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death of az-Zafir, an event already noticed (vol. I. page 222). Al-Aadid held merely a nominal authority, all the real power being in the hands of as-Sâlih Ibn Ruzzik. This prince was a violent shiite, most bitter in his execrations on the companions of Muhammad (who were not partisans of Ali), and whenever he met a Sunnite he ordered him to be put to death. During his reign, the vizir as-Sâlih Ibn Ruzzik pursued a line of conduct highly reprehensible, forestalling all the provisions in order to raise their price, assassinating the great officers of the empire lest they should turn against him, and weakening all the resources of Egypt. He put the bravest of its officers to death, and left not a man of prudence or resolution in the country, whilst he displayed great ardour in seizing on the property of others and inflicting heavy fines on persons who never had the slightest business with 379 him. In the reign of al-Aadid, his relation [Abů Abd Allah] al-Husain Ibn Nizâr Ibn al-Mustansir advanced from Western Africa with a large body of troops, but, on approaching the Egyptian territory, he was betrayed by his followers and delivered up to al-Aâdid, by whose orders he was put to death. This event occurred in the month of Ramadân, A. H. 557; but according to another statement, it happened in the reign of al-Hafiz Abd al-Mujid (1). Al-Husain had assumed the title of al-Muntasir billah. - In the life of Shawar and in that of Shirkůh we have noticed the causes which contributed to the fall of the Fatimite dynasty and placed the Ghozz family on the throne of Egypt ; further observations on the same subject shall be presented to the reader in the life of Salah ad-din; it is therefore unnecessary for us to enter into a long exposition of them here.— I have heard a number of Egyptians relate that when these people (the Fatimites) commenced their reign, they told one of the learned to write on a leaf of paper a series of surnames fitted to be borne by khalifs, so that they might select one of them for each of their princes when he came to the throne. This person wrote down a great many surnames, and the last on the list was al-Aadid; a singular coincidence with the fact, the last of their sovereigns bore that very title; it was observed also that, as a word employed in the language, al-addid means the cutter, and in fact it might be said that this al-Aâdid cut short their dynasty. I was also informed by a learned Egyptian that, towards the end of his reign, al-Aadid dreamt, when in Old Cairo, that a scorpion came out of a well-known mosque there and stung him. When he awoke, he reflected with
dread on what he had seen, and caused an interpreter of dreams to be brought in, to whom he related the vision. The answer he received was, that he should receive harm from a person sojourning in that mosque. Al-Aâdid immediately sent for the governor of Old Cairo and ordered him to make a perquisition in a certain mosque which he named, and if he found any person sojourning in it, to bring him into his presence. The governor went thither and found a sufi, whom he brought before al-Aadid. On seeing him, the prince asked where he was from, how long he had been in that country, and what motive had induced him to come there; to these questions he received satisfactory answers. Struck with the apparent) veracity of the sufi, and believing that a person so miserable as he could not possibly do him any harm, he said to him : “O shaikh! for
us ;” and then dismissed him with a present. The sûfi returned again to his mosque, but when the sultan Salah ad-din became master of the country and formed the intention of seizing on al-Aâdid and his partisans, he consulted the doctors of the law on the legality of the measure; they declared it lawful, inasmuch as al-Aâdid followed heterodox opinions, to the perversion of the true belief, and frequently insulted the memory of the Prophet's companions in the most public manner. Now the strongest fatwu of any was that given by the sûfi who lived in the mosque just mentioned, and he was no less than the shaikh Najm ad-din al-Khubûshâni, the jurisconsult whose life will be found in this volume. In his declaration, he summed up at great length the misdeeds of those people (the Fatimites) and declared them infidels. Al-Aadid's dream was thus fulfilled. This prince was born on Tuesday, the 20th of Muharram, A.H. 546 (May, A. D. 1151); he died on the eve of Monday, the 12th of Muharram, A. H. 567 (September, A.D. 1171). It is reported that, in a paroxysm of rage against Shams ad-Dawlat Tûrân Shah, he ended his days by poison. According to some accounts, he expired on the night of Aashûra (the night preceding the tenth day of Muharram).
(1) This event is not noticed by any of the historians whom I have consulted; in the Nujům, Abû 'l-Mahåsin merely cites Ibn Khallikân's words, when giving the sketch of the life of al-Aadid ; but under the year 557, he takes no notice of such an occurrence. The revolt of Nizâr against al-Mustali in A.H. 487 (see vol. I. page 160), may have been confounded with the death of al-Hasan the son of al-Hafiz, in 629, and given rise to the discordant statements here brought forward by Ibn Khallikân.
Abû 'r-Raddad Abd Allah Ibn Abd as-Salâmi Ibn Abd Allah Ibn ar-Raddad, the muwazzin and guardian of the Nilometer, was a native of Basra and a man of holy life. In the year 246 of the Hijra (A.D. 860-1) he was appointed keeper of the new Nilometer erected in the island of (Rawda, near) Cairo, with the inspection and direction of every thing connected with it. This office continues to be exercised by his descendants to the present time. He died A. H. 279 (A.D. 892-3), or 266 (879-80).— Al-Kudâi speaks of him in his topographical 380 description of Cairo, and also of the young girl whom they used formerly to throw into the Nile (1). These passages are to be found in the chapter on the Nilometer.
(1) See Lane's Modern Egyptians, vol. II. page 263.
OBAID ALLAH IBN ABD ALLAH.
