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« Reply #25 on: Mar 02, 2008 10:59 AM »

My soul and my family be the ransom for my patron,
from whom I never ask for help against fate without being helped.
They feathered my wings and then drenched them with
the dew of generosity, so now I cannot fly away from their tribe.

--Ibn al-Labbanah (Denia, d. 1113 CE)
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« Reply #26 on: Mar 02, 2008 10:59 AM »

Scatter your good deeds all around, not caring
whether they fall on those near or far away,
Just as the rain never cares where the clouds pour
it out, whether on fertile ground or on rocks.

--Ibn Siraj (Cordova, d. 1114 CE)
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« Reply #27 on: Mar 02, 2008 10:59 AM »

My soul said to me: “Death has come for you and here you
are still in this sea of sins.
“And you haven’t even provided for the journey.”
“Be quiet, “ I said. “Does one take provisions to the
Generous One?”

--Abu al-Hajjaj al-Munsafi (Almuzafes, c. 1210 CE)
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« Reply #28 on: Mar 02, 2008 11:00 AM »

Be forgiving of your friend when he offends
you, for perfection is seldom ever found.
In everything there is some flaw; even the
lamp, despite its brilliance, smokes.

--Ibn al-Haddad (Almeria, d. 1087 CE)
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« Reply #29 on: Mar 02, 2008 11:00 AM »

Look at the fire as she dances, shaking her sleeves
with joy.
She laughs with amazement as the essence of her ebony
is transmuted into gold.

--Ibn Abi al-Khisal (Segura, 1072-1145 CE)
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« Reply #30 on: Mar 02, 2008 11:01 AM »

How wonderful is the water-wheel! It spins around like a
celestial sphere, yet there are no stars on it.
It was placed over the river by hands that decreed that
it refresh others’ spirits as it, itself, grows tired.
It is like a free man, in chains, or like a prisoner
marching freely.
Water rises and falls from the wheel as if it were a
cloud that draws water from the sea and later pours it out.
The eyes fell in love with it, for it is a boon companion
to the garden, a cupbearer who doesn’t drink.

--Ibn al-Abbar (Valencia, d. 1260 CE)
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« Reply #31 on: Mar 02, 2008 11:10 AM »

O people of Andalusia, spur on your horses, for
staying here is a mistake;
Garments begin to unravel at the seams, but now I see
that the peninsula is unraveling at the center.

--al-Assal (Toledo, d. 1094 CE)
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« Reply #32 on: Mar 02, 2008 11:10 AM »

We are moons in the darkness of the night; wherever we
sit, there is the head of the room.
If contemptuous fate unjustly takes away our
greatness, it can not take away the greatness of our souls.

--Ibn Adha (Granada, 1098-1145 CE)

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« Reply #33 on: May 19, 2008 08:26 AM »

This is an explanation of the palm tree poem and some other verses:

In his final years, ‘Abd al-Rahman undertook several projects, including building the Mosque of Cordoba at the site of an old church which itself had been built on the ruins of a Roman temple. This project retraced the building of the Umayyad Mosque of Damascus in the 640s. The Damascus mosque too had begun as a cathedral near the ruins of a Roman temple. The cathedral had once been a shared house of worship: Muslims praying in one half, and Christians in another. The Umayyads then bought the Christian half, demolished the old structure, and built the still-standing Damascus Mosque, stunning in its Byzantine-inspired architecture and mosaics. ‘Abd al-Rahman had witnessed the pluralism and multi-ethnic nature of Syrian society - Muslim rulers of a predominantly (at that time) Christian population. Well aware that he would never again see his homeland, ‘Abd al-Rahman now sought to revive the Damascene outlook and even its landscape in al-Andalus. He built a new Rusafa, in memory of the country palace he had left behind. Here, he composed a little poem, in which he bared his soul:

    A palm tree stands in the middle of Rusafa
    Born in the West, far from the land of palms
    I said to it, “How like me you are, far away and in exile!
    In long separation from family and friends
    You have sprung from soil in which you are a stranger
    And I, like you, am far away from home”




 Continuing conflict between warring factions led to the sacking and complete destruction of Madinat al-Zahra in 1009 CE followed by the sacking of Cordoba in 1013 CE. The poet Ibn Shuhaid (d. 1035 CE) wept over its loss:

    For the weeping of one who weeps with an eye the tears of which flow endlessly is not enough [to lament the loss of] such as Cordoba



The principality of Seville reached the height of its power with al-Mu‘tadid (r. 1042-69) and his grandson al-Mu‘tamid (r. 1069-91 CE), probably surpassing Cordoba in size and wealth. A poet, al-Mu‘tadid boasted of his achievement:

    What is called happiness has now been established
    I sat down to receive in it the parlor of honour
    If you, Oh God, wish to grant a favour to mankind
    Make me the guiding lord of Arabs and non-Arabs!
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« Reply #34 on: May 19, 2008 08:55 AM »


Mutwashsha:

The form of the stanza is organized as follows. It begins with two lines which rhyme: “ahdar, tazhar.” Then, three lines with a different rhyme: “?am?lu, di??lu, šim?lu.” And last, a final line, which rhymes with the opening lines: “yanawwar.” The Arabic names for the parts of the stanza are: first, markaz; second, gusn; and last, simt.


