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Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti (Arabic: جلال الدين السيوطي‎) (c. 1445–1505 AD), whose full Arabic name is Abu al-Fadl 'Abd al-Rahman b. Abi Bakr b. Muhammad Jalal al-Din al-Khudayri al-Suyuti, also known as Ibn al-Kutub (son of books) was an Egyptian religious scholar, juristic expert and teacher, and one of the most prolific Arab writers of the Middle Ages, whose works deal with a wide variety of subjects in Islamic theology. He was precocious and was already a teacher in 1462. In 1486, he was appointed to a chair in the mosque of Baybars in Cairo. He adhered to the Shafi'i Maslak and is one of the latter-day authorities of the Shafi'i School, considered to be one of the Ashabun-Nazzar (Assessors) whose degree of Ijtihad is agreed upon. An alternative spelling of his name is Jalaluddin.


  • Biography 1
  • Career 2
  • Works 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Imam Al-Suyuti was born on 1st Rajab 849 A.H. ( 2 October 1445 A.D.) in Suyut town, Egypt. Therefore, he has been called as Al-Suyuti. His mother was Turkish and his father Kamalu Din Abi Bakar was also Non-Arab. His father died in his early age so Imam Al-Suyuti was raised as orphan. He memorized the Qur'an at eight. He also studied Sacred Law, fundamentals of jurisprudence, and Arabic grammar; after which he devoted himself to studying the Sacred Sciences under about a hundred and fifty shaykhs (teachers) that includes the famous Shafai Scholar Siraj al-Din Bulqini, Sharaf al-Din al-Munawi etc. He traveled to various parts of the Islamic World to quench his thirst of knowledge that includes Damascus, the Hijaz, Yemen, India, Morocco, the lands south of Morocco, as well as to centers of learning in Egypt such as Mahalla, Dumyat, and Fayyum. He was also appointed as the head teacher of hadith at the Shaykhuniyya school in Cairo at the recommendation of Imam Kamal al-Din ibn al-Humam, then the Baybarsiyya, out of which he was divested through the complaints of disgruntled shaykhs which he had replaced as teachers. At the end he retired into scholarly seclusion, never to go back to teaching.[1][2]


Al-Suyuti held various positions in his lifetime such as that of teacher of the Arabic language in 866H, he was authorized to give fatwa in 876H and he taught and dictated hadith at the University of Ibn Tuloon.

He was a prolific writer, and a well-known author of the latter times. He has left behind at least a book in every branch of Islamic science that include both short monographs of few pages and tomes spanning volumes. Some of his books are also first of their kind – and standards for those that were written after. Many of his books are published; they are easily and widely available.

The first book he wrote was Sharh Al-Isti'aadha wal-Basmalah in 866H, when he was seventeen years old.

Ibn Ímād writes: "Most of his works become world famous right in his lifetime. His ability to write was phenomenal. His student Dawudi says: "I was with the Shaykh Suyuti once, and he wrote three volumes on that day. He used to dictate annotations on ĥadīth, and answer my objections at the same time. He was the most knowledgeable scholar in his time of the ĥadīth and associated sciences, knowledge of the narrators including the uncommon ones, the text of the hadith matn, its chain of narrators isnad, the derivation of ruling from hadith. He has himself told me, that he had memorized One Hundred Thousand hadith."[23]


His books and treatises have been counted to number almost 700 works altogether. Suyuti listed 283 of his own works in Husn al-Muhađarah. In addition to the topic of religion, al-Suyuti wrote about medicine as well. Like the medicinal works of Abu'l-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi, al-Suyuti's book was almost exclusively based on Prophetic medicine rather than a synthesis of both Islamic and Greek medicine like the works of Al-Dhahabi. Al-Suyuti's work focused primarily on diet and natural remedies for both serious ailments such as rabies and smallpox and simple conditions such as headaches and nosebleeds; he also touched on the toic of the cosmology behind the principles of medical ethics.[3]

Some of the more famous works he produced were:[4]

  • Al-Itqān fi ‘Ulum Al-Qur’an (translated into English as The Perfect Guide to the Sciences of the Qur'an, ISBN 9781859642412)
  • Tafsir al-Jalalayn (Arabic:تفسير الجلالين)
  • Al-Tibb al Nabawî, or "Prophetic medicine" (Arabic: الطب النبوي)
  • Al-Jaami' al-Kabîr (Arabic: الجامع الكبير)
  • Al-Jaami' al-Saghîr (Arabic: الجامع الصغير)
  • Dur al-Manthur (Arabic: درالمنثور) in tafsir
  • Alfiyyah al-Hadith [5]
  • Tadrib al-Rawi (Arabic: تدريب الراوي) both in hadith terminology
  • History of the Caliphs (Arabic:Tarikh al-khulafa)
  • The Khalifas who took the right way (Arabic Al-Khulafah Ar-Rashidun)
  • Tabaqat al-huffaz an appendix to al-Dhahabi's Tadhkirat al-huffaz
  • Nuzhat al-julasāʼ fī ashʻār al-nisāʼ (Arabic: نزهة الجلساء في أشعار النساء‎)
  • Al-Khasais-ul-Kubra which discusses the miracles of Islamic prophet Muhammad
  • Al-Muzhir. (linguistics).
  • Sharh al-Sudur Bi Sharh Hal al-Mawta Wa al-Qubur

See also


  • Tafsir al-Jalalayn in English
  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Emilie Savage-Smith, "Medicine." Taken from Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science, Volume 3: Technology, Alchemy and Life Sciences, pg. 928. Ed. Roshdi Rasheed. London: Routledge, 1996. ISBN 0415124123
  4. ^
  5. ^

External links

  • (PDF version)
  • Imam Suyuti Biography and Works at SunniPort
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