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Abu Bakr Aâsim was the son of Abû 'n-Najûd Bahdala, a mawla to the tribe of Jadima Ibn Mâlik Ibn Nasr Ibn Koain Ibn Asad. His acquaintance with the koranic readings drew upon him general notice and ranked him as one of the seven great masters of that science. He had learned it from Abù Abd ar-Rahmân as-Sulami (1) and Zirr Ibn Hubaish (2); he taught it to Abu Bakr Ibn Aiyash (see vol. I. page 553) and Abù Omar al-Bazzâz (3), but these two varied very much in their manner of reading certain words. Aâsim died at Kûfa, A.H. 343 127 (A. D. 744-5).-The word najûd signifies a female wild ass not pregnant; others say that she is thus designated when keeping watch on the top of a hill. Some persons state that Bahdala was his mother's name (not his father's).

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(1) Abu Abd ar-Rahmân Abd Allah Ibn Habib as-Sulami al-Kûfi (a member of the tribe of Sulaim and a native of Kûfa) was born in the lifetime of Muhammad. He learned to read the Koran under the tuition of the khalifs Othman and Ali, and then taught the same science in the great mosque of Kûfa. He died A. H. 74 (A.D. 693-4).—(Ad-Dahabi's Tabakåt al-Kurra.)

(2) Abù Miryam Zirr Ibn Hubaish Ibn Hubâsa, a member of the tribe of Asad and a native of Kûfa, was one of the great masters in the art of reading the Koran. He was celebrated also as a philologist, and died at a very advanced age, A. H. 82 (A. D. 701).—(Ad-Dahabi's Tabakåt al-Kurrâ, fol. 8.)

(3) Abu Omar Hafs Ibn Abi Dâwûd al-Bazzâz, the disciple of al-Aâsim, was a native of Kûfa and a mawla to the tribe of Asad. Born A H. 90 (A.D. 708-9); died A.H. 180 (A.D, 796–7).—(Tab. al-Kurrâ.)




Abû Burda Aamir was the son of Abû Mûsa Abd Allah Ibn Kais al-Ashari, one of Muhammad's companions, who had come to him from Yemen with the Asharites when they became converts to Islamism (1). Muhammad Ibn Saad mentions in his Tabakât that Abû Burda succeeded to Shuraih (see vol. I. p.619) as kâdi of Kûfa. By the nobleness of his conduct and by his virtues he attained a high reputation. Abû Mûsa, when governor of Basra, married Taniya the daughter of Dammûn, a native of Taif, and she bore him Abû Burda; the child was put to nurse with the tribe of Fukaim, which dwelt at al-Ghark (2); when grown a boy, he was dressed in two mantles (burda) by (his foster-father) Abû Shaikh Ibn al-Gharik, and brought to his father, who then surnamed him Abû Burda; from that time his real name ceased to be given him. Abû Mûsa was kâdi of Basra under the khalif Omar and afterwards, in the reign of Othmân, he acted as a kâdi at Kûfa; his (grand)son Bilâl was also kâdi of Basra: this was the circumstance which gave rise to the saying, three kâdis in succession.—The poet Zû 'r-Rumma composed a number of splendid poems in praise of Bilâl, and in the following verse, addressed to his camel, he alludes to him also:

When thou reachest Bilâl the (grand) son of Abû Mûsa (thy toils are at an end,) and the butcher then may wield his axe to disjoint thy limbs.

He said also of him:

On hearing that the tribe were roaming through the desert with their flocks in search of pasturage, I said to Saidah: "Seek abundance near Bilâl !”

Saidah was the name of the poet's camel.-Bilâl was one of the deputies in the service of Khâlid al-Kasri (see his life, vol. I. p. 484); when the latter was deprived of the government of Arabian and Persian Irak, his successor Yûsuf Ibn Omar ath-Thakafi required from him and his agents an account of what had been done with the revenues of these provinces, and employed torture to make them refund; al-Kasri and Bilâl expired under their sufferings. In a book containing a collection of anecdotes I found the following: At a public assembly Abû Burda was extolling the virtues of his father, and mentioned that he had been one of Muhammad's companions; he vaunted also the glory which accrued to himself

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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 Prophet!" This retort silenced Abù Burda and forced him to smother his anger. The following anecdote is related by Ghars an-Nima as-Sabi (4) in one of his works: "Abû Safwân Khâlid Ibn Safwân, a member of the tribe of "Tamim, was celebrated as an eloquent speaker. He used to visit Bilal Ibn “Abi Burda and converse with him, but his language was frequently ungram"matical. This grew at length so irksome to Bilâl, that he said to him: '() "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 Bilal 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 dispelled till he get a full shower from it;' and he then ordered him a whipping "of two hundred strokes. This Khâlid 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


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being that person's son. Al-Ahtam was the son of Sumai Ibn Sinan Ibn "Khalid Ibn Minkar, of the tribe of Tamim; and for this reason he bore the 66 surnames of al-Minkari and at-Tamimi. His real name was Sinân, but when "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)." Others say that his teeth were broken on the battle-day of al-Kulàb (7). Shabba (8) was an uncle of this Khâlid.-Abû Burda died A. H. 724-2), 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

Shabib Ibu 103 (A. D.

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 Merâsid merely says: **al-Ghark, a village in the dependencies of Marw-al Ghork, a village in Yemâma, 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 Mishcat, vol. II. page 2. See also the first volume of the present work, p. 301.) (4) Mention has been made of this historian in the first volume, page 290.

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(5) Amr, the son of Sinân al-Ahtam, an eminent chief of the tribe of Tamîm, 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 Tamîm. (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-Yakûta, 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-Athîr's Kâmil, year 169.)


Abû Amr Aâmir as-Shâbi was the son of Sharâhil Ibn Abd Ibn (1) Zì Kibâr : Zù Kibar was one of the princes of Yemen. As-Shâbi sprang from Himyar and was counted as a member of the tribe of Hamdân, but Kûfa was the place of his birth. He held a high rank among the Tâbîs 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

húl (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 answers. 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 in my 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 my 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. "Do 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. "By "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! "if

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you have imprisoned them without cause, let your justice deliver them; and 545 "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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