Page images


When these lines came to the knowledge of the poet al-Busrawi, he observed that al-Murtada bestowed what he did not possess on persons who would not receive it (4). He says in another piece :

When a distant journey willed that we should separate, that moment discovered whose love was sincere and whose affected; and on the evening of the caravan's departure, I seemed, from my restless agitation, like a man distracted.

The idea expressed in the first of these verses is taken from a poem rhyming in K, which was composed by al-Mutanabbi in praise of Adud ad-Dawlat Ibn Buwaih. As the poet was then on the point of leaving the court of the prince and proceeding from Shiraz to Irak, he addressed him this poem as a farewell. It was in this journey that al-Mutanabbi lost his life, as we have already observed (vol. I. p. 105). The following is the passage to which we allude :

Amongst the lovers was one distinguished by the ardour of his passion and another who pretended to partake therein; but when the visages were drowned in tears, he that really wept was easily distinguished from the pretender.

I extract the following verses from the Jinan al-Janân, in which they are given as al-Murtadi's by the kâdi ar-Rashid Ahmad Ibn az-Zubair, the author of that work (vol. I. p. 143):

I and those who blamed me for loving are at daggers-drawing: I am a Khôrijite (5) in love (and hold that) none but the fairest have a right to power.

The same writer attributes to him also the lines which follow:

Mistress of my heart! full-moon (of beauty) resplendent in the darkest shades of night! take me by the hand and draw me from the abyss into which I have fallen. The miracles wrought by thy beauty never cease; like the sea, we may speak (6) of its marvels without restraint. I conjure thee, in the name of Him who formed thy cheeks and gave them sovereign power over our hearts, to stretch forth thy dear hands, as I do mine, and pray that I may be delivered from the passion which thou hast awakened in my bosom.

He gives also as al-Murtadi's the following verses:

Bear from me this message to one whose cheeks have been wounded by (our indiscreet) glances (and are suffused with blushes): "Let those features, wounded as they are, "beam kindness upon me. O thou whose eyes are languishing, but not from feeble "health! blame me not if I die of the malady which they have caused. I have adven"tured into (the ocean of) thy love, with a heart which has embarked on the same sea, "to reach thee or to perish (7)."

The following anecdote is related by the khatib Abû Zakariyâ Yahya at-Tabrizi, the philologer: "Abû 'l-Hasan Ali Ibn Ahmad Ibn Ali Ibn Sallak al-Fâli, "a man well-versed in the belles-lettres, possessed an extremely correct copy of "Ibn Duraid's Jamhara, which poverty compelled him to sell. It was bought "by the sharif al-Murtada for sixty dinars (8), and on turning over the leaves, "he found in it the following lines in the handwriting of al-Fâli, the person who "sold it:

[ocr errors]

'It was my companion for twenty years, and yet I sold it! my sorrow and regret will 'long endure under that privation. I could never have thought that I should have sold 'it, even had my debts retained me for ever in prison. But I was constrained to it by 'misery and poverty and the state of my children, over whom I wept in sadness. Unable to suppress my gushing tears, I said (to my wife) like one heart-broken (9) and 'afflicted: 'O Omm Mâlik! necessity forces the most precious objects from even the 'miser's hands.''

This al-Fâli drew his surname from Fala, a town in Khûzestân near Aidaj (10). He had been a long time an inhabitant of Basra and had studied there under Abû Amr Ibn Abd al-Wahid al-Hashimi and other eminent masters of the epoch; he then removed to Baghdad, where he settled and taught the Traditions.-His grandfather's name is to be pronounced Sallak, but, in another place, I found it written Silk.-Al-Murtada was equally distinguished for the elegance of his genius and for his virtues. He was born A. H. 355 (A. D. 965-6), and he died at Baghdad on Sunday, the 25th of the first Rabi, A. H. 436 (Sept. A. D. 1044). He was interred in (the court of) his house on the evening of the same day.Abû 'l-Hasan al-Fali died on the eve of Friday, the 8th of Zû 'l-Kaada, A.H. 448 468 (January, A.D. 1057), and was buried in the cemetery at the Jâmî (or mosque) of al-Mansûr. He was an elegant scholar and a poet. Some historical relations are given on his authority by the khatîb Abû Bakr in his History of Baghdad, by Abû 'l-Husain [Ibn] at-Tuyûri, and others.

