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Author Topic: al-Andalus Remembered  (Read 5561 times)
Jaihoon
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« Reply #25 on: Aug 13, 2011 09:14 AM »


There was one Hadith book I bought 10 years ago that I paid $20 for that really made me cringe at the time

What's the book called?

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« Reply #26 on: Aug 13, 2011 04:42 PM »

Quote
What's the book called?

A Treasury of Ahadith compiled by Mazhar Kazi, glossy Saudi Jeddah printed version. (American one is different and paperback) Yeah believe me I even wrote to the publisher once! The cover has an arabesque on it and just the word Treasury, all pages are glossy thick and green.

(Mazhar U. Kazi, A Treasury of Ahadith (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Abul-Qasim Publishing House, 1992))
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« Reply #27 on: Aug 14, 2011 08:05 AM »

salams,

Has anyone actually been to Andalusia? Visited the sites and things? I'm kind of scared of ever going because I have this beautiful image from all the old poetry, architecture and literature. I feel like it just would never be able to live up to that!!
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« Reply #28 on: Aug 14, 2011 03:41 PM »

All my friends that have ever gone say its incredibly beautiful, of course things have changed and Islam, well, you know the story but Granada, medinat zarah,  Sevilla, and Cordoba are something you must see if you are in that region. I want to go and I don't think I will be disappointed, InsaAllah.

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« Reply #29 on: Aug 15, 2011 05:44 AM »

Mutamid y su familia
embarcan para el destierro

Todo lo olvidaré menos aquella madrugada junto
al Guadaquivir, cuando estaban en las naves como
muertos en sus fosas.

Las gentes se agolpaban en las dos orillas,
mirando cómo flotaban aquellas perlas
sobre las espumas del río.

Caían los velos porque las vírgenes no se cuidaban
de cubrirse, y se desgarraban los rostros como otras
veces los mantos.

Llegó el momento, y ¡qué tumulto de adioses, qué
clamor el que a porfía lanzaban las doncellas
y los galanes!

Partieron los navíos, acompañados de sollozos,
como una perezosa caravana que el camellero arrea
con su canción.

¿Ay, cuántas lágrimas caían al agua! ¿Ay, cuántos
corazones rotos se llevaban aquellas galeras insensibles!

De BEN AL-LABBANA, de Denia
(m. 1113)

Mutamid and family
embark on their exile

I will forget everything except that dawn
by the Guadaquavir, when they were on those ships
like the dead in their crypt.

The people flocked on both shores
watching how the pearls floated
on the foam of the river.

The virgin veils fell as they failed to cover
themselves, and they tore at their faces as
they did at other times their robes.

The moment has come, and oh what tumult of farewells,
and insistent wailing was pitched by the maidens and gallants!

The ships left, accompanied by sobbing,
like a lazy caravan that the cameleer urged
with his song.

Oh, how many tears fell into the water! Oh, how many
broken hearts were carried away in those insensitive galleys!

De BEN AL-LABBANA, de Denia
(m. 1113)
translated by Samuel ibn Ya'acob

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« Reply #30 on: Aug 15, 2011 09:06 AM »

subhanAllah what a perfect poem for this sad and rainy night in ny! u can almost hear the creaking of the ships as they prepare to leave, the women in white veils weeping. this poem is actually exactly how i feel on the last day of ramadan. like all the blessings are leaving and i have to say farewell, maybe for a year, maybe forever? anyhow enchanting... ws
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« Reply #31 on: Aug 15, 2011 03:50 PM »

Agreed,

This poem is so descriptive of the catastrophe of exile, of leaving loved ones, of leaving the place of your birth. Islamic rule in Spain lasted 1000 yrs. If we put it in perspective USA is 200+ yrs a relatively young nation comparably...But to be forced to leave (be exiled) would be tragic at best, as people in the USA love the country and are attached to the meaning and the beauty of it. Even more so in al-Andalus as 1000 yrs is a very long time and countless generations of love and bonding were experienced with the land the people and the meaning of what it means to be Andalucian.  This poem I think really captures the feeling of despair and anguish of leaving something you love, I hope my translation gave it justice.  Salaam

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« Reply #32 on: Aug 19, 2011 10:39 PM »

Profesión de "Amor udrí"

Yo soy, como quieres y deseas,
un amante apasionado, un poeta ilustre, noble, generoso.

El Iraq me ha amamantado al pecho de su amor,
Bagdad me ha conquistado con su mirada.

Cuando el dolor se prolonga, cuando la vigilia se
apodera de mis párpados, mi propio sufrir me sirve
de descanso:

Método que fundó Chamil y cuya rigidez
aumentaron los que, como yo, vinieron después.

Del poeta granadino BEN MUTARRIF.
(Siglo XIII)



Profession of ' love udrí'

I am, as you like and want,
a passionate lover, an illustrious poet, noble, generous.

Iraq has breastfed me on the chest of  its love
Baghdad,  has conquered me with its gaze.

When pain is prolonged, when the vigil
Seizes my eyelids, my own suffering serves me as
Rest:

Method that was founded by Kamil and whose rigidity
Increased by those who, like me, came later.

Del poeta granadino BEN MUTARRIF.
(Siglo XIII)
translated by Samuel ibn Ya'acob

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« Reply #33 on: Aug 20, 2011 06:02 AM »

I actually have no idea what that one is about. What's Chamil any ideas??
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« Reply #34 on: Aug 20, 2011 07:37 AM »

Salaam Jannah:

I found some more Andalusi Poems:



EL PICHÓN

Nada me turbó más que un pichón que zureaba
sobre una rama, entre la isla y el río.

Era su color de alfóncigo, de lapislázuli
su pechuga, tornasolado su cuello, castaño el dorso
y el extremo de las puntas del ala.

Hacía girar sobre el rubí de su pupila párpados de
perla, y orillaba sus párpados una línea de oro.

Negra era la aguda punta de su pico, como el cabo
de un cálamo de plata mojado en tinta.

Se recostaba en el ramo del arak como en un trono,
escondiendo la garganta en el repliegue del ala.

Mas, al ver correr mis lágrimas, le asustó mi llanto,
e, irguiéndose sobre la verde rama,
desplegó sus alas y las batió en su vuelo,
llevándose mi corazón. ¿Adónde? No lo sé.

De ABU-L-HASAN ALI BEN HISN,
secretario de Mutadid de Sevilla.
(Siglo XI)


LA NUEZ

Es una envoltura formada por dos piezas tan unidas,
que es lindo de ver: parecen los párpados cuando
se cierran en el sueño.

Si la hiende un cuchillo, dirías que es una pupila
a la que pone convexa el esfuerzo de mirar.

Y su interior podrías compararlo al de la oreja,
por sus repliegues y escondrijos.

