This is the translation of the first portion of Ibn Kathir's Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah..
The book tells us how creation came to existence from nothing. The respected author discusses the creation of the earth, heavens, Paradise, Hell, the Angels, Jinns and mankind.
He has cited the verses of the Qur'an extensively and quoted Ahaadith (Prophetic traditions) exhaustively.
A comprehensive index as appended to the translation.
English Translation by Rafique Abdur Rahman
About the Author: He was Hafidh Abul Fida Ismail ibn Abi Hafs Shihabuddin Omar ibn Kathir ibn Daw ibn Kathir in Zar` the Quraishite – originally from Busra (Syria) – and raised in Damascus. He followed the Shafi`ee school of thought. Ibn Kathir was born in the year 701 AH in an area called Majdal, near Busra, west of Damascus. His father died when he was only four years old and was taken in by his brother and moved to Damascus in 706. Here, he learned from great scholars such as Ibn Asakir, Ishaq ibn Yahya al-Amudi and the great Ibn Taymiyyah who was extremely close to him. He also studied under various other sheikhs who gave him permission in fiqh and Hadith. He made many academic contributions to Islamic sciences. The following are amongst his most prominent:
Tafseer of the Qur’an
Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah: a history of Muslims from Adam until Ibn Kathir’s time
At-Takmeel: a book on the science of Asmaaul Rijal (profiles of transmitters of Hadith)
Jami`ul Masaneed: a book that collects the Hadith from ten major books of Hadith
The classes of Shafi`ee scholars: a list of scholars following the Imam
Extraction of the traditions of Tanbeeh (a Shafi`ee book of jurisprudence)
The commentary on al-Bukhari (which he did not finish)
The book of laws (again, he did not complete it)
The summary to the science of Hadith; a synopsis to the introduction of Ibn Saah’s work
Extraction of the traditions to the summary of Ibn Hajib
Musnad of the two sheikhs (Abu Bakr and Umar)
Biography of the Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam
The epistle of Jihad
Al-Hafiz Ibn hajar Al-Asqalani said,”Ibn Kathir lost his sight just before his life ended. He died in Damascus in 774A.H. May Allah grant him Mercy and make him amongst the residents of Jannah (Heavenly Garden)