Al‐Damīrī Muḥammad ibn Mūsa ibn ˓Īsā was born in Cairo, Egypt in AD 1341. Although he began work as a tailor, he soon decided to study with the leading teachers of the time such as Bahā˒ al‐Dīn al‐Subkī, Jamāl al‐Dīn al‐Asnāwī, Ibn ˓Aqīl, and others. He became a professional theologian and taught in different centers such as al‐Azhar University, achieving a great recognition for his preaching and his ascetic life. A very religious man, he made the pilgrimage to Mecca six times between AD 1361 and 1367 and died in Cairo in AD 1405.
The majority of al‐Damīrī's works are conventional commentaries and epitomes of earlier works such as the one on al‐Nawawī's Minhāj (a manual of Islamic law). He also wrote sermons and treatises on canon law. Most of these works seem to be lost. His most famous work is Hayāt al‐ḥayawān (Life of the Animals), a zoological dictionary which contains information on the animals mentioned in the Qu˒rānand in the Arabic literature. It includes not only the...
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