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Abû Muhammad Abd al-Malik Ibn Hisham Ibn Aiyûb al-Himyari al-Maâfiri, the author of the Sirat ar-Rasûl, or history of the Prophet, is spoken of in these terms by Abû 'l-Kasim as-Suhaili (see page 99 of this volume), in his work entitled ar-Raud al-Unuf, which is a commentary on the Sirat: "He was celebrated "for his learning and possessed superior information in genealogy and gram; his native place was Old Cairo, but his family were of Basra. He composed a genealogical work on the tribe of Himyar and its princes; and I have "been told that he wrote another work in which he explained the obscure pas66 sages of the poetry cited in (Ibn Ishak's) Siar.-His death occurred at Old Cairo, "A. H. 243 (A. D. 828-9)."-This Ibn Hishâm is the person who extracted and drew up the History of the Prophet from Ibn Ishak's (1) work entitled alMaghazi wa 's-Siar; as-Suhaili explained its difficulties in a commentary, and it is now found in the hands of the public under the title of Sirat Ibn Hishâm (Ibn Hisham's Sirat, or History). Abu Said Abd ar-Rahmân Ibn Yûnus (see page 93), the Egyptian historian, says, in his work on the eminent men who came to Egypt from foreign parts, that this Abd al-Malik died on the 13th of the latter Rabi, A. H. 248 (May, A. D. 833); God knoweth best which is the true date of his death! Ibn Yûnus says also that he belonged to the tribe of Dohl (2).— Maafiri means descended from Mâafir Ibn Yafur, the progenitor of a great tribe (3) to which a great number of persons, principally inhabitants of Egypt, trace their origin.

(1) The life of Muhammad Ibn Ishak al-Muttalibi is given by Ibn Khallikan.

(2) The tribe of Dohl sprung from that of Bakr Ibn Wâil, which last drew its descent from Rabia Ibn Nizâr. (3) Read in the Arabic text.




Abû Mansûr Abd al-Malik Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ismail ath-Thaâlibi an-Naisapúri (a native of Naisapur) is spoken of in these terms by Ibn Bassâm, the author of the Dakhira: "In that age, he was the man who pastured his genius "on the loftiest summits of knowledge; the great compiler of prose and verse; "the chief author of his time, and the ablest also in the opinion of that epoch; "his reputation spread abroad like a proverb which circulates far and wide; "the camels (which bore travellers to see him were constantly) arriving, their "breasts panting from the rapidity of their speed; his compilations rose over "the horizon not only in the East but in the West, and they ascended (to the "zenith of fame) as the stars ascend through the darkness; his works hold a "place of high eminence, shining with refulgence even from their first appearance; the number of persons who learned them by heart or who collected "them can neither be defined nor described, and it would be vain to essay, "even in the finest and most harmonious style, to do full justice to the merits "of his writings." Ibn Bassam then quotes some passages of ath-Thaâlibi's composition in prose and verse; one of the latter is the following piece addressed to the emir Abû 'l-Fadl al-Mikali (governor of the province of Fars):

Your talents are admirable and so numerous that no other mortal ever possessed as many. Two of them are oceans; one, an ocean of eloquence composed of al-Walid's (Bohtori's) poetic spirit and the charming style of al-Asmai; the other, a skill in epistolary writing equal to that of as-Sâbi (1), and embellished in its superiority by a penmanship which, like Ibn Mokla's, merits the first rank (2). Let us give thee thanks! how many admirable passages have come from you (to us), as wealth comes abundantly on the noble-minded man who, but a moment before, was borne down by poverty. When the buds of thy poetry unfold and blossom, their beauty is displayed in an ornamented phrase, forming two hemistiches. You have dismounted the horsemen of eloquence, and broken in the horses of original invention; for you are yourself an illustrious and original genius. You have engraved charming devices on the seal of time; devices which surpass in beauty the meadows of spring.

