« PreviousContinue »
• Hearken, Abû 'l-Husain! to the words of a man who, obliged to speak unprepared, utters his thoughts off-hand. Here is Abû 'l-Wahsh, who goes to praise the family * (with whom you are residing); vaunt then his merit when he arrives, and repeat to them ' in your own excellent language, what I now relate to you respecting him. Tell them • that he is a man the like of whom was never seen before: the qualities which they will ' find in him render unnecessary any description of mine; any other information than * this no sensible man need require.— Notwithstanding his continual levity (of conduct) • he acknowledges that he is a heavy fellow (2). He is allied to silliness, stupidity, and folly; for other connexions, he has none. If you essay to open him with the • intention of discovering what he contains, you will open a vacuity. If he sojourn * with you, treat him with indignity and contempt, but when he intends to set off, be • officious in helping him. Give him poison to drink if you find the opportunity, and • mix it for him with the honey of your tongue (flattering language).'
One of his most admired pieces is a humorous maksûra (poem rhyming in a short a), written in imitation of lbn Duraid's, and which contains this verse:
Things joined in close union must one day separate, even were they stuck together with glue.
He composed also an elegy on the death of Imâd ad-din Zinki, the son of Ak Sunkur (see vol. I. pages 539 and 225); in this piece he has combined the opposite extremes of gravity and humour. The greater part of his poetry is characterised by the natural simplicity of its ideas and style. He was born in Yemen, A. H. 486 (A. D. 1093-4), according to Ibn ad-Dubaithi, in his supplement (to the History of Baghdad); he died at Damascus on the eve of Wednesday, the 4th of Zů ’l-Kaada, A. H. 549 (January, A. D. 1155); but Ibn ad-Dubaithi says that his death took place after the second hour of the night which preceded the sixth day of Zù ’l-Kaada, which day was a Wednesday. He was interred at the Gate of al-Faradis.— The kâdi Ibn al-Murakhkhim, mentioned in this article, is the same person on whom the following lines were made by Hibat Allah Ibn al-Kattân, a poet of whom we shall give an account in this work:
Ibn al-Murakhkhim, you have now become a kádi amongst us! say if it be fortune 385 which has gone mad (to bring about so absurd an event), or is it a prank of the stars? Were your judicial practice confined to judicial astrology, your decisions might be sometimes right, but how did you come to know the laws of Muhammad ?
(1) This is the reading of the autograph, but all the other manuscripts which I have consulted and the Bibliographical Dictionary of Hajji Khalifa have ar-Radda.
(2) The autograph has 'Slähl, but no such word exists in Arabic ; the true reading is Slea'), as I have printed it.
ABD AR-RAHMAN IBN ABI LAILA.
Abû Isa Abd ar-Rahman Ibn Abi Laila Yasar Ibn Bilal Ibn Ohaiha Ibn alJullâh al-Ansari was one of the principal Tåbîs who settled at Kûfa. Different opinions are held respecting the true name of his father Abů Laila, who was one of the Ansârs; some say it was Yasår, others Dåwûd, etc. Ibn Abi Laila learned Traditions from Ali Ibn Abi Tålib, Othmân Ibn Affàn, Abû Aiyûb al-Ansåri (1), and others; it is mentioned also that he received some Traditions from Omar, but this is a fact which no hafiz considers as well established. His father Abû Laila handed down a saying which he had heard uttered by the Prophet himself, and it was he who bore the standard of Ali at the battle of the Camel. Ibn Abi Laila received also Traditions from Abd ar-Rahmân as-Shâbi, Mujahid (2), Abd al-Malik Ibn Omair, and a great number of others. He was born (A. H. 21, A. D. 642) two years before the death of Omar, and was slain at the river Dujail, or drowned in the river of Basra; some say however that he was one of the missing after the battle with Ibn al-Ashâth at Dair al-Jamajim in A.H. 83 (A. D. 702). Other accounts place his death in the years 81 and 82 of
(1) Abù Aiyûb Khalid Ibn Zaid al-Ansari, a member of the tribe of Khazraj, was the person at whose house Muhammad stopped on his arrival at Medina, when forced to abandon Mekka. He fought under Muhammad at Badr and Ohod, and under Ali at the battle of the Camel, at Siffin and at Nahrawân. He died A. H. 52 (A. D. 672), under the walls of Constantinople, during the siege of that city by the troops of the khalif Moawia ; a highly venerated mosque still marks the place of his interment.
