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devolved to him, and great numbers pursued their studies in a most successful manner under his tuition. In developing the principles of Shafite jurisprudence, he followed, in some cases, a system peculiar to himself, and which attested, by its excellence, the soundness of his information. He was suspected, however, of holding Motazilite opinions, (but) the shaikh Abû Hàmid al-Isfarâini declared that he never saw an abler doctor of the law. Ad-Dàraki learned the Traditions from his maternal grandfather al-Hasan Ibn Muhammad ad-Dâraki. When consulted on a• point of law, he always took a long time to reflect before giving an opinion; and it sometimes happened that his decisions were completely opposed to those of the two imâms, as-Shâfi and Abů Hanifa. When observations were made to him on this subject, he used to answer by citing an appropriate Tradition and tracing it up to the Prophet, after which he would observe that it was better to follow the Traditions than the opinions enounced by either of the two imâms. He died at Baghdad on Friday, the 13th of Shawwal, A. H. 375 (Feb. A. D. 986), aged upwards of seventy years. Some say, but erroneously, that his death occurred in the month of Zû ’l-Kaada. His exactitude as a traditionist is universally admitted, and his authority as a doctor is held to be of the highest order.— According to asSamâni, Dâraki means belonging to Dârak; this place I believe to be one of the villages in the neighbourhood of Ispahân. The same author calls him Abd alAziz Ibn al-Hasan Ibn Ahmad ad-Dâraki; whether he be right or not, God best knows !
(1) This mosque was probably founded by Dalaj, who, as has been already noticed, vol. I. page 9, was remarkable for his wealth and charity.
(2) See vol. I. page 526.
IBN NUBATA THE POET.
The poet Abu Nasr Abd al-Aziz, surnamed Ibn Nubâta, drew his descent from the tribe of Saad, a branch of that of Tamim; his genealogy, which we give here, will render this evident: his father Omar was the son of Muhammad
Ibn Ahmad Ibn Nubâta Ibn Ilumaid Ibn Nubâta Ibn al-Hajjaj Ibn Matar Ibn Khalid Ibn Amr Ibn Razah Ibn Rikh Ibn Saad Ibn Thujair Ibn Rabia Ibn Kaab Ibn Saad Ibn Zaid Manât Ibn Tamim Ibn Murr: the remainder of the genealogy is well known (1). This able poet, whose compositions display the combined excellencies of style and thought, went from country to country for the pur- 410 pose of reciting to princes, vizirs, and other great men, the poems which he had composed in their praise. Some brilliant kasîdas and exquisite eulogiums addressed by him to Saif ad-Dawlat Ibn Hamdân are still preserved, and one of these pieces we shall give here: it was written by him in a letter to that prince, who had just made him a present of a black horse with a white forehead and legs :
O prince! thou whose generous qualities are the offspring of thy natural disposition, and whose pleasing aspect is the emblem of thy mind; I have received the present which you sent me, a noble steed whose portly neck seems to unite the heavens to the earth on which he treads. Hast thou then conferred a government upon me (2), since thou sendest me a spear to which a flowing mane serves as a banner (3). We take possession of what thou hast conferred and find it to be a horse whose forehead and legs are marked with white, and whose body is so black, that a single drop extracted from that colour would suffice to form night's darkest shades (4). It would seem that the morning had struck him on the forehead (and thus made it white), for which reason he took his revenge by wading into the entrails (regions) of the morning, (and thus whitening his legs). He paces slowly, yet one of his names is Lightning; he wears a veil (having his face covered with white, as if to conceal it), and yet beauty itself would be his only rival. Had the sun and the moon a portion only of his ardour, it would be impossible to withstand (3) their heat. The eye cannot follow his movements, unless you (rein him in and ) restrain his impetuosity. The glances of the eye cannot seize all his perfections, unless the eye be lead away captive by his beauty and le thus enabled to follow him) (6).
In describing thus the whiteness of his horse's forehead and legs, the poet had an inspiration of great originality; and I do not think that a similar train of thought was ever expressed before. He composed also a long kasida rhyming in L and containing the praises of Saif ad-Dawlat; from it we extract these
You have showered down gifts upon me till I felt them irksome, and was almost tempted to extol the passion of avarice (in a patron). If you still wish to bestow favours upon me, give me also the desire to obtain them, or else bestow them not. Your generosity has left me nought to wish for; and you are the cause that I live in the world
devoid of hope. In the first verse of this extract, the poet comes near to the idea expressed by al-Bohtori in the following lines :
I left you from a feeling of estrangement which nothing can efface; your generosity put me to the blush, and your favours cast a shade over the sunshine of our friendship. By the abundance of your gifts you repelled me from you, so that I fear we shall never meet again. How strange that presents should cause a rupture of friendship, and that marks of kindness should be felt as an insult.
A similar idea is also expressed in a poem addressed by Dibil Ibn Ali ’l-Khuzài to al-Muttalib Ibn Abd Allah al-Khuzài, the emir of Egypt; the verses to which we allude begin thus :
O for the days I passed with al-Muttalib!
Having already given them in the life of Dibil (vol. I. page 509), we shall not repeat them here.
