Key Figures of Islamic Tradition, According to Marshall Hodgson (1)

For the Islamic tradition, my favorite is Marshall Hodgson's classic The Venture of Islam, for its publishing I am also infinitely grateful to his colleague Reuben Smith who saw the manuscript through to publication.


In the book, Hodgson uses tables to summarize key figures of the tradition. The first instance of this when there are culturally influence figure is in Vol 1 p.288. Below is my summary of the key names that came up (dates are for year of death unless otherwise stated):


723-759 Ibn-al-Muqaffa launches adab prose with translation from Pahlavi

765 Jafar al-Sadiq, imam of those Shiis who held to a Fatimid line

767 Ibn-Ishaq, biographer of Muhammad

700-767 Abu-Hanifah, great imam of the Iraqi shchool of fiqh

786 al-Khalil, first systematic grammarian, prosodist, and lexicographer

715-795 Malik b. Anas, imam of the fiqh of the Hijaz

793 Sibawayhi, Basran systematizer of Arabic grammar

798 Abu-Yusuf, major successor in fiqh of Abu-Hanifah, along with Muhammad al-Shaybani

801 Rabiah al-Adawiyyah, of Basrah, ex-slave-woman ecstatic in God's love

813 Maruf al-Karkhi who brought Sufism to Baghdad

816? Abu-Nuwas, dissolute representative of the 'new' Arabic poetry in contrast to the pre-Islamic and Marwani type

767-820 Al-Shafii, at Baghdad and in Egypt, consolidates doctrine of Muhammad's legal authority and founds, as imam, a personal school of fiqh distinguished from those of the Iraq, the Hijaz, and Syria

823 al-Waqidi, pioneer historian of the early Muslims, a major inspiration of the historian al-Tabari

c. 828 Abu-l-Atahiyah, poet of philosophic renunciation


Bolded ones are in my recollection the more important figures.

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