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The emir Abu Nasr Ali, surnamed Saad al-Mulk (the good fortune of the kingdom), and generally known by the name of Ibn Måküla, was the son of Ilibat Allah Ibn Ali Ibn Jaafar Ibn Alla kan Ibn Muhammad Ibn Dulaf Ibn Abi Dulaf al-Kasim Ibn Isa al-Ijli : the remainder of the genealogy is given in the life of his ancestor Abù Dulaf al-Kasim. His family belonged to Jarbâzakân, a place near Ispahân, and his father Abù ’l-Kasim Jibat Allah was vizir to the imam (khalif) al-Káim biamr Illah. His paternal uncle Abů Abd Allah al-Hasan Ibn Ali, who filled the place of kâdi at Baghdad, had learned a great quantity of Traditions ; he composed also some instructive works, after studying under the most eminent masters in Irak, Khorâsân, Syria, and other countries.-Abu Nasr (Ibn Makala), a man celebrated for his talents and learning, was sedulously and successfully devoted to the research of such proper names, as were uncertain in their meaning and derivation (1).- The Khatib Abu Bakr, author of the History of
Baghdad, had taken the Mukhtalif va Matalif of ad-Dårakutni (see page 240), and 462 the Mushtabih an-Nisba of the hâfiz Abd al-Ghani (vol. II. p. 169) and combined
them together, with some additions of his own; forming thus a new work to which he gave the title of al-Mutanif Takmila tal-Mukhtalif (the recommenced, being the completion of the Mukhtalif). The emir Abû Nasr augmented this Takmila with the names which he had discovered, and made it into a new work under the title of al-Ikmal (the completion). This last is extremely useful for fixing the orthography and pronunciation of proper names, and clearing up the uncertainties which may subsist on these points : it is the standard authority of the persons engaged in this study and of the traditionists, in as much as it surpasses all similar productions by its intrinsic excellence. А
supplement, composed with no inferior talent, was added to it afterwards by Ibn Nukta, (a traditionist) whose life shall be given in this work. The talent displayed by the emir Ibn Måküla in his Ikmal is quite sufficient for his reputation; it is a monument of the extensive acquirements, solid learning, and correct information of the author. The following lines are attributed to him :
Strike thy tent and quit the land where thou art despised; avoid humiliation; humiliation should always be avoided. Depart from the place where thy merit is not acknowledged; the aloes-wood is employed for common uses in its native land (2)
He was born at Okbara on the 5th of Shaabàn, A. H. 421 (August, A. D. 1030), and he was murdered at Jurjân by his servants between the years 470 and 480. Jbn al-Jauzi mentions, in his Kitab al-Muntazim, that he was killed in A. II. 475 (A. D. 1082-3), or in 487, according to some. Another authority gives 479 as the year, and Khorasân as the place of his death ; but al-Ahwaz is also indicated as the country where he met with his fate. Al-Humaidi (3
“ He set out for Khorasan with some young Turkish slaves who belonged " to him; but they murdered him at Jurjân and fled with his money. The “ crime remained unpunished.” The poet Surr-Durr (whose life we shall give) celebrated the praises of Ibn Makula, and this eulogium is still extant in his collected poetical works.—The meaning of the word Makala is unknown to me; and I am unable to say whether the title of emir was given to him because he was really one, or because he was a descendant of (the emir) Abû Dulaf al-Ijli.Of Okbara I have already spoken in the life of Abû ’l-Baka (vol. II. p. 66).
لالفاظ المشتبهة في الاسم الاعالم The autograph has (1)
(2) Literally: The green aloes-wood in its localities is (as common) wood.
ABU 'L-FARAJ AL-ISPAHANI.
