Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti

Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti bigraphy, stories - Scholar, chronicler

Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti : biography

1756 – 1825

Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti (1753-1825) (Arabic: عبد الرحمن الجبرتي), full name: Abd al-Rahman bin Hasan bin Burhan al-Din al-Jabarti (Arabic عبد الرحمن بن حسن بن برهان الدين الجبرتي) was a Somali–Egyptian Muslim scholar and chronicler who spent most of his life in Cairo.My diaries: being a personal narrative of events, 1888-1914 – Page 81 by Wilfrid Scawen BluntCairo: a cultural and literary history – Page 144 by Andrew Beattie


While little is known of his life, according to Franz Steiner, al-Jabarti was born in the village of Tell el Gabarti in the northern Delta province of Beheira,al-Jabarti, ‘Abd al-Rahman. History of Egypt: ‘Aja’ib al-Athar fi ‘l-Tarajim wa’l-Akhbar. vol.1. Franz Steiner Verlag Stuttgart. 1994. while Abdulkader Saleh states that al-Jabarti was born in Cairo.Abdulkader Saleh, "Ǧäbärti," in von Uhlig, Siegbert, ed., Encyclopaedia Aethiopica: D-Ha. Wiesbaden:Harrassowitz Verlag, 2005, p.597. According to al-Jabarti’s writings, his name comes from his "seventh-degree grandfather," Abd al-Rahman, who was the earliest member of his family known to him.David Ayalon, "The Historian al-Jabartī and His Background," Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1960, p.238 The older Abd al-Rahman was from the al-Jabart region in Zeila, modern SomaliaA history of Arabic literature pg 423 by Clément Huart and visited the Riwaqs of the Jabarti communities in Mecca and Medina before making it to Egypt where he became Sheikh of the Riwaq there and head of the Jabarti community.

Trained as a shaykh at al-Azhar University, al-Jabarti began keeping a monthly chronicle of events in Cairo. This chronicle, which is generally known in English simply as al-Jabarti’s History of Egypt, and known in Arabic as Aja’ib al-athar fi al-tarajim wal-akhbar (عجائب الاَثار في التراجم والاخبار), became a world-famous historical text by virtue of its eyewitness accounts of Napoleon’s invasion and Muhammad Ali’s seizure of power. The entries from his chronicle dealing with the French expedition and occupation have been excerpted and compiled in English as a separate volume entitled Napoleon in Egypt.

According to Marsot, at the end of his life, al-Jabarti chose to be buried in Tell al-Gabarti, the town to which he traced his descent.Marsot, Afaf Lutfi el-Sayyed. "A Comparative Study of Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti. and Niqula al-Turk," Eighteenth Century Egypt: The Arabic Manuscript Sources. Los Angeles: Regina Books, 1990.