1. Sources referred to:
    1. Principal
    2. Secondary
  2. The historical background against which he lived
  3. Events of his life:
    1. Name, dates and family
    2. Indications of character
  4. His intellectual contacts:
    1. His masters
    2. His contemporaries
    3. His students
    4. The spread of his works to West Africa
  5. His works

A. Sources referred to

a. Principal

1) Al-Malll. The major source for the life of as-Sans is the work of his student M. b. `U. b. I. al-Malll, al-Mawhib al-quddsiyya f l-manqib as-sansiyya, finished at the beginning of Jum. II 899/ March 1494. It is a long work the Bibliothque Nationale manuscript 6897, used for this thesis, contains 122 folios at 31 lines per page but is so filled with excursuses on all topics of Islamic learning and selections from as-Sans's works that little room is left for biography. The biographical material itself is rather a description of the model shaykh, illustrated by incidents cast by the admiring disciple into ideal shapes where facts are few and hard to discern.

An idea of the book's contents can be had from the chapter titles, with the folio references of the Paris manuscript:

  1. His masters (5a-16a)
  2. His discernments and wonders (16a-24b)
  3. His learning, asceticism, preaching, piety, zeal, kindness, patience, propriety of action and character
  4. (24b-74b)
  5. His writings (74b-79b)
  6. His explanations of various Qur'n verses (79b-95b)
  7. His explanation of various adths (95b-108b)
  8. His explanation of certain sufic verses (108b-112a)
  9. Various wirds which he wrote for people (112a-116a)
  10. His last illness and death (116a-b)
  11. Poems written by him or about him (116b-121b)

2) Ibn-`Askar. The only other independent Arabic source is a. `Al. M. b. `A. b. `U. b. al-u. b. Mib al-asan, known as Ibn-`Askar, Dawat an-nshir li-masin man kn min al-Maghrib min ahl al-qarn al-`shir, written in 985/ 1577. The Bibliothque Nationale manuscript 5025, used in this thesis, contains 76 folios, of which ff. 67b to 68a are dedicated to as-Sans. This work was loosely translated by T.H. Weir, in The shaikhs of Morocco in the sixteenth century (Edinburgh: Morton, 1904); the section on as-Sans is on pp. 34-38.

3) Brosselard, Charles, "Tombeau du Cid Mohammed es-Senouci et son frre le Cid Ali et-Tallouti," Revue africaine, v. 3, n. 16 (April 1859), pp. 245-248. This work settles the date of as-Sans's death from the evidence of his tombstone.

4) GAL, that is, Brockelmann, Carl, Geschichte der Arabischen Litteratur (Leiden: Brill, finished 1942). The sections on as-Sans, II, pp. 250-252, and SII, pp. 352-356, however inadequate, are yet valuable for locating not only works long known to be of as-Sans, but also other works not mentioned in his biographies.

b. Secondary

1) A. al-`Ubbd wrote a brief biography of as-Sans in 991/ 1583, which was translated by Charles Brosselard in "Retour Sidi Senouci - Inscriptions de ses deux mosques," Revue africaine, v. 5, n. 28 (July 1861), pp. 241-260; the translation occupies pp. 243-248. The manuscript, as Brosselard describes it, consists of four folios bound with a collection of other works, and, to judge from the materials it contains and a reference to al-Malll, is merely an abridgement of al-Malll, except for adding another possible date of birth.

2) AB, that is, a. l-`Abbs Amad Bb b. A. b. A. b. `U. b. M. Aqt b. `U b. `A. b. Yy. a-inhj l-Msin t-Tinbukt. He wrote an abridgement of al-Malll, called al-La'l s-sundusiyya f l-fa'il as-sansiyya, not used in this thesis.

The work referred to as "AB" is his voluminous collection of biographies entitled Nayl al-ibtihj bi-tarz ad-Dbj, completed "after 7 Jum. I 1005"/ 28 Dec. 1596. It is itself a supplement to ad-Dbj al-mudhahhab f ma`rifa a`yn `ulam' al-madhhab of I. b. `A. b. M. b. Farn. In the printed edition (Cairo: `Abbs b. `Abdassalm b. Shaqrn, 1351/ 1932-3) the section on as-Sans goes from p. 325 to p. 329. This work is also a primary source for many of the contemporaries of as-Sans.

A third work, not used in this thesis, is Kifyat al-mutj li-ma`rifa man lays f d-Dbj. It also touches upon as-Sans, but is only a popular abridgement of the preceding work.

3) IM, that is, M. b. M. b. A. ash-Sharf, known as Ibn-Maryam, al-Bustn f dhikr al-awliy' wa-l-`ulam' bi-Tilimsn, completed in 1011/ 1602-3. In the edition by Ben Cheneb (Algiers: al-Maba`a ath-tha`libiyya, 1326/ 1908), pages 237-248 copy, with some few variants, the section on as-Sans in AB. This work gives information on many individuals not included in AB.

4) Bargs, J.J.L., in his Complment de l'histoire des Beni-Zeiyan (Paris, 1887), pp. 366-379, gives a resum of the life of as-Sans which contains nothing new. The book is useful, however, for information on the times in which he lived.

5) Ben Cheneb, Mohammed, wrote the article "al-Sans" for the first Encyclopaedia of Islam, which adds nothing new.

More important is his "tude sur les personnages mentionns dans l'idjza du cheikh `Abd el Qdir al-Fsy," in Actes du XIVe congrs internatioal des orientalistes, Alger 1905, troisime partie, suite (Paris: Leroux, 1908), pp. 168-560. Besides giving 360 biographies as-Sans is n. 55 this work describes an ijza which gives information on how as-Sans's works were transmitted through his principal students.

B. The historical background against which he lived

As-Sans's works and al-Malll's biography tell us very little about the political situation of the city of Tilimsn, where he was born, lived and die. As-Sans only gives a hint when he speaks of "this difficult time wherein the sea of ignorance overflows, and falsehood has spread beyond limits and thrown in every direction of the earth waves of denial of the truth, hatred for those who hold the truth, and coloring over of falsehood with deceptive trappings." Although these words apply strictly to the state of religious learning, in an Islamic state this is inseparable from political well-being.

The dynasty Ban-Zayyn, of the tribe Ban-`Abd-al-Wd, ruled Tilimsn throughout the lifetime of as-Sans. To begin with the years of turmoil just preceding his birth, we have the following members of the dynasty who would have closely affected his life:

1) Ab-Mlik `Abdalwid b. a. amm Ms, with the help of the Sultan of Fez, overthrew his brother on 16 Rajab 814/ 3 Nov. 1411. His rule went rather well until Ab-Fris, the afid Sultan of Tunis, who regarded Tilimsn as his dependency, deposed him on the grounds of fiscal maladministration. Ab-Fris entered Tilimsn on 13 Jum. II 827/ 12 May 1424, and appointed Ab-Mlik's nephew to his place.

