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Dossier – Arabic Literature, 1200-1800: A new Orientation

A New Source for the Poetry of Ibn Maṭrūḥ (1196-1251)

Adam Talib
p. 115-141

Résumés

Cet article étudie le plus ancien manuscrit existant du Dīwān d’Ibn Maṭrūḥ, qui n’a été utilisé dans aucune des quatre éditions imprimées de ce recueil. Il soulève aussi plusieurs questions historico-littéraires qui apparaissent dans l’œuvre d’Ibn Maṭrūḥ, afin de souligner la complexité de sa carrière poétique et d’ouvrir la voie à de nouvelles recherches sur le sujet.

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Texte intégral

  • 1 I would like to thank the journal’s anonymous peer reviewers and Geert Jan van Gelder for their inc (...)
  • 2 The edition and translation of Bahāʾ al-Dīn Zuhayr’s poetry was undertaken by Edward Henry Palmer ( (...)
  • 3 In addition to the manuscript that is the subject of this article, the editors failed to make use o (...)

1Perhaps owing to their political careers, the Egyptian poet Ǧamāl al-Dīn Yaḥyā b. ʿĪsā b. Maṭrūḥ (592-649/1196-1251) and his close friend and compatriot Bahāʾ al-Dīn Zuhayr (581-656/1186-1258) have received considerably more attention than other Arabic poets active in the period from 1200 to 1800.1 Bahāʾ al-Dīn Zuhayr has the distinction of being the first Arabic poet to have had his complete works t­­­ranslated into English and Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān has been published four times in the past century and a half; three times in the past thirty years.2 This state of affairs runs counter to the widely acknowledged scholarly disregard for Arabic literature produced during the period 1200-1800. It is regrettable, however, that in the case of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s poetry this exceptional attention has not achieved much. Indeed it is typical of the field of pre-modern Arabic literature that subsequent editions of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān have not built on previous efforts and have failed to make use of the oldest manuscript source of the Dīwān.3 It is perhaps due to the preceding that they have not made much of an impact on our understanding of 13th-century Arabic poetry.

  • 4 See Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, al-Nabhānī (ed.), p218. On the publishing house established by Aḥmad Fāris a (...)
  • 5 The title of the omnibus is Dīwān Abī al-Faḍl al-ʿAbbās b. al-Aḥnaf wa-fī āḫirihi Dīwān Ǧamāl al-Dī (...)
  • 6 This issue is discussed by ʿAwaḍ Muḥammad al-Ṣāliḥ in the introduction to his edition of Ibn Maṭrūḥ (...)

2Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān was first printed in Constantinople at al-Ǧawāʾib Press on 15 Raǧab 1298/13 June 1881 in an edition prepared by the in-house editor (muṣaḥḥiḥ) Yūsuf al-Nabhānī.4 It was printed at the end of the Dīwān of ʿAbbās b. al-Aḥnaf (d. before 193/809) and included a long excerpt from Ibn Ḫallikān’s (d. 681/1282) Wafayāt al-aʿyān wa-anbāʾ abnāʾ al-zamān recounting the poet’s life.5 This edition of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān is 54 pages long and contains 106 poems by him, a total of 818 verses. There is no mention of the source-text(s) used to create this editio princeps, but it was almost certainly one or both of the two manuscripts of the Dīwān available in Istanbul libraries.6 The Dīwān of Ibn Maṭrūḥ is preserved in the following Mss, the oldest of which (SOAS Arabic Ms 13248) is the subject of this article.

Manuscripts of the Dīwān

SOAS Arabic Ms 13248 [Symbol: SOAS]

  • 7 See Gacek, 1981, no. 58.
  • 8 See Gacek, 1981, no. 59.
  • 9 Personal communication with SOAS library staff. Prof. Elias Muhanna put me in touch with Prof. Adam (...)

382 poems over 27 folios. A total of 577 verses.7 The poems in this Ms are indexed to the four printed editions in the concordance that is appended to this article. This Ms—the oldest surviving recension of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān—is a 15th-century copy and shares a codex with the Dīwān of Ibn al-Nabīh (d. 619/1222).8 The Ms is not dated but the copyist ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn al-Ḥalabī—known as Ibn Šams—died in 856/1452. The codex was donated to SOAS by one E.J. Portal on 31 August 1921.9

Köprülü (Istanbul) Ms 1266 [Symbol: K]

  • 10 Rescher 1911, pp174-175, no. 16; Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, al-Ṣāliḥ (ed.), p252.
  • 11 Şeşen et al., 1986, vol. 2, p44.

429 folios. This Ms of the Dīwān begins with SOAS 1. In his 1911 description of the Köprülü collection of Arabic manuscripts, Otto Rescher wrote that the manuscript is not dated and “barely more than two hundred years old”, but ʿAwaḍ Muḥammad al-Ṣāliḥ reports that it was written at the end of Rabīʿ al-Awwal 1012/1603 and was copied by one ʿImrān b. Muḥammad al-Maġribī.10 Al-Ṣāliḥ’s dating is corroborated by the more recent catalogue of Köprülü manuscripts, though this only records that the Ms was copied in the 10th/17th century.11 The Ms is part of the Fazıl Ahmed Paşa collection.

Baghdad Awqāf Ms 490 [Symbol: Baghdad]

  • 12 On al-ʿUṭayfī, see al-Munaǧǧid, Wild (eds.), 1979.
  • 13 Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, Naṣṣār (ed.), p25.
  • 14 See Ṭalas, 1953, pp319-320.

5Copied in 1044/1634 by Ramaḍān b. Mūsā al-ʿUṭayfī (1019-1095/1610-1684).12 According to Ḥusayn Naṣṣār, this Ms of the Dīwān follows the same ordering of Mss K and V (see below).13 The Dīwān is part of a collection (maǧmūʿ), which also includes the Dīwāns of al-Šābb al-Ẓarīf (661/1263-688/1289), Ibn al-Nabīh (d. 619/1222), Ḥusām al-Dīn al-Ḥāǧirī (d. 622/1225), and Manǧak (d. 1080/1669).14

British Library Ms OR 3853 [Symbol: BriLib1]

  • 15 See Rieu, 1871, no. 1073-1 and Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, al-Ṣāliḥ (ed.), p259.

642 poems over 15 folios.15 The poems in this copy of the Dīwān are arranged alphabetically by rhyme-letter. Copied in Radāʿ al-ʿArš (Yemen) in 1088/1677. This version of the Dīwān begins, like Ms Rylands (see below), with Amīn 26 (see discussion of this poem and its disputed authorship below). It ends with a dūbayt poem (Amīn Rub.2).

Veliyüddin Efendi (Beyazit State Library, Istanbul) Ms 3208 [Symbol: V]

  • 16 See Defter-i Kütüphane-i Veliyüddin, 1304/1886, p283.
  • 17 See Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, Naṣṣār (ed.), p25.

7Like the 1881 al-Nabhānī edition, this recension shares a codex with the Dīwān of ʿAbbās b. al-Aḥnaf, which precedes it.16 According to Ḥusayn Naṣṣār, this recension follows the order of Ms K and was copied in 1122/1710.17

John Rylands (Manchester) Ms 464 [476] [Symbol: Rylands]

  • 18 See Mingana, 1934, pp772-773.

837 poems over 18 folios. The poems in this copy of the Dīwān are arranged alphabetically by rhyme-letter. The Ms is not dated, but Mingana suggests the copy was made ca.1720. It begins—like Ms BriLib1—with Amīn 26 (see discussion of this poem and its disputed authorship below). It ends with al-Nabhānī 78 (see discussion of this poem below).18

Ḥaram Library (Mecca) Ms [Symbol: Mecca]

  • 19 See Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, Naṣṣār (ed.), p28.
  • 20 The Ms is not catalogued in either Muṭīʿ al-Raḥmān, ʿĪd, 2006-2007, or al-Muʿallimī, 1996.

9143 Poems. Ḥusayn Naṣṣār is the only editor to have used this Ms. He describes it briefly in the introduction to his edition but does not give a shelfmark.19 According to him, the end of the Ms was missing from the copy he used. This Ms of the Dīwān begins with SOAS 1 and ends with SOAS 26. The Ms contains no information about the copyist or date or location of copying, but Naṣṣār records a reader’s note dated 1089/1678.20

Berlin Ms Sprenger 1127-1 [Symbol: Berlin1]

  • 21 Ahlwardt, 1887-1899, vol. 7, no. 7754.

10This Ms and Ms Berlin2 (see below) share a single codex and 66 folios between them. Ms Sprenger 1127-1 falls on ff. 1, 2, 7-24, and 53-66. This Ms begins with al-Nabhānī 62 followed by al-Nabhānī 75; it ends with Amīn 88. It was copied by al-Darwīš Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-Harīrī al-Ḥalabī around 1750 according to Ahlwardt.21

Berlin Ms Sprenger 1127-3 [Symbol: Berlin2]

  • 22 See Ahlwardt, 1887-1899, vol. 7, no. 7755.
  • 23 See Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, Amīn (ed.), pp63-64.

11This Ms of the Dīwān shares a codex with the previous Ms.22 Ms Sprenger 1127-3 falls on ff. 25-29, 41-52. It includes a unique introduction by the anonymous compiler of the collection.23 The collection begins with Amīn 98 and ends with Amīn 93.

Ẓāhiriyya Library (Damascus) Ms 9982-tāʾ [Symbol: Damascus]

  • 24 See Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, Naṣṣār (ed.), pp27-28.
  • 25 See Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, Naṣṣār (ed.), p27.

