Page images

If his mule stumble under him, there is a reason for it. It bears one whose learning is vast (as a mountain) and whose liberality is ample as) the ocean.


[ocr errors]

This idea has now become common-place, and occurs frequently in poetry. It is related by his brother, Izz ad-din Abû ’l-Hasan Ali, that, when he was deprived of the use of his limbs, a native of Maghrib went to them and engaged to cure him; declaring at the same time that he would not require any payment unless the treatment which he intended to employ were successful in its results.

« We “ readily accepted his proposal,” said Izz ad-din, “ and he commenced by the

application of an ointment which he prepared himself. The good effects of " this remedy were soon evident; the patient's legs acquired flexibility, and he

was able to stretch them out; but, when there was every prospect of a complete cure, he said to me: “Give that Maghribin a remuneration sufficient to

satisfy him, and let him be dismissed.' Why,' said I, should we do so, 666 since the success of his mode of treatment is so manifest. To this he “ replied : “It is as thou sayest ; but, in my present state, I am delivered from " the necessity of frequenting the great, and treating them with that ceremony “ to which their rank entitles them ; besides, I have settled down into repose " and solitude, I, who but yesterday, when in the enjoyment of good health, “had to demean myself by courting their favour. Whereas, now, I remain at “ • home; and when any thing serious occurs, they come in person to ask my 16. advice : thou seest that, between these two states, the difference is very great. “Now, I am indebted to my infirmity for this advantage; and I do not there“« fore think it reasonable to have it removed, or to be treated for it. Besides, " " I have but a short time to live; let me therefore pass the remainder of my

days as a free man, exempted from the obligation of self-abasement: I have " • already had an abundant share of worldly honour.' We admitted the vali

dity of these reasons, and dismissed the man with an ample reward.” Majd ad-din died at Mosul, on Thursday, the 29th of Zu ’l-Hijja, A. H. 606 (June, A. D. 1210), and he was interred within the city in the ribåt founded by himself in the street of Darráj (Darb Darráj). We have already spoken of his brother, Izz ad-din (vol. II. page 288), and, in a subsequent part of this work, we shall insert a notice on his other brother, Diâ ad-din Nasr Allah.— Jazira tibn Omar is a city on the Tigris, higher up than Mosul; it is called Jazira (isle); because




it is surrounded by the Tigris. Al-Wakidi says that it was built by a native of Barkaid, called Abd al-Aziz Ibn Omar.

(1) The six authentic collections of Traditions are those of al-Bukhåri, Muslim, at-Tirmidi, Abû Dâwûd, anNasâi, and Ibn Maja, each of whom has a separate article in this work.

(2) Abû 'l-Hasan Razin Ibn Moawia Ibn Ammar al-Abdari (a member of the tribe of Abd ad-dar) and a native of Saragossa in Spain, was imam to the Malikite sect at Mekka. He is the author of a work generally designated by the name of Razin's Book (Kitab Razin), in which he assembled and classed all the Traditions contained in the Sahih of al-Bukhåri, the Sahih of Muslim, the Muwatta of Malik, the Jami of at-Tirmidi, and the Sunan of Abů Duwad. Another of his productions is a history of Mekka, abridged from the work of al-Azraki. He died at that city in the month of Muharram, A. H 625 (December, A. D. 1130). He was one of the masters who conferred licences to teach Traditions on the hafiz as-Silafi (see vol. I. page 86). — (Hajji Khalifa.- Al-Ikd al-Thamin, MS. No. 720, fol. 233 verso.)

(3) The Kashshaf is the title of az-Zamakhshari's commentary on the Koran, and the Kashf wa 'l-Baiyan is that of ath-Thàlabi's work on the same subject.