2) Ab-`Abdallh M. b. a. Tshufn, the new ruler, soon became estranged with his master Ab-Fris, who was occupied with war with the Europeans. In the meantime, the deposed Ab-Mlik failed to get help from Fez, and turned to Ab-Fris, sending him emissaries and letters to sell his cause. Ab-Fris was won over, and gave him a small army to send against Ab-`Abdallh. In the engagement Ab-Mlik lost, and as he had foreseen, Ab-Fris himself came out to defend his honor. Ab-Fris place Ab-Mlik back in power over Tilimsn in Rajab 831/ April-May 1428.

Ab-Fris had no sooner departed than Ab-`Abdallh raised an army in the mountains, came down and retook Tilimsn on 4 Dh-l-Q. 833/ 25 July 1430. The next day Ab-Mlik was discovered and killed. Ab-`Abdallh's was a short victory. On hearing the news, Ab-Fris sent his army back, and besieged Ab-`Abdallh in the mountain fortress to which he had fled only eighty-four days after his restoration. Ab-`Abdallh gave himself up, and was brought a prisoner to Tunis, where he died in 840/ 1436-7. In his place it seems that Ab-Fris appointed a European mercenary, whom he left to govern for seven months before appointing a man from the traditional ruling house.

3) Ab-l-`Abbs A. b. a. amm Ms took over Tilimsn on 1 Rajab 834/ 15 March 1431. The beginning of his reign was marked with energy in endowing religious schools, punishing criminals, and establishing order and security in his domains. In 837/ 1433-4, seeing Tunis threatened by the Europeans, Ab-l-`Abbs declared himself independent. Ab-Fris started off against him, but died before he could get there.

Another threat came from Ab-l-`Abbs' brother Abu-Yay. In 838/ 1434-5 the latter mustered a force and marched upon Tilimsn. Failing to take it, he established himself in Wahrn (Oran). There were many battles between him and his brother until the month of Sha`bn 851/ Oct. 1448, when Ab-l`Abbs' army took Wahrn by storm.

In the meantime, a member of another branch of the family, Ab-Zayyn M. al-Musta`n bi-llh, left Tunis with an army and took Algiers on 19 Rajab 842/ 4 Jan. 1439. Ab-Zayyn was assassinated by the population of Algiers on 2 Shawwl 843/ 7 March 1440, but his son al-Mutawakkil continued the conquest as far west as Wahrn. Tilimsn was weakening. Although an insurrection which took place in the city on 27 Ram. 850/ 16 Dec. 1446 was unsuccessful, the regional chiefs and nomadic Arabs dependent on Tilimsn proceeded to revolt, leaving the region in anarchy. Into this situation al-Mutawakkil moved his army, and took Tilimsn on 1 Jum. I 866/ 1 Feb. 1462. Ab-l-`Abbs was exiled to Granada.

4) Ab-`Al. M. al-Mutawakkil `al llh b. a. Zayyn M. b. a. Thbit b. a. Tshufn b. a. amm Ms (II) b. a. Yq. b. a. Zayd b. Zk. b. a. Yy. Yaghmursan, only a few months after taking over Tilimsn, had to face a. `Amr `Uthmn of Tunis before the gates of Tilimsn. He accepted the overlordship of `Uthmn, who then went away.

Soon afterwards the deposed Ab-l-`Abbs returned from Spain with an army and besieged Tilimsn for fourteen days before he was killed, on 13 Dh-l-. 867/ 29 Aug. 1463. The partisans of Ab-l-`Abbs then rallied around another leader, M. b. `Ar. b. a. `Uth. b. a. Tshufn, and tried again to take Tilimsn, but failed. Another rebellious and marauding chieftain, M. b. Ghliya, was defeated on 13 Shawwl 868/ 19 June 1465, and his head brought to Tilimsn.

Al-Mutawakkil tried to rule as independently as he could, but trembled and showed submission any time `Uthmn seemed to be on the move. At the end of Jum. II 868/ mid-Feb. 1464, the Q of Tilimsn, M. b. A. al-`Uqbn arrived on one of his missions to Tunis, bringing a present from al-Mutawakkil to `Uthmn. In Dh-l-A./ July-Aug. of the same year `Uthmn sent a gift in return.

Then, towards the middle of 870/ early 1466, a deputation of Arabs from the country of Tilimsn came to Tunis and alleged that al-Mutawakkil had thrown off his allegiance and was plotting with certain nomadic tribes. They asked to have Ab-Jaml Zayyn b. `Abdalwid b. a. amm as their ruler instead. The caliph agreed, and equipped the new leader with an army, which went victoriously westward until it began the siege of Tilimsn in Rab` II 871/ Nov.-Dec. 1466. The first day a violent battle ensued, which was stopped by nightfall. The besiegers planned to take the city the next day, but were prevented from acting by a heavy rain. Then the Shaykh al-. Abarkn and the q came out with a document of submission signed by al-Mutawakkil. The treaty made was reinforced by al-Mutawakkil's giving his daughter to `Uthmn's son. `Uthmn then turned back, leaving on 7 Sha`bn 871/ 14 March 1467.

Perhaps associated with the massacre of Jews in Fez at the end of 870/ July 1466, on the occasion of the overthrow of `Abdal-aqq b. Sa`d, who had favored them and given them positions of authority, is the supposed bloody persecution of the Jews of Tilimsn in 1467. No other event is noted until the death of al-Mutawakkil in afar 873/ July-Aug. 1468.

5) Ab-Tshufn (II), the elder son of al-Mutawakkil, succeeded him, but help power only forty days, or four months according to others, when he was deposed by his brother. 6) Ab-`Al. M. ath-Thbit b. al-Mutawakkil, the brother of the former, continued in power until 910/ 1504. In the first year of his reign he compelled the famous writer al-Wanshars to flee from Tilimsn. No other events are recorded for his rule while as-Sans lived. Yet it can only have been one of gradual decline, with the advance of the Spanish and Portuguese from the West, and of the Turks from the East.

C. Events of his life

a. Name, dates and family

Ab-`Abdallh Muammad b. Ysuf b. `Umar b. Shu`ayb as-Sans l-asan died at the hour al-`ar on Sunday, 18 Jum. II 895/ 10 May 1490.

