04 April 2003, 20:38

al-Lakzi, Mammus

Al-Lakzi Mammus ibn al-Hasan ibn Muhammad Abu Abdallah ad-Darbandi (ca. 1040-1110) ? khadis expert and historian, one of the most influential Sheikhs of Bab al-abvab (Derbent). Born in Derbent in a family of the natives of the Country of Lezgins (Bilad lakz) ? a state formation southwest of Derbent Emirate. His father, muhaddis and historian Abul Valid al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ad-Darbandi al-Balkhi as-Sufi (died in 1064) is a person widely known to Muslim biographers. According to some sources, Abul Valid was a student of Abu Abdallah Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Gundjar (died in 1021), "Mavarannakhr muhaddises' imam" and the author of History of Bukhara. He received the right for transmission of History of Bukhara text from al-Gundjar.

Al-Lakzi studied in different cities of the Caliphate, including Baghdad, Samarqand, and Bukhara. The most prominent of al-Lakzi's teachers was al-Hatib al-Baghdadi, an historian and khadis expert from Baghdad, author of multi-volume History of Baghdad. Al-Hatib al-Baghdadi himself had al-Lakzi's father as instructor. At least, when reciting the biographies of Bukhara's natives, the author of History of Baghdad continually refers to Abul Valid ad-Darbandi.

Origin and substantial education allowed al-Lakzi to become a court historiographer of the Hashimides, the Derbent Emirate rulers. He is the author of the chronicles Tarikh Bab al-abvab va-Shirvan (History of Derbent and Shirvan), well known to the researchers but considered anonymous until recently. After Seljuk conquest of Derbent and the Aglabides' takeover of the power in 1075, al-Lakzi was forced to leave the city and settle in Baghdad where he became the follower of Abu Bakr Muhammad al-Marvazi a.k.a. Ibn al-Khadiba ad-Dakkak (died in 1095). Al-Lakzi maintained contacts with asharits and Sufis, in particular with khanbalit Sufi Abul Husayn ibn at-Tuyuri (died in 1107), student of Abul Kasim al-Kushayri (died in 1071). He frequented an-Nizamiya madrasah, which probably explains the extensiveness of his spiritual connections. Al-Lakzi was acquainted with leading scientists of his time: Abuk Iskhak ash-Shirazi, an-Nizamiya madrasah's principal, Abu Nasr al-Kushayri, and Abu Hamid al-Gazali. He provided extensive support to beginning scientists, in particular to Musa ibn Ibrahim al-Lakzi who, under the recommendation of his protector, studied shafiit law in an-Nizamiya under al-Gazali's guidance. Afterwards, Musa al-Lakzi worked successfully in Bukhara, where al-Lakzi himself and his father had studied before.

One of al-Lakzi's students was a Sufi Abu Bakr Muhammad ad-Darbandi (died in the first half of the 12th century), the author of Raykhan al-khaka'ik va-bustan ad-daka'ik (Basilica of Verities and Garden of Delicacies), who was indebted to his teacher for the acquaintances with many Baghdadi scientists, including the aforementioned al-Gazali, Ibn al-Hadiba, and his daughter Karima al-Marvaziya (died in 1098).

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