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al-Babbagha. Ath-Thaâlibi says in his Yatîma that he was a native of Nisibin, and speaks of his talents in the highest terms; he gives also a number of epistles and pieces of verse composed by him, and inserts (the poetical correspondence) which passed between him and Abû Ishak as-Sàbi, with other circumstances too long to relate (1). The following are specimens of his poetry:
O you who reign over my heart! my soul (is departing and) biddeth you adieu : it found not patience to console it (for your cruelty); nay, it (became insensible and) ceased to feel the anguish (of unrequited love). It was once my hope long to enjoy the breath of life, but now, since you abandon me, that hope subsists no more. May God inflict on me no longer the pains of existence! When you are absent, I can find no happiness in life.
Thy image which I see so often in my dreams knows better than thyself how much I love thee, and feels more compassion for thy afflicted suitor than thou dost. When thy cruelty drove sleep from my eyes, that image would have visited my waking hours, could it possibly have done so.
I remember a graceful maid whose countenance was clothed in a robe of beauty and encircled with a broidery of ringlets. When I called upon my heart for strength to endure the pains her cruelty inflicted, that heart became her ally. So perfect are the charms of her face, that the moon seems to have borrowed all her radiance there. When my heart urges me to fly from her tyranny, love says: “Nought can avail against “ her; try and soothe her by submission (2).”
In one of his comparisons he employs the following original idea :
The hoofs of his rapid steeds stamp on the very rock the image of a crescent. The eye of the sun was dazzled (by their speed), and the dust which they raised seemed applied to it as a collyrium.
415 Speaking of Said ad-Dawlat (3) the (grand son of Saif ad-Dawlat Ibn Hamdan,
The cloud of his generosity overshadowed mankind; and its lightnings, the foreboders of a grateful shower, never deluded our hopes. His beneficence was no trickling streamlet; he bestowed till nothing more remained for him to give, or for mortals to desire.
In the life of Abû Nasr Ibn Nubåta (page 139) we have already given some passages containing a similar thought. The greater part of al-Babbagha's poetry is characterised by the excellence (of its style) and the beauty of its ideas. He had been for some time in the service of Saif ad-Dawlat Ibn Hamdân, but, on that prince's death, he travelled from one country to another, and at length died on Saturday, the 29th Shaabân, A. H. 398 (May, A. D. 1008). It is stated however by the Khatib (see vol. I. p. 75), in his History, that he died on the eve of Saturday, the 26th of Shaabân, A. H. 398.
Ath-Thaklibi says :
" “ heard the emir Abù 'l-Fadl al-Mikäli relate that, on returning from the pil
grimage in the year 390, he entered Baghdad and met there Abû 'l-Faraj " al-Babbagha, who was then far advanced in age, his body enfeebled by years, “ but his mind still possessing its usual vigour and elegance.”— He was surnamed Babbagha (parrot) for the fluency of his language, or, as some say, for an impediment in his speech which made him lisp: I met with a note in the handwriting of Ibn Jinni the grammarian, in which it is stated that this name is to be written Faffagha, but God best knoweth which is the right orthography (4).
(1) The life of al-Babbagha, some fragments of his poetry, and a part of his correspondence with Abû Ishak, extracted from the Yatima, were published at Leipsic, 1838, by Ph. Wolf.
(2) The autograph gives the true reading, which is ole aiv. In the printed edition and the other manuscripts, the reading is decidedly bad, as it contains a fault against prosody.
(3) The history of Said ad-Dawlat, extracted from Kamål ad-din's History of Aleppo, has been published in Arabic by professor Freytag at the end of his edition of Lokman's Fables. Bonn, 1823.
(4) Babbagha, the Arabic name for the green parrot, is evidently the same word as the Spanish and Portuguese papagayo (parrot), the German papagey, the Italian pappagallo, the old French papegai, and the English popinjay; as there is no p in the Arabic alphabet, a b or an f are equally used to replace it. This word is not originally Arabic; it belongs perhaps to some Indian dialect.
ABU MANSUR AL-BAGHDADI.'
The ustâd (master) Abů Mansûr Abd al-Kâhir Ibn Tâhir Ibn Muhammad alBaghdadi (a native of Baghdad), a dogmatic theologian and a member of the sect of as-Shâfi, was well acquainted with the belles-lettres, and versed in a great number of other sciences, particularly arithmetic; of the last he was a complete master and wrote on it some instructive works, one of which bears the title of at-Takmila (the completion). He possessed great skill in the art of calculating the shares to which the different heirs of an inheritance are entitled, and he composed also a great quantity of poetry. The hâfiz Abd al-Ghâfir al-Fårisi mentions him in the Siak, or continuation of the History of Naisapûr, and says : “ He came to Naisapûr with his father, and possessed great riches, which he
spent on the learned (in the law) and on the Traditionists: he never made “ of his information a source of profit. He composed treatises on different " sciences and surpassed his contemporaries in every branch of learning, seven“ teen of which he taught publicly. He studied jurisprudence under Abû Ishak “ as-Shirâzi, and, on that doctor's death, he filled his place as a professor in “ the mosque of Akil; during some years he gave lessons there, which were assi“ duously attended by doctors of the greatest eminence; amongst his pupils “ were Nasir al-Marwazi and Zain al-Islam al-Kushairi.” He died in the city of Isfarâin, A. H. 429 (A. D. 1037-8), and was interred beside the grave of his master Abu Ishak.
ABU 'N-NAJIB AS-SUHRAWARDI.
