Stock Image

The Fihrist: A 10th Century Ad Survey of Islamic Culture

Ibn Al-Nadim, Muhammad Ibn Ishaq; Al-Nadim, Ibn; Dodge, Bayard

0 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1871031621 / ISBN 13: 9781871031621
Published by Kazi Pubns Inc, U.S.A., 1998
Condition: like new Hardcover
From Heidelberg Books (Olivebridge, NY, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since July 15, 2013

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 125.00 Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 3.95 Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

*Hardcover in Like New condition, whistle-clean and unmarked inside and out. Binding is strong and square, 1,149 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 001158

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: The Fihrist: A 10th Century Ad Survey of ...

Publisher: Kazi Pubns Inc, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:like new

About this title

Synopsis:

The Catalog (Kitab al-fihrist) by Ibn al-Nadim (d. 995 AD) is an index of all books written in Arabic either by Arabs or non-Arabs and contains ten discourses. The first six of them deal with books on Islamic subjects: 1. the Scriptures of Muslims, Jews and Christians with emphasis on the Quran and Quranic sciences; 2. grammar and philology; 3. history, biography, genealogy and related subjects; 4. poetry; 5. scholastic theology (kalam); 6. law and tradition. The last four discourses deal with non-Islamic subjects. 7. philosophy and the ancient sciences; 8. legends, fables, magic, conjuring Inc; 9. the doctrines of the non-monotheistic creeds; 10. alchemy. The author, a bookseller, often mentions the size of a book and the number of pages so buyers would not be cheated by copyists creating shorter versions. He refers often to copies written by famous calligraphers, bibliophies and other libraries and speaks of an auction and of the trade in books. In the opening section he deals with the alphabets of 14 people (Arabs and non-Arabs) and their manner of writing and also with the writing-pen, paper and its different varieties. Reviewed on NPR All Things Considered.

About the Author:

The author of al-Fihrist (The Catalog) was Abu al-Faraj Muhammad ibn Ishaq ibn Muhammad ibn Ishaq, but as a rule he is called al-Nadim because he had the distinction of being a nadim or court companion. As the surname of his father was Abu Yaqub, he evidently had an elder brother named Yaqub and probably had other brothers and sisters as well.

The year of his birth is unknown but it cannot have been much after 935 AD and more likely was somewhat earlier. The author's father was called a warrq, which in his case evidently meant that he was a book dealer. As he seems to have been prosperous, it is likely that he presided over a large bookstore, which was almost certainly at Baghdad. It's easy to imagine how he commissioned his sons to buy manuscripts from other dealers and had his own scribes make copies of manuscripts for his customers.

A medieval manuscript was about the size of a modern book, but it was written by hand instead of being printed. The leaves were made of a paper of good quality, with writing on both sides. As a rule these pages were bound in a leather cover. The bookshop, like the old shops in al-Najaf, was probably on an upper story, where it formed a meeting place for scholars who came to examine the books, enjoy refreshments, and discuss academic problems.

When he was about six years old the author undoubtedly attended an elementary class attached to a mosque. One can visualize the little boy sitting on the ground in a group of other children, swaying back and forth as he repeated the verses of the Quran, which his teacher recited to be memorized. The child also must have learned how to write the verses on his board, erasing each verse when he learned how to copy it, in order to make the board clean for a new quotation. By the time he was ten years old, he had probably memorized the entire Quran, so as to be prepared for study of a more mature nature.

It is reasonable to believe that al-Nadim joined a study circle in some important mosque to learn the intricacies of Arabic grammar and rhetoric as well as something about Quranic commentary, the Hadith or traditions of the Prophet, and rules for reciting the Quran in an authorized way. Before long he undoubtedly worked as an apprentice in his father's book shop, copying manuscripts, entertaining scholars and helping to sell what they wanted to buy.

It is probable that while he was still a young man al-Nadim began to make a catalogue of authors and the names of their compositions for use in his father's bookstore. It is reasonable to believe that al-Nadim wrote notes about each author on a piece of paper. As he grew older, he evidently became interested in so many subjects about which he read in books, or which he learned about from friends and chance acquaintances, that he included a great deal of additional material with his notes about the poets and scholars. Thus, instead of being merely the catalog for a book shop, al-Fihrist became an encyclopedia of medieval Islamic culture.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

**We have many out-of-print editions as well as many first printings and signed books. We specialize in Travel and Adventure books, Nature, Plants and Animals, Art (Photography, Painting, Illustration, etc.), 60's literature, eccentric subject matter,history, sports, drama, etc

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

We guarantee the condition of every book as it's described on the Abebooks web
sites. If you're
dissatisfied with your purchase (Incorrect Book/Not as Described/Damaged) or if
the order hasn't
arrived, you're eligible for a refund within 30 days of the estimated delivery
date. If you've changed
your mind about a book that you've ordered, please use the Ask bookseller a
question link to contact.
We can be reached at mheidelberg@earthlink.net or by phone 845-657-2008 or by
mail at Heidelberg Books...

More Information
Shipping Terms:

Orders usually ship within 2 business days. Shipping costs are based on books
weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may
contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express