As for his birth, al-Malll says that as-Sans told him a year or two before his death that he was fifty-five, which gives the year 838 or 839/ 1435-6. Al-`Ubbd, however, says that as-Sans died at the age of sixty-three, which gives the year 832/ 1428-9. Amad Bb also, after quoting from al-Malll, says that he saw it asserted by someone (al-`Ubbd?) who asked al-Malll and received the answer that as-Sans died at sixty-three. Therefore he gives the date of as-Sans's birth as "after 830". As-Sans's relation to Ibn-Marzq al-afd suggests the later date as the more likely.

Of his relations, we hear only of his father, his half-brother `Al, his wife, his daughter, the son of his brother, and a small grandson, the son of his daughter. Ibn-Maryam gives the biographies of a string of as-Sanss whose academic chains go back to our as-Sans, but there is no indication of any blood relationship to him.

Ibn-Maryam also mentions an a.-Zayd `Ar. as-Sans r-Raf` (alternatively "ar-Raq`") dran who, with one Byadr (?) b. as-Sans, recounts many of the tales in as-Sans's biography of al-Ghamr, reproduced in Ibn-Maryam's work. In as-Sans's biography of Abarkn, this `Ar. as-Sans is said to have urged Abarkn to join him in begging Ab-Fris' clemency during the siege of Tilimsn in the reign of a. `Al. M. b. a. Tshufn (Rajab 831/ April-May 1428). There is no indication of a relationship between our as-Sans and these two.

b. Indications of character

Ibn-`Askar remarks that the learned men of Tilimsn admire as-Sans for his perfection, holiness, and being withdrawn to God, but Ibn-Zakr for the depth and extent of his learning. Al-Malll too, without minimizing as-Sans's erudition, places greater emphasis on his holiness and mystic knowledge ('ulmu-hu l-biniyya al-aqqiyya). Much of what al-Malll says is stereotyped panegyric: how much he prayed, fasted, and stayed up nights, how kind he was, and how he possessed every virtue to the fullest. But some details allow the individual character of as-Sans to stand out.

Once the Sultan Ab-`Abdallh sent his vizier a. `Al. M. al-`Ubbd to as-Sans, offering him a benefice from the revenues of al-Madras al-Jaddiyya. As-Sans's letter of refusal, given in full by al-Malll, politely explains that he does not need the benefice, that God takes care of him while he sets his mind on the riches of the next world, and, more pertinently, that he has no right to the revenues of the school, since he neither works there, nor lives there, nor provides it any service; to accept would be to rob others of their due. May God give the Sultan a mind for the good things of the next world.

Other stories tell how as-Sans went out of his way to avoid meeting the Sultan, refused gifts from him, his son, and his officers, even while protestingly accepting gifts from ordinary people, and refused to present a tafsr of the Qur'n in his presence, although he consented to write to him whenever he was requested. The impression these incidents give is that as-Sans avoided high political circles not merely from a sense of other-worldliness, but also because he disapproved of the holders of the political power.

This impression is confirmed by other acts of as-Sans which were not revolutionary, but certainly were calculated acts of disobedience. "Anyone who committed a crime and feared from the Sultan or anyone else for his life or property fled to as-Sans and stayed in his private quarters. No one dared to take the person out; even if the Sultan ordered, the Shaykh would not hand him over." As for al-Malll's use of the word "crime", we must remember that he was writing while al-Mutawakkil was still reigning, and would hardly accuse him overtly of punishing non-crimes. As-Sans would hardly harbor a real criminal, at least against a fair process. Al-Malll continued with a story of how as-Sans refused to hand over a terrified woman to the Sultan's messenger, even when the messenger had been sent three times to arrest the woman.

Such incidents reflect the powerful social position of a shaykh or wal as portrayed in as-Sans's Manqib al-arba`a al-muta'akhkhirn. Sultans and princes humbly sought the advice and blessing of these holy men, and feared their curse, because of their access to divine secrets and power. Another aspect of as-Sans's character was his attitude towards his opponents and critics. Al-Malll says that he treated even his enemies as his beloved friends, so that you could not distinguish his friends from his enemies by the way he treated them. In particular, as-Sans's creeds drew a storm of opposition from many of his contemporaries, who considered them an outrageous innovation (min akbar al-bid`a). He was at first greatly disheartened by this opposition, but then gathered the strength to endure the opposition and win over his enemies by kindness and the exemplarity of his life.

One of those won over was Ibn-Zakr. In as-Sans's commentary on his first theological work, al-`Aqda al-kubr, with the pedantic flush of a new scholar he indelicately attacked Ibn-Zakr on some minor points, not giving his name, but referring to him as "a certain present-day Tilimsnian, in his commentary on the `Aqda of Ibn-jib". Ibn-`Askar also explains that "between Ibn-Zakr and as-Sans there were arguments and discussions (muwart wa-mubatht) concerning the science of kalm. Ibn-Zakr maintained that as-Sans was one of his students, and when someone told that to as-Sans, he said, 'By God, I did not learn more than one question from him.'" Amad Bb speaks of "contention and ill-will" (munza`a wa-mushana) between them on various points, "each one answering the other; were it not for fear of length, we would mention some of them." Another point which may have discolored as-Sans's view of Ibn-Zakr is, as Ibn-`Askar remarks, that Ibn-Zakr had a far spread reputation and great honor with kings and such like.

In as-Sans's al-`Aqda al-wus and subsequent theological works he makes no further mention, directly or indirectly of Ibn-Zakr. The relations between the two men must have then begun to improve, so that we hear from al-Malll of "a learned man contemporary to as-Sans" coming to him in his last illness to beg pardon. Having received it, he mourned for as-Sans a long time after his death. Since al-Malll was writing in the lifetime of Ibn-Zakr, he does not mention him by name. Ibn-`Askar, however, identifies Ibn-Zakr as having mourned as-Sans in poems, in spite of what had gone on between them.

A point of contention involving several of as-Sans's contemporaries was M. b. `Abdalkarm al-Maghl's action against the Jews of Tuwt. He had "brought upon them humiliation and degradation; moreover he had fallen upon them, fought them, and knocked down their synagogues." `Al. al-'Umn, Q of Tuwt, condemned this action. Al-Maghl thereupon wrote for opinions on the question to a. 'Al. at-Tanas, a. 'Al. ar-Ra`, Muft of Tunis, a.Mahd `s l-Mws, Muft of Fez, A. b. Zakr, Muft of Tilimsn, al-Q a. Zk. Yy. b. a. l-Barakt al-Ghamr t-Tilimsn, `Ar. b. Sab` at-Tilimsn, and as-Sans.

As-Sans replied praising at-Tansas, who alone, among the others consulted, sustained al-Maghl's action. On receiving the replies of as-Sans and at-Tanas, al-Maghl went ahead and ordered his band to demolish the synagogues, killing anyone who opposed them. No one opposed them. Then he said, "Anyone who kills a Jew will have seven weights of gold from me;" and this was done. Whether as-Sans approved of the murders, we do not know. In any case, the incident reflects his bigotry against any but Ash`arite Sunnite Muslims, at least in his earlier works.

