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wherever they go, my heart journeys with their caravan. May the spot where I last saw them on the border of the valley be watered with grateful showers, copious, but yet nearly equalled by the torrent of my tears. O my friends! will those days ever re- 374 turn? till the end of time can I ever receive consolation for your absence? My eyes are bathed in tears; and in my bosom is a heart always yearning to meet you. Fortune was cruel to me after your departure, and misfortunes of every kind have alighted at my dwelling.
We saddled the camels of eulogium and abandoned that spot; its fountain was not like that of Sudda, neither did it produce the saadân (6). And we went to a prince on whom Joseph had bestowed his beauty, and whose lofty palace had been reared by Solomon (7); one of those high-minded men whose hands are torrents (of generosity) and whose minds are all fire.
This kasida is of great length, but we shall confine our citations to those just given. Ibn as-Sid was born at Batalyaus (Badajos), A. H. 444 (A. D. 1052-3); he died at Valencia on the 15th of Rajab, in the year 521 (July, A. D. 1127) . -Sid is one of the names by which the wolf is known, but it is also used as the
proper name of a man.-Batalyausi means belonging to Batalyaus (or Badajos); this city and Valencia are situated in the Spanish peninsula and have produced a number of learned men.
(1) The works called by the generic title of Muthallath, or Ternary, treat of those words which bear three different significations accordingly as the first syllable is pronounced with an a, an i, or an u.
(2) The word la is the plural jl and signifies travellers who halt after their journey and untie the cords which hold their baggage on the camels. It must therefore mean here : Observations which untie or unravel knotty difficulties.
(3) In the Arabic text, this title is incorrectly printed lot.
(4) Aba Aiyab Sulaiman Ibn Muhammad Ibn Hud, surnamed al-Mustain billah came to the throne of Saragossa A.H. 431 (A.D. 1039.) He died A.H. 438 (A.D. 1046–7), after a reign of seven or eight years.
(5) The moons are the faces of fair maidens, and the willow branch is the pliant waist over which the poet supposes each of these moons to culminate.
(6) Sudda is the name of a well, the water of which was celebrated for its purity. Saadan is the name of a plant which furnishes excellent food for camels. — See Freytag's Maidani, tom. II. pp. 617, 620, and De Sacy's Hariri, p. 39.
(7) The poet means Ibn Had himself, whose name was Sulaiman (Solomon), but he plays upon the word and makes an allusion to the edifices raised by the ruler of the Jews.
Abû ’l-Kasim Abd Allah (some say Abd al-Baki) Ibn Muhammad Ibn al-Husain Ibn Dawûd Ibn Nakiya, was a native of al-Harim az-Zahiri, a quarter in the city of Baghdad. His talents as a poet and a philologer, his acquaintance with the belles lettres, and his abilities as a writer of epistles obtained for him a high reputation. Ile composed some works remarkable not only for their beauty, but for the instruction which they conveyed ; such were his Mulah alMumâliha (elegancies of polished intercourse), and the Kitâb al-Jumân (book of pearls), in which he treats of the similes employed in the Koran. He is also the author of a well-known collection of makûmas, in which he displays a great command of pure Arabic. Besides these works, he made an abridgement in one volume of the Kitâb al-Aghâni, and a commentary on the Fasih (1). His poetry forms a large book, and his epistles have also been collected into a separate volume. The kâtib Imâd ad-din al-Ispahầni mentions him with commendation in the Kharîda, and after giving a sketch of his life, he cites the two following verses addressed by him to a certain emir who had got himself bled :
May He who possesses all perfections grant to you, from thy blood-letting, recovery and health. Say now to thy right hand: “May thy bounties never cease! Pour “ forth thy showers, for thou art a cloud (of beneficence) overshadowing the world !”
These verses are certainly very well turned.— In another of his pieces he
Since your departure, my dearest friends! I have never been familiar with the sweets of life, and sorrowful remembrance has never forsaken my bosom. The taste of sleep I have not enjoyed, neither have my eyes perceived an object grateful to their sight. My fingers have never since wantoned with the wine-cup when the bearer passed it round, neither have they touched the strings of the dulcimer.
Ibn Nakiya bore the reputation of an atheist and a follower of the doctrines held by the ancient (Greek philosophers); he even composed a treatise on the
subject, and he was noted also for his disorderly life. It is related on good au375 thority that, when he died, the person who washed his body previously to its
interment perceived that his left hand was closely shut, and having opened it with some difficulty, he found in it a writing, the words of which were intricately combined one with another. After some time he succeeded in reading the contents, which were these:
I am gone to seek hospitality from one who never disappoints the expectations of his guest; and I hope for salvation from the pains of hell. Though in dread of God, I confide in his bounty; for God is generous and bountiful.
This poet was born on the 15th of Zů 'l-Kaada, A.H. 410 (March, A.D. 1020), and he died on the eve of Sunday, the 4th of Muharram, A. H. 483 (February, A. D. 1092), at Baghdad. He was interred at the Damascus Gate (Bâb asShâm). — We have already given, in the life of Abû Ishåk as-Shirâzi (vol. I. p.10), a fragment of an elegy composed by Ibn Nâkiya.
(1) This work is attributed to the philologer Abù 'l-Abbâs Thalab; see vol. I. page 84.
ABU ’L-BAKA AL-OKBARI.
