Ibn Al-Athir’s Philosophy of History in Al-Kamil Fi Al-Tarikh

  •  Azmul Fahimi Kamaruzaman    
  •  Norsaeidah Jamaludin    
  •  Ahmad Faathin Mohd Fadzil    


Ibn al-Athir was a Muslim historian in the 6-7th century AH/12-13th century AD and renowned for his masterpiece entitled al-Kamil fi al-tarikh. The content structure of al-Kamil is divided into two which are, first, ‘Muqaddimah’ section containing the principles and concepts of history of Ibn al-Athir and, second, narrative section containing information and historical events which dominate almost all of al-Kamil. This article is intended for discussion on the philosophy of history in the ‘Muqaddimah’ section to understand Ibn al-Athir’s ideas about history in al-Kamil. The discussion applies a document analysis method and historiography approach. Results found that there were three forms of philosophy of history of Ibn al-Athir. First, tazkirah (reminder) is a reminder for mankind of historical events that happened. Second, sahih (authentic) is a selection technique of factual historical content. Third, tamm (completeness or perfection) as a process of scrutiny and observation before a narration is chosen and written. These three indirectly underlie the whole historiography of al-Kamil and form Ibn al-Athir’s ideas of philosophy of history in al-Kamil fi al-tarikh.

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