By the same :

When I sent (a message to my beloved)—and, alas! my representations were fruitless -the fire of passion raged fiercer (in my bosom) and, to preserve my life, I kissed those eyes with which my messenger had seen her




One of his longest, finest, and most comprehensive works is that entitled Yatima-tad-Dahr fi Mahasin Ahli 'l-Asar (the pearl of the age, treating of the merits of our contemporaries) (3). The following lines were composed on this book by the celebrated Alexandrian poet Abû 'l-Futûh Nasr Allah Ibn Kalâkis, whose life will be given later:

The verses of the poems in the Yatima are virgin daughters of the spirits who lived of old. They are now dead, but their daughters survive, whence the work bears the name of Yatima (4).

Ath-Thaâlibi composed also the Fikh al-Loghat (laws of language), the Sihr alBalagha (magic of eloquence), the Sirr al-Barda (secret of excellence), Kitâb man ghab anhu 'l-Mutrib (book for him who has no one to amuse him) (5), the Munis al-Wahid (companion for the solitary), and many other works besides, containing anecdotes of eminent men, notices on their lives, and extracts from their poetry and epistles; all these productions are indicative of vast information in the author. He himself composed a great deal of poetry. His birth took place A. H. 350 (A. D. 961), and his death in the year 429 (A. D. 1037-8).— Thaâlibi means one who sews together and dresses foxes' skins; he was so denominated because he had been a furrier.

(1) See vol. I. page 31.

(2) In place of this verse, which is given in the MSS. of the Yatima, Ibn Khallikân has inserted the follow

Like lowers or like magic, or like the كالنور او كالسحر او كالبدر او كالوشي في برد عليه موشع : ing

"full moon, or like the colours of a flowered garment, ornamented also with a border." Were this reading to be admitted, we should not know what the two seas were, of which ath-Thaâlibi speaks. The reading adopted in the printed text is taken from the copy of the poem which the author has inserted in the Yatima. (3) This work contains notices on poets and other literary men, with extracts from their writings. It forms one large volume, two copies of which are in the Bib. du Roi. For a list of the articles contained in the Yatima, see Catal. MSS. Or. Bibl. Bod. tom. II. p. 313 et seq.

(4) Yatima signifies both orphan and precious pearl.

(5) This is a collection of elegant extracts in prose and verse, classed under different heads. It is drawn up with great taste. Another of ath-Thaâlibi's works, but which is not noticed by Ibn Khallikân, bears the title of Kitab al-Ejâz fi 'l-Ijâz; it is a collection of laconic sayings and maxims. An edition of it has been lately published at Leyden under the direction of M. Weyers.



Abû Said Abd as-Salâm Ibn Said at-Tanûkhi (a member of the tribe of Tanakh), and surnamed Sukhnûn, was a doctor of the sect of Mâlik. He studied under Ibn al-Kâsim (see v. II. p. 86), Ibn Wahb (v. II. p. 15), and Ashhab (v. I. p. 223), after which he became the head of the science, or chief imâm, in Maghrib. He used to say: "God's curse on poverty! I was a contemporary of Mâlik, but (having no means of going to see him,) I was obliged to take lessons from Ibn "al-Kasim." (1) He held the post of kâdi at Kairawân, and on points of doctrine his opinions are of standard authority in Maghrib. He is the author of the Mudawwana (digest) containing the doctrines of the imâm Mâlik; this work, the contents of which he had received (by oral transmission) from Ibn al-Kâsim, is the main authority relied on by the people of Kairawân. The first who undertook to draw up a Mudawwana was the Malikite doctor Asad Ibn al-Furât (2), when he returned from Irak. It originally consisted in questions proposed by him to Ibn al-Kâsim with their solutions by the latter; he then took them with him to Kairawan, and Suhnûn wrote them out under his dictation; it was called the Asadiya (or Asadian after Asad Ibn al-Furât), but as the questions were put down without any order in this first sketch, Suhnûn drew them up under separate heads and augmented their number; besides which, he resolved some by means of the Traditions with which his memory was furnished when he learned by heart Ibn Wahb's edition of the Muwatta. Some points remained, however, which Suhnûn left incomplete. Suhnûn had a greater number of pupils than any other of Mâlik's disciples, and it was by his means that the doctrines of that imâm were propagated throughout Maghrib. He was born A. H. 160 (A. D. 776-7), and he died in the month of Rajab, A. H. 240 (Nov.Dec. A. D. 854).-Sahnûn or Suhnun is the name of a bird found in Maghrib and remarkable for its sagacity; it was for this reason that Abû Saîd was so surnamed. The pronunciation of this word with an a or with an u involves a question of grammatical forms peculiar to the Arabic language, but it would be too long to expose it here, neither is this the proper place for such a disquisition; it has besides been fully and properly treated by Ibn as-Sid al-Batalyausi, who has always executed in the best manner whatever task he undertook.


