18 Facts About Al-Jahiz


Al-Jahiz described himself as a member of the Arabian tribe Banu Kinanah.

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Al-Jahiz is therefore credited with outlining the principles of natural selection.

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Al-Jahiz's nephew reported that al-Jahiz's grandfather was a black cameleer.

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Al-Jahiz sold fish along one of the canals in Basra to help his family.

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Al-Jahiz used to gather with a group of other youths at Basra's main mosque, where they would discuss different scientific subjects.

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Al-Jahiz studied philology, lexicography and poetry from among the most learned scholars at the School of Basra, where he attended the lectures of Abu Ubaydah, Al-Asma'i, Sa'id ibn Aws al-Ansari and studied ilm an-nahw with Akhfash al-Awsat (al-Akhfash Abi al-Hasan).

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Al-Jahiz was critical of those who followed the Hadiths of Abu Hurayra, referring to his Hadithist opponents as al-nabita.

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Al-Jahiz went on to write two hundred books in his lifetime on a variety of subjects, including on the Quran, Arabic grammar, zoology, poetry, lexicography, and rhetoric.

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Al-Jahiz was one of the first Arabic writers to suggest a complete overhaul of the language's grammatical system, though this would not be undertaken until his fellow linguist Ibn Mada? took up the matter two hundred years later.

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Al-Jahiz moved to Baghdad, then the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate, in 816 AD, because the caliphs encouraged scientists and scholars and had just founded the library of the Bayt al-Hikmah.

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Al-Jahiz even used to rent the shops of al-warraqun for study.

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Al-Jahiz replaced Ibrahim ibn al-'Abbas al-Suli in the government secretariat of al-Ma'mun but left after just three days.

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Al-Jahiz provided a quotation describing the struggle for existence, citing a Spanish translation of this work:.

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Al-Jahiz recognized eco-systems, and like Aristotle, believed in spontaneous generation.

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Al-Jahiz frequently used metaphors of webs and nets to express interconnectedness in the book.

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Al-Jahiz's defining of eloquence as the ability of the speaker to deliver an effective message while maintaining it as brief or elaborate at will was widely accepted by later Arabic literary critics.

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Al-Jahiz intervened in a theological dispute between two Mu'tazilites, and defended Abu al-Hudhayl against the criticism of Bishr ibn al-Mu'tamir.

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Al-Jahiz returned to Basra with hemiplegia after spending more than fifty years in Baghdad.

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