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AL-MALIK AL-MUAZZAM IBN AL-AADIL.
Al-Malik al-Muazzam (the mighty prince) Sharaf ad-din (the nobleness of religion) Isa, the son of al-Malik al-Aâdil (the just prince) Saif ad-din (the sword of religion) Abu Bakr, the son of Aiyûb, was a sovereign of Damascus, highly respected for his lofty spirit, resolution, courage, and abilities, and in whom every man of talent found a patron and a friend. He was the first of the Aiyûbite family who professed the principles of the Hanifite sect; to this doctrine he displayed a devoted attachment, and, in its study, he made no inconsiderable progress: the example which he thus set was followed by his children. Having set out from al-Karak to perform the pilgrimage to Mekka, on the 11th of Zû 'l-Kaada, A. H. 611 (A. D. 1215), he took for his conveyance the ordinary camels used by travellers, and followed the road of al-Ola (1) and Tabûk, with a band of chosen friends. This was the year in which he took Sarkhad from Ibn Karàjà and conferred it on his mamlûk Izz ad-din Aibek, (afterwards) known by the title of Lord of Sarkhad. Aibek held this place till A. H. 644 (A. D. 1246-7), when al-Malik as-Sàlih Najm ad-din Aiyûb, the son of al-Malik al-Kâmil, wrested it from him and sent him to Cairo, where he was imprisoned in the palace of Suwab at-Tawàshi (the eunuch). Al-Malik al-Muazzam was a friend to literature, and a number of eminent poets celebrated his merit in their poems; the belles lettres were cultivated by him as an amateur, and I have heard some pieces of verse which were stated to be his, but, as I neglected writing them down, I have forgotten them. It is said that he promised a gift of one hundred pieces of gold and a robe of honour to every person who got by heart az-Zamakhshari's treatise (on grammar) the Mufassal, and this induced numbers to commit it to memory. I even met individuals
at Damascus who were said to have learned it from this motive. It is related also that at the period of his death, there were some who had finished the book, and others who had got to the middle, according to the time at which they had begun it. I never heard of any other person's having done so honorable an act. His principality was very large, extending from Emessa to al-Arish (on the Egyptian frontier), and including all the (Syrian) coast then possessed by the Moslims, the Ghaur (or valley of the Jordan), Palestine, Jerusalem, al-Karak, as-Shaubak, Sarkhad, and other places. His birth took place, A. H. 578 (A. D. 1182-)
but Sibt Ibn al-Jauzi (2) says in his historical work, the Mirât az-Zamân : “ Al“Malik al-Muazzam was born, A. H. 576, at Cairo, and his (half-)brother al"Ashraf Mûsa came into the world on the night before; he died on the eve of "the first day of Zù 'l-Hijja, A. H. 624 (November, A. D. 1227)." Another 555 author states, however, that his death happened at Damascus, on the eighth hour of Friday, the 30th of Zù 'l-Kaada, A. H. 624. His body was interred in the castle of that city, but, on the eve of Tuesday, the first of Muharram, A. H. 627 (November, A. D. 1229), it was removed to the college at Mount Sâlihiya (3), which contains the tombs of some of his brothers and other members of the family. This college was founded by himself and therefore bore the designation of the Muazzamiya.—He used frequently to recite this passage :
The mole on the rosy cheek of that slender-waisted nymph adorns her with an excess of beauty (4). She darkened her eyes with antimony though already dark of themselves, and I exclaimed: "She gives us to drink of the sword, and has poisoned the draught."
This idea is similar to that which Ibn Hamdis as-Sakalli (vol. II. p. 160) has expressed in the following line:
To increase the darkness of her eyes, she applied antimony around them; poisoning the dart of which the point was already mortal.
May God have mercy upon this prince; he was so noble and so intelligent! Some anecdotes were related to me of what passed between him and Ibn Onain (5), wherein the penetration of the prince and the pertinency of his replies appeared to great advantage: one of them was, that Ibn Onain, being unwell, wrote to him these lines:
Look on me with the eye of a master ever beneficent; hasten to relieve me or I perish. Me and what I want, you require not; but gain my gratitude and a just eulogium.
Al-Muazzam immediately took a purse of three hundred pieces of gold and went in to visit him, saying: "Here is the gift (silat) and I am the visiter (acid) (6).” Had this expression occurred to an able professional grammarian, to one who had passed his life in grammatical studies, it would have appeared surprisingly remarkable, coming even from him; how much more so then, when uttered by this prince! Numerous other anecdotes are told of him, too long to relate, but this
may give an idea of the rest.-He was succeeded by his son al-Malik an-Nasir the assisting prince) Salâh ad-din (excellence of religion) Dâwûd. This prince died on the 27th of the first Jumâda, A. H. 656 (May, A. D. 1258), at a village called alBuwaida, situated close to the gate of Damascus, and he was interred near his father. His birth took place at Damascus, on Saturday, the 17th of the first Jumàda, A. H. 603 (December, A. D. 1206). Izz ad-din Aibek, the lord of Sarkhad, died in his prison at Cairo towards the beginning of the first Jumàda, A. H. 646 (August, A. D. 1248). He was interred outside the gate called Bàb an-Nasr, in the college of Shams ad-Dawlat, and I attended his funeral service. His body was afterwards removed to a mausoleum in the college which he had erected on the hill called) as-Sharaf al-Aala (the loftiest pinnacle), outside Damascus, and which looks down on the Great Green Hippodrome.
