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grandfather al-Mansûr was incontrovertibly the greatest imâm of the age in which he lived ; this is a point on which his supporters and his adversaries both agreed. He followed the doctrines of Abû Hanîfa and was looked up to with deference by the other imâms of that sect; but, in the year 462, when he was making the pilgrimage, a circumstance fell under bis observation in the province of Hijaz, which obliged him to pass over to the sect of as-Shâfi. On his return to Marw, he underwent violent persecutions on this account, and had much to suffer from the spirit of party-zeal ; but he supported these trials with great firmness and became the chief imam of the Shafites. In the fulfilment of this office, he acted as a professor and a mufti, and drew up a great number of treatises on the doctrines of the imâm as-Shâfi and on other branches of knowledge. Of these works the most remarkable are: the Minhaj Ahl is-Sunna (path of the Sunnites); the Intisår (vindication); a Refutation of the Principles held by the Kadarites (the partisans of man's free-will), etc. In another work, the Kawâti (decisive arguments), he treats of the dogmas of Islamism, and in his Burhân, or proof (containing a defence of the Shafite doctrines) he discusses nearly one thousand points of controversy. His Awsat, or medium, and his Istilâm, or eradication of errors, are refutations of Abû Zaid ad-Dabûsi's compilation, entitled al-Asrår (t. II. p. 28). He wrote also a valuable commentary on the Korân, and he formed a collection of one thousand Traditions received by him from one hundred masters, and which he illustrated with great ability in discourses affixed to them. He was highly celebrated also for the excellence of his sermons. His birth took place in the month of Zů'l-Hijja, A. H. 426 (October, A. D. 1035), and his death in the

month of the first Rabi, A. H. 489 (March, A. D. 1096), at Marw. This family 420 produced a great number of other persons remarkable for learning and the ex

alted posts which they filled. - Samâni means belonging to Samân, a branch of the tribe of Tamîm. I have heard some learned men observe that this name may be also pronounced Simán.--Abû Saad Abd al-Karim had a son named Abů ’l-Muzaffar Abd ar-Rahîm whom, when yet a boy, he took with him to learn Traditions from his father (Abû Bakr Muhammad); he then travelled with him through Khorâsân and Transoxiana, for the purpose of letting him hear the Traditions delivered by all the great masters in these countries, and of obtaining (them in) written copies. He drew up also, for his son's use, à Mojam, or biographical dictionary of his own masters, in eighteen volumes, and an Awala, or collection of Traditions supported by the highest authority (9), in two thick volumes. He then made him study jurisprudence, the belles-lettres, and the Traditions, till he acquired considerable information in these branches of learning. Abd ar-Rahim taught the Traditions on the authority of numerous masters (10), and students travelled from all parts to learn them from him. He was highly venerated in his native country. His birth took place at Naisapûr, on the eve of Friday, the 17th of Zů ’l-Kaada, A. H. 537 (June, A. D. 1143), and he died at Marw between A. H. 614 (A. D. 1217) and 616 (A.D. 1220) (11).

(1) His life will be found in this volume.

(2) The following observations on the Amali or dictations are furnished by Hajji Khalifa ; I shall merely copy M. de Sacy's translation of the passage :-“ Amali est le pluriel d'imla. Ce qu'on entend par là, c'est · qu'un savant est assis, ayant autour de lui ses disciples avec des encriers et du papier. Le savant dit ce que “ Dieu permet qu'il lui vienne à l'esprit au sujet d'une science, et ses disciples l’écrivent. Il se forme de • cela un livre qu'on nomme imla ou amali. Voilà comme avaient coutume de faire les anciens, soit juris* consultes, soit docteurs dans la science des traditions, ou dans la grammaire arabe, ou dans toute autre

science de celles qu'ils cultivaient; mais le discrédit où sont tombés la science et les savants, a fait évanouir “ les traces de cet usage. Il faudra un jour retourner vers Dieu. Les savans de l'école des Schaféïtes nomment ** cela taalik."(Anthologie Grammaticale, p. 137. See Flügel's Hajji Khalifa, vol. I. p. 427)

(3) Literally : “And Traditions were read to him;" that is, his pupils read the Traditions aloud, and he made his observations.

