The Most Famous

WRITERS from Iraq

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This page contains a list of the greatest Iraqi Writers. The pantheon dataset contains 5,794 Writers, 21 of which were born in Iraq. This makes Iraq the birth place of the 41st most number of Writers behind Latvia and Iceland.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Iraqi Writers of all time. This list of famous Iraqi Writers is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Iraqi Writers.

Photo of Ahmad ibn Hanbal

1. Ahmad ibn Hanbal (780 - 855)

With an HPI of 79.74, Ahmad ibn Hanbal is the most famous Iraqi Writer.  His biography has been translated into 59 different languages on wikipedia.

Abū ʿAbdillāh Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad ibn Ḥanbal Ash-Shaybānī (Arabic: أَبُو عَبْدِ ٱلله أَحْمَد ابْن مُحَمَّد ابْن حَنۢبَل ٱلشَّيْبَانِي‎; 780–855 CE/164–241 AH), often referred to as Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal (أَحْمَد ابْن حَنۢبَل) or Ibn Ḥanbal (ابْن حَنۢبَل) for short, was an Arab Muslim jurist, theologian, ascetic, hadith traditionist, and founder of the Hanbali school of Sunni jurisprudence — one of the four major orthodox legal schools of Sunni Islam.A highly influential and active scholar during his lifetime, Ibn Hanbal went on to become "one of the most venerated" intellectual figures in Islamic history, who has had a "profound influence affecting almost every area of" the traditionalist (literalism-oriented) perspective within Sunni Islam. One of the foremost classical proponents of relying on scriptural sources as the basis for Sunni Islamic law and way of life, Ibn Hanbal compiled one of the most important Sunni hadith collections, the Musnad, which has continued to exercise considerable influence in the field of hadith studies up to the present time.Having studied fiqh and hadith under many teachers during his youth, Ibn Hanbal became famous in his later life for the crucial role he played in the Mihna, the inquisition instituted by the Abbasid Caliph al-Ma'mun towards the end of his reign, in which the ruler gave official state support to the Muʿtazilite dogma of the Quran being created, a view that contradicted the orthodox doctrine of the Quran being the eternal, uncreated Word of God. Suffering physical persecution under the caliph for his unflinching adherence to the traditional doctrine, Ibn Hanbal's fortitude in this particular event only bolstered his "resounding reputation" in the annals of Sunni history. Throughout Sunni Islamic history, Ibn Hanbal was venerated as an exemplary figure in all the traditional schools of Sunni thought, both by the exoteric ulema and by the mystics, with the latter often designating him as a saint in their hagiographies. The fourteenth-century hadith master al-Dhahabi referred to Ibn Hanbal as "the true Shaykh of Islām and leader of the Muslims in his time, the ḥadīth master and Proof of the Religion."In the modern era, Ibn Hanbal's name has become controversial in certain quarters of the Islamic world, because the Hanbali reform movement known as Wahhabism has cited him as a principal influence along with the thirteenth-century Hanbali reformer Ibn Taymiyyah. However it has been argued by certain scholars that Ibn Hanbal's own beliefs actually played "no real part in the establishment of the central doctrines of Wahhabism," as there is evidence, according to the same authors, that "the older Hanbalite authorities had doctrinal concerns very different from those of the Wahhabis," rich as medieval Hanbali literature is in references to saints, grave visitation, miracles, and relics. In this connection, scholars have cited Ibn Hanbal's own support for the use of relics as simply one of several important points upon which the theologian's opinions diverged from those of Wahhabism.

Photo of Fuzûlî

2. Fuzûlî (1494 - 1556)

With an HPI of 77.52, Fuzûlî is the 2nd most famous Iraqi Writer.  His biography has been translated into 66 different languages.

Mahammad bin Suleyman (Classical Azerbaijani: محمد سليمان اوغلی‎ Məhəmməd Süleyman oğlu), better known by his pen name Fuzuli (Azerbaijani: فضولی‎ Füzuli; c. 1494 – 1556), was an Azerbaijani, of the Bayat tribes of Oghuz, poet, writer and thinker. Often considered one of the greatest contributors to the divan tradition of Azerbaijani literature, Fuzuli in fact wrote his collected poems (divan) in three different languages: in his native Azerbaijani, Arabic and Persian. He was well-versed in both the Ottoman and Chagatai Turkic literary traditions as well as mathematics and astronomy.

Photo of Al-Masudi

3. Al-Masudi (896 - 956)

With an HPI of 77.28, Al-Masudi is the 3rd most famous Iraqi Writer.  His biography has been translated into 56 different languages.

