Ibn Hajar al-ʿAsqalani (1372–1449) was one of the most influential thinkers of the 15th century and a prolific scholar, most notably of hadith (Prophetic traditions). Drawing on autobiographical texts and contemporary accounts, Jaques describes the formative events in Ibn Hajar's life—his orphanhood, education, marriages, survival through plague, civil war and foreign invasion, and his strategy for negotiating the political strains that marked the late Mamluk period (ca. 1382–1516). Jaques focuses on the most widely read of Ibn Hajar's works—the commentary on the greatest compilation of hadiths, Sahih al-Bukhari, and his history of the Mamluks—and explains how he drew on the theories, ideas, and aspirations of the preceding centuries of Islamic scholarship to project an enduring solution to the crises of his time. An important strand in the story is how, despite personal suffering and the dangerous intrigues around him, Ibn Hajar rose to prominence as the chief Shafiʿi judge of Egypt.
Ibn Hajar was published in 2009.
R Kevin Jaques (2009), Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at Indiana University, has written extensively on Islamic legal history, of the Shafiʿi school in particular. He is the author of Authority, Conflict, and the Transmission of Diversity in Medieval Islamic Law (2006).