Abu 'l-Faraj Ali, the kâtib and author of the Kitab al-Agháni (1), was a member of the tribe of Koraish and a descendant of Marwan Ibn Muhammad, the last of the Omaiyide khalifs. His genealogy is thus given: Abû 'l-Faraj Ali Ibn al-Husain Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn al-Haitham Ibn Abd ar-Rahman Ibn Marwan Ibn Abd Allah Ibn Marwan Ibn Mubammad Ibn Marwan Ibn al-Hakam Ibn Abi ’l-Aasi Ibn Omaiya Ibn Abd Shams Ibn Abd Manâf. His family inhabited Ispahân, but he passed his early youth in Baghdad, and became the most distinguished scholar and most eminent author of that city. It would be too long to enumerate the learned men from whom he received and transmitted
down his information. He was well acquainted with the days for contests) of the Arabs, their genealogy and history. “ Amongst the persons whom we met “ with,” says at-Tanûkhi (2), “and who professed Shiite opinions, was Abu 'l
Faraj al-Ispahani. I never found a person knowing by heart such a quantity as he did of poems, songs, historical relations, anecdotes of ancient times, au“thentic narratives (3), and genealogies; besides which he possessed information “ in other sciences, such as philology, grammar, story-telling, biography, and " the history of the Moslim conquests; he was acquainted also with the branches " of knowledge requisite for a boon-companion, such as falconry, farriery, the “ preparation of beverages, a smattering of medicine and astrology, etc.”
His verses combine the learning of the scholar with the grace and elegance of the
poet; his other works are excellent, and one of them, the kitáb al-Aghani book 465 of songs) (4), is unanimously considered as unequalled. It is said that he was
fifty years in compiling it, and that he took it to Saif ad-Dawlat Ibn Hamdân, who reniunerated him with one thousand pieces of gold, regretting at the same time his inability to offer a more adequate recompense. It is related that when the Sahib Ibn Abbâd (vol. 1. p. 212) was travelling or changing residence, he took with him for perusal thirty camel-loads of books on literary subjects; but, on receiving the Kitab al-Agháni, he found he could dispense with all the others and took it alone. The other works of Abù 'l-Faraj are: the kitab al-kiyan (history of female musicians); the kitab al-Imd is-Shawder (history of the female slaves who were poets); the kitáb ad-Diyardt (book of monasteries) (5); the kitab Dåwå tit-Tijâr (on the mercantile profession) (6); a collection of songs without note or comment; the Adventures of Jahza tal-Barmaki (vol. I. p. 118); the Kitab Makåtil it-Talibiyin (account of the tragical fate of Ali Ibn Abi Talib's descendants) ; the Kitâb al-Hànût (book of taverns: (V); and the Adab al-Ghurabà (manners or literary studies of foreigners). A number of works composed by him for the Omaiyides of Spain are still extant in that country; he forwarded them privately to these princes, and the marks of their beneficence were transmitted to him in toe same manner. Amongst these works were the following: Genealogy of the descendants of Abd Shams; Battle-days of the Arabs, containing an account of one thousand seven hundred combats; the kitab at-Taadil wa 'lIntisdf (impartial examination and appreciation of the noble deeds and the opprobrious actions of the Arabs); the Jamhara tan-Nisab (comprehensive genealogical treatise); the Genealogy of the descendants of Shaibân; the Genealogy of the Muballabite family; the Genealogy of the descendants of Taghlab; the Genealogy of the descendants of Kilậb; History of the slave-boys who were good singers, etc. Abù 'l-Faraj was exclusively attached to the vizir al-Muhallabi, and he composed some pieces of poetry in his praise, one of which is as follows :
When we sought for means of subsistence and took shelter under his protection, he gave relief yet spared our feelings; he was beneficent, yet vaunted not the greatness of his favours. We went to him poor, and he restored us to wealth; we had recourse to his liberality in our distress, and he placed us in the midst of abundance.
