Ibn Killis, Abu Al-Faraj Yaʿqūb Ibn Yūsuf
IBN KILLIS, ABU AL-FARAJ YAʿQŪB IBN YŪSUF
IBN KILLIS, ABU AL-FARAJ YA ʿQŪB IBN YŪSUF (930–991), businessman and administrator of various Egyptian rulers. Tradition holds that Yaʿqūb ibn Killis was a scion of the al–Samawʾal family, of the famous pre-Islamic Jewish Arab poet of that name. He was born in *Baghdad and in his early youth settled with his father in Ereẓ Israel; the family resided at Ramleh. Yaʿqūb engaged in trade and banking but after several years of successful business he went bankrupt. In approximately 960 he fled to Egypt and established contact with Kāfūr, who was then the regent. He became a government supplier, and when the government treasury was empty, Kāfūr paid him notes which assigned him the taxes due from agricultural districts. In the course of collecting these taxes, Ibn Killis gained considerable knowledge of agriculture, became Kāfūr's economic adviser, and eventually his political adviser as well. After his appointment as head of the financial administration, Ibn Killis converted to *Islam in the hope of becoming vizier. These hopes, however, were frustrated by the vizier in power, Jaʿfar ibn al-Furāt, and when Kāfūr died in 968, Ibn Killis was imprisoned. He managed to escape and turned to the *Fatimids in *Tunisia who were preparing to conquer Egypt. He encouraged the Fatimid al-Muʿizz in his plans of conquest and provided him with important information on the situation in Egypt. When Egypt fell to the Fatimid army, Ibn Killis returned there with al-Muʿizz and, together with a Muslim minister, was put in charge of tax collection. He instituted a reform of the monetary system which brought great profit to the government; he gained a further rise in status during the reign of Caliph al-ʿAzīz (975–96) who appointed him vizier in 977. While holding this post, Ibn Killis reorganized the entire administrative system of the Fatimid caliphate. In 983 he was dismissed and arrested, but was reinstated after two months, retaining his post until his death.
Mann, Egypt, 1 (1920), 17–19; Fischel, Islam, 45–68; Hirschberg, Afrikah, 1 (1965), 74, 153. add. bibliography : S.D. Goitein, A Mediterranean Society, vol. 6, index; M. Gil, Ereẓ Yisrael ba-Tekufah ha-Muslemit ha-Rishonah, 634–1099 (1983), esp. vol. 1.
"Ibn Killis, Abu Al-Faraj Yaʿqūb Ibn Yūsuf." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 17, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ibn-killis-abu-al-faraj-yaqub-ibn-yusuf
"Ibn Killis, Abu Al-Faraj Yaʿqūb Ibn Yūsuf." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved February 17, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ibn-killis-abu-al-faraj-yaqub-ibn-yusuf
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.