Abû 'l-Maimûn al-Mubarak Ibn Kâmil Ibn Ali Ibn Mukallad Ibn Nasr Ibn Munkid al-Kinâni, surnamed Saif ad-Dawlat (sword of the empire) Majd ad-din (glory of religion), was one of the great emirs of the empire founded by Salâh ad-din, and comptroller of the board of administration for Egyptian affairs. He belonged to a powerful family, two members of which, his grandfather, Sadid ad-Dawlat (1) Ali (vol. II. p. 342), and his cousin Osama Ibn Murshid (vol. I. p. 177) we have already noticed. When Shams ad-Dawlat Tûrån Shâh (vol. I. p. 284) was sent into Yemen by his brother Salâh ad-din, he reduced that country to submission, and appointed Ibn Munkid to act as his lieutenant in Zabid. On his return to Syria, Ibn Munkid, who had been authorized by him to delegate his authority to his own brother, Hattån, proceeded to Damascus, and they both returned to Egypt together. On the death of Shams ad-Dawlat, Ibn Munkid was thrown into prison by Salâh ad-din, who had been informed that a number of persons had been put to death, and their property seized on, by this emir. He took from him at the same time eighty thousand dinars, and goods to the value of

[ocr errors]

twenty thousand more. This occurred in the year 577 (A. D. 1181-2). Saif al-Islâm Toghtikîn (v. I. p. 655) (2) then set out for Yemen, and having laid siege to the fortress in which Hattân had taken refuge, he induced him to capitulate by promises which he had no intention to fulfil. Having obtained possession of his person, he seized on all his wealth, and imprisoned him in a castle. From that moment, Hattân was never heard of more; some even say that Toghtikin put him to death. It is mentioned also that Toghtikîn took from his prisoner seventy 619 chests filled with gold. As for Saif ad-Dawlat, he always continued in high influence, and he acquired great renown as an enterprising chief. Being a man of learning, he was fond of it in others : some of the most illustrious poets celebrated his praises, and one of them, al-Kâdi al-Wajih (the honourable kâdi ) Rida ad-din (accepted for piety) Abû 'l-Hasan Ali Ibn Abi 'l-Hasan Yahya Ibn Ahmad, generally known by the surname of Ibn az-Zarawi, composed in his honour a kasîda which gained publicity equal to that of a proverb. It begins

thus :

Conduct me, and may prosperity attend theel to the mansions where (the family of my beloved) passed the vernal season. Those dwellings still diffuse the perfume of musk which they acquired from the presence of her I loved. O thou whose heart is wounded with desire ! this is a valley held sacred by lovers: take off therefore thy sandals ; none must tread therein with covered feet.

In this poem we find the following passage :

I have a tame gazelle (a young page) on whom God hath bestowed perfect beauty, and who obliges the mouths of all mankind to exclaim : “God preserve us from tempta“ tion!” His ruby lips disclose a row of pearls bathed in moisture, and he displays on his cheek a line of emerald (3). Censurers reprove me, but I affect to heed them not, though they indulge in every form of blame. They say: “Who is the person for

whom thou diest of love in thy sadness ? ” Thanks to the Lord ! they know not that person

!-A learned scholar travelled abroad, but found not a generous man who, when he said “Give!” would answer “Take!” When about to ride off in anger, and ready to undergo the toil of a long journey, I said to him at the moment the cameldriver commenced his song. “ Lucky (mubarak) is the arrival, when the camels stop " at the door of al-Mubarak ! and who can deliver (munkid) suitors (from their cares), “ unless the son of Munkid."

In that part of the poem which contains the eulogium, we meet a line composed with wonderful art. It is this :

Smoother, in peace, than the belly of the serpent;
Rougher, in war, than the back of the porcupine.

It is a kasida highly to be prized, but I confine myself to these extracts so as to avoid prolixity. Abû 'l-Maimûn al-Mubảrak himself composed some poetry ; the following, for instance, in which he alludes to fleas :

A race whom man is permitted to slay, and who profane (draw) the blood of the pilgrim, even in the sanctuary. When my hand sheds their blood, it is not their own, but mine which is shed.