As-Sans's fame spread to the East and the West in his own lifetime. He remained active until the end, expressing the desire two days before his final illness to retire from teaching in the mosque because it was too distracting. He was bedridden ten days before dying.

D. His intellectual contacts

Although as-Sans praises traveling in search of knowledge, the only travel we know he made was to Algiers and Wahrn, where he met I. at-Tz. The only other indirect reference to any travel is al-Malll's remark that as-Sans wore black shoes instead of his usual sandals when he was going far. Except for I. at-Tz, it can be presumed that all those listed below had contact with as-Sans only in Tilimsn.

a. His masters

The order here followed is that of al-Malll, chapter 1. In their biographies of as-Sans, Amad Bb and Ibn-Maryam give the same names but in different order. Ibn-`Askar gives only some of these names, and some others of his own, placed at the end of this list.

  1. Ab-Yq. Ysuf b. `U. b. Shu`ayb as-Sans l-asan taught his son when he was small how to recite part of the Qur'n.
  2. Nar az-Zaww, one of the greatest students of M. b. Marzq (al-afd), but not originally of Tilimsn, taught him Arabic.
  3. Ab-`Al. M. b. Q. b. Tnart a-inhj t-Tilimsn taught him arithmetic (isb) and inheritance laws (far`i). As-Sans said that he could not understand his lectures, and received private tutoring from him at night.
  4. Ab-l-. `A. b. M. b. M. b. `A. al-Qurash l-Basa, known as al-Qalad, moved from Spain to Tilimsn before 831/ 1427-8, from there to Tunis before 17 Jum. 851/ 1 Aug. 1447, from Tunis to Cairo and Mecca, then back to Granada, and finally to Bja, in Tunisia, where he died in the middle of Dh-l-. 891/ dearly Dec. 1486. The author of fifty-three works, which Amad Bb lists, he taught as-Sans arithmetic and inheritance laws, possibly during his stay in Tilimsn on the way to Tunis.
  5. Ab-l-ajjj Ysuf b. a. l-`Abbs A. b. M. ash-Sharf al-asan taught him the seven readings of the Qur'n, completing with him two recitations and a good part of a third. As-Sans mentions this master in the commentary he began on the Qur'n.
  6. Ab-`Al. M. b. A. b. `s l-Maghl t-Tilimsn, known as al-Jallb, whose specialty was legal opinions (fatw), died in 875/ 1470-1. He taught as-Sans the Mudawwana.
  7. Ab-`Al. M. b. A. b. Yy. b. al-abbk at-Tilimsn, one of whose specialties was the astrolabe, died in 867/ 1482. Having studied this under him, as-Sans wrote a commentary on his treatise on this instrument.
  8. Ab-`Al. M. b. al-`Abbs b. M. b. `s l-`Ubbd t-Tilimsn, author of three works listed by Amad Bb, died in 871/ 1466-7. He taught as-Sans a bit of the fundamentals of religious science (ul), and covered with him the Jumal of al-Khnaj from beginning to end.
  9. Ab-l-. `Al b. M. at=Talt l-Anr, a half-brother of as-Sans on his mother's side, died on Tuesday night, 5 afar 895/ 29 Dec. 1489. He taught as-Sans in the latter's youth the Risla of Ibn-a. Zayd al-Qayrawn.
  10. Al-. b. Makhlq b. Mas`d b. Sa`d b. Sa`d al-Mazl r-Rshid, known as Abarkn, and famous primarily as a holy man, died at the end of Shawwl 857/ the beginning of Nov. 1453, at the age of nearly one hundred years. As-Sans attended his teaching without studying any particular book, although his half-brother `Al studied the Risla of Ibn-a. Zayd al-Qayrawn under Abarkn.
    As-Sans's biography of Abarkn relates incidents which as-Sans no doubt admired as typifying the social position of a shaykh: Abarkn refused gifts from the Sultans Ab-`Abdallh and Ab-Fris. By his prayer and divine intervention, a man was freed from Ab-`Abdallh's prison and gained sanctuary with Ab-Fris. Again by his prayer, Ab-Fris had a dream deterring him from his plan to deliver Tilimsn to pillage for three days because it did not open its gates to him in time.The Sultan Ab-l-`Abbs also sought him out, but when he came to see Abarkn during his teaching, Abarkn paid no attention to his visitor, and made him wait.
  11. Ab-l-Q. al-Kanbsh l-Bij` t-Tilimsn taught as-Sans and his half brother `Al tawd, specifically, the Irshd of Imm-al-aramayn, and gave them an ijza for all that he had to pass on. It is too bad we know so little of this source of as-Sans's knowledge of theology.
  12. Ab-Zayd `Ar. b. M. b. Makhlf ath-Tha`lib l-Jaz'ir was born, according to Amad Bb's calculations, in 786 or 787/ between Feb. 1384 and Jan. 1386. He studied under various masters, whom Amad Bb lists, going from Algiers to Bijya (Bougie) in 802/ 1399-1400, from there to Tunis in 809 or the beginning of 810/ 1407, then to Egypt, and back to Tunis in 819/ 1416-7, dying in 875/ 1470-1. The author of seventeen works, listed by al-Malll and Amad Bb, he taught as-Sans the a of al-Bukhr, that of Muslim, and other works of adth, giving him an ijza. Al-Malll remarks that he was also interested in medicine, as was as-Sans.
