Abu 'Ali ibn al-Banna' was born in 1005 CE (A.H.396), and he appears to have lived all his life in Baghdad (Makdisi, 1956:2). He was a prolific author, scholar, teacher, and a diarist. His diary was never intended for publication and only one part has survived covering roughly one year - 3 Aug 1068 to 4 September 1069 CE (Makdisi, 1956:23).