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Salah, Fathieh T. (1985) A critical edition of "al-Muthul ala Kitab al-Muqarrab fi al-Nahw" by Ibn Usfur al-Ishbili. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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I wish to pay a tribute to Ibn Usfur, whose name is mentioned in most of the grammatical works, such as by editing "al-Muthul ala Kitab al-Muqarrab". I have divided this thesis into three chapters: In the first I deal with the biography of Ibn Usfur, and with a brief statement about the political and cultural influences that surrounded his life. Ibn Usfur, the bearer of the banner of Arabic in his time in al-Andalus, was born in Seville in the year 597 / 1200. He studied Arabic and literature in al-Andalus until he had mastered them, having studied there under a group of great scholars. Of these were the teacher Abu Ali al-Shalawbin head of the grammarians in al-Andalus, and the teacher Abu al-Hasan al-Dabbaj Shaykh of al-Andalus. He then began to teach in his country, teaching grammar for a while. After that a quarrel with his master took place which made him leave his native town, Seville, and travel throughout al-Andalus, staying in several towns and studying under many scholars. Many students came to him for study and to aquire benefit from his knowledge. Later on he crossed the sea to Ifriqiya and stayed in Tunis, highly respected by the Hafsid Caliph, al-Mustansir bi 'Llah. On returning to his own country he again travelled throughout al-Andalus, Then he passed over to al-Maghrib, staying in Sala. At the invitation of the forementioned Caliph he returned to Ifriqiya, and settled in Tunis where he died in the year 669 / 1271. Ibn Usfur grew up in Seville which was at that time the centre of the Almohad government in al-Andalus. In the year 643 / 1245 Seville came under the rule of the Hafsids. In the year 647 / 1248 Seville fell to the Christians. With regard to the cultural life no one denies the Almohads' care for culture, and the great efforts they made to nourish it. With regard to the Hafsid state in which Ibn Usfur was highly considered and respected all its rulers were highly educated, therefore they facilitated the coming of the Andalusians in large numbers to Ifriqiya and al-Maghrib. Besides this Seville the birthplace of Ibn Usfur had flourished at the time of Banu Abbad 414-484 / 1023-1091, and remained for half a century the brilliant centre of literature, verse and prose in al-Andalus. So it was not strange that Ibn Usfur became known as a scholar, jurisprudent, grammarian, linguist, historian, and poet. This chapter is preceded by an introduction, showing the high standing of Ibn Usfur among the other grammarians. In the second chapter I deal with the works of Ibn Usfur, and their importance in Arabic grammatical studies. Al-Shaykh al-Ghubrini says: "The works of Abu al-Hasan - meaning Ibn Usfur - in Arabic are considered to be some of the best and the most dignified subjects and compilations". The third chapter is the edition which deals with many points of Arabic grammar, with examples of correct usage. In my edition I have followed this way: 1. I have copied the text carefully in my own handwriting, and I have done my best to present it in a good way in regard to vocalization and punctuation. 2. I have shown the difference among the manuscripts exactly as it is in regard to vocalization. 3. I have explained the words and expressions which I think are in need of explanation. 4. I have clarified the quotation [Arabic characters] by mentioning what comes before or after it in "al-Muqarrab" when it is in need of clarity. 5. I have tried to give more explanations of the grammatical points by referring to other references. 6. I have mentioned the metre of the poetic grammatical examples. 7. I have given a brief definition to the proper names, and names of the cities that occur in the text. Finally, and with respect to the years that occur within the whole thesis I have added the Christian date, and put it between two brackets when it is not mentioned by the reference.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:11

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