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menced from that period.—This Nasr, son of Abbàs, is the same who murdered az-Zafir, sovereign of Egypt (vol. I. p. 222).

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(1) See M. Quatremère's Notice sur les Curdes in the Notices et Extraits, tom. XIII. page 318. (2) In the autograph, this name is written thus thés

(3) In the État des provinces et des villages de l'Égypte, subjoined to M. de Sacy's translation of Abd alLatif, the place there called Dalas jody is indicated as belonging to the province of Bahnasa. See page 689 of that excellent work. We read in the Marasid : Dilds: an extensive province in the Said of Egypt (Upper · Egypt). Its city (which bears the same name) is counted as a dependence of the province of Bahnasa.”

(4) In place of aën the autograph has džia, that he then strangled him. This reading is too absurd to be admitted.

(8) The lives of the three last are given in this work. In the life of Yahya Ibn Tamim, the occurrence here related is again noticed with additional particulars.

(6) See vol. I. pages 160, 172, 614.
(7) Compare the note (37), page 156, vol.l: of M. de Sacy's Chrestomathie, with what follows here.


Abû 'l-Hasan Ali, son to the sultan Salah ad-din Yûsuf Ibn Aiyûb, and surnamed al

Malik al-Afdal (the most excellent prince) Nûr ad-din (the light of the faith), made his studies at Alexandria under the imam Ibn Auf az-Zuhri, and at Old Cairo under the learned grammarian Ibn Bari (1). In Syria also he received certificates of proficiency from Abů ’l-Husain Ahmad Ibn Hamza Ibn Ali asSulami, Abû Abd Allah Muhammad Ibn Ali Ibn Sadaka al-Harrâni, and other 517 masters, and in Egypt from Abû 'l-Kâsim Hibat Allah Ibn Ali Ibn Masûd, Abû Abd Allah Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Hâmid, and others. He wrote a fair hand and possessed many other accomplishments.' This prince was the eldest of Salah ad-din's sons, and his acknowledged successor. On the death of his father, al-Malik al-Afdal (the subject of this article) was then with him at Damascus, and took possession of that kingdom, whilst his brother al-Malik al-Aziz obtained that of Egypt, as has been already mentioned (vol. II. p. 195), and their brother al-Malik az-Zahir continued to hold Aleppo. It would be too long to trace here



the causes of the dissension which sprung up between al-Malik al-Afdal and his brother (al-Malik al-Aziz); we shall merely state that it terminated by his losing Damascus, which was besieged and taken from him by his brother and his uncle al-Malik al-Aâdil (2). He then removed to the city of Sarkhad, which they had granted to him on his defeat, but he had resided there for a short time only, when his presence was required in Egypt, that he might act as atâbek (3) to the young prince al-Malik al-Mansûr Muhammad, who had succeeded to the government of that province on the death of his father al-Malik al-Aziz. He received this summons on the eve of Wednesday, the 29th of Safar, A. H. 595 (January, A.D. 1199; thirty-eight days) after his brother's death. On his arrival, he walked by the side of the horse, whenever his nephew rode out; but a short time after, al-Malik al-Aâdil entered Egypt and took it into his own possession. Al-Malik al-Afdal was then presented by him with the gift of some cities in the eastern part of the empire, but on proceeding thither, he was unable to obtain possession of any other except Sumaisât, where he spent the remainder of his life. One of the finest passages from al-Kâdi ’l-Fâdil's pen is contained in a letter written during these events ; he says: “ The fathers of “ this illustrious house lived in concord, and they reigned; but the sons were “disunited, and they perished ! It is thus that, when a star descends towards “ the west, no means exist of bringing it back to the east; and when a rent

appears in a garment, it must end by being torn in pieces! How can fate be

stopped in its progress, when its issue is predestined ? What mortal can “ contend against an adversary who has God on his side ?” Al-Malik alAfdal was a man of talent and information, a good penman, and gifted with a noble mind; he favoured the learned and showed them profound respect. Some verses composed by him are still preserved, and amongst the pieces attributed to him is the following, which he is said to have addressed to the imam (the khalif) an-Nasir, complaining of his uncle al-Malik al-A âdil (Abu Bakr) and his nephew al-Malik al-Aziz (Othmân), who had deprived him of Damascus :


My lord ! Abu Bakr and his companion Othman have wrested away the just rights of Ali by the sword. And yet it was he whom his father had appointed to rule over them; and whilst he ruled, all things went right. But they opposed him and broke the pact which bound them; their guilt is mutual, and the law is clear (4). Observe how misfortune accompanies this name; an Ali has experienced from those of modern times the same treatment which (the khalif) Ali received in days of old.

The answer which he received from the Imâm an-Nasir commenced with these

verses :

Thy letter has arrived, 0 son of Yusuf ! declaring such love (for us) as proves thy unsullied origin. They deprived Ali of his rights, because none remained in Yathrub (Medina) to assist him when the Prophet was no more. But rejoice ; a day of reckoning awaits them, and thy assister will be the Imám Assister (an-Nasir).

Al-Malik al-Afdal was born at Cairo, A. H. 566—some say 565—on the afternoon of the Id al-Fitr (5) (June, A. D. 1171), whilst his father was acting as vizir to the Egyptians. He died suddenly at Sumaisât, in the month of Safàr, A. H. 622 (Feb.-March, A. D. 1225.) His body was borne to Aleppo and interred in the mausoleum which bears his name and lies outside the city, near the Mash'had, or funeral chapel, of al-Harawi (6).- Sumaisât is a fortress of Syria, 318 situated on the Syrian side of the Euphrates between Kalât ar-Rûm and Malatiya. It touches the confines of Asia Minor (Bilad ar-Rum).