Al-Mas'udi (Arabic: أَبُو ٱلْحَسَن عَلِيّ ٱبْن ٱلْحُسَيْن ٱبْن عَلِيّ ٱلْمَسْعُودِيّ‎, ʾAbū al-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī al-Masʿūdī; c. 896–956) was an Arab historian, geographer and traveler. He is sometimes referred to as the "Herodotus of the Arabs". A polymath and prolific author of over twenty works on theology, history (Islamic and universal), geography, natural science and philosophy, his celebrated magnum opus Murūj al-Dhahab wa-Ma'ādin al-Jawhar (Arabic: مُرُوج ٱلذَّهَب وَمَعَادِن ٱلْجَوْهَر‎), combines universal history with scientific geography, social commentary and biography, and is published in English in a multi-volume series as The Meadows of Gold and Mines of Gems.

Photo of Enheduanna

4. Enheduanna (-2300 - -2300)

With an HPI of 74.57, Enheduanna is the 4th most famous Iraqi Writer.  Her biography has been translated into 42 different languages.

Enheduanna (Sumerian: 𒂗𒃶𒌌𒀭𒈾, also transliterated as Enheduana, En-hedu-ana, or variants; fl. 23rd century BC) is the earliest known poet whose name has been recorded. She was the High Priestess of the goddess Inanna and the moon god Nanna (Sin). She lived in the Sumerian city-state of Ur.Enheduanna's contributions to Sumerian literature, definitively ascribed to her, include several personal devotions to Inanna and a collection of hymns known as the "Sumerian Temple Hymns". Further additional texts are ascribed to her. This makes her the first named author in world history.She was the first known woman to hold the title of EN, a role of great political importance that was often held by royal daughters. She was appointed to the role by her father, King Sargon of Akkad. Her mother was probably Queen Tashlultum. Enheduanna was appointed to the role of High Priestess in a shrewd political move by Sargon to help secure power in the south of his kingdom, where the City of Ur was located.She continued to hold office during the reign of Rimush, her brother, when she was involved in some form of political turmoil, expelled, then eventually reinstated as high priestess. Her composition 'The Exaltation of Inanna' or ‘nin me šara’ details her expulsion from Ur and eventual reinstatement. This correlates with 'The Curse of Akkade' in which Naram-Sin, under whom Enheduanna may have also served, is cursed and cast out by Enlil. After her death, Enheduanna continued to be remembered as an important figure, perhaps even attaining semi-divine status.

Photo of Ahmad ibn Fadlan

5. Ahmad ibn Fadlan (900 - 960)

With an HPI of 73.15, Ahmad ibn Fadlan is the 5th most famous Iraqi Writer.  His biography has been translated into 47 different languages.

Aḥmad ibn Faḍlān ibn al-ʿAbbās ibn Rāšid ibn Ḥammād (Arabic: أحمد بن فضلان بن العباس بن راشد بن حماد‎, fl. 921–22), commonly known as Ahmad ibn Fadlan, was a 10th-century Arab Muslim traveler, famous for his account of his travels as a member of an embassy of the Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad to the king of the Volga Bulgars, known as his Risala ("account" or "journal"). His account is most notable for providing a detailed description of the Volga Vikings, including eyewitness accounts of life as part of a trade caravan and witnessing a ship burial. Ibn Fadlan's detailed writings have been cited by numerous historians. They have also inspired entertainment works, including Michael Crichton's novel Eaters of the Dead and its film adaptation The 13th Warrior.

Photo of Berossus

6. Berossus (-400 - -300)

With an HPI of 72.60, Berossus is the 6th most famous Iraqi Writer.  His biography has been translated into 32 different languages.

Berossus was a Hellenistic-era Babylonian writer, a priest of Bel Marduk and astronomer who wrote in the Koine Greek language, and who was active at the beginning of the 3rd century BC. Versions of two excerpts of his writings survive, at several removes from the original.

