Page images
PDF
EPUB

KATADA IBN DIAMA AS-SADUSI.

66

Abû 'l-Khattab Katada Ibn Diâma Ibn Aziz Ibn Omar Ibn Rabia Ibn Amr Ibn al-Harith Ibn Sadûs as-Sadûsi, a native of Basra and one of the Tabis, was, though blind from his birth, a man of the greatest learning: “Not a day

passed,” said Abû Obaida (Mâmar Ibn al-Muthanna), " without our seeing a

messenger arrive from some of the Omaiyide family, and stop his camel at Ka“ tàda's door; being sent for the express purpose of questioning him on some

point of history, genealogy, or poetry.” The fact was that Katáda surpassed all his contemporaries by the quantity of information which he had collected. Màmar said also : “ I asked Abû Amr Ibn al-Alà the meaning of these words of “ the Korån was also at lis log (1), and, as he made me no answer, I mentioned that I “ had heard Katâda explain the word om hjäo by umabo (valentes ad); as he still “ remained silent, I said : • And what is thy opinion, Abû Amr?' To which “ he replied: · Let Katâda's opinion always suffice thee, except when he dis“ « coursed of free-will and predestination (kadar); had not the Prophet himself “ 6 said : When kadar is spoken of, avoid the subject, I should put none of Kåtada's “«contemporaries on a level with him.'”_" Katâda,” said Abû Amr, “ was “ the most learned genealogist of his time, and, in his youth, he met Daghfal (2). “ He used to go from one end of Basra to the other without a guide, and, one

day, he entered the mosque of Basra when Amr Ibn Obaid (vol. II. p. 393) and “ some others had just gone apart from the circle of al-Hasan al-Basri's auditors 66 and formed one of their own. As they were speaking in a loud tone, he went

over to them, imagining it to be al-Hasan's circle, but as he found, on joining them, that it was not so, he said: “These are the seceders (al-motazila)!' and,

standing up, he left them; from that time they were called the Motazilites (seceders).” Katâda was born A. H. 60 (A. D. 679-80), and he died at Wasit, 598 A. H. 117 (A. D. 735-6); some say, 118. - Saddsi means descended from Sadus Ibn Shaibân, the progenitor of a great tribe which has produced many remarkable men, some of them eminent for learning. -- Daghfal, the ablest of the Arabian genealogists, was the son of Hanzala as-Sadûsi; he saw the Prophet, but did not hear him deliver any of his sayings. He afterwards joined Moawia and was

66

VOL. II.

65

killed by the Azdrika (3). According to another, and a more authentic statement, he was drowned in the Dujail at the battle of Důlàb (4).

(1) Koran, surat 43, verse 12. These words signify: For we should not have been able to accomplish that.

(2) Daghfal Ibn Hanzala, the genealogist, belonged to the tribe of Shaiban Ibn Duhl. The year of his death is indicated further on, His abilities rendered his name proverbial: see Freytag's Meidani, tom. I. p. 19, and tom. II. pages 162, 233, and 774.

(3) The heretical sect of the Azàrika, or followers of Ibn al-Azrak, a branch of the Kharijites, rejected equally the claims of Ali and Moawia. Under the command of their chief and founder, Nafi Ibn al-Azrak, they joined Abd Allah Ibn az-Zubair at Mekka and fought in his defence, but, on discovering that he considered Othmån as a rightful khalif, they abandoned his cause and proceeded to Basra in A. H 64 (A.D. 683-4, where they took the oath of allegiance to Nåfi and established themselves at al-Ahwaz. The following year, their power increased considerably, and the people of Basra, who had incurred their enmity, obtained from Abd Allah Ibn az-Zubair that a body of troops, under the orders of Muslim Ibn Abis

,

should march against them. The Azàrika were repulsed from the territory of Basra and retreated to Důlåb VVgd in the land of al-Ahwaz, where both parties encountered. The Azárika were here defeated with great loss, and Nåfi Ibn al-Azrak fell in the battle, which was also fatal to Muslim Ibn Abis As the insurgents still continued to be dangerous, Muhallab Ibn Abi Sufra, an able general, marched against them by order of Abd Allah Ibn al-Harith, governor of Basra. Their final subjugation was not cffected till about A. H. 70 (A. D. 689).- (Abû ’l-Mahásin's al-Bahr az-Zakhir. El-Makin's Historia Saracenica, p. 60. See also Price's Retrospect, vol. I. pages 429, 440, and 446. For their political and religious doctrines, see Dr. Cureton's Shahrastani, page 91.)

