Page images
PDF
EPUB

“afternoon, funeral prayers were said over them at the usual place; I was pre“sent at the ceremony, and the people said : “Our most learned jurisconsult " and our best poet are dead.'” They both died at Medina, but some state, erroneously however, that Ikrima's death took place at al-Kairawan. Ikrima was much addicted to travelling in distant countries, and he visited, amongst other places, Khorasân, Ispahân, and Egypt.—The primitive signification of the word Ikrima is a hen-pigeon, but it was subsequently employed as a proper name for persons.— Omâra Ibu Hamza, the mawla of al-Mansûr, so noted for his vanity (8), was descended from Ikrima ; according to the Khatib (vol. I. p. 75), he was the son of Ikrima's daughter (9.

(1) The autograph has ja'.

(2) See vol. I. page 663, and note.

(3) Abd Allah the son of Amr Ibn al-Aasi embraced Islamism previously to his father's conversion, and oblained permission from the Prophet to write to his parent and inform him of the doctrines of his new faith. He was only thirteen years younger than his father, and he often reproached him for his turbulent and seditious conduct. By his profound devotion and learning he obtained general respect, and he died A. H. 72 (A. D. 691-2), at the age of seventy-two years. The place of his death is not known with certainty; some authorities say Syria, and others, Egypt or Mekka or Tàif.-(Talkih MS. No. 361, fol. 40.)

(4) Abû Said Saad Ibn Malik Ibn Sinan Ibn Thalab al-Khudri (of the tribe of Khudra) was one of Muham"ad':companions and an ansår of the third class. At the age of thirteen years he took up arms for the Propret and accompanied his father to Ohod. When the Moslim troops were passed in review before the battle, he was found to be too young and sent back. The father fell at Ohod, and the son afterwards accompanied the Prophet in twelve of his expeditions. He died at Medina, A. H. 74 (A. D. 693-4), and was interred in the Baki cemetery.—(Nujům. Siar as-Salaf. Talkih.)

(8) The life of as-Sabii is given in this volume.
(6) The life of Muhammad Ibn Saad will be found in this work.
(7) The life of al-Wakidi will be found further on.

(8) Omåra Ibn Hamza Ibn Malik Ibn Yazid Ibn Abd Allah, a maula to al-Abbâs Ibn Abd al-Malik, was a katib in the service of the khalif al-Mansûr, who entrusted him with the receivership of the revenues of Basra. His style was remarkable for purity and elegance, and his liberality unbounded. He carried his vanity, how. ever, to so great an extreme, that it was proverbially said : “Such a one is vainer than Omâra Ibn Hamza.” Some persons obtained from him a gift of one hundred thousand dirhims, and when he was informed by his chamberlain that they had come to thank him for his generosity, he answered : “ Tell them that I have deli“ vered them from the opprobrium of poverty, and shall not impose upon them the burden of gratitude.” Numerous other anecdotes are related of his excessive vanity. A palace in Baghdad called the hotel of Omara (dar Omara) was so called after him. He died A. H. 199 (A. D. 814-5).- (Abridged History of Baghdad by the Khatib, No. 634, fol. 6 et 146. An-Nujum az-Zahira, in anno.) Some anecdotes respecting him will be found in this work.

(9)

.ابن ابنة عكرمة Read (9)

ZAIN AL-AABIDIN.

Abů ’l-Hasan Ali, the son of al-Husain, the son of Ali Ibn Abi Talib, is generally known by the appellation of Zain al-Aâbidin (the ornament of the adorers), but was sometimes designated as Ali the Less. As none of the other children of al-Husain left issue, all his descendants are sprung from this son. Zain alAabidin is one of the twelve imâms, and ranks among the principal Täbis. It was observed by az-Zuhri that he never met a member of the tribe of Koraish possessing nobler qualities than he. His mother Sulåfa was daughter to Yezdegird, the last of the kings of Persia, and she was aunt to the mother of Yazid Ibn al-Walid the Omaiyide, surnamed an-Nâkis. When Kutaiba Ibn Muslim al-Bâhili, the lieutenant-governor of Khorasan, had overthrown the royal dynasty of Persia and slain Fairûz the son of Yezdegird, he sent the two daughters of the latter to al-Hajjaj Ibn Yûsuf ath-Thakafi (vol. I. p. 356), who was then governor of Irak and Khorasân. Al-Hajjaj kept one of them for himself and sent the other, whose name was Shah Farid, to al-Walid Ibn Abd al-Malik, 443 and she bore him his son Yazid, who was afterwards surnamed an-Nâkis (the diminisher), because he diminished the donations, or pay, granted to the troops. Zain al-Aâbidin was also called Ibn al-Khiaratain (the son of the two preferred ones), because the Prophet had said : “ Of all the human race,

