« PreviousContinue »
“ thee understanding;” replied al-Mansûr, “here he is in the carpet.” On seeing him dead, Jaafar said: “Commander of the faithful! count this as the first “ day of your reign.” Al-Mansûr then recited this verse :
She threw away her staff (of travel) and found repose after a long journey; she felt as the traveller on his return, when his eyes are delighted (by the sight of home) (23).
After this he turned towards the persons present, and recited these lines over the prostrate body:
Thou didst pretend that our debt towards thee could never be paid ! receive now thy account in full, O Abû Mujrim (24)! Drink of that draught which thou didst so often serve to others; a draught more bitter to the throat than gall.
Different opinions were held respecting Abû Muslim's origin : some stated that he was of Arabian descent, others of Persian, and others again of Kurdish. It is in allusion to the last opinion that Abû Dulâma (see vol. I. page 534) said :
O Abû Mujrim! God never replaces by afflictions the favours which he grants to his creatures, unless his creatures misapply them. Ah! thou wouldst meditate treason against the empire of al-Mansûr ! Is it not true that thy own progenitors, the Kurds, were always a race of traitors? Thou didst menace me with death, Abû Mujrim! but that lion with which thou didst threaten me, has turned upon thyself!
Rumiya was built by Alexander Zû 'l-Karnain when he was stopping at alMada after having traversed the earth from west to east, as the Creator informs us in the Koran (25). He chose no other place of residence in the earth than al-Madâin, where he then built Rûmiya ; but this God knows best! (26)
.شذوس The autograph has (1)
دوستان The autograph has (4)
4 (8) See vol. I. page 444.
(6) Literally: “This is a calamity of the calamities;" a common expression used in speaking of mighty men and heroes.
(7) The People of the House; that is, the members of the family of Muhammad. The partisans of Ali nalurally supposed that it was his descendants who were meant, and they joined in the conspiracy. But as al-Abbas was an uncle of Muhammad, the Abbasides pretended that they also were People of the House, and they thus usurped the throne. It was precisely the equivocalness of the term which induced the Abbasides to employ it.
(8) Ardashir overthrew the Ashkanian dynasty and founded that of the Sasånides.
(9) The following long passage is translated from the text of the autograph MS., in which it is written on the margin of the page. It exists also in one of the MSS. of the Bib. du Roi, but as I had some doubts of its authenticity, I suppressed it. The original text shall be given with the supplementary notes and corrections which are to accompany the Arabic edition.
(10) He thus deceived the Shiites and drew them over to his party. They imagined that he intended to place a descendant of Muhammad on the throne, whilst his real design was to establish on it a descendant of al-Abbås, Muhammad's uncle. Abbâs and Muhammad were both descended from Hashim, who was grandfather of the one and great-grandfather of the other.
(11) The history of Abu Muslim's proceedings will be found in Abû 'l-Fedå, Price, el-Makin, etc. (12) See vol. I. page 438.
وقيل له لم بلغت ما بلغت فقال ما أخرت : Here in the autograph Ms. are inserted these words (13) امر يومي الى غد
“ He was once asked how he attained to such an authority as he then possessed, to “ which he replied : ‘I never put off till to-morrow the business of to-day.' ”– Then follow two passages containing some insignificant anecdotes from az-Zamakhshari's Rabi al-Abrâr; they are not in Ibn Khallikån's hand, but in that of the person who inserted in the life of Saif al-Islåm Toghtikin, a passage from a supposed author, Izz ad-din Ibn Asakir. This person's additions do not seem to merit great confidence.
(14) The autograph has ailel; and the Marasid wily lo as in the printed text. (15) See vol. I. page 100.
(16) Here the author has another passage added in the margin, and which is found also in some of the other copies. As it is in contradiction with what precedes and what follows, I suppressed it in the Arabic text, but shall give it here in English: “ This has some similarity with what is related of one of the Alides, Muhammad “ Ibn Abd Allah Ibn al-Hasan Ibn Ali Ibn Abi Talib (or his brother Ibrahim Ibn Abd Allah), who, when he revolted against Abû Jaafar al-Mansûr, recited these lines:
• I see a fire blazing on the heights and lighting up the country round. The sons of al-Abbâs mind it * not, but pass their night in (false) security and enjoyment. They slumber as Omaiya did, and like him
they will awaken to avert the danger, when is too late.' Let us return to our subject: Ibn Saiyâr awaited Marwân's answer, which, at length arrived; it contained “ these words : “We were sleeping when we gave you the government of Khorasân ; he that is present sees " " what the absent does not. Cut off the wart which is before you.' On reading these words, Nasr said: "* I told you that he could be of no assistance. He then wrote to him a second (third) time."
