• Book Title:
 The History Of Al Tabari
  • Book Author:
Imam al-Tabari
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The History of al-Tabari Vol 1- 40 English

The History of al-Tabari Vol 1- 40 English

VOLUME 1 General Introduction and From the Creation to the Flood

  • General Introduction
  • Translator’s Foreword / 3
  • The Life and Works of al-‘Tabari I 5
  • A Remark on the Sources / 5
  • His Early Life / ro
  • His Fifty Years of Scholarly Activity in Baghdad t 31
  • His Death / 78
  • His Works / 80
  • The History and Its English Translation / ı 3 5
  • The History in Islam and the West / r 35
  • The Text / 141
  • Previous Translations / r44
  • From the Creation to the Flood
  • Translator’s Foreword / 157
  • Invocation / 165
  • Introduction / 166
  • What Is Time? / 171
  • How Long Is the Total Extent of Time … ? / 172
  • The Proofs for the Origination of Momentary and Extended Time … / 186
  • Whether God, before He Created Time … Created Any Other of the Created Things / ı 87
  • Explaining the Annihilation of Time … and That Nothing Remains Except God / ı 9J
  • The Proof for God Being Eternal … / 194
  • The Beginning of Creation: What Was Created First? / 198 Those Who Put the Creation of the Penin Second Place / 203 What God Created on Each of the Six Days . . . / 2 ı J
  • Night and Day … the Creation of the Sun and the Moon . . . / 228
  • The Story of iblis / 249
  • The Story of Adam / 257
  • Adam Is Taught Ali the Names / 266
  • God’s Testing of Adam / 274
  • The Duration of Adam’s Stay in Paradise … His Fail … / 282
  • The Moment on Friday When God Created Adam and the üne When Adam Was Cast Down to Earth / 286
  • The Place on Earth to Which Adam and Eve Came When They
  • Were Cast Down / 290
  • Perfumes, Fruits, and Other Things Adam Brought from Paradise / 296
  • Contents vii
  • The Events That Took Place in Adam’s Time after He Was Cast Down to Earth / 307
  • Eve Giving Birth to Seth / 324
  • Adam’s Death / 327
  • From Seth to Mahalalel / 334
  • The Events That Took Place … from the Rule of Adam’s Son to the Days of Jared / 337
  • Persian Kings after Öshahanj: Tahmürath / 344
  • From Enoch to Noah / 345
  • Persian Kings from Tahmürath to Jamshed and al-Oabhak / 348
  • The Events that Took Place in Noah’s Time / 354
  • The Use of Eras / 370
  • Bibliography of Cited Works / 37
  • Index / 387

The History of Prophets and Kings

ITa’rikh al-rusul wa’l-mulükl by Abü Ja’far Mu}.ıammad b. Jarir al-Tabari 1839-923), rendered in the present work as the History of al-Tabari, is by common con­ sent the most important universal history produced in the world

of Islam. It has been translated here in its entirety for the first time for the benefit of non-Arabists, with historical and philolog­ ical notes for those interested in the particulars of the text.

Tahari’s monumental work explores the history of ancient na­ tions, with special emphasis on biblical peoples and prophets, the legendary and factual history of ancient Iran, and, in great detail, the rise of Islam, the life of the Prophet Mu}.ıammad, and the his­ tory of the Islamic world down to the year 915.

in 1971, I proposed that UNESCO include a complete translation of Tahari’s History in its Collection of Representative Works. At a meeting chaired by the late Roger Caillois, UNESCO agreed; but the Commission in charge of Arabic works favored other priorities, mostly of a literary kind. At the time I was in charge of UNESCO’s Collection of Persian Representative Works, a pro­ gram which was managed within the framework of the activities of the lranian Institute of Translation and Publication IBungdh­ i Tar;ama wa Na.shr-i Kittib).

