Tomb of Imam Tabari رحمة الله عليه

Author of enormous compendiums of early Islamic history and Quranic exegesis, who made a distinct contribution to the consolidation of Sunni thought during the 9th century

Baghdad, Iraq

Coordinates: 33.375287, 44.362839

Al-Tabari was an influential Persian scholar, historian and commentator on the Qur’an from Amol, Tabaristan (modern Mazandaran Province of Iran), who composed all his works in Arabic.

Today, he is best known for his expertise in Qur’anic exegesis (tafsir) and Historiography but he has been described as “an impressively prolific polymath.

He wrote on such subjects as world history, poetry, lexicography, grammar, ethics, mathematics, and medicine.”

His most influential and best known works are his Qur’anic commentary known in Arabic as Tafsir al-Tabari and his historical chronicle History of the Prophets and Kings (Tarikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk), often referred to Tarikh al-Tabari.

Al-Tabari followed the Shafi’i madhhab for nearly a decade before he developed his own interpretation of Islamic jurisprudence. His understanding of fiqh was both sophisticated and remarkably fluid and, as such, he continued to develop his ideas and thoughts on juristic matters right to the end of his life.

Al-Tabari’s school of thought (madhhab) flourished among Sunni ulama for two centuries after his death before it eventually became extinct. It was usually designated by the name Jariri.

He died in Baghdad on 17 February 923.