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time there, and it was by his means that it had been erected; for this reason it was called the Convent of Abdûn (Dair Abdûn). It is hard by al-Matìra. Another Dair Abdûn is situated near Jazirat Ibn Omar (15), from which it is only separated by the Tigris; it is now in ruins, but was formerly much visited by the inhabitants of that city in their country-parties.-The verse of Ibn al-Motazz, The light of the moon had nearly betrayed us, etc. (16), contains an idea borrowed from Amr Ibn Omaiya, who thus describes the new moon:

The daughter of the clouds of night descends towards the horizon, (in shape) like the nail-cutting pared off a little finger.

(1) Mûnis was also lord chamberlain to the khalif and possessed immense influence.

(2) Abû Saîd Sinân Ibn Thâbit Ibn Kurra al-Harrâni (a Sabean by religion and a native of Harrận) was the chief physician of the khalif al-Muktadir, and he afterwards served al-Kâhir in the same capacity. This prince always consulted him and placed the highest confidence in his talents. He invited him to become a Moslim, and after a long resistance, Sinân was forced to compliance by the threats of the khalif and the apprehension inspired by his violent character. Some time afterwards, perceiving in al-Kâhir's conduct a change which foreboded nothing good, he fled to Khorasan, and after a residence in that country, he returned to Baghdad, where he died in the Moslim religion, A.H. 331 (A.D. 942-3). In the reign of al-Muktadir, he had risen to be the rais, or chief of the physicians; and in the year 309, that prince gave orders that none should be allowed to practise without a certificate of capacity from Sinân. In consequence of this decree, upwards of eight hundred and sixty persons, from Baghdad alone, applied to him for certificates; but the other physicians attached to the court, and those whose reputation was already established by extensive practice, were dispensed from that obligation. In the year 306 (A. D. 918–9), al-Muktądir founded an hospital, at Sinân's request, near the Damascus Gate (Bâb as-Shâm), and granted to it a monthly sum of two hundred dinars. In the same year the hospital called Bîmâristân as-Saiyila was founded also at his desire; six hundred dinars a month were allotted for its support, and the administration of the establishment was confided to the celebrated astronomer Yûsuf Ibn Yahya. Sinân Ibn Thâbit composed a treatise on the history of the old Syrian kings; an explanation of the principles of the Sabean religion; some treatises on mathematics and astronomy; and a number of medical works besides. Fuller details respecting him will be found in the Tarikh al-Hukama and the work of Ibn Abi Osaibîâ.

(3) The author furnishes more information on this head in the life of the vizir Ali Ibn al-Furât, and the event is noticed by all historians.

(4) Literally: Eloquence is the attaining to the idea without a long journey of words.

(5) Literally: Have swept over us the trains of their suspicions.

If and unless are classed

(6) I have here rendered the Arabic pun by an English one nearly equivalent. by the Arabian grammarians among what they call particles (harf), a term by which they designate all the parts of speech which are neither nouns nor verbs. "The only particle which occurred to thee," says Ibn Bassâm, “was the particle of correction." Ath-Thaalibi employs this expression in his Yatima when speaking of the poet Abu Faras Ibn Hamdân, "who," says he, "received the lesson of adversity (literally the misfortune of correction) and "was taken prisoner by the Greeks." In this case, the first word

should be pronounced hirfa; but Ibn Bassam pronounced it harfa, to effect a verbal quibble. This expression sometimes, as in the verse quoted by Ibn Khallikân, signifies an untimely death, which is always a moral lesson for others.

(7) Here, in the Arabic, follow four lines, which, for reasons already given, I have not translated.
(8) This last verse is not to be found in some of the MSS., the autograph among the number.

(9) It appears from the treatises on the Hanefite system of jurisprudence, that must, or the unfermented juice of the grape, may be lawfully drunk, provided that it be reduced by boiling to less than two-thirds of its original volume.

(10) Had this sort of wine not existed, the poet would have drunk wine prepared by fermentation, and have thus committed a mortal sin.

11) In the printed Arabic text, read J.

(12) That is: Of all created things. See Koran, surat 89, verse 2, with Sale's note.

(13) It is rather a proof of his pride, insolence, and heartlessness.