Almighty God has preferred two (families); the tribe of Kuraish amongst " the Arabs, and the Persians amongst the foreign nations.” Abû 'l-Kâsim az-Zamakshari relates the following circumstance in his work entitled Rabi al-Abrâr : “ Amongst the number of the Persian captives brought to Me“ dina by the Companions, in the khalifate of Omar Ibn al-Khattab, were “ three daughters of Yezdegird. When they had sold the other prisoners, “ Omar ordered them to sell the daughters of Yezdegird also, but Ali said : " • The daughters of kings are not to be treated as those of the common “people.'—' And what must be done with them ?' said Omar.— Ali replied : "" Let a price be set upon them, to be paid by him who wishes to possess " them.' This proposal having received Omar's consent, Ali bought them all, “ and gave one of them to Abd Allah Ibn Omar, another to his own son al“ Husain, and the third to his ward Muhammad, the son of Abû Bakr as-Sid

27

66

VOL. II.

“ dik. Abd Allah’s concubine bore him a son named Salim, al-Ilusain’s bore “ Zain al-Aabidin, and Muhammad's bore al-Kasim. These three children “ were cousins by the mothers’ side, and their mothers were daughters to Yez

degird (1).”— Al-Mubarrad gives the following anecdote in his Kâmil : “A “man of the tribe of Kuraish, whose name was not mentioned to me, made a “ relation which I here give :- I used to sit in company with Said Ibn al“Musaiyab vol. I. p. 568), and he asked me one day who were my maternal “ uncles? to which I replied that my mother was a slave-girl. It seemed to “ me that this answer diminished his regard for me, but I waited for some time, " and Salim, the son of Abd Allah, the son of Omar Ibn al-Khattab entered. When “ he withdrew, I said : “Pray, sir, who is that ?'—'Good God !' exclaimed he, «« « how is it possible that you do not know so eminent a person of your own “ tribe? why, that is Sâlim, the son of Abd Allah, the son of Omar Ibn al-Khat“ tâb.'—* And who,' said I, was his mother?' — A slave-girl,' was his reply. " Then came in Kasim, the son of Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr, who sat down for “ some time and then retired. • Pray, sir,' said I, who is that?' "How!' " exclaimed he, you do not know so eminent a person of your own family? “ how very strange! why, that is al-Kasim the son of Muhammad Ibn Abi “ Bakr as-Siddik.'— ' And who,' said I, was his mother ?'— A slave girl.' “I waited yet longer, and Ali, the son of al-Husain, the son of Ali Ibn Talib en“tered. When he went away, I said to Ibn al-Musaiyab : “ Pray, sir, who is “ that ?'—That is a person,' replied he, whom it is impossible for a Muslim “ not to know; that is Ali, the son of al-Husain, the son of Ali Ibn Abi Talib!' “ –“Who was his mother?” said I.— A slave-girl!' he replied. On this I " addressed him in these terms: “I remarked, sir, that your regard for me was “ lessened when you learned that my mother was a slave-girl ; but do not these

persons resemble me in the same respect ?' From that moment I acquired “ increased favour in the sight of al-Musaiyah.”—The people of Medina had a dislike to taking concubines, but their feelings on this point were completely changed when Ali, the son of al-Husain, al-Kasim the son of Muhammad, and Salim the son of Abd Allah grew up and surpassed every person in the city by their piety and their knowledge of the law.-—Ibn Kutaiba mentions, in his kitüb al-Mauris, that Zain al-Abidin's mother was a native of Sind and that her name was Sulåfa; others however call her Ghazala, and God knows best which is right.