De ABU BAKR MUHAMMAD BEN AL-QUTIYYA,
cortesano de Mutadid de Sevilla.


LA LECTURA

Mi pupila rescata lo que está preso en la página:
lo blanco a lo blanco y lo negro a lo negro.

Del célebre BEN AMMAR de Silves,
visir de Mutamid de Sevilla.
(m. 1086)


A SU CADENA, PRISIONERO EN AGMAT

Cadena mía, ¿no sabes que me he entregado a ti?
¿por qué, entonces, no te enterneces ni te apiadas?

Mi sangre fue tu bebida y ya te comiste mi carne.
No aprietes los huesos.

Mi hijo Abu Hasim, al verme rodeado de ti,
se aparta con el corazón lastimado.

Ten piedad de un niñito inocente que nunca temió
tener que venir a implorarte.

Ten piedad de sus hermanitas, parecidas a él y a
las que has hecho tragar veneno y coliquíntida.

Hay entre ellas algunas que ya se dan cuenta,
y temo que el llanto las ciegue.

Pero las demás aún no comprenden nada y no
abren la boca sino para mamar.

Del rey MUTAMID de Sevilla.
(Reinó de 1068 a 1091)


PASARON...

Al caer la tarde, sin previa cita, pasaron junto a
mí, encendiendo el fuego de mi corazón, y
¡de qué modo!

No es de extrañar que se acreciese mi deseo con
su paso: la vista del agua exacerba el ansia del sediento.

De AL-RADI BI-LLAH YAZID,
rey de Ronda, hijo de Mutamid de Sevilla.


PETICIÓN DE UN HALCÓN

¡Oh rey, cuyos padres fueron altaneros y del más egregio rango!

Tú, que adornaste mi cuello con el collar de tus favores,
grandes como perlas y engarzados como las perlas en el hilo,
adorna ahora mi mano con un halcón.

Hónrame con uno de límpidas alas, cuyo plumaje
se haya combado por el viento del Norte.

¡Con qué orgullo saldré con él al alba,
jugando mi mano con el viento,
para apresar lo libre con lo encadenado!

De ABD AL-AZIZ BEN AL-QABTURNUH,
secretario de Mutawakkil de Badajoz
(muerto después de 1126)


EN LA BATALLA

Me acordé de Sulayma cuando el ardor de la lid
era como el ardor de mi cuerpo cuando me separé de ella.

Creí ver entre las lanzas la esbeltez de su talle y,
cuando se inclinaron hacia mí, las abracé.

De ABU-L-HASAN BEN AL-QABTURNUH,
de Badajoz, hermano del anterior

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« Reply #35 on: Aug 21, 2011 01:38 AM »

Salaam, Jannah

Ok,

After dwelling on who Chamil was I finally believe I found the source of Ben Muttarif's inspiration. First the poems here have been translated from Arabic into Spanish by Dr. Emilio García Gómez who probably coming upon the line that mentions Chamil in Arabic is better translated/understood as Kamil. There are slight nuances in the Spanish language that would allow for this variance of CH or K  being interchangeable. Dr. Gomez choose the former probably out of convenience.

Once I figured that out, notwithstanding from an incident in which I actually lived with a friend whose name was Kamil, in NY while I studied there. I interchanged Chamil with Kamil which is more in keeping with Arabic translations of that name.

I then Google(d) Kamil from the thirteenth century by which I came upon a source that I believe is without a doubt the source of inspiration to this obscure reference. Kamil is a proto human invention created by famous physician, philosopher and writer Ibn al-Nafis. For Ibn al-Nafis, kamil's isolated life apart from any outside influences discovers from his own mind pure religion, which is Islam through pure (systematic) meditation...Below, it is better explained, enjoy.
 
Samuel ibn Ya'acob

***************************************************

IBNUL-NAFEES AS A PHILOSOPHER
   

Dr. Abu Shadi Al-Roubi
EGYPT

I hope my speech is not a discordant voice in this harmonious song commemorating our great Arab physician, Ibnul Nafees. We live in an age when most doctors know nothing except medicine, and are known by nothing else. Not so were the physicians of the past when a doctor was a "Hakeem"1 in the full sense of the word combining a general background of knowledge, especially of philosophy, with his medical study and practice.

There is a well known classification of Arab physicians dividing them into the physician-philosopher category, such as AI-Razi, and the philosopher-physician category, such as Ibn Sina. In this paper, I will not try to force Ibnul-Nafees into one or the other of these two categories. All I aim to do is to cast light on part of his life and thought that was not adequately covered by research work. Ibnul-Nafees was not only a great physician and discoverer of the minor blood circulation (pulmonary circulation), but he also had many interests, views and works about many other branches of knowledge.

Historians credit him for two books on logic. In the first he explains two of Ibn Sina's works: " Al-Isharat" (The Signs), and  Al-Hidayah" (The Guidance). The second book is entitled ., Al-Wurayqat" (The Little papers) which is a summary of Aristotle's Organon and Rhetoric. On linguistics he wrote "Tareeq Al-Fasaha" (Road to Eloquence) and an explanation of ., Al-Fusous" (The Segments) by the linguist, Said bin Al-Hassan Al-Rab'i Al-Baghdadi. His books on Shari'a are " Al-Mukhtasar fi Ilm Usoulil Hadith" (A Short Account of the Methodology of Hadith), and an explanation of " Al- Tanbeeh" ( Exhortation) by Al-Shirazi, besides "Kitab Fadel bin Natiq" or ., Al-Risalah Al-Kamiliyyah fil Siera Al-Nabawiyyah" (The Kamiliyah Treatise on the Prophet's Biography).

It is this last work that will form the main topic of my speech today. I intend to use it as an introduction to Ibnul-Nafees' thoughts and as the window through which we can have a look at his philosophic views which are very interesting. I have relied in my treatment of this treatise on the very accurate re-edition by Max Mayerhoff and Joseph Shacht of two MSS one of which is at the Egyptian Public Library and the other at the Sulaimania Library in Istanbul. Their work was published in 1966 by Oxford University under the title: "Theologus Autodidactus".

Since the thoughts of a thinker are, to some extent, the reflection of his times and surroundings, I deemed it necessary to pave the way for my article with a brief account of Ibnul-Nafees's social, political and academic background.