(1) “Al-Ola, a village in the canton of Wadi 'l-Kura, is nearer to Medina than Diâr Thâmûd (the country “of Thamûd).”—(Marasid.)
maternal uncle, and the second to cover over, and a paternal uncle. (3) The life of Ibn Onain is given in this work.
(6) These words contain a very good quibble on two technical terms of grammar. To render it intelligible, let us take the Latin phrase homo quem vidi and put it into Arabic. It would then become ar-rajul allezi raituhu, literally, homo que vidi-m, where the m represents the m of quem. This construction is necessary in the Semitic languages because the relative pronoun is indeclinable. In such cases the relative is called the silat, and the pronoun employed to mark its case is the adid. It may be seen from this that the adid must be accompanied by a silat. Al-Muazzam avails himself of the double meaning of these terms to tell Ibn Onain that visits and gifts go together.
ISA AL-HAKKARI THE JURISCONSULT.
The fakih (jurisconsult) Abù Muhammad Isa Ibn Muhammad al-Hakkâri, surnamed Dià ad-din (light of the faith), was one of the most influential emirs under Salâh ad-din, highly respected for his rank and honoured (with the sovereign's)
confidence for the justness of his views and the soundness of his advice. His genealogy, as follows here, was dictated to me by his nephew's son: Isa Ibn Muhammad Ibn Isa Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Yûsuf Ibn al-Kâsim Ibn Isa Ibn Muhammad Ibn al-Kasim Ibn Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan Ibn Zaid Ibn al-Hasan Ibn Ali Ibn Abi Talib. He began his career by studying jurisprudence at the Zajjajiya College in Aleppo (1); he then became imam to Asad ad-din Shirkûh, the uncle of Salah ad-din, and used to say the five pre- 334 scribed prayers with him every day. When the emir Asad ad-din proceeded to Egypt and obtained the vizirship of that country (vol. I. p. 626), Isa accompanied him, and, on his death, he concerted a plan with the eunuch Bahà ad-din Karâkûsh (2) for raising Salah ad-din to the vacant post. The consummate address with which they conducted this intrigue was completely successful, but it would be too long to relate the particulars. Salâh ad-din, being thus invested with authority, felt grateful to Isa for the service he had rendered, and, from that time, he placed the utmost reliance on him as a counsellor, and never rejected his advice. Isa continued to treat him with great familiarity, and spoke to him in terms so unceremonious that no other would have dared to use them. He was the means of doing much good, and numbers profited by the influence he derived from his rank; his favour continued without interruption till the last, and he died at the Camp (al-Mukhaiyam) near al-Kharrûba, on the morning of Tuesday, the 9th of Zù 'l-Kaada, A. H. 585 (December, A. D. 1489). His body was borne to Jerusalem and interred outside the city. He used to wear the military dress with the turban of a jurisconsult, thus combining the two costumes; and I saw his brother, the emir Majd ad-din Abû Hafs Omar, attired in a similar manner.— Al-Kharrûba is the name of a place near Acre (Akka).— Majd ad-din Omar was born in Rajab, A. H. 560 (May-June, A. D. 1165), and he died at Cairo on the 23rd of Zû 'l-Hijja, A. H. 636 (July, A. D. 1239). He was interred at the foot of Mount Mukattam, and I attended his funeral service.
(1) See vol. I. p. 226.
(2) His life is given by our author.
FAKHR AD-DIN ISA IBN MAUDUD, LORD OF TIKRIT.
Abu Mansur Isa Ibn Maudud Ibn Ali Ibn Abd al-Malik Ibn Shoaib, surnamed Fakhr ad-din (glory of religion), and lord of the city of Tikrit, belonged to one of the Turcoman tribes settled in Syria. He possessed considerable talents. and left a diwan of good poetry, spirited epistles, and tender couplets. As a specimen of his verses we may quote the following:
The ringdove on the acacia branch, cooing plaintively in the darkness-driven from home by the hands of absence, and far removed from its family-now settled at the Zawra of Irak (Baghdad) whilst its callow brood remain fatigued at Osfân (1)-sighing for them when the sun sheds abroad his rays-lamenting and complaining during the hour of night-shaken in its afflicted heart by that recollection, and revealing the passion it concealed-the sufferings of that dove are less intense than mine, when the lightning-flash (announcing the blessings of rain) or the (perfumed) breath of the zephyr recal (your country, my friends! or) yourselves to my remembrance.
A passage of a similar cast is the following, taken from one of his epistles : (Imagine) a straggling flock of gazelles in the wide expanse of a desert (2) where "the foot of man never trod, into which no fire-created demon ever entered (3), and "which the breath of noon gifted with the parching sighs of burning heat;—a "flock sinking under fatigue and overcome by the proximity of destruction; "after three nights of emulous speed they reach the pool they sought, emaciated "by hardship and almost within the grasp of death; they find the water clear, "its surface rippling beneath the unsteady tread of the zephyr, and agitated by "streamlets (4) gushing from a heavenly source; but they perceive no path "whereby to reach that spot and take repeated draughts;
They eye it askance (5), impelled by the pains of thirst to make a desperate (spring). (Well, my friends!) thirst such as theirs is not more ardent than mine for your presence, since that time wherein my heart was accustomed to your salutations.
My wish and prayer are therefore adressed to Him who has prescribed duties " to man,-Him the lord of whatever moves and whatever remains fixed, that he "realise my hopes and replace our separation by mutual proximity! It is He "who hearkeneth to the call (of the afflicted)." The following is one of his dubaits (6), or couplets: