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desert. He wrote some highly instructive works, such as the Ikmal, or Completion, being an elucidation of the commentary composed by al-Mazari on Muslim's collection of the Traditions, and entitled by him al-Molim (1). Another of his productions, the Masharik al-Anwâr (orient-points of the lights), contains an explanation of the obscure terms occurring in three Sahihs; namely, the Muwatta (of Malik), the collection of al-Bukhâri and that of Muslim; it is a most instructive book. He wrote also a complete commentary on Omm Zara's Tradition (2), and, in another work, entitled at-Tanbihđt (indications), he compiled much curious and useful information. In short, we may say that all his productions are excellent. Ibn Bashkuwål (vol. I. p. 491) speaks of him in these terms in the Silat : “He came to Spain in pursuit of learning, and received lessons at Cordova from”-a number of masters;—“he collected a great quan

tity of Traditions, and, in this task, he devoted much pains and care to the “ obtaining of them in a correct form. All the various branches of science (3) “ were objects of his study, and his acuteness, perspicacity, and intelligence “ were most remarkable. During a long period he acted as kâdi in his native “ town”—Ibn Bashkuwâl means Ceuta — " and discharged the duties of his

place to general satisfaction. From thence he passed to the kadiship of Gra“ nada, but this post he did not long hold.” The kâdi Iyâd composed some good poetry, of which we may quote these verses, given as his by his son Abû Abd Allah Muhammad, kâdi of Denia : “My father recited to me,” said he, “ the following lines descriptive of the khâmât, or green stalks of corn, when “ shaken by the wind, with the anemony blossoms appearing among them :

• Behold the green stalks of the corn-field bending to the gale ; they resemble a green squadron (4) put to rout, and the red anemonies represent the wounds.'”

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His son gave also the following verses as his :

Since I saw thee for the last time, God knows that I am as a bird whose wings disappoint his efforts. Were I able, I would cross the sea to meet thee, for thy absence causeth my death (5).

I met with an epistle addressed to him by Ibn al-Arif (vol. I. p. 150), and was tempted to insert it here, but found it too long. The kâdi Iyàd was born at Ceuta on the 15th of Shaabân, A. H. 476 (December, A. D. 1083), and he died at Morocco on Friday, the 7th of the latter Jumàda-others say, in Ramadàn -A. H. 544 (October, A. D. 1149). He was interred within the city, near the Ilân Gate. The place of kâdi at Granada was conferred upon him in the year

532 (A.D. 1137-8) 6.-His son, Abu Abd Allah Muhammad, died A.H. 575 (A.D. 1179-80).— Yahsubi, pronounced also Yahsabi and Yahsibi, means descended from Yahsub (or Yahsab or else Yahsib) Ibn Mâlik, the progenitor of a Himyarite tribe. 548 Ceuta (Sibta) is a well-known town in Maghrib. Granada (Gharnata) is a city

of Spain.

(1) The life of al-Mazari will be found in this work.

(2) Hajji Khalifa notices this work, but does not seem to have been acquainted with it, as he merely copies Ibn Khallikán's words. I have been unable to discover who the woman called Omm Zarà was.

(3) Read wil in the printed text.

(4) Or a dark squadron. When Muhammad took Mekka, he had a body-guard so denominated, according to the author of the Sirat ar-Rasal, from the green or dark colour of their armour. These two adjectives were nearly synonymous with the ancient Arabs; see page 417 of this volume.

(5) The only thing remarkable in these two verses is the artifice of the rhyme, which is jana haini in both.

(6) The MS. of the Bib. du Roi, No 1377, ancien fonds, contains the first part of a treatise on the kádi Iyåd, his professors, literary productions, etc. It is an excessively prolix work; the author, Ahmad Ibn Muhammad al-Makkari was nephew to the compiler of the history of Spain, extracts of which have been translated and published by M. de Gayangos.