You all know that Ala-u-ddin Ibnul-Nafees, also known in the biographies as Ali bin abil Haram Al-Qurashi Al-Dimashqi, lived and died in the 7th century A.H. (13th century A.D.). He lived to be around 80. He was brought up in Damascus where he studied medicine under the city's great physician Muhazzabul-Din Al-Dikhwar. Then. he departed to Cairo where he stayed for the rest of his life in a house of his own. He took up the medical profession and proved to be so talented that he became Chief Physician in Egypt and the court physician of its ruler, Al-Zahir Beibars I-Bindaqdari. He used to teach medicine at the Mansuri Bimaristan (Hospital), established by Al-Mansour Qalawoun, the army leader who succeeded Beibars on the throne. In the meantime, he taught Shari'a and jurisprudence at the Masruriyyah School about which Al-Maqreezi said in his "Khutat" (Layouts) that it was established by Shamsul Khawas Masrour, one of Salahuddin's followers.

No wonder, then, that Ibnul-Nafees is referred to as one of the leading jurisprudents of the Shaf'i rite of fiqh in Tajul-din Al-Subki's book entitled "Tabaqat Al Shaf'iyyah Al-Kubra" (The Upper Levels of the Shaf'i Rite).

At that time, Egypt and Syria were united into one country ruled successively by the Fatimids, the Ayyoubis, and the Memlouks. Among these were Qutuz who conquered the Moguls at Ein-Galout, Beibars and Qalawoun who descended from the Turks of South Russia and Caucasian tribes known as the Kipchak. During their reigns there were ambassadorial and trade relations with Barakah, the Khan of the Golden Horde.

We now turn to Ibnul-Nafees's "Kamiliyah Treatise" for a summary of its history and outline before going into details about the thoughts and views expressed therein.

Ibnul-Nafees wrote this treatise, also known as "Fadel bin Natiq", not as a parody of "Hayy Ibn Yaqzan" by Ibn Sina as stated by Al-Safadi in his book " Al Wafi Bil Wafiyat". In plot and content it is more similar to " Hayy Ibn Yaqzan" written by the Andalusian physician and philosopher Ibn Tufayl a century earlier. Undoubtedly, Ibnul-Nafees must have read it and been influenced by it.

A contrastive study of these three treatises will cast an illuminating light upon Arab thought in its golden age which, as you well know, was preoccupied with reconciliating religion and philosophy and revealing the common grounds between Shari'a and wisdom as Ibn Rushd says in his Faslul Maqal (Final Conclusion).

Therefore, we find that Ibnul-Nafees attempts in his treatise to establish that the human mind in its logical thinking and without any other agent is capable of deducing the necessity of God's existence and the successive messages of the prophets till the last one of them. Furthermore, it is capable of predicting the life story of this last prophet (pbuh) including his birth, emigration to Mecca, His jihad(holy war)and death in addition to the jurisprudence, Shari'a and transactions contained in His message. Even more, Ibnul-Nafees claims that by sheer reflection it was possible to expect the disputes that arose between the Khalifas of this last prophet (pbuh) and the multiplicity of sects and methods in his religion. It was also possible to expect the aggression suffered by his followers at the hands of the atheists and how they would finally repulse it. Then Ibnul-Nafees extends his view to the far future (or, perhaps, the near future) to describe in pure mental terms the end of the world, doomsday, resurrection and the Hereafter.

This, then, is a tour de force around the realms of natural philosophy, the philosophy of history and sociology, and the philosophy of religion. In this treatise there is a bit of everything: biology, geology, cosmology as well as futurology.

Ibnul-Nafees has equipped the hero of his treatise, Kamil, with such mentality. Kamil, so the story goes, is a man brought forth to this world by spontaneous generation and lives on a deserted island in utter seclusion. As for "Fadel bin Natiq", it is only a narrative of Kamil's life and views.

There are many similarities and dissimilarities betwwen the two treatises of Ibnul-Nafees and Ibn Tufayl; between Kamil's thoughts as narrated by Fadel bin Natiq and the thoughts of Hayy Ibn Yaqzan. Both try to establish that a spontaneously generated human being living on a deserted island is capable of hitting upon the natural, philosophical and religious truths of this universe through the sole agent of his mental contemplation. It is thus an attempt to bring religion in harmony with philosophy as we said before. To do this, however, both authors had to postulate two things unacceptable to true religion: the possibility of originating life on earth through a process of spontaneous generation, and the possibility of reaching the truths of religion through sheer contemplation without any other agent.

As for the dissimilarities between the two treatises, they are quite a lot. Ibn Tufayl's hero begins as a baby brought up by a female gazelle. Kamil, on the other hand, begins his life at the age of puberty. The former discovers by himself the use of fire, cooking, and dressing himself in clothes; the latter learns about these things from visitors who come to his island and tame him. Here Ibnul-Nafees makes a point of stressing that civilization comes as a result of human contacts. The advent of visitors to the deserted island is used by both authors for different purposes. While Ibn Tufayl makes them bear witness to the truth of what his hero managed to learn independently through his own thinking and contemplation, Ibnul-Nafees makes them the means of Kamil's passage to the outer world where the scope of his vision becomes wider and where he can see the confirmation of what he has individually learned.

In general, we can safely say that Ibn Tufayl was inclined in this treatise towards Sufi contemplation, whereas Ibnul-Nafees's tendency was towards mental philosophy. But the distinguishing feature of Ibnul-Nafees's treatise that makes it more peculiar is its outlook to the future and its delving into matters of human destiny. It is not merely a treatise on the biography of the prophet, but goes far beyond that to the wider range of the human biography; the Homo Sapiens; his past, his present, and his future.

So much for a comparison between the two treatises. Let's now turn to a more detailed review of Al-Kamiliyah Treatise. 'lbnul-Nafees says:

"My purpose in this treatise is to relate what Fadel bin Natiq narrated about a man called Kamil with regard to the prophet's biography and the norms of the canonical law in general terms, ordering my narration into the following four arts:

First, the way this man called Kamil took shape and came to know about the truths and prophetships.
Second, how he got to know about the prophet's biography.
Third, how he came to conclusions about the norms of the canonical law.
Fourth, how he could predict what would happen after the death of the last Prophet, (pbuh)
and upon all His predecessors.

FIRST ART

In the first chapter Ibnul-Nafees tells us how the man called Kamil takes shape by spontaneous generation. He says: "Once upon a time there was a huge inundation in an island of mild weather, lush with fruitful trees. The torrential stream carried with it multifarious muds washed out of a variety of soils that were flooded by it. Part of the stream water seeped into a cave in a mountain and filled it. Under the heat of the cave, the water which mixed with the soil reached the simmering point until it thickened into clay from which various limbs and organs could take shape owing to the variety of the soil from which the clay was formed. From this heated clay vapours emanated. From one of these vapours, which was as mild as air, a human soul was formed giving a human being his complete and final form."

"But that human being spontaneously generated in a cave is different from anyone born in a womb in that he has been feeding and growing in the cave for a much longer time, just as a chick feeds in an egg. So he emerges from the cave a full grown boy with a strong body and sharp perception."