Failing to enlist the support of the Arab Commission, I persuaded the Institute to undertake the task. My interest in the translation of Tabari’s history derived not only from the desire to see an outstanding historical work made available to non· Arabists, but also from the fact that Tabari is the most important source for Iranian history from the rise of the Sasanian dynasty in the third century to the year 915.

By rights, the task should have been undertaken by a scholar of Islamic his­ tory and classical Arabic, in neither of which fields can I claim any expertise; but I thought ita pity to let the rare opportunity presented by the sponsors of the project to be lost. Fully aware of my limitations and convinced of the importance of the participation of specialists in the project, I enlisted the assistance of number of excellent scholars in the field.

Preliminary work on the project began in 1974 and I invited Professor Franz Rosenthal of Yale University to bring the benefit of his scholarship and experience to this venture. An Editorial Board originally consisting of Professors Rosenthal, Ihsan Abbas of the American University in Beirut, and myself was envisaged.

 I later invited Professors C.E. Bosworth of the University of Manchester and Jacob Lassner of Wayne State University to cooperate as mem­ bers of the Board of Editors. We then began a steady search for able and willing scholars to take part in the project. Ideally, we were looking for historians of medieval Islam with a command of classical Arabic.

The Leiden edition was the obvious text on which to base the translation of the History as it is thus far the only critical and scholarly edition. it was prepared by a number of competent scholars in the last quarter of the nineteenth century under the able direction of the Dutch scholar M.J. de Goeje, and published by

E.J. Brill of Leiden, Holland, in fourteen volumes with an index volume and a supplementary volume, between 1879 and 1901.’

One of our first tasks was to divide the text into manageable sections to be assigned for translation and annotation. The text was divided arbitrarily into 38 sections of about 200 pages each, but in a manner that allowed each section, as far as possible, to be used independently. The general size of the sections was dictated by the desire to leave adequate space for annotation, and to make it possible for the best and busiest scholars in the field to partici­pate. Each section was given a separate tide as a short guide to its contents.

it was obvious that in a project of this size, given the different viewpoints on translation among scholars and their different styles of rendering Arabic into English, we needed clear guidelines to ensure an essential modicum of consistency. It was necessary to make the translation of some frequently used phrases and expres­sions uniform.

For instance, Amir al-mu’minin, the tide of the caliphs, can be, and has been, translated in different ways. it was important that we used a single rendering of the term l”Commander of the Faithful”). Furthermore, we had to insist on uniformity in the spelling of place-names.

To accommodate these concerns, we established a series of guidelines which addressed the ques­ tions of format, rubrics, annotation, bibliography, and indexing. According to the guidelines, which were communicated to participating scholars, the project aimed at a translation both faithful and idiomatic-an ideal which we realized was nevertheless far from easy to accomplish. Concern for consistency required that the volumes be carefully edited by an Arabic scholar thoroughly familiar with the guidelines established by the Editorial Board.

This task was originally entrusted to Professor Lassner, but as the number of manuscripts claimed more of his time than he could devote to editing, Professor Bosworth’s assistance, too, was enlisted; Professor Rosenthal has also been generously giving of his time for editorial purposes. Naturally this does not mean that all the volumes of Tabari follow the same style or that all Arabic terms have been translated in exactly the same way. Variations do occur, but every effort has been made to ensure not only accuracy and readability, but also consistency.

The system of romanization commonly employed by present­ day Arabists and Islamicists in the English-speaking world was chosen. Although the system is not universally accepted in ali its details, it is hoped that it meets the requirements of accurate transliteration.

Tabari very often quotes his sources verbatim and traces the chains of transmission (ismidl to an original source. The chains of transmitters are, for the sake of brevity, rendered by the individual links in the chain separated by a dash 1-). Thus, “according to the Ibn Humayd-Salamah-Ibn Ishaq” means that Tabari received the report from Ibn Humayd who said that he was told by Salamalı, who said that he was told by Ibn Ishaq, and so on. The numerous

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