Ibn al-Furat Characterization Open this page in a new tab

Claude Cahen in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3 (1991:768-769) notes the following
He finished completely only the volumes covering the years after 500/1106-7. The majority of the fragments which survive (mainly in Vienna) are autographs and the work does not seem to have been much copied, or indeed much valued in its own time (perhaps because of suspicions concerning its style and orthodoxy), although it was used by al-Makrlzi and others. Its value rests not only in its being very detailed, but also in the wide range of its sources, which are often cited side by side verbatim and chosen with great broad-mindedness, the Shi'i Ibn Abi Tayyi' and the Christian Ibn al-'Amid, for example, appearing together with writers of irreproachable Muslim orthodoxy.

... the volumes covering the first two-thirds of the 6th/12th century are of considerable interest owing to the wide use made of the lost chronicle of the Shi'i of Aleppo, Ibn Abi Tayyi', of the Egyptian Ibn Tuwayr, etc.; those covering the Ayyubid period and that of the early Mamluks are of less importance, though not without interest, while those concerning the period of the author's own life are once again important. Apart from a few extracts here and there, there have, up to now, been published only two volumes (vol. ix of Vienna) covering the years 789-99/1387-97 (by C. K. Zurayk, Beirut 1936 and, with Nadjla 'Izz al-Din, 1938), and two others (vols. vi and vii) covering the years 672-96/1274-97 (same editors, 1939-42); nothing has been found on the period of over a century which separates them. There do exist, however, in addition to a few volumes on the early periods (Paris, London, Bursa), the whole of those for the years 500-65 and 585-696 (the lacuna which until recently existed between 625 and 638 has just been filled by the discovery of a volume in Morocco, of which photographs have been sent to the American University of Beirut, which published the volumes edited by Zurayk). Similarly, the years 563-8 and 585 (which come together in vol. iv of the Vienna MS) have been published by M. Hasan M. al-Shamma', Basra 1967. The manuscripts for the 6th/i2th, 7th/i3th, and 8th/14th centuries all belong to the autograph series Vienna AF 814 into which may be inserted the MS Vatican V 720 (years 639-58) and the manuscript of Morocco. Al-Sakhawi (see, e.g., F. Rosenthal, Historiography, 419) accuses Ibn al-Furat of vulgarity of style, but this can apply only to the later years, the remainder of the work consisting of extracts from earlier writers.