This, then, is Kamil, the hero of the story. How he gains knowledge and wisdom is dealt with in the second chapter which Ibnul-Nafees sets aside for what is termed in philosophy as "epistemology" conceived of by Ibnul-Nafees as a blend of empiricim and teleology. When Kamil gets out of the cave he beholds the vast space, the dazzling light and lush trees. He hears the singing birds, the rippling water and the rustling wind. He smells the fragrant flowers and tastes the delicious fruits and feels the hot and cold air. In short, his first contact with his surroundings is through his five senses and what they perceive of the outer world. Soon, he turns to experimentation. "He ripped open the bellies of such animals as he could lay his hands on or those that he found dead. He did that with no other tool except his finger-nails or sharp-pointed stones. Thus he learned a lot about the functions of the animal organs (physiology). Then teleology followed, through which he learned that each part of an animal or plant was there for a specific purpose and nothing was there purposelessly."

"Then he began to wonder if the existence of these creatures, so perfectly designed, was of their own making or the making of a Creator. If it is by a Creator, who this Creator is and how He looks like.

Following a logical line of thought he came to the conclusion that the Creator of what is possible must be impossible to create. That is, He is a Creator whose existence must be prior to anything that exists; and He must be omniscient and omniobservant. "Otherwise, there would be an infinite chain of causes and effects."

It is clear how much Ibnul-Nafees depends on Greek philosophy for proving God's existence. He employs the notion of "the prime mover unmoved" and cautions against falling into the contradiction labelled by logicians as "infinite regress". In general, he argues from the premise known by theologians as "The Argument from Design".

In the third chapter Ibnul-Nafees resorts to a narrative technique that enables him to tackle sociology after covering nature and epistemology. He says: "It so happened that a ship packed with merchants and other passengers was stranded on that island. Waiting for the dented ship to be repaired, the passengers had no other alternative but to stay on the island. They fanned out in search of wood for their fire and fruits for sustenance. Catching sight of them, Kamil shyed away at first. They offered him a piece of bread and a little of the food they had carried along with them. Nibbling at this, Kamil liked the taste of it especially as he had never experienced man-made food before.

Gradually, he began to feel at ease with them. They dressed him in clothes and laboured to teach him their language. By and by he picked up a lot of it. It was then possible to tell him about their cities and ways of life, at which he was utterly amazed as he never imagined there could be land beyond his island. He became so curious to know more about their world that he wished to go with them. They took him to a town near the island. He lived among the people of that town, eating their food and wearing their clothes. He felt so happy especially when he recalled the coarse and primitive life he had led on the island. The experience taught him a lot. He learned that living alone without such man-made food and man-made clothes could not be a pleasure. He learned that in order to be civilized man must live in a community of inter-dependent people some of whom would undertake to till the land, others to cultivate it, others to bake and others to make clothes, and so on."

Here is a clear difference between Ibn Tufayl and Ibnul-Nafees in how each views "Robinson Crusoe" Ibnul-Nafees stresses that for man to be civilized he must live in an integrated community where individuals must share work responsibilities.

This opinion is as old as the Greek thought voiced before Ibnul-Nafees by Al-Farabi in his Utopia and later adopted by Ibn Khaldoun when he described man as civilian by nature.

After establishing the logical necessity of deity, Ibnul-Nafees goes one further step to establish the necessity of prophetship.

"In this contemplation, Kamil said to himself: If for a nice life one needs this (i.e. living in a community), then one will inevitably need to have various transactions with others such as selling, renting, etc. Such transactions must eventually lead to disputes with personal interests subjectively used as the only criteria for determining what is right and what is wrong. Therefore, in addition to living in a community, happiness cannot be realised unless this community is governed by established laws that are accepted by everybody and by which everybody abides and every dispute is settled. Now, for these laws to be unquestionably accepted by the community, everyone must firmly believe that they are enjoined by God the Almighty. For people to believe that, it must be told to them by a person whose truthfulness nobody doubts.." Describing this person he goes on to say: "He must be a person of such miracles as would make people feel that what he says cannot be false but true revelations from God the Almighty. The person that fits that description must be the Prophet, PBUH, as it would be inconceivable that God neglects the creation of this prophet of .such immense benefit when He cares to create, among other things, the pubic hair of much less importance"'

At this juncture, I would like to set on record an opinion mentioned by Mayerhoff and Shacht to the effect that by claiming that man can spontaneously, and without any agent, get to know about God's existence, and by stressing the necessity of prophetship, Ibnul-Nafees adopted the Matridian point of view; and by so doing he was closer to the Hanafi rite of fiqh than to the Shaf'i rite to which he actually belonged and which was nearer to the Ash'ariyah.

SECOND ART

Ibnul-Nafees devotes the second part of his treatise to the biography of the last one in the string of prophets: his ancestral line, birth place, upbrinqing, description, age, and offspring. He tries to establish how Kamil managed by pure mental contemplation to determine the attributes of this prophet until he comes to the 9th chapter about the name of this prophet when Kamil was almost certain that the name must be .'Muhammad" (PBUH)

It will not be possible, spacewise, to review this part in great detail. So, a brief presentation may suffice for following the logical sequence of Ibnul-Nafees.

About the genealogy of this prophet, Ibnul-Nafees says that he must be of such noble origin as would make people submissive and obedient to him. Now, there can be no nobler origin than that of God's Messengers, and no better one of those than that glorified uniformly by all religions, namely, Ibrahim ( m).Therefore, the Seal of the prophets, Muhammad (PBUH), must descend from him and not from Jacob or Jesus as he should belong neither to Judaism nor to Christianity; otherwise, people would reject him as a blasphemous innovator. The Seal of the prophets, then, must descend from the offspring of Ismael. The noblest of those are the Hashimites to whom his lineage can directly be traced.

As for his birth place, it could be deduced by Kamil through an interesting chain of syllogisms:

1) Bedouins, or Arabs of the desert, are of less developed minds than those who live in cities. Therefore, this prophet must be a city-dweller.
2) Cities compare favourably with desert areas in such matters as mild weather, low prices, abundance of food and water, etc. But the greatest advantage that tips the balance towards a city is religious grandeur in the hearts of the people specially if that city contains a sacred place of worship. Now, the best and oldest such shrine is Al-Kaaba honoured as the first House of God laid for people. It follows, then, that the Seal of the prophets must be born in Mecca.
3) If the prophet died in Mecca and was buried there, then visiting his grave would look as if it was secondary to visiting Al-Kaaba. In the course of time, people would think that pilgrimage to Mecca was for the sole purpose of circling Al-Kaaba and would eventually forget about the prophet and his mission. Therefore, it stands to reason that his grave should be in another city so that travelling to it would be for the sole purpose of visiting his grave, and his greatness would thus be preserved.
4) The prophet's departure from Mecca cannot be of his own choice; it must be out of necessity. Nor can it be a kind of banishment or the result of defeat in war as it does not become a great man. It could only be an emigration to evade a conspiracy to kill him in secret by the atheists.
5) To which city should he emigrate? Undoubtedly to that city where his father died so that if he himself died there his grave would be near that of his father. The city, then, must be Yathrib.

