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Ahmed Mohammed al-Maqqari


Ahmed Mohammed al-Maqqari

Abu-l-'Abbas Ahmad ibn Mohammed al-Maqqari (or Al-Makkari) (c. 1578–1632) was a historian born in Tlemcen, then in the Ottoman Empire.

After an early training in Tlemcen, al-Maqqari moved to Fes in Morocco and then to Marrakech, following the court of Ahmad al-Mansur, to whom he dedicated his Rawdat al-As (The garden of Myrtle) about the ulemas of Marrakech and Fes. After al- Mansur's death in 1603, al-Maqqari established himself in Fes, where he was appointed both as mufti and as the imam of the Qarawiyyin mosque by al-Mansour's successor Zidan Abu Maali in 1618, but he had to leave Fes in that same year, probably because of the civil war between the Saadian sultans. He then made the pilgrimage to Mecca.

In the following year he settled in Cairo. In 1620 he visited Jerusalem and Damascus, and during the next six years made the pilgrimage five times. In 1628 he was again in Damascus, where he gave a course of lectures on Bukhari's collection of Traditions, spoke much of the glories of Muslim Iberia, and received the impulse to write his work on this subject later. In the same year he returned to Cairo, where he spent a year in writing his history. He was just making preparations to settle definitely in Damascus when he died.

His greatest work, The Breath of Perfume from the Branch of Green Andalusia and Memorials of its Vizier Lisan ud-Din ibn ul-Khattib, consists of two parts. The first is a compilation from many authors on the description and history of Muslim Iberia; it was published by William Wright, Christoph Krehl, Reinhart Dozy and Gustave Dugat as Analectes sur l'histoire et la littérature des Arabes d'Espagne (1855–1861),[1] and in an abridged English translation by Pascual de Gayangos (1840–1843). The second part is a biography of Ibn al-Khatib. The whole work has been published at Bulaq (1863), Cairo (1885) and Beirut (1988).


  • Al-Maqqari's "Breath Of Perfumes", in: Charles F. Horne, Sacred Books and Early Literature of the East: Medieval Arabic, Moorish, and Turkish, ISBN 0-7661-0001-4.
  • Ahmed ibn Mohammed Al-Makkari, The History of the Mohammedan Dynasties in Spain, Royal Asiatic Society Books, 2002
  1. ^ Online: (Arabic) Maqqarī, Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad (1855). "Introduction". In Wright, William (Ed.). Analectes sur l'histoire et la littérature des Arabes d'Espagne (in Français) 1 (1). Leyden: E. J. Brill. p. 5. 

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