The Diwans of ‘Abid ibn al-Abras of Asad and ‘Amir ibn at-Tufail of ‘Amir ibn Sa’sa’ah

Poetry & Literature

Author: Charles Lyall
Year: 2012
ISBN: 9780906094136
Language: Arabic
Hardback, 344p, H210 x W149 (mm) 

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£25.00

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Poems of ‘Abid and ‘Amir are found in other works but the 11th-century MS in the British Library on which this edition is based is unique. Both are tribal poets of the Jahiliyyah, the period before Islam. ‘Abd ibn al-Abras, regarded as one of the best pre-Islamic poets, was contemporary with the greatest of them all, Imru’ al-Qais of Kindah, and his poems reflect the events of the first half of the 6th century, such as the attempt and ultimate failure of the Princes of Kindah to impose their hegemony on the nomads of northern Arabia, among them ‘Abid’s tribe, the Bani Asad, who slew Imru’ al-Qais’s father, Hujr. ‘Amir’s tribe, on the other hand, dwelt in Central Arabia, some distance to the West of Mecca and he was a contemporary of the Prophet Muhammad. ‘Amir remained pagan but, though he is credited by some accounts with bitter hostility to Islam, his poems are mainly concerned with war and rivalry with neighbouring tribes.