Arabic poem in mutwashsha form by Eleventh-century Andalusian poet Ibn Guzman.
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« Reply #35 on: May 19, 2008 09:04 AM »

A garden in al-Andalus has
unveiled beauty and a lush scent.

The morning glistens from its teeth
and the night is overshadowed by its scarlet lips.

When the wind blows from the East
I cry: O how I long for al-Andalus!

Abu Ishaq ibn Khafaja (d. 1139), excerpt from a poem
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« Reply #36 on: Jun 01, 2008 09:16 AM »

The evening sun slowly shrouds
  the horsemen gathering and the plains
On the tree branches she* shines
  and the leaves are adorned by her rays
And thus she announces the arrival of night ...
  Ah, my heart’s wound is grave!
She decorates herself in pale yellow
  when she is hidden from my eye
You whom the desert gazelle enchants
  grieve, friend, for she is not nigh

* In Arabic, the sun is grammatically feminine.
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« Reply #37 on: Jun 01, 2008 09:16 AM »

 
O evening, you recall to me my longing
  and hours of withering torpor
The sun’s glory becomes, at the horizon,
  a slope toward dark languor
O wine-pourer, pour lavishly for us, and drink
  in spite of anyone’s anger
See the sun, how it begins to yellow
  leaning toward night
A pomegranate blossom has enveloped in amber
  a temptation for the mind
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« Reply #38 on: Jun 01, 2008 09:18 AM »


Stop, and snatch the violet’s audacious pride
  how wondrous is the beauty of the garden-bed
Over a courtyard, in the little pool of water
  the sun declines toward darkening sunset
The sun declines toward the yellow twilight
  and gilds the leaves of climbing vines with gold
Branches appear in unexpected forms
  and dress up the happiness of souls
While the garden spreads forth its verdure
  in raiment which rivals a bride’s clothes
A bird, ensconced in the branches,
  he is like a Friday preacher on his pulpit
Over a courtyard, in the little pool of water
  the sun declines toward darkening sunset
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« Reply #39 on: Jun 01, 2008 09:19 AM »

wow...-- J.

==================

The evening sun, by Allæh
  irresistibly bending down
The bright of the day clothing it
  but the night, darkening down
What a shame! O alas!
  from my sight it has withdrawn
One who loves said to me,
  “The separation has us unbound.”
Tears poured from my wide-open eye
  and love became grief without bounds
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« Reply #40 on: Jun 01, 2008 09:22 AM »

Many an evening have I remained, watching closely the moment
The days grant them generously after much difficulty
In a garden, we obtain from them every desire
when you breathe it, it gives the scent of ambergris
The birds sing, and the lawn-seats are folded up
while the sun dances on in a yellow chemise
The gardens float between adornment in silver and gold
and the flowers, becoming dirhams and dinars
The face of the sun yellows as it westers
only because it departs from the beauty of that scene


--Ibn Maraj al-Kahl al-Andalusî
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« Reply #41 on: Jun 01, 2008 09:24 AM »


by the poet Muhammad b. Alî al-Awsî, better known as
al-Aqrab (“The Scorpion”)

Wait a moment, you will see the evening sun
  like gold above the foliage fragrant
Adorning the whole garden
  and dressing it in splendid raiment
O master of the wine-glass
  stop and seize these charming moments
This day of ours is a wonderful time
  a shining time, full of fragrance
And the lover is with his beloved
  as the time draws closer to my end
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« Reply #42 on: Jun 01, 2008 09:25 AM »

The evening sun wears wasting
  before it sets
  it announces glad forgetfulness
The moment rules over it,
  and now it says
  “All the sadness has fled.”
Beautiful people carry on
  stealing my sense
  like gazelles of the desert
We find in parties elegant
  genial friends
  sitting by the River Fez
There is no discord among them
  except abstinence:
  the pleasure of song and goblet
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« Reply #43 on: Jun 01, 2008 09:27 AM »

