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AL-MALIK AZ-ZAHIR, SOVEREIGN OF ALEPPO.
Abù 'l-Fath Ghazi, surnamed also Abů Mansûr, and entitled al-Malik az-Zahir (the protecting prince) Ghiàth ad-din (aid to the faith), was a son of the Sultan Salah ad-din Yûsuf Ibn Aiyûb, and sovereign of Aleppo. The character of this prince procured him general respect; he was resolute, vigilant, studious of the welfare of his subjects, well acquainted with the proceedings of contemporary) princes, animated with a lofty spirit, skilful in the administration and government of the empire, diffusing justice throughout the land, fond of the learned, and generous to poets. His father granted him the kingdom of Aleppo in the year 582 (A. D. 1186-7), on the abdication of his (az-Zahir’s) uncle, al-Malik al-Aậdil (1), who, as is well known, accepted another post. From amongst the curious anecdotes told of his quick apprehension, the following may be cited as an example: Having taken his seat one day to review his troops, the (members of the) war oflice, who were in their places before him, questioned each soldier successively as he came up, and inscribed his name in the register. One of them being asked what he was called, kissed the ground in reply. None of the clerks understood his meaning, and when they repeated the question, al-Malik az-Zâhir, who bad immediately perceived the motive of his conduct, said : “ His name “ is Ghàzi ;” and this was really the case: the soldier having abstained, through respect, from pronouncing a name similar to that of the sultan. Nu-561 merous stories of this kind are related of him, but it is needless to lengthen our article by repeating them. He was born at Cairo, on the 15th of Ramadân, A. H. 568 (May, A. D. 1173), in the eighth year of his father's reign in Egypt; and he died at the castle of Aleppo, on the eve of the 23rd of the latter Jumâda, A. H. 613 (October, A. D. 1216). He was interred in the castle, but the Tuwashi (eunuch) Shihab ad-din Toghril, the atâbek (tutor) of his son, al-Malik al-Aziz, having founded a college at the foot of the castle, and erected in it a funeral chapel, caused the body of az-Zahir to be removed thither. It is a singular coincidence that the very day and very month in which he died were the same in which he made his entry into Aleppo as sovereign in the year 582. The poet Abû 'l-Wafà Sharaf ad-din Râjih (2) Ibn Ismail Ibn Abi 'l-Kâsim al-Asadi al-Hilli has displayed no inferior talent in the following kasîda, wherein he laments
al-Malik az-Zahir’s death, and celebrates the praises of his two sons, the sultan Muhammad al-Malik al-Aziz (the mighty prince) and (Ahmad, al-Malik as-Salih (the virtuous prince), the sovereign of Ain Tàb (3):
Ask of fate, provided it hearken to him that summons it, whom it has clutched in its beak and its talons? Reproach it, I implore thee, with the calamities it inflicts, even though it turn away the ear from him who reproaches it. May God protect me! how often, in my amazement, have I turned my eyes towards a sky of glory of which all the stars have set! What has happened to me? The light of as-Shahba (Aleppo) is, for me, changed into impenetrable darkness! Is it then true that the sacred person of the warrior (al-Ghazi), the assister (Ghiath), the son of Yûsuf, has not been respected, and that his splendid retinue is frustrated of his presence ?-Alas ! 'tis too true! the sun of our eulogiums is eclipsed; the heavens of glorious deeds have been rolled up, and the paths of prosperity are straitened. Who can tell me about that mountain (of glory)? did its foundations sink? or did its side yield to the stroke of death? Yes! that mountain, firm as it was, has been shaken; and its shoulders have trembled before the storms of fate. That ocean (of beneficence), once overflowing, and whose waves dashed to earth's remotest bounds, is now dried up! Blasted be the hand of fate! what a spiteful sword did it wield against such glory! broken be the blade of that sword! Though the raindrops of Ghiâth ad-din's beneficence be now withheld, its show ers were once shed over every land. How can the man who lived in hope and now finds his efforts fruitlesshow can he feel pleasure in life after the loss of Ibn Yûsuf ? His desires have obtained no success; his camels have not halted in a land of bounty; their pasture was the parsimonious gift of a frowning year (") and his (empty) saddle-bag is dissatisfied with its
He is gone, the prince who placed mankind under the shadow of his justice, and secured them from the treacherous stings of fate (5). How many haughty fortresses have been violated by his sword ! how many the unprotected whom his squadrons have defended! I now see the throne of the empire vacant; is there one among you to tell me where is its master ? If any ask me wherefore flow my tears, my heart may give him answer with its sighs. How many wounds cover (our) faithful hearts, consumed, alas! with burning grief whilst the female mourners are lamenting! Has he yielded before the points of his spears were broken ?—before the edges of his swords were blunted in the combat ? before his warriors recoiled from the shock of death ?-before his warhorses were overwhelmed by the ranks of the foe? Was no vengeance taken in a day of dreadful battle, where his steeds might be seen dashing through the clouds of dust? O thou who hast clothed me in an ample robe of grief! would it be right in me to let consolation strip it off? I served thee faithfully whilst the garden of thy glory covered me with its shade—whilst the lake of thy generosity offered its limpid draughts. Thou badest me draw near and sit in a place of honour, because I spoke thy praises; yet these were exacted by thy virtues and could apply to thee alone. (But now, when I seek thy wonted presence,) why does the permission tarry? I who was never of those whom the usher repelled from the palace-door! On the day we lost thee, the sun withheld his light; and yet, that day no eclipse obscured his disk. How could the sword of thy resolution be thus blunted ? How could the steed of generosity have stumbled whilst thou wert its rider. O Ghiâth! who will shed kindness upon the orphans, when showers quench (6) no longer the thirsty year? Who will now uphold the princes for whom thou wert a protecting shade in every vicissitude of fortune. - O thou who hast aban
doned me! behold me now offer peace to my enemy; when he injures me in earnest, I must take it as a jest. May the grey (7) clouds of morning water thy grave; may the copious rains of evening descend upon it! Though the light of thy flambeau be quenched, yet long did its rays dispel the darkness of night. But now, in the mighty prince (8) Muhammad, we find what we were expecting-a morning dawn to guide us-a hero in whom the lofty pride and dignity of his fathers fail not; who subdues every adversary. But he who had his father for guide in noble enterprises, cannot but reach the object of his efforts. And as-Salih promotes the welfare of his subjects; he is for them a guardian whose salary shall not be withheld. To behold true kings, let mortals look on Ahmad and Muhammad; all other princes will then appear contemptible. They have attained the goal of honour which Ghåzi the son of Yûsuf already reached, and the glory which he acquired did not fade in their possession. Were it not for them, the horizon of the world had been darkened from east to west on the death of Ghazi. Despite of Fortune, their territories shall be protected by lances the points of which bear death to lions. How many misfortunes whose first stroke was painful, and which yet ended in joy! O ye two propitious moons which have dispelled the darkness of affliction), so that the last of its flying bands turned not back towards the earth! shall thy father's slave and eulogist remain in Aleppo, or must his camels depart with their burden? We have lost al-Ghaith; but if you will, you can assist a man wounded by the arrows which misfortune aimed against him. I am now as if I had never stood before him, addressing him (on each success) with loud congratulations, whilst bis gifts smiled in the faces of my hopes. May you both enjoy the rank you have attained, and may you be preserved till you reach the highest station in an exalted empire !
This kasida, so remarkable for its elegance, contains some passages borrowed from the elegy composed by Omára tal-Yamani on the death of as-Salih Ibn Ruzzik, and of which we have already quoted a portion (vol. I. p.659). It would seem that our poet had taken that piece for his model; the measure is certainly the same, and although the penultimate letter in which it rhymes is different, the wasl, 563 or final letter, is the same. He must probably have read Omara's poem and composed his own in imitation of it.- On the death of al-Malik az-Zahir, the supreme authority and the sovereignty of Aleppo devolved to his son, Abû 'l-Muzuflar Muhammad, surnamed al-Malik al-Aziz (the mighty prince) Ghiath ad-din (aid to the faith). This prince was born at Aleppo, on Thursday the 5th of Zù ’l-Hijja, A. H. 610 (April, A. D. 1214), and he died in that city on Wednesday, the 4th of the first Rabi, A. H. 634 (November, A. D. 1236). I was at Aleppo when his death took place. He was interred in the castle, and his son, Abù 'lMuzaffar Yûsuf, surnamed al-Malik an-Nasir (the helping prince) Salâh ad-din (the wcal of religion), was raised to the throne. This prince's kingdom acquired great extension, as he obtained possession of a number of towns in Mesopotamia