Abû ’n-Najib. Abd al-Kâhir as-Suhrawardi, surnamed Diâ ad-din (splendour of religion), was a descendant of the khalif Abû Bakr; his father Abd Allah being the son of Muhammad Ibn Ammûya Abd Allah Ibn Saad Ibn al-Husain Ibn alKasim Ibn Alkama Ibn an-Nadr Ibn Muaz Ibn Abd ar-Rahman Ibn al-Kasim Ibn Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr as-Siddik. But Ibn an-Najjar says in his History of Baghdad: “I give here the genealogy of the shaikh Abû ’n-Najib as I found it “ in his own handwriting: Abd al-Kâhir Ibn Abd Allah Ibn Muhammad Ibn
“ Ammûya Abd Allah Ibn Saad Ibn al-Husain Ibn al-Kâsim Ibn an-Nadr Ibn 416 “ al-Kâsim Ibn Saad (1) Ibn an-Nadr Ibn Abd ar-Rahman Ibn al-Kasim Ibn
66 Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr as-Siddik.” This list must be more correct than the former, since it was written out by Abû ’n-Najib himself.— Abû ’n-Najib, the first teacher of his age in Irak, was born at Suhraward on or about the year 490 (A. D. 1097). He went to Baghdad and studied jurisprudence at the Nizamiya College under Asaad al-Mihani (see vol. I. page 189) and other masters; he then walked in the path of Sufism, and, having conceived a strong passion for retirement and an aversion for worldly concerns, he abstained, for a long period of time, from all intercourse with mankind, and sedulously devoted his efforts to the task of obtaining the divine favour. He afterwards returned to the world and converted great numbers from their evil courses by his exhortations and admonitions. A convent was built by him on the west bank of the Tigris at Baghdad, in which he lodged a number of holy men who were his disciples. He was then induced to give lessons in the Nizâmiya College, and, during the period of his professorship, the effects of the divine grace with which he was favoured were manifested in the rapid progress of his pupils. His appointment took place on the 27th of Muharram, A. H. 545 (May, A. D. 1150), and his removal from office in the month of Rajab, 547. The hafiz Abû 's-Saad as-Samani has handed down some Traditions on his authority, and he mentions him also in his work (the supplement to the History of Baghdad). Abû ’n-Najib set out on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and on his arrival at Mosul, A. H. 557 (A. D. 1162), he gave pious exhortations at sittings held by him in the Old Mosque; he then proceeded to Syria, but on reaching Damascus, he was prevented from visiting the holy city by the rupture of the truce which had been concluded between the Moslims and the Franks, whose projects may God frustrate! On his arrival at Damascus, a most honourable reception was granted to him by al-Malik al-Aadil Nûr ad-din Mahmûd, the sovereign of Syria. He there held regular assemblies at which he preached, but, after a short stay, he returned to Baghdad, in which city he died, on Friday, the 17th of the latter Jumada, A. H. 563 (March, A. D. 1168), at the hour of evening prayers. Early the next morning, he was interred in the convent founded by himself. His birth was on or about the year 490 (A. D. 1097), according to the statement of Shihab ad-din, his brother's son. His nephew Shihåb ad-din Abû Hafs Omar as-Suhrawardi shall be spoken of in another part of this work.-- Suhrawardi means belonging to Suhraward, which is a village near Zanjân in Persian Irak.
ABU 'L-KASIM AL-KUSHAIRI.
Abû 'l-Kasim Abd al-Karim Ibn Hawazin Ibn Abd al-Malik Ibn Talha Ibn Muhammad al-Kushairi, a doctor of the sect of as-Shâfi, was one of the most learned men of the age in the science of jurisprudence, koranic exegesis, the Traditions, dogmatic theology, the belles-lettres, and poetry; he possessed also great skill in penmanship and a profound knowledge of Sufism, to the practices of which he united a perfect acquaintance with the law. He drew his descent from one of the Arabs who settled in Khorasan (on the first conquest of that country by the Moslims), and his family inhabited a place there called Ustuwa. At an early age he lost his father, and his youth was devoted to the study of Arabic) literature. He possessed a village in the neighbourhood of Ustuwa, and, as it was oppressed by excessive taxation, he resolved on proceeding to Naisapûr that he might acquire a knowledge of arithmetic sufficient to qualify him as an assessor, and thus enable him to protect his village from the rapacity of the revenue officers. On arriving in that city, he happened to attend an assembly presided by the shaikh Abû Ali al-Hasan Ibn Ali ad-Dakkåk, who was the great master (of Safism) in that age; the discourse which he heard excited bis admiration, and left so deep an impression on his mind, that he abandoned his former project and entered as a candidate on the path of Sufism. Ad-Dakkák, remarking in his countenance the indications of a noble character, received him with kindness and admitted him into the order); he then excited his generous ambition and advised him to cultivate the science (of the law). Abů Kasim was thus induced to attend the lessons of Abû Bakr Muhammad Ibn Bakr at-Tùsi (1), under whom he pursued the study of jurisprudence till he had noted down the whole course as delivered by that teacher. His next master was Abu Bakr Ibn Fúrak (2), under whom he studied with great assiduity till he mastered the sci
ence of dogmatic theology. He then went to the course held by Abû Ishak 417 al-Isfarâini, and during the first days he remained seated as a simple auditor, till
Abû Ishak at length told him that the science which he taught could not be learned by mere listening, and that it was absolutely necessary to take it down in writing. Upon this, Abû 'l-Kâsim repeated to him the whole of the lectures which he had heard on the preceding days. Abû Ishak was struck with admi