(1) The author of the Tarikh al-Kairawan MS. No. 752, gives a long notice on Suhnûn, in which I remark the following passage: "He was originally from Emessa in Syria, but he was taken thither (to Maghrib most probably) when his father accompanied the militia (jund) of Emessa." This must have been during the government of Yazid Ibn Hâtim al-Muhallabi; see Journal Asiatique for November, 1841, p. 481. The jund were the troops furnished by the Arabian tribes which had settled in the different military divisions (junds) of Syria on the first conquest of that country by the Moslims. They received a fixed pay from the khalif, and a certain number of them were always in actual service. Fuller information on this subject will be found in M. de Reinaud's translation of Abu 'l-Feda's Geography, chap. on Syria, and in the account of the first Moslim governors of Maghrib, translated from the universal history of an-Nuwairi and inserted by me in the Journal Asiatique.

(2) Abu Abd Allah Asad Ibn Furât Ibn Sinan was a mawla to the tribe of Sulaim. Speaking of his own names, he used to say: "I am Asad (lion), and the lion is the noblest of animals; my father was called "Furât, and the Furât (Euphrates) is the purest of waters; and my grandfather's name was Sinan (spear), "which is the best of weapons." His family belonged to Khorasan, and he was born at Harrân, A.H. 142 (A. D. 739). According to his own account, he came into the province of Africa with the troops which had been sent thither, A. H 144, by the khalif al-Mamûn, under the orders of Muhammad Ibn al-Ashâth al-Khuzai (see Journal Asiatique for November 1841, page 464). After passing five years at Kairawân, he accompanied his father to Tunis, where he resided nine years. At the age of eighteen he had learned the text of the Koran by heart, and the desire of completing his studies then led him to the East. He met the imâm Mâlik at Medina and followed his lessons, in the course of which he heard him teach the Muwatta. From thence he went to Irak and met some of Abu Hanifa's principal disciples, such as Abu Yusuf, Asad Ibn Amr and Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan. When in that province he wrote down the Traditions which he had learned, and pursued his studies in jurisprudence. After the death of Mâlik, he proceeded to Egypt and became the assiduous disciple of Ibn al-Kâsim, under whose instruction he gathered the materials of the Asadiya, which he brought to Kairawan. In A. H. 181 (A D. 797) he returned to that city and gave lessons to numerous pupils in the Asadiya, the Muwatta, and in other branches of knowledge. From that time his authority as an imâm was fully established. In the year 202, Ziâdat Allah Ibn Ibrahîm Ibn al-Aghlab nominated him kâdi of Kairawan, and he held that post till the year 212, when the same prince gave him the command of the troops which were about to be sent on an expedition against Sicily. In the month of the first Rabî, A.H. 212 (June, A.H 827), he sailed for that island with nine thousand one hundred foot and nine hundred horse; and after achieving there a number of important conquests, he died of his wounds, A. H. 213 (A.D. 828-9), whilst besieging Syracuse.(Tarikh al-Kairawân, MS. No. 752, fol. 26.-Al-Hillat as-Siyard, MS. fol. 148 v.)


Abu Hashim Abd as-Salâm was the son of Abû Ali Muhammad al-Jubbai Ibn Abd al-Wahhab Ibn Salàm Ibn Khâlid (1) Ibn Humràn Ibn Abân; this last was a mawla to the khalif Othman Ibn Affan. Abû Hashim al-Jubbài, a cele

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