1241 poems over 15 folios. Ḥusayn Naṣṣār is the only editor to have used this Ms.24 It follows an order similar to the one found in Mss Rylands and BriLib1.25 The Ms is not dated but Naṣṣār records a reader’s mark dated 1283/1866. It begins with SOAS 9 and ends with al-Nabhānī 103. It is unlikely that it ends with Naṣṣār 208 as Naṣṣār has it in his edition. This poem, attributed elsewhere to Abū Firās al-Ḥamdānī (320-357/932-968), is rather part of the anthology that follows on from the Dīwān of Ibn Maṭrūḥ in this codex. Naṣṣār says that a copy of this Ms is available at the Juma Almajid Center for Culture and Heritage (Dubai); one of two copies of Mss of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān available at that library.

British Library Ms ADD 7580 Rich [Symbol: BriLib2]

  • 26 See Rieu, 1846, no. 630-2; and also Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, al-Ṣāliḥ (ed.), p273.

13An anonymous poetry anthology containing a single poem of 12 verses by Ibn Maṭrūḥ (al-Nabhānī 75).26 Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s poetry is cited in numerous pre-modern anthologies so al-Ṣāliḥ’s use of this particular Ms anthology in his edition cannot be regarded as systematic.

Printed Editions of the Dīwān

14The Dīwān has been published a total of four times in editions based on one or more of the above manuscripts, except for the oldest manuscript (Ms SOAS) which has never been used. A concordance of these editions and Ms SOAS is appended to this article. NB: throughout this article, I refer to Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s poems by their left-most position in the concordance table found in the appendix.

Yūsuf al-Nabhānī (ed.), Constantinople, 1298/1881

15106 poems; a total of 818 verses.

Ǧawda Amīn (ed.), Cairo, 1989

  • 27 This edition is mentioned in Claude Gilliot’s 1991 round-up of editions (pp361-362).

16Based on al-Nabhānī edition and Mss K, BriLib1, Berlin1, Berlin2. 232 poems divided into four sections: the Dīwān, a section of seven rubāʿiyyāt (scil. dūbayt poems), and two supplements of poems found in other sources: one of poems attributed exclusively to Ibn Maṭrūḥ (mulḥaq 1) and one of poems attributed to him as well as others (mulḥaq 2). In the concordance these appendices are coded as Rub, M1, and M2 respectively. A few poems are unique to this edition. A total of 1768 verses.27

ʿAwaḍ al-Ṣāliḥ (ed.), Benghazi, 1995

17Based on al-Nabhānī edition and Mss K, BriLib1, Rylands, Berlin1, and BriLib2. 185 poems, including some unique to this edition. A total of 1376 verses.

Ḥusayn Naṣṣār (ed.), Cairo, 2009

18Based on al-Nabhānī edition and Mss K, V, Baghdad, BriLib1, Damascus, and Mecca; Ms Rylands was consulted but not used. 261 poems, including all of those in the al-Nabhānī edition and some unique to this edition. A total of 1998 verses.


  • 28 Gacek, 1981, no. 59.
  • 29 See SOAS Arabic Ms 13248, f. 92b, and Gacek, 1981, no. 58.

19It is regrettable that these scholars spent a great deal of time and energy going over old ground while at the same time failing to incorporate the oldest source of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān in their editions. SOAS Arabic Ms 13248 does not contain any poems not extant in the printed editions of the Dīwān, but the order of poems it preserves is unique, it offers many textual variants, and indeed the selection of the poems in the manuscript itself is important evidence for the reception of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s literary production. It is worth noting, too, that Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān is appended to the Dīwān of Ibn al-Nabīh (d. 619/1222) in Ms SOAS. The copy of Ibn al-Nabīh’s Dīwān preserved in the Ms codex was copied in 848/1444 and it is likely that the Dīwān of Ibn Maṭrūḥ was copied around the same time.28 The colophon of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān is not dated but it states that the copy was made by one ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn al-Ḥalabī—known as Ibn Šams—a copyist at al-­Madrasa al-Ǧamāliyya (Aleppo) who died in 856/1452.29 The bundling of these two Dīwāns by two Ayyubid-era, 7th/13th-century Egyptian poets into a single codex betokens an indigenous literary history based on chronology, geography, and genre that was the direct forerunner of our orientalist literary history, which has sidelined the careers and legacies of poets like Ibn al-Nabīh and Ibn Maṭrūḥ. These poets remain important in Arabic-language scholarship because they are associated with a particular historical narrative that continues to be politically relevant for Arab scholars (especially Egyptians), but they are remembered for their political careers as much as their poetry.

  • 30 Louis IX (1214-1270) participated in the seventh crusade and died at the beginning of the eighth. H (...)
  • 31 The poem can be found in various forms (in chronological order) in: al-Dawādārī, Kanz, VII, pp. 384 (...)
  • 32 See <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wn0_06cY7UQ>.

20The clearest example of this trend is the attention devoted to a poem—­purportedly by Ibn Maṭrūḥ—on the occasion of Louis IX’s defeat at the Battle of Fariskur on 3 Muḥarram 648/7 April 1250 and his subsequent imprisonment.30 The poem is given in all four of the printed editions of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān but it does not occur in the oldest recension (Ms SOAS) so I refer to it here as al-Nabhānī ii. The poem was well known in the pre-modern period and while it is not found in Ms SOAS it is found in many other near-contemporary and later sources, including several of the Mss used to prepare the printed editions of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān.31 Nevertheless, we cannot be certain of the poem’s authenticity without further investigation. This is no impediment, however, to the poem’s popularity, which continues to this day: the first two words of the poem “qul li-l-Faransīs” turns up more than 200,000 hits on Google and the poem itself was even featured in a sermon on the virtues of Egypt (faḍāʾil Miṣr) by the extremist Saudi cleric Muḥammad al-ʿArīfī broadcast on the Murīd al-Ǧanna satellite television channel on 22 December 2012.32

وقال عندما كسر ملك المعظَّم الفرنسيس واعتقله بدار فخر الدين بن لقمان وقـيَّده بقيد من ذهب ووكَّل به خادمًا يسمَّى صَبيحًا:
[من السريع]
[١] قُلْ للفَرَنْسيسِ إذا جئتَهُ مقالَ صِدْقٍ من قَؤولٍ فصيحْ
[٢] آجَرَكَ ٱلله عَلى ما مَضى من قتلِ عُبَّادِ يسوعَ ٱلمَسيحْ
[٣] قد جئتَ مِصراً تبْتَغي أخْذَها تَحْسُبُ أنَّ ٱلزَّمرَ يا طَبْلُ ريحْ
[٤] فساقَكَ ٱلحَيْنُ إلى أدهَمَ ضاقَ بِهِ عَنْ ناظِرَيْكَ ٱلفَسيحْ
[٥] رحتَ وأصْحابُكَ أوْدَعْتَهُم بِقُبْحِ أفْعالِكَ بَطْنَ ٱلضَّريحْ
[٦] خمسونَ ألفًا لا يُرى مِنْهُمُ إلَّا قتيلٍ أوأسيرٍ جَريحْ
[٧] فَرَدَّكَ ٱلله إلى مِثْلِها لعلَّ عيسى منكُمُ يَسْتَريحْ
[٨] إنْ كانَ باباكُمْ بِذا راضـيًا فرُبَّ غِشٍّ قَدْ أتى مِنْ نَصيحْ
[٩] فٱ تَّخِذوهُ كاهِنًا إنَّهُ أنْصحُ مِنْ شِقٍّ لَكُمْ أو سَطيحْ
[١٠] وَقُلْ لَهُمْ إنْ أضْمَروا عَوْدَةً لأخْذِ ثأْرٍ أو لِقَصْدٍ صَحيحْ
[١١] دارُ ٱبْنِ لُقْمانَ عَلَى عَهْدِها والقَيْدُ باقٍ والطَواشي صَبيحْ

1. Tell the Frenchman when you see him,
Sincerely, from a loquacious and eloquent man,

  • 33 There are two forms of the name Jesus in Arabic: Yasūʿ (Syr. Yeshūʿ, Heb. Yeshuaʿ) and the Quranic (...)

2. May God reimburse you for what has passed:
the deaths of the worshippers of Jesus Christ (Yasūʿ al-masīḥ).33

3. You came to Egypt, wanting to seize her;
You thought that the [sound of] pipes blowing was just the wind,
you drum!

4. But then death drove you toward a black steed
And the open spaces before your eyes became narrowed.

5. You left after you deposited your companions
—because of your despicable behavior—in the bottom of their crypts.

6. Fifty thousand, none of them can be seen
who aren’t dead or wounded, taken prisoner.

7. May God bring you another day like that one,
Perhaps then Jesus (ʿĪsā) will be relieved of you.

8. If all that has taken place pleases your Pope;
How often has perfidy hidden behind advice?

  • 34 Šiqq and Saṭīḥ: two legendary diviners of the pre-Islamic period (See Carra de Vaux, Fahd, 1996 and (...)

9. Then take him for your soothsayer
for his advice is more sage than that of Šiqq or Saṭīḥ.34

10. And tell them, if they harbor a desire to return,
to take their revenge or even for a purpose sound,

  • 35 According to al-Qalqašandī, Ṣubḥ al-aʿšā, VIII, p. 38, Louis IX was imprisoned in the house in whic (...)

11. That Ibn Luqmān’s house still stands where it did,35
and the shackles are here, and so is the eunuch Ṣabīḥ.

  • 36 See Rippin, 1994.

