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(653 words)

Author(s): Arazi, A.
, Abū ʿAlī Ismāʾīl b. Ibrāhīm b. Ḥamdawayhī , better known as al-Ḥamdūnī (this nisba being due to a defective reading, cf. al-Samʿānī, Ansāb , ed. Hyderabad, iv, 241), minor poet of Baṣra in the 3rd/9th century. From his profession (that of kātib , Ibn Ḳutayba, ʿUyūn , iv, 89) and his origin, he belonged to the class of high officials of Persian origin in the ʿAbbāsid administration; his grandfather had been ʿarīf al-zanādīḳa under al-Mahdī from 168/784-5 (Goldziher, Ṣâliḥ b. Abd al-Ḳuddûs und das Zindîḳthum während der Regierung des Chalifen al-Mahdî , in Trans. Congress of Orientalists


(6,926 words)

Author(s): Arazi, A. | Y. Meron
(a.), lit. “description”. I. In poetry 1. Description This literary genre, through its dimensions, its significative function and its evolution, has played a role of the greatest importance in the long process of the development of Arabic poetry. By its etymology, the term signifies embellishment (al-D̲j̲awharī, al-Ṣiḥāḥ , Beirut 1404/1984, iv, 1438-9; Tahd̲h̲īb al-lug̲h̲a , xii, 248a; al-Zamak̲h̲s̲h̲arī, Asās al-balāg̲h̲a , 1024a-1025a; LA, s.v. w-ṣ-f , waṣafa al-s̲h̲ayʾa ḥallāhu “he described a thing, meaning that he…


(5,057 words)

Author(s): Arazi, A.
(a.), pl. ṣaʿālīk , brigand, brigand-poet and mercenary in time of need. The ṣaʿālīk owe their place in history mainly to their poetic talents which were without equal at the time of the Ḏj̲āhiliyya and until the end of the Umayyad régime. It is not at all easy to unravel the problem posed by the existence of this group, on account of the ¶ absence of contemporary documents. On the other hand, later authors, in copying ancient texts, have replaced the original terms with those in use in their own time: the ṣaʿālīk mentioned by al-Balād̲h̲urī ( Futūḥ , 310-11) become d̲h̲uʿʿār

al-Nābig̲h̲a al-D̲j̲aʿdī

(1,093 words)

Author(s): Arazi, A.
, Ḳays b. ʿAbd Allāh, according to Ibn al-Kalbī, Ḥibbān (var. Ḥassān) b. Ḳays b. ʿAbd Allāh, according to al-Ḳahd̲h̲amī, of the Banū D̲j̲aʿda (ʿĀmir b. Ṣaʿṣaʿa), poet of the muk̲h̲aḍramūn [ q.v.] and a Companion famed for his longevity, to which he owes the honour of being included among the muʿammarūn [ q.v.] by Abū Ḥātim al-Sid̲j̲istānī. The biographical details concern the Islamic period only, and nothing or virtually nothing is known of his origins (the sole vestige, Dīwān, ed. Maria Nallino, no. IX, vv. 8-16). In 9/630, he took part in the wafd or deputation of…


(4,960 words)

Author(s): Arazi, A. | Hanaway, W.L. | Soucek, P.
(a.), cup-bearer, the person charged with pouring wine, to be distinguished from the chief butler or sommelier ( s̲h̲arābī or ṣāḥib al-s̲h̲arāb ). The chief butler, an important official of the ʿAbbāsid court and the great houses of the highest classes (M.M. Ahsan, Social life under the ʿAbbāsids , London 1979, 156), is not unreminiscent of the sār ha-mas̲h̲kīm of the Pharaohs’ court (Gen. xl, 1) and the Sāsānid maybad̲h̲ (A. Christensen, L’Iran sous les Sassanides2 , Copenhagen 1944, 21-3, 389). 1. In Arabic usage. During the D̲j̲āhiliyya . sāḳī had a double c…


(25,803 words)

