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al-D̲j̲idd wa ’l-Hazl

(1,116 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
“seriousness and joking”, a common combination of antithetical terms which have a certain resonance in Muslim ethics and the Arabic literary genre known as adab . Although only the second of these words occurs in the Ḳurʾān, without implication of any kind, while its antonym d̲j̲idd and its synonym muzāḥ do not appear there at all, and although the Ḳurʾān does not explicitly prescribe either serious behaviour or the avoidance of jocularity, Islam without necessarily inspiring sadness and tears in spite of its pessimistic …


(705 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
, Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad b. al-Ḥārit̲h̲ , Mālikī faḳīh and biographer, originally from K̲h̲us̲h̲an near Ḳayrawān. After studying fiḳh at the latter place and at Tunis, he left his homeland ca. 311/923, passing through Ceuta, where he was held back some time by teaching (he is said also to have corrected the orientation of the mosque there), and travelling to Spain. He resided in the Marches, and completed his legal training, especially from Ḳāsim b. Aṣbag̲h̲ [ q.v.], and ended up by enjoying the favour of the heir to the throne, prince ¶ al-Ḥakam, who procured for him the job of ḳāḍī


(2,249 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
(a.) pl. nawādir , literally “rare thing, rarity”, denotes a pleasing anecdote containing wit, humour, jocularity and lively repartee, ( nukta , pl. nukat ; mulḥa , pl. mulaḥ ; fukāha , etc.) of the type which has never ceased to be an integral feature of all social gatherings, whether intimate or official. A taste for this variety of entertainment seems to have developed in the lst/7th century in the Holy Cities of Islam, especially at Medina, where instruction in the art of composing and delivering anecdotes [see al-d̲j̲idd wa ’l-hazl ] began at a very early st…

al-Ag̲h̲lab al-ʿId̲j̲lī

(183 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
( al-ag̲h̲lab b. ʿamr b. ʿubayda b. ḥārit̲h̲a b. dulaf b. ḏj̲us̲h̲am ), Arab poet, born in the pre-Islamic era and converted to Islam, who later settled at al-Kūfa, and was killed at the battle of Nihāwand (21/642) at the reputed age of 90. He is not regarded as one of the Companions of the Prophet. Al-Ag̲h̲lab is considered to be the first to have employed the rad̲j̲az metre in lengthy poems constructed on the pattern of the ḳaṣīda , but very few traces of his works remain. Critics praise particularly a poem on the prophetess Sad̲j̲āḥ [ q.v.], and quote an anecdote which suggests that Islam…

Ibn Munād̲h̲ir

(337 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
Muḥammad , satirical poet, a native of ʿAdan, who went to Baṣra for his education, settled there and posed as a mawlā of the Banū Ṣubayr b. Yarbūʿ (Tamīm). He spent a devout and studious youth, following the courses of the best teachers of Baṣra, from whom he learnt grammar, Ḳurʾānic “readings”, lexicography, ḥadīt̲h̲ , etc., but on the death of his friend ʿAbd al-Mad̲j̲īd b. ʿAbd al-Wahhāb al-T̲h̲aḳafī (for whom he wrote a much-admired funeral oration), his attitude changed completely; applying their point of doctrine concerning the tag̲h̲yīr al-munkar , the Muʿtazilīs ¶ were obliged t…

Mawlāy Maḥammad al-S̲h̲ayk̲h̲

(2,436 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
, name of three Moroccan sultans belonging to the dynasty of the Saʿdids [ q.v.]. I. The first, Abū ʿAbd Allāh, who also bore the title of al-Mahdī and is sometimes known as al-Imām, is generally counted second or third in the list of members of the dynasty, but he may to a certain extent be considered its true founder, since it was he who put an end to that of the Marīnids [ q.v.]. Born probably at Tagmaddart (a district of the Darʿa) in 896/1490-1, he was the younger son of Muḥammad b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Ḳāʾim bi-amr Allāh, who was proclaimed sultan in 916/1510 and d…


(649 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
, the Arabic name of the small port on the Mediterranean coast of al-Andalus, Almunecar, which made its entry into the history of Islam on 1 Rabīʿ I 138/14 August 755, when the Umayyad prince ʿAbd al-Raḥmān [ q.v.] b. Muʿāwiya al-Dāk̲h̲il trod there “for the first time the soil of his future kingdom” (Lévi-Provençal, Hist. Esp. Mus. , i, 101) before setting out to defeat the governor Yūsuf b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Fihrī. As it still is today, Almuñecar was part of the province of which the regional capital was Granada [see g̲h̲arnāṭa ], 40 miles away; the fate of the t…