21Sectarian feeling can also be detected in another poem from Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān; one we might call an invective (hiǧāʾ) epigram. In this poem (SOAS 55), Ibn Maṭrūḥ derides the people of Damascus for taking Saturday as a leisure day, calling it a Jewish tradition (sunnat al-yahūd).36

وقال يهجو أهل دمشق: [من مخلّع البسيط]
[١] تَخِذْتُمُ ٱلسَّبْتَ يومَ عِيدٍ وهذه سُنَّةُ ٱليَهودِ
[٢] وكانَ يكفيكُمُ ضَلالا شربُكُمُ  ٱلماءِ من يزيدِ

1. You’ve decided Saturdays should be a day of rest,
although that’s a Jewish habit.

2. Isn’t it impious enough that you
drink water from [the river] Yazīd.

22The last hemistich of this epigram hinges on a double entendre (tawriya) in which the tributary of the Baradā river is deliberately confused with the ruler who ordered it to be dug, the caliph Yazīd b. Muʿāwiya (d. 683), who is reviled by many Muslims as the villain of the Battle of Karbalāʾ.

Disputed dāliyya (Amīn 26)

  • 37 Ibn Sanāʾ al-Mulk, Dīwān, ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq (ed.), 1958; repr. 1975, pp206-211; Dīwān, Naṣr (ed.), 1969, (...)
  • 38 Mingana, 1934, p773; Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, al-Ṣāliḥ (ed.), p262.
  • 39 See Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, Naṣṣār (ed.), p27; Dīwān, Amīn (ed.), p56.

23Two of the Mss (Rylands and BriLib1) used to compile the printed editions of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān begin with a poem that is elsewhere said to have been written by Ibn Sanāʾ al-Mulk (d. 608/1211).37 A marginal comment in Ms Rylands itself corroborates this attribution.38 The poem is also found in Ms Damascus according to Naṣṣār who reports that the order of poems in Mss Rylands, BriLib1, and Damascus is similar and unlike that of the other Mss he consulted. According to Amīn, Ms BriLib1 only contains Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s ġazal poetry and can thus be contrasted with Ms SOAS, which includes more of his madīḥ output.39 In addition to making use of Ms SOAS, one hopes that the next editor of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān will be able to establish the different recension traditions represented by the extant Dīwān Mss. In the Dīwān of Ibn Maṭrūḥ, this poem (Amīn 26) survives as a ten-line erotic poem (ġazal), but in the Dīwān of Ibn Sanāʾ al-Mulk these verses are part of a much longer (46 vv.) praise poem (madīḥ) for the judge Ǧamāl al-Dīn Asʿad b. al-Ǧalīs. Dīwān editors determine their own strategies for dealing with material whose authorship is disputed and this poem is a lens through which we can see each of the three modern editors’ approaches to the problem.

  • 40 Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, al-Ṣāliḥ (ed.), p263. He does, however, include another poem attributed to both (...)
  • 41 Talib, 2013. This is not exactly the same situation as that described by Paul Zumthor’s notion of m (...)

24Al-Ṣāliḥ discusses the disputed attribution of the poem, determines that the poem was not written by Ibn Maṭrūḥ, and decides not to include it in his edition of the Dīwān for that reason.40 Naṣṣār and Amīn, on the other hand, both include the poem in their edition, but it is only Naṣṣār who acknowledges the poem’s disputed attribution in a footnote. Scholarly opinion on the poem’s authorship may differ, but there is literary historical value in documenting the poem as it occurs in some of the Mss of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān that have come down to us. Elsewhere I have proposed treating poems like these as poems in parallel in order to cope with situations in which positivist tendencies in literary history encourage us to flatten the complexity and disorder that surround literary creation, transmission, and reproduction.41 I find it vital and germane to record and make sense of the fact that for some anthologists, Dīwān-compilers, scribes, and readers in the centuries following Ibn Maṭrūḥ and Ibn Sanāʾ al-Mulk’s deaths, a poem by one could have been plausibly attributed to the other. I find it equally thought-provoking that a ten-line ġazal poem can exist both on its own as well as within a 46-line madīḥ poem.

25In the interest of brevity, I do not reproduce and translate the 46-line madīḥ poem attributed to Ibn Sanāʾ al-Mulk, rather only the ten-line ġazal poem attributed to Ibn Maṭrūḥ. However for purposes of comparison, I have numbered the verses as they correspond to the 46-line madīḥ poem found in Ibn Sanāʾ al-Mulk’s Dīwān.

[من الطويل]
[١] دَنَوْتُ وقد أبدى ٱلكَرى منه ما أبدى فقبّلتُهُ في ٱلخدِّ تسعينَ أو إحدى
[٢] وأبصرتُ في خدَّيهِ ماءً وخُضْرَةً فما أعْذَبَ ٱلمَرْعَى وما أعْذَبَ ٱلوَردا
[٧] أقولُ لناهٍ قد أشارَ بِتَرْكِهِ لقد زِدْتَني فيما أشرتَ به رُشدا
[٣] تلهَّب ماءُ ٱلخدِّ أو سالَ جَمْرُهُ فيا جَمْرُ ما أذْكَى ويا ماءُ ما أنْدَى
[٨] فهلّا نهَيْتَ ٱلثَّغرَ أن يُعْذِبَ ٱللَّمَى وهلّا أمَرْتَ ٱلصَّدْرَ أن يكْتُمَ ٱلنَّهْدا
[٤] يلومُ عليه مَنْ يَهيمُ بِدونِهِ ومَنْ كانَ يهوَى ٱلصَّابَ لم يَعرِفْ الشَّهْدا
[٩] بِنَفْسِيَ مَنْ لو جادَ لي بِوِصالِهِ فلا أنْعَمَتْ نُعْمَى ولا أسْعَدَتْ سُعْدَى
[٥] وما كلُّ معسولِ ٱللَّمَى يَجْلُبُ ٱلهَوَى وما كلُّ مصقولِ ٱلطُّلَّى يَسْلُبُ ٱلرُّشْدا
[١٣] وفي ٱلقلبِ نارٌ للخليلِ تَوَقَّدَتْ وما ذُقْتُ منها لا سلامًا ولا بَرْدا
[٢٠] ورَبعُ ٱلّذي أهواهُ يَرْوي شرابُهُ الـ ـعُطاشَ ويَشْفي تَرْبُهُ ٱلأعْيُنَ الرُّمْدا
  • 42 This line displays truncation (iktifāʾ) and the reader is expected to supply the implied continuati (...)

1. I drew near when sleep had revealed what it was going to reveal of him
and then I kissed him ninety times or one-and—42

2. I could see the surface of his cheek was moist and verdant:
O pasture so sweet! O rose so delightful!

7. To one who tells me I should leave him, I say:
“By pointing a finger, you’ve only guided me toward him.”

3. The water of his cheek blazed, or [perhaps] its glowing embers flowed,
O embers so sweet-smelling! O water so dew-like!

8. Won’t you stop your mouth from sweetening your lips?
And won’t you order your chest to suppress your sighs?

4. Those who love inferior others blame those who love him:
for the lovers of colocynth know nothing of honey.

9. I’d give my life for one who, if he were to grant me a meeting,
May I never enjoy happiness again after that!

5. Not every sweet-lipped one succeeds in attracting adoration,
And not every smooth-necked one can rob men of their wits.

  • 43 This line references the story of Ibrāhīm, also known as Ḫalīl Allāh or the Friend of God, and his (...)

13. Fire blazes in my heart for this friend (al-ḫalīl)
But I haven’t tasted its comfort or its cold (lā salāman wa-lā bardā).43

20. Where the one I love lives, the waters
quench the thirsty and the soil cures sore eyes.


26Insofar as conflicted attributions are puzzles for editors to tease out and reconcile as best they can, this poem is a particularly rich example of the challenge of parallel poetry in Arabic. Even if we concede, prima facie for the purpose of analysis, that the author of the verses is Ibn Sanāʾ al-Mulk, we cannot conclude that Ibn Maṭrūḥ or those who composed and copied his Dīwān did not reassemble Ibn Sanāʾ al-Mulk’s madīḥ verses into the ġazal poem reproduced and translated here. It is implausible that such an intervention would have gone unremarked upon by Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s contemporaries, especially in the hothouse atmosphere of Arabic literary circles in which plagiarism was a grave, if common, accusation. Nevertheless even if we are inclined to grant Ibn Sanāʾ al-Mulk the status of author—tendentious though it may be—we cannot rule out the possibility that Ibn Maṭrūḥ was responsible for this pastiche, if it is indeed a pastiche. I do not want to suggest that Ibn Sanāʾ al-Mulk repurposed verses originally authored by Ibn Maṭrūḥ, but simply to point to the critical interstice between what we suppose and what the literary historical material reflects. Beyond the question of authorship, such a confused attribution also furnishes us with important information about the reception of these two poets in the tradition and their affinity as artists.

Textual Histories

  • 44 Cerquiglini, 1989.
  • 45 This poem appears in Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, al-Ṣāliḥ (ed.), no. 119 (five lines).

27Elsewhere in the Mss of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān, we encounter another instance of poems in parallel; this time, a rather more typical case of what Bernard Cerquiglini has called variance.44 Al-Nabhānī 81 is a 4-line ġazal poem (recorded in Mss K, V, Berlin1, Baghdad, and Mecca), which Ibn Maṭrūḥ is said to have sent to one Muẓaffar al-Dīn b. ʿAbd Allāh al-Miṣrī. Another poem (Amīn 113, 6 vv.)—which appears in Mss Rylands, BriLib1, and Damascus, and shares the same metre (basīṭ) and rhyme-letter (lām) as al-Nabhānī 81—can be read alongside it in parallel.45 To facilitate this parallel reading, I will reproduce the text and translations of both poems side-by-side.