(1) See vol. I. Introduction, page xxxvi.

(2) For

read. The poet's meaning in this piece will be better understood on a perusal of the observations relative to the Taif al-Khial, inserted in the Introduction to vol. I. p. xxxvi.

[ocr errors]

(3) The Arabic words signify also: Evil fortune is better than good." The point of the verses lies in this double meaning which allows the poet to advance a paradox unexpectedly.

(4) He means that al-Murtada's affection for his absent friends put sleep out of his power, and that true

lovers had nothing to do with sleep. But al-Busrawi should have recollected that every lover desires sleep, so that he may dream of his mistress.

(5) Kharijite signifies heretic and exteriorist. The poet employs this equivocal word designedly, but his real meaning is: "I love her for her body, not for her mind." See a similar quibble in the life of Ibn Hazm az-Zahiri; page 269 of this volume.

(6) Literally Like the sea, the history of which has no bounds. If, in place of

be adopted, the sense is: Speak of it without restraint.

the reading

(7) The words, signify "either one way or the other;" that is, "I shall risk the alternative.” (8) Twenty-five or thirty pounds sterling, at the lowest evaluation.

(9) Literally: Branded on the heart, or heart-burned.

(10) The town of Aidaj lies, or lay, at four days' journey east of Askar Mukram.


The kadi 'l-Abû 'l-Husain (1) Ali Ibn al-Hasan Ibn al-Husain Ibn Muhammad, surnamed al-Khilài, and the author of the (work on the Traditions, called after him) al-Khilâiyât, was a follower of the sect of as-Shâfi and an inhabitant of Egypt, but his family belonged to Mosul. He studied under Abu 'l-Hasan al-Haufi (vol. II. p. 243), Abû Muhammad Ibn an-Nahhâs, Abû 'l-Fath al-Addàs, Abù Saad al-Mâlini (2), Abù 'l-Kâsim al-Ahwâzi, and other masters. al-Yahsubi (3) relates as follows: "I asked Abû Ali as-Sadafi respecting al“Khilai whom he had met with in his journey to the East (4), and he

[ocr errors]

The kâdi Ivåd

replied: 'He was a jurisconsult and composed some good works; having "been appointed kâdi, he filled the duties of this office for one day only, and "obtained permission to resign; he then retired into a hermitage in the Ka❝ràfa. On the death of al-Habbâl (5) he became chief traditionist (6) of ""Egypt.'" Mention is made of him also by the kâdi Abu Bakr Ibn alArabi (7), who says: "This shaikh lived, retired from the world, in the Karàfa; "He was the sole transmitter of certain Traditions founded on the highest au"thority, and also the sole possessor of some curious and useful information on "a variety of points. Al-Humaidi (8) gave Traditions on his authority and "designated him by the surname of al-Karâfi." Another writer says: "Al

"Khilai held the post of kàdi at Fàmiya, and Abù Nasr Ahmad Ibn al-Hasan "as-Shîrâzi selected some portions of the information which he had heard at "his lectures (and taught them to others). The last survivor of those who trans"mitted the same information on Abû Nasr's authority was Abû Rifàa. I ob"tained from these notes the knowledge of a fact which was thus handed down by al-Asmâi: The seal of Abù Amr Ibn al-Alà bore the following inscrip



'The man whose worldly prospects are his chief concern, clings to a rope that will 'surely fail him.