(4) Dûlàb is spoken of in the preceding note.

و عیس

KUTAIBA IBN MUSLIM.

The emir Kutaiba Ibn Abi Sålih Muslim Ibn Amr (1) Ibn al-Hosein Ibn Rabia Ibn Khalid Ibn Asid al-Khair Ibn Kudài Ibn Hilal Ibn Salama Ibn Thàlaba Ibn Wail Ibn Maan Ibn Malik Ibn Aasar Ibn Saad Ibn Kais Ibn Ghailàn Ibn Modar Ihn Nizar Ibn Adnan al-Bâhili was emir of Khoråsàn in the reign of Abd alMalik Ibn Marwân. He ruled this province during thirteen years, and he held his appointment from al-Hajjaj Ibn Yûsuf ath-Thakafi, who, as governor of the two Iråks and the neighbouring countries, had Khoråsân in his jurisdiction. Previously to this, Kutaiba had been governor of Rai, but, on the deposition of

[ocr errors]

Yazid Ibn al-Muhallab Ibn Abi Sufra, he was appointed ruler over Khorâsân. In the life of Yazid we shall indicate the particulars of this event. It was Kutaiba Ibn Muslim who reduced Khowarezm, Samarkand, and Bukhåra, the inhabitants of which had broken their treaties. Clearsightedness, intrepidity, and generosity formed the leading features of his character. His father Muslim possessed the greatest influence at the court of Yazid Ibn Moawia, and was the , owner of the celebrated horse al-Harûn, whose qualities gave rise to a proverb (2). In the year 95 (A. D. 713-4), towards the close of al-Walid Ibn Abd al-Malik's reign, Kutaiba Ibn Muslim took the city of Farghana. Historians declare that, by his wars with the Turks, his expeditions into the heart of the regions beyond the Oxus, his taking of fortresses, his subduing of provinces, his carrying off of wealth and his slaying of brigands, Kutaiba surpassed al-Muhallab Ibn Ali Sufra and every other general. As an example of his activity it may

be stated that he effected the conquest of Khowarezm and Samarkand in a single year; by the capture of two such great cities (3), prosperity was re-established in the country and contributions were brought in from all quarters. When Kutaiba had achieved these deeds, he sent for Nahår Ibn Tausia, the favorite poet of al-Muhallab and his sons, and said to him: “What has now become “ of your verses on the death of al-Muhallab? You said:

6

• The expeditions which placed wealth within our reach are at an end; generosity and beneficence have ceased with the life of al-Muhallab!'

[blocks in formation]

“Do you consider this last act of ours an expedition or not?” the poet, “it is something better; I too have said :

• Never since we lived have we seen the like of Ibn Muslim; his equal never existed • before our time, and will never appear after us. With his sword he wrapt the whole • Turkish nation in death, and shared the booty amongst us in donations ample and oft-repeated.'"

When al-Hajjaj Ibn Yûsuf) received intelligence of Kutaiba's conquests, the number of enemies whom he slew and of prisoners whom he carried off, he said: “I sent out Kutaiba quite an inexperienced (4) boy, and I never gave “ him an inch without his giving me an ell in return." In the year 96 (A. D. 714-5) (the khalif) al-Walid died, and was succeeded by his brother Sulaiman Ibn

Abd al-Malik, who disliked Kutaiba for reasons too long for us to relate (5). The apprehensions of Kutaiba being excited by this event, he renounced his allegiance and rose in open revolt against his sovereign, but the great majority of those under his orders withheld their concurrence. Some time previously, he had deprived Waki Ibn Hassan Ibn Kais of his commandment over the tribe of Tamim (6), and this Waki, who bore the surname of Abu 'l-Mutarrif al-Ghudani,

now laboured underhand to seduce the troops, and kept away from Kutaiba's 599 presence under the pretext of sickness. He then attacked him at Farghána and

slew him with eleven other persons of the family, in the month of Zû ’l-Hijja, A. H. 96 (Aug.-Sept. A. D. 715); some say, A. H. 97. Kutaiba Ibn Muslim was born in the year 49 (A. D. 669-70). As-Salåmi (7) says, in his History of the governors of Khoråsân: “ He ruled over Khorâsân nine years and seven “ months;” but this is in contradiction with what is stated above. At-Tabari gives the year 86 as that of his nomination. Alluding to his death, Jarir (vol. I. p. 294) pronounced the following lines :