  13. Ab-Slim a. Isq I. b. M. b. `A. al-Lanat t-Tz l-Wahrn was one of the leading sufis of his time. He had various sufic and academic masters in his home town of Tz, on pilgrimage in Mecca and Medina in 831/ 1427, then in Tunis, in Tilimsn before 14 Sha`bn 842/ 30 Jan. 1439, and in Wahrn before 843/ 1439-40, dying on Sunday, 9 Sha`bn 866/ 9 May 1462. Al-Malll says that when as-Sans came from Algiers, he entered the city of Wahrn, and sat by the Shaykh I. at-Tz for about twenty-five days; during these days the Shaykh I. at-Tz robed as-Sans with the noble, bright and purified khirqa. Al-Malll then reports the chain of men from whom at-Tz received the khirqa, all the way back to Muammad, and gives similar chains with adth explanations, for other sufic blessings given to as-Sans, such as a-iyfa (which consists in giving the guest Murd dates and water), al-mufaa (the clasping of hands), al-mushbaka (the passing of a rosary), talqn adh-dhikr (the transmission of a sufic prayer), and finally, the spitting into his mouth.
  14. Al-Malll says that there are other alleged masters of as-Sans, but that he omitted mentioning them because there is no certainty about them, whereas the previous were mentioned and praised by as-Sans and his half-brother `Al. Ibn-`Askar names some others as masters of as-Sans:
    "Al-`lim ar-ral al-Ubbal, who was the first to introduce the science of kalm to the Maghrib in recent times," that is, M. b. I. b. A. al-`Abdar t-Tilimsn, known as al-Ubbal. He could not have taught as-Sans, since he died in 757/ 1356.
  15. "Ab-`Al. Marzq, the commentator of the Burda," that is, a. `Al. M. b. A. b. M. b. A. b. M. b. M. b. a. B. b. Marzq al-afd al-`Ajs t-Tilimsn, who wrote three commentaries on the Burda, and died on 14 Sah`bn 842/ 30 Jan. 1439. Ibn-Marzq's `Aqda was the unacknowledged model and basis of as-Sans's al-`Aqda al-kubr, and one of his commentaries on the Burda is quoted in as-Sans's commentary on the poem of al-Jaz'ir. As-Sans could have heard him as a boy of ten years old if he were born in 832, but in none of his theological works does he claim this famous name among his teachers. It is probable, therefore, that as-Sans was born rather in 838-9.
  16. "Ash-shaykh a. l-`Abbs A. b. Z`." I haven't a clue who he may be.
  17. "Ash-shaykh a. `Al. Qarqr." Nor have I any idea who this person may be.
  18. "Ash-shaykh a. `Uth. Q. al-`Uqbn," who should be a. l-Fal a. l-Q. Q. b. Sa`d b. M. al-`Uqbn t-Tilimsn; "Ab-`Uth." is the kunya of his father Sa`d. Qsim al-`Uqbn was a muft and q in Tilimsn who held some opinions differing from Mlik law, and was opposed by Ibn-Marzq al-afd; he died in Dh-l-Q. 854/ Dec. 1450- Jan. 1451. As-Sans certainly had the opportunity to study under him, but perhaps did not claim him as one of his masters because of his unorthodox opinions.
  19. One who can be presumed to have been a master of as-Sans, even though he is not mentioned by al-Malll or Ibn-`Askar is:
    A. b. al-. al-Ghamr, a sufi, the wonders of whose life as-Sans relates in his Manqib al-arba`a al-muta'akhkhirn. He died on 12 Shawwl 874/ 14 April 1470.
b. His contemporaries
  1. Ab-l-`Abbs A. b. M. b. Zakr l-Mi`rw, muft of Tilimsn, died at the beginning of afar 900/ the beginning of Nov. 1494. His Bughyat a-lib f shar `Aqdat Ibn-jib was attacked by as-Sans.
  2. Ab-`Al. M. b. `Abdalkarm b. M. al-Maghl t-Tilimsn, the author of twenty-three works, traveled as far as Kano, and died at Tuwt in 909/ 1503-4. His correspondence with as-Sans concerning the Jews of Tuwt has already been mentioned.
  3. Ab-`Al. M. b. `Al. b. `Abdaljall at-Tanas t-Tilimsn, author of several works, including the historical work noted above, died in Jum. I 899/ Feb.-March 1494. Amad Bb quotes A. b. Dwd al-Andalus as saying that "knowledge is with at-Tanas, goodness (al) with as-Sans, and leadership (ri'sa) with Ibn-Zakr."
  4. Ab-l-`Abbs A. b. `Al. al-Jaz'ir z-Zaww wrote a theological and sufic poem in bas meter rhyming in lm, on which, at his request, as-Sans wrote a commentary. Al-Malll remarks that al-Jaz'ir was pleased with the commentary and praised as-Sans for it, and adds that the outward meaning of some of its expressions was incorrect, but was interpreted in a correct sense by as-Sans. Al-Jaz'ir died in 884/ 1479-80.
  5. Ab-`Al. M. b. `Ar. al-aw wrote a creed in rajaz meter, on which, at his request, as-Sans wrote a commentary. He died in Tilimsn in Dh-l-Q. 910/ April-May 1505.
    There remain a few names who are not recorded in connection with as-Sans, but whom he inevitably knew and had contact with, since they were in Tilimsn with him and had many masters and students in common with him:
