Ibn Abd Rabbih
Ibn ʿAbd Rabbih or Ibn ʿAbd Rabbihi (Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn `Abd Rabbih) (860–940) was a Moorish writer and poet. He was born in Cordova, now in Spain, and descended from a freed slave of Hisham I, the second Spanish Umayyad emir. He enjoyed a great reputation for learning and eloquence. Not much is known about his life. He was a friend of many Umayyad princes and was employed as an official panegyrist at the Umayyad court. No complete collection of his poems is extant, but many selections are given in the Yatima al-Dahr and Nafh al-Tip.
More widely known than his poetry is his great anthology, the Al-ʿIqd al-Farīd (The Unique Necklace), a work divided into 25 sections. The 13th section is named the middle jewel of the necklace, and the chapters on either side are named after other jewels. It is an adab book resembling Ibn Qutaybah's `Uyun al-akhbar (The Fountains of Story) and the writings of al-Jahiz from which it borrows largely. Although he spent all his life in al-Andalus and did not travel to the East like some other Andalusian scholars, most of the his book's material is drawn from the East Islamic world. Also, Ibn Abd Rabbih quoted no Andalusian compositions other than his own. He included in his book his 445-line Urjuza, a poem in the meter of the rajaz in which he narrates the warlike exploits of Abd al-Rahman al-Nasir, along with some of his eulogies of the Umayyads of al-Andalus.
The White Complexion
Never have I seen or heard of such a thing; a pearl that for modesty transforms itself into a cornelian.
So white is her face, that, when you contemplate her perfection, you see your own face submerged in its clarity.
Ben Abd Rabbihi of Cordova (860-940) translated by Joan Penelope Cope
- Ibn ʿAbd Rabbih, The Unique Necklace: Al-ʿIqd al-Farīd, trans. by Issa J. Boullata, Great Books of Islamic Civilization, 3 vols (Reading: Garnet, 2007-2011)
|Arabic Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- Ibn Khallikan's Biographical Dictionary
- L. Alvarez. (1998). Ibn `Abd Rabbih. In Encyclopedia of Arabic Literature (Vol. 1, pp. 302-303). Taylor & Francis.
- The Unique Necklace: Al-'iqd Al-farid. (2007). Trans. Issa J Boullata. p. XIV. ISBN 1-85964-184-9.
- L. Alvarez, 1998.
- William Montgomery Watt, Pierre Cachia. (1996)A History of Islamic Spain. p. 73. Edinburgh University Press.
- Boullata ,2007
- Arabic Andalusian Casidas translated by Joan Penelope Cope, Peter Russell The Pound Press 1953