Omissions of the “Wafayāt” Obituaries


This book is the first of two volumes comprising Fawāt al-wafayāt (Omissions of the wafayāt obituaries), a biographical dictionary by Muhammad ibn Shakir al-Kutubi (died 1363). As his name suggests, al-Kutubi was a bookseller. He lived in Damascus and rose from humble beginnings to become a bibliographer and historian. The work presented here is intended as a supplement to another, better-known, biographical dictionary: the Wafayāt al-aʻyan wa abnāʼ abnāʼ al-zamān (Obituaries of eminent men and history of the contemporaries), commonly known as Ibn Khallikan’s Biographical Dictionary, after its author Abu al-ʻAbbas Ahmad ibn Khallikan (1211–82). Al-Kutubi conveys in the introduction his reasons for writing this book, stating that Ibn Khallikan “did not mention any caliphs, and failed to properly authenticate the biographies of the eminent men of his time, as well as others who preceded him.” (Ibn Khallikan deliberately omitted the caliphs and other notables, whose biographies he said were widely available in other sources). In its entirety, al-Kutubi’s work contains 592 biographical entries, of which only about six were found in Ibn Khallikan’s. The entries are in alphabetical order. This first volume was printed in 1866 at the Bulaq Press in Cairo. It begins with an entry on Ibrahim ibn Adham, a prince-turned-Sufi mystic (died circa 777), and ends with ʻAbd al-Qahir ibn Tahir al-Baghdadi, a Shafiʻi scholar (died 1037).

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Bulaq Press, Cairo


Title in Original Language

كتاب فوات الوفيات

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Physical Description

2 volumes ; 28 centimeters

Last updated: November 6, 2017