  6. A. b. Yy. b. M. b. `Abdalwid b. `A. al-Wanshars studied under the masters of Tilimsn until the beginning of Mu. 874/ 11 July 1469, when he fell out with the Sultan (a. `Al. ath-Thbt b. al-Mutawakkil) and his house was confiscated. He fled to Fez, where he wrote a number of works, including al-Mi'yar al-mu`arrab `an fatw `ulam' Ifrqiya wa-l-Andalus wa-l-Maghrib, an important source for the biographies of Amad Bb. He died on 20 afar 914/ 19 June 1508, at the approximate age of eighty.
  7. Ab-`Al. M. b. M. b. A. b. M. b. A. b. M. b. M. b. a. B. b. Marzq al-kaff al-`Ajs t-Tilimsan, born on 1 Dh-l-Q. 824/ 28 Oct. 421, was the son of Ibn-Marzq al-afd, and continued the family reputation for learning. He died in 901/ 1495-6.
  8. M. b. A. b. Q. b. Sa`d b. M. al-`Uqbn t-Tilimsn seems to have directly succeeded his grandfather as q of Tilimsn. He was still q in 868/ 1463-4, when he brought a present from al-Mutawakkil to the Sultan of Tunis, but shortly thereafter was removed from office. He died on 23 Dh-l-. 871/ 26 July 1467.
  9. Ab-Slim I. b. Q. b. Sa`d b. M. al-`Uqbn t-Tilimsn, born in 808/ 1405-6, he became q of Tilimsn "after the removal (`azl) of his brother's son M. b. A. b. Q." He died in 880/ 1475-6.
c. His students (alphabetically by ism)
  1. `Ar. al-Majdl, known as at-Tnus, is said to have taught Zarrq the creeds of as-Sans.
  2. Ab-l-`Abbs A. b. M. b. `s l-Burnus l-Fs, known as Zarrq, was born on 28 Mu. 846/ 8 June 1442. Besides learning directly from as-Sans, he studied as-Sans's creeds under `Ar. al-Majdl. He went to Cairo to study and teach, and died in afar 899/ Nov.-Dec. 1551.
  3. a. B. m. B. m. B. a. B. m. B. a. B. m. B. m. B. A. b. b. Marzq afd al-afd continued the tradition of learning of his father and grandfather, dying in 925/ 1519.
  4. Ab-l-`Abbs A. b. M. b. M. b. M. b. Yy. al-Madiyn l-Wahrn, known as Ibn-Jayyida, studied under as-Sans his Muqaddimat a-ughr, and died in 951/ 1544-5.
  5. A. b. M. b. M. b. `Uth. b. Yq. b. Sa`d b. `Al. al-Manwaf (alan wa-nijran) al-Warnd (mawlidan wa-dran) al-Yabdar, known as Ibn-al-jj, having studied under as-Sans, wrote a versification of his al-`Aqda a-ughr and his ughr--ughr. He died around 930/ 1523-4.
  6. I. al-Wajdj t-Tilimsn died in the fourth decade of the tenth century/ 1523-1534.
  7. Ibn-Malka is said by Ibn-`Askar to have led the people during the Turkish persecution, and to have died in 1530.
  8. M. b. A. b. a. l-Fal b. Sa`d b. Sa`d at-Tilimsn wrote two historical works: an-Najm ath-thqib f m li-awliy' Allh min al-manqib, frequently quoted by Amad Bb, and Rawat an-nisrn f manqib al-arba`a al-muta'akhkhirn. As will be discussed later, the latter work is likely an editing of the work of as-Sans. Ibn-Sa`d died in Rajab 901/ March-April 1496.
  9. M. b. `s is merely mentioned without further detail.
  10. Ab-`Al. M. b. a. Madyan at-Tilimsn is an important teacher of as-Sans's works. According to Ibn-Maryam, he died in Jum. II 915/ Sept.-Oct. 1509, but Amad Bb says he was still living in 920/ 1514-5.
  11. Ab-`Al. M. b. M. b. al-`Abbs a-aghr at-Tilimsn, the son of as-Sans's master, studied as-Sans's works under M. b. a. Madyan and directly under as-Sans. He was still living after 920/ 1514-5.
  12. M. b. Ms l-Wajdj t-Tajn t-Tilimsn, himself the master of many students, was still living around 930/ 1523-4.
  13. M. al-Qal` died before as-Sans and was buried by him.
  14. M. b. `U. b. I. al-Malll, the author of as-Sans's biography and a commentary on his ughr, is otherwise unknown.
  15. M. b. Yy. b. Ms l-Maghrw t-Tilimsn r-Rshid learned from as-Sans tawd, fiqh, ul, exposition (bayn), logic arithmetic, inheritance laws and grammar. The date of his death is unknown.
  16. Ab-l-Q. b. M. az-Zaww died in 922/ 1516.
  17. `U. al-`Af is mentioned as a companion of al-Maghrw in studying under as-Sans.
  18. Ab-s-Sdt Yy. b. M. al-Madiyn t-Tilimsn studied fiqh, ul, exposition and logic under as-Sans. There is no record of his death.
  19. Ab-Zk. Yy. as-Ss is mentioned as a student of al-Wanshars in the biographies of the latter by Amad Bb and Ibn-Maryam, and as a master of al-Yastin in Amad Bb's biography of the latter. His connection with as-Sans is verified by the isnd of the ijza of `Abdalqdir al-Fs.
  20. Ab-Yq. Ysuf al-`Af is mentioned as a student of as-Sans in Ibn-Maryam's biography of M. al-Jadr.
  21. Ab-`Uth. Sa`d al-kaff al-Manaw, presumably a descendant of a. `Uth. Sa`d al-`Uqbn, and possibly to be identified with Sa`d al-kaff ar-Rshid, who taught tawd to M. b. M., grandson of Yy. b. M. al-Madiyn, is reported as a student of as-Sans in the ijzas of `Abdalqdir al-Fs and al-Manjr.
d. The spread of his works to West Africa

