1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Zamakhsharī
ZAMAKHSHARĪ [Abū-l Qāsim Mahmūd ibn ‛Umar uz-Zamakhsharī] (1074–1143), Arabian theologian and grammarian, was born at Zamakhshar, a village of Khwarizm, studied at Bokhara and Samarkand, and enjoyed the fellowship of the jurists of Bagdad. For many years he stayed at Mecca, from which circumstance he was known as Jar-ullah (“God’s client”). Later he returned to Khwarizm, where he died at the capital. Jurjanīyya. In theology he was a pronounced Mo‛tazilite (see Mahommedan Religion: section Sects). Although he used Persian for some of his works he was a strong supporter of the superiority of the Arabic language and an opponent of the Shu'ubite movement. Zamakhsharī’s fame as a commentator rests upon his commentary on the Koran, called al-Kashshāf (“the Revealer”). In spite of its Mo‛tazilite theology it was famous among scholars and was the basis of the widely-read commentary of Baidhāwi (q.v.). It has been edited by W. Nassau Lees (Calcutta, 1856), and has been printed at Cairo (1890). Various glosses on it have been written by different authors. His chief grammatical work is the Kitāb ul-mufassal, written about 1120 and edited by J. P. Broch (2nd ed., Christiania, 1879). Many commentaries have been written on this work, the fullest being that of Ibn Ya‛ish (d. 1245), edited by G. Jahn (2 vols., Leipzig, 1876–86).
Of his lexicographical works the Kitāb Muqaddimat ul-Adab was edited as Samachscharii Lexicon Arab. Pers. (ed. J. G. Wetzstein. 2 vols., Leipzig, 1844), and the Asās ul-balagha, a lexicon of choice words and phrases, was printed at Bulaq, 1882. Of his adab works the Nawābigh ul-kalim, an anthology, was edited by H. A. Schultens (Leiden, 1772), by B. de Meynard in the Journal asiatique. ser. 7, vol. vi., pp. 313 ff. (cf. M. de Goeje in Zeitschr. d . deutsch. morg. Gesellschaft, vol. xxx. pp. 569 ff.) . The Atwaq udh-Dhahab was edited by J. von Hammer-Purgstall (Vienna, 1835); by H. L. Fleischer (Leipzig, 1835); by G. Weil (Stuttgart, 1863); and by B. de Meynard (Paris, 1876; cf. de Goeje as above).
(G. W. T.)