Maktaba Al Assrya, Beirut, Lebanon
The Classical work Al-Bidayah wa'an-Nihayah (The Beginning and the End) or Tarikh ibn Kathir (The history [book of] Ibn Kathir).
One of the most comprehensive sources of Islamic history.
- The beginning of creation and the sending of man upon the earth
- Stories of the past Prophets
- Seerah of the Prophet Muhammad (S)
- The Times of the Sahaba (Companions)
- and History up to time of author (768 h)
- The last volume records predictions of future events such as signs of the day of judgment (Qiyamah) - Barzakh, Jannah (paradise)& Jahannam (hell).
Therefore, al Bidayah wa al Nihaayah is an excellent reference on the history of the prophets, seerah, the history of early Islam and the history of al Shaam and Iraq up until the year 768H.
During the period when I was reading these ten volumes I was living with the ummah. The ups and the downs, the victories and the defeats, the righteous and the evil, the just rulers and the tyrants, the scholars, the poets, the worshipers, the military generals, the deviants, the hypocrites, and the enemies.
We have a truly fascinating history. Imam Anwar al Awlaki http://www.anwar-alawlaki.com/?p=29
About Hafiz Ibn Kathir
Abu Al-Fida, 'Imad Ad-Din Isma'il bin 'Umar bin Kathir Al-Qurashi Al-Busrawi, Al Dimashqi. , originally from Busra (Syria) and raised in Damascus. He followed the Shafi`ee school of thought. Ibn Kathir was born in the year 700 AH or little later in an area called Majdal, near Busra, west of Damascus. His father died when he was only four years old and was taken in by his brother and moved to Damascus in 706. Here, he learned from great scholars such as Ibn Asakir, Ishaq ibn Yahya al-Amudi and the great Ibn Taymiyyah who was extremely close to him. He also studied under various other sheikhs who gave him permission in fiqh and Hadith. He made many academic contributions to Islamic sciences.
He made many academic contributions to Islamic sciences. The following are amongst his most prominent:
Tafseer of the Quran, Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah: a history of Muslims from Adam until Ibn Kathirs time, At-Takmeel: a book on the science of Asmaaul Rijal (profiles of transmitters of Hadith), Jami`ul Masaneed: a book that collects the Hadith from ten major books of Hadith, , The classes of Shafi`ee scholars: a list of scholars following the Imam, Extraction of the traditions of Tanbeeh (a Shafi`ee book of jurisprudence), The commentary on al-Bukhari (which he did not finish), The book of laws (again, he did not complete it), The summary to the science of Hadith; a synopsis to the introduction of Ibn Saahï¿½s work, Extraction of the traditions to the summary of Ibn Hajib, Musnad of the two sheikhs (Abu Bakr and Umar), Biography of the Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, The epistle of Jihad.
Al-Hafiz Ibn hajar Al-Asqalani said,Ibn Kathir lost his sight just before his life ended. He died in Damascus in 774A.H. May Allah grant him Mercy and make him amongst the residents of Jannah (Heavenly Garden) .