(2) See vol. I. page 368.
Abû Amr Abd ar-Rahman Ibn Amr Ibn Yuhmid al-Auzài, the chief imâm, or doctor of the law, among the Moslims of Syria, was the most learned man of that country in the science of jurisprudence. It is said that he gave the solution of seventy thousand legal questions. He dwelt at Bairût. It is related that when
Sofyan ath-Thauri heard that al-Auzài was coming (to town), he went out to meet him, as far as Zû Taui (1), and taking the halter off al-Auzâi's camel, he placed it about his own neck, and as he went on, he called out to the different bands of people whom he met : “Make way for the master!" Al-Auzài learned the Traditions from (Ibn Shihab) az-Zuhri and Ata (Ibn Abi Rabâh); he taught them to ath-Thauri, who gave some on his authority, and he had besides a great number of other pupils, amongst whom was Abd Allah Ibn al
Mubarak. He was born at Baalbek, A. H. 88 (A.D. 707), or 93 ; his childhood was passed at al-Bikâa (2), whence his mother removed him to Bairût. In stature he was above the middle size; his beard was thin, his complexion tawny, and his hair was usually dyed with hinna. His death took place on Sunday, the 27th of Safar (some say the first Rabi), A. H. 157 (January, A. D. 774), at the town of Bairût. His tomb is in a village called Hantûs, situated outside the gate of Bairût and inhabited solely by Moslims. He lies buried in the kibla of the mosque, but the people of the place do not know who is interred there; they merely say: “Here
reposes a man upon whom the divine light descends.” It is only persons of education who are aware of the real fact. A poet deplored his death in these lines :
May genial rains descend each evening on the tomb in Syria whose cavity contains al-Auzâil a tomb which contains a mountain of legal knowledge! blessings on that tomb from Him who knoweth, and who worketh good! The world offered itself to him, but he turned away in pious abnegation; Oh, with what resolution !
It is stated by the hâfiz Ibn Asâkir, in his History of Damascus, that al-Auzài went into a bath at Bairût, and the master of the establishment happening to be called away on some business, locked the door. When he returned, he went in and found al-Auzâi dead, with his left hand placed under his cheek and his face turned towards Mekka. Others relate that it was his wife who locked the 386 door undesignedly, and that Said Ibn Abd al-Aziz ordered her to set free a slave in expiation of her fault.-Auzâi means belonging to Auzâa, which is a branch of a tribe in Yemen called Zû Kalâa. Others state that his ancestor Auzaa belonged to the tribe of Hamdân, and that his real name was Marthad Ibn Zaid. Some again say that al-Auzâa is a village near Damascus on the road proceeding from the Gate of al-Faràdis, and that he drew his surname from thence; it is true, say they, that he was not a native of the place, but he resided there for
some time, having been one of the captives made by the Moslims when they first subdued Yemen.- Bairút is a village on the coast of Syria ; the Franks took it from the Moslims on Friday the 10th of Zû 'l-Hijja, A. H. 593 (A. D. 1193).
(1) This place seems to have been in the neighbourhood of Basra.
(2) Bikáa or Bikâa 'l-Kalb, an extensive canton situated between Baalbek, Emessa, and Damascus, is well watered and contains a great number of villages.-(Marâsid.) See also Abû 'l-Feda's Geography, Arabic text, page 40, note, and the translation by M. Reinaud, page 49.
IBN AL-KASIM AL-MALIKI.
