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The Ummahs of the Past HB

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Thr translation of the portion of Ibn Kathir's al-Bidayah wa aln-Nihayah which discusses the events after the death of the Prophet 'Eesa (peace be upon him) to the last days of the Fatrah (the period in which no Prophet was sent after the Prophet 'Eesa and before the Messenger of Allah ) excluding the days of the Arabs and their ignorance.

The book peeps into the lives of the Banu Israa'il and great great men like Dhul Qarnayn and Luqman. Also discussed are the dwellers of the cave. Stories of Ya'juj and Majuj (Gog & Magog); the people of the pit; Qaarun and Bal'am are also mentioned.

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 Quran

Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah: a history of Muslims from Adam until Ibn Kathirs 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 Salahs 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)