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I never enjoyed the pleasure of existence except when at home, with a book for my companion. Nothing is dearer to me than science, and I desire no other society. Intercourse with mankind is a degradation and the only one ; avoid the world, and live in honour and authority.
By the same :
Alas! what means this separation? why those journeyings forth and departures without end? When these dear friends have left me, let me die; I shall then have obtained my last remaining wish.
He composed a great quantity of poetry, all in a simple style, and he wrote a work entitled al-Wasâta, etc. (mediation between al-Mutanabbi and his adversaries, in which he displayed great abilities, vast learning, and extensive information. The Hâkim Abû Abd Allah Ibn al-Bâi states, in his history of the eminent men of Naisàpûr, that he died in that city on the last day of Safar, A. H. 366 (October, A. D. 976), at the age of seventy-six years. The following relation is furnished by another historian : “He (al-Jurjáni) was a man of strict veracity, and “his conduct as a kâdi was most commendable; when he arrived at Naisàpůr “ with his brother Muhammad, in the year 337 (A. D. 948-9), he had not “ reached the age of puberty. They both took lessons from the different “masters there, and he died, in the post of grand-kâdi, at Rai, A. H. 392
(A. D. 1001-2). His body was transported to Jurjån and there interred.” The statement of the Hâkim is however the most authentic and the truest.Jurján is the name of a great city in the province of Mazenderân.
(1) The patriarchs al-Khidr and Elias are the protectors of travellers; the first is constantly journeying throughout the earth for that purpose, and the latter throughout the sea. They are the guardians and escorters of the pilgrims on the way to Mekka and back again.—(See M. Reinaud's Monumens arabes, persans et turcs, vol. I. p. 170.)
Abû ’l-Hasan Ali Ibn Ahmad Ibn al-Marzubân, the Shafite doctor, was a native of Baghdad. His talents as a jurisconsult and his profound piety ranked him as one of the most illustrious (1) among the learned. He studied jurisprudence under Abû 'l-Husain Ibn al-Kattân (2), and gave lessons in the same science to Abû Hamid al-Isfaràini, on the first arrival of the latter at Baghdad. It is related that he used to say: “I do not know any person who can complain of
being wronged by me;" he was a jurisconsult, however, and well knew that speaking ill of any person in his absence is a wrong done to him (3). He filled the post of professor at Baghdad, and had a peculiar manner of setting forth the system of as-Shâsi's doctrine. He died in the month of Rajab, A. H. 366 (Feb. March, A. D. 977).— Marzubân is a Persian word meaning master (or lord) of the frontier ; marz signifies frontier (4), and bân, master. This was originally a title given to those who were next in rank to the king.
معناه أنه لم يغتب احدا اذا الغيبة من جملة المظالم :my conjecture confirmed by al-Yafi, who says
(1) The autograph has äla ; the other MSS. are wrong. (2) See his life, vol. I. page 51. (3) I do not understand this observation, unless it signify that he never spoke ill of any person.- I find
, . (4) The word marz is the same as the English word marches. Marzuban is equivalent to lord of the marches, lord marcher, or marquis.
Abû 'l-Hasan Ali Ibn Muhammad Ibn Habib, a native of Basra and generally known by the surname of al-Mawardi, was one of the most distinguished and eminent jurisconsults of the Shafite sect. He studied law at Basra under Abů 'l-Kâsim as-Saimari (1), and then at Baghdad under Abû Hamid al-Isfarâini. The knowledge which he had acquired, from oral transmission, of the doctrines of his sect was most extensive (2, and it is impossible to read the Hawi (or comprehensive), a work composed by him on that subject, without acknowledging bis profound learning and perfect acquaintance with the whole system of Shafite jurisprudence. The office of kàdi in a great number of towns was successively) conferred upon him, and he (at length) took up his residence at Baghdad, in the darb (3), or street, of az-Zafarân (4). Abû Bakr al-Khatib, the author of the History of Baghdad, gives some traditional information on his auihority and remarks that he held the highest character for veracity. Besides the Hawi, he composed many other works, of which we may mention bis Explanation of the Koran, another treatise on the same subject) entitled an-Nukat wa 'l-Oyan (5); the Adab ad-Din wa 'd-Dunya (instructions for this world and the next); the al-Akhům as-Sultaniya statuta sultanica) 6;; the Kândn al-Wizara (orga- 431 nisation and functions of the vizirate); the Siusa tal-Mulk (administration of the state); and the Iknda fi 'l-Mazhab (institutio satisfaciens, de doctrind sectæ Shaftæ), which last is an abridged treatise. He drew up some other works on the fundamentals of jurisprudence and on literature, and he contributed greatly by his labours to the general stock of information (7). It is said that, whilst he lived, he did not publish any of his works, but put them all up together in a (safe) place, and that, on the approach of death, he said to a person who possessed his confidence : “ The books in such a place were composed by me, but I abstained from pub
lishing them, because I suspected that, although my intention in writing the “ was to work in God's service, that feeling, instead of being pure, was sullied “ by baser motives. Therefore, when you perceive me on the point of death, “ and falling into agony, take my hand in yours, and if I press it, you will “ know thereby that none of these works has been accepted from me; in this
case, you must take them all and throw them by night into the Tigris ; but “if I open my hand and close it not, that is the sign of their having been ac
cepted, and that my hope in the admission of my intention as sincere and
pure has been fulfilled.”—“When al-Mawardi's death drew near,” said that person, “ I took him by the hand and he opened it without closing it on mine “ whence I knew that his labours had been accepted, and I then published his “ works.”—Towards the beginning of the History of Baghdad, the Khatib has “ the following passage : “Al-Mawardi told me that he was in Baghdad when “ his brother wrote him these lines from Basra :
• I have long desired to visit Baghdad and enjoy the sweetness of its air (hawd), but • fate refused my wish! How then can I support my absence from it now, since it possesses sweetness of air (hawd) and the dearest object of my love (hawa) (8) ?'
