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Abu-L-Ala Ul-Maarri


ABU-L-ALA UL-MA'ARRI (973-1057), Arabian poet and letter-writer, belonged to the South Arabian tribe Tanukh, a part of which had migrated to Syria before the time of Islam. He was born in 973 at Matarrat un-Nu`man in Syria. In 1007 he visited Baghdad, where he was admitted to literary circles, recited in the academies and mosques, and made the acquaintance of men to whom he addressed some of his letters later. In 1009 he returned to Matarra, where he spent the rest of his life in teaching and writing.

Of his works the chief are two collections of his poetry and two of his letters. The earlier poems up to 1029 have been pub lished in Bulaq (1869), Beirut (1884) and Cairo (1886), under the title of Saqt uz-Zand. The poems of the second collection, known as the Luziim ma lam yalzam, or the Luzumiyyeit, are, written with the difficult rhyme in two consonants instead of one, and contain the more original, mature, and somewhat pessimistic thoughts of the author on mutability, virtue, death, etc. They have been published in Bombay (1886) and Cairo (1889).

BIBLIOGRAPHY.-The letters on various literary and social subjects Bibliography.-The letters on various literary and social subjects were published with commentary by Shain Effendi in Beirut (1894), and with English translation, etc., by Prof. D. S. Margoliouth in Oxford (1898). A second collection of letters, known as the Risdlat ul-Ghufran, was summarized and partially translated by R. A. Nicholson in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (1900, pp. 637 ff.; 1902, pp. 75 ff., 337 ff., 813 ff.). C. Rieu, De Poetae Arabici vita et carminibus (Bonn, ; A. von Kremer, Uber die philosophischen Gedichte des Abu-l-Ala (Vienna, 1888) ; cf. also the same writer's articles in the Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenliindischen Gesellschaft (vols. xxix., xxx., xxxi. and xxxviii.). Some of his poems are translated by H. Baerlein in the Diwan of Abu-l-'Ala ("The Wis dom of the East" Series, 1908). For his life see the introduction to D. S. Margoliouth's edition of the letters, supplemented by the same writer's articles "Abu-1-`Ala al-Ma'arri's Correspondence on Vege tarianism" in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (1902, pp. 289 ff.).

(Abu Ishaq Ism5,11 ibn Qasim al eAnazi) (748-828), Arabian poet, was born at 'Ain ut-Tamar in the Hejaz near Medina. His ancestors were of the tribe of 'Anaza. His life was spent in Kufa and in Baghdad, where he died in 828 in the reign of al-Ma'mfm. The poetry of Abil-l-tAtahiya is notable for its avoidance of the artificiality almost universal in his days. The older poetry of the desert had been constantly imitated up to this time, although it was not natural to town life. Abu-PAtahiya was one of the first to drop the old qasida (elegy) form. He is one of the earliest philosophic poets of the Arabs. Much of his poetry is concerned with the observation of common life and morality, and at times is pessimistic. Naturally, in the circumstances, he was strongly suspected of heresy.

His poems (Diwan) with life from Arabian sources have been published at the Jesuit Press in Beirut (1887, 2nd ed. 1888). On his position in Arabic literature see W. Ahlwardt, Diwan des Abu Nowas pp. 21 et seq. (Greifswald, 1860 ; A. von Kremer, Culturgeschichte des Orients, vol. ii. pp. 372 ff. (Wien, 1877).

ff, life, letters, pp and poetry