Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa

Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa

Infobox Person
name = Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa

image_size =
caption =
birth_date =
death_date = AH|139|756|+citation|last=Lane|first=Andrew J.|title=Review: Gregor Schoeler's Écrire et transmettre dans les débuts de l’islam|year=2003|location=Cambridge|publisher=mit.edu|url=http://web.mit.edu/CIS/www/mitejmes/issues/200310/br_lane.htm]
death_place = Baghdad, Abbasid Caliphate
occupation = Author and translator

Abdullah Ibn Dhadawayh (Persian: عبدالله ابن دادویه) also known as Rouzbeh pur-e Dādvayh (Persian: روزبه پور دادوَيه) and Ibn al-Muqaffa (Arabic: ابن المقفع - Persian: ابن مقفع), was an 8th-century (d. "c." 756) Persian author and translator, and a Zoroastrian convert to Islam. [The Fall of the Idigo Jackal By McComas Taylor, pg. 3]

Ibn al-Muqaffa's translation of the "Kalīla wa Dimna" from Middle Persian "is considered the first master­piece of Arabic literary prose." "Ibn al-Muqaffa' was a pioneer in the introduction of literary prose narrative to Arabic literature. He paved the way for later innovators such as al-Hamadani and al-Saraqusti, who brought literary fiction to Arabic literature by adapting traditionally accepted modes of oral narrative transmission into literary prose." [citation|last=Wacks|first=David A.|journal=Journal of Arabic Literature|volume=34|issue=1-2|year= 2003|pages=178-189] Ibn al-Muqaffa was also an accomplished scholar of Middle Persian, and was the author of several moral fables.

Ibn al-Muqaffa, though a resident of Basra, was originally from the town of Jur (or Gur) in the Iranian province of Fars. His father had been a state official in charge of taxes under the Umayyads, and after being accused and convicted of embezzling some of the money entrusted to him, was punished by the ruler by having his hand crushed, hence the name "Muqaffa" (shrivelled hand).

As stated by a number of historians, Ibn al-Muqaffa was murdered around 756 by the order of the second Abbasid caliph Abu Ja`far al-Mansur reportedly for heresy, in particular for attempting to import Zoroastrian ideas into Islam. [ Al-Madaini refers to disarticulation Rouzbeh's limbs and their immolation in an oven (tanour) by Sufyan ibn Muawiyah, governor of Basra, by the order of Caliph Al-Mansur.] There is evidence, though, that his murder may have been prompted by the caliph's resentment at the terms and language that Ibn al-Muqaffa had used in drawing up a guarantee of safe passage for the caliph's rebellious uncle, Abdullah b. Ali; the caliph found that document profoundly disrespectful to himself, and it is believed Ibn al-Muqaffa paid with his life for the affront to al-Mansur. [Said Amir Arjomand, "`Abd Allah Ibn al-Muqaffa` and the `Abbasid Revolution," "Iranian Studies," 27:33 (vol. 27, nos. 1-4, 1994).]

Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa should not be confused with Severus Ibn al-Muqaffa, an Egyptian Coptic historian.



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