(1) See vol. II. pages 197 and 70. (2) The particulars will be found in M. Reinaud's Extraits des auteurs arabes relatifs aux croisades,

page 378.

(3) See vol. I. page 330.
(4) The law is, that he who usurps the property of another is bound to make restitution.

(8) The Id al-Fitr, or Festival of the breaking of the Fast, is held on the first day of the month of Shawwal.

(6) This may perhaps be the mausoleum erected over the grave of the traveller al-Harawi. See page 287 of this volume. - Kamål ad-din Ibn al-Adim says, in his History of Aleppo, that al-Afdal was buried beside his mother, in the turba, or funeral chapel, south of the Makam. A suburb called the Makamat still exists close to Aleppo, on the south-east side.


Abû 'l-Hasan Ali Ibn Muhammad Ibn Mûsa Ibn al-Hasan Ibn al-Furât acted three times as vizir to the khalif al-Muktadir billah, the son of al-Motadid billah. His first appointment was on the 8th of the first Rabi — some say, the 23rd —

A.H. 296 (December, A.D. 908); and he remained in office till the 4th of Zù 'lHijja, A. H. 299 (July, A. D. 912), when the khalif arrested him and seized on all his riches with the property contained in his palace. From that time till he was reinstated, the produce of his estates (to the public treasury) amounted to seven millions of dinars. It is said that he (was the author of his own misfortune, having) addressed a letter to the Arabs of the desert, inviting them to come and take Baghdad by surprise; but this accusation is by no means well established. His second appointment was on Monday, the 8th of Zù ’l-Hijja, A.H. 304 (June, A. D. 917), and, on this occasion, the khalif arrayed him in seven pelisses of honour, and sent to his house three hundred thousand dirhims to (be distributed amongst) his pages, fifty mules to carry his baggage, twenty eunuchs, and furniture of all sorts. On that day, the quantity of wax-lights required for him was so great, that the price augmented by a carat of gold to each mann (2); and, as the weather was excessively hot, forty thousand pounds' weight of snow was used in cooling the liquors served to the company. He continued in place till Thursday, the 22nd of the first Jumada, A. H. 306 (October, A. D. 918), when he was arrested and detained in prison; but was liberated on Thursday, the 22nd of the latter Rabi, A. H. 311 (August, A. D. 923), and again restored to his post. On the day of his release from confinement, he gave vent to his ill humour by exacting heavy sums from different persons, and he left free career to the rapacity and violence of his son Abù 'l-Muhassin, who immediately put to death Hamid Ibn al-Abbâs, his father's predecessor in the vizirship, and indulged in his passion for bloodshed. On the 9th of the latter Rabî, A. H. 312 (July, A.D. 924), the khalif again caused Ibn al-Furât to be arrested ; but some say that this occurred on Tuesday, the 7th of the first Rabi. He was then in possession of great wealth (upwards of ten millions of dinars), and his landed estates produced him a yearly revenue of one million of dinars, which sum he employed for his ordinary expenses. Abû Bakr as-Sůli relates that, having one day recited to the vizir a kasida in his praise, he received from him six hundred dinars.—Ibn al-Furât was a katib (3) of the highest capacity and information; the khalif al-Motadid said (some time after his accession) to (his vizir) Obaid Allah Ibn Sulaiman (4): “I have received a kingdom in disorder, a country in ruin, "and a treasury nearly empty; I therefore wish to be informed what


be o the revenues of the state, so as to regulate the expenditure accordingly.” Obaid Allah applied to a number of the kåtibs for an answer to this demand, but they all required a month to draw one up. Abû ’l-Hasan Ibn al-Furât and his brother al-Abbâs, who were at that time out of place and detained in prison, received intelligence of what was going forward, and, in the space of two days, they drew up the answer and sent it in. As Obaid Allah knew that it would be impossible to corceal from the khalif who were the authors of the document, he mentioned them to him with commendation, and they were taken into favour. Ibn al-Furât had in his palace a room for the preparation of beverages (hujra sharåb), to which persons of all classes sent their servant boys to bring home whatever sherbets, beer, and sirops they required. He pensioned five thousand persons chosen from among the learned, the pious, the persons of respectable family, and the poor; most of them received one hundred dinars a month, and a few only five dinars or intermediate sums. As-Sůli says : “ And one merito“torious part of his conduct, wherein no one had as yet set the example, was, “ that when papers were received by him containing accusations against any “ individual, one of his pages came into the antechamber and called out : “ • Where is such a one, the informer (meaning the author of the paper)? When “ people discovered this to be his regular custom, they abstained from all such

secret accusations.” One day, in a burst of anger, he ordered a hundred 519 lashes of a whip to be inflicted on a man with whom he was displeased; he then sent word to give him fifty lashes only; and then he sent again to forbid the flogging and to give him twenty pieces of gold. This sum made the poor

fellow amends for his fright.— As-Sûli says that, on the vizir's recovery from an attack of sickness, he examined the letters and written applications which had accumulated during the interval, and (in that sitting) he perused one thousand letters and wrote his approval or negative on one thousand memorials. “We then said to each other,” adds as-Sůli : ‘By Allah ! let no one know of “« this, lest the evil eye of some jealous person light upon him.'

him.' I remarked,” says the same narrator, “as a striking example of his courtly manners, that “ when he called for the khalif's signet in order lo seal any document, he stood

up to receive it, denoting thereby his high respect for the khalif's dignity.-“I saw him one day giving a public audience for the redress of grievances, " and two men who were in litigation about some shops in al-Karkh (the suburb

of Baghdad) having come before him, he said to one of them: “You presented me

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