() .

(3) When Ibn Khallikân inserted this extract in the margin of his work, he marked a wrong place for it in the text. This is a fault into which he has fallen very frequently. The passage should have come in lower down.

(6) The word imam is employed here to denote one whose opinions were held to be of the highest authority.

(7) See Introduction to vol. I. page xxii.

(8) Literally: “Which he washed.” That is, he washed off the ink, that the paper might serve again. The writing in oriental manuscripts is easily effaced with water ; the paper is generally very thick and glazed

.الشير وي The autograph has (4)

over.

(9) It may probably be remarked that I give a different signification to the word Awala slys from that adopted, after some hesitation, by M. de Sacy, in his Abdallatif. I have followed the indications of Hajji Khalifa in his enumeration of the works which are so denominated; and must add that the title of the book cited by M. de Sacy in support of his opinion seems to me to be incorrectly given; Olgelt el is a most unusual expression, whereas hell is one commonly employed when speaking of Traditions which can be traced up through an unbroken series of trustworthy Traditionists to Muhammad himself.

)

(11) In the autograph these last words have been cut off by the binder, so that only the vowel points and the tops of the longer letters remain. None of my manuscripts fill up the blank, which, I am convinced from the inspection of the autograph, must be read thus: jäs Erwg.

.is the right reading بالكثير (10)

IBN HAMDIS AS-SAKALLI.

Abû Muhammad Abd al-Jabbar Ibn Ali Bakr Ibn Muhammad Ibn Hamdis alAzdi (a member of the tribe of Azd) as-Sakalli (a native of Sicily), and a celebrated poet, is spoken of in these terms by Ibn Bassâm : “ He was a poet of consum“ mate abilities, who aimed at originality of ideas and reached his mark; who “expressed them in terms elegant and noble ; who had a perfect command of “ metaphors the most appropriate, and who dived into the ocean of language for “ the pearl of novelty in thought.” The original cast of his ideas is fully displayed in the following piece descriptive of a rivulet :

There is an object whose component parts are in progressive motion, and whose surface is polished by the zephyr, so that it reveals to the eye that which is contained in its bosom. The pebbles wound it with their sharp points, and, as it passes over them, it expresses by its murmurs the pains which they inflict. It might be thought that a despairing lover (1) had put on the form of its waters, and hastened to throw himself into the pond which it supplies.

In one of his kasîdas he says:

I passed the night in asking for another and another kiss; such are the favours for which I shall never cease to sue her; and I quenched the thirst of love at (her lips-) a source surpassing in virtues the purest water of the spring.

In another of his kasîdas he begins thus:

Arisel and let the (maiden) wearer of the scarf hand here the cup! the harbinger of morning has announced to the night that its last hour (2) has come. Hasten towards the pleasures which await us, and, to reach them, take for coursers the forerunners of enjoyment, so rapid in their speed. Hasten before the morning sun has sipped the dews of the night off the lips of the flowers.

One of his original ideas is thus expressed :

To increase the blackness of her eyes, she has applied antimony around them; thus adding poison to the dart which was already sufficient to give death.

In another poem he thus expresses his longing desire of seeing Sicily again :

I thought of Sicily, and sadness renewed in my mind the remembrance of that isle. Though expelled from paradise, I shall always speak of its delights. Were my tears not bitter, I should take them for the (copious) streams which flow in that happy region (3)

In the year 471 (A. D. 1078-9) he went to Spain and there celebrated in his 491 verses the praises of al-Motamid Ibn Abbåd, by whom he was most generously recompensed. When Ibn Abbâd was afterwards led into captivity and imprisoned at Aghmàt, Ibn Hamdis heard some verses recited which that prince had composed during his confinement (4), on which he addressed him the following lines in reply:

Do you despair of seeing a day the evening of which will differ from the morning ? Reflect that the brilliant planets themselves must (undergo vicissitudes and) pass through the zodiac's various signs.-When you left us, and bore off in your hand generosity itself, whilst the mountains of thy liberality were shaken to their basis (5), I raised my voice and exclaimed: “The hour of judgment has come! behold the firm mountains "pass away!"