It is thus that these two verses were recited and given as his, by Izz ad-din Abû 'l-Kâsim Abd Allah Ibn Abi Ali al-Husain Ibn Abi Muhammad Abd Allah Ibn al-Husain Ibn Rawaha Ibn Ibrahim Ibn Abd Allah Ibn Rawaha Ibn Obaid Ibn Muhammad Ibn Abd Allah Ibn Rawaha al-Ansari (4), a native of Hamåt. This Ibn Rawaha was born off the coast of Sicily, in A. H. 560 (A. D. 1164-5), and he died A. H. 646 (A. D. 1248-9), at Jibâb al-Turkoman (the Turcoman wells), a halting-place between Aleppo and Hamåt. He died riding on a camel, and he was born in a ship.-Saif ad-Dawlat al-Mubarak was born at the castle of Shaizar, A. H. 526 (A. D. 1131-2), and he died at Cairo, on Tuesday, the 8th of Ramadân, A. H. 589 (September, A. D. 1193). - Zarawi means belonging to Zerw, a village in Said (Upper Egypt).

(1) I suspect that the author meant to write here Sadid al-Mulk.

(2) This person must not be confounded with Abu Mansûr Toghtikin, prince of Damascus at the time of the first crusade.- See vol. I. page 274.

(3) In this metaphorical language, the emerald has the same signification as the myrtle. For the meaning of the latter in poetry, see the Introduction to vol. I. page xxxvi.

(4) In giving this long list of names, Ibn Khallikân's object was to show that Izz ad-din was a lineal desa cendant of Ibn Rawaha al-Ansari, a celebrated poet, who had devoted his talents to the service of Muhammad and proved himself a most useful ally.-See Sale's Koran, last note to surat 26.


620 Abû 'l-Barakât al-Mubarak Ibn Abi 'l-Fath Ahmad Ibn al-Mubarak Ibn Mau

hûb Ibn Ghanima Ibn Ghâlib al-Lakhmi, surnamed Sharaf ad-din (nobleness of

[ocr errors]

religion), and generally known by the appellation of Ibn al-Mustaufi al-Irbili (native of Arbela), was a râis (officer in the civil service) of high influence, and equally noted for his extreme modesty and noble character. Whenever a stranger distinguished by his talents arrived at Arbela, Ibn al-Mustausi hastened to visit him, and, having offered him a present suited to his merit, he employed every means to gain his heart. This was particularly the case with literary men, who were always sure of being well received. He was a most accomplished scholar, , versed in numerous branches of learning : the Traditions, the sciences conn

onnected with them, and the names of the persons by whom they were handed down, were so familiar to him, that, on such subjects, he merited to be considered as a master of the highest authority. In the belles lettres his acquirements were also of no inferior order : grammar, philology, prosody, the laws of rhythm and literary composition, the poetry of the ancient Arabs, their history, contests, battles, and proverbs were all equally well known to him, and he displayed also a superior talent in the science of the diwân (1), the mode of accounting (employed) there, and the keeping of the registers ; adhering to the conventional forms on which persons of the profession set such high importance. He compiled a (literary history of Arbela, in four volumes, and to this production I have frequently referred in the course of the present work. His Kitâb an-Nazzâm (book of the stringer of pearls) forms ten volumes, and contains a commentary on the poetical works of al-Mutanabbi and Abû Tammâm. In the two volumes of which his Kitab Ithbât il-Muhassal (ascertained results of investigation) (2) is composed, he elucidates the meaning of the verses cited as grammatical examples, by az-Zamakhshari, in his Mufassal. He composed also a work entitled Sirr as-Sania (the secret of laying persons under obligations) (?), and another to which he gave the title of Abu Kumåsh (3), containing much literary information, curious anecdotes, etc. It was his custom to read this book to the learned men who visited Arbela, and, as I was generally present at the time, I heard a great portion of its contents.

He left also a diwan of very good poetry. In a couplet of his composition he thus expresses his preference of white to brown (4):

Let not a seductive brownness deceive thee; beauty belongs to the white (or bright) alone. The brown lance slays, but with a part which by nature belongs not to it, whilst the bright sword slays with every part, and all those parts are of its own substance.

« PreviousContinue »