This thesis research aims to contribute to the study of medieval Arabic autobiographies by examining the autobiography of one of fifteenth-century Mamluk scholars, Muḥammad Ibn ʿabd al-Raḥmān al-Sakhāwī (1428/831 AH - 1497/902 AH).
The objective of this research is to understand more about the art of writing an autobiography during the late Mamluk period and how it relates to broader Islamic tradition. This will be done by considering al-Sakhāwī’s autobiography in the context of other similar concurrent texts written during the late Mamluk period to detect possible links and investigate how a medieval autobiography can be shaped by the character and ideology of its author. Then, the thesis tries to analyze the context that led to the emergence of many autobiographies during the time of al-Sakhāwī to understand why this genre became prevalent. The research suggests several intellectual and social changes that might have fostered a flourishing environment for this type of writing. The final objective of this thesis is to show how an autobiography such as al-Sakhāwī can reveal some aspects related to family conditions and dynamics. This will be done by examining the portrayal of al-Sakhāwī’s family as presented in the autobiography in terms of socio-economic background as well as marriage and divorce conditions.
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Arab & Islamic Civilizations Department
MA in Arabic Studies
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
Hoda El Saadi
Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval
Not necessary for this item
(2022).Reinterpreting Medieval Islamic Autobiography: The Case of al-Sakhāwī’s Irshād (1428/831 AH - 1497/902 AH) [Master's Thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
Shawki, Maha. Reinterpreting Medieval Islamic Autobiography: The Case of al-Sakhāwī’s Irshād (1428/831 AH - 1497/902 AH). 2022. American University in Cairo, Master's Thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.