« PreviousContinue »
copy of it. On this, they brought me a blind man, called Ibn Sida, who "repeated its contents from the beginning to the end, and I was much struck at "the excellence of his memory." Ibn Sida possessed considerable abilities as a poet. He died at Denia on Sunday evening, the 25th of the latter Rabi, A. H. 458 (March, A. D. 1066), at the age of about sixty years. I read on the cover of a copy of the Muhkam a note written by some learned native of Spain, in which it is said that Ibn Sida was in good health previously to the morning prayer of the Friday (before his death), and that he continued so till the hour of evening prayer, when he entered the water-closet and came out with his tongue paralyzed, and unable to utter a word; he remained in that state till the afternoon of the Sunday above mentioned, when he died. Some place his death in the year 448 (A. D. 1056), but the former date is more authentic and is generally admitted. Murcia is a city in the east of Spain.-Talamanki means belonging to Talamanka (Salamanca ?), which is a city in the west of Spain.-Denia is a city in the east of the same country.
(1) This title means liber pulchri, which may perhaps signify livre du bel esprit.
(2) Hajji Khalifa notices two works bearing this title; one by Abû Amr as-Shaibâni (see Ibn Khallikan, vol. I. p. 182), and the other by Abû Obaid al-Kâsim Ibn Sallâm, a learned scholar whose life will be found in this dictionary.
ABU 'L-HASAN AL-HUSRI.
Abû 'l-Hasan Ali Ibn Abd al-Ghani al-Husri al-Fihri (a member of the tribe of Koraish), and a native of Kairawan, was a poet of celebrity, and, although afflicted with blindness, a teacher of the Koran-readings. Ibn Bassâm, the author of the Dakhira, speaks of him in these terms: "He was a sea of eloquence, the master 475 "of his art and the chief of the company (of poets). He proceeded to Spain to"wards the middle of the fifth century of the Hijra, on the ruin of Kairawân (1), "the place of his abode. In those days polite literature was highly encouraged "and sedulously cultivated in our country; he was therefore caressed by the
"provincial sovereigns, as the meadows are caressed by the zephyr; they were "all desirous of possessing him, as houses are desirous of possessing inhabitants; 'although, as I have been informed, he was of a disagreeable character, noto"rious for his evil tongue, and as keen for satire as a thirsty man for water. They give in, however, to his humour, and supported with patience the frequency of his caprices and the rarity of his affable moments (2). When those "sovereigns were deprived of their possessions (by Yûsuf Ibn Tâshifin) he settled "at Tanger, much reduced in circumstances and relapsed into (the former mo"roseness of) his character." Abû 'l-Hasan, the subject of this article, was cousin by the mother's side to Abû Ishak al-Husri (vol. I. p. 34), the author of the Zahr al-Adab. Ibn Bashkuwâl makes mention of him in the Silat, and al-Humaidi says that he was well acquainted with the readings of the Koran and the mode by which each of them had been transmitted down; that he gave public lessons in Koran-reading at Ceuta and elsewhere, and that he composed a kasida in two hundred and ninety verses, setting forth the points peculiar to Nafi's system of Koran-reading. His collected poetical works are still extant, and one of his pieces is the widely diffused kasida which begins thus :
O night of the afflicted lover! when will thy morning arrive? Is it deferred to the day of judgment? The friends who passed the evening in conversation are now asleep, but he, separated from his beloved, is kept awake by the visits of grief.
This poem is so well known that it is unnecessary to insert it; and a counterpart of it, in the same rhyme and measure, has been composed by my friend Najm ad-din Musa al-Kamrâwi (3) the jurisconsult, in which he says :
Bear to my beloved this message: "The friends of him whom thou hast reduced to "sickness are weary of visiting his couch, and those who envied thy captive lover now "deplore his misery. Thy cruelty has left him only that breath of life which each sigh "raises from his breast. Hârût (4) himself acknowledges that the power of magic is "derived solely from thy eyes (5). When thou sheathest thy glances in thy eyelids, they "inflict deadly wounds: what must they be when thou drawest them from their scab"bards! How often has thy cheek been smoothed to an expresson of benignity, whilst "thy eyebrow formed an arch above it. My heart acknowledged no other power but "thine; why then (6) condemn it eternally to the flames of separation?"
The lines which follow are by al-Husri :
When she offered me the cup of welcome on which her lips had impressed a seal of musk, I said to her: "Was this ruby liquor extracted from thy cheeks?"-"No," she replied; "When was wine ever extracted from the rose?"
At the time in which he resided at Tanger, he sent his servant-boy to al-Motamid Ibd Abbâd, the sovereign of Seville, which city was called Hims (Emessa) by the people of that country; he then waited in fruitless expectation of the boy's return, and having been informed that al-Motamid took no notice of him, he composed these lines:
Awake the drowsy caravan and reproach Fortune with her cruelty! Hims is a paradise, and it said to my boy: "Thou shalt not return from this!" May God have mercy on my boy! he has died of hunger in paradise !