You repented having slain the noble son of Muslim; but, when you appear before God, you will repent still more. Thanks to his victories, you revelled in spoil; but now you are yourselves the spoil of every opponent. He has been transported to the dark-eyed maidens of Paradise, and you-Hell shall enclose you with its torments.

Muslim Ibn Amr, the father of Kutaiba, was slain with Musâb Ibn az-Zubair, A. H. 72 (A. D. 691-2) (8).—Abů Omar Said Ibn Muslim, the grandson of Kutaiba, was a powerful chief, highly celebrated (by the poets). Abd as-Samad Ibn al-Muaddal (vol. I. p. 354, note (9) ) lamented his death in these lines :

“ How many the orphans whom you protected in their destitution ! how many the indigent whom you raised from poverty to riches ! (Each of them now) exclaims, when adversity shows its fangs : “May God's blessing be on Said, the son of Muslim!”

Said governed Armenia, Mosul, Sind, Tabarestân, Sijistân, and Mesopotomia; he died A. H. 217 (A. D. 832-3). The following anecdote was related by himself : “When I was governor of Armenia, Abû Dahmân al-Ghalâni (9) came to “ see me and staid for some days at my door (waiting for admittance). When he

entered, he sat down before me, in the open space left by the other visitors “ who were drawn up in two lines reaching from my throne to the door (10), and “ he then pronounced these words (11): ‘By Allah! I know people who, if they were informed that, by swallowing dust, they could straighten the curvature “ of their reins(i.e.raise themselves from a humble to an exalted station), would take " • it for nourishment through their desire of escaping from a modest station of " 'life (12); but I, by Allah! make a distant leap (i. e. have a high aim in view) “«and am slow in turning aside (from my purpose). The only thing which averts "'me from thee is that which repels thee from me (i.e. I avoid thee because thou "ó art rich, and thou avoidest me because I am poor), but I prefer poverty with the " "favour of God) to wealth with reprobation. And, by Allah! we (sufis) never "ask the gift of a government but we receive it, or of wealth but we obtain (13) more than we require. This power which is now in thy hands was once in “the hands of others, and by Allah! nothing remains of them here but their “ « reputation ; it is good if they did good, and bad, if they wrought evil. “ • Answer then the applications) of God's servants by receiving them with affa

bility and granting them an easy access unto thee; for the love shown to

God's servants is allied to the love due to God; and they are chosen by God " "to bear witness as to the conduct of his creatures and to observe those who " • turn away from the path of righteousness. Peace be with thee!'” (14). On the death of Omar, the son of Said Ibn Muslim, the following elegy was pronounced by Abû Amr Ashjà Ibn Amr as-Sulami, a celebrated poet of Rakka who inhabited Basra (15) :

ܕܕ

The son of Said departed when not a spot of the East and of the West remained without some person to extol his virtues. I did not know with what profusion his hands bestowed their gifts, till the tombstone had hidden him from our sight. That man is now in a narrow cavity under ground, whose (renown) the extended plains of the earth could not contain. As long as my tears flow, I shall weep thy loss, and, if I exhaust them, let that (heart) which my bosom encloses answer for my feelings. Now, since thou art dead, I shall remain untroubled, even by the greatest afflictions, and unmoved by any joys. (We grieve for thee) as if thou hadst been the only person who ever died—the only one over whom the female mourners ever raised (the funeral cry). It 600 now becomes (us) to lament thee in elegies, as it formerly became (us) us to praise thee in eulogiums.

This beautiful elegy is extracted from the Hamûsa (16). The idea expressed in the last verse is similar to that contained in the following:

0, best of those who to-day are worthiest of lamentations, and who yesterday were worthiest of praise!

« PreviousContinue »