vendredi 23 septembre 2011

Ibn Khaldun: a concrete bridge between Africa and Europe.

All  at the Alcazar of  "Rahba Ibn Khaldun” in Seville.

         May 18, 2006, Spanish and Arab leaders were at the Alcazar in Seville. King Juan Carlos and the first Prime Minister of Spain Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero played the Pygmalion.
         Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of Algeria, Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt, Prince Moulay Rachid Alaoui, brother of King Mohammed VI of Morocco, Amr Moussa, Secretary General of the Arab League, Mongi Bousnima, director of the organization Arab League Education, Culture and Science, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Bin Jabor Al-Thani, foreign minister of Qatar, Mohamed Aziz Ben Achour, Tunisian Minister of Culture and Heritage Preservation and Riyadh Nassan Agha, Syrian Minister of Culture came to honor the memory of the Arab philosopher and historian Abu Zeid Abd ur-Rahman Bin Mohamad Bin Khaldoun al-Hadrami, better known by the name of Ibn Khaldun.
Thanks to the personality of Ibn Khaldun, Jeronimo Paez, director of the Foundation "El Legalo Andalusi" had managed to throw the missing bridge between Africa and Europe.
         Through 136 pieces from 16 countries, he organized an exhibition showcasing the fantastic journey of Ibn Khaldun: a door to the sanctuary of the Cathedral of Seville of the fourteenth century, the stele of the sister of Ibn Khaldun reduced from Tunisia land titles of his family, a rare manuscript known to date, a map tracing his route from Mallorca Seville etc ...

Who is this tireless traveler, eager for knowledge?

The roots of Wali al-Din Abd al-Rahman Ibn Muhammad are at Hadramaut in Yemen, but  he was born May 27, 1332 in Tunis. His ancestors had settled in Seville since the eighth century before moving to Ceuta and then in Tunis where they were serving Hafsids, the ruling dynasty in Ifriqiya (modern Tunisia). Naturally, his father was a fiqh (intellectual).
During his youth, Ibn Khaldun received education from scholars of the sultans Mérinides entourage. Orphaned at the age of 17, he won Fez, Morocco.
         In 1350, he obtained a job in the administration of the Sultan Abu Ishaq Ibrahim came to power in August 1279 under the dynastic name of Abu Ishaq II.
         At the end of the reign of the last, he was arrested, tortured, imprisoned and stripped of his possessions. In 1352, he left Tunisia for a long journey that leads from the Maghreb countries (Tébessa, Gafsa, Biskra, Candle ...) in Andalusia through Arabia and Syria.
He enters the service of the Sultan of Fez, Abu Inan Faris (1329-1358). Accused of plotting against him, he was imprisoned for two years and is released at the latter's death November 27, 1358.
The following year he was appointed Secretary of State and Head of Chancery, and finally secretary, responsible for the high court. In 1361, he became Maliki qadi in Fez.
         In 1362, he was sent in Andalusia, while Nazari kingdom of Granada to the Sultan al-Ghani Mohammed V (1338-1391) who sent in 1363 a treaty of friendship with the king of Castile, Peter I, said the Cruel.
         He was solemnly received into the Hall of the Ambassadors of the Alcazar of Seville. Back in Andalusia, he receives a gift: the village of Elvira in the plain of Granada.
         In 1365, he returned to Candle and is at the service of Sultan Abu Abdallah. When Abu Abdullah was assassinated in 1366, he is at the service of Sultan Abu Hammou zianide Musa II (1353-1389).
In 1382, he found himself in Cairo, where he received the title of Grand Cadi Maliki after teaching at the mederesa of Qamhiyya El Cairo.
         In 1388, he taught at the University of Al Azhar in Cairo. In 1401, he traveled back to Palestine and Syria, where he became adviser to the Mamluk and meets Amir Temur Timur (1336-1405), the Turco-Mongol conqueror who asks him to write a summary on the history and geography of North Africa after it has invaded  Asia.
         On March 17, 1406, he died in Cairo.

Ibn Khaldun: the precursor, the scholar and teacher.

"The work of Ibn Khaldun is one of the most significant works and most interesting ever produced the human spirit," wrote the French Orientalist, George Alfred Marçais (1876-1962)
Sociologist, historian and philosopher, he recorded his observations in one of his major works: Kitab al-Ibar (Book of considerations on the history of Arabs, Persians and Berbers) preceded by the Prolegomena to the history of the world (Al-Muqaddima ) in which he explains his philosophy of history. He also wrote books including: The history of the Berbers and the dynasties of Northern Africa and the book examples.
Precursor of modern sociology and the founder of philosophy and history, he noted humbly aware of its limitations:
"I admit, however, that among men of different ages, no one has been more than I am unable to browse a vast field, so I pray skilled and educated men to consider my book carefully, if not sympathetic, and when they encounter errors, to kindly correct them, but calling me with indulgence. I offer the merchandise to the public will have little value to scholars, but by a frank admission, it can divert the blame, and must always rely on the kindness of his colleagues "
         If one day, the tunnel between Tarifa in Spain (Andalusia) to Cape Malabata, near Tangier in Morocco was made, it should definitely bear the name of Ibn Khaldun, in honor of the man of letters whose immense work will be forever  "a scientific bridge between Africa and Europe, between the Muslim East and Christian Europe"

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