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Bohadin (1145-1234)

Bohadin or Beha-ed-Din (بهاء الدين بن شداد) (Beha-ed-Din Abu'l-Mehasen ibn Sheddad) was born at Mosul 6 March, 1145, and died at Aleppo 8 Nov., 1234. He devoted himself to the study of the Koran at an early age, and was still quite young when he knew the sacred volume by heart. He has left us an interesting account of the teachers under whom he studied. By 30 June, 1 165 he had been authorized to teach. Some years later he went to Bagdad, but in 569 A.H. (12 Aug. 1 1 73-1 Aug. 1 1 74) returned to Mosul as professor. In 583 (13 Mch 1188-1 Mch. 1188) he made the pilgrimage to Mecca, and on his way back was summoned to Saladin's presence. A little later he presented himself before Saladin at the siege of the Castle of Curds with a treatise on the Holy Wat. Saladin dissuaded him from carrying out his intention of retiring from the world, and received him into his service Jom. 1, 584 a.h. (June- July, 1188.) He was appointed cadi at Jerusalem. After Saladin's death he was employed as an intermediary between the Sultan's sons.

At first he refused Ad -Daher's offer to make him cadi of Aleppo, but accepted the office a little later. At Aleppo he was occupied in establishing a legal school and, having no children, he was able to spend his considerable wealth in buildings for the study of Mohammedan law. In the latter years of his life he received his future biographer Ibn Khallican "ابن خلكان" among his pupils ; but he was at this time too old to do more than exercise a general supervision. Ibn Khallican draws a pleasing picture of tbe aged man "feeble as a fallen bird" and so weak that he had to keep the same seat in winter and summer alike. In winter a brazier of burning coal was always at his side ; but even thus he could not drive away the cold. "When we were near him", says Ibn Khallican, "the heat used to inconvenience us much, but he did not perceive it, so chilled was his body with age. It was only after great efforts that he could rise up to pray, and even then he had much trouble to keep himself upright. Once I noticed his legs while he was at prayer; they were so fleshless that they looked like rods." He died 8 Nov., 1234.


Behâ ed-Dîn, C. R. Conder, ed. The Life of Saladin. London, 1897.

Lyons (M. C.) and Jackson (D. P.), Saladin: The Politics of the Holy War. Cambridge University Press, 1982.

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