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Abū al-ʿAtāhiya
(9,177 words)

Abū al-ʿAtāhiya, Abū Isḥāq Ismāʿīl b. al-Qāsim b. Suwayd b. Kaysān (130–211/748–826), was a major poet of the ʿAbbāsid period.

Regarding the biography of this famous poet, who is considered one of the instigators of zuhdiyya (a genre of pious/didactic poetry), it should be noted that the sources give not only different, but often opposing, interpretations of his personality and some of his spiritual leanings. For instance, although most of these sources speak of his asceticism (zuhd) and Sufism, and even of the period of imprisonment which he brought on himself during t…

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Arzandeh, Mehran and Translated by Azar Rabbani, “Abū al-ʿAtāhiya”, in: Encyclopaedia Islamica, Editors-in-Chief: Farhad Daftary. Consulted online on 10 June 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-9831_isla_SIM_0103>
First published online: 2015

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