  • 46 Ms Rylands records a variant of this hemistich (cited in Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, Naṣṣār (ed.), p. 171n):
al‑Nabhānī 81 Amīn 113
[١] أليَّةً بِقُدودِ الهِيْفِ مَيَّلَها
سُكْرُ الشَّبابِ فَما تخلو مِنَ ٱلثَّمَلِ
[١] أليَّةً بِفُتورِ ٱلأعْيُنِ ٱلنُّجْلِ
وبالخُدودِ إذا ٱحمرّتْ مِنَ ٱلخَجَلِ
[٢] وبالعُيونِ ٱلتي في طَرْفِها مَرَضٌ
وبالخُدودِ إذا ٱحْمرّتْ مِنَ ٱلخَجَلِ
[٢] وبالقُدودِ إذا ما هزَّها هَيَفٌ
وبالثغورِ إذا أوْمَتْ إلى ٱلقُبَلِ
[٣] وبالنُحورِ إذا زانتْ قلائِدُها
وبالثُّغورِ إذا أوْمَتْ إلى ٱلقُبَلِ
[٣] لأنتَِ عِندي عَلَى ما فيكَِ من صَلَفٍ
أحْلَى مِنَ ٱلأمنِ عِندَ ٱلخائفِ ٱلوَجَلِ 46
[٤] لم ألقَ مُذْ بِنْتُ عنْكُمْ ما أُسَرُّ بِهِ
وليس لي بعدَكُمْ في ٱلعَيْشِ مِنْ أمَلِ
[٤] أحبابَنا لا وما بَيْني وبَيْنَكُـمُ
مِنَ ٱلوِدادِ وما ودّي بِمُنْتَقِلِ
[٥] لَئِنْ ظَفِرْتُ بِلُقْياكُمْ وفُزْتُ بهِ
ما ٱسْتَشْرَفَتْ بَعْدَها نَفْسي إلى أمَلِ
[٦] إنْ قَدَّرَ ٱللَّهُ أنْ أحْظَى بِزَوْرَتِكُمْ
وَهَبْتُكُم كُلَّ ما ألقاهُ مِنْ أَجَلِ

Amīn 113 al‑Nabhānī 81
1. [I] swear by large, languid eyes,
and by blushing cheeks,
1. [I] swear by slender bodies, swayed
by youth’s intoxication, not wholly sober,
2. and by a body swayed by slenderness,
and by lips leaning in for a kiss,
2. And by eyes in whose corners lies illness
and by blushing cheeks,
3. For all that you boast, you’re still
dearer to me than security to a coward
3. and by a neck adorned with necklaces
and by lips leaning in for a kiss
4. My dears, I swear by the love we share—and mine is not a shifting love—that 4. Since leaving you, not a single thing has given me pleasure,
and life holds no hope for me now that you’re gone.
5. If I should have the pleasure of seeing you,
My soul won’t look forward to anything else after that.
6. If God should will that I have the pleasure of seeing you,
I’d give you all the life I’ve got.
  • 47 On this author, see ʿAmr, 2005, and the numerous biographical sources cited there. This poem does n (...)
  • 48 SOAS Arabic Ms 13248, ff. 82b-83a.

28Ms SOAS also helps to clear up a dispute between the editors about an exchange of poems between Ibn Maṭrūḥ and Muhaḏḏab al-Dīn Ibn al-Ḫiyamī (d. 642/1245).47 It is stated in Ms SOAS that Ibn al-Ḫiyamī sent the following poem to Ibn Maṭrūḥ when the latter was working in dīwān al-mawārīṯ, i.e. the probate office or office responsible for inheritances:48

 وكتب إليه الشيخ مهذّب الدين ابن الخيمي أيام كان على ديوان المواريث:
[من الطويل]
[١] لِمِهْيارِ مِصْرٍ أُسْجِلَ ٱلفَضْلَ عِندَنا وأبْطَلْتُ الدَّعْوى لِمِهْيارِ فارِسِ
[٢] فبينَهُما في ٱلنَّظْمِ والنَّثرِ إنْ هما شَبَرْتَهُما ما بينَ ماشٍ وفارِسِ
[٣] فَتىً نَظَرَ ٱلسُّلطانُ فيهِ مَخايِلَ (م) ٱلدّرايةِ والديوانِ نَظْرَةَ فارِسِ
[٤] فولاهُ أموالَ ٱلمواريثِ حامـيًا بِهِ سَرْبَها من كلّ أفزع فارِسِ
[٥] كأنَّ بْنَ مطروحٍ أقام  ٱبنَ أحمدَ وأحياهُ مِنْ بعْدِ ٱلبِلاءِ ٱبنَ فارِسِ
[٦] فكلُّ أميرٍ في ٱلبَلاغةِ عِنْدَهُ غُلامٌ فلا تَبْعَثْ سِواهُ بفارِسِ
بعد البلاء | في المخطوطة: «بعد البلاد» وفي نسخ مطبوعة أخرى «البلى».
  • 49 i.e. Mihyār al-Daylamī (d. 428/1037).

1. The Mihyār of Egypt has been granted superiority in abundance, in our view,
and so I’ve given up making claims for the Mihyār of Persia.49

2. The distance between them, when it comes to poetry and prose, is
like measuring between one who walks and one on horseback.

3. A young man in whom the Sultan could see, like a physiognomist (fāris) sees,
signs of intelligence and [the right bearing for] the dīwān.

4. So he put him in charge of the funds of legacies, to protect
them from leaking at the hands of those frightened by lions.

  • 50 Ḥusayn Naṣṣār identifies these as al-Ḫalīl b. Aḥmad (d. 175/791) and Aḥmad b. Fāris al-Lughawī (d.  (...)

5. [It’s] as though Ibn Maṭrūḥ resurrected al-Ḫalīl b. Aḥmad,
and brought Ibn Fāris back from the grave.50

6. Compared to him every rhetorical master is a mere
knave (ġulām), so don’t send [my poem rhyming in] fāris to anyone but him!


  • 51 SOAS Arabic Ms 13248, f. 83a.

29In his reply to Ibn al-Ḫiyamī, Ibn Maṭrūḥ uses the same metre and rhyme-letter, but he self-consciously does not mimic the recurrent rhyme-word used in the original poem:51

فكتب إليه: [من الطويل]
[١] أباعِثَها مَلْءَ ٱلمَسامِعِ حِكْمَة قوافٍ تُحَلَّى كالعَذارَى ٱلعرائسِ
[٢] شَوارِدُ عَنْ أذْهانِ قَوْمٍ شَوارِدٍ أوانِسُ تُزْري بالحِسانِ ٱلأوانِسِ
[٣] مُهَذَّبَةٌ جَاءَتْ لَنا مِنْ مُهَذَّبٍ تَذِلُّ لَهُ كُلُّ القوافي ٱلشَّوامِسِ
[٤] تَعِزُّ عَلى مَنْ رامَها غَيْرُ رَبِّها وتَطْغَى فَما تُعْطي قِياداً للامِسِ
[٥] سُداسيَّةٌ لو قالَ أنَّى بسابِعٍ لها ٱبنُ سليمانٍ أتَى بَعْدَ خامِسِ
[٦] وحاوَلْتُ مِنها ٱلرَّاءَ والسِّينَ فاحْتَمَتْ عَلَيَّ بِحامٍ ذي ٱقْتِدارٍ وحابِسِ
[٧] حَمَيْتَ حِماها ثُمَّ أغْلَقْتَ بابَها وحَصَّنْتَ مِنها كُلَّ بيتٍ بِفارِسِ

30ملء | في مخطوطة SOAS: مل. قواف | في مخطوطة SOAS: قوافي. الشوامس | في مخطوطة SOAS:
الشوامسي. بحام | في مخطوطة SOAS: بخادم. وحصّنت | في مخطوطة SOAS: وخُضْتَ.

1. O Sender, ears have been filled with wisdom by
rhyming verses adorned like virgin brides.

2. Trendy verses that [befuddle the minds of] a befuddled nation,
maiden-verses that put beautiful maidens to shame.

3. Refined verses sent to us by a refined man;
all other modest verses are nought compared to it.

4. For anyone but their owner, they’re difficult to ride,
they disobey, and won’t be led by anyone who tries.

  • 52 Naṣṣār identifies Ibn Sulaymān as Abū ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī (see Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, Naṣṣār (ed.), p. 71n (...)

5. A six-liner, even if al-Maʿarrī were to say:
“Where can one find a seventh [verse]?”
[It would still have to come after a fifth verse].52

6. I gave the R and S a try, but it locked me out,
with a powerful protector [between us].

  • 53 The final hemistich includes a double entendre (tawriya) that sums up Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s reply: the Arabi (...)

7. You have secured it, locked the gate behind you
and stationed a horseman at [the door of] every single house/verse.53


31The printed editions of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān do not agree on the order and authorship of these two poems. Al-Nabhānī and Naṣṣār incorrectly identify the author of the first poem as Ibn Maṭrūḥ and the second as Ibn al-Ḫiyamī; whereas Amīn and al-Ṣāliḥ present the poems with the correct attribution as has now been corroborated by Ms SOAS.