To be short, this is a model of the logical sequence of finality used by Ibnul-Nafees through personifying the character of Kamil in order to reach these conclusions.

Using the same method, and from the premise that this prophet must be extremely moderate in temperament and manners, Kamil comes to the following conclusions:

1) The prophet's father must die first, to be followed by his mother, so that he could be fostered by a  woman other than his mother and brought up by his grandfather and uncles. All this must happen to make his temperament and manners influenced by his foster-parents.
2) The prophet must be physically symmetrical with a smiling and cheerful face. He must be of sharp perceptions, intelligent, and eloquent as these are the attributes of moderate people.
3) A body of medium strength is usually more susceptible to sickness. The prophet, therefore, is liable to frequent ailments, but his diseases would be short-lived and easily curable.
4) As for his age, he must reach full maturity so that his prophetship may take the required time. Yet, he must die before reaching the age of senility when judgement is impaired. In moderately tempered bodies this optimal time of death is put at the age of 62 or 63.
 5) As this prophet is of moderate temperament, he must beget sons and daughters. The sons should not live long enough to reach the age of prophetship; for they cannot be prophets when their father is the Seal of all prophets. However, not to be prophets would undermine their father as most of the prophets' sons were themselves prophets. As for the daughters, they might live as long as they could because women were not entitled to prophetship.

THIRD ART

In this section of the treatise Ibnul-Nafees discusses, through Kamil of course, the essence of the religious creed. He says: "The prophet should tell the people that they have a Maker, and that this Maker is infinitely magnificent and glorious and must be obeyed and worshipped. He should tell them that there is no God but He and that there is nothing like Him, the All-hearing and Omniscient. He should tell them all the attributes of God indicating His Supremacy and complete Ability. But since the prophet will be addressing himself to a majority of common people he should not delve deep into details beyond their understanding such as saying to them, "God the Almighty is neither inside this world nor outside it. He is not an object, nor is he a tangible form. He is not in a certain direction, nor can he be perceived by anyone of the senses. "Such talk would necessarily make people confused and disarrayed, which defeats the primary purpose of prophetship. Therefore, the prophet must refer to these matters' in general terms leaving out details. However, he should not neglect details per se but should make his words lined with such esoteric symbols and indications as would give the small circle of disciples and followers an inkling to the full details, yet on the face of it his words would not lay demands on the modest understanding of the common people.

It is clear from the above that Ibnul-Nafees takes it for granted that there are common and special people, So, in matters relating to exegesis of the Quran he steers a middle course between two schools of thought in Islam: al-Zahiriyah, characterised by giving the apparent, literal meaning, and al-batiniyah, characterised by divining the hidden, secret meaning in the revealed texts. Yet, he does not indulge in Sufi contemplation as it is the case with Ibn Tufayl.

Then Ibnul-Nafees takes up the question of Resurrection. He says that Kamil thought that the prophet sholJld mention it. But he was not sure how it should be presented to the people. Should the prophet say it will be a resurrection of the soul, of the body, or of both. At this juncture, the author faces a problem that is as old as philosophy itself; namely, the relation between mind and body, or between spirit and matter. Kamil says that the prophet should not make resurrection purely spiritual as most people would fail to conceive spiritual joys and pains. Meanwhile, resurrection should not be presented as purely physical as it would deny both happiness and misery .It should be a resurrection of both body and soul.

I would like here to quote Ibnul-Nafees concerning this problem which still preoccupies philosophers even today.

"Kamil said to himself that man must be made up from a body and a soul. The body is that perceptible object, but the soul is what a person refers to when he says "I". This referent should not be the body or its parts as everyone necessarily knows that he is what he is throughout his life, which cannot be said about the body or its parts. Man's body during childhood is not that of old age. The same applies to the parts of the body. Both the body and its parts are in a continuous state of dissolution and nourishment, so they are inevitably undergoing permanent change. As for the referent ."I", it is a constant. The corollary is that one's soul must be something different from one's body which is a tangible object whereas the soul is an abstract substance that can never be a form; for the body can be valued only by itself, but forms cannot be valued except by substances."

You can see how much novelty and peculiarity this line of reasoning carries with it. But I would like to draw your attention to that part of the quotation which says: "Both the body and its parts are in a continuous state of dissolution and nourishment, so they are inevitably undergoing permanent change"; for this has become now a granted fact in physiology and biology expressed by the term 'metabolism" which comprises the two processes of: catabolism, by which living matter is broken down into simple substances, and anabolism, by which food is built up into living matter.

Philosophers have always tackled the dichotomies of matter and mind, body and soul, form and substance, the perceptible and the conjectured, the concrete and the abstract. But talk about philosophy always takes on a special flavour when the speaker is a scholar or a physician.

Reflecting on the worships, Kamil thought that the prophet should enjoin that his teachings be repeatedly mentioned so that they remain alive in the minds and hearts of his followers. This repetition can be effected in five ways: individual utterance of the two Islamic doctrinal formulas (That there is no God except Allah, and that Muhammad * is His Messenger); through a pure physical act such as prayer; pure physical abstinence such as fasting; or the act may be purely financial such as alms-giving; or combining physical with financial such as pilgrimage.

Of these five pillars of the religion, pilgrimage is the most onerous, so doing it once in a life time will be quite enough. Prayer is the easiest, so people can be made to repeat it several times a day to be reminded of God and His Messenger * Fasting and alms-giving are midway between these two extremes; so each should be enjoined only once a year .

Kamil applies the same rationalism when he considers the financial transactions among the people. He says that a male's share in what is inherited should exceed that of a female though men are normally better able to earn money than women. But when a woman gets married it is the husband who supports her. Concerning marriage, Kamil thought that female polygamy would naturally lead to confusing lineage whereas male polygamy will not. Therefore, the prophet should legalize polygamy for men and prohibit it for women.

FOURTH ART

This fourth and last section of the Kamiliyah Treatise is found only in the MS kept at Istanbul, but missing in the MS of the Egyptian Library. The Egyptian copy, which is much earlier than the Turkish one, is believed to have been written in Ibnul-Nafees's life time. This fourth part might have been deliberately dropped as it dealt with politics and the rulers.

