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impeached). He was extremely cautious in giving evidence, guarded in his conduct, and veracious in his discourse. He filled the place of kâdi in a number of places, such as al-Madàin and its dependencies, Adarbaijan, al-Baradân (13), Kirmisin (Kirmånshậh), etc.—We have already spoken of the word Tanûkhi (vol. I.
It was to Abû 'l-Kâsim al-Tanûkhi that Abû 'l-Alà al-Maarri addressed the kasida beginning thus : Speak to me of Baghdad or of Hit.
(1) I translate literally, but fear that I have neither perceived nor rendered the point of the verses. The poet perhaps means to say that, were they in the presence of at-Tanůkhi, he would strike his contradictor for not admitting the justness of his sentiments ; at-Tanukhi being himself a young man and of an amiable character.
(2) This is the same city as al-Ahwaz. It was called also Hormuzshahr.
(3) Abû 'l-Hasan Ali Ibn al-Moghaira, surnamed al-Athram (broken tooth), a grammarian and philologer of the highest reputation, was a native of Baghdad and an assiduous disciple of al-Asmâi and Abů Obaida, all of whose productions he learned by heart. He obtained and handed down much literary information from some very eminent scholars, and he acquired his knowledge of pure Arabic from the most correct speakers among the Arabs of the desert. According to the author of the Fihrest, MSS. No.874, fol. 76, he died A. H. 230 (A. D. 844-5), but Abu 'l-Mahåsin, in his Nujům, places his death two years later. He left the following works : Kitab an-Nawadir book of anecdotes) and Kitab Gharib al-Hadith (obscure terms occurring in the Traditions.)
(4) His life will be found in this work.
() In later times the city of Babel (Babil in Arabic) gave its name to a village which rose in the neighbourhood. As for al-Kasr (the castle), it may perhaps be the same as that which al-Idrisi indicates as situated on the Tigris, between Wasit and Basra.
(6) According to the author of the Marasid, the city and canton of Aidaj. lie between Khůzestàn and Ispahân. He says that it possesses a bridge which is one of the wonders of the world.
(7) This is the meaning of the Arabic verse, which is in reality a succession of puns on a single word.
(8) I have here endeavoured to express both the meaning and the quibbling of the original Arabic. The poet, continuing his puns on the different grammatical forms of the root dahaba, adds here: adhabi la ladhabi. Away! lest thou shouldst become blind; or, lest thou shouldst be destroyed.
(9) of the poet Rabia Ibn Aåmir, surnamed Miskin ad-Dârimi, I have been unable to discover any farther information than that given by M. de Sacy in his Anthologie Grammaticale, p. 399.
(10) “ The night of al-Kadar is better than a thousand months.” See Koran, surat 97, and Sale's note. (11) His life will be found in the last volume.
(12) He means to say that, at the age of five years, Abū 'l-Kâsim had already learned by heart some Traditions, pieces of verse, etc.
(13) Al-Baradân lay on the east bank of the Tigris, at five parasangs above Baghdad.