A Greek concubine belonging to the vizir having been delivered of a son, the poet congratulated him on the happy event in the following lines, forming part of a kasida:
Receive a pledge of happiness in the birth of that infant, which heaven has sent thee as a blessing! The moon, pervading with its lustre the depths of night, is but an emblem of its beauty. Blessed be the propitious hour in which a virtuous mother, a daughter of the Asfars (8), brought it forth! It rejoiceth in its exaltation on the two highest pinnacles of mortal glory! sprung, as it is, from the united stocks of the Muhallabs and the Cæsars. The sun of the morning was in conjunction with the moon of the night, and their union has produced Jupiter (9).
The following lines were written by bim to a man of rank who was sullering from sickness (10):
O Abû Muhammad! thou so worthy of praise! O thou who art so fair (hasan) in thy noble deeds and thy generosity! O swollen sea of liberality! Mayest thou be preserved from sick-bed visitors, from the remedies of illness and from the approach of pain (11)!
He composed a great deal of poetry, and his talents have rendered him illustrious. His birth took place, A. II. 284 (A.D. 897-8), the year in which the poet al-Bohtori died; he expired at Baghdad on Wednesday, the 14th of Zù 'lHijja, A. H. 356 (November, A. D. 967); some say, but erroneously, that he died A. H. 357. Previously to his death, his intellect became disordered. Two men of great learning and three powerful princes died in the year 356 ; namely: this Abù 'l-Faraj, Abu Ali 'l-Kali, Saif ad-Dawlat Ibn Hamdàn, Moizz ad-Dawlat Ibn Buwaih, and Kâfür al-Ik bshidi; (see their lives in this work.)
(1) A considerable portion of this article has already appeared in a French translation. See M. Quatremère's Mémoire sur le Kitab al-Agani in the Journal Asiatique for November, 1835. It may be remarked that in rendering certain expressions and passages, I have occasionally differed from that learned scholar.
(2) Abû 'l-Kâsim Ali at-Tanakhi and his son Abû Ali al-Muhassin were both contemporaries of Abû 'lFaraj; it is therefore difficult to say which of them is the person cited here by Ibn Khallikân. Their lives are given in this work. (3) Literally: Narratives with their Isnads.-See Introduction to vol. I.
xxii. (4) A complete edition of this important work, text and Latin translation, has been undertaken by professor Kosegarten. The three first parts have appeared under the title of Alii Ispahanensis liber Cantilenarum magnus.
(8) This was a collection of the best poems inspired by the view of Christian monasteries and the aspect of monastic life. It was a very common subject with the Moslim poets of the third and fourth century of the Hijra. See the life of as-Shâ bushti in this volume
(6) Literally: On the merchants' calling.
(8) For the origin of the denomination Asfar and Banû 'l-Asfar given to the Romans by Arabic writers, see M. de Sacy's note in the Journal Asiatique for January, 1836.
(9) To render this verse intelligible, it should be paraphrased thus: Thou, O vizir ! whose glory is resplendent as the midday sun, wast joined to a maiden whose beauty equalled the lustre of the moon, and this union has produced a child, who, like the planet Jupiter, announces by his presence happiness and joy.
(10) The poet has skilfully indicated in his verses that this person's name was Abu Muhammad al-Hasan.
(11) The merit of this last verse consists in the curious example of alliteration which it offers in the original text.
IBN ASAKIR TIIE HAFIZ.
The hâfiz Abû ’l-Kasim Ali Ibn Abi Muhammad al-Hasan Ibn Hibat Allah
Ibn Abd Allah Ibn al-Husain, generally known by the appellation of Ibn Asâkir 464 and surnamed Thikat ad-din (sincere in faith), was a native of Damascus and
chief traditionist of Syria in that age. He ranked also among the most eminent jurisconsults of the sect of as-Shâfi, but, having made of the Traditions his favourite study, he acquired in that science a degree of superiority which no other had ever attained, and it was to his proficiency therein that he was indebted for his reputation. His zeal in this pursuit and his desire of communicating personally with the teachers of the Traditions led him to visit distant countries and travel to and fro through various regions, in company with the hafiz Abù