A brief biography of Ibnul Athir (rahimahullah)

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Who was ‘Allamah Ibnul Athir (rahimahullah)? Kindly provide a brief biography on his life.



There were a number of ‘Ulama who were referred to by the name Ibnul Athir.


Perhaps you are enquiring about ‘Allamah Majdud Din, Ibnul Athir, Mubarak ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdil Karim, Ash-Shaybani, Al-Jazari, Al-Mawsili (rahimahullah), author of many books such as Jami’ul Usul, An-Nihayah Fi Gharibil Hadith and more.

Majdud Din Ibnul Athir (rahimahullah) was born in the year 544 A.H and passed away in the year 606 A.H.

Some of his teachers were ‘Allamahs: Yahya ibn Sa’dun, Sa’id ibn Dahan, Ibn Kulayb, and others (rahimahumullah).

Some of his students were ‘Allamahs: Shihab Al-Qusi, ‘Abdul Muhsin ibn Muhammad, and others (rahimahumullah).

Majdud Din Ibnul Athir (rahimahullah) was a very righteous, handsome, intelligent, dutiful, kind, and prominent figure whose council was frequently sought. He was known most famously for his mastery of the pen; it was through his exemplary skills of writing that he gained prominence and held lofty positions in the government. Towards the latter part of his life, his limbs became semi-paralyzed, and, as such, he was unable to continue writing.

Majdud Din Ibnul Athir (rahimahullah) was the eldest of three brothers, all of which were prominent ‘Ulama. The other two are:

  • Abul Hasan, ‘Ali ibn Muhammad, also known as ‘Izzud Din Ibnul Athir (rahimahullah) was next in line, and authored Usdul Ghabah, a famous encyclopedic work on the biographies of the Sahabah (radiyallahu ‘anhum), Al-Kamil, Al-Lubab Fi Tadhibil Ansab and more. He was born in the year 550 A.H and passed away in the year 630 A.H.


  • Abul Fath, Nasrullah ibn Muhammad, also known as Diyaud Din Ibnul Athir (rahimahullah), was the youngest of the three and authored many books as well. One of his most famous works is titled Al-Mathalus Sa-ir Fi Adabil Katibi Wash Sha-‘ir. He was born in the year 558 A.H and passed away in the year 637 A.H.

(References for all of the above: Siyaru A’alamin Nubala, vol. 21 pgs. 488-491, vol. 22 pgs. 353-356, and vol. 23 pgs. 72-73)


And Allah Ta’ala knows best.


Answered by: Moulana Farhan Shariff


Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

This answer was collected from HadithAnswers.com. The answers were either answered or checked by Moulana Haroon Abasoomar (rahimahullah) who was a Shaykhul Hadith in South Africa, or by his son, Moulana Muhammad Abasoomer (hafizahullah), who is a Hadith specialist.