In the initial chapters of this section, Kamil predicts the events that will take place after the death of the Seal of the Prophets. First, there will be a power struggle among the prophet's companions. Secondly, there will be difference in opinions, multiplicity of methods and division of the prophet's creed into various sects each having its own methodology on which books are to be written and for which schools of thought will be established. Thirdly, there will be deviations from the teachings of this prophet who prohibits liquour drinking, as it is hazardous to mental health, and forbids women to appear unveiled before strangers. Finally, there is the punishment for this deviation which will take the form of raids on the followers of this religion by the atheists.

In all these predictions and their underlying rationale, Ibnul-Nafees emerges as a philosopher who believes in historicism or historical determinism. It means that history is moved by irresistible forces and takes directions that can be logically explained. As you know history has as many interpretations as there are schools of thought to do it. Interpretations could be economic, social, biological, psychological, ideological, etc. For interpreting history, Ibnul-Nafees used more than one point of view. Consider, for instance, his geographical interpretation of the identity of the atheists who would overrun the followers of the prophet's religion. He says that, They do not belong to any creed and the prophet's religion has not reached them yet. Therefore, they must be living in remote areas far away from civilized countries. They cannot be living in the Southernmost areas as inhabitants of such areas are weak in hearts because of the sweltering heat in their countries. Therefore, they must necessarily be from the Northernmost areas as these would be daring and ruthless. Yet, they cannot be from the North-west as that area is very thinly populated with most inhabitants living on scattered islands unlike people of the North-east. Thus, by sheer geographical reasoning Ibnul-Nafees was able to narrow it down to the source of aggression: the North-east, i.e. the Tatars and Moguls. Through Kamel he goes on to say: "When these atheists overrun the countries near them in the North where followers of the prophet's religion live they do not bother to change that religion since they have 'no creed of their own to impose on the people. On the contrary, when they mingle with the followers of the prophet's religion they come under the influence of that religion and become affected by it to the extent of embracing it and fighting for it. Thus, they will turn out to be a great asset to that religion.

People in countries too far to be seized by the atheists would need to brace up for resisting the enemies and repulsing them. They can do that only if they manage to mobilize strong armies under the leadership of a brave Sultan. Mobilization of armies would necessarily require increased expenditure the brunt of which will have to be borne by the population. This will inevitably lead to scarcity of cash and less bread-earning opportunities among the people.

As for the Sultan, he should fear nothing, yet be feared by all his subjects. Therefore, he must be intrepid and ruthless. A man of these qualities cannot be of an urban area. He must be from a desert area in the North-east where people are notorious for courage and cruelty. Thus, Ibnul-Nafees would not even allow the Egyptians the luxury of boasting that their courageous leader is one of them. His contention is that only iron can serve to dent iron. But we have to bear in mind the time and place of Ibnul-Nafees's attempt to interpret the past and justify the present. As mentioned before, the better part of his life in Egypt coincided with the reign of Al-Zahir Beibars, and he was still alive when Beibars' successor, Qalawoun, took over. Both rulers were Memlouks with origins extending back to the Kipchak tribes in Caucasia and South Russia. When Ibnul-Nafees describes his sultan in the Treatise as "a man who should be of a hot temperament, dark red face, and a hairy body. He should prefer cold food, jump up in his sleep and see horrendous dreams and get into fits of vomiting and diarrhea," he is in fact describing Sultan Beibars whom he knew only too well as he was his court physician.

Ibnul-Nafees carries on about his sultan: "Every now and then, he must get away from his seat of power and go to the atheists' quarters with the intention of intimidating them and filling their hearts with fear. So, he naturally needs someone to take over and act for him during his absence." Describing this Deputy, Ibnul-Nafees says: The Minister who deputizes for the Sultan must combine courage with kindness and patience; for he has to be pretty sure that God, the Sultan, the people and the military are all pleased with him." In saying this Ibnul-Nafees must have had in mind Qalawoun, Beibar's army leader who succeeded him on the throne of Egypt and who was reputed for being just and merciful. About him, Ibn Tughri Burdi said in his book " Al-Manhal As-Safi" (The Pure Spring): "He was generous, impartial, and righteous. He was the kind of man to loathe the sight of spilt blood and tend to do good and be virtuous. He put an end to many wrongs such as squeezing merchants out of cash every time an army was despatched to the battle front".

The last two chapters of the Treatise can be described as "Science Fiction". From interpreting the past and justifying the present, Ibnul Nafees shifts to the future in a bid to predict it leaning heavily for that on cosmology.

In chapter nine he tells us about what will happen in the upper space. He says: "When the one called Kamil thought of the sun's movement he noticed that it came nearer to the North during summer and went farther away from the south in winter, yet its daily orbit was of the same circumference over the north and south. The same thing could be said about the planets in the solar system. He further noticed that at the North and the South the distance between the sun and the upper space was gradually decreasing, and knew that there would come a point when the sun would be orbiting the earth nearer to the high atmosphere.. Now for this to happen a number of things must obtain: 1) the moon must get farther away from the sun increasing the number of crescents. 2) The sun and all the planets must then rise in the west. 3) The sun will always orbit the earth over the equator causing day and night to be of equal duration in all the countries of the world. 4) The seasons will cease to exist leaving areas that are remote from the equator in a constant state of severe cold and the equator itself with the adjacent areas in a constant state of blistering heat. Climatic conditions will thus be extremely adverse to human life and consequently the people's temperament will be abnormal with evil and crime rampant everywhere.

In the 10th chapter Ibnul-Nafees describes the impact of these space events on people's lives on earth. When the sun shines permanently over the equator making tropical areas unbearably hot and other farther areas unbearably cold, people's temperament will become abnormal. They will grow weak of hearts and sudden death will become a common occurrence. They will deteriorate in terms of manners and exchanges and will fly to arms at the most trivial cause. The evil people will take the lead, relegating the good ones to the back seats. People's minds will so rot that they will not be open for learning. Even their images will undergo change with most of them looking beastly. As the death toll in wars will claim the lives of men, women will have to fall back to lesbianism. Areas with relatively mild climate will become attraction points to people of extremely hot or extremely cold countries such as the Sudan, Turkey, the Tatars, Yagoug and Magoug, upsetting the balance of supply of vegetables and fruits and the demand for them with the concomitant rise in prices. Farther deep under the ground, hot winds and fumes are generated and pushed up in the tropical areas whereas they thicken and get trapped in the cold areas. The subterran at the two poles will then become much heavier than at the central areas of the earth. This imbalance will cause mountains to collapse and sea water to inundate the land. Earthquakes will result as well as eclipses causing the trees to dry up and fire to break out in the sulphuric land of Yemen extending until it overwhelms the equatorial areas. The atmosphere will then darken with nothing to illuminate it except lightening and thunderbolts.