Author(s): al-Muʿtazz, Ibn | Arazi, A. | Moreh, S. | Bruijn, J.T.P. de | Balim, Çiğdem | Et al.
(a.), poetry. 1. In Arabic. (a) The pre-modern period. It is the supreme ornament of Arab culture and its most authentically representative form of discourse. The ideas articulated by poetry and the emotional resonances which it conveys earn it, even in the present day, where numerous new literary forms are in competition with it, the approval of scholars and the populace alike. Despite the phonetic resemblance, s̲h̲iʿr is totally unconnected with the Hebrew s̲h̲īr , the ʿayn is a “hard” consonant which persists in the roots common to the two langu…


(2,304 words)

Author(s): Arazi, A.
“he who has large lips”, is the nickname, perhaps even the name (al-Zamak̲h̲s̲h̲arī, introd., 8; S̲h̲arīf, 15), of one of the most famous pre-Islamic ṣuʿlūk poets. A great deal of confusion surrounds the man and his work; for this reason it is appropriate to handle the information concerning him with the greatest caution. 1. Life. Details relating to the life of al-S̲h̲anfarā are sparse, contradictory and marked by an anecdotal quality much more pronounced than is the case with all the other pre-Islamic poets. His name is reportedly T̲h̲ābit (ʿAmr) …

Waḍḍāḥ al-Yaman

(701 words)

Author(s): Arazi, A.
, sobriquet (“person of outstanding handsomeness amongst the Yemenis”) of a minor Umayyad poet of the Ḥid̲j̲āzī school, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Ismāʿīl b. Kulāl al-K̲h̲awlānī, d. ca. 90/707. Two of the earliest sources on him, Muḥammad b. Ḥabīb’s K. Asmāʾ al-mug̲h̲tālīn , 273, and al-Balād̲h̲urī’s Ansāb al-as̲h̲rāf fol. 656a, state that one of his ancestors stemmed from the Abnāʾ al-Furs , the Persian soldiers and officials sent out to Yemen to aid Sayf b. Ḏh̲ī Yazan against the Abyssinians, but there are contradictory traditions on his Y…

Taʾabbaṭa S̲h̲arran

(1,445 words)

Author(s): Arazi, A.
, the nickname of the pre-Islamic ṣuʿlūk poet T̲h̲ābit b. Ḏj̲ābir b. Sufyān of the Banū Saʿd b. Fahm (of the group Ḳays ʿAylān, see Ibn Ḥabīb, Alḳāb , 307). The traditions which have attempted to explain this nickname (“he carried an evil under his arm") should not be taken at face value; the evil that was carried round by this very young man possessed a legendary significance, whether it concerned snakes, a sabre or a g̲h̲ūl [ q.v.]. This name was intended to convey a particular image of a poet dominated by an inborn tendency to cause nuisance as well as to suggest the p…


(943 words)

Author(s): Arazi, A.
, the appellative of the Umayyad poet al-Mug̲h̲īra b. ʿAbd Allāh b. al-Aswad b. Wahb b. Nāʿid̲j̲ b. Ḳays b. Muʿriḍ of the ʿAmr b. Asad b. Ḵh̲uzayma (Ibn Ḥazm, Ḏj̲amharat ansāb al-ʿArab , Cairo 1391/1971, 191, and not as is ¶ commonly acknowledged after the Ag̲h̲ānī ). He owed this appellative "red face" to a skin disease which ancient sources denoted by the generic term baraṣ , leprosy (al-Ḏj̲āḥiẓ, al-Burṣān wa ’l-ʿurd̲j̲ān , Beirut 1401/1981, 68, 74, referring to al-Uḳays̲h̲ir by name). This must have made him repulsive to look at, and he attacked anyone at all who called him by this nickname. Bo…

al-Nābig̲h̲a al-D̲h̲ubyānī

(2,815 words)