Ibn al-Ḳirriyya

(258 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
, Abū Sulaymān Ayyūb b. Zayd , of the Zayd Manāt (al-Ḳirriyya was probably the name of his mother or of one of his grandmothers), is presented as an illiterate Bedouin whose eloquence, however, became proverbial to the extent of eclipsing the fame of Saḥbān Wāʾil [ q.v.]. Tradition relates that he lived in the entourage of al-Ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ād̲j̲ [ q.v.], and adab books contain discourses, generally rhymed, which he is said to have given on various occasions or in reply to questions from his master. He is reported however to have joined the party of Ibn al-As̲h̲ʿat̲h̲ [ q.v.], drawing up his lett…

ʿAmr b. ʿAdī

(342 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
b. naṣr b. rabīʿa , first Lak̲h̲mid King of al-Ḥīra. His father ʿAdī employed a ruse (which frequently appears in Arab legend, cf. the story of ʿAbbāsa bint al-Mahdī) to win the hand of Raḳās̲h̲, sister of Ḏj̲ad̲h̲īma al-Abras̲h̲ [ q.v.], whose favourite he was; ʿAmr, the offspring of this union, succeeded in winning the favour of Ḏj̲ad̲h̲īma. but was then carried off by the d̲j̲inn , was considered lost, and was finally restored to his uncle. After al-Zabbāʾ (identified with Zenobia, queen of Palmyra) had seduced and killed Ḏj̲ad̲h̲īma. …

Ibn Dirham

(1,825 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
, seldom-used patronym of an eminent family of Mālikī jurists and ḳāḍī s, originally of Baṣra, who bear the ethnic name al-Azdī in some sources; but since the members of this family are most often cited under their personal name or simply by their kunya , and since the line of parentage which connects them is consequently ¶ difficult to determine, it has been judged expedient to assemble them here under this somewhat artificial appellation, following the example of F. al-Bustānī who, in the Dāʾirat al-maʿārif (iii, 61), adopted it for one of them, the tenth of those listed below. These ḳāḍīs, w…

al-Ḥakam b. Muḥammad b. Ḳanbar

(316 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
al-Māzinī , a minor poet of Baṣra, of whose work there remain only some lines of g̲h̲azal [ q.v.] that are entirely proper and for the most part set to music, and also a small number of invectives against Muslim b. al-Walīd [ q.v.]. The date of his birth, which must have taken place in about 110/728-9, is not precisely known, and the only indications concerning him that we possess are two anecdotes: the first tells of the female slaves of Sulaymān b. ʿAlī (d. 142/759 [ q.v.]) maltreating Ibn Ḳanbar, even stripping him in the street, because they were astonished to find so ugly a m…

al-Masḥ ʿAlā ’l-K̲h̲uffayn

(1,057 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
(a.), literally: “act of passing the hand over the boots”, designates the right whereby Sunnī Muslims may, in certain circumstances, pass the hand over their shoes instead of washing their feet as a means of preparing themselves for the saying of the ritual prayer. Al-D̲j̲urd̲j̲ānī ( Taʿrīfāt , ed. Tunis 1971, 112) proposes a definition of the masḥ : “passing the moistened hand without making (water) flow” ( imrār al-yad al-mubtalla bi-lā tasyīl ), which justifies the translation by “wetting of the shoes” which is adopted by L. Bercher and G. H.…

Ḥamza b. Ḥabīb

(350 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
b. ʿUmāra b. Ismāʿīl , Abū ʿUmāra al-Taymī al-Kūfī al-Zayyāt , one of the “Seven Readers” of the Ḳurʾān. A mawlā of the family of ʿIkrima b. Ribʿī al-Taymī, he was born in Ḥulwān in 80/699 and became a merchant; his surname al-Zayyāt arises from the fact that he transported oil from Kūfa to Ḥulwān, whence he brought cheese and nuts. Having settled at Kūfa, he became interested in ḥadīt̲h̲ and the farāʾīḍ , on which he left a Kitāb al-Farāʾīḍ which was probably collected by his pupils ( Fihrist , 44). His fame, however, rests particularly upon his “reading”. A pupil, in this field, of al-Aʿmas̲h̲ [ q.v…

Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan b. Dīnār

(400 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
, Abu ’lʿAbbās, better known as Ibn Dinar al-Aḥwal, rāwī of Bag̲h̲dād who lived in the 3rd/9th century and who died after 250/864. He followed the profession of bookseller ( warrāḳ ) and above all that of copyist ( nāsik̲h̲ ). Earning 20 dirhams per 100 leaves, he copied the translations and personal compositions of Ḥunayn b. Isḥāḳ [ q.v.] as well as the writings of al-Yazīdī [ q.v.], whose courses he had more or less followed, as those also of Nifṭawayh [ q.v.], since he had an interest in philology. He himself wrote in turn a series of works of which a list has been preserved by the biographers: K. al…