(14) It is probable that the author meant to say al-Hasan Ibn Maklad, who was one of the khalif al-Motamid's vizirs.-(MS. No. 895, fol. 232 v.)

(15) Jazirat Ibn Omar, or Djeztreh, is situated on the west bank of the Tigris, and lies to the north of Mosul, in the province of Nisibîn.

(16) See page 43.


Abu Muhammad Abd Allah Ibn Ahmad Ibn Ali Ibn al-Hasan Ibn Ibrahim Tabâtabà Ibn Ismail Ibn Ibrahim Ibn al-Hasan Ibn al-Hasan Ibn Ali Ibn Abi Tàlib, a native of Hijâz but an inhabitant of Egypt, in which country he died, 366 was a sharif noted for the purity of his life, the nobleness of his character, his

vast possessions in lands and tenements, the brilliant style in which he lived, the number of his slaves, the greatness of his retinue, the ease which he enjoyed, and the comforts with which he was surrounded. There was always a man in the hall of his house occupied from morning till night in pounding almonds for sweetmeats; these his master sent as presents to different persons in the city, such as al-Kâfûr al-Ikhshidi and others of inferior rank; the man himself received two pieces of gold every month for his pains. Those presents were taken to some daily, to others every Friday or every month; but to Kâfûr were brought every second day two vases filled with sweetmeats and a cake besides, all folded up in a handkerchief and carefully sealed. This raised the envy of a great man at court, who observed to Kâfùr that the sweetmeats were

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certainly good, but that the cake did not appear to him to be an offering suited to a person of his rank. On this, Kàfûr wrote to the sharîf, requesting him to forward the sweetmeats as usual, but to dispense him from accepting the cake. Ibn Tabâtabâ, perceiving from this that some envious person wished his ruin, immediately mounted his horse and rode off to Kâfûr; when they were together, he told him that he had not sent the cake through a feeling of pride or haughtiness, but that it was kneaded and baked by a young maiden of the family of Hasan (1), and that it was she who offered it to him out of purely religious motives; however, if he wished, it should be discontinued. By no means," replied Kåfûr; "let it be brought to me as usual, and for the future I shall eat of "no other." From that time, the cake and the sweetmeats continued to be sent regularly as before. After the death of Kåfùr, Egypt was reduced under the domination of al-Moizz Abû Tamim Maad al-Obaidi by his general Jawhar, him of whom we have spoken (in vol. I. page 340); and at a later period, al-Moizz came there himself from the province of Ifrikiya. His pretensions to be a descendant of Ali had been already contested, and on his approach to Old Cairo, the people of the city went forth to meet him, accompanied by a band of sharifs ; and Ibn Tabâtabâ, who was one of the number, asked him from whom he drew his descent. To this question al-Moizz replied: "We shall hold a sitting to which "all of you shall be convened, and there we shall expose to you the entire chain "of our genealogy." Being at length established in the castle of Cairo, he gave a public audience as he had promised, and having taken his seat, he asked if any of their chiefs were still alive? "No," replied they, "not one of any consequence survives." He then drew his sword half way out of the scabbard and exclaimed: "This is my genealogy! and here," said he, scattering a great quantity of gold among them, "here are the proofs of my nobility!" On this they all acknowledged him for their lord and master (2).—Ibn Tabàtabâ treated the intendants of his domains with great attention and kindness; he went on horseback to visit them and his friends, giving them every mark of politeness and sitting with them for a considerable time before retiring. Great numbers owed their wealth to his generosity; indeed the whole tenour of his conduct was most praiseworthy. He was born A. H. 286 (A. D. 899), and he died at Cairo on the 4th of Rajab, A. H. 348 (September, A. D. 959). Funeral prayers were said over his body in the Musalla of the Festival (3), and an innumerable multitude

were present at his interment. He was buried in the Karâfa, and his tomb is in high repute for the fulfilment of prayers offered up at it: it is stated that a man made the pilgrimage to Mekka, but had forgot to visit the tomb of the blessed Prophet at Medina; an omission for which he continued to feel the deepest regret: but he at length saw the Prophet in a dream, and was told by him that when he forgot to visit the tomb at Medina, he should visit that of Abd Allah Ibn Ahmad Ibn Tabatabà. Of all the holy men, it was he principally who appeared to the inhabitants of Cairo in their dreams (4). It is also related that a person indebted to his kindness recited these verses at his tomb:


Since thy death, the existence of mankind is troubled with care; but during thy life, they were secure from misfortune.