Abû 'l-Baka Abd Allah Ibn Abi Abd Allah al-Husain Ibn Abi 'l-Baka Abd Allah Ibn al-Husain al-Okbari, surnamed Muhabb ad-din (beloved for his religion), was a jurisconsult of the Hanbalite sect, a skilful arithmetician, a calculator of inheritance shares and a grammarian. Baghdad was the place of his birth and residence, but his family belonged to Okbara. This doctor was totally deprived of sight. He learned grammar at Baghdad from Abû Muhammad Ibn al-Kbashshâb (see the next article) and other teachers of that time, and was instructed in the Traditions by Abû 'l-Fath Muhammad Ibn al-Batti (1), Abû Zurâa Tâhir Ibn Muhammad Ibn Tâhir al-Makdisi, and some others. In the last period of his life he was without a rival in the various sciences which he professed; but his attention was chiefly engrossed by grammar, and on that subject he composed some instructive works. He made a commentary on Abû Ali 'l-Farisi’s treatise, the Iddh, and another on the poems of al-Mutanabbi; to which must be added a grammatical analysis of the text of the Koran in two volumes, a small volume containing a grammatical analysis of the Tra
ditions, a commentary on Ibn Jinni's work the Lumâ, the Kitâb al-Lubûb (essence", treating of the examples given in proof of the rules of grammar, a grammatical analysis of the verses contained in the Hamasa, a full commentary on az-Zamakhshari's Mufassal, a commentary on the khotbâs of Ibn Nubâta (2), and another on al-Hariri's Makâmas. He composed also some original treatises on grammar and arithmetic.
Numerous pupils studied under him with great profit to themselves, and his reputation extended, even in his lifetime, to distant countries. His birth took place A.H. 538 (A.D. 1143-4); he died at Baghdad on the eve of Sunday, the 8th of the latter Rabi, A.H. 616 (June, A.D. 1219), and was interred in the cemetery outside the Gate of Harb.— Okbari means belonging to Okbara, which is a village on the Tigris, ten parasangs higher up than Baghdad. This spot has produced a number of men remarkable for learning or for other acquirements.
(1) Abu Fath Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Bâki Ibn al-Batti, the hajib, was the chief traditionist of Irak in that age. He died A. H. 564 (A.D. 1169, aged eighty-seven years.—(Nujum.)
(2) I have given the text and translation of one of these Khotbas in the Journal Asiatique for Jan. 1840.
Abû Muhammad Abd Allah Ibn Ahmad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Ahmad, surnamed Ibn al-Khashshåb, was a native of Baghdad celebrated for his abilities in philology, grammar, the koranic exegesis, Traditions, genealogy, the calculation of inheritance shares, and arithmetic; he knew also the Koran by heart, so as to repeat it according to most of the readings (1). His mind was filled with
every species of knowledge, and in each branch of science he displayed abilities of the highest order. His penmanship (2) was also extremely beautiful. The kâtib Imâd ad-din mentions him in the Kharîda with the enumeration of his various talents and his excellencies ; he then adds: “He composed but little poetry;
this, however, was made by him on a wax-light :
. It is pale, but not from sickness; how could it be sick when its mother is the restorer of health ? (3) It is naked, but its interior (the wick) is clothed; how strange that it should be at once both clothed and naked !''
The kåtib quotes also an enigma by Ibn al-Khashshåb, of which the word is book; it runs as follows :
It has many faces, yet it does not betray your secrets as a double-faced man would do. The lines (asrár) on its face reveal secrets (asrár) to you and make them audible to the eye whilst you look upon
This thought is taken from al-Mutanabbi's poem on the vizir Ibn al-Amid,
where he says:
Thy enemies called thee the râis (4) without any addition, but thy Creator entitled thee ar-Ráis al-Akbar (the greatest of the chiefs). Thy qualities have rendered these words of His as a writing for our eyes, so that they fill the ears of him who uses his sight.
He composed a commentary entitled al-Martajal (extempore dissertation) on Abd al-Kâhir al-Jurjāni's (grammatical treatise the) Jumal, but he left some chapters towards the middle of the book without any elucidation; he wrote also a commentary on Ibn Jinni's work the Luma, but did not finish it. He was dirty in his person and paid hardly the slightest attention to what he ate or wore. The kâtib Imâd ad-din mentions that Ibn al-Khashshâb was an acquaintance of his, and that he had kept up a written correspondence with him. “When he
died,” says the same writer, “I was in Syria, and I saw him one night in a
dream, and said to him : How has God treated thee ?'—'Well,' he replied. " — Does God show mercy to literary men ??—“Yes.'—* And if they have been “ remiss??— A severe reprimand will be given and then will come eternal hap
piness. Ibn al-Khashshâb was born A. H. 492 (A. D. 1098-9); he died on the Friday evening, the 3rd of Ramadàn, A.H. 567 (May, A. D. 1172), in the house of Abû 'l-Kâsim al-Farrâ, situated near the gate of al-Azaj, at Baghdad. He was buried in the cemetery of Ahmad, at the gate of Harb, on the Saturday which followed his death. The funeral prayers were said over him in the Jâmi 's-Sultân the sultan's great mosque.)
(1) For the readings of the Koran, see vol. I. page 152. (2) The autograph has abs, not abia.
(3) In the Traditions it is mentioned that Muhammad praised the great medical virtues of honey, saying that in it was a cure for man. See Matthew's Mishkat, vol. II. p. 374.
(4) Ráis or chief was a title given to vizirs and chief officers in the administration.