(465 words)

Author(s): Ben Cheneb, M. | Pellat, Ch.
, abū sālim ʿabd allāh b. muḥammad , man of letters, traditionist, lawyer and Sūfī scholar, born in the Berber tribe of the Aït (Ayt) ʿAyyās̲h̲ of the Middle Moroccan Atlas at the end of S̲h̲aʿbān 1037/April-May 1628, died of plague in Morocco on 10 Ḏh̲u ’l-Ḳaʿda 1090/13 December 1679. After having travelled through Morocco “in search of knowledge” and obtained an id̲j̲āza from ʿAbd al-Ḳādir al-Fāsī [ q.v.], in 1059/1649 he made his first pilgrimage to Mecca going via Touat, Ouargla and Tripoli; then, in 1064/1653-4 he made a second pilgrimage, on returning from which he wrote his Riḥla


(1,358 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Pellat, Ch.
(a.), pl. of ḥawrāʾ and its masc. aḥwar , adjective from the root ḥ.w.r ., with the general idea of ‘whiteness’ (the root ḥ.y.r ., signifying ‘perplexity’ or ‘astonishment’, which has occasionally been suggested, is to be rejected); ḥawrāʾ is applied more particularly to the very large eye of the gazelle or the oryx, the clear whiteness of which arises from the contrast with the blackness of the pupil and the iris; by extension, ḥawrāʾ signifies a woman whose big black eyes are in contrast to their ‘whites’ and to the whiteness of the skin. The plural ḥūr is a substant…

Mad̲j̲nūn Laylā

(5,623 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch. | Bruijn, J.T.P. de | Flemming, B. | Haywood, J.A.
, “the Madman of Laylā”, or Mad̲j̲nūn Banī ʿĀmir, the name given to the hero of a romantic love story, the original form of which could date back as far as the second half of the 1st/7th Century. 1. In Arabic literature This imaginary character (acknowledged as such even by some Arab critics; see Ag̲h̲ānī , ed. Beirut, ii, 6, 11) has been furnished by the ruwāt with an ism and with a complete genealogy; Ḳays b. al-Mulawwaḥ b. Muzāḥim b. Ḳays b. ʿUdas b. Rabīʿa b. D̲j̲aʿda b. Kaʿb b. Rābīʿa b. ʿĀmir b. Ṣaʿṣaʿa, but according to the evidence, …

Ibn Lad̲j̲aʾ

(191 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
, ʿUmar b. Lad̲j̲aʾ b. Ḥudayr al-Taymī , of the Taym b. ʿAbd Manāt, an Arab poet of the 1st/7th century. Al-D̲j̲āḥiẓ emphasizes his skill in composing poems in rad̲j̲az and ḳaṣīdas , and Ibn Sallām places him in the fourth “class” of Islamic poets, but he has escaped oblivion chiefly owing to the invectives that he exchanged with Ḏj̲arīr [ q.v.]; these fragments of hid̲j̲āʾ are in part preserved in the Naḳāʾiḍ and in various anthologies, which for the most part ignore his other compositions; his rivalry with Ḏj̲arīr appears basically to have be…


(207 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
, nickname of a satirical poet of Baṣra named Ḵh̲idās̲h̲ b. Bis̲h̲r al-Mud̲j̲ās̲h̲iʿī. Though held to be the greatest orator of the Tamīm, Ibn Sallām places him in the second class of the great Islamic poets. The critics, however, consider that his relative obscurity was only due to the renown of Ḏj̲arīr; al-Baʿīt̲h̲’s activity is in fact associated with that of the two rivals Ḏj̲arīr and al-Farazdaḳ: for many years he exchanged invectives with the former, but was obliged to call the latter to h…

Abu ’l-S̲h̲īṣ

(283 words)

Author(s): Schaade, A. | Pellat, Ch.
Muḥammad ( b. ʿAbd Allāh ) b. Razīn al Ḵh̲uzāʿī , Arab poet, died about 200/915. Like his relative Diʿbil [ q.v.], he lived at the court of Hārūn al-Ras̲h̲īd for whom he wrote panegyrics, and afterwards dirges. He then went to al-Raḳḳa and obtained the favours of the amīr ʿUḳba b. al-As̲h̲ʿat̲h̲, remaining his boon-companion and court poet until 196/811.—To judge by the rare fragments of his work that have been preserved, Abu ’l-S̲h̲īṣ does not appear as an orginal poet in his panegyrics, hunting poe…
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