(17) The autograph has in the margin: sb w? 2747 W:
(18) He had remained in concealment for some time, lest the Omaiyides should put bim to death. See Abû 'l-Fedå.
(19) Aba Abd Allah Muslim Ibn Kutaiba Ibn Muslim Ibn Amr Ibn al-Hasin wheel, a member of the tribe of Båhila, a native of Khorasan, and the father of Said Ibn Muslim, was governor of Basra under Yazid Ibn Omar Ibn Hubaira, in the reign of Marwån al-Himâr (the last of the Omaiyide dynasty in the East). He held again the same post in the reign of Abû Jaafar al-Mansûr. His conduct as an emir was marked by great prudence and justice. His death took place A.H. 149 (A.D. 766).—(Nujům.)
(20) Kutub al-Maldhim. See M. de Sacy's Chrestomathie, tom. II. p. 298. (21) See at the end of this article.
(22) Jaafar Ibn Hanzala, one of al-Mansûr's generals, was a native of Nahrawân. In A.H. 139 (A.D. 786-7) he commanded an expedition to Malatiya.—(Nujům.)
(23) See the observations on this verse in vol. I. pp. 221 and 672.
(25) Koran, XVIII. 82.
(26) Ibn Khallikân seems to have had a vague knowledge of the founding of Seleucia by Seleucus Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals. It is well known that the conquest of Babylon by Seleucus gave rise to the era of the Seleucidæ, called also by the Arabs the era of Za 'l-Karnain. - Mirkhaund attributes the foundation of Rumiya to Andshirwân, who built it on the precise model of Antioch. See De Sacy's Mémoire sur les antiquités de la Perse, p. 336. In a note to the French translation of Abu 'l-Fedâ's Geography, M. Reinaud indicates the seven cities of which al-Madáin was composed.
IBN NUBATA THE KHATIB.
The khatib, or preacher, Abu Yahya Abd ar-Rahîm Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ismail
Ibn Nubåta al-Hudåki al-Fâriki, the author of the celebrated khotbas, or sermons, 397 was a perfect master of all the sciences connected with general literature. The divine grace bestowed
upon him is conspicuous in his khotbas, which are unanimously considered as unrivalled and which remain a proof not only of his extensive learning, but of his fine genius. He was a native of Maiyâfàrikin, and he held the post of khatib at Aleppo. In that city he met Abû 't-Taiyib al-Mutanabbi at the court of Saif ad-Dawlat, and learned from him, it is said, a number of his
poems. As Saif ad-Dawlat was frequently warring against the enemies of the faith, a large portion of the khatib's sermons are on the duty of holy warfare, and were intended by him to stimulate the people and encourage them to support that prince. Ibn Nubåta was a man of great holiness, and he once dreamt that he was standing in the cemetery, when the Prophet appeared to him and said, pointing to the tombs : “O khatib! what sayest thou ?” “ And I replied,” said Ibn Nubata : "
They tell not of the state to which they are come; and were they “ able to speak, they would do so : they have drunk the bitter cup of death, and are
now as if they had never rejoiced the eyes of their friends—as if they had never “ been counted among the living. He who gave them speech has brought them to “ silence; he who created them has caused them to perish : but as he wore them out, “ so will he renew them; as he scattered their frame, so will he reunite it (1).” The Prophet then spat in his mouth, and the khatib awoke with a brightness on his face which had not been there before: he then related his dream and mentioned that the Prophet had honoured him with the title of khatib. For eighteen days after, he lived without eating or drinking, by the grace of that spittle. The khotba from which the foregoing passage is taken continues to be known by the title of al-khotba al-manâmiya (the sermon of the vision). The only historian in whose works I have been able to discover the date of the khatib's birth and death, is Ibn al-Azrak al-Fâriki, who says in his History of Maiyâfàrikin : “Ibn “Nubåta was born A. H. 335 (A. D. 946-7), and he died A. H. 374 (A. D. “ 984-5) at Maiyâfàrikin, in which city he was interred.” I read the following passage in a collection of anecdotes : “ The vizir Abû 'l-Kâsim Ibn al-Maghribi
said: 'I saw the khatib Ibn Nubâta in a dream, after his death, and I asked “him how God had treated him ; to which he replied : “A leaf was handed to
me on which these two lines were written in red letters :
Pardon is not for
Before this, thou wert in safety, but to-day thou art doubly safe. the worker of good; it is only for the transgressor!'
