Badr al-Din al-Ayni

Badr al-Din al-Ayni

region = Cairo
era = Medieval era
color = #B0C4DE

image_caption =

name = Badr al-Din al-'Ayni
birth = 762 AH/1360 CE [] ]
death = 855 AH/1453 CE [ Abdal-Hakim Murad - Contentions 8 ] ]
school_tradition = Hanafi
main_interests =

influences =
influenced =
notable_ideas =

Badr al-Din al-'Ayni ( _ar. بدر الدين العيني) born 762 AH (1360 CE), died 855 AH (1453 CE) was a Sunni Islamic scholar of the Hanafi madh'hab. "Al-'Ayni" is an abbreviation for "al-'Ayntābi", referring to his native city.


He was born into a scholarly family in 762 AH (1360 CE) in the city of 'Ayntāb (which is now Gaziantep in modern Turkey). [ Al-'Ayni, "al-Sayf al-Muhammad fī Sīrat al-Malik al-Mu'ayyad", ed. Falūm Muhammad Shaltūt (Cairo, 1967.)] He studied history, "adab", and Islamic religious sciences, and was fluent in Turkish. There is some evidence that he also knew at least some Persian. [ Anne F. Broadbridge, "Academic Rivalry and the Patronage System in Fifteenth-Century Egypt", Mamluk Studies Review,Vol. 3 (1999), Note 4.] In 788 AH (1386 CE) he travelled to Jerusalem, where he met the Hanafi shaykh al-Sayrāmī, who was the head of the newly established Zāhiriyah "madrasah" (school) and "khānqah" (Sufi retreat.) Al-Sayrami invited al-'Ayni to accompany him home to Cairo, where he became one of the Sufis of the Zāhiriyah. [Ibn Taghrībirdī, "al-Nujūm al-Zāhirah fī Mulūk Misr wa-al-Qahirah" (Beirut, 1992.)] This was a step upward for the young al-'Ayni, as it represented entry into "an institution with ties to the highest level of the ruling elite." [ Broadbridge, p.87.]

He established a good reputation and initially met with favor. However, after al-Sayrāmī died in 790 AH (1388 CE), al-'Ayni became involved in a personality conflict with the amir Jārkas al-Khalīlī, who tried to run him out of Cairo. [Al-Sākhawī, "al Daw' al-Lami it-Ahl al-Qarn al-Tasi" (Cairo, date not given.)] Al-'Ayni later described al-Khalīlī as arrogant and dictatorial -- "a man pleased by his own opinion." [Ibn Taghrībirdī, quoting al-'Ayni in "al-Nujūm al-Zāhirah fī Mulūk Misr wa-al-Qahirah" (Beirut, 1992), 4:207.] He was saved from expulsion by one of his teachers, Siraj al-Din al-Bulqini, but prudently decided to leave for a time anyway. [Al-'Ayni, "al-Sayf al-Muhummad", editor's introduction, p. li.]

From Cairo he went to teach in Damascus, where he was appointed "muhtasib" (overseer of sharia in the marketplace) by the amir [Al-'Ayni, " 'Iqd al-Jumān fī Ta'rikh Ahl al-Zamán", ed. 'Abd al-Rāziq al-Tanrāwi al-Qarmūt (Cairo, 1985.)] , and returned to Cairo some time before 800 AH (1398 CE.)

Once back in Cairo, al-'Ayni strengthened his social and political position by associating with several amirs, making the Hajj with the amir Tamarbughā al-Mashtūb. [Ibn Taghrībirdī, "al-Manhal al-Sāfi al-Muhammad fī Sirat al-Malik al-Mu'ayyad", ed. Muhammad Muhammad Amin (Cairo, 1984), 1:417. ] He also had the patronage of the powerful amir Jakm min 'Awd, who was "dawadār" (literally "inkstand-holder": a secretary or confidential advisor) to the Sultan Barqūq. [Ibn Taghrībirdī, "al-Manhal al-Sāfi", 4:313-22.] After the death of Barqūq, al-'Ayni became the "muhtasib" of Cairo, displacing the scholar al-Maqrīzī. According to al-Maqrīzī (an interested party) it was Jakm who obtained the post for al-'Ayni [al-Maqrīzī, "Kitāb al-Sulúk li Ma'rijat Duwal al-Mulúk", ed. Sa'id Āshūr (Cairo, 1973), 3:2:740.] ; however, the historian Ibn Taghribīrdī states that it was a cooperative effort by Jakm and two other amirs, Qalamtāy al-'Uthmānī and Taghribīrdī al-Qurdamī.Ibn Taghribīrdī, "al-Nujūm", 15:287.] In any case, this was the beginning of a lifelong feud between the two "'ulama'" : "From that day on, there was hostility between the two men until they both died."