Abû Abd Allah Abd ar-Rahman Ibn al-Kasim Ibn Khalid Ibn Junada, surnamed al-Otaki, by right of adoption, was a doctor of the sect of Målik, and not less distinguished for his knowledge of the law than for his severe self-mortification. He studied jurisprudence under Mâlik and other teachers of the same epoch, and he continued, during the space of twenty years, to follow Malik as a pupil. On the death of that imâm, his disciples studied with great profit under Ibn al-Kasim. He is the author of the Mudawwana (written collection containing the doctrines peculiar to the Malikites, and esteemed by them as one of their very best works on the subject. He gave lessons to Suhnûn in jurisprudence. His birth is placed diversely, in the years 132, 133, and 128 (A. D. 745); he died at Old Cairo on the eve of Friday, the 7th of Safar, A. H. 191 (December, A. D. 806), and was interred in the cemetery outside the gate of the Lesser Karâfa, opposite to the tomb of Ashhab, the Malikite doctor. I have visited those two monuments, which are situated near the city wall.— Otaki means belonging to the Otaká (the liberated); these people were not all of the same tribe ; some being descended from Hajar of the tribe of) Himyar; others from Saad al-Ashîra; others again from the Modarite tribe of Kinâna, etc. The great majority of them resided at Old Cairo, and the Abd ar-Rahmân of whom we are now speaking was a mawla to Zubaid Ibn al-Harith al-Otaki, who himself drew his descent from Hajar of Himyar. Abû Abd Allah al-Kudài says :
" The tribes which settled in the Zahir (back grounds) of Cairo were the Otakà ; “ this body of people consisted of bands belonging to various tribes, which “ waylaid the persons who went to visit the Prophet. In consequence of “ this conduct, he sent an expedition against them and had them all brought “ to him prisoners; he then gave them their liberty, and for this reason “ they were called the Otaká (1).” “When Amr Ibn al-Aasi conquered Misr, “ an event which took place on Friday, the first of Muharram, A. H. 20 “ December, A. D. 640), the Otakâ were with him and formed a portion of
People of the Standard. These were so denominated for the following reason: The Arabs of each tribe had taken a distinctive standard, but some “ of the tribes were in such small numbers that a standard could not be
granted to them; on which Amr Ibn al-Aasi said: “I shall establish a “6 standard bearing the name of no particular tribe, and it shall be your
rallying point.' They consented to his proposal, and the title of the People of the Standard became a general denomination for them all, and “ such was the name by which they were designated on the muster-roll. When “ Alexandria was taken, Amr returned to Fostât, and the different tribes marked
out the grounds where they intended to build their dwellings. The Otakå “ arrived afterwards, but not finding building-room where the People of the “ Standard had laid out their settlement, they made a complaint to Amr on the “ subject, and Moawia Ibn Hudaij (2), who was director of the works, advised 587 “them to settle outside the other tribes and call the spot where they fixed their “ residence az-Zahir (the outside). They adopted his counsel, and they then “ became known by the name of the People of the Zähir.” All this is taken from a Khitat, or topographical description of Cairo, by Abû Amr Muhammad Ibn Yusuf Ibn Yakûb at-Tujibi (3); it is a useful piece of information and necessary to be known, for which reason I am induced to give it.
(1) The citation which follows is taken from another work.
(2) This name is generally found written Khudaij cudo, but its true orthography is given by Abu'l-Mahasin in the Bahr az-Zakhir under the year 52.—Abů Noaim Moawia Ibn Hudaij Ibn Jofna, a member of the tribe of Tujib, a branch of that of Kinda, joined the standard of Muhammad and was present at the taking of Mekka. When Amr Ibn al-Aasi got possession of Alexandria, it was Ibn Hudaij whom he dispatched with the news to the khalif Omar. He lost an eye in an expedition against the Nubians, undertaken by Ibn Abi 's-Sarh, A. H. 31. He commanded three expeditions into Western Africa in A. H. 31, 34, and 40. He was