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in being sprung from so illustrious a parent. He held a long discourse on this topic, till the poet, al-Farazdak, who happened to be present and wished to humble his pride, made the remark that, had Abû Mûsa possessed no other merit than that of having cupped the Prophet, such an honour would have been quite sufficient for his reputation. On this, Abû Burda got angry (3) and replied: "Your observation is true, but he never cupped any person either be"fore or after."-" By Allah!" exclaimed al-Farazdak, “Abû Mûsa was too good a man to dare make his first essay in cupping on the person of the Pro"phet!" This retort silenced Abû Burda and forced him to smother his anger. The following anecdote is related by Ghars an-Nima as-Sâbi (4) in one of his works: "Abû Safwân Khâlid Ibn Safwân, a member of the tribe of "Tamim, was celebrated as an eloquent speaker. He used to visit Bilal Ibn "Abi Burda and converse with him, but his language was frequently ungram"matical. This grew at length so irksome to Bilal, that he said to him: 0) “Khâlid! you make me narrations fit for khalifs to hear, but you commit as


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many faults against grammar as the women who carry water in the streets.' "Stung with this reproach, Khalid went to learn grammar at the mosque, and 344 "some time after he lost his sight. From that period, whenever Bilal rode by "in state, he used to ask who it was, and on being answered that it was the "emir, he would say: There goes a summer-cloud, soon to be dispelled.' "When this was told to Bilal, he exclaimed: 'By Allah! it shall not be dispelled till he get a full shower from it;' and he then ordered him a whipping "of two hundred strokes. This Khâlid was extremely giddy and never paid "the slightest attention to what he said. He drew his descent from Amr Ibn "al-Ahtam (5), one of Muhammad's companions; his grandfather Abd Allah being that person's son. Al-Ahtam was the son of Sumai Ibn Sinan Ibn “Khâlid Ibn Minkar, of the tribe of Tamim; and for this reason he bore the "surnames of al-Minkari and at-Tamimi. His real name was Sinân, but when Kais Ibn Aâsim al-Minkâri (6) struck him across the mouth with his bow and "broke his front teeth, he was called al-Ahtam (broken-tooth)." that his teeth were broken on the battle-day of al-Kulâb (7). Shabba (8) was an uncle of this Khâlid.-Abû Burda died A. H. 103 (A. D. 721-2), but others place this event in the years 104, 106, and 107. (Muham

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mad) Ibn Saad says that Abû Burda and as-Shâbi died in the year 103 and on

the same day, which was a Friday.-We shall explain the mean ng of the surname al-Ashari in the life of Abû 'l-Hasan (Ali) al-Ashari.

(1) The conversion of the Yemenites took place in the tenth year of the Hijra.

(2) I am unable to fix with any certainty the situation of this place. The author of the Merasid merely says: “al-Ghark, a village in the dependencies of Marw-al-Ghork, a village in Yemâma, and a plantation of date"trees belonging to the tribe of Adi Ibn Hanifa."

(3) The profession of a cupper was considered by some jurisconsults as degrading. In one of the Traditions it is said: "The price of a dog is impure, and the wages of fornication are impure, and the pay of a cupper is "impure."―(Matthew's Mishcat, vol. II. page 2. See also the first volume of the present work, p. 301.)

(4) Mention has been made of this historian in the first volume, page 290.

(5) Amr, the son of Sinân al-Ahtam, an eminent chief of the tribe of Tamim, an able orator and a good poet, flourished before and after the promulgation of Islamism. He and Amr Ibn Zibrikan went together to Muhammad and embraced his religion. He died A.H. 58 (A D 677–8). For further information see Rasmussen's Historia Anteislamica, p. 119 note; and his Additamenta ad Hist. Islam. p. 33.

(6) See vol. I. page 166, note (17); Rasmussen's Additamenta, p. 67, and Hist. Anteisl.— Al-Minkari, the surname borne by Kais, is derived from Minkar, the name of one of his ancestors, descended from Tamim. (7) For the account of this battle or skirmish see Rasmussen's Hist. Anteislam. p 117.