As-Sans's works spread in many different directions according to many complicated lines of transmission. One line of interest is that through the family of Amad Bb, to West Africa. Tracing upwards from Amad Bb, the biographer from Timbuktoo, we have:

Westward of Timbuktoo, there is evidence that at least as-Sans's Kubr, Wus, ughr, ighrat a-ughr, and Muqaddima were well known in what is now northern Nigeria in the second half of the eighteenth century, where they have remained standard works. The details of this transmission demand further research.

E. His works

This enumeration of as-Sans's works follows that of al-Malll in chapter 4 of his biography. Works not included in his list are placed after. Roman numerals indicate the numeration of GAL, SII, where it differs from II. To avoid further reference to Amad Bb, it may be noted here that he testifies to having seen copies of numbers 1-11, 13-20, 24, 26-28, 39 and 40.

  1. = V and XXIX) Shar f far`i al-awf, a commentary on the work on inheritance laws of A. b. M. b. Khalaf al-awf l-Qal` (d. 588/ 1192). As-Sans composed this when he was eighteen or nineteen years old, and won the praise of Abarkn for it.
  2. = I) Al-`Aqda al-kubr, the larger creed, whose official title is `Aqdat ahl at-tawd al-mukhrija bi-`awn Allh min ulamt al-jahl wa-ruqbat at-taqld al-murghima be-fal Allh ta`l anf kull mubtadi` wa-`and. This was as-Sans's first work on tawd. Although he does not say, a comparison makes it obvious that he modeled his creed after, and to a large extent copied from the creed of Ibn-Marzq al-afd, entitled `Aqdat ahl at-tawd al-mukhrija minulamt at-taqld. Nevertheless as-Sans's version is considerably expanded, enough to grant him the title of originality.
  3. = I) A commentary on the preceding, entitled `Umdat ahl at-tawfq wa-t-tasdd f shar `Aqdat ahl at-tawd. This, with the preceding, has been published in a number of editions. The one used in this thesis is that published in Cairo by Muaf l-alab, 1354/ 1936, with the gloss (awsh) of Ism`l b. Ms b. `Uth. al-mid.
  4. = III) Al-`Aqda al-wus, the intermediate creed.
  5. = III) Its commentary. This and the preceding are discussed in detail in Chapter II, A.
  6. = II, including VII and XVIII?) Al-`qda a-ughr, the smaller creed. As-Sans does not give it any title, but in his commentary on it refers to it simply as "a creed small in volume" (`aqda aghrat al-jirm). In printed editions and popular references it is called Umm al-barhn, or simply as-Sansiyya. There are a number of European translations and studies of this work.
  7. = II) Its commentary ,which bears no special name. The edition of the creed and its commentary used for this thesis is that published in Cairo by Muaf l-alab, 1358/ 1939, under the title shiya `al Shar Umm al-barhn; the shiya is by M. b. A. b. `Arafa ad-Dasq.
    While the ughr with its commentary is of a lesser scale altogether than the Kubr or the Wus, in as-Sans's estimation and its widespread popular use it is his most important work. The commentary says of the creed, "Although it is small in volume, it is large in knowledge, containing all the articles of tawd, together with decisive demonstrations adapted to anyone who has a proper use of reason. Besides, I have concluded it with something I have not seen any of the older or recent theologians do: I have explained the two statements of the shahda... to show how they include all the articles of faith. You have here a creed without parallel, as far as I know."
  8. = II.A) A yet smaller creed, called ighrat a-ighra (or ughr -ughr, or yet ighrat a-ughr), composed espeicially for al-Malll's father, who found the ughr too difficult.
  9. = II.A) Its commentary, which has no special title. There is an edition of the creed and commentary printed in Cairo by Maba`at at-taqaddum al-`ilmiyya, 1322/ 1904-5, which is used in this thesis with the control of the Escorial manuscript n .697, ff. 252b-277a.
  10. = VI) Al-Muqaddima (or al-Muqaddimt), which was meant to explain terms and presuppositions in the ughr.
  11. = VI) Its commentary, which bears no special title. There is an edition of ti by J.l-D. Luciani, Les prolgomnes thologiques de Senoussi, texte arabe et traduction franaise (Algiers, 1908), but this thesis generally uses in preference the Escorial manuscript n. 697, ff. 194b-224b.
  12. Another `aqda, written at the request of one of his students. In it, al-Malll says, are cogent reasons against those who assert that ordinary activating-links produce effects. This work seems to have perished.
  13. = XXVIII) Shar asm' Allh al-usn, a commentary on the divine names. From a look at an incomplete copy of this in the Bibliothque Nationale manuscript n. 6480, it seems more of sufic than of theological interest.
  14. Shar at-tasb, on the practice of saying at the end of the canonical prayers "Subn Allh", "Al-amdu li-llh", and "Allhu akbar" thirty-three times each, and a final "L ilha ill llh". The text of this is given in chapter 6 of al-Malll's biography.
  15. A commentary on the `aqda in rajaz meter by al-aw. I know of no copy of it.
  16. = IV and XXVI) A commentary on the theological poem of al-Jaz'ir, often listed as al-Minhj as-sad f shar Kifyat al-murd. There are a good number more manuscripts of this work than Brockelmann mentions, especially in Tunis and Cairo. The manuscript used for this thesis is that of al-Azhar, n. 4388 (283), which is of 448 folios at 15 lines per page. References to it give not only the folio number of this manuscript, but also the number of the fal, and a small letter for the na concerned in each fal; this is simply a matter of counting, and will facilitate reference to any manuscript at hand.
  17. = XX) Mukmil Ikml al-Ikml, an abridgement of the Ikml al-Ikml, on the a of Muslim, by M. b. Khalfa b. `U. al-Washtt l-Ubb (d. 828/ 1424).
  18. = XXX) A commentary on the a of al-Buhkr, which as-Sans did not finish.
  19. Shar li-mushkilt waqa`at f khir al-Bukhr, a commentary on problems occurring at the end of al-Bukhr. At least part of this work is reproduced in chapter 6 of al-Malll.
  20. Mukhtaar az-Zarkash, an abridgement of at-Tanq li-alf al-jmi` a-a, on al-Bukhr, of M. b. Bahdur b. `Al. at-Turk l-Mir z-Zarkash (d. 3 Rajab 794/ 27 May 1392 in Cairo). I know of no copy of this work.
  21. Mukhtaar awsh t-Taftzn `al Kashshf az-Zamakhshar, an abridgement of Shar al-Kashshf by Sa`daddn Mas`d b. `U. at-Taftzn (d. 2 Mu. 792/ 10 Jan. 1390). The work of at-Taftzn is a commentary on al-Kashshf `an aq'iq at-tanzl wa-`uyn al-aqwl f wujb at-ta'wl, on the Qur'n, by a. l-Q. Mamd b. `U. az-Zamakhshar (d. 9 Dh-l-. 538/ 14 June 1144). I know of no copy of this work.
  22. A commentary on Muqaddimat al-jabr, on algebra, by a. M. `Al. b. M. al-ajjj al-Adrn b. al-Ysimn (d. 601/ 1204-5). The work commented upon is possibly al-Urjza al-Ysimniyya, which Brockelmann mentions. Al-Malll says that as-Sans composed this work in his youth. I know of no extant copy.
  23. A commentary on al-Jumal (or al-Mukhtaar), on logic, by Afaladdn a. l-Fa'il a. `Al. M. b. Namwar b. `Abdalmalik al-Khnaj (d. 5 Ram. 646/ 23 Dec. 1249). Al-Malll says he does not know if as-Sans finished this work. I know of no existing copy.
  24. = XXXI) A commentary on the Muqaddima sghj, on logic, by Burhnaddn a. l-. I. b. `U. b. al-. ar-Rab b. `A. b. al-Biq` sh-Shfi` (d. 885/ 1480 in Damascus).
