Muhammad al-Qasim ibn Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Uthman al-Hariri (Arabic: محمد القاسم بن علي بن محمد بن عثمان الحريري), popularly known as al-Hariri of Basra (1054–1122) was an Arab poet, scholar of the Arabic language and a high government official of the Seljuk Empire. Born in Basra in modern-day Iraq, he is best known for writing Maqamat al-Hariri (مقامات الحريري, The Assemblies of al-Hariri), a virtuosic display of saj', consisting of 50 anecdotes written in stylized prose, which was once memorized by heart by scholars, and Mulhat al-i'rab fi al-nawh, an extensive poem on grammar. The most famous translation of his maqamat was a German version by the poet and OrientalistFriedrich Rückert as Die Verwandlungen von Abu Serug and sought to emulate the rhymes and wordplay of the original.
al-Harith helps Abu Zayd to retrieve his stolen camel. Illustration for the 27th maqamat, from a manuscript in the Bodleian Library, Oxford
Some of his other works include a book on errors of expression in Arabic, Durrat al-ghawwāṣ fī awhām al-khawaṣṣ. The Assemblies of al-Hariri recounts in the words of the narrator, al-Harith ibn Hammam and al-Hariri's several encounters with artist Abu Zayd al-Saruji.