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66 Abû

a memorial concerning these very shops in the year 282 (5). He then added : “ • Yet you are too young to have been the person.'— It was my father,' re

plied the man. That is it,' said the vizir, and I wroté my decision on his " memorial.”” When he went out, he felt much displeased if persons

walked on foot before him to testify their respect : "I do not require such a thing of

my servants,” he would exclaim ; “why then should I require it from free“born men who are under no obligation to me?” This Abû 'l-Hassan Ibn alFurât and his son al-Muhassin were put to death by Nazûk, the commander of the police guards, on Monday, the 13th of the latter Rabi, A.H. 312 (July, A.D. 924). He was born on the 23rd of the latter Rabi, A. H. 241 (September, A.D. 855). His son al-Muhassin died at the age of thirty-three years. The following particularity is mentioned by the Sahib Ibn Abbåd (see vol. I. p. 212): “ 'l-Hasan, the son of Abû Bakr al-Allâf, he who was so notorious for his immo“ derate appetite, recited to me the poems composed by his father on the cat see vol. I. p. 399), and told me that, by the cat, he meant al-Muhassin; not

daring, during the disasters of the family, to lament his fate openly or pro

nounce his name.” We shall here insert a most extraordinary anecdote: “Some time after al-Muhassin's death, his wife wished to celebrate the circum“ cision of his son, and happening to see her husband in a dream, sbe men- tioned to him that she should have much difficulty in providing for the expense “ of the ceremony; on which he told her that he had deposited a sum of ten " thousand dinars in the hands of a person whom he named. When she awoke, “she informed the family of the circumstance, and they questioned the man, “ who acknowledged that he had the money, and brought it all to them imme“diately.”—Abû ’l-Abbâs Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn al-Furât, the brother of Abù 'l-Hasan, was the most elegant penman of the age, and surpassed them also by his learning in the sciences and general literature. It was on him that the poet al-Bohtori composed the kasîda which begins thus (6):

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I passed the night displaying a feeling (of grief for thy absence) and concealing a feeling (of joy) for the presence of thy image, sent me by thyself (to console me in my dreams).

Abù ’l-Abbâs died on the eve of Saturday, the 15th of Ramadân, A. H. 291 (August, A.D. 904). Another brother of his, Abû Khattâb Jaafar Ibn Muhammad, was offered the place of vizir, which, on his refusal, was given to his son Abû ’l-Fath al-Fadl Ibn Jaafar, an able kåtib and generally known by the name of Ibn Hinzàba. His mother Hinzâba was a Greek slave. Al-Moktadir billah conferred the vizirship on him, in A. H. 320, on Monday, the 28th of the latter Rabi (May, A.D. 932); some say that he was invested with that dignity on the first of the month just mentioned. He remained in office till the 25th of Shawwal, A. H. 320 (October, A. D. 932), the day on which al-Muktadir was murdered. Al-Kâhir billah was then raised to the khalifate, and as Abů Fath Ibn Hinzàba had retired to a place of concealment, the vizirship was conferred on Muhammad Ibn Ali Ibn Mukla the kätib. Abu 'l-Fath was afterwards nominated directorgeneral of the government offices under the same khalif. Al-Kâbir was deposed and blinded with a hot iron on Wednesday, the 6th of the first Jumâda, A. H. 322 (April, A. D. 934). His successor ar-Ràdi billah, the son of al-Muktadir 520 billah, conferred the government of Syria on Abû ’l-Fath Ibn Hinzàba, who proceeded to his post, and was residing at Aleppo when the same khalif chose him for vizir and signed the act of his nomination on Sunday, the 13th of Shaabàn, A. H. 325 (June, A. D. 937). A letter was then dispatched to him, by which he was directed to repair to the capital, and, on Thursday the 6th of Shawwal, in the same year, he arrived at Baghdad. He remained there, however, but a short time, as he perceived that every thing was falling into confusion. Finding the emir Abû Bakr Muhammad Ibn Râik master of the city (7), he had a conference with him and was induced to return to Syria by the promise that the revenues of that province and of Egypt would be paid into his hands. He arrived there on the 13th of the first Rabi, A. H. 326 (January, A.D. 938), and died at Ghazza or at Ramla. Letters were sent to Baghdad announcing this event, and in them it was stated that his death took place on Sunday, the 8th of the first Jumada, A. H. 327 (March, A. D. 939). He was born on the eve of Saturday, the 22nd of Shaabàn, A. H. 279 (November, A. D. 892) (8). During his administration in Syria, all official documents were promulgated in his name. Of his son, Abû ’l-Fadl Jaafar Ibn al-Fadl, we have already spoken (vol. I. p. 319), and given the dates of his birth and death.—The facts contained in this article were extracted by me from different sources, such as the History of the Vizirs by the Sahib Ibn Abbåd, the Oiyūn as-Siar (sources of history), by Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Malik al-Hamadani (9), and the Kitâb al-Wuzard (book of