The imam Abu Abd Allah Muhammad Ibn Idris as-Shafi was a member of the tribe of Koraish, and drew his descent from al-Muttalib, the son of Abd Manaf and the ancestor of the Prophet ; his father, Idris, being the son of al-Abbâs Ibn Othman Ibn Shâfi Ibn as-Sàyib Ibn Obaid Ibn Abd Yazid Ibn Iishâm Ibn al-Muttalib Ibn Abd Manâf. The remainder of the genealogy, up to Adnån, is sufficiently known (1). His great-grandfather, Shảfi, when a boy just grown up, saw the Envoy of God (Muhammad). As-Såyib, the father of Shảfi, hore the standard of the Hashimide family at the battle of Badr; he was taken prisoner in that combat, but redeemed himself from captivity. When he subsequently became a Moslim, he was asked why he did not embrace the true faith when made prisoner, and thus avoid paying the ransom; he replied that he was not a man to frustrate the expectations which the Moslims had founded on it.-As-Shảfi (the subject of this article) stood unrivalled by his abundant merits and illustrious qualities; to the knowledge of all the sciences connected with the book of God (the Koran), the Sunna (the Traditions), the sayings of the Companions, their history, the conflicting opinions of the learned (jurisconsults, etc., he united a deep acquaintance with the language of the Arabs of the Desert, philology, grammar, and poetry; indeed, he was so well conversant with the last sciences, that al-Asmài, eminent as he was in these branches of learning, read over the poems of the Hudailites under his tuition. He combined in himself such a variety of scientific information as was never possessed by any other man, and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (vol. I. p. 44) went so far as to say: “ I did • not know the annulling from the annulled Traditions, till I took lessons from " as-Shâfi.”—“Never did I see a man,” said Abû Obaid al-Kasim Ibn Sallam (vol. II. p. 486), “ more accomplished than as-Shâfî.” — Abd Allah, the son of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, related as follows: “I said to my father: 'What sort of a
man was as-Shảfi, that I hear you pray blessings on him so often?' and he replied : “My dear boy! as-Shafi was (to mankind) as the sun is to the world, "and health to the body; what can replace them?” ”—Ahmad Ibn Hanbal said also : “ Never, for the last thirty years, have I passed a night without praying “ God's mercy and blessings upon as-Shâfi.” — Yahya Ibn Màin (2) said: “ Ah
mad Ibn Hanbal forbade us (attending the lessons of) as-Shâfi; but, meeting him “ one day walking on foot after as-Shafi, who was mounted on a mule, I said to “ him: “ Abû Abd Allah! you forbade us to frequent him, and you yourself are "66 walking after him! To which he replied: Silence! if I even kept company " • with his mule, I should profit by it.'” The khatib (vol. I. p.75, has inserted in his History of Baghdad the following relation given by Ibn Abd al-Hakam (3): “When as-Shảfi was still in his mother's womb, she dreamt that the planet
Jupiter came forth from it and proceeded to Egypt, where it fell, but that a “ portion of its rays reached every city upon earth. The interpreters of dreams “ declared this to signify that she would give birth to a learned man, who would “communicate his knowledge to the people of Egypt alone, but that it would
spread into all other countries.”—“I went to take lessons from Mâlik,” said as-Shâfi, " after baving learned by heart his Muwatta, and he told me to go to
some person who would repeat the book to me (so that I might learn it), but I
“ replied that I would repeat it myself (to him). I then did so from memory, and 627 “ he pronounced these words : “If any person is ever to prosper, it is this
“ youth !'”—When Sofyan Ibn Oyaina (v.I. p.578) was consulted on the meaning of a passage of the Koran, or on a point of law, he would turn towards as-Shafi and say:“Ask that boy.” – Al-Humaidi (4) relates that he heard Muslim Ibn Khalid az-Zanji (5) say to as-Shảfi : “Give opinions on points of law, 0 Abû Abd Allah ! “it is time for you to do so;” and that as-Shafi was only fifteen
of time.- Mahfûz Ibn Abi Tauba, a native of Baghdad, relates as follows : “I “saw Ahmad Ibn Hanbal near as-Shảfi in the Sacred Mosque, and I told him that
Sofyan Ibn Oyaina was then teaching Traditions in another part of the edifice; " on which he said: "This one would be a loss to me, but the other would not.'” -Abû 'l-Hassan az-Ziādi said : “ I never saw Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan (6) show
so much honour to any doctor as he did to as-Shâfi. He was just mounting his " horse, one day, when as-Shâfi came to see him, and he immediately returned with
' him into the house, and they remained in private (conversation) till the night set 66 in. Yet Muhammad Ibn Hasan never admitted any person into his presence.” -As-Shảfi was the first who ever gave lectures on the fundamentals of jurisprudence, and that branch of science had him for its author. - Abù Thaur (vol. I. p. 6) said : “ Whoever pretends that he saw the like of as-Shâfi for learning, • elegance of language, general knowledge, and solid information, a liar. He
age at the
"lived without a rival, and, on his death, he left none to replace him.”—“There “is not a person,” said Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, “ who holds an inkhorn or a sheet “ of paper, but is under the deepest obligations to as-Shảfi.”
