Diwan of Hassan ibn Thabit [Hardback]

Walid N. Arafat (Author)

ISBN: 9780906094303 | Published by: Gibb Memorial Trust | Series: Gibb Memorial Trust Arabic Studies | Year of Publication: 1971 | Language: Arabic/English 1464p, H210 x W149 (mm)

Diwan of Hassan ibn Thabit


Hassan ibn Thabit lived in Yathrib, the later Medina, and was of mature age when the Prophet Muhammad, leaving Mecca behind him, settled there. He was already an established poet and had found favour as a composer of eulogies on visits to the court of the Arab Princes of the Ghassanid dynasty. Although not an immediate convert, Hassan soon accepted Islam and became, if hardly Poet Laureate, the most conspicuous of those who, in spite of Muhammad's disapproval of poets in general, were able to use their talent for verse to serve the new religion and praise its Prophet. He lived on to a great age after Muhammad's death, perhaps largely in retirement; his own death most probably occurred in AD 659. As is usual with the literature of the earliest period of Islam, the poems attributed to Hassan include ones which can not be his. The Diwan seems to contain a substantial core of authentic work, but a proportion of it has been fathered on Hassan posthumously for various reasons, for instance, to serve the interest of the Medinan group to which he had belonged, the Ansar. Professor Arafat, who has long studied the problems of the Diwan, has provided an edition of the text which incorporates much new evidence, notably that of three important MSS in Istanbul, and he has supplied a thorough commentary.

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