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Art. XI.—Abu‘l-'Alā al- Ma‘arrī's Correspondence on Vegetarianism

  • D. S. Margoliouth

It has already been mentioned that, according to Ṣafadi, a correspondence on Vegetarianism between Abu’l - ‘Alā and a certain Hibat Allah Ibn Mūsā, due to a line in the former's Luzūmiyyāt, was excerpted by Yāḳūt. The first volume of Yāḳūt's precious Dictionary of Littérateurs is in the Bodleian Library, soon, I hope, to be published with such other volumes of it as can be found. Yāḳūt, whose acquaintance with literary history was unique, tells us that a passage in the Falak al-Ma‘ānī of Ibn al-Habbāriyyah had roused in him the desire to get at this correspondence, which he reproduces in an abridged form. Abu’l-‘Alā's correspondent was a man of some importance, whose grave was still shown in Maḳrizi's time in Cairo, where he held the post of Chief Missionary. The fact that Abu’l-‘Alā addresses him with the titles ra’īs and ajall shows that he held this or some similar post at the time of the correspondence.

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page 289 note 1 Letters of Abu’l-‘Alā, ed. D. S. M., p. xxxix.

page 289 note 2 Bodl. Or. 753.

page 289 note 3 Ibn al-Habbāriyyah appears to have been much interested in Abu’l-‘Alā. Ṣafadi (Comm. on Lāmiyyat al-‘Ajam, Cairo, 1305, ii, 189–191) gives a long quotation from a Risālah written by him to Al-Ustādh al-Ḳhaṭīrī Abu Manṣūr, in which an allusion is made (p. 190, med.) to Abu’l-‘Alā's kufr and ilḥād. Ṣafadi was acquainted with the published collection of Abu’l-‘Alā's Letters: he quotes them, ii, 102 and i, 112. In ii, 198, there is an epigram containing an allusion to the , of which Mr. Nicholson has given such an interesting account in this Journal: The author was ‘Alā al-dīn al-Wadā‘ī: he visited Abu’l-‘Ala's grave in 679.

page 289 note 4 Khiṭaṭ, i, 460.

page 290 note 1 ix, 377.

page 290 note 2 Ḥusn al-Muhāḍarah, ii, 153.

page 290 note 3 I cannot find the title tāj al-umarā given him elsewhere. However, his successor in the office of Vizier had similar titles to those which Abu’l-‘Alā lavishes on him: (Suyuṭi, l.c.). The nisbah is wrongly written in Ibn Iyās. Cf. Wüstenfeld, in Abh. Gött. Akad., xxvii, No. 8, p. 5.

page 291 note 1 Sura xxvi, 225.

page 292 note 1 The angular brackets 〈 〉 signify additions by the editor, the square brackets [ ] signify omittenda.

page 293 note 1 would be better.

page 293 note 2 Read .

page 294 note 1 Read .

page 295 note 1 Perhaps .

page 295 note 2 According to Lisan al-Arab, xix, 289, this should be .

page 295 note 3 Should be .

page 295 note 4 MS. .

page 296 note 1 Read .

page 296 note 2 Read .

page 297 note 1 MS. .

page 297 note 2 Probably corrupt.

page 297 note 3 MS. .

page 298 note 1 would be better.

page 298 note 2 Read .

page 298 note 3 These words are corrupt.

page 298 note 4 MS. .

page 299 note 1 Read .

page 299 note 2 Read .

page 300 note 1 Perhaps .

page 300 note 2 Read .

page 300 note 3 Read .

page 300 note 4 Mutanabbi, ed. Dieterici, p. 173.

page 301 note 1 Read .

page 301 note 2 Read .

page 301 note 3 MS. .

page 301 note 4 Sura xci, 1.

page 302 note 1 Sura liii, 52.

page 302 note 2 Transpose these words after .

page 302 note 3 Sura xviii, 16.

page 302 note 4 Read .

page 303 note 1 Perhaps .

page 303 note 2 Read .

page 303 note 3 Sura xviii, 16.

page 304 note 1 MS. .

page 304 note 2 Sura v, 96.

page 305 note 1 Read .

page 305 note 2 MS. .

page 306 note 1 MS. .

page 307 note 1 Perhaps .

page 307 note 2 MS. .

page 307 note 3 MS. .

page 308 note 1 Read .

page 308 note 2 MS. .

page 308 note 3 MS. .

page 309 note 1 Read .

page 309 note 2 Should be .

page 309 note 3 Add perhaps .

page 310 note 1 Read .

page 310 note 2 Read .

page 312 note 1 Read .

page 312 note 2 Sura lxxiv, 46.

page 312 note 3 MS. .

page 313 note 1 An account of Ibn al-Habbāriyyah, the author of this work, is given by Ibn Khallikan, ii, 19–21 (Cairo, 1299). He died about 504 A.H., and is likely to have been born about the time of Abu’l-‘Alā's death. The narrative quoted by Yāḳūt teems with inaccuracies.

page 313 note 2 Probably the author's mistake for Al-Ma‘arrī.

page 313 note 3 Often quoted as an example of Abu’l-‘Alā's impiety.

page 313 note 4 Luzūmiyyāt, Cairo, 1891, i, 232. In both this and the Bombay edition the first word is wrongly vocalized .

page 314 note 1 He is called by Maḳrizi (i, 460) Hibat Allah Ibn Mūsā al-A‘jami, i.e. of the tribe Al-A‘jam.

page 314 note 2 The office of is thus defined by Ḳalḳashandī, ii, 236 (Arch. A. Seld. 18):— “He came next after the chief Ḳāḍī in rank, and wore the same attire. The religious doctrines () of the people of the Prophet's house were studied with him in a house called the Academy (), and he gave the oath to those who wished to join their sect.” The passage is translated by Wüstenfeld, l.c., xxv, 1, p. 185. It is also to be found in Maḳrizi, i, 391, whose account of the conduct of the mission is of extraordinary interest. See De Sacy, Religion des Druzes, i, lxxiii sqq. Of this “Academy” an interesting history is given by Maḳrizi (Khiṭaṭ, i, 458–460); it was founded by Ḥākim in 395, and closed by Al-Afḍai Ibn Amir al-Juyūsh in the sixth century. From Maḳrizi's account it appears to have been a hotbed of heresy, with which the character which Hibat Allah gives of himself corresponds.

page 314 note 3 Since Hibat Allah was in Cairo, he could not well do this. Ibn al-Habbāriyyah was thinking of an apocryphal story of Abu’l-‘Alā being summoned by the Vizier of Ḥaleb, and killing fifty men by his imprecations.

page 314 note 4 This is an allusion to another story of Abu’l-‘Alā being offered the contents of the treasury of Ma‘arrah.

page 314 note 5 In this correspondence Abu’l-‘Alā appears as a model of orthodoxy.

page 314 note 6 As a matter of fact he lived eleven years longer.

page 319 note 1 This is surely not to be taken literally. The phrase ‘a perpetual fast’ used by Ibn al-Athir in the story of Ḥallāj (viii, 92) would seem, however, to have some technical sense.

page 319 note 2 These verses are given by Ibn Hishām (ed. Wüstenfeld, p. 530) as said by Shaddād Ibn al-Aswad after Badr. The texts are very different. See also Mr. Nicholson's note, p. 93 supra.

page 320 note 1 A name given by the Pagans of Mecca to the Prophet.

page 320 note 2 Probably the wine. The verses are also given in Aghani, vi, 123, with many differences.

page 320 note 3 The text of the Aghani, which is obscene, may have been altered intentionally.

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