It is now a hacknied thought, having passed from one poet to another, and being frequently employed by them all; some of them spreading it out, and others expressing it with concision: thus I met with it in a piece of verse composed by Ali Ibn Jabala al-Akawwak (a poet whose life we shall give), and addressed by him in a letter to Abû Dolaf al-Ijli (7); I should give the piece here were it not so long. With what grace has Abù ’l-Alà ’l-Maarri expressed the same thought in this line :
Did you moderate your kindness, I should visit you; but the sweetest water is repulsive, if its coolness be too great.
Let us return to our subject : Ibn Nubâta's poetry fills a large volume, and the
greater part of his verses is good. He at one time went to Rai and recited to 411 Abû ’l-Fadl Muhammad Ibn al-Amid some kasîdas which he had composed in
his praise; he had also a conversation with him, the particulars of which we shall relate in the life of the latter. He was born A. H. 327 (A. D. 938-9), and he died at Baghdad on Sunday, the 3rd of Shawwal, A. H. 405 (March, A.D. 1015), shortly after sunrise. His interment took place before the hour of noon, in the Khaizurân cemetery, situated on the east bank of the Tigris. — The following anecdote was related by Abû Ghâlib Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Sahl: “I went “ to visit Abû 'l-Hasan Muhammad Ibn Ali Ibn Nasr al-Baghdadi, the author “ of the Epistles and of the work called al-Mufdwida (conversation);"— this Abů ’l-Hasan was the brother of the Malikite kâdi Abd al-Wahhâb, and we shall speak of him again in the life of the latter ;—“ he was then at Wasit and in his “ last illness. I sat with him for some time, but, as he felt a diarrhea coming
I rose to withdrew, on which he repeated to me this verse, by Abu Nasr “ Abd al-Aziz (Ibn Nubåta):
Let your eyes enjoy a parting look at the friend whom you are about to leave; for * I do not think that I shall ever see you again in the valley (where we met so often).'
“ He then said: “I went to see Abû Nasr himself the very day on which he “ died, and he recited to me this verse as I was taking leave of him; and on my way
home I was informed of his death.' On the night of that day “ Abù 'l-Hasan himself expired.” We shall give the date of his death in the life of Abd al-Wahhàb. It is related by Abû Ali Muhammad Ibn Washầh Ibn Abd Allah that he heard Abû Nasr say: “I was one day making the siesta in “the vestibule of my house, when a person knocked at the door. “Who is " there?' said 1.– A native of the East,' was the answer.—'What is your “ business ?' - "Are you not the author of this verse:
• He who dies not by the sword must die some other way; the modes of death are various, but that evil still remains the same ?'
“ To this I answered that I was the author.-—“Will you allow me then to repeat “it as having been authorised to do so by yourself?' — Certainly.' The
person then went away. Towards the end of the same day, I heard another “knock at the door, and on asking who was there, I received this answer : An “ inhabitant of Tâhart, in the West country (8).'—'What is your business ? — "Are you the author of this verse :
• He who dies not by the sword, etc. ? ' “ – I am he.'—'Will you allow me then to repeat it as having been authorised
to do so by yourself ?'—*Certainly.' I was thus much astonished to find that " this verse had reached the East and the West."
(1) See Eichhorn's Monumenta Hist. Arab. tab. V.
(3) It is perhaps necessary to observe that when a prince conferred a military command upon one of his subjects, he gave him a standard formed of a spear with a cravat or flag lied around the head of it. The poet here compares his horse to a spear on account of his erect and lofty stature; the knotted banner is represented by the mane.
(4) I have endeavoured, by a long paraphrase, to express the thought contained in this verse. The word rendered by we have taken possession is los, which has been incorrectly given in all the manuscripts, with the exception of the autograph. Its literal meaning is: we dismount, or we stop at our journey's end.
(3) Here again all the manuscripts are wrong except the autograph. For utoj we must read for The copyists did not understand what they were writing.
(6) Such is the meaning of the original verses, which are as difficult to translate as to understand.
IBN MUGHALLIS AL-ANDALUSI.
Abû Muhammad Abd al-Aziz Ibn Ahmad Ibn as-Sid Ibn Mughallis alKaisi al-Andalusi (a member of the tribe of Kais and a native of Spain) was a highly distinguished philologer and grammarian. Having left Spain, he settled in Egypt, where he pursued his literary studies under the tuition of Abû Yakûb Yûsuf Ibn Yakûb an-Najirmi (1); he took lessons also from Abû ’l-Alå Sâid arRabài, the author of the Fusûs (see vol. I. page 632). At Baghdad, he increased his stock of information and contributed to that of others. There exists some good poetry of his composition, such as the following piece :
Her eyes are languishing, but not with sickness (2), yet my heart is sick (of love) for her. She has accustomed my eyes to sleeplessness by drawing from them a gush of tears which prevents them from closing, She paid me a visit, not through love, but to let me perceive her dislike.
412 He composed a great quantity of verses. Abû 't-Tâhir Ibn Khalaf, the author
of the Onwân (see vol. I. page 218), maintained a contest with him for superiority, and the kasidas in which they strived to surpass each other are still preserved in the volumes containing their poetical works. To avoid prolixity, we shall not give any passages from them. He died at Old Cairo on Wednesday, the 24th of the first Jumàda, A.H. 427 (March, A.D. 1036); the funeral service was said over him, in the Musalla of as-Sadafi, by the shaikh Abû 'l-Hasan Ali Ibn Ibrahim al-Hausi(3), the author of the Tafsir, or commentary on the Koran; he was interred near the Banû Ishak.