This is a monumental work of Ibn Khallikan, an eminent juris consult and distinguished historian. The author had gained name and fame through this book because it attracted the attention of orientalists in early nineteenth century. The translator, a well-known scholar, Mr. M. G. de Slane brought out its first edition in 1838. Then he published its English translation. As he has not properly transliterated the oriental names, necessary correction have been made in their orthography. In footnotes the editor has also added the corresponding Christian dates of events on the basis of Eduard Mahler’s calculation; de Slane has given the names of the months only.
Its usefulness is obvious in the statement of an oriental scholar Mr. Brockelmann - "It is one of the most important aids to the study of biographical and literary history." Therefore, it has a great importance of civil and literary history of Muslim people. From its first appearance till the present day its reputation has continued and undiminished. It will provide with valuable materials to the Islamic research students as well as teachers and historians.