The evening sun has gone to the west
and tears my eyes shed
from our separating
They trace lines, out of fear;
  when she is made to disappear
  the lover still longs in waiting
Until the birds have chittered,
  chirped and twittered
  among the leaves, lamenting
I replied to her, all openly:
  Stop! I warn plainly —
  go slow, by Allæh’s will!
Said the little ornament, the beauty:
  This view you now enjoy,
  pour the wine and have your fill!
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« Reply #44 on: Jun 01, 2008 09:31 AM »

This pdf is an article called about the different stanzas in spanish arabic poetry. A few of the above poems are includes as well as their Arabic.
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« Reply #45 on: Jun 27, 2008 08:01 AM »

A fascinating story of how Al-Mu'tamid, a past ruler of Seville, Spain, got married:

    One evening, as he was strolling along the banks of the Guadalquivir in the company of his irreplaceable firend, Ibn 'Ammar, he tossed the opening lines of a poem at him:

    "The wind turns the river
    Into a suite of chain mail..."

    But even before Ibn 'Ammar could take up the rhyme and develop it further, a girl of the people, who was passing by, continued in the correct meter:

    "What a fine suit indeed,
    If the frost made it freeze."

    Taken aback, al-Mu'tamid looked round for the poetess, and, struck by her beauty, he sent his servant to bring her to him. Her name was I'timad, she said, but she was usually called Rumaikiya, as she was the slave of Rumaik, for whom she drove mules. When al-Mu'tamid asked if she were married, she replied that she was not. "Good," said he, "I shall buy you free, and marry you." She was gifted, beautiful, and ablaze with ideas and impulses. Al-Mu'tamid remained devoted to her for the rest of his life, and indulged her every wish to make her happy. He derived his public name, al-Mu'tamid 'ala-Llah (he who trusts in God) from his wife's name, I'timad ("trust").

From The Moorish Culture In Spain http://www.fonsvitae.com/MOORISH.HTML
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« Reply #46 on: Jul 02, 2008 07:02 AM »

Ibn Zaydoon was a 4th century Andalusian poet. He was what they call rajul 3aSaamee - someone who started life off on a low footing (poor and of low status) but worked their way up in society until he became one of the wuzaraa’ (ministers) and was respected by even the Amir.
Because of this and his ability to compose poetry very well, he was envied by many. The Amir at that time, al-Mustakfee had a daughter named Wallaada who was the attention of all the poets, but she was beginning to show some inclination towards Ibn Zaydoon. His close companions out of jealously turned to plotting against him and lied saying to al-Mustakfee that Ibn Zaydoon was planning to marry Wallaada and take Imarah (i.e. became the Amir).
As a result, al-Mustakfee imprisoned Ibn Zaydoon and below is a breakdown of a poem that he wrote whilst in prison, to his close friend Abu Hafs:


    There is no doubt in my mind
    That time wounds and yet cures

    Perhaps it is despair that
    Towards hope, a person it lures

Ibn Zaydoon is saying here that sometimes, despair itself pushes a person towards hope just as fear drives a cornered animal to attack & survive

    And indeed obliviousness may save you
    And cautiousness destroys you

Looking too much into details and trying to read in to what’s not there may at times be a cause for our destruction whilst innocent obliviousness sometimes saves us from trouble.

    The perils are arrows
    But Fate is the bow

No matter how much we try to avoid harm, perils and trouble, at the end of the day they are only arrows fired from the bow of Qadr. “…What has passed you by, was not going to befall you and what has befallen you was not going to pass you by…” [al-Tirmidhi]. In this line of the poem and the ones following, Ibn Zaydoon reflects on his imprisoned state and the ultimate fate he met - he may have held high positions, but it’s an established law that people are raised and lowered, and the Dunya is nothing but a garment of enjoyment that we wear.

    And surely, that is time
    If it exalts one set of people, it only lowers another

    We clothe ourselves with the Dunya
    But only an enjoyment! That is its garments

    I am in a state of confusion
    The matter is clear and but yet so murky

Here, he reflects upon what happened - he’s confused because his friends were the cause of his imprisonment, people he trusted proved to be treacherous. Yet the matter is also clear because of their jealousy and confession.

    What then do you think of such a group
    Who turned back on their promise and then betrayed

    Wolves, roaming and scavenging by my flesh
    Ripping with their teeth and biting

He describes them as wolves, eating his flesh - alluding to the backbiting and slander that they took part in. He then says ? - amazing usage of language! ‘Intihaash’ means to bite with the molar teeth whilst ‘intihaas’ means to rip and bite with the front teeth and canines - a picture is formed of wild beasts really digging into their prey (Ibn Zaydoon)

    They all seem to ask of me
    And wolves only seek to patrol

The treacherous poets constantly ask about Ibn Zaydoon, whether he’ll be out soon or whether they’ve gotten rid of him for good. Ibn Zaydoon likens them to a pack of wolves and he uses the word i’tisaas - wolves that go out at night, patrolling the area, seeking news of further prey.