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vizirs) by Abû Abd Allah Muhammad Ibn Ahmad al-Fârisi. But none of those writers allude to the affair of Abd Allah Ibn al-Motazz, although it is closely connected with the history of Ibn al-Furât; it is therefore necessary that some notice of this occurrence should be taken here; and, as the Chronicle of Abů Jaafar Ibn Jarir at-Tabari surpasses all other historical works in the authenticity of its statements, we shall merely copy what that author says under the head of Various Events in A. H. 296 : “The leaders (of the troops) and the kâtibs (officers of the civil administration) met for the purpose of deposing the khalif al-Mukta“ dir, and, a discussion arising as to whom they should put in his place, they

agreed unanimously to fix their choice on Abd Allah Ibn al-Motazz. After "some contestation, he expressed his readiness to accede to their wishes, on " condition that there should be neither bloodshed nor war. To this they

replied that the sovereign power would pass into his hands without opposi“ tion, and that all the soldiers, officers, and kåtibs under their orders, were

ready to acknowledge him. They then took the oath of fealty towards him as “khalif. The persons at the head of this plot were Muhammad Ibn Dawûd Ibn “ al-Jarrâh (10) and Abû 'l-Muthanna Ahmad Ibn Yâkub the kâdi, the former of “ whom induced a number of the general-officers to employ violent measures

against al-Muktadir and al-Abbâs Ibn al-Hasan”—this last was then acting as vizir to the khalif.—“ Al-Abbás Ibn al-Hasan was himself engaged in the conspi

racy and had gained over a number of the generals to this project of de“ throning al-Muktadir and taking the oath of allegiance to Abd Allah Ibn “al-Motazz; and when he found that his influence over al-Muktadir was suffi“ ciently established, he judged it time to execute his design, but, at that “ moment, the other conspirators fell upon him and slew him.”— At-Tabari means to say that they slew the vizir.-" The perpetrators of this act were al“ Husain Ibn Hamdân and Wasif Ibn Sawârtikin. This occurred on Satur“ day, the 19th of the first Rabi, and, on the next morning, Sunday, the kâtibs,

generals, and kâdis deposed al-Muktadir at Baghdad and took the oath of fealty to Abd Allah Ibn al-Motazz, whom they then surnamed ar-Râdi billah (the

pleasing by God's favour). The person who administered the oath to the

“ generals in the name of Ibn al-Motazz and called them forth successively, was 321 “ Muhammad Ibn Said al-Azrak, katib of the army (secretary-general of the war

department). The same day, from morning till noon, al-Husain Ibn Ilamdàn

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“ had to sustain an obstinate combat against the pages of the palace (11). On “ the same day, the assembly convened by Muhammad Ibn Dawûd for the purpose of taking the oath of fealty to Ibn al

Motazz was dispersed by force. The “manner in which this happened was, that the eunuch called Mûnis took some “ of the pages of the palace in shazawâts”—this word, with the people of Baghdad), signifies boats—"and mounted the Tigris with them. As they passed “ the house in which Ibn al-Motazz and Muhammad Ibn Dâwûd were, they “ raised an outcry against them and shot at them with arrows.

