Ibn al-Jazari

Muhammad ibn Muhammad Ibn al-Jazari
Title Shaykh al-qurrāʼ[1]
Muqriʼ al-Mamālīk[2]
Al-Imām al-Aʻẓam[3]
Born 1350 CE (25 Ramadan 751 AH)[4]
Damascus, Syria[4]
Died 1429 CE (5 Rabi' al-awwal 833 AH)[4]
Shiraz, Iran[4]
Ethnicity Kurdish
Religion Islam
Jurisprudence Shafi'i
Creed Sunni, Ash'ari
Main interest(s) Qira'at, Tajwid, Hadith, History, Fiqh

Abu al-Khayr Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Yusuf al-Jazari (Arabic: أبو الخير شمس الدين محمد بن محمد بن محمد بن علي بن يوسف الجزري, 1350 CE/751 AH – 1429 CE/833 AH) was a distinguished and prolific scholar in the field of the qira'at of the Qur'an, whom al-Suyuti regarded as the "ultimate authority on these matters".[5] His works on tajwid and qira'at are considered classics.[6] The nisba (attributive title), Jazari, denotes an origin from Jazirat ibn 'Umar.[7]


Al-Jazari was born in Damascus at a time where his parents were long past the age of having children, yet his father (a merchant), had not given up all hope of having a child even after 40 years of marriage. It is said that Al-Jazari was born after his father's prayers for a son during the Hajj.[4]

He completed the memorization of the Qur'an at the age of 13 and learned the art of Qur'anic recitation at an early age. In Damascus, al-Jazari founded and headed Dar al-Qur'an, a school that specialized in Qur'anic sciences. He travelled to Mecca, Medina, Cairo and Alexandria where he took knowledge from its scholars and in 774 AH, he was authorized by his teacher Ibn Kathir to issue verdicts in Islamic law. He served as a qadi (judge) of Damascus in 793 AH and later in Shiraz where he died.


Al-Jazari compiled more than 90 works on qira'at, hadith, history and other disciples. These include:


  1. Arabic: شيخ القراء
  2. Arabic: مقرئ المماليك
  3. Arabic: الإمام الأعظم, a title given to him by the people of Shiraz
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Ḥāfiẓ, Muḥammad Muṭīʻ (1995). Shaykh al-qurrāʼ al-Imām Ibn al-Jazarī (751–833). Dār al-Fikr al-Muʻāṣir. pp. 7–11.
  5. Semaan, Khalil I (1968). Linguistics in the Middle Ages: Phonetic studies in early Islam. E. J. Brill. p. 34.
  6. Nelson, Kristina (2001). The art of reciting the Qur'an. American Univ in Cairo Press. p. 88.
  7. Sarton, George (1962). Introduction to the History of Science (3 Vols. in 5). Krieger Pub Co. p. 1455.
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