  • 54 See van Gelder, 2012, pp240-244.
  • 55 See Cachia, 1998, no. 18.
  • 56 This poem is also attributed to al-Naššābī al-Irbilī (d. 657/1259) in al-ʿInnābī’s Nuzhat al-abṣār, (...)
  • 57 See Gruendler, 2008.
  • 58 On the use of gestures in poetic performance, see Ibn Rašīq, al-ʿUmda, I, pp309-310.

32Poems with recurrent rhyme-words—like Ibn al-Ḫiyamī’s poem rhyming in fāris—are not entirely uncommon in classical Arabic poetry.54 In Ibn al-Ḫiyamī’s poem, the word fāris is repeated at the end of each line, each time meaning something different; a case of ǧinās tāmm (perfect paronomasia or antanaclasis).55 A similar, but significantly different, poem in Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān (al-Nabhānī 78) gives some idea of the experimentation and diversification of literary styles and forms that was taking place in the period.56 The recurrent rhyme-word in this bold praise poem encompasses a ludic dimension that is often only implied in Arabic court poetry.57 We cannot know exactly how the poem was performed—if it was indeed performed in front of the sultan as the text suggests—but in order to demonstrate the performative potential of this remarkable poem, I have supplied my own anachronistic and speculative stage directions alongside the translation.58

[من الطويل]
[١] تَعَشَّقْتُ بدرًا وجهُهُ مُشرِقٌ كَذا إذا ماسَ خِلْتُ ٱلغُصْنَ مِنْ قدِّهِ كَذا
[٢] لَهُ مُقْلَةٌ كَحْلاءُ نَجْلاءُ إنْ رَنَتْ رَمَتْ أسْهمًا في قلبِ عاشِقِهِ كَذا
[٣] تَبَدَّى فقالَ ٱلنَّاسُ لا بَدْرَ غيرُه وخرَّ له كلﱡ   ٱلوَرَى سُجَّدًا كَذا
[٤] أقولُ وقد عاتَبْتُهُ ويمينُهُ على خدِّهِ إذ طالَ مُفْتَكرًا كَذا
[٥] فَدَتْكَ حياتي يا مُنى ٱلنَّفْسِ هَلْ تُرَى أراكَ ضَجيعي لَيْلَةً آمِنًا كذا
[٦] فقالَ وقد أبدى ٱلتَّبَسُّمَ ضاحِكًا أتَيْتُكَ فٱحْفِلْ بيْ فقلتُ له كذا
[٧] وبتُّ عَلَى طيبِ ٱلعِناقِ مُقَـبِّلا لِفيهِ إلى أنْ مالَ مِنْ سُكْرِهِ كذا
[٨] وقالَ أما تَخْشَى ٱلوُشاةَ وتَتَّقي عيونَ ٱلأعادي والوُشاةُ بنا كذا
[٩] فقلتُ له واللهِ يا غايةَ ٱلمُنَى كَشَفْتُ قِناعي فيكَ بينَ ٱلوَرَى كذا
[١٠] وبُحتُ بسرّي واطَّرَحْتُ عواذِلي فأطرَقَ إذ أوْمى بإصْبَعِهِ كذا
[١١] وقالَ أما أنْذَرْتُكَ ٱلآنَ أنّني أحبُّ اكْتِتامَ ٱلأمْرِ قلتُ له كذا
[١٢] ألا يا نسيمَ ٱلرِّيحِ باللهِ بلِّغي سَلامي عَلَى مَنْ صِرْتُ في حُبِّهِ كذا
[١٣] وقولي له ذاك ٱلكَئيبُ أملَّني وأهْدَى سلامًا مِنْ تحيَّتِهِ كذا
[١٤] عساهُ إذا وافَتْ تحيّةُ عبدِهِ يُسائِلُ عن حالي بأُنْمُلَةٍ كذا
[١٥] وأقْسِمُ باللهِ ٱلعَظيمِ ووَجْهِهِ ٱلـ ـكريمِ وإلّا مُتُّ مُعْتَقِدًا كذا
[١٦] لَئنْ صَدَّ عنّي مُعْرِضًا مُتَدلِّلا وأصْبَحَ حَبْلُ ٱلودِّ ما بينَنا كذا
[١٧] تَعَلَّقْتُ بالسُلطانِ أيوبَ سَيِّدًا ومَنْ جودُهُ في ٱلنَّاسِ بينَ ٱلوَرَى كذا
­­Translation Stage Directions
1. I fell in love with [one as pretty as] a full moon, his face shines like so.
If he sauntered past, you’d think his body were a branch like so.
Frames face with open hands, forming a corona around it
Walks along swaying his body, arm outstretched
2. When his large, dark eyes gaze happily,
they launch arrows at the heart of his lover like so.
Mimics drawing a bow and
shooting an arrow
3. When he appears, everyone says “There is no moon but he,”
and they all prostrate themselves before him like so.
Raises hands on either side of head and lowers them to mimic prostration
4. After I chastised him, I said to him, as he lay his cheek on
his right hand, lost in thought, like so.
Lays cheek against his right hand
5. “I’d give my life for you, O you my soul’s only desire, tell me:
Do you think I’ll ever share your bed on a guarded night like so?”
Places outstretched index fingers side by side
6. And he answered, wearing a grin,
“I’m here with you now so see to me” and I said, “Like so[!]”
Gives a cheer and grins widely
7. And I spent a while in the pleasure of his embrace, kissing
his mouth until he, in his drunkenness, listed to one side like so.
Slumps over to one side as if drunk
8. “Aren’t you afraid of the gossips?” he asked, “Don’t you want to hide
from enemy eyes what with the gossips [surrounding us] like so?”
Hunches shoulders and cranes neck fearfully to cast a look around
9. So I said to him, “By God, O object of my dreams,
“I’ve come clean with everyone about my feelings for you, like so.”
Slaps hands together as if ­getting the dust off of them
10. “And I’ve revealed my secret and spurned those who chastise me.”
He was silent, his eyes downcast, when he made a signal with his finger like so.
Puts index finger against lips to signal silence
11. And said, “Didn’t I just warn you? I like to keep things discreet?” So I answered, “Indeed, like so.” Places finger right index finger over each eye in succession
12. “O breeze—please God—won’t you give
my greetings to the one whom I love who has me like so?
Slumps and wraps arms around body to signal illness and despair
13. “And tell him that this desperate one put his trust in me
to deliver a greeting like so.
Puts right hand across heart in gesture of greeting
14. Perhaps if he receives his servant’s greeting,
he’ll ask how I’m doing, with a flick of his finger, like so.
Flicks fingers of right hand as
if to shoo or dismiss
15. I swear by God and His noble
face that I will go to the grave, clinging firmly like so,
Holds tightly to an imaginary rope as if hanging from it
16. if he shuns me, turns away from me, teases me,
and the bond[s] of affection between us become frayed like so.
Raises skirt of garment to expose frayed leggings humorously
17. For I cling to Sultan Ayyūb, my lord,
the one, who more than all other men, is generous like so.
Stretches arms out to encompass the entire court

33Whether or not the poem was performed with such elaborate action, or merely with hand gestures and body language, the poem’s ludic tone is obvious even on the page. In the first, erotic (ġazal) section of the poem (ll. 1-11), gestures at the ends of lines 3, 5, and at the ends of both hemistichs of the first line illustrate an image or idea mentioned in the line, while the majority of gestures (at the ends of lines 2, 4, 6-11) are specifically associated with a character’s speech. In the second and final section of the poem (ll. 12-17) in which the poet pivots from the erotic to the panegyric, the gestures at the ends of lines 13 and 14 are associated with the poet-persona’s speech, while the gestures at the ends of line 12, 15-17 illustrate an image or idea in the line. If the poem is read as a monologue with one character, the poet-persona narrating and acting out the parts of lover and beloved, then there is no distinction between the two types of gestures I have identified here. Both types enhance the communicative dimension of the poet-persona’s monologue.

  • 59 Arberry, 2009, pp233-234, no. 226.
  • 60 See Heinrichs, 1993.

34The recurrent rhyme-word in this poem and the gestures associated with it can be compared to a similar poem written around the same time, though in a different language and in a different region of the Islamicate world. The Persian poem by Ǧalāl al-Dīn Rūmī (604-672/1207-1273) is a ġazal poem not a panegyric poem, but what links the two poems is the rhyme and its gesticulative potential.59 In Rūmī’s poem (ġazal no. 1826), a single phrase (called the radīf)—kih hamčunīn (“like so”)—is repeated after the rhyme at the end of each line and at the end of the first hemistich of the first line.60 In Rūmī’s poem, the repeated phrase is most often used as an adverb to modify a series of imperative verbs (ll. 1-7, 9, 11), but it is also occasionally used—as in Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s poem—to enhance dialogue or figures expressed in the poem (ll. 8, 10, 12, 14). It is not clear whether either poet knew of the other’s work—and I am not suggesting any relationship between these two poems other than coincidence—but it is clear that the 13th-century literary Zeitgeist deserves further exploration.

Paratexts

  • 61 Ibn Ḫallikān, Wafayāt, VI, p. 263.
  • 62 On the latter, see Ibn Ḫallikān, Wafayāt, VI, p. 262, and al-ʿAynī, ʿIqd, I, p. 61.