Author(s): Arazi, A.
, Ziyād b. Muʿāwiya (var. ʿAmr) b. Ḍabāb b. D̲j̲ābir (var. D̲j̲anāb) b. Yarbūʿ b. Salāma of the Banū Murra (G̲h̲aṭafān), one of the most renowned poets of the D̲j̲āhiliyya . With Imruʾ al-Ḳays and Zuhayr [ q.vv.] he eclipsed the earlier poets (Ibn Sallām, Ṭabaḳāt , ed. S̲h̲ākir, i, 50, 56-9; Abu ’l-Baḳāʾ Hibat Allāh al-Ḥillī, al-Manāḳib al-mazyadiyya , Amman 1984, i, 172). The traditions relating to al-Nābig̲h̲a are concerned with a brief period of his life, confined to the years 570-600, and show the poet being received by the G̲h̲assānid tribal chieftains …


(1,249 words)

Author(s): Arazi, A.
, called ʿAbd Bani ’l-Ḥasḥās, meaning the slave of the Banu ’l-Ḥasḥās (Asad, the clan Nufāsa b. Saʿīd b. ʿAmr of the Banū Dūdān), a slave-poet of the muk̲h̲aḍram who lived in Medina during the reign of ʿUt̲h̲mān b. ʿAffān. He is not to be confused with his namesake Suḥaym b. Wat̲h̲īl al-Riyāḥī, a Tamīmī with a pure pedigree (as noted in the work of Ibn S̲h̲ākir al-Kutubī, Fawāt al-wafayāt , Cairo 1951, i, 338). The traditions concerning him are very contradictory and it is difficult to put together even an approximate biography of the poet. The only dateable event is h…

al-S̲h̲ammāk̲h̲ b. Ḍirār

(1,312 words)

Author(s): Arazi, A.
, true name Maʿḳil b. Ḍirār, of the T̲h̲aʿlaba b. Saʿd of the Banū D̲h̲ubyān (G̲h̲aṭafān), a muk̲h̲aḍram poet and, according to some sources, a Companion after his conversion in 9/630 (Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, Istīʿāb , i, 324; Ag̲h̲ānī , viii, 98; Iṣāba , iii, 210). This information is to be treated with caution: according to Ibn Sayyid al-Nās [ q.v.], the author of a work on the poets of the Prophet, it was his brother al-Muzarrid who met him and composed a poem in his honour ( Minaḥ al-midaḥ , Damascus 1407/1987, 310-11). Al-S̲h̲ammāk̲h̲ must have been too young at this time. Reliable information con…


(14,948 words)

Author(s): Arazi, A. | Ben-S̲h̲ammay, H. | Rahman, Munibur | Tekin, Gönül Alpay
(a.), an Arabic term attested at a very early stage, in the ancient inscriptions of Arabia, with the meaning of message or of mission (G. Lankester Harding, An index and concordance of pre-Islamic names and inscriptions, Toronto 1971, 277). In fact, risāla has many meanings; it has signified message, missive, letter, epistle and monograph; from the 5th/11th century onwards it could also be a synonym of maḳāma (see below, section on Risāla and maḳāma). The synonyms recorded are kitāb [ q.v.], k̲h̲iṭāb (for Ps.-Ibn al-Mudabbir in the 3rd/9th century, risāla and k̲h̲iṭāb were synonyms, Ṣafw…

Sukayna bt. al-Ḥusayn

(2,288 words)

Author(s): Arazi, A.
, the laḳab of a granddaughter of ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib. There are different versions of her name; she is called either Umayma (according to Muḥammad b. al-Sāyib al-Kalbī, al-Fihrist , Cairo, n.d. 140), or Amīna or Āmina ( Ag̲h̲ānī 3, xvi, 139-41); there is a preference for the last of these names because of the k̲h̲abar cited by al-Madāʾinī about the origins of the character differences between her and her eldest sister Fāṭima: wa-(i) smuhā Āmina wa-hād̲h̲ā huwa al-ṣaḥīḥ , her authentic name is certainly Āmina ( K. al-Murdifāt min Ḳurays̲h̲ , in Nawādir al-mak̲h̲ṭūṭāt , Cairo 1392/1972, i, 68; Ag̲…
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