Photo of Ibn al-Jawzi

7. Ibn al-Jawzi (1116 - 1200)

With an HPI of 70.04, Ibn al-Jawzi is the 7th most famous Iraqi Writer.  His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿAlī b. Muḥammad Abu 'l-Faras̲h̲ b. al-Jawzī, often referred to as Ibn al-Jawzī (Arabic: ابن الجوزي, Ibn al-Jawzī; ca. 1116 – 16 June 1201) for short, or reverentially as Imam Ibn al-Jawzī by some Sunni Muslims, was an Arab Muslim jurisconsult, preacher, orator, heresiographer, traditionist, historian, judge, hagiographer, and philologist who played an instrumental role in propagating the Hanbali school of orthodox Sunni jurisprudence in his native Baghdad during the twelfth-century. During "a life of great intellectual, religious and political activity," Ibn al-Jawzi came to be widely admired by his fellow Hanbalis for the tireless role he played in ensuring that that particular school – historically, the smallest of the four principal Sunni schools of law – enjoy the same level of "prestige" often bestowed by rulers on the Maliki, Shafi'i, and Hanafi rites.Ibn al-Jawzi received a "very thorough education" during his adolescent years, and was fortunate to train under some of that era's most renowned Baghdadi scholars, including Ibn al-Zāg̲h̲ūnī (d. 1133), Abū Bakr al-Dīnawarī (d. 1137-8), Sayyid Razzāq Alī Jīlānī (d. 1208), and Abū Manṣūr al-Jawālīkī (d. 1144-5). Although Ibn al-Jawzi's scholarly career continued to blossom over the next few years, he became most famous during the reign of al-Mustadi (d. 1180), the thirty-third caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate, whose support for Hanbalism allowed Ibn al-Jawzi to effectively become "one of the most influential persons" in Baghdad, due to the caliph's approval of Ibn al-Jawzi's public sermonizing to huge crowds in both pastoral and urban areas throughout Baghdad. In the vast majority of the public sermons delivered during al-Mustadi's reign, Ibn al-Jawzi often presented a stanch defense of the prophet Muhammad's example, and vigorously criticized all those whom he considered to be schismatics in the faith. At the same time, Ibn al-Jawzi's reputation as a scholar continued to grow due to the substantial role he played in managing many of the most important universities in the area, as well as on account of the sheer number of works he wrote during this period. As regards the latter point, it is important to note that part of Ibn al-Jawzi's legacy rests on his reputation for having been "one of the most prolific writers" of all time, with later scholars like Ibn Taymīyyah (d. 1328) studying over a thousand works written by Ibn al-Jawzi during their years of training. As scholars have noted, Ibn al-Jawzi's prodigious corpus, "varying in length" as it does, touches upon virtually "all the great disciplines" of classical Islamic study.

Photo of Al-Mutanabbi

8. Al-Mutanabbi (915 - 965)

With an HPI of 69.49, Al-Mutanabbi is the 8th most famous Iraqi Writer.  His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.

Abū al-Ṭayyib Aḥmad ibn Al-Ḥusayn Al-Mutanabbī Al-Kindī (أبو الطيب أحمد بن الحسين المتنبّي الكندي) (c. 915 – 23 September 965 CE) from al-Kūfah, Iraq, was a famous ‘Abbāsid Arab poet at the court of Sayf al-Dawla in Aleppo, and for whom he composed 300 folios of poetry. As one of the greatest, most prominent and influential poets in the Arabic language, much of his work has been translated into over 20 languages worldwide. His poetry largely revolves around praising the kings he visited during his lifetime. He started writing poetry when he was nine years old. He is well known for his sharp intelligence and wittiness. Al-Mutanabbi had great pride in himself through his poetry. Among the topics he discussed were courage, the philosophy of life, and the description of battles. Many of his poems were and still are widely spread in today's Arab world and are considered to be proverbial. His great talent brought him very close to many leaders of his time. He praised those leaders and kings in return for money and gifts. His poetic style earned him great popularity in his time.

Photo of Ibn Khallikan

9. Ibn Khallikan (1211 - 1282)

With an HPI of 69.48, Ibn Khallikan is the 9th most famous Iraqi Writer.  His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Aḥmad bin Muḥammad bin Ibrāhīm Abu ’l-ʿAbbās S̲h̲ams al-Dīn al-Barmakī al-Irbilī al-S̲h̲āfiʿī, ibn Khallikān (1211 – 1282) was a 13th century Shafi'i Islamic scholar who compiled the celebrated biographical encyclopedia of Muslim scholars and important men in Muslim history, Wafayāt al-Aʿyān wa-Anbāʾ Abnāʾ az-Zamān ('Deaths of Eminent Men and History of the Sons of the Epoch').

Photo of Ibn al-Nadim

10. Ibn al-Nadim (1000 - 995)

With an HPI of 68.29, Ibn al-Nadim is the 10th most famous Iraqi Writer.  His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Abū al-Faraj Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq al-Nadīm (Arabic: ابو الفرج محمد بن إسحاق النديم‎), also ibn Abī Ya'qūb Isḥāq ibn Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq al-Warrāq, and commonly known by the nasab (patronymic) Ibn al-Nadīm (Arabic: ابن النديم‎; died 17 September 995 or 998) was an Arab Muslim bibliographer and biographer of Baghdad who compiled the encyclopedia Kitāb al-Fihrist (The Book Catalogue).

Pantheon has 21 people classified as writers born between 2300 BC and 1967. Of these 21, 2 (9.52%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living writers include Karim Findi and Muhsin al-Ramli. The most famous deceased writers include Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Fuzûlî, and Al-Masudi. As of October 2020, 3 new writers have been added to Pantheon including Ibn Sirin, Abdullah Goran, and Abbas Ibn al-Ahnaf.

Living Writers

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Deceased Writers

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Newly Added Writers (2020)

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