Meaning of 'UMARI, AL- in English


in full Shihab Ad-din Ahmad Ibn Fadl Allah Al-'umari born June 12, 1301, Damascus died March 1, 1349, Damascus scholar and writer whose works on the administration of the Mamluk dominions of Egypt and Syria became standard sources for Mamluk history. A scion of a family of bureaucrats, al-'Umari, as his name implies, traced his origin to 'Umar, the second Islamic caliph. His father held the important post of katib as-sirr (head of the chancery) of the Mamluk Empire. Al-'Umari began his career as an assistant to his father. By temperament he was unsuited to the civil service; he was much too independent of mind and action to have survived in any bureaucracy. In c. 1337 he was dismissed from office and imprisoned. On the death of his father in 1337, his brother was appointed as head of the chancery. In 1339 al-'Umari was released from prison and appointed to his father's old post, but in 1342 he was again banished from office and replaced by another brother. Al-'Umari spent his remaining years in the pursuit of scholarship. He wrote at-Ta'rif bi-al-mustalah ash-sharif, a comprehensive study of the principles of Mamluk administration, and Masalik al-absar fi mamalik al-amsar, an encyclopaedic compendium also relating to administrative practices.

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