35According to paratextual evidence, a number of poems in Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān are said—according to the headings of the poems themselves—to have been delivered as letters, though this may have been a literary conceit (see SOAS 11, 14, 16-21, 24, 34-36, 38, 41-4, 47-50, 54; al-Nabhānī 10, 18, 29, 81; Naṣṣār 56, 81, 146, 164). Ibn Ḫallikān notes that Ibn Maṭrūḥ and Bahāʾ al-Dīn Zuhayr sustained their close friendship by exchanging poems about what was happening in their lives by post.61 Other headings in Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān indicate the events that occasioned, or purportedly occasioned, the poem’s composition and delivery, thus linking the literary texts to contemporary events in the poet’s private and professional lives. Ceremonial poems include a poem on the occasion of al-Malik al-Muġīṯ’s circumcision (SOAS 10), the capture of Jerusalem in 1239 (al-Nabhānī 13), the construction of a bathhouse (al-Nabhānī 25), and the death of Faḫr al-Dīn Yūsuf b. Muḥammad at the battle of Mansoura on 5 Ḏū al-Qaʿda 647/9 February 1250 (Naṣṣār 131). One five-line poem (al-Nabhānī 9) by Ibn Maṭrūḥ is said to have been written to grace the entrance of a house built by his patron al-Ṣāliḥ Ayyūb (d. 647/1249). Poems inspired by events in Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s personal life include a poem on visiting Ibn al-ʿAdīm (d. 660/1262) after going to the bathhouse (SOAS 33), visiting the tomb of al-Šāfiʿī (SOAS 37), visiting the tomb of the Prophet Abraham (Amīn M1.5), a poem to accompany a gift (SOAS 16), and a poem chastizing Ibn Ḫallikān (d. 681/1282) for not visiting (SOAS 36).62

  • 63 These poems are SOAS 60-72.
  • 64 The dates and the location of this activity are recorded in the headings of this poem sequence repr (...)
  • 65 There are two accounts of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s retirement from public life: (1) Ibn Ḫallikān records that I (...)
  • 66 Ibn Ḫallikān, Wafayāt, VI, p262 and al-ʿAynī, ʿIqd, I, 1, p61.

36Ms SOAS, like the printed editions of the Dīwān, records a series of poems that Ibn Maṭrūḥ dictated to his kinsman ʿIzz al-Dīn ʿAlī b. Ġiyāṯ al-Qurašī, who was permitted to transmit them as well as the date on which he heard them.63 These thirteen poems (a total of fifty-five verses) appear to have been composed in Cairo over a period of less than two weeks from 9-20 Raǧab 648/7-18 October 1250 during which Ibn Maṭrūḥ meditated on his own mortality.64 While contemporary and near-contemporary biographers do not agree on the date of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s death, none of them put his death as early as 648/1250.65 If we follow Ibn Ḫallikān, who claimed to have been present at his friend’s funeral and burial, this sequence of poems on impending mortality predate the poet’s actual death by nearly a year, and come a year after the death of his one time patron al-Malik al-Ṣāliḥ in Šaʿbān 647/November 1249. It appears, according again to Ibn Ḫallikān, that Ibn Maṭrūḥ was depressed and was in danger of losing his sight; this is likely what prompted the poet’s meditations on mortality.66

  • 67 I reproduce here the Ms SOAS text of the poem, which differs from the printed editions. NB: the fin (...)

37Among this sequence, we find a poem that purports to dramatize a conversation between the frightened poet and his fatalist wife (SOAS 71):67

[من الطويل]
[١] وقائلةٍ ماذا ٱلتَّخوُّفُ كلُّهُ مِنَ ٱللهِ وَهْوَ المُنْعِمُ المُتَفَضِّلُ
[٢] فقلت لها علمي بما قد جَنَيْتُه وأنّي عليمٌ حينَ أقْدَمُ أُسْأَل
[٣] فقالتْ إذا فَكَّرْتَ في يومِ مَوْقِفٍ يهونُ عليكَ ٱلأمْرُ جِدّاً وأسْهَلُ
[٤] فقلت لها أرْشَدْتِ للخَيْرِ كُلِّهِ ولو كنتُ ذا حَزْمٍ لَما كنتُ أجْهَل
[٥] ويكفيكَ قولُ ٱلمصطفى وَهْوَ الَّذي بِهِ صارَ في كلِّ الأُمورِ ٱلتَّوَسُّلُ
[٦] وَقَدْ سَأَلوهُ قالَ بَلْ أعْمَلُوا وَفي خَبر قال اعقلوا وَتَوَكَّلُوا

1. When she asked me, “What’s with all this worry? Why do you fear
God, the Most Gracious Benefactor?”

2. “Because I know what I’ve done,” I told her,
“and I know that when I meet him, I’ll be held to account.”

  • 68 See Quran, VI, al-Anʿām, 30.

3. She said, “If only you’d think of the day you’ll stand before God,68
It would all be easier for you to bear.”

4. So I said to her, “You’ve pointed me toward all that is good.
If I were a more resolute man, I wouldn’t have been so ignorant.”

5. It is enough simply to remember what the Prophet has said,
for he is the one who pleads on our behalf in all things,

6. When he was asked, he answered: “Do it.” And
in another report, he said, “Be reasonable and entrust your fate in God.”


  • 69 See SOAS 73-78, and also Amīn Rub.2, in the concordance below. On the form itself, see Stoetzer, 19 (...)

38The last poem in the sequence is a dūbayt poem that Ibn Maṭrūḥ is said to have uttered when he was “near death” (ʿinda wafātihi), which is followed in Ms SOAS and other Mss by another five dūbayt poems (six out of seven total dūbayt poems attributed to Ibn Maṭrūḥ).69 Many of the poems in the SOAS Ms are short, of what we might call epigrammatic length:

Poem length Number of poems Percentage of total (lines)
40 or more lines long 2 22%
20-39 lines long 5 28%
10-19 lines long 6 13%
5-9 lines long 14 15%
3 or 4 lines long 13 8%
1 or 2 lines long 42 14%
  • 70 The anonymous collector of Ms Berlin2 uses the term maqāṭīʿ to describe some of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s poems. (...)
  • 71 Al-Šawkānī, al-Badr, p65.

39
Of the 82 poems in the Ms SOAS, 40 of them are two-liners. This is perhaps typical of a broader trend in poetic composition in the 13th century away from performative set-piece poetry; a trend that would only accelerate in the 14th and 15th centuries. Ibn Maṭrūḥ did of course write and deliver long panegyric poems for the political leaders who were his patrons, but he also wrote a number of shorter poems, including poems written to and for his peers. These short poems spanned several genres: elegy (riṯāʾ: see al-Nabhānī 7), panegyric (madīḥ: see al-Nabhānī 16), riddle (luġz: see SOAS 47-48), erotic (ġazal: see SOAS 52-53), and invective (hiǧāʾ: see SOAS 55-59), and because of their wit and ease of circulation, they proved irresistible to anthologists.70 Another example of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s legacy is the emulation of his work by later poets. Al-Šawkānī records in his al-Badr al-ṭāliʿ bi-maḥāsin man baʿd al-qarn al-sābiʿ that the Yemeni poet Aḥmad b. al-Ḥasan b. Aḥmad (d. ca.1080/1669) composed a poem with the same rhyme as Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s poem SOAS 5—a panegyric in praise of al-Malik al-Ašraf I (d. 635/1237)—and that it was one of his most outstanding compositions.71

40The heretofore unused SOAS Ms of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān is unlikely to change radically what we know of the poet’s career and output, but it is an important source for understanding the contemporary and near-contemporary reception of the poet’s work, and it is indeed crucial for understanding the textual history of the poet’s Dīwān and its as-yet uninvestigated recensions. It is also a signal example of the rather haphazard treatment of material used for the study of Arabic literary history. Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s name and the vague outline of his poetic career is widely known, but this manuscript of his Dīwān—like its overlooked and underappreciated contents—has something new to tell us, if we only care to look.

Concordance of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s poetry

41This concordance allows readers to trace versions of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s poems (or those attributed to him) across four printed editions as well as the heretofore unknown and oldest recension of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān (SOAS Arabic Ms 13248).

42Key: Nab = al-Nabhānī (ed.), A = Amīn (ed.), Ṣ = al-Ṣāliḥ (ed.), Naṣ = Naṣṣār (ed.), IḪ = poem by Ibn al-Ḫiyamī (discussed above), Rub = rubāʿiyyāt section in A, M1 = first mulḥaq in A, M2 = second mulḥaq in A.