(8) Shabib Ibn Shabba, a celebrated preacher (Fihrist, fol. 171), was a contemporary of the khalif al-Mahdi. That prince had a daughter named al-Yâkûta, of whom he was so fond that he could not bear to be separated from her a single instant. He therefore had her attired in the uniform of a page, so that she might accompany him when he rode out. She died before him, and he continued inconsolable for her loss till Shabib Ibn Shabba addressed to him a short but most effective exhortation.—(Ibn al-Athir's Kamil, year 169.)


Abù Amr Aâmir as-Shâbi was the son of Sharâhil Ibn Abd Ibn (4) Zì Kibâr : Zû Kibâr was one of the princes of Yemen. As-Shâbi sprang from Himyar and was counted as a member of the tribe of Hamdân, but Kùfa was the place of his birth. He held a high rank among the Tabis and was distinguished also by his profound learning. It is stated that Ibn Omar (2) walked past him one day whilst he was relating the history of a victorious campaign made by the first Moslems, and said, on hearing the narration which he made: "He knows what "was done at the expedition better than I who was with it." Az-Zuhri made the remark that the really learned men were four in number: Ibn al-Musaiyab (3) at Medina, as-Shâbi at Kufa, al-Hasan al-Basri (4) at Basra, and Mak

hûl (5) in Syria. It is said that he conversed with five hundred of the Prophet's companions. The following anecdote is related by himself: Abd al-Malik Ibn Marwan sent me on an embassy to the king of the Greeks; and that prince addressed me a number of questions, to all of which I returned satisfactory answers. It was not customary for ambassadors to make a long stay at his court, but he detained me so many days that I desired impatiently to depart. When on the point of quitting him he said to me: "Are you of a royal family?" to which I replied: "No; I am one of the general class of Arabs." On this he muttered some words and a paper was put in my hand: "When you have given "to your master an account of your mission," said he, " present this paper to "him." Having returned to Abd al-Malik, I informed him of the results of my embassy, but I never thought of the paper, and it was only on passing through another part of the palace with the intention of withdrawing, that I recollected it. I immediately went back and presented it to him. When he had perused it he asked me if the Greek sovereign had said any thing to me before he gave me the paper? "Yes," I replied, "he asked me if I was of a royal family, and I "answered that I belonged to the general class of the Arabs." I then retired and had reached the door when I was brought back into the khalif's presence. "Do you know," said he, "what is in this paper?"—"No," said I; on which he told me to read it. It contained these words: I am astonished that a people who have among them a man like this could have chosen any other but him for their ruler. "Allah!" I exclaimed, "had I known the contents, I should not have taken charge of it; had he ever seen you, he would not have said such a thing!" "Are you aware," said Abd al-Malik, "why he wrote it."—"I am not.”"It was because he envied me so able a servant as you, and hoped to incite me by this to put you to death." These words, continues as-Shabi, reached at length the ears of the Greek king, who acknowledged that such was really his design.-As-Shâbi once spoke to Omar Ibn Hubaira, the governor of the two Iraks, in favour of some prisoners, and asked him to set them at liberty; but not being able to obtain his consent, he addressed him in these terms: "O emir! have imprisoned them without cause, let your justice deliver them; and 343 "if they be guilty, let your clemency be ample enough to reach them." Ibn Hubaira immediately set them free.-It is stated by Katâda that as-Shâbi was born four years before the death of the khalif Omar (which happened A. H. 23),

