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1. Orientations
a. Figures
2. Koran
3. Theology
4. Concept of divine
5. Sharia
6. Muhammad
7. Cult and Festivals
8. Mecca
9. Cultic personalities
10. Caliph
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Islam / Theology /
Arabic: abū ja¢far muhammad bni jarīr at-tabariyy

(839-923) Mazandarani Muslim scholar, mainly of history and religious texts. He also dealt with a wide range of other sciences, from poetry to medicine.
No work of at-Tabari have been completely preserved to our times, much of it is completely lost, like his writings dealing with his new madhhab, school of Sharia, Muslim Law. Before this, he adhered to the Shafi'i madhhab. Still, we know some about his juridical thinking. He is especially remembered for having criticised Ibn Hanbal for lacking fiqh in his technique, thereby considering that his legal system was not a madhhab at all. He is also interpreted to have promoted an acceptance of taqiyya, the hiding of one's religion, a concept usually linked to Shi'i Islam.
His commentary on the Koran and the hadiths (traditions), the Tafsir at-Tabari, is largely preserved (see article on the method of Tafsir). In the Tafsir he distinguishes between available traditions using linguistic criteria instead of the more common isnad (quality of the chain of transmitters). Interpreting, he used Ijtihad (independent judgment).
His historical work, the Tarikh at-Tabari has ever since the 10th century been one of the core sources for this historical period. It begins with early Persian history, continues through to the era of the Sassanids, then on to Muhammad and the first 4 Caliphs, before concluding in his own era, as if it ends on the date it is published; in the month of Muharram year 303 by Muslim calendar, corresponding to July 915 in the Christian calendar.
There are several accounts relating to his personality. It is said he was modest, honest and highly devoted. He is acclaimed for refusing payment for his services, but he also came from a rich family. He never married, but was a man taking good care about his appearance.
The name used for him simply means "from Tabiristan".

839: Born in Amol into a wealthy family. His home town corresponds to modern Iran, on the Caspian Sea.
851: Begins his studies, in Ray (Shahr-e Rey).
855: Starts studying Muslim Law after the Hanbali madhhab.
ca. 870: Settles permanently in Baghdad.
ca. 880: Starts promoting his own madhhab, which is called Jaririyya.
915: Publishes his historical work, Tarikh at-Tabari.
923 February 17: Dies in Baghdad.

By Tore Kjeilen