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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

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 Safwan Khalid Ibn Safwan, a member of the tribe of “ Tamim, was celebrated as an eloquent speaker. He used to visit Bilål Ibn “ Abi Burda and converse with him, but his language was frequently ungram“ matical. This grew at length so irksome to Bilål, that he said to him: 0 “ Khalid ! you make me narrations fit for khalifs to hear, but you commit as

many faults against grammar as the women who carry water in the streets.' “ Stung with this reproach, Khâlid went to learn grammar at the mosque, and 344 “some time after he lost his sight. From that period, whenever Bilål 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 Bilâl, he exclaimed : “By Allah! it shall not be dis

pelled till he get a full shower from it;' and he then ordered him a whipping “ of two hundred strokes. This Khålid 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 Sumaî 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 oc

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 (). Shabib Ibu 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. (Muhammad) Ibn Saad says that Abû Burda and as-Shâbi died in the year 103 and on

Others say

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 Marwal-Ghork, a village in Yemáma, 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 Mishcát, vol. II. page 2. See also the first volume of the present work, p. 501.) (4) Mention has been made of this historian in the first volume, page 290.

(5) Amr, the son of Sinån 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 Zibrikân 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-Yâkuta, 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.)


Abû Amr Aamir as-Shâbi was the son of Sharâhil Ibn Abd Ibn (1) Zi Kibâr : Zù 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 Tabîs 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



hůl (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 an

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


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 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. 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!

you have imprisoned them without cause, let your justice deliver them; and 345 “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 21, and al-Asmâi says that he came into the world at Kúfa, A.H. 17.-As-Shâbi 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 Kitab al-Maarif pretends that she was pregnant with him for two years.—It is related that alHajjaj Ibn Yûsuf 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): alfáni. “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-Shâbi 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-Shàbi?" 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 Jalůlà 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 Jalùlà.—Shabi means belonging to Shâb, a branch of the tribe of Hamdân. Al-Jauhari says : “This relative adjective is derived from zú-Shabain 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 Kùfa are calledthe Shâbiûn; those in Egypt and Maghrib are styled al-Ushab; in Syria the name of Shâbâ niûn is given to them, and in Yemen they are known as the people of Za Shabain.Jalala 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, noi when pleased.


(1) In the printed text the word Ibn has been left out by mistake.
(2) See vol. I. page 567, note (1).
(3) See his life, vol. I. page 568.
(4) See vol. I. page 370.
(8) The life of Mak’hol 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 Haiyat.

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

(8) This is the prince whom Hamza al-Ispahani mentions as the immediate predecessor of Za Shanâtir, the celebrated tyrant of Yemen, who was slain by Za Nuwas.—(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-Tabrîzı says in his commentary on the Hamasa, p. 744, that according to Abu '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 Shihab Ibn Sâlim Ibn Haiya Ibn Kulaib Ibn Abd Allah Ibn Adi Ibn Hanifa Ibn Lujaim al-Hanafi al-Yamami, 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 Bashshậr Ibn Burd (4); and Abû Ali ’l-Kàli (5) mentions in his Amali that Bashshậr 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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