Ibn Khaldoun citations

Ibn Khaldoun photo
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Ibn Khaldoun

Date de naissance: 4. juin 1332
Date de décès: 19. mars 1406


Ibn Khaldoun, en arabe ابن خلدون , de son nom complet Abū Zayd ‘Abd ar-Raḥmān ibn Muḥammad ibn Khaldūn al-Ḥaḍramī, , est un historien, philosophe, diplomate et homme politique ifriqiyen, issu d'une famille andalouse d'origine arabe,.

Sa façon d'analyser les changements sociaux et politiques qu'il a observés dans le Maghreb et l'Espagne de son époque a conduit à considérer Ibn Khaldoun comme un « précurseur de la sociologie moderne ».

Ibn Khaldoun est aussi un historien de premier plan auquel on doit la Muqaddima , qui est en fait son Introduction à l'histoire universelle et à la sociologie moderne, et Le Livre des exemples ou Livre des considérations sur l'histoire des Arabes, des Persans et des Berbères. Dans ces deux ouvrages résolument modernes dans leur méthode, Ibn Khaldoun insiste dès le début sur l'importance des sources, de leur authenticité et de leur vérification à l'aune de critères purement rationnels. Georges Marçais affirme que « l'œuvre d'Ibn Khaldoun est un des ouvrages les plus substantiels et les plus intéressants qu'ait produit l'esprit humain ».

Néanmoins, des intellectuels déplorent que bien que son nom soit aussi célèbre au Sud qu'au Nord de la Méditerranée, son œuvre soit surtout lue dans cette seconde région.

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Citations Ibn Khaldoun


„(Unlike Muslims), the other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty to them, save only for purposes of defence... They are merely required to establish their religion among their own people. This is why the Israelites after Moses and Joshua remained unconcerned with royal authority for about four hundred years. Their only concern was to establish their religion... The Israelites dispossessed the Canaanites of the land that God had given them as their heritage in Jerusalem and the surrounding region, as it had been explained to them through Moses. The nations of the Philistines, the Canaanites, the Armenians, the Edomites, the Ammonites, and the Moabites fought against them. During that time political leadership was entrusted to the elders among them. The Israelites remained in that condition for about four hundred years. They did not have any royal power and were harassed by attacks from foreign nations. Therefore, they asked God through Samuel, one of their prophets, that he permit them to make someone king over them. Thus, Saul became their king. He defeated the foreign nations and killed Goliath, the ruler of Philistines. After Saul, w:David became king, and then Solomon. His kingdom flourished and extended to the borders of the land of the Hijaz and further to the borders of Yemen and to the borders of the land of the Byzantines. After Solomon, the tribes split into two dynasties. One of the dysnaties was that of the ten tribes in the region of Nablus, the capital of which is Samaria(Sabastiyah), and the other that of the children of Judah and Benjamin in Jerusalem. Their royal authority had had an uninterrupted duration of a thousand years.“

— Ibn Khaldun
Muqaddimah, Translated by Franz Rosenthal, pp.183-184, Princeton University Press, 1981.

„All the sciences came to exist in Arabic. The systematic works on them were written in Arabic writing.“

— Ibn Khaldun
Muqaddimah, Translated by Franz Rosenthal, p. 432, Princeton University Press, 1981.


„Arabic writing at the beginning of Islam was, therefore, not of the best quality nor of the greatest accuracy and excellence. It was not (even) of medium quality, because the Arabs possessed the savage desert attitude and were not familiar with crafts. One may compare what happened to the orthography of the Qur’an on account of this situation. The men around Muhammad wrote the Qur’an in their own script which, was not of a firmly established, good quality. Most of the letters were in contradiction to the orthography required by persons versed in the craft of writing.... Consequently, (the Qur’anic orthography of the men around Muhammad was followed and became established, and the scholars acquainted with it have called attention to passages where (this is noticeable). No attention should be paid in this connection with those incompetent (scholars) that (the men around Muhammad) knew well the art of writing and that the alleged discrepancies between their writing and the principles of orthography are not discrepancies, as has been alleged, but have a reason. For instance, they explain the addition of the alif in la ‘adhbahannahU "I shall indeed slaughter him" as indication that the slaughtering did not take place ( lA ‘adhbahannahU ). The addition of the ya in bi-ayydin "with hands (power)," they explain as an indication that the divine power is perfect. There are similar things based on nothing but purely arbitrary assumptions. The only reason that caused them to (assume such things) is their belief that (their explanations) would free the men around Muhammad from the suspicion of deficiency, in the sense that they were not able to write well. They think that good writing is perfection. Thus, they do not admit the fact that the men around Muhammad were deficient in writing.“

— Ibn Khaldun
Muqqadimah, ibn Khaldun, vol. 2, p. 382

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