In the original Arabic, the poet makes each of these verses end in a double rhyme, although the rules of prosody by no means placed him under such a restraint. The following relation was delivered by Tâj al-Ola Abû Zaid, surnamed an-Nassâba (the genealogist): "I was told by Abù 'l-Asbagh Nubâta Ibn " al-Asbagh Ibn Zaid Ibn Muhammad al-Hârithi al-Andalusi that he heard his "grandfather Zaid Ibn Muhammad relate as follows: Al-Motamid Ibn Abbâd, 476 "the sovereign of Seville, sent five hundred pieces of gold to Abu 'l-Arab az"Zubairi with the order to come to him, and employ the sum for his travelling "expenses."- Abû 'l-Arab was then in Sicily, his native country. His names were Abû 'l-Arab Musab Ibn Muhammad Ibn Abi 'l-Furât al-Korashi (of the tribe of Koraish) az-Zubairi as-Sakalli (native of Sicily), the poet." He sent also a similar sum to Abû 'l-Hasan al-Husri, who was then at Kairawân. In reply "to his invitation, Abû 'l-Arab wrote him these verses:
but wonder that the pupils The sea is in the power of
'Wonder not at my head, how grief has turned it grey;
"As for al-Husri, he replied in these terms:
'You order me to take ship and cross the sea; make that proposal to some other, ' and blessings be upon you! You are not a Noah to save me in his ark, nor a Messiah ' with whom I may walk upon the waters.'
"Some time after, he went to Spain and sung the praises of al-Motamid and "other princes." He died at Tanger, A. H. 488 (A. D. 1095). The birth of al-Kamrawi (the person incidentally mentioned in this article) may be placed, by approximation, in A. H. 591 (A. D. 1194-5); he died towards the end of the month
of Safar, A. H. 651 (April, A. D. 1253), on his return from Yemen, at a place called Râs ad-Dawàir, situated between Aidab and Sawâkin, on the coast of the Sea of Aidab (the Red Sea). Kamrawi means belonging to Kamra, which is a landed estate in the province of Sarkhad, in Syria.—Of Husri we have already spoken (vol. I. p.34).-Tanja (Tanger) is a town in the West Country (al-Gharb), at two days' journey from Sibta (Ceuta), another town in the same region.Abu 'l-Arab az-Zubairi was born in Sicily, A. H. 423 (A. D. 1032); on its conquest by the (Norman) Christians (Rûm) in A. H. 464 (A. D. 1072), he emigrated to Spain and sought the protection of al-Motamid Ibn Abbåd. "I have "been informed," says Ibn as-Sairafi (8), "that he was still alive, in Spain, in "A.H. 507 (A. D. 1143-4).”
(1) In A.H. 449 (A.D. 1037–8), Kairawân fell into the power of the nomadic Arabs who had left Upper Egypt a few years before. See Abû 'l-Fedâ's Annals, year 442; and my edition of Ibn Khaldûn's History of the Berbers, in Arabic, page 17.
(2) Literally: The intervals of his drought and the rarity of his rain.
(3) Farther notice will be taken of al-Kamråwi towards the end of the article.
text might be supposed to be inexact,
in the printed text.
The reading in the printed
is not to be found in the dictionaries. were it not confirmed by the autograph. From its being here emit must have the signification of to attribute the origin of a person or
(7) He probably means to justify his non-compliance with al-Motamid's wishes, by making a pun on h own name, and giving him to understand that the Arab prefers remaining on terra firma.
(8) The hâfiz Abû 'l-Kâsim Ali Ibn Munjib Ibn Sulaiman as-Sairafi (mall) was a native of Egypt, and
composed a history of the vizirs, frequently cited by Ibn Khallikan. He must have written later than A.H. 507, since he mentions in his work that Abû'l-Arab was still alive in that year.
Abu Hasan Ali Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ali al-Hadrami, a native of Seville, in Spain, and generally known by the name of Ibn Kharùf, possessed high abilities
as a grammarian. The works which he composed on this subject afford a testimony of his great talents and extensive information; such are his excellent commentary on Sibawaih's Kitâb, and his able elucidation of Abù 'l-Kàsim azZajjaji's treatise, the Jumal (1). The master under whom he completed his studies was a native of Spain, surnamed al-Khidabb (2) Ibn Tàhir. He died at Seville, A. H. 640 (A. D. 1213-4); some say A. H. 609.-Hadrami means native of Hadramaut.—He must not be confounded with another Ibn Kharûf, who was a poet, and addressed an epistle to Bahâ ad-din Ibn Shaddad, in which he alludes to the resemblance of the names. This epistle will be noticed in the life of Ibn Shaddâd.
(1) See vol. II. page 93.
(2) The autograph has; this word signifies stout, able-bodied.
AR-RABAI THE GRAMMARIAN.
Abû 'l-Hasan Ali Ibn Isa Ibn al-Faraj Ibn Sâlih ar-Rabâi al-Baghdâdi, a native of Shiraz, but settled at Baghdad, and a grammarian of the first rank by his perfect knowledge of the science, is author of a good commentary on Abû Ali 'l-Fàrisi's Idâh (vol. I. p. 379). He studied at Baghdad under as-Sirâfi (v. I. p. 377), and then proceeded to Shîrâz, where he passed twenty years under the tuition of Abû Ali 'l-Farisi, after which he returned to the former city. Abu Ali once said: "Tell Ali al-Baghdadi that, if he were to travel from the East to the West, "he would not meet with an abler grammarian than himself." He observed also, when his pupil was quitting him, that there did not remain a single point on which he would need to ask information. Ar-Rabâi composed a number of works on grammar, one of which was a commentary on al-Jarmi's Abridgment (vol. I. p. 630). The number of pupils who profited by his lessons was very great. Ibn al-Anbâri mentions him in the Tabakât al-Udaba. He was born, A. H. 328 (A. D. 939-40), and he died at Baghdad on the eve of Saturday, the