"I asked Abû Amr about it, and he told me that as he was one day, at noon, taking a walk round his farm, he heard a voice reciting this verse, but "could see no person. He then had it engraved on his ring.' Abû 'lAbbas Thâlab attributes the verse to Hâni Ibn Tauba Ibn Suhaim Ibn Murra, generally known by the surname of as-Shuwaier al-Hanafi.-The hâfiz Abû Tâhir as-Silafi says: "When Abû 'l-Husain al-Khilai was teaching the Traditions, "he concluded the sitting with the following prayer: O God! complete the "favours which thou hast granted; take not away the graces which thou hast "bestowed; discover not the faults over which thou hast cast a veil, and "pardon those which thou hast rendered public.' Al-Khilai was born at Misr (Old Cairo) in the month of Muharram, A. H. 405 (July, A. D. 1014), and he died there on Saturday, the 18th of Zû 'l-Hijja, A. H. 492 (December, A. D. 1099); others say that his death took place on the 26th of the month.- His father died in the month of Shawwâl, A. H. 448 (December, A. D. 1056).— Khildi is derived from khila (pelisses); Abû 'l-Husain was so surnamed because he sold pelisses to the princes of Misr.—The Karâfas are two in number, Greater and the Less; the former lies outside Misr (Old Cairo), and the latter outside Cairo; this last contains the tomb of the imâm as-Shâfi.- The Banû Karafa, a branch of the tribe of al-Maàfir Ibn Yafur had settled in these two places which were therefore named after them.-Fâmiya, or, as it is sometimes written, Afâmiya is the name of a castle and canton in the province of Aleppo (9).


(1) In the autograph this name was originally written al-Hasan; but in remodelling the article, the author substituted al-Husain. Towards the end, he has left the name uncorrected.

(2) According to the Nujùm, a hâfiz and Sufi whose name was Abû Saad Ahmad Ibn Muhammad alMalini and who had travelled through different countries, died A. H. 412 (A. D. 1021-2.) - Malini means native of Malin, a collection of villages so called in the neighbourhood of Heråt.

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

(4) It is necessary to observe that the kâdi lyâd was a native of Ceuta in North Africa.

(5) Abu Ishak Ibrahim Ibn Said an-Nomâni, surnamed al-Habbal (the rope-maker), was a hafiz of great learning and eminence. After travelling through various countries and receiving traditional information from a great number of masters, he proceeded to Egypt, where he settled, and died A.H. 482 (A.D. 1089–90), at the age of ninety years.-(Nujùm.)

(6) The original manuscript has A, which is here a noun in the accusative case.

(7) His life will be found in this work.

(8) The life of al-Humaidi is given in this work.

(9) Fâmia, the Apamea of the ancients, is placed, in Brockhaus' map of Syria, in lat. 35° 18', and long. 34° 12' E. from Paris.


The katib Abû 'l-Husain (1) Ali Ibn Muhammad as-Shâbushti, an elegant scholar and a man of talent, was attached to the service of al-Aziz Ibn al-Moizz 469 the Obaidite (Fatimite), sovereign of Egypt, as private librarian and reader (defter khuân); and his agreeable conversation and pleasing manners rendered him the companion of his master's social and convivial parties. He wrote some good works, one of which, entitled Kitâb ad-Diârât (book of convents), contains the indication of every convent in Irâk, Mosul, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Egypt, with all the poems composed on each of them and an account of what passed in them. This book is drawn up on the plan of the similar works, bearing the same title, which were composed by the two Khâlidites (2) and by Abû 'l-Faraj al-Ispahâni: a great number of books have been written on this subject. His other works are the Kitab al-Yusr baad al-Osr (ease after pain); the Marâtib al-Fokahâ (classified list of jurisconsults); the Kitâb at-Taukîf wa 't-Takhwif (attention arrested and apprehension inspired, and a number of letters and epistolary essays, containing passages of poetry and moral maxims. He composed also some treatises on literary and other subjects. His death took place A. H. 390 (A. D. 1000), or, according to the emir al-Mukhtar al-Musabbihi, in 388; another author names the day,

« PreviousContinue »