Abû Amr Isa Ibn Omar ath-Thakafi (a member of tribe Thakif) was a grammarian and a native of Basra. Some say that he was a mawla to Khalid Ibn alWalid (who belonged to the tribe of Kuraish), but that he afterwards settled among the tribe of Thakif, for which reason he obtained that patronymic. He had a habit of employing pompous terms and unusual words in ordinary discourse and (even) in his reading of the Koran (1). A close intimacy subsisted between him and Abû Amr Ibn al-Alå (vol. II. p.399), and some of their epistles with a portion of their sittings, or private literary discussions, are still preserved. He learned the reading of the Koran from Abd Allah Ibn Abi Ishak by repeating it aloud under his tuition, and he acquired his knowledge of the various readings of the sa

cred text from Abd Allah Ibn Kathir (vol. II. p. 20, and Ibn Muhais (2); he took also lessons from al-Hasan al-Basri, (vol. I. p.370), and some curious anecdotes are related of the mode in which he read certain passages of the Koran so as to adapt them to the rules of grammar. The readings of the Koran were transmitted down from him orally by Ahmad Ibn Mûsa al-Lülùi (3), Harûn Ibn Mûsa the graromarian (4), al-Khalil Ibn Ahmad (vol. I. p. 493) Sahl Ibn Yûsuf, and Obaid Ibn Akil. He taught grammar to Sibawaih (vol. II. p. 396), and is the author of the work on that subject, entitled al-Jami (the collector). It is said that Sibawaih took this book, and having developed its contents, he inserted in it the observations made by al-Khalil (Ibn Ahmad) and others; when he had terminated the investigation of the various grammatical points and interpolated these observations, the work was attributed to him, and it is the same which is still known under the title of the Kitâb, or book of Sibawaih. In proof of the truth of this statement, an anecdote may be inserted here: When Sibawaih left Isa Ibn Omar and went to attend the lessons of al-Khalil Ibn Ahmad, he was questioned by the latter concerning Isa's works, and his reply was : “ He com

posed upwards of seventy treatises on grammar, which were all collected by a “ rich amateur and were accidentally destroyed, when in his possession. None “ of them remain in existence, except two; the Ikmal (completion), which is now “ in Fars, in the hands of such a one, and the Jâmi, that which I am now stu

dying and on the obscurities of which I am consulting you.” Al-Khalil here reflected for some time with down-cast eyes, and then, looking up, he exclaimed : “ May God have mercy on Isa !” and recited the following lines :


All the science of grammar is lost, except the portion which Isa Ibn Omar discovered to the world. There is the Ikmal and here the Jami; they are a sun and a moon to enlighten mankind.

Al-Khalil himself received (some grammatical information) from him, and it is said, that whilst Abù "l-Aswad ad-Duali had treated of the fûil and maf'al (the agent and patient, only, Isa Ibn Omar composed a book on grammar, founding his rules on the accordance of the majority of examples; that he had divided it into chapters, drawn it up in a regular form, and styled idioms the exceptions offered by the examples which were in minority. He used also to attack the Arabs of the desert (in their productions), and point out the faults into which the most famous of them, such as an-Nabigha and others, had fallen.--The anecdote which follows is related by al-Asmâi : Isa Ibn Omar said to Abû Amr Ibn alAlà : “ I speak more correctly than Maadd Ibn Adnan ever did (5).” On this Abû Amr said to him : “ You are going too far; how would you recite this verse:

* Formerly they concealed their faces with a veil, but to-day, when they appear (badana) to the spectators

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“Would you say badâna or badina ?”—“I should say badana,” said Isa.“ Then you are wrong,” replied the other; “ the verb bada, with the aorist

yabda, signifies to appear, but the verb bada, with the aorist yabda, signifies to “ commence a thing (6); the right reading is badúna.” It was Abů Amr's design to lead him into the mistake, for, in this case, the Arabs of the desert neither say badâna nor badina but badana.---An example of his pompous language is thus given by al-Jauhari in his Sahâh : “ Isa Ibn Omar fell off his ass and the people

gathered round him, on which he said : ma lakum? takûlûtum alaiya takůkuwakum ala zi jinnatin! ifrankiù anni; which means : ma lakum? tajammatum 519

alaiya tajammudkum ala majnûn! inkashifa anni (what is the matter with you ?

