Ibn Sa'd

Abū ‘Abd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Sa‘d ibn Manī‘ al-Baṣrī al-Hāshimī kātib al-Wāqidī[5] or simply Ibn Sa'd (Arabic: ابن سعد) and nicknamed "Scribe of Waqidi" (Katib al-Waqidi), was a scholar and Arabian biographer. Ibn Sa'd was born in 784 CE (168 AH)[6] and died in 845 CE (230 AH).[6] Ibn Sa'd was from Basra,[1] but lived mostly in Baghdad, hence the nisba al-Basri and al-Baghdadi respectively. He is said to have died at the age of 62 in Baghdad and was buried in the cemetery of the Syrian gate.[7]

Muhammad ibn Sa'd ibn Mani' al-Hashimi
TitleKatib al-Waqidi
Born784 CE (168 AH)
Died16 February 845 (aged 61) (230 AH)[1][2]
EraIslamic golden age
Notable work(s)'كتاب طبقات الكبرى', Kitab Tabaqat Al-Kubra (Book of the Major Classes)
Muslim leader

Kitāb aṭ-ṭabaqāt al-kabīr

The Kitāb aṭ-ṭabaqāt al-kabīr in Arabic (translation: The Book of the Major Classes), is a compendium of biographical information about famous Islamic personalities. This eight-volume work contains the lives of Muhammad, his Companions and Helpers, including those who fought at the Battle of Badr as a special class, and of the following generation, the Followers, who received their traditions from the Companions. Ibn Sa'd's authorship of this work is attested in a postscript to the book added by a later writer. In this notice he is described as a "client of al-Husayn ibn ‘Abdullah of the ‘Abbasid family".[8]


  • Books 1 and 2 contain a biography (sirah) of Muhammad.
  • Books 3 and 4 contain biographies of companions of Muhammad.
  • Books 5, 6 and 7 contain biographies of later Islamic scholars.
  • Book 8 contains biographies of Islamic women.

Published editions


  • This work was edited between 1904 and 1921 by Eduard Sachau (Leiden, 1904 sqq.); cf. O. Loth, Das Classenbuch des Ibn Sad (Leipzig, 1869).
  • In 1968, Iḥsān Abbās edited it (Beirut: Dār Sādir).
  • ‘Alī Muḥammad ‘Umar, ed. (2001). Kitāb al-ṭabaqāt al-kabīr. Cairo: Maktabat al-Khānjī. Contains 11 volumes.[9]


  • Volumes 1 and 2 (of the Sachau edition) were translated in 1967 and 1972, respectively, by S. Moninul Haq, Pakistan Historical Society. Ibn Sa'd's Kitab Al-Tabaqat Al-Kabir Vols. 1&2. ISBN 81-7151-127-9[10]
  • Volumes 3, 5, 7 and 8 have been lately translated by Aisha Bewley and published under the titles of Companions of Badr, Men of Madina and Women of Madina.

See also

  • List of Islamic scholars


  1. Ibn Hajar, Taqrib al-Tahdhib
  2. Encyclopedia of Islam, Vol. 1, p.546, Edition. I, 1964
  3. Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture, ABC-CLIO, p. 277
  4. The Literature of Islam, The Scarecrow Press, p. 107
  5. Fück, J.W. (1960). "Ibn Saʿd". Encyclopedia of Islam (2 ed.). Brill. ISBN 9789004161214. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  6. MM. "Imamate". Al-islam.org. Archived from the original on 2009-08-21. Retrieved 2010-05-19.
  7. Ibn Khallikan (1868). "Mumammad ibn Saad". Ibn Khallikan's Biographical Dictionary, Volume 3. Translated by William MacGuckin de Slane. Oriental translation fund of Great Britain and Ireland. p. 65.
  8. "Muhammad Ibn Sa'ad Ibn al-Hyder Abadee Blogspot". Ibnalhyderabadee.blogspot.com. 2006-04-20. Retrieved 2010-05-19.
  9. Demiri, Lejla (2013). Muslim Exegesis of the Bible in Medieval Cairo: Najm al-Dīn al-Ṭūfī’s (d. 716/1316) Commentary on the Christian Scriptures. BRILL. p. 549. ISBN 978-90-04-24320-0. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  10. Naveed S, PA. "Ibn Sa'd's Kitab Al-Tabaqat Al-Kabir Vols. 1 & 2". Islamicbookstore.com. Retrieved 2010-05-19.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Ibn Ṣa'd". Encyclopædia Britannica. 14 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

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