Al-'Ayni and al-Maqrīzī succeeded each other as "muhtasib" of Cairo several times over the next few years, probably a reflection of the power struggle between Jakm min 'Awd and al-Maqrīzī's patron, Yashbak al-Sha'bānī. [Broadbridge, pp.89-90, "The "Muhtasib" Incident".] Neither held the post for very long. In the reign of al-Nasir Faraj, Barqūq's son and successor, al-'Ayni was appointed to the "lucrative and prestigious" [Broadbridge, p.91.] post of "nāzir al-ahbas" (overseer of pious endowments.) He would be dismissed from and reappointed to this post several times, finally securing it for good in the reign of the Sultan Mu'ayyad Shaykh and keeping it until he was ninety-one. [Ibn Taghribīrdī, "History of Egypt 1382-1467", trans. William Popper, University of California (Berkeley, 1958.)]

Al-'Ayni's prestige grew as he aged. Mu'ayyad Shaykh named him ambassador to the Qaramanids in 823 AH (1420 CE.) Later in life he would be called upon to lecture on learned topics before the Sultan, sometimes reading history aloud in Arabic and explaining it in Turkish for the Sultan's benefit. [Al-Maqrīzī, "Kitāb al-Sulūk", 4:2:698.] The Sultan al-Ashraf Barsbāy is reported to have said "Islam is known only through him" [Al-Sakhāwi, "al-I'lān bi-al-Tawdīh li Man Damma Ahl al-Tārikh," edited and translated by Franz Rosenthal in "A History of Muslim Historiography" (Leiden, 1952.)] and "law lā al-'ayntābi la-kāna fī islāmina shay'," "If not for al-'Ayntabi there would be something suspect in our Islam." [Ibn Taghribīrdī, "al-Nujūm", 15:287; trans. Broadbridge, p. 96.] Barsbāy sometimes sent al-'Ayni as his representative to greet foreign dignitaries, apparently because of his fluency in several languages.Al-'Ayni, " 'Iqd al-Jumān", 2:21.]

Barsbāy often turned to al-'Ayni for advice on legal matters [al-Sakhawi, "al-Daw' ", 10:134.] , and named him chief Hanafi "qadi" (judge) in 829 AH (1426 CE.) He was dismissed from this post after three years; by his own report, both he and the chief Shafi'i "qadi", Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, were dismissed at the same time because their constant feuding was distracting them from their duties; though he adds that this was a calumny spread by his enemies at court. He was later reappointed. [Al-'Ayni, " 'Iqd al-Jumān", 372.]

In the reign of Barsbāy's successor, al-Aziz Jaqmaq, al-'Ayni was dismissed as chief Hanafi "qadi" again. He withdrew from court and concentrated on his scholarly writing [al-Sakhāwi, "al-Daw' ", 10:133.] . In 853 AH (1449 CE) he was dismissed as "nāzir al-ahbas", probably because of failing memory [Ibn Taghribīrdī, "History of Egypt 1382-1467", trans. Popper, 19:118.] . He died in 855 AH (1451 CE) at the age of ninety-three, having outlived all his children, and was buried in his own "madrasah" in Cairo.


*"Umdat al-Qari"
*"al-Binaya Sharh al-Hidaya
*"al-Sayf al-Muhammad fī Sīrat al-Malik al-Mu'ayyad" (a biography of the Sultan Mu'ayyad Shaykh)
*" 'Iqd al-Jūman fī Ta'rikh Ahl al-Zamán"

ee also

*List of Islamic scholars


External links


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