The meeting “ was thus obliged to disperse ; the soldiers, generals, and kâtibs who were in the “ house took to flight, and Ibn al-Motazz fled also. Some of those who had

sworn him fidelity now went to al-Muktadir, and made excuses for their con“duct by stating that they had been forcibly prevented from joining him; others “concealed themselves, but were sought after and put to death. The palaces

belonging to Ibn Dawûd were pillaged by the mob, and Ibn al-Motazz was “one of those made prisoners.” — Such is at-Tabari's statement.-We shall now give some facts which we have collected from various other sources: On that day, Abd Allah Ibn al-Motazz had chosen Muhammad Ibn Dawûd for vizir, and Abû ’l-Muthanna for kâdi. On the failure of the enterprise, Ibn al-Motazz was taken prisoner, and Ibn Dawûd, who was one of the most accomplished men of his time and had composed a number of works, such as the Kitâb al-Waraka book of leaves), containing the lives of the poets, and the Kitab al-Wuzard (book of vizirs), retired to a place of concealment, and then discovered himself to Můnis, the eunuch just mentioned; but Abû 'l-Hasan Ali Ibn al-Furât was afraid of him and advised Mûnis to put him to death, which was done. His body was cast into a ditch near al-Màmûniya (12), but was afterwards carried home. He was executed in the latter Rabi of that year; his birth took place in A. H. 243 A. D. 857–8) on the very night in which Ibrahim Ibn al-Abbâs as-Sůli expired. Al-Muktadir was then reinstated in his former authority, and, as his vizir alAbbâs Ibn al-Hasan had been put to death on the day mentioned by at-Tabari, he raised Abû ’l-Hasan Ali Ibn al Furât to the vacant post. One of the first proofs which the new vizir gave of his generous character was this: Two large coffers were brought to him from the house of Ibn al-Motazz, and he said to the bearers : “Do you know what is in them?”—“Yes;” they replied, “they con“ tain lists of the names of such persons as took the oath of allegiance to him.”

VOL. II.

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-“Open them not,” he exclaimed; and then ordering a fire to be brought, he threw the coffers into it. When they were consumed, he said: “Had I opened “ them and read what was in them, I should have alienated from me the feelings of “ all the people, and given them cause of dreading me; but, by what I have done,

their hearts will be calmed and their minds set at ease.”—We may state, as a circumstance connected with this biographical notice, that, when the khalif alKâhir billah was deposed and deprived of his sight, he was reduced to the vecessity of going to the Mosque of al-Mansûr at Baghdad and asking charity, mentioning at the same time who he was. On one of those occasions Ibn Abi Mûsa al-Hashimi rose up and gave him one thousand pieces of silver. What a lesson is there for reflecting men !—We have already given a notice on Abd Allah Ibn al-Motazz (vol. II. p. 41), but the subject which we have been just treating rendered some repetition necessary. What follows was copied by us from the Kitab al-Aayân wa 'l-Amathil (History of illustrious and remarkable men) by the rais Abù 'l-Hasan Hilâl Ibn al-Muhassin as-Sábi (13) : “The anecdote which we “ bere insert is given in the words of the kådi Abû 'l-Husain Obaid Allah Ibn “ Abbâs : A man who had been a long time out of employment, and had no “ means left for his support, forged a letter in the name of Abù 'l-Hasan Ibn al“ Furât and addressed to Ibn Zanbûr al-Màridầni (14), the aâmil of Egypt, “ strongly recommending the bearer to him, and requesting that he should be “ treated with the utmost favour and kindness. On arriving at Old Cairo, he

presented this letter to Ibn Zanbûr, who conceived some doubts on the subject, as he perceived that the address was not drawn up in the usual form (15), “ and that the complimentary salutation was longer than that to which his rank “ entitled him. He therefore gave directions that the man should be closely

“ watched, and, having made him a small present, he detained him in the house 522 “ with fair promises. He then wrote to Abû 'l-Hasan Ibn al-Furát, stating that

“ he had received a letter, which he enclosed, and requesting its authenticity 10 “ be confirmed. Ibn al-Furåt read the forged letter, and found in it that the

bearer, mentioning his name, was a person of high respectability, to whom “ the writer had deep obligations, with other similar expressions usually em

ployed in filling up letters of the kind. He then passed it to his kâtibs, and “ informed them of the whole circumstance, expressing at the same time his “ astonishment at the man's audacity, and asking what was to be done with

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