SOAS vv. ff. Nab vv. A vv. vv. Naṣ vv.
1 53 65b-67b 1 55 22 55 1 55 1 55
2 8 68a 2 9 118 10 2 10 2 19
3 22 68b-69a 3 22 142 22 3 22 3 22
4 35 69a-70b 4 35 143 35 4 35 4 35
5 39 70b-72a 5 38 90 39 5 39 5 41
6 13 72a-72b 6 13 85 16 6 16 6 16
7 10 73a 8 10 145 10 8 10 8 10
8 17 73b-74a 19 16 80 16 19 16 19 17
9 71 74a-77a 20 71 32 73 20 73 20 73
10 33 77a-78a 21 33 109 33 21 33 21 33
11 32 78b-79a 22 32 33 33 22 33 22 33
12 11 79b-80a 47 11 59 12 47 12 47 12
13 13 80a-80b 49 27 95 32 49 32 49 31
14 4 81a 31 4 132 4 31 4 31 4
15 6 81a 32 6 35 6 32 6 32 6
16 4 81b 35 4 1 4 35 4 35 4
17 5 81b 36 5 128 5 36 5 36 5
18 3 81b-82a 39 3 83 3 39 3 39 3
19 12 82a-82b 40 12 3 12 40 12 40 12
20 4 82b 41 4 71 4 41 4 41 4
IḪ 6 82b-83a 45,1 6 45,1 6
21 7 83a 45,2 7 77 7 45 7 45,2 7
22 4 83a-83b 46 4 18 4 46 4 46 4
23 6 83b 58 6 122 6 58 6 58 6
24 3 83b 55 3 24 3 55 3 55 3
25 6 83b-84a 79 7 21 9 79 2 79 9
26 3 84a 82 3 38 3 82 3 82 3
27 4 84a-84b 83 4 31 4 83 4 83 4
28 6 84b 59 6 17 6 59 6 59 6
29 4 84b-85a 65 4 16 4 65 4 65 4
30 5 85a 66 4 150 5 66 5 66 5
31 2 85a 12 2 37 2 12 2 12 2
32 2 85a 14 2 39 2 14 2 14 2
33 2 85b 17 2 133 2 17 2 17 2
34 2 85b 23 2 107 2 23 2 23 2
35 2 85b 24 2 29 2 24 2 24 2
36 2 85b 26 2 78 2 26 2 26 2
37 2 85b-86a 28 2 99 2 28 3 28 2
38 2 86a 33 2 40 2 33 2 33 2
39 1 86a 34 1 75 1 34 1 34 1
40 2 86a 37 2 73 2 37 2 37 2
41 2 86a 38 2 97 2 38 2 38 2
42 2 86b 42 2 30 2 42 2 42 2
43 2 86b 43 2 151 2 43 2 43 2
44 2 86b 44 2 10 2 44 2 44 2
45 2 86b 50 2 134 2 50 2 50 2
46 2 86b-87a 51 2 116 2 51 2 51 2
47 2 87a 52 2 19 2 52 2 52 2
48 2 87a 53 2 56 2 53 2 53 2
49 2 87a 54 2 84 2 54 2 54 2
50 2 87a-87b 60 2 44 2 60 2 60 2
51 2 87b 61 2 81 2 61 2 61 2
52 2 87b 63 2 74 2 63 2 63 2
53 2 87b 64 2 123 2 64 2 64 2
54 2 87b-88a 80 2 41 2 80 2 80 2
55 2 88a 67 2 42 2 67 2 67 2
56 4 88a 68 4 36 4 68 4 68 4
57 2 88a 69 2 49 2 69 2 69 2
58 2 88a-88b 70 2 43 2 70 2 70 2
59 2 88b 71 2 108 2 71 2 71 2
60 6 88b-89a 84 6 2 6 84 6 84 6
61 3 89a 85 3 131 3 85 3 85 3
62 2 89a 86 2 79 2 86 2 86 2
63 2 89a 87 2 28 2 87 2 87 2
64 2 89a-89b 88 2 51 2 88 2 88 2
65 2 89b 89 2 5 2 89 2 89 2
66 2 89b 90 2 127 2 90 2 90 2
67 6 89b-90a 91 7 12 7 91 7 91 7
68 4 90a 92 4 15 4 92 4 92 4
69 9 90a-90b 93 8 110 9 93 9 93 9
70 6 90b 94 6 6 6 94 6 94 6
71 6 90b–91a 95 6 104 6 95 6 95 6
72 4 91a 96 4 106 4 96 4 96 4
73 2 91a 97 2 Rub.5 2 97 2 97 2
74 2 91a-91b 98 2 Rub.4 2 98 2 98 2
75 2 91b 99 2 Rub.1 2 99 2 99 2
76 2 91b 100 2 Rub.3 2 100 2 100 2
77 2 91b 101 2 Rub.7 2 101 2 101 2
78 2 92a 102 2 Rub.6 2 102 2 102 2
79 2 92a 104 2 155 2 103 2 103 2
80 2 92a 141 2 154 2 104 2
81 1 92a 105 2 27 2 104 2 105 2
82 5 92a 106 5 57 5 105 5 106 5

43A 93, M1.6, M2.15, M2. 44, Ṣ 143-146, 156-157, 161-162, 170, 179-180, 183-184, and Naṣ 109, 118, 122-124, 126, 130-132, 136-137, 144, 161, 163-165, 167, 174-175, 181, 183, 187-188, 191, 193, 197-198, 202, 204, 208-209, 221, 226, 248-249, 254, 260 are unique to their sources.

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Bibliographie

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Gruendler, Beatrice, “Qaṣīda. Its Reconstruction in Performance”, in Gruendler, Beatrice & Cooperson, Michael (eds.), Classical Arabic Humanities in their Own Terms: Festschrift for Wolfhart Heinrichs on his 65th Birthday Presented by his Students and Colleagues, Brill, Leiden, 2008, pp325-389.

Heinrichs, W.P., EI2, VIII, 1993, p368-370, s.v. “Radīf”.

Humphreys, R. Stephen, From Saladin to the Mongols: The Ayyubids of Damascus, 1193-1260, State University of New York Press, Albany, 1977.

Levi Della Vida G., Fahd, T., EI2, IX, 1995, pp. 84-85, s.v. “Saṭīḥ b. Rabīʿa”.

al-Munaǧǧid, Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn & Wild, Stefan (eds.), Zwei Beschreibungen des Libanon, ʿAbdalġanī an-Nābulusīs Reise durch die Biqāʿ und al-ʿUṭaifīs Reise nach Tripolis, Beiruter Texte und Studien 21, Franz Steiner Verlag, Wiesbaden, 1979.

Rikabi, J., EI2, III, 1968, p875, s.v. “Ibn Maṭrūḥ”.

Rippin, A., EI2, VIII, 1994, p689, s.v. “Sabt”.

Roper, Geoffrey J., “Al-Jawāʾib Press and the Edition and Transmission of Arabic Manuscript Texts in the 19th Century”, in Pfeiffer, Judith & Kropp, Manfred (eds.), Theoretical Approaches to the Transmission and Edition of Oriental Manuscripts, Beiruter Texte und Studien 111, Ergon, Würzburg, 2007, pp237-247.

Ṣābir, ʿUmar Wafīq, Ǧamāl al-Dīn Yaḥyā b. ʿĪsā Ibn Maṭrūḥ 592-649 h.: ḥayātuhu wa-šiʿruhu, MA Thesis,
The University of Jordan, Amman, 1994.

Stoetzer, W., EI2, VIII, 1994, pp583-585, s.v. “Rubāʿī (pl. Rubāʿiyyāt), 3. in Arabic”.

Talib, Adam, “The Many Lives of Arabic Verse”, JAL 44, 3, 2013, pp. 257-292.

Talib, Adam, EI3, 2014, 1, s.v. “Dūbayt (a) in Arabic”.

Talib, Adam, EI3, 2016, s.v. “Ibn Maṭrūḥ”.

Talib, Adam, How Do you Say “Epigram” in Arabic?, Brill, Leiden, Forthcoming (2016).

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Notes

1 I would like to thank the journal’s anonymous peer reviewers and Geert Jan van Gelder for their incisive comments and corrections. I would also like to thank Nicolas Michel and Sylvie Denoix for supporting this special issue and Monica Balda-Tillier for inviting me to co-edit it with her. I am grateful to the librarians at the School of Oriental and African Studies (London), The American University in Cairo, Institut dominicain d’études orientales (Cairo), and Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin where I undertook research for this article. I would also like to thank Adam Gacek and Elias Muhanna for their help with an inquiry about the donor of the SOAS Ms.

2 The edition and translation of Bahāʾ al-Dīn Zuhayr’s poetry was undertaken by Edward Henry Palmer (1840-1882), the Cambridge Arabist who was killed during a secret mission to Egypt during the ʿUrābī rebellion. It was published in 1876-1877. Information about Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān is given below and in the bibliography.

3 In addition to the manuscript that is the subject of this article, the editors failed to make use of ʿUmar Wafīq Ṣābir’s 1994 MA Thesis.

4 See Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, al-Nabhānī (ed.), p218. On the publishing house established by Aḥmad Fāris al-Šidyāq (1804-1887), see Alwan, 1977 and Roper, 2007. Yūsuf al-Nabhānī (1849-1932) was a Palestinian scholar of Islam, judge, and prolific author and poet.

5 The title of the omnibus is Dīwān Abī al-Faḍl al-ʿAbbās b. al-Aḥnaf wa-fī āḫirihi Dīwān Ǧamāl al-Dīn Yaḥyā b. Maṭrūḥ al-Miṣrī. The relevant section in Ibn Ḫallikān’s biographical dictionary can be found on pages 219-224 of the Dīwān or in Ibn Ḫallikān, Wafayāt al-aʿyān, VI, pp. 258-266; Ibn Khallikān’s Biographical Dictionary, IV, pp. 144-151. See also, on the poet, Talib, 2016; Rikabi, 1968; Brockelmann, GAL, 1898-1942 [repr. 1943-1949], vol. 1, p263, Suppl. 1, p465; Kaḥḥāla, 1957, vol. 13, p. 217-218.

6 This issue is discussed by ʿAwaḍ Muḥammad al-Ṣāliḥ in the introduction to his edition of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s Dīwān.

7 See Gacek, 1981, no. 58.

8 See Gacek, 1981, no. 59.

9 Personal communication with SOAS library staff. Prof. Elias Muhanna put me in touch with Prof. Adam Gacek who had no additional information about the identity of this donor.

10 Rescher 1911, pp174-175, no. 16; Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, al-Ṣāliḥ (ed.), p252.

11 Şeşen et al., 1986, vol. 2, p44.

12 On al-ʿUṭayfī, see al-Munaǧǧid, Wild (eds.), 1979.

13 Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, Naṣṣār (ed.), p25.