66

66

-Zain al-Aabidin was most attentive to his mother, and it was said to him : “ You are certainly a most dutiful son, but why do we not see you eat out of “ the same dish with her?” To which he replied : “ Because I should be “afraid that in stretching forth my hand to take a morsel, that morsel might “ be one on which she had already cast her eyes; and I should have thus com“mitted an undutisul act.” The story of Abù ’l-Mikhassh with his son (2) is quite the contrary of the foregoing, for he said: “I had a daughter who sat at “ table with me, and put forth a hand like a bunch of dates, joined to an arm

(long and white) like the crown-bud of the palm-tree, and she never cast her

eyes on a good morsel without offering it to me. I found a husband for her, “ and I had after that a son who sat with me at table, and put forth a hand

(broad and black) like the scale (3) of a palm-tree, joined to an arm like the

cross post of a tent-frame; and, by Allah! he never cast his eyes on a nice “ bit, but his hand had already seized it.”— Ibn Kutaiba says in his Kitab alMaûrif that on the death of Zain al-Axbidin's father, his mother married Zubaid (4), his father's mawla, and he himself enfranchised one of his slave-girls and married her. This conduct drew upon him a letter of reproaches from Abd al-Malik Ibn Marwân, but he replied to it in these words : “ Ye have in the 444 apostle of God an excellent erample (5), and he manumitted and married Safiya “ the daughter of Iluaiya Ibn Akhtab; he manumitted also Zaid Ibn Hâritha “ and gave him in marriage Zainab Bint Jahsh, the daughter of his paternal

aunt.”—The merits and excellencies of Zain al-Aâbidin are beyond enumeration. He was born on a Friday, in one of the months of A. H. 38 (A. D. 658-9); he died at Medina, A. H. 94 (A. D. 712-3), some say 96 (or 92], and was interred in the cemetery of al-Baki, in the tomb of his uncle al-Hasan Ibn Ali. The mausoleum in which they are deposited contains also the tomb of al-Abbàs.

(1) This is in contradiction with Ibn Khallikån's own statement.

.ابي العيش مع ابنه Read (2)

(3) What is meant by the scale of the palm-tree is the broad excrescence on the trunk to which the stem of the leaf was attached, and which remains when the leaf falls off.

(4) Read in the printed text ? (8) Koran, surat 33, verse 21.

ALI AR-RIDA.

Abû 'l-Hasan Ali ar-Rida (1), the son of Mûsa al-Kazim, the son of Jaafar as-Sàdik, the son of Muhammad al-Bâkir, the son of Ali Zain al-Akbidin, him whose life has been just given, is considered by (that sect of the Shiites called) the Imámites as one of the twelve imams. Al-Mâmûn married him to his daughter Omm Habib, and having nominated him successor to the khalifate, he caused his name to be inscribed as such) on the gold and silver coinage. In executing this resolution, al-Màmûn proceeded in the following manner : When in the city of Marw, he had a census taken of all the male and female descendants of al-Abbâs, and found that their number was thirty-three thousand, old and young (2). He then sent for Ali (ar-Rida), and having granted him a most honourable reception, he convoked the principal officers of the empire and informed them that, after examining throughout the descendants of al-Abbâs and those of Ali Ibn Abi Talib, he did not find amongst them a more excellent person than Ali (ar-Rida), nor one better entitled to the empire. He then declared him his successor, and ordered the black standards and livery (of the Abbasides) to be suppressed. When intelligence of these proceedings reached those descendants of al-Abbàs who were in Irak, they felt that resolute measures were necessary to prevent the supreme authority from passing out of the hands of their family, and they in consequence pronounced the deposition of al-Màmûn and took the oath of fealty to his uncle, Ibrahim Ibn al-Mahdi, whom they declared khalif. This event took place on Thursday, the 5th of Muharram, A. H. 202 (25th July, A. D. 817); some say, however, that it occurred in A. H. 203. It would be too long to relate the particulars of this event, the results of which are well known; we have besides given a summary sketch of them in the life of Ibrahim Ibn al-Mahdi (vol. I. p. 17). Ali ar-Rida was born at Medina, on a Friday, in the year 153 (A. D. 770), but this is contradicted by other statements, which place his birth in A. H. 151, on the 7th or 8th of Shawwal, or on the 6th of that month. He died in the city of Tùs on the last day of Safar, A. H. 202 (September, A. D. 817), or, according to others, on the 5th of Zû ’l-Hijja, or the 13th of Zû ’l-Kaada, A. H. 203 (May, A. D. 819). AlMâmûn said the funeral service over him and had him buried near the tomb of

« PreviousContinue »