He then had a dream in which Ibn Tabâtabâ appeared to him and said: “I "heard thy words, but my answer with the accomplishment of thy desires was "intercepted before it reached thee; go, however, to a mosque (5) and make a prayer of two rakas; then ask, thy request shall be granted."— We have already explained the meaning of the word Tabâtabâ (in vol. I. page 115).— The anecdote which we have just related, of Ibn Tabatabâ's interview with al-Moizz on that prince's arrival in Egypt, is taken from the work called ad-Dual al-Munkatia(6), but it is in contradiction with dates; for al-Moizz entered Cairo in the month of Ramadan, A.H. 362 (June, A.D. 973), as we shall again mention in his life, and 567 Ibn Tabatabà died A. H. 348, as has been already said; how then can we admit that a meeting took place between them? I learned the date of his death from our shaikh Zaki 'd-din Abd al-Azìm al-Mundiri, whom I consulted also on this anachronism: he replied that the date of Ibn Tabâtabâ's death was perfectly certain, and that it was perhaps his son to whom this circumstance happened with al-Moizz; God knoweth best if this conjecture be right or not! (7) I have since found that the emir al-Mukhtar al-Musabbihi gives, in his History of Egypt, the same date for Ibn Tabataba's death as that which I received from Zaki'd-din. He adds also: "He died, after long sufferings, of (an excrescence like) a mulberry which obstructed his throat, and for which every remedy that they tried was useless. It was a strange and unheard-of malady."-Since writing the foregoing observations, I read in Ibn Zûlâk's History of Egypt that the sharifs who went to meet al-Moizz were Abu Jaafar Muslim Ibn Obaid Allah al-Hu


saini (8) and Abû Ismail Ibrahim Ibn Ahmad al-Husaini ar-Rassi; it was perhaps one of them to whom the circumstance happened (with al-Moizz).

(1) The autograph has . The girl was apparently the daughter of Ibn Tabâtabâ, who, as his genealogy shows, was descended from Hasan, grandson of Muhammad.

(2) See Ibn Khallikan's observations on this anecdote, towards the end of the article.

(3) See vol. I. page 605.

(4) The opinion of the Moslims on the subject of dreams is stated in the first volume.

مسجد The autograph has (3)

(6) See vol. I. page 152, note (5).

(7) I am convinced that this anecdote is totally false. Al-Moizz was too prudent to make any declaration of the kind, as it would not only have destroyed his own title and that of his descendants to the khalifate, but have shaken the fidelity of his Berber troops, who only served him from their conviction that he was really descended from the Prophet and the true heir to his authority. I must also observe that, notwithstanding Hajji Khalifa's favourable opinion of the work, the Dual al-Munkatia does not seem to be always a sure guide; some of the anecdotes extracted from it by Ibn Khallikân are totally unworthy of belief. (8) See vol. I. page 322, note (1).



Abû 'l-Abbas Abd Allah Ibn Tâhir Ibn al-Husain Ibn Musab Ibn Ruzaik Ibn Màhân al-Khuzai, a prince whose father's life we have given (vol. I. page 649), was gifted with superior abilities, a lofty soul, and great discernment. discernment. mûn placed in him the highest confidence, and treated him with the utmost consideration, on account of his personal merit and the faithful services which his father and his ancestors had rendered to the Abbaside family. He was governor of Dinawar when Babek al-Khurrami invaded Khorasan with his followers and entered al-Hamrâ, a town in the province of Naisàpûr, where they committed great ravages. Al-Mâmûn, on receiving intelligence of this event, wrote to Abd Allah, ordering him to proceed to Khorasân; he set out on the 15th of the first Rabi, A. H. 243 (June, A. D. 828), and waged war with the rebels. In the month of Rajab, A. H. 215 (Aug.-Sept. A. D. 830), he arrived at Naisâpûr, which had suffered much that year from the total want of rain. His entry into the city was accompanied by a heavy shower, on which a cloth-merchant went out to him from his shop and recited these verses:




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