Ibn Khaldun (Makers Of Islamic Civilization)

Jan 24, 2018


Welcome to Marjorie Cowley's website, dedicated to the exploration of notable figures from Islamic civilization. In this page, we delve into the life and contributions of one of the most influential minds in history - Ibn Khaldun.

Early Life and Education

Ibn Khaldun was born in the year 1332 in Tunis, present-day Tunisia. His keen intellect and thirst for knowledge led him to pursue an extensive education in various disciplines, including Islamic theology, philosophy, mathematics, law, and history.

Works and Contributions

Ibn Khaldun's most renowned work is his masterpiece, The Muqaddimah, also known as Prolegomena or Introduction. This extraordinary historical compilation presents a groundbreaking analysis of historical events, societies, and civilizations. It provides insightful observations on the rise and fall of nations, the formation of dynasties, and the cyclical nature of history.

The Muqaddimah

In The Muqaddimah, Ibn Khaldun explores various disciplines, such as anthropology, sociology, economics, and political science, offering a comprehensive understanding of societies and their development. His concepts of asabiyyah (group solidarity) and 'umran (socio-political organization) became highly influential and laid the foundation for future scholars.

Other Notable Works

  • Kitab al-'Ibar - A comprehensive historical encyclopedia covering various civilizations up until his time.
  • Al-Muqaffa - A treatise on political ethics.
  • Al-Tasrif - A medical encyclopedia.
  • Al-Ifarah - A study on the science of astrology.

Philosophies and Ideas

Ibn Khaldun's philosophy of history intertwined social, economic, and environmental factors, emphasizing the role of geographical features and cultural influences on the development of civilizations. He proposed that prosperous societies would eventually succumb to decadence, leading to their downfall.

Influence on Future Generations

Ibn Khaldun's ideas had a profound impact on subsequent thinkers and scholars, both within the Islamic world and beyond. His works were translated into various languages and served as a source of inspiration for Western philosophers during the Enlightenment period.

Legacy and Impact

Ibn Khaldun's intellectual legacy extends far beyond the realm of academia. His ideas continue to shape our understanding of history, sociology, and economics. His emphasis on the importance of social cohesion and the interplay between geography and societal development still resonates with scholars today.

Influence on Islamic Civilization

Ibn Khaldun's contributions to Islamic civilization cannot be overstated. His holistic approach to studying societies and his analysis of historical cycles propelled the fields of historiography and social sciences forward, leaving an indelible mark on Islamic intellectual tradition.


Explore the fascinating world of Ibn Khaldun with Marjorie Cowley. Delve into the life, ideas, and works of this extraordinary scholar, and gain valuable insights into the complexities of Islamic civilization and its enduring legacy.

Join us on this enlightening journey as we celebrate the intellectual richness of our shared history.

Jed Steinberg
Ibn Khaldun's impact on Islamic civilization cannot be overstated. His intellectual prowess and passion for knowledge have left an indelible mark in history. This exploration of his life and contributions is both enlightening and inspiring.
Nov 11, 2023