Abû Abd Allah Obaid Allah Ibn Abd Allah Ibn Otba Ibn Masûd Ibn Aâkil Ibn Habib Ibn Shamakh Ibn Makhzûm Ibn Subh Ibn Kâhil Ibn al-Harith Ibn Tamim Ibn Saad Ibn Hudail Ibn Mudrika Ibn al-Yâs Ibn Modar Ibn Nizar Ibn Maadd Ibn Adnan al-Hudali was one of the seven great jurisconsults of Medina. (Of these doctors four have been already noticed.) This Obaid Allah was grandson to the brother of Abd Allah Ibn Masüd, one of Muhammad's partisans. He held a high rank amongst the Tabis, having met and conversed with a great number of the Prophet's companions ; besides which he received Traditions from Ibn Abbâs, Abû Huraira, and Aâisha. Traditions were given on his authority by Abû ’z-Zinâd, az-Zuhri, and others. The last-named håfiz said that he had seen four oceans (of knowledge), and that one of them was this Obaid Allah. He said again: “I received a great deal of traditional know“ ledge on the Science of the law), and I thought that I had acquired a suffi
“ciency; but on meeting Obaid Allah, I felt as if I possessed not the slightest “ particle of it.” (The khalif) Omar Ibn Abd al-Aziz was heard to say that for him a conversation with Obaid Allah was more precious than the world and all it contained. He said another time : “By Allah! for the advantage of passing “ of an evening with Obaid Allah I would give one thousand pieces of gold out “ of the public treasury (1).” On hearing this, the persons present said : “How
can you say so, Commander of the faithful! You who are so strict and scru“ pulous in such matters ?” To this he replied: “Whither do your imagina“tions lead you ? By Allah! to obtain his advice and counsel and guidance, I “should have recourse to the public treasury for a thousand, nay for thousands “ of dinars : conversation like his gives fecundity to the intelligence and repose “ to the heart; it dissipates care and improves social manners. Obaid Allah was as pious as learned; he died at Medina, A. H. 102 (A. D. 720-1), but other statements say 99 or 98.
99 or 98. He composed some pieces of poetry, one of which is given in the Hamåsa (2); it runs as follows:
You rent my heart and shed in it love for you ; it was then blamed for its weakness and the wound closed up. Love for Athma has entered deeply into my heart, and what my bosom manifests accords with what it conceals. Love for her has penetrated it to a depth which food, or sorrow, or joy, has never reached.
When he first pronounced these verses, he was asked how he (who was a grave man) could express himself in such a manner, to which he replied : “ The man “ whose heart is wounded finds solace in complaining." He was the author of the expression : “ The man whose lungs are diseased cannot help spitting. Hudali means belonging to Hudail; this is a large tribe, and the majority of those who inhabit Wadi Nakhla, near Mekka, belong to it. Abd Allah, Obaid Allah's father, died A. H. 86 (A. D. 705). At a time previous to the introduction of Islamism, the chieftainship of this tribe was exercised by his ancestor Subh Ibn Kâhil.
(1) It is necessary to observe here that the public money could only be employed for the public welfare, and that Omar Ibn Abd al-Aziz was extremely scrupulous on this point.
(2) See Hamasa, page 594.
OBAID ALLAH THE MAHDI.
The genealogy of Abû Muhammad Obaid Allah, surnamed al-Mahdi (the directed by God), is a subject on which I have met with statements of the most discordant kind; the author of the History of Kairawân (1) says that he was the son of al-Hasan Ibn Ali Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ali Ibn Musa Ibn Jaafar Ibn Mu- 381 hammad Ibn Ali Ibn al-Husain Ibn Ali Ibn Abi Tålib; another historian calls him Obaid Allah the son of Muhammad Ibn Ismail Ibn Jaafar (Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ali, etc.) as before; a third states that his grandfather Ismail was the son of Ali Ibn al-Husain Ibn Ahmad Ibn Abd Allah Ibn al-Hasan Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ali Jbn al-Husain Ibn Ali Ibn Abi Talib; others again call him the son of at-Taki (the fearer of God), who was the son of al-Wafi (the perfect), who was the son of ar-Rida (him with whom God is well pleased), which three persons are designated as the concealed in the essence of God; Rida was the son of Muhammad Ibn Ismail Ibn Jaafar (this Jaafar is the same person as he mentioned above); the real name of at-Taki was Husain, that of al-Wafi was Ahmad, and that of ar-Rida was Abd Allah; they were called the concealed, because they lay hid through dread of being apprehended by the Abbasides who had been informed that one of them aspired to the khalifate, as others of Ali's descendants, whose adventures and enterprises are well known, had done before; the Mahdi was called Obaid Allah to conceal him more effectually.— Such are the statements made by those who consider him to be really descended from al-Husain the son of Ali, and it may be observed how much their accounts are at variance : moreover, among the persons learned in genealogies, the most exact investigators reject Obaid Allah's pretensions to such an origin, and we have already related in the life of Abd Allah Ibn Tabâtabâ (see page 47) what passed between that sharif and al-Moizz on the arrival of the latter in Egypt, with the answer which al-Moizz made to him when questioned on the subject : the words of that prince are in themselves a proof that he did not spring from al-Husain, otherwise he would have set forth his genealogy without having had recourse to the meeting of which we have there spoken (2). They say also that his true name was Said, and Obaid Allah his surname; according to them, his mother was the wife of al-Husain Ibn Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Abd