With this hair-raising image, Ibnul-Nafees depicts the end of the world and Doomsday. The image is derived from knowledge of astronomy and geology available in his age. How, in the light of this image, will the resurrection be? In answer to this question Ibnul-Nafees says: After the cessation of the sun's declination, another declination must obtain for the movement of the fixed stars to be maintained. Upon the increase of this fresh declination the earth will be back to normal and the atmosphere will be suitable for animal life. If much rain falls in winter and the water mixes with the soil under the heat of the sun producing fungi it will be good for generating the bodies of men and animals. The human soul will then be able to nourish that tiny particle called "coccy" which is what remains of the body after it dies and degenerates. The soul will then inhabit that particle and people will thus be resurrected into their previous forms. This is resurrection, and praise be to God, the All-Able, the Omniscient."

Thus ends our tour of the past, present and future with Ibnul-Nafees. He tries to convince us that things could not be better, and that all creeds could be deduced mentally from the facts of the sciences. Hence, no contradiction between religion and science, or between the ordained laws and wisdom.

It is worth noting that he used in this Treatise the same methodology that had led him to discover the pulmonary blood circulation, namely the teleological methodology. His hero, Kamil is nothing more than the embodiment of the perfect man in Islam.

At the outset of this speech I said that I had no intention of classifying Ibnul-Nafees into the philosopher-physician or the physician - philosopher category. I will make do with two opinions about him mentioned by the two most important biographers of the man. In "Masalikul Absar" (The Ways of Visions), Al-'Amri says: "Although Ibnul-Nafees was fully acquainted with (theoretical) medicine with all its ramifications, he was not that brilliant in matters relating to treatment. His prescriptions were not outstanding."

Commenting on Ibnul-Nafees's Treatise, Al Safadi said in his "Al-Wafi bil Wafayat" (Comprehensive Reviews): "I have read a little book by him in which he parodizes the Treatise of Hayy bin Yaqthan which he entitled "Fadel bin Natiq". In this little book he advocates Islam and its views on prophetships, laws, physical resurrection and the end of the world. By God, he did so well and proved to be an able writer, a deep thinker and a master in secular sciences." After all, I leave it to you to make your own judgement.

Samuel ibn Ya'acob
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« Reply #36 on: Aug 21, 2011 08:55 AM »

I'll definitely have to read the above when Ramadan's over and thinking of spending some Eid money on some of these great books! The one you're getting the poems from is only in Spanish?
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« Reply #37 on: Aug 21, 2011 11:51 PM »

I'll definitely have to read the above when Ramadan's over and thinking of spending some Eid money on some of these great books! The one you're getting the poems from is only in Spanish?



Yes the one I ordered is coming from Spain has no translations and I will be working on them, its exciting...I will let you know when it arrives!

Ramadan Mubarak

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« Reply #38 on: Aug 22, 2011 07:17 AM »

Found this really interesting paper today while I was looking for something else. Again after Ramadan more fascinating readings!

Turks, Moors, and Moriscos in Early America

http://www.nawawi.org/downloads/roots_of_islam_p1.pdf

This paper is the first installment of a new Nawawi Foundation series titled “Roots of Islam in America,” bringing to light the largely unwritten but surprisingly rich history of Muslims in the Americas over the centuries. Turks, Moors, and Moriscos in Early America focuses on the first British colony in the New World, the so-called “lost colony” of Roanoke (1585-1590). Roanoke was established for the primary purpose of attacking Spanish ships bearing large amounts of gold and silver from Spain’s American colonies to imperial Spain, which, at the time, constituted England’s primary military, political, and religious rival. On his way to Roanoke in 1586, Sir Francis Drake led a large fleet of British privateers against the Spanish in the Atlantic and Caribbean and freed hundreds of Muslim galley slaves, who had been forced to serve in the Spanish navy. Historical sources identify these galley slaves as “Turks” and “Moors.” But the galley slaves probably included Moriscos as well. The Moriscos were former Spanish and Portuguese Muslims (Moors) who had been forcefully converted to Christianity after the fall of Muslim Spain and often ran afoul of the Spanish Inquisition and were condemned to the galleys. As the article shows, Drake definitely had this large contingent of newly liberated Muslims with him when his ships came to the Roanoke colony in 1586. We know that many of the “Turks” were repatriated to the Ottoman Empire, which had friendly diplomatic relations with England at the time. What became of the hundreds of other former Muslim galley slaves remains an intriguing mystery. It is possible that some of them stayed or were left behind and became the ancestors of the Melungeons, Lumbees, and other enigmatic indigenous American populations who trace their origins to the Roanoke colony and have long claimed to have “Portuguese” and “Moorish” roots.
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« Reply #39 on: Aug 22, 2011 07:46 AM »

So cool!

I have long wondered what ever happened to the Moriscos after the fall of the Andalusian Islamic polity, their exile and conversiones. The Conversos (Iberian converted Jews) history is well documented in fact I am from that linage...But the Moriscos tale is largely untold, forgotten or seriously marginalized. This is such a great treat because I have been desiring to know their history as well!

mabruck!

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« Reply #40 on: Aug 28, 2011 06:58 PM »

Dear sister Jannah,

By chance do you know the info or any info on primary sources in essence, the Arabic Andalusian poems themselves, in the original language?. I am curious if you can direct me to where I can find the original poems?  I got my poetry book from Spain on Friday, its very exciting for me!


Ramadan mabruck!

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« Reply #41 on: Aug 28, 2011 07:18 PM »

samuel that's always the major problem Sad i know there are primary sources that are cited in all these translations and secondary sources but not sure if the originals even exist now!  luckily i have some eidi gift money so i'll be spending it on trying to get ahold of some of these books! Smiley i'll be doing research next week after ramadan is over so i'll definitely let you know inshaAllah. excited that you got your book!!  present
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« Reply #42 on: Sep 09, 2011 07:18 AM »

salams,

I found the book I want:

The Banners of the Champions: An Anthology of Medieval Arabic Poetry from Andalusia and beyond, by Ibn Said al-maghribi by James A. Bellamy, Patricia Owen Steiner, Ibn Said al-maghribi


However it's $75 !!! Yikes, how can one book, used at that, cost so much!! So I checked our library system and they have it in another city nearby so put in a request. Hopefully it'll come to my branch when it's available and they'll email me! The marvels of the modern library, so we'll see how it goes.

Which books did you get brother samuel?

