Ibn Khaldun has been considered “an authentic genius”, “un penseur genial et aberrant” and a nonconformist thinker.
Ibn Khaldun, Wali
al-Din `Abd al-Rahman b.
Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Abi Bakr
Muhammad b. Al-Hasan, was born in Tunis on 1 Ramadan
732 in an Arab family which had been active in official roles, but his father
avoided politics and was a man of letters. His father thus ensured that `Abd al-Rahman received a thorough
classical education, based on a study of the Qur’an, hadith, Arabic language and jurisprudence. He was exposed
to many theologians and scholars, and studied philosophy. When he was seventeen
years old, his parents died of the Black Death, and he left
Thereafter, Ibn Khaldun continued his
In his mid-forties, Ibn Khaldun
reflected, “I was cured of the temptation of office. Furthermore I had for too
long neglected scholarly matters. I therefore ceased to involve myself in the
affairs of kings and devoted all my energies to study.” For the remained of his life, was a scholar, teacher and magistrate. He went to
Works by Ibn Khaldun:
Mukaddima, an encyclopaedic synthesis of the methodological and cultural knowledge necessary for historians.
kitab al-`Ibar, a universal history
Ta`rif , an autobiography