Ancestries of the Noblemen

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Ancestries of the Noblemen (Ansab al-Ashraaf) is the name of a book on genealogy, the history Arabs and also the history of the first century of Islam. It is the most prominent history book left from the 9th century. It is written in the form of genealogy and with the biography of any caliphs. The book was written by Balazuri (great Muslim historian and genealogist in the 9th century).

####The author
Ahmad Ibn Yahya Balazuri, prominent Arabic historian in the 9th century. There is not exact information about his life, there are different ideas on date of his birth. He may was born between 787 to 797 or 811 to 816 in Baghdad. Balazuri was a great translator, man of letters, poet and ariter of many different books on history and lineage and also one of the most famous historians of Islamic consequests. He studied in Antakieh, Homs, Syria and Aleppo. Some believe that he was Iranian. His ancestors were all scribes and secretaries in the court of kings in Islamic times. Balazuri himself also had this job. He eulogized Ma’mun (Abbasid caliph) by his poems. Although he did not mention to any special religion but many quoted traditions in his works are considered by great Shia scholars. His relationships with Mutawakkel (Abbasid caliph) and calling him “Amir al-Mu’menin” (Commander of the Believers), reject this idea that he was Shia. Balazuri received all the information he needed from the members of Abbasid dynasty such as: Hebat Allah Ibn Ibrahim and Mutawakkel (Abbasid caliph).

Structure of the book
The book is written about the lineage of the prophets: Noah, Ishmael, the Quraysh’s (name of an Arab tribe) ancestors, the Holy Prophet’s ancestors, the biography of the Prophet’s companions, the Abbasids, the Alavids, the descendents of Abd- e Manf and Abd-e Shams and also a great part of the book concerns Imam Ali’s caliphate. There are also the biographies of the first and the second caliphs (Abu Bakr and Umar) and also on the Umayyads which are known as a nice dynasty by the author. The last part of the book is one the ancestries of Ilyas Ibn Muzer’s tribes and their descendants: Qeys Ibn Zebyan, Faraza, Abas and Salim. Also notes on the Abbasid caliphs: Harun al-Rashid, Mu’tasem and Mahdi Abbasi. About some of the non-Arab figures, such as: Abu Muslim Khorasani, Sandbad and Ibbn Musfa’, has been explained fully relevant to the subject. The most important part of the book mentions the events in Syria, Iraq, Arabia and Iran, such as: the rulers’ policies in the eastern lands, on Khawarej’s destructions in Iran.

The references applied in the book
Many significant resources have been applied in compiling the book; the most important resources are as following:
- The history of the noblemen (Heytham Ibn Uday Taee)
- The categories of Ibn Sa’s
- The works of Hisham Ibn Muhammad Kalbi and Muhammad Ibn Umar Waqedi and some other writers

It has been published in 13 volumes in 1996.


1- Islamic- Iranina works dictioary

2- Mojam Al-Udaba (dictionary of writers)- Uaqut Al-Hamawi

3- Islamic great encyclopedia quoted by some references

4- Islam world encyclopedia


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