" Abû 'l-Izz Ahmad Ibn Obaid Allah Ibn Kâdish relates as follows: "Abû 'l“ • Husain al-Mawardi repeated to me the following lines as having been recited "to him at Basra by their author, the kåtib Abû ’l-Khair of Wasit :
pen of destiny traces future events; 'tis therefore all the same to labour or to * repose. 'Tis folly in you to toil for subsistence; the child in the womb receives its full
It is related that, on his return from Baghdad to Basra, al-Mawardi recited these words of al-Abbâs Ibn al-Ahnaf's :
I dwelt in it for a time with dislike; but when accustomed to it, I left it against my will. It was not that the place pleased me, but it embittered my life to quit those I loved. I departed from it, though its aspect gave pleasure to my eyes; but I left my heart as a hostage behind me.
His reason for reciting these verses was, that he belonged to Basra and had no wish to leave it; wherefore he went to Baghdad against his will : after some time, he became reconciled to the place and forgot Basra, so that it gave him great pain to quit it. As-Samâni attributes the foregoing lines to Abû Muhammad al-Muzani, an inhabitant of Transoxiana. Al-Mawardi died at Baghdad on Tuesday, the 30th of the first Rabi, A. H. 450 (May A. D. 1058), aged eightysix years; he was interred the next morning in the cemetery at the Gate of Harb.—As-Samani says that Mawardi means a seller of måward, or rose-water.
(1) Abu 'l-Kasim Abd al-Wahid Ibn al-Husain Ibn Muhammad as-Saimari was one of the most eminent imâms of the Shafite sect. He studied under Abû Hamid al-Marwarrudi and Abu 'l-Faiyád al-Basri. Having acquired a profound acquaintance with the system of Shafite jurisprudence, he gave lessons which were attended by pupils from all parts of the world. He composed a number of excellent works on the doctrines of his sect, and one of them, the Idah, or elucidation, forms five volumes. His other works are the Kifaya (sufficiency), an abridged treatise which was commented by him in another work entitled the Irshad. It is here necessary to remark that Abu Bakr al-Baidåwi composed another commentary on the Kifaya, entitled also the Irshad. The precise year of Abû 'l-Kâsim as-Saimari's death is not known, but ad-Dahabi says in his Tarikh al-Islam that he was still alive and at Basra in A. H. 402 (A.D. 1014-8).-Saimari is derived from Saimara, the name of a river near Basra, the banks of which are covered with villages.-(Tab. as-Shaf.)
(2) The original merely says: “He was hafiz to the doctrine.”
.درب read ضرب In the printed Arabic text, for (3)
(6) This is a most learned and perfectly systematic treatise on the political and religious organisation of the Moslim state.
(7) Literally: And the public profited by him.
(8) Literally: Since it unites in itself the two hawas, one of them having a long final a and the other a short one.
ABU ’L-HASAN AL-ASHARI.
Abû 'l-Hasan Ali al-Ashari drew his descent from Ibn Abi Mûsa, one of the Prophet's companions; he was the son of Ismail Ibn Abi Bishr Ishak Ibn Salim Ibn Ismail Ibn Abd Allah Ibn Mûsa Ibn Bilal Ibn Abi Burda Aamir Ibn Abi Mûsa. This able dogmatic theologian and defender of the sunnite doctrines was the founder 452 of the sect called the Asharites, and his celebrity is sufficiently great to dispense us from making a long article on him. The kâdi Abû Bakr al-Bâkillâni was the great champion and supporter of his peculiar doctrines (1). Abû 'l-Hasan al-Ashari used to attend, every Friday, the lessons given in the mosque of alMansûr at Baghdad, by the Shasite doctor Abů Ishak al-Marwazi; and he would then take his place amongst the other pupils. He was born in Basra, A.H. 270 (A. D. 883–4); some say 260; and he died at Baghdad between A. H. 330 and 340 (A. D. 941-952); it is stated however by Ibn al-Hamadani (2), in his continuation of at-Tabari's History, that al-Ashari died A. H. 330, and another account refers his death to the year 324. He was interred between the suburb of al-Karkh and the Basra Gate. Mention has been already made of his ancestor Abù Burda (page 2 of this volume).—" Ashari means descended from Ashar; the “ real name of Ashar was Nabt, the son of Odad Ibn Zaid Ibn Yashjub : he was “ surnamed Ashar (the hairy) because he came into the world with hair on his
Such are the words of as-Samâni.—The hâfiz Abû 'l-Kâsim Ibn Asâkir has written a volume on the merits of al-Ashari.—(3) Abu 'l-Hasan al-Ashari was at first a Motazilite, but he then made a public renunciation of his belief in man's free-will (adl), and of the opinion that the Koran was created. This