after the defeat of the Khowarezmites, towards the latter end of the year 641 and the commencement of 6/2 (9). In that campaign his army was commanded by al-Malik al-Mansûr, lord of Emessa. He then obtained possession of Damascus and the province of Syria, on Sunday, 17th of the latter Rabi, A. H. 648 (July, A. D. 1250). His birth took place in the castle of Aleppo, on the 19th of Ramadân, A. H. 627 (August, A. D. 1230). When the Tartars came against him and obtained possession of Syria, he went forth from Damascus, in the month of Safar, A. H. 658 (Jan.-Feb., A. D. 1260), and lost his life near Marâgha, in the province of Adarbaijan, on the 23rd of Shawwal (October) of that year: so, at least, it has been stated. His history is well known (10).—His uncle Ahmad, son of alMalik az-Zahir, lord of Ain Tâb, and surnamed al-Malik as-Sâlih (the virtuous prince) Salâh ad-din (weal of religion, died at that place in the month of Shaabàn, A. H. 651 (October, A. D. 1253). He was born at Aleppo, in the month of Safar, A. II. 600 (Oct.-Nov. A. D. 1 203).-Although al-Aziz was younger than his brother as-Sâlih, they chose him for sovereign, because his mother, Safiya Khâtûn, was daughter to al-Malik al-Aâdil Ibn Aiyûb; they were decided in their preference by the fact of his descent from such a grandfather, and of his possessing (such powerful) maternal uncles, whilst as-Sâlih's mother was only a concubine. — As-Sharaf (Sharaf ad-din) al-Hilli (native of Hilla), one of the most celebrated poets of that time, died at Damascus on the eve of the 27th day of Shaabân, A. H. 627 (July, A. D. 1230). He was interred outside the city, near the mosque of an-Nårenj, which edifice is situated to the east of the Musalla of the Festival. He was born in the middle of the month of the latter Rabi, A. H. 570 November, A. D. 1174.)
(1) His life will be found in this work. (2) Read
Further notice is taken of this poet at the end of the article.
.معبس حقبة Read (4)
(3) Ain Tàb lies at three days' journey to the north of Aleppo.
. (8) Thi
an allusion to the prince's surname. (9) See Abû ’l-Fedà's Annals and M. Reinaud's Extraits, page 444. (10) See, in the index to Deguigne's Histoire générale des Huns, the name: lousouf (naser).
Abù ’l-Harith Ghailân Ibn Okba Ibn Buhaish (1) Ibn Masùd Ibn Håritha Ibn Amr Ibn Rabia Ibn Sàeda Ibn Kaab Ibn Auf Ibn Rabia Ibn Milkån Ibn Adi Ibn Abd Manât Ibn Udd Ibn Tabikha Ibn al-Yâs Ibn Modar Ibn Nizar Ibn Maadd Ibn Adnân, generally known by the surname of Zû 'r-Rumma, was a poet of the first rank and enjoyed great celebrity. It is related that, as he was reciting his verses in the camel-market, he said to al-Farazdak, who stopped to hear him : “Well, “ Abû Firàs! what dost thou think of that which thou hast heard?” and that alFarazdak replied: “What thou hast uttered is really admirable.”—“Why then,” said the other, “is my name not mentioned with those of the first-rate poets?”“ Thou hast been prevented from attaining their eminence,” answered al-Farazdak,“ by thy lamentations over dunghills, and thy descriptions of the excrements “ of cattle and their pinfolds (2).”—He was one of the celebrated Arabian lovers, and his mistress Maiya was the daughter of Mukātil Ibn Talaba Ibn Kais Ibn Aasim al-Minkari. This Kais Ibn Aksim was the same who went to the prophet with the deputies of the tribe of Tamim; the Prophet received him honourably and said : “ Thou art the lord of the people of the hair(-tents) (3).”-But Abů Obaid (4) al-Bakri calls her Maiya, the daughter of Aåsim Ibn Talaba Ibn Kais Ibn Aasim.-Zů 'r-Rumma often extolled her beauty in his poems, and it is to this couple of lovers that Abû Tammâm (vol. I. p. 348) alludes in one of his kasidas, where he says :
Maiya's cottage, inhabited by herself, with Ghailàn lurking about it, was not more 363 fair, by its hills, than the cottage of my mistress, though it be now deserted.
Ibn Kutaiba (vol. II. p. 22) relates as follows in his Tabakåt as-Shuara : “Abù “ Dirâr al-Ghanawi said (5): 'I saw Maiya and, behold! she had with her "children of her own!'-Describe her;' said I. Her face and cheeks were “« long,' said he, her nose was aquiline and her countenance still exhibited traces " • of beauty!?— Did she repeat to thee any of Zù 'r-Rumma's verses?'—“She “ did.”– For a long time Maiya had been hearing the verses of Zû-Rumma but had never yet seen him; she therefore vowed to sacrifice a camel the very day she cast her eyes upon him. But when she did see him, she found him an