14 See Ṭalas, 1953, pp319-320.

15 See Rieu, 1871, no. 1073-1 and Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, al-Ṣāliḥ (ed.), p259.

16 See Defter-i Kütüphane-i Veliyüddin, 1304/1886, p283.

17 See Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, Naṣṣār (ed.), p25.

18 See Mingana, 1934, pp772-773.

19 See Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, Naṣṣār (ed.), p28.

20 The Ms is not catalogued in either Muṭīʿ al-Raḥmān, ʿĪd, 2006-2007, or al-Muʿallimī, 1996.

21 Ahlwardt, 1887-1899, vol. 7, no. 7754.

22 See Ahlwardt, 1887-1899, vol. 7, no. 7755.

23 See Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, Amīn (ed.), pp63-64.

24 See Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, Naṣṣār (ed.), pp27-28.

25 See Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, Naṣṣār (ed.), p27.

26 See Rieu, 1846, no. 630-2; and also Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, al-Ṣāliḥ (ed.), p273.

27 This edition is mentioned in Claude Gilliot’s 1991 round-up of editions (pp361-362).

28 Gacek, 1981, no. 59.

29 See SOAS Arabic Ms 13248, f. 92b, and Gacek, 1981, no. 58.

30 Louis IX (1214-1270) participated in the seventh crusade and died at the beginning of the eighth. He was canonized by Pope Boniface VIII in 1297.

31 The poem can be found in various forms (in chronological order) in: al-Dawādārī, Kanz, VII, pp. 384-385; al-Yūnīnī, Ḏayl, II, p. 212; Abū al-Fidāʾ, al-Muḫtaṣar, III, p. 142; al-Kutubī, Fawāt, I, p. 232; al-Ṣafadī, al-Wāfi, X, p. 315; Ibn Ḫaldūn, Tāriḫ, V, p. 418; al-Qalqašandī, Ṣubḥ, VIII, p. 38 (cf. n. 1); al-ʿAynī, ʿIqd, I, pp. 30-31; Ibn Taġrībirdī, al-Nuǧūm, VI, pp. 369-370; al-Manhal, III, p. 441; al-Suyūṭī, Ḥusn, II, p. 37.

32 See <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wn0_06cY7UQ>.

33 There are two forms of the name Jesus in Arabic: Yasūʿ (Syr. Yeshūʿ, Heb. Yeshuaʿ) and the Quranic ʿĪsā. Ibn Maṭrūḥ calls the Christian crusaders “worshippers of Jesus Christ” (ʿubbādi Yasūʿa l-masīḥ) in line 2 using the form of Jesus’ name used by Arabic-speaking Christians, whereas in line 7, when he utters a wish that the crusaders be defeated once more, he uses the Quranic form of Jesus’ name.

34 Šiqq and Saṭīḥ: two legendary diviners of the pre-Islamic period (See Carra de Vaux, Fahd, 1996 and Levi Della Vida, Fahd, 1995).

35 According to al-Qalqašandī, Ṣubḥ al-aʿšā, VIII, p. 38, Louis IX was imprisoned in the house in which the head of the chancery (ṣāḥib dīwān al-inšāʾ) Faḫr al-Dīn Ibrāhīm b. Luqmān would stay when he traveled to Mansoura. The building survives.

36 See Rippin, 1994.

37 Ibn Sanāʾ al-Mulk, Dīwān, ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq (ed.), 1958; repr. 1975, pp206-211; Dīwān, Naṣr (ed.), 1969, II, pp. 86-88. The first line of this poem is an oft-cited example of iktifāʾ (“truncation”).

38 Mingana, 1934, p773; Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, al-Ṣāliḥ (ed.), p262.

39 See Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, Naṣṣār (ed.), p27; Dīwān, Amīn (ed.), p56.

40 Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, al-Ṣāliḥ (ed.), p263. He does, however, include another poem attributed to both Ibn Maṭrūḥ and Ibn Sanāʾ al-Mulk (Amīn 98).

41 Talib, 2013. This is not exactly the same situation as that described by Paul Zumthor’s notion of mouvance, or Bernard Cerquiglini’s variance, though it is of course related to and derivative of these. See also the discussion of Naṣṣār 81 and Naṣṣār 212 below.

42 This line displays truncation (iktifāʾ) and the reader is expected to supply the implied continuation “one-and[-ninety times]” (iḥdā [wa-tisʿīn]).

43 This line references the story of Ibrāhīm, also known as Ḫalīl Allāh or the Friend of God, and his salvation from the fire: Quran, XXI, al-Anbiyāʾ, 69: qulnā yā nāru kūnī bardan wa-salāman ʿalā Ibrāhīm (“‘Be cool to Ibrāhīm and do him no harm, O fire’, We ordered”).

44 Cerquiglini, 1989.

45 This poem appears in Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, al-Ṣāliḥ (ed.), no. 119 (five lines).

46 Ms Rylands records a variant of this hemistich (cited in Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, Naṣṣār (ed.), p. 171n):

aḥlā min an-nawmi baʿda s-suhdi fi l-muqalī [Dearer than rest after sleepless nights to the eye]

47 On this author, see ʿAmr, 2005, and the numerous biographical sources cited there. This poem does not appear there, however. The other two editions of the Dīwān (Nāǧī and Zāhid (eds.), 2008; Maḥfūẓ (ed.), 1970) were not available to me.

48 SOAS Arabic Ms 13248, ff. 82b-83a.

49 i.e. Mihyār al-Daylamī (d. 428/1037).

50 Ḥusayn Naṣṣār identifies these as al-Ḫalīl b. Aḥmad (d. 175/791) and Aḥmad b. Fāris al-Lughawī (d. 395/1004): see Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, Naṣṣār (ed.), p71n.

51 SOAS Arabic Ms 13248, f. 83a.

52 Naṣṣār identifies Ibn Sulaymān as Abū ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī (see Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, Naṣṣār (ed.), p. 71n).

53 The final hemistich includes a double entendre (tawriya) that sums up Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s reply: the Arabic word bayt means both “dwelling” and “poetic verse” and the horseman (fāris) he refers to is the rhyme-word repeated in each verse of Ibn al-Ḫiyamī’s poem.

54 See van Gelder, 2012, pp240-244.

55 See Cachia, 1998, no. 18.

56 This poem is also attributed to al-Naššābī al-Irbilī (d. 657/1259) in al-ʿInnābī’s Nuzhat al-abṣār, p551. I thank Greet Jan van Gelder for the reference.

57 See Gruendler, 2008.

58 On the use of gestures in poetic performance, see Ibn Rašīq, al-ʿUmda, I, pp309-310.

59 Arberry, 2009, pp233-234, no. 226.

60 See Heinrichs, 1993.

61 Ibn Ḫallikān, Wafayāt, VI, p. 263.

62 On the latter, see Ibn Ḫallikān, Wafayāt, VI, p. 262, and al-ʿAynī, ʿIqd, I, p. 61.

63 These poems are SOAS 60-72.

64 The dates and the location of this activity are recorded in the headings of this poem sequence reproduced in the printed editions as found in some of the Mss of the Dīwān as well as in Ms SOAS, ff. 88b-91a.

65 There are two accounts of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s retirement from public life: (1) Ibn Ḫallikān records that Ibn Maṭrūḥ retired to his home in Cairo after the death of al-Malik al-Ṣāliḥ in Šaʿbān 647/November 1249 but (2) Ibn Wāṣil records that he continued to serve the Ayyubid administration at a high level until the assassination of al-Malik al-Muʿaẓẓam Tūrān-Šāh in Muḥarram 648/May 1250. See Ibn Maṭrūḥ, Dīwān, Amīn (ed.), pp29-32.

66 Ibn Ḫallikān, Wafayāt, VI, p262 and al-ʿAynī, ʿIqd, I, 1, p61.

67 I reproduce here the Ms SOAS text of the poem, which differs from the printed editions. NB: the final hemistich is defective.

68 See Quran, VI, al-Anʿām, 30.

69 See SOAS 73-78, and also Amīn Rub.2, in the concordance below. On the form itself, see Stoetzer, 1994 and Talib, 2014.

70 The anonymous collector of Ms Berlin2 uses the term maqāṭīʿ to describe some of Ibn Maṭrūḥ’s poems. See also al-Ṣafadī, al-Wāfī, II, pp77-78. For more on maqāṭīʿ, see my forthcoming study: How Do you Say “Epigram” in Arabic? (Leiden 2016). Ibn Maṭrūḥ is one of the poets cited in the 15th-century anthology Kitāb našr zahr al-ḥadāʾiq wa-durr al-naẓm al-fāʾiq (225 ff.) that was recently sold by Bernard Quaritch of London for £7500 on 24 March 2014. This manuscript was later acquired by the special collections library at NYU Abu Dhabi. I would like to thank Nicholas McBurney of Heywood Hill and Virginia Danielson, Nicholas Martin, and Maurice Pomerantz all of NYU Abu Dhabi for their generous and prompt replies to inquiries about this manuscript.

71 Al-Šawkānī, al-Badr, p65.

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Adam Talib, “A New Source for the Poetry of Ibn Maṭrūḥ (1196-1251)”,Annales islamologiques, 49 | 2015, 115-141.

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Adam Talib, “A New Source for the Poetry of Ibn Maṭrūḥ (1196-1251)”, Annales islamologiques [En ligne], 49 | 2015,
mis en ligne le 20 octobre 2015,
consulté le 15 décembre 2018. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/anisl/2521 ;
DOI : 10.4000/anisl.2521

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Adam Talib

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Institut français d'archéologie orientale (IFAO)

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