Update: I found that AJ Arberry also has a translation of the same book:
Moorish Poetry: A Translation of The Pennants, and Anthology Compiled in 1243 by the Andalusian Ibn Sa'id

He's usually a pretty good translator so I'll look for that one too!

and there's also this:
Hispano-Arabic poetry: a student anthology by James T. Monroe


which has the original Arabic in there too! which is very cool and is $140  :'( :'( :'(


UPDATE2! woohoo i found the  AJ Arberry on Amazon for $21 and new so I'm going to order it as an Eid present to myself Wink http://www.amazon.com/Moorish-Poetry-Translation-Anthology-Andalusian/dp/0521170672/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1315548766&sr=1-1 & just added Sonnets from the Portuguese to get free shipping. I feel like those poor scholars who buy books instead of food. We're in good company right?  bookworm

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« Reply #43 on: Oct 03, 2011 05:24 AM »

Salaam,

The book I got was, Poemas Andaluces, by Dr Emilio Garcia Gomez used was $125 that my brother bought for me.

Yes, we are definitely in good company! arabbeardbro

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« Reply #44 on: Oct 03, 2011 07:10 AM »

wow!!! that is some brother you have there Smiley enjoy reading i already keep my book in my purse everywhere i go lol the aj arberry is really great and i recommend lovers of andalusian poetry all buy it!!


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Exile is an emotion that can't easily be expressed


« Reply #45 on: Jan 10, 2012 07:10 AM »

Insomnio: Cuando el pajaro del sueño pensó hacer su nido en mi pupila, vio las pestañas y se espantó, por miedo de las redes.  (De Abu Amir ibn Al-Hammara, Siglo xii)

Insomnia: When the bird of dreams thought of making its nest in my pupil, it saw my eyelashes and was frightened,  for fear of  being captured by a net. ( from: Abu Amir ibn Al-Hammara, 12th Century, Translated by Samuel ibn Ya'acob)

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« Reply #46 on: Jan 10, 2012 05:27 PM »

We've missed this poetry bro, Welcome back!!
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Exile is an emotion that can't easily be expressed


« Reply #47 on: Jan 10, 2012 06:29 PM »

Thank you! I've been supremely busy but ready for the next round of Andalusian poetry! I got my book from Spain!

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« Reply #48 on: Jan 12, 2012 07:47 AM »

The evolution of Oriental Poetry:

Until the prompter of the History calls them to scene, the Arabs being ignored , remain hidden in a corner, concealed from the planet.  They were fine and swift as arrows but of short scope: they were enervated in the dunes of their native desert. Only Mohammed certain Sagittarius, knew how to clean the sand off of these darts and shoot them throughout the world. The Muslims call the pre-Islamic epoch Jahiliyyah, in other words "Days of Ignorance". Effectively, nothing was perfected in them, except two things: poetry and love. Whomever reads, The Mu‘allaqāt [المعلقات], el Kitab al-Agani [كتاب الأغاني]("The book of Songs") or Abu-l-farach [أبو الفرج الأصفهاني], or any other collection of ancient poems, stays in suspense. The immense sea-all white foam-of the desert, planted with mended tents, stitched by rows of camels, blurred by oasis and palm trees, is a marvelous universe of authentic poetry. And in those times Antara [pans flute] asked:

Have the poets left anything to mend?

Only this initial perfection can explain the posterior evolution of Arabic poetry...
(Emilio Garcia Gomez, Arabic Andalusian Poems pg19 translated by Samuel ibn Ya'acob)
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Note: The Sagittarius is really a centaur -- the lower half is horse, the upper half is a man. The man is holding a bow with an arrow aimed upwards toward the sky. This symbolizes the Sagittarius' drive to overcome basic animal instincts by aiming his thoughts into the divine realms of the heavens. In other words, Sagittarius is hunting for ideas and experiences that draw you into greater awareness. As such, Sagittarius tend to love adventure, travel and philosophy -- all ways of extending beyond your immediate surroundings.

Sagittarius tend to aim their arrows of thought upward, being the incurable optimists

Note: When a person embraced Islam during the time of the Prophet, he would immediately cut himself off from Jahiliyyah. When he stepped into the circle of Islam, he would start a new life, separating himself completely from his past life under ignorance of the Divine Law. He would look upon the deeds during his life of ignorance with mistrust and fear, with a feeling that these were impure and could not be tolerated in Islam! With this feeling, he would turn toward Islam for new guidance; and if at any time temptations overpowered him, or the old habits attracted him, or if he became lax in carrying out the injunctions of Islam, he would become restless with a sense of guilt and would feel the need to purify himself of what had happened, and would turn to the Qur'an to mold himself according to its guidance. —Sayyid Qutb

With the period before the coming of Islam being defined as the time of "Jahiliyyah", pre-Islamic poetry is commonly referred to in Arabic as "الشعر الجاهلي" or Jahili poetry - literally "the ignorant poetry". Although so named, however, what survives of this poetry is well regarded as the finest of Arabic poetry to date.

Translators note: I found this passage in Dr. Gomez' book to be quite moving, poignant and unfortunately still true. Arabic poetry is still concealed in many ways from any form of mainstream recognition. The fact that Andalusian poetry help to mold lyrical poetry such as; Shakespearean or rock music in the West and has not had its due recognition is incredibly unfair. More should be done to highlight and emphasize the incredible beauty and lyrical vitality of this important poetic genre.

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« Reply #49 on: Jan 12, 2012 08:42 AM »

Translators note: I found this passage in Dr. Gomez' book to be quite moving, poignant and unfortunately still true. Arabic poetry is still concealed in many ways from any form of mainstream recognition. The fact that Andalusian poetry help to mold lyrical poetry such as; Shakespearean or rock music in the West and has not had its due recognition is incredibly unfair. More should be done to highlight and emphasize the incredible beauty and lyrical vitality of this important poetic genre.

So true!!!

That is quite a fascinating excerpt there. I'd agree that Arabic poetry has yet to have the world's stage in spite of it's amazing beauty. But there's still hope. If people in the West can love Rumi and Obama can say he has read Iqbal it may be time soon for the poetry of Andalus and Arabia Wink

About the term Jahaliyya yes it means "Ignorance" but I think today it's used/said as more of an extreme term, almost derogatory or insulting. But I think to most it means that the people were ignorant of Islam and the Divine Way, not that they were "ignorant ie idiots". The Divine Message hadn't come to them for so long and that's why it's called the Age of Ignorance. Not as an insult or anything but just as a description of how they lived without Islam.

One of the modern scholars of Damascus Shaykh Ramadan al Buti talks about how the Arabs were like "diamonds in the rough". They had a lot of very good qualities and characteristics but they just needed Islam to polish them. The Arabs have always been well known for their oral histories, memorization and poetry pre and post Islam.

Interesting to read about the Saggitarius thing.  Someone must have  done the math to find the birthdate of the prophet Muhammad pbuh in the gregorian calendar?? Will have to look that up again, looks cool!
 
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