    If time proves harsh
    Then water in stone will only gush forth

Pressure and hardship are what cause water to suddenly gush from stones, just like the pressures and hardships of life mould a person and cause him/her to flourish.

    If I continue to be a mere prisoner
    Then the rain does remain imprisoned

He further consoles his friend (and himself) by saying that imprisonment is virtuous and sometimes only the best are imprisoned (when it’s done wrongly), just like the rain (ghayth) is with-held. Ibn Zaydoon uses the word ‘ghayth’ which is the rain that comes after a very long period, mostly after a drought and harsh seasons.

    Contemplate then, how sleep seems to weaken
    And cover over the very eye of glory

Indirectly, Ibn Zaydoon calls himself ‘muqla al-majd’ i.e. core of honour and glory, and ’sleep’ in this context is the imprisonment. Hence, the Amir and those responsible for his imprisonment only bring humiliation upon themselves by covering over (imprisoning) the glory of their land (i.e. Ibn Zaydoon)

    Don’t let your trust become a mere flower
    Indeed my trust in you is as a myrtle

Very few people proved loyal to Ibn Zaydoon, one of them is Abu Hafs to whom this letter was addressed. He reminds him of the trust of friendship and tells him to strengthen it and make it like a myrtle which is a flower known to last long unlike other flowers.

    Take advantage of the clear nights
    Indeed life is only a short instant

By clear nights, Ibn Zaydoon alludes to happiness and clarity of affairs, when people don’t betray and when matters are clear without confusion.

    Perhaps time will soon permit
    For imprisonment has drawn long…

For the Arabic: http://www.odabasham.net/show.php?sid=701
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« Reply #47 on: Jul 13, 2008 08:38 AM »

Third translation of the lovely dove poem. So lovely ma'shallah  :'(

=============================

THE DOVE

The surprise of my life:
On a bough between
Isle and river a dove

Cooing, his collar
Pistache green, lapis his breast,
Neck shimmering and maroon

His back and wingtips.
Pupils of ruby, over them eyelids
Of pearl flitted, trimmed with gold,

Black the point
of his beak, like
The tip of a reed

Dipped in ink. On the arak bough,
His throne, throat now hid
In the fold of a wing, he rested.

But he saw me weep.
Scared by a sob
On the bough he stood,

Spread wings, beat them,
Took as he flew my heart
Away. Where? I know not.

Abu'l Hasan 'Ali ibn Hisn
(Seville, 11th century)
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« Reply #48 on: Jul 13, 2008 08:50 AM »

sounds like an angry lover?

==================================

TO RUMAYKIYYA

The heart beats on   and will not stop;
passion is large   and does not hide:
tears come down      like drops of rain;
the body is scorched   and turns yellow;
if this is it      when she is with me,
how would it be      if we're apart?

By her indifference   I am broken:
dark-eyed gazelle   among her leafage,
stars that burn      on her horizon,
depth of night      shining moon,
rock, then jonquil   in her garden,
bushes too      that spread perfume,
all know me downcast,   wasted as a man,
and are concerned   by my appearance,
how it mirrors      my state of mind;
they ask if I      may not be well,
flaming desire      might burn me out.

Woman, you do      your lover wrong
that he should look   as you've been told.
You say:"What hurts?   What's going on?
What do you want   but cannot wait for?
You're less than just   to doubt my love,
everyone knows it,    here or distant."

God! I am sick,      sick with the love
that makes, besides you, others puny.
My body frets.       Give thought to this:
I want to see you   and I cannot.
Injustice calls      to God for pardon:
ask him to pardon   your injustice.

Al-Mu'tamid
(Seville, 1040-95)
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« Reply #49 on: Jul 13, 2008 08:54 AM »

Will u ever see a gentle breeze and soft rain the same again?

======================================

Code:
ZEPHYR AND RAIN

The reasons why you seek a cure
In zephyr's breath:
It's brushed with musk

It comes to you perfumed
A message in a letter
From a girl you love

The air tries on
The clothes of all the clouds
And chooses black

It is a rain-charged cloud
It signals to the garden
It weeps to make flowers laugh

Earth needles cloud to cast
The tissue for its mantle off
Cloud with one hand

Threading still the web of rain
Embroiders with the other
The figures of the flowers

Ibn Sara

(Santaren, d. 1123)
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