Ibn Khaldun and Columbus
Prof. Hasan A. Yahya, Ph.Ds الدكتور حسن يحيى
Ibn Khaldun known as: Abu Zayd ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Khaldun. He died almost one century before Columbus, the famous explorer, colonizer, and navigator, discovered by mistake, the new world known today as the Americas (South and North) in 1492. The Americas cover 8.3% of the Earth’s total surface area (28.4% of its land area) and contain about 13.5% of the human population (a little less than One Billion people). However, Columbus thought he was discovering Indian islands before he corrected his information.
To be exact, Columbus was born on 31 October 1451 and died on 20 May 1506 while Ibn Khaldun was born on May 27, 1332 and died: March 17, 1406 A.C./ 732 – 808 A.H.
According to the Columbia Encyclopedia,: Ibn Khaldun – ĭˈbən khäldoonˈ, 1332–1406, Arab historian, b. Tunis. He held various offices under the rulers of Tunis and Morocco and served (1363) as ambassador of the Moorish king of Granada to Peter the Cruel of Castile. In 1382 he sailed to Cairo, where he spent most of the rest of his life as a teacher and lecturer. Many times grand Maliki cadi (judge) of Cairo, he made the pilgrimage to Mecca in 1387. In 1400 he accompanied the Egyptians in their campaign against Timur, and he was sent to arrange for the capitulation of Damascus to Timur. Ibn Khaldun is generally considered the greatest of the Arab historical thinkers. In his great work, the Kitab al-Ibar [universal history], he attempts to treat history as a science and outlines a philosophy of history, setting forth principles of sociology and political economy. He wrote an autobiography, completed in 1394, but expanded a few months before he died.
He is generally considered the greatest Arab historian as well as the father of sociology and the science of history. Quotation attributed to Ibn Khaldun : To know how much he was talented and wise philosopher indeed, in his old age, he wrote:
“He who finds a new path is a pathfinder, even if the trail has to be found again by others; and he who walks far ahead of his contemporaries is a leader, even though centuries pass before he is recognized as such.”
Beside philosophy, Ibn Khaldun was a writer , historian, diplomat, and a teacher. He was considered one of the earliest forerunners of social sciences. Or the originator of sociology and history. In his Muqaddima (Prologema ) he describes politics, sociology and anthropology, economics and taxes, as well as law of the land. I don’t believe that the concept of social science we know today exclude these majors.
Finally, he was one of the strongest personalities of Arabo-Muslim culture in the period of its decline. (M. Talbi, H. Yahya). www.arabamericanencyclopedia.com
Note: Bibleography may be found at number one in this series. (The Editor)