you gather round me as you would round a madmanl be off and leave me)."-I find this story told differently in a collection of anecdotes, where it is said that, being troubled with asthma, he fell down in the street one day, and the people gathered round him, saying : “ He has the falling-sickness ;” and some began to recite passages of the Koran (to conjure the evil spirit out of him), whilst others prayed for protection against the genii. When he recovered from his swoon and saw the crowd about him, he pronounced the above words and one of the spectators said: “The “spirit which possesses him is speaking Indian.”—It is related also that Omar Ibn Hubaira al-Fazâri, the governor of Persian and Arabian Iråk, having inflicted on him the punishment of whipping, the only words he said were : wallahi! in kidnat illa uthaiyában fi usaisâtin kabadaha ashshårûka (by Allah! it was only some trisles of clothes in small baskets, and your tithe collectors have taken them). Numerous anecdotes of a similar nature are told of him. He died A. H. 149 (A. D. 766-7:Some say that it was Yûsuf Ibn Omar, another governor of the two Iráks, who had him punished. The reason of this was, that, on taking possession of his government as successor to Khâlid Ibn Abd Allah al-Kasri (vol. I. p. 484), he persecuted all his predecessor's friends, and one of them having confided

some property to Isa, he received information of the circumstance and dispatched a written order to his lieutenant at Basra, directing him to put Isa Ibn Omar in chains and send him to him. The lieutenant called in a blacksmith and ordered him to rivet the fetters; this operation being performed, he said to the prisoner : “You have nothing to fear; the emir merely wants you to instruct “his son.”—“And what then is the meaning of the fetters?” said Isa ; which words passed into a proverb at Basra. When brought before Yûsuf and questioned concerning the deposit, he denied it, on which the emir ordered him to be flogged; and, on feeling the effects of the first strokes, he pronounced the words above mentioned.

(1) Such licences were permitted in early times. See page 401 of this volume.

(2) Ibn Muhais, a mawla to the tribe of Sahm and a native of Mekka, was the principal Koran-reader of his time in that city. His authority as a traditionist is well established. He died at Mekka, A. H. 123 (A. D. 740–1). Some say that his real name was Abd ar-Rahmân, others, Muhammad Ibn Abd ar-Rahmán.- (Tabakat al-Kurrd. MS. No. 742, fol. 21.)

(3) Ahmad Ibn Mûsa Ibn Abi Maryam al-Loldi, a member of the tribe of Khuzâa, was a teacher of the Koran-readings and the Traditions.- (Tab. al-Kurra, fol. 43.)- The date of his death is not mentioned.

(4) Abu Abd Allah Hárún Ibn Musa Ibn Sharik, a member of the tribe of Taghlib and a native of Damascus, was chief of the teachers of the Koran-readings in that city, and was generally designated by the name of Harûn al-Akhfash. In the pursuit of knowledge he visited various countries and received Traditions from numerous masters. He composed some works on the readings and on grammar, and died in the month of Safar, A. H. 292 (Dec.-Jan. A.D. 904-8), aged ninety-two years. — (Tab. al-Kurrd, fol. 67.)

(8) See vol. I. page 529, note (3).

(6) It must be observed that badana, the reading approved of by Isa, is a derivation from the verb bada (to commence'.


Abû Mûsa Isa Ibn Abd al-Aziz Ibn Yalalbakht Ibn Isa Ibn Yùmàrili al-Juzuli al-Yazdaktani was a grammarian of the highest eminence, skilled in the subtilities of the science, and well acquainted with its difficulties and exceptional points. He composed on this subject a mukaddama or introduction which he intitled al-Kânûn (the canon), and wherein he conveyed information of the most curious

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