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Ibn Khaldun, Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

    Ibn Khaldun, Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad

    (d. 1406 )

    Influential Arab historian, historiographer, and social philosopher. Held numerous public positions in Tunis; moved to Cairo in 1392 , where he taught and served as a judge until his death. His major works are his autobiography (Al-tarif b'Ibn Khaldun), a candid evaluation of his career, and the Muqaddimah (Introduction to history), which traces his thoughts on sednetary and desert populations, dynasties, and the caliphate. In the Muqaddimah, Ibn Khaldun stated that he had established a new science, ilm al-umran (science of social organization); he is accordingly regarded as the father of sociology. Asabiyyah (social solidarity) is the core of his thought on nomadism, urbanism, and the rise and decline of the state. Stressed the interdependence of the religious, political, economic, military, and cultural spheres of life and therefore the need for effective social control of human activity. His ideas later echoed in those of Machiavelli , Vico , Comte , Durkheim , Spengler , and Wirth .

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