“I then awoke, repeating these verses.” — Hudáki means belonging to Hudåka, a branch of the tribe of Kudàa ; but Ibn Kûtaiba says, in his History of the Poets, that Hudák is a branch of the tribe of Aiyad; God knows best!
(1) I have given the text and translation of this sermon in the Journal Asiatique for January, 1840.
Abû Ali Abd ar-Rahim al-Lakhmi al-Askalani (a member of the tribe of Lakhm and a native of Ascalon), generally known by the title of al-Kâdi ’l-Fadil (the talented kådi) and surnamed Mujir ad-din (the protector of religion), was the son of al-Kâdi ’l-Ashraf (the most noble kadi) Bahâ ad-din Abû 'l-Majd Ali, who was the son of al-Kàdi’s-Said (the fortunate kådi) Abû Muhammad Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan Ibn al-Hasan (1) Ibn Ahmad Ibn al-Faraj (2) Ibn Ahmad.—Al-Kâdi 'l-Fadil, surnamed also al-Misri because he resided in Misr, or Egypt, was vizir to the sultan al-Malik an-Nasir Salâh ad-din, by whom he was always treated with the very highest favour. As a writer of epistles he reached pre-eminence and surpassed every predecessor ; and in his productions, numerous as they were, he constantly
displayed novel beauties of style and thought. I have been informed by a man of talent and veracity, who was well acquainted with every thing respecting the
Kādi, that the books containing the rough draughts of his epistles, and the 598 loose sheets on which his talikas (memoranda) were written, would certainly form
a collection of one hundred volumes, and that the greater part of these documents are masterpieces. The kâtib Imâd ad-din al-Ispahầni speaks of him in the Kharîda in these terms : “ He was the master of the pen and of lucid ex“pression (3), of eloquence, and of language; his genius was brilliant, his
sagacity penetrating, and his style marked by originality and beauty. His “ abilities were so great that we know not of any ancient writers who could “have entered into competition with him or even approached him, had they “ lived in the same time. He was like the law of Muhammad, which annulled
every preceding law and became itself the basis of all science ; to him be“ longed novelty of thought, originality of ideas, display of brilliancy, and pro“ duction of the fairest flowers; it was he who conducted the empire by his “ counsels, and fastened the pearls (of style) on the thread (of discourse): wher “ he pleased, he could compose in a day, nay in a single hour, documents
which, were they preserved, would be considered by masters of the epistolary “ art as the most precious materials they could possess. How far was Koss (4) “ beneath him in eloquence, and Kais (5) in prudence ! Compared with him “ in generosity, what was Hatim (6)? and in bravery, what was Amr? (7).” He then continues his eulogium in the highest terms.-We shall give here a letter by al-Kâdi ’l-Fadil, addressed to Salâh ad-din and presented to him by the khatib (preacher) of Aidab (8); in it he recommends the bearer as a proper person to fill the place of preacher at al-Karak (9): “May God preserve the sultan al“ Malik an-Nasir and fortify him; may He grant a favourable acceptance to his
acts and make them fructify; may He crush his enemies unawares, when they “ slumber by day or sleep by night ! and may He quell their insolence by “ means of his servant's sword and cast them prostrate! This letter, bearing “the humble service of thy slave, will be presented by the khatib of Aidåb, “ forced to quit that place which was for him an unpleasant and inconvenient “ residence. Having heard of those victories, the fame of which has filled the “ earth, and which entitle thee to the gratitude of its inhabitants, he abandoned “the burning atmosphere and the salt soil of Aidàb, and travelled forth in a