Ibn Khaldun was a North African polymath-an astronomer, economist, historian, Islamic jurist, Islamic lawyer, Islamic scholar, Islamic theologian, hafiz, mathematician, nutritionist, philosopher, social scientist, and statesman- born in North Africa in present-day Tunisia. He is considered a forerunner of several social scientific disciplines: demography, cultural history, historiography, the philosophy of history, and sociology. He is also considered one of the forerunners of modern economics, alongside the earlier Indian scholar Chanakya. Ibn Khaldun is considered by many to be the father of a number of these disciplines, and of social sciences in general, for anticipating many elements of these disciplines centuries before they were founded in the West. He is best known for his Muqaddimah (prolegomenon), the first volume of his book on universal history, Kitab al-Ibar. Ibn Khaldun’s ideas were not absorbed by his society, nor were they carried forward by its future generations.

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