Hatim al-Tai

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Hatim Al-Taeei (Arabic: حاتم الطائي‎; also Hatemtai i.e. Hatim of the Tayy tribe), formally Hatem ibn Abdellah ibn Sa'ad at-Ta'iy (Arabic: حاتم بن عبد الله بن سعد الطائي ‎) was a famous Arab Christian poet, and the father of the Sahaba Adi ibn Hatim and (Arabic) and belonged to the Ta'i Arabian tribe. Stories about his extreme generosity have made him an icon to Arabs up till the present day, as in the proverbial phrase "more generous than Hatem" (Arabic: أكرم من حاتم).


Al-Taee lived in Ha'il (Arabian Peninsula). He was mentioned in some Hadiths by the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. He died in 578.[1] He was buried in Towaren, Ha'il . The tomb is described in the Arabian Nights.[2]

He lived in the sixth century CE. He also figures in The Arabian Nights . The celebrated Persian poet Saadi, in his work Gulistan (1259 CE) writes: "Hatim Taï no longer exists but his exalted name will remain famous for virtue to eternity. Distribute the tithe of your wealth in alms; for when the husbandman lops off the exuberant branches from the vine, it produces an increase of grapes.".[3] He is also mentioned in Saadi's Bostan (1257 CE).[4] According to legends in various books and stories, he was a famous personality in Tai (Ha'il province in the central part and of the Arabian Peninsula). He is also a well-known figure in the rest of the Middle East as well as India & Pakistan.

Many books have been written about him in different countries and languages. Several movies and TV Series have been produced about his adventures.

Rozat-ul-Sufa mentions that "In the eighth year after the birth of his eminence the Prophet, died Noushirwan the Just, and Hatem Tai the generous, both famous for their virtues.",[5] around 579 CE. According to 17th-century Orientalist D'Herbelot, his tomb was located at a small village called Anwarz, in Arabia.[6]



  • On Avarice by Hatem Taiy[7]

Qissa-e-Hatem Taiy[edit]

Qissa-e-Hatem Tai (The adventures of Hatim Tai) is very popular in South Asia. Multiple movies (see below) about Hatem Tai are based on this story.

Qissa-e Hatim Tai- pages from the Urdu book Araish-e Mehfil which describes the adventures of Hatim Tai

It consists of a short introduction describing his ancestors and his own virtues. In seven chapters, seven of his adventures are given.

The stories are based on seven questions, asked by a beautiful and rich woman Husn Banu, who will marry only the person who will obtain answers to these questions:[8]

  1. ' What I saw once, I long for a second time.'
  2. ' Do good, and cast it upon the waters.'
  3. ' Do no evil; if you do, such shall you meet with.'
  4. ' He who speaks the truth is always tranquil.'
  5. ' Let him bring an account of the mountain of Nida.'
  6. ' Let him produce a pearl of the size of a duck's egg'
  7. ' Let him bring an account of the bath of Bad-gard.'

A king falls in love with her and wanders around, not knowing where to go or what to do. By chance he meets Hatem Tai, to whom he tells his story. Hatem undertakes to find the answers to the questions.


TV series[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kitab al-Aghani by Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani
  2. ^ van Arendonk, Cornelis (1987). E.J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam 1913-1936. E. J. Brill. p. 290. ISBN 9789004082656. 
  3. ^ http://www.sacred-texts.com/isl/arp/arp159.htm HATIM TAI, THE GENEROUS ARAB CHIEF
  4. ^ The Bustan of Sadi, tr. by A. Hart Edwards, 1911, http://www.sacred-texts.com/isl/bus/bus06.htm
  5. ^ http://persian.packhum.org/persian/pf?file=08501030&ct=0
  6. ^ Arbuthnot, F. F. (1887). Persian Portraits: A Sketch of Persian History, Literature and Politics. B. Quaritch. p. 132. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  7. ^ Arabian Poetry, by W. A. Clouston, 1881, http://www.sacred-texts.com/isl/arp/arp028.htm#page_99
  8. ^ Persian Portraits: A Sketch of Persian History, Literature and Politics by F. F. Arbuthnot
  9. ^ PVR to release animation film Adventures of Sinbad, Farida Khanzada : Mumbai, Indian Express, Fri Jan 18 2013 http://www.indianexpress.com/news/PVR-to-release-animation-film-Adventures-of-Sinbad/1060773/

Further reading[edit]

   "But come with old Khayyam, and leave the Lot
    Of Kaikobad and Kaikhosru forgot:
      Let Rustum lay about him as he will,
    Or Hatem Taiy cry Supper--heed them not."

  • Many books written and translated in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Hindi etc.
  • Hatem Tai in Tamil by Prema Pirasuram