The idea contained in the last of these verses is nearly similar to that expressed by Abd Allah Ibn al-Motazz in the following lines; they are taken from an elegy composed by him on the death of the vizir Abû 'l-Kâsim Obaid Allah Ibn Sulaimân Ibn Wahb:

The human race remain unmoved, and yet perfection itself is dead; and the vicissitudes of time exclaim : “Where shall we find more men?" Behold Abû ’l-Kåsim on his bier! arise, and see how mountains are removed from their places !

The poetical works of Ibn Hamdis have been collected into a divân, and the greater portion of his poetry is very good. Ile died in the isle of Maiyorka (Majorca), A. H. 527 (A.D. 1132-3) (and was interred near the tomb of Ibn al-Labbàna (6) the celebrated poet]; some say, however, that he died at Bajaya (Bugia in North Africa). In one of his poems, rhyming in the letter M, he speaks of his grey hairs and his staff; this indicates that he had then reached his eightieth year (7).- Sakalli means belonging to Sakalliya (Sicily), an island in the sea of Maghrib, near North Africa.

.الليل not الليل In the printed Arabic text, read (2)

not

(1) The autograph gives the true reading, which is the )

(3) On the conquest of Sicily by count Roger, a great number of the Moslim inhabitants abandoned the island. Some, like Ibn Hamdis, went to Spain, and others to North Africa, Egypt, or Syria. The kâtib Imád ad-din notices in his Kharida a number of literary men who then left the country. (4) These verses are still extant, and may be found in Imâd ad-din's Kharida, MS. No.1375. VOL. II.

21

(5) Literally: “Whilst the Radwa and the Thabir of yours were shaken.” These are the names of two celebrated mountains in Hijaz.-(See Abû 'l-Feda's Geography, Arabic text, page 81.)

(6) Abû Bakr Muhammad Ibn Isa ad-Dâni (a native of Denia), surnamed Ibn Labbana, was the favourite poet and companion of al-Motamid Ibn Abbâd. Numerous extracts from his compositions are given by the kalib Imâd ad-Din in his Kharida (MS. No. 1378, fol. 181 et seq.) and by Ibn Khâkân in his Kaldid al-Ikiyan. The date of his death is not mentioned by either author.

(7) This inference of Ibn Khallikân does not appear to be well warranted.

ABU TALIB AL-MAAFIRI.

Abû Tâlib Abd al-Jabbâr Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ali Ibn Muhammad al-Maàfiri al-Maghribi (1) was a master of the first authority in the science of philology and in all the branches of the belles-lettres. In his travels he visited Baghdad, where he continued his studies and gave lessons to a number of pupils, who all profited under his tuition. In the year 551 (A.D. 1156–7) he arrived in Egypt, where he had for a disciple the learned shaikh Abû Muhammad Ibn Bari (see his life, page 70). He wrote a great deal, and his handwriting was very good, but in the Maghrib character; the greater part of these writings is on literature. I have seen a considerable quantity of them, and observed that his orthography was extremely correct (2). I saw the two following lines inscribed by his own hand on the cover of the work entitled al-Muzîl fi 'l-Loghat (3):

I implore whatever person sees my writing to address a sincere prayer for me to the merciful God, that he may be turned towards me with indulgence and grant me forgiveness.

He taught the contents of the work called al-Musalsil with the authorisation of the author, Abû 't-Tahir Muhammad Ibn Yûsuf Ibn 'Abd Allah at-Tamîmi; of this we shall speak again in the life of Abû 't-Tahir, which will be found among those of the Muhammads (4).—Abů Tålib died A. H. 566 (A. D. 1170-1) as he was returning from Egypt to Maghrib.— Madfiri means belonging to the tribe of Madfir Ibn Yafur; this tribe is very numerous and the greater portion of it inhabits Egypt.

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