And as for azZafarâni (vol. I. p. 373), he said that the Traditionists were sleeping till as-Shafi came and awoke them.-His merits were innumerable. He was born A. H. 150 (A. D. 767-8); on the day, it is said, on which Abû Hanifa died; his birth took place at Ghazza; some say, but erroneously, at Ascalon, or in Yemen. At the age of two years he was carried from Ghazza to Mekka, where he passed his youth and studied the Koran. The history of his journey to see Màlik is so well known that it is needless to lengthen this article by repeating it (V). In the year 195 (A. D. 810-1) he went to Baghdad, and, having passed two years in that city, he returned to Mekka. In the year 198 he revisited Baghdad, and after a month's residence he set out for Old Cairo, where he arrived A. H. 199 (A. D. 814-5), or 201, by another account. He continued to dwell there till his death; this event occurred on Friday, the last day of Rajab, A. H. 204 (Jan. A. D. 820), and, on the evening of the same day, he was buried in the lesser Karâla cemetery. His tomb is much frequented by pious visitors, and is situated near mount Mukattam. Ar-Râbi Ibn Sulaiman al-Muràdi (vol. 1. p. 519) mentioned that he perceived the new moon of the month of Shaabån as he was returning from the funeral (and this would prore that he was interred on the eve of the first day of that month). “ Some time after his death,” said ar-Râbi, “ I saw him in “ a dream, and said to him : 0 Abû Abd Allah ! how did God treat thee?' “ and he replied : “He seated me on a throne of gold, and pearls, fresh (from ""the sea,) were scattered over me.' All the learned men without exception, Traditionists, jurisconsults, dogmatic theologians, philologers, grammarians, etc., agree in acknowledging his veracity, integrity, probity, piety, unblemished character, purity of morals, mortified life, virtuous conduct, intrinsic merit, and generosity (8).—He composed a great quantity of poetry, and I shall insert here a piece of his composition, which I copied from the handwriting of the hafiz asSilafi (vol. I. p. 86) :
He who is blessed with riches and has not received praises or commendation, is a luckless wight. Wealth brings the most distant object within reach; wealth opens every well-barred door. If you hear that a piece of wood produced fruits when held in a rich man's hand, believe it. If you hear that a poor man went to drink at a spring,
and that the water sank into the earth, hold it to be true. If riches could be obtained by subtle policy, you would have found me clinging to the stars of heaven in search thereof. But he who is gifted with intellect is denied riches; how widely do intellect and riches stand apart! A proof of God's providence is found in the indigence of the sage and the pleasant life of the fool.
The following verses are attributed to as-Shâfi :
What will thy guest answer if his family ask how was his reception? Shall he say that he crossed the Euphrates without being able to obtain a drop of its waters, although its waves rolled high? that, when he mounted the ascent of glory, the narrowness of the path prevented him from reaching the object of his wishes ? By my adulation you may discover my poverty, as the glass shows the dregs in the water which it contains. But I possess the jewels and the pearls of poetry; I wear the diadem and the crown of style ; its flowers surpass those of the gardens on the hills, and its smoothness outvies that of an irrigated meadow (9). An elegant poet is a dangerous serpent, and verses are his poisonous slaver and foam. The enmity of a poet is a dire calamity, but it is easy for the generous man to avert it.
It was he who said:
Were it not a discredit for men of learning to cultivate poetry, I should be to-day a better poet than Labid (10).
The following lines are attributed to as-Shafi :
The more experience instructs me, the more I see the weakness of my reason ; and the more I increase my knowledge, the more I learn the extent of my ignorance.
The following verse is also attributed to him :
He meant good, and wrought harm undesignedly; thus acts of piety may sometimes become acts of disobedience.
He related that having married a woman of the tribe of Koraish, at Mekka, he happened to say to her in sport :
How unfortunate that you love one who loves you not !
And that she answered in the same rhyme and measure):
She averts her face, and you entreat her, but succeed not.
One of our most eminent shaikhs informed me that he composed thirteen works