  25. A commentary on the Mukhtaar on logic of a. `Al. M. b. M. b. `Arafa al-Wargham (d. 750/ 1350). Al-Malll says that as-Sans did not finish this work, because he was too busy and it was extremely difficult. Brockelmann has no reference to this work of Ibn-`Arafa. Nor have I seen any trace of the commentary.
  26. = VIII) Mukhtaar f l-maniq, on logic.
  27. = VIII) A commentary on the preceding.
  28. = GAL on al-abbk) A commentary on the poem Bughyat a-ullb f `ilm al-asurlb, on the astrolabe, by his teacher al-abbk.
  29. A commentary on the Urjza f -ibb, on medicine, of a. `Al. al-u. b. `Al. b. Sn (d. 428/ 1037). Al-Malll says this work was not finished. I know of no copy of it.
  30. An abridgement of "a book" on the seven readings (of the Qur'n).
  31. A commentary on ash-Shibiyya al-kubr, that is, irz al-amn wa-wajh at-tahn, or al-Qada ash-Shibiyya, by a. l-Q. a. amd al-Q. b. Firruh b. a. l-Q. Khalaf b. A. ar-Ra`ayn sh-Shib (d. 18 or 28 Jum. II 590/ 11 or 21 June 1194). Al-Malll says this work was not finished when he saw it. I know of no copy.
  32. A commentary on the ab of Kharrz on the orthography of the Qur'n (rasm), that is, ad-Durar al-lawmi` f al maqra' al-imm Nfi` or less likely a second work, Mawrid a-am'n f rasm al-Qur'n by M. b. M. b. I. b. `Al. al-Umaw sh-Sharsh l-Kharrz, known as al-Kharrz, who wrote around 703/ 1303. I know of no copy.
  33. A commentary on the Mudawwana, the long work on Mlik law by Sann `Abdassalm b. Sa`d b. abb at-Tankh (d. 6 or 7 Rajab 280/ 1 or 2 Dec. 854). Al-Malll did not know whether this was finished. I know of no copy.
  34. A commentary on al-Waghlsiyya, that is, al-Muqaddima, on law, by a. Zayd `Ar. b. A. al-Waghls l-Maghrab (d. 786/ 1384). This work was unfinished because as-Sans was too busy. I know of no copy.
  35. a versification on inheritance laws (nam f l-far'i). Al-Malll gives the first line of it, and says that as-Sans composed it in his youth; he did not know whether it was completed.
  36. an abridgement of the Ri`ya, that is, ar-Ri`ya li-uqq Allh wa-l-qiym bi-h, on sufism, by a. `Al. al-rith b. Asad al-Musib l-Bar l-`Anaz (d. 243/ 837). I know of no copy of this abridgement.
  37. An abridgement of ar-Raw al-unuf wa-l-mashra` ar-riw f tafsr m yashtamil `alay-hi adth as-sra wa-taw, on the life of Muammad, by a. l-Q. `Ar. b. `Al. b. a. l-. A. as-Suhayl l-Khat`am (d. 25 Sha`bn 581/ 12 Nov. 1285). I know of no copy of this abridgement.
  38. An abridgement of Bughyat as-slik f ashraf al-maslik, on sufism, by a. `Al. M. b. M. b. A. b. `Ar. b. I. al-Anr s-Sil l-Mlaq l-Mu`ammam (d. 754/ 1353). This work was not finished, and is not known to have survived.
  39. = XXIII?) A commentary on verses on sufism by al-Imm al-Albr. I have not been able to identify this person. The text of the verses and the commentary are given in chapter 7 of al-Malll's work, in the third place.
  40. = XXIII?) A commentary on verses on sufism by "a sufi" (li-ba` al-`rifn). The text of the verses and the commentary are given in chapter 7 of al-Malll's work, in the first place.
  41. = XXIII?) A commentary on other verses on sufism by "a sufi". The text of the verses and the commentary are given in chapter 7 of al-Malll's work, in the second place.
  42. A commentary on al-Murshida, that is, al-`Aqda al-murshida by M. b. Tmart, called "al-Mahd" in the Maghrib, and "al-Mahdaw" in the East (d. 524/ 1130). The only copy of this which I know of is in the private collection of M. ash-Shdhil l-Naifar in Tunis. It consists of thirteen folios, without a date, but the copy is approximately from the eleventh century H. The second work in the volume is by "al-Jarb" (from the island of Djerba), who possibly is the copyist. The incipit, after the blessings, is "wa-ba`d, kas-n llh wa iyy-ka libs at-taqw..."
  43. A commentary on al-Muqaddima al-jurrmiyya, on grammar, by a. `Al. M. b. M. b. D`d a-inhj b. jurrm (d. afar 723/ Feb. 1323). I know of no copy.
  44. A commentary on Jawhir al-`ulm, that is, Jawhir al-kalm, mukhtaar al-Mawfiq, by `Audaddn `Ar. b. A. b. `Abdaljaffr a-idq l-Q l-j -afar sh-Shirz (d. 756/ 1355). This work on kalm was supposed to be modeled after the philosophical method of al-Bayw's a-awli'. Al-Malll remarks that this is an extraordinary work (kitb `ajb), but difficult. Unfortunately no copy of it is known to be extant.
  45. = XIX) A tafsr of the Qur'n up to Sra 2, v. 5. Al-Malll reproduces in chapter 5 of his work all of this, going up even to verse 7.
  46. A tafsr of Sra 38 () and the following. Al-Malll did not know how far as-Sans got in this work. It is not known to have survived.
    Besides the works listed above, Amad Bb and Ibn-Maryam add the following two:
  47. = XXVII) Tafsr adth al-`umda, bayt "ad-d' wa-l-amiyya ra's ad-daw' wa-al kull d' al-barda". I have not had the chance to check al-Malll again to see if this is included in his chapter 6, in the miscellaneous passages between ff. 106a-108a.
  48. Ta`lq `al far`ay Ibn-ajib, an observation on two sections of a work by Jamladdn a. `Amr `Uth. b. `U. b. a. B. b. al-jib (d. 646/ 1249).
    There must also be added:
  49. = XVI?) Two prayers (wird) reproduced in chapter 8 of al-Malll's work.
  50. = IX-X) Nurat ahl ad-dn wa-ahl al-aqq wa-l-yaqn `al man ta`arra f -arq f r-radd `al Ab-l-asan a-aghr, a polemical work defending sufic practices. In this thesis, reference is made to the British Museum ms. Add. 9521, ff. 245a-258a.
  51. Manqib al-arba`a al-muta'akhkhirn, biographies of four recent sufic figures. Ibn-Maryam identifies these four as al-Hawr, I. at-Tz, al- Abarkn, and A. b. al- al-Ghamr. The work can be reconstructed by assembling the passages which Ibn-Maryam quotes from it. There is a quotation in Ibn-Maryam's introduction, pp. 6-8, which must have been from the introduction of as-Sans's work. The biographies of M. b. `U. al-Hawr (d. 843/ 1439-40), pp. 228-236, Abarkn, pp. 74-93, and al-Ghamr, pp. 31-38, explicitly acknowledge quoting from this work of as-Sans. That of I. at-Tz, pp. 58-63, does not; rather it simply follows Amad Bb, who quotes from Ibn-Sa`d's an-Najm ath-thqib and from al-Malll. The quotations from an-Najam ath-thqib are factual and objective, whereas al-Malll's style matches the hagiographical legendary style of the other three biographies attributed to as-Sans. I suggest that al-Malll's section on I. at-Tz is based on as-Sans's biography.
    Furthermore, until the Rawat an-nisrn f manqib al-arba`a al-muta'akhkhirn of Ibn-Sa`d is found, I suggest that it is an editing of written or oral information gathered from as-Sans and that Ibn-Maryam is quoting not directly from a work of as-Sans, but from this edition by Ibn-Sa`d. This seems the best explanation of the first person singular pronouns on p. 31, which cannot refer to a-Sans, but fit Ibn-Sa`d well. This also explains Amad Bb's ambivalence regarding the source of his information for Abarkn.
    Possibly associated with this work is the short biography of M. b. Q. b. Tnart, which Amad Bb and Ibn-Maryam attribute to as-Sans.
  52. A letter (or fatw) to M. al-Maghl concerning his action against the Jews of Tuwt, found in Amad Bb's and Ibn-Maryam's biographies of al-Maghl, and in a shorter form in their biographies of at-Tanas.
  53. etc. I leave from consideration Brockelmann's numbers XII, XIII, XIV, XXI, XXII and XXV, since to identify them adequately would require an examination and comparison of the texts.