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but Khalifa Ibn Khaiyât (6) mentions that al-Hasan al-Basri and he were born in the year 24, and al-Asmâi says that he came into the world at Kûfa, A.H. 47.—As-Shabi was a thin emaciated man, and he once said, on being asked the cause · "I was straitened for room in my mother's womb." The fact was that she had two sons at a birth, and (Ibn Kutaiba,) the author of the Kitâb al-Maârif pretends that she was pregnant with him for two years.—It is related that alHajjaj Ibn Yusuf ath-Thakafi said to him one day: "How much is your yearly salary?" (kam ataak, according to the vulgar pronunciation), to which as-Shâbi replied (in the same jargon): "Two thousand dinars" (alfain).—"Tut!" exclaimed al-Hajjaj, "kam atâuka?" (repeating the question correctly), and as-Shâbi then answered (grammatically): alfâni. "Why," said al-Hajjaj, "did you speak incorrectly at first?"-"The emir spoke false grammar," replied he, " and I spoke false grammar; and when he spoke with the right inflexions, I did the "same; for I could not have allowed myself to speak grammatically when the "emir did not." Al-Hajjaj was highly pleased with this answer and made him a present.-As-Shabi was inclined to pleasantry; he was one day sitting in his house with a female when a person came in and asked: "Which of you two is "as-Shâbi?" To which he replied: "She is the man."- He was born in the seventh year of the khalifat of Othman, (A. H. 30, A. D. 650-1); others say, however, in A.H. 20 or A.H. 31; but it is related that he himself mentioned that his birth took place the year in which the town of Jalûlâ was taken, and this occurred A. H. 19 (A. D. 640) (7): he died suddenly, A. H. 104 (A. D. 722-3); other accounts say 103, 106, 107, and 105. His mother was one of the captives made at Jalûlà.—Shâbi means belonging to Shab, a branch of the tribe of Hamdan. Al-Jauhari says: "This relative adjective is derived from zû-Shâbain "(the double-valleyed), which is a mountain in Yemen, where Hasan Ibn Amr "the Himyarite (8) and his children took up their residence, and where he was "buried. The descendants of that family who inhabit Kûfa are calledthe Shâ"biûn; those in Egypt and Maghrib are styled al-Ushûb; in Syria the name of "Shâbânîûn is given to them, and in Yemen they are known as the people of "Zû Shâbain.”—Jalûld is the name of a town in the province of Fars, where a famous battle was fought in the time of Muhammad's companions.-As-Shâbi often cited this verse of Miskin ad-Dârimi (9):

To judge of a man's prudence, observe him when provoked, not when pleased.

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(5) The life of Mak'hûl and that of az-Zuhri will be given by the author of this work.

(6) His life is given in the first volume, page 492, but by a strange mistake his father's name is written throughout that article Haiyât.

(7) The celebrated battle of Jalûla was fought A. H. 16. See Abû 'l-Fedâ's Annals; Price's Retrospect, vol I. page 124.

(8) This is the prince whom Hamza al-Ispahâni mentions as the immediate predecessor of Zû Shanâtir, the celebrated tyrant of Yemen, who was slain by Zû Nuwâs. (See Schulten's Historia Ioctanidarum, p. 37.)

(9) M. de Sacy says, in his Anthologie Grammaticale, p. 399, that this ancient poet's real name was Rabia Ibn Aamir Ibn Onaif; but at-Tabrîzi says in his commentary on the Hamâsa, p. 744, that according to Abû 'lAla, Miskin's name was Amr.


Abû 'l-Fadl al-Abbâs Ibn al-Ahnaf Ibn al-Aswad Ibn Talha Ibn Jarâdin (1) Ibn Kalada Ibn Khudaim (2) Ibn Shihâb Ibn Sâlim Ibn Haiya Ibn Kulaib Ibn Abd Allah Ibn Adi Ibn Hanîfa Ibn Lujaim al-Hanafi al-Yamâmi, a celebrated poet, was gifted with a tender spirit and a subtle wit; all his poems are love pieces, and the diwân of his works does not contain any eulogium. The following verses from one of his kasîdas may serve as an example of his pathetic style:

Desist, self-tormentor! thus only can thy woes be healed. Thy eyes have exhausted their tears in weeping; try then to find others shedding copious drops, and with them recruit the last of thine (3). But who would lend thee his eyes that thou mayest weep with them? Were eyes ever lent that their tears might be shed?

The two next lines, extracted from a piece of verse, are also his, but some at- 346 tribute them to Bashshâr Ibn Burd (4); and Abû Ali 'l-Kâli (5) mentions in his Amali that Bashshår said: "A boy of the tribe of Hanifa (6) kept running in "and out of where we were till he at length recited these lines :


They who caused me to taste their love now make me weep; they awoke my heart to 'passion, but then their hearts yielded to slumber. They roused me, but when I stood

' up with the burden which they placed upon me, they sank into repose.'"

The following verses are also his :

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