāb (Arabic: كنی و القاب) written by Muhammad Ali Mudarris Tabrizi (1296/1879 – 1373/1953) is a book in Persian in biography and works of the Islamic scholars, mystics, philosophers, men of literature and poets who are known by their titles and kunyas.

In this book, in addition to the biographies of individuals, the author has explained some terms such as Shaykhayn, Sihah Sitta and some sects.

Author

The author of this book, Muhammad Ali b. Tahir Tabrizi Khiyabani known as Mudarris was a clergy scholar. He was born in 1296/1879 in Tabriz and passed away in 1373/1953.

Content

Rayhanat al-adab is organized based on the alphabetical order of kunyas and titles of people in 8 volumes comprised of one introduction, 5 chapters and one ending.

  • Introduction: contains information about the manner of organization of the book and its compiling, as well as some information about kunyas and titles of the individuals. Another part of the introduction includes discussions about the importance of the science of history with references to Qur'anic verses.
  • The first chapter of this book, is its most comprehensive part and takes its first six volumes. This chapter includes the biographies of those individuals whose fame is because of their title and lineage.
  • Second chapter is dedicated to the biographies of those whose titles begin with "Abu". Third chapter includes the names beginning with "Ibn" and fourth chapter includes those whose names begin with "Umm" and "Bint".
  • The ending of the book comprises of two chapters: first chapter is about the families and tribes whose titles begin with "Bani" and the second chapter is an introduction about the tribes and families whose names began with "Al".

In this book, in addition to the biographies of the scholars, in some places, there are explanations about some titles of religious sects such as Ithna 'Ashariyya, Isma'iliyya and Fatahiyya, as well as terms such as Ashab Ijma', Ashab Sihah Sitta, Ashab Kutub Arba'a, Mashayikh, etc. and the author says that he introduced them because it has been a topic of interest to know some religious beliefs usually mentioned in the biographies.

Approach

In Rayhanat al-adab, biographies usually contain the information below:

  • The biography of the individuals in brief
  • Information about the works: the author tried to contain almost all the works of the people, even their less important works.
  • Introduction about the establishments and charity works (whenever the individuals had such works)
  • In some cases, a short section of the works of poets in the biographies of famous mystics such as Ibrahim Adham, verses of Rumi's Mathnavi are mentioned as evidences.

Sources

In writing this book, Mudarris benefited from several works and sources. These sources include the books of rijal and biography and others, the list of which containing 73 important works is mentioned in the introduction of the book. Some of these sources are:

He also used other sources such as newspapers and periodicals in Iran and Arab countries, and also magazines and other books the names of which are not even mentioned in the introduction.

Features

  • Persian language
  • Including photo or handwriting of the individuals
  • Alphabetical order
  • Writing biographies of some great people which were about to be lost

Criticism

The text of Rayhanat al-adab is simple and fluent and in some places, a picture and some handwritings of some individuals are also brought. However, Rayhanat al-adab is not free from research and historical slips; for example, the biography of Yaghma Jandaqi whose first name is Rahim and his second name is Abu al-Hasan, is once mentioned under Mirza Rahim Yaghma and another time under Mirza Abu al-Hasan Yaghma; as if, the author himself doubted about his own information. The author has not been critical about his sources and maybe such an extensive job was out of one person's competence. However, he sometimes compared some sources with each other and selected correct points from among them.

Publication

The complete 8-volume set of Rayhanat al-adab with new typesetting was published by the efforts of Ali Asghar Mudarris, the author's son in Tehran and Tabriz. Aqa Buzurg mentioned its name as Rayhanat al-adab fi al-kunya wal alqab in four volumes. Mir Muhammad Musawi compiled technical indices and miscellaneous lists of the names, books and places of Rayhanat al-adab. It was published as ninth volume of Rayhanat al-adab (its indices) in 952 pages.

References