2. Considering the Nonhuman in Early Islam
God esteems the insects by addressing them in their own right, yet simultaneously consecrates their “diversely hued” output (mukhtalifun alwānuhu)—honey—for human benefit. This counterpoise obtains in the ḥadīth corpus too, wherein people are allowed to use animals, but within strict guidelines; they must provide for them, show kindness and relieve their suffering, and avoid their abuse.6And thy Lord revealed unto the bees, saying: ‘Take unto yourselves of the mountains, houses, and of the trees, and of what they are building. Then eat all manner of fruit and follow the ways of your Lord easy to go upon.’ Then comes there forth out of their bellies a drink of diverse hues wherein is healing for men. Surely in that is a sign for a people who reflect.5
3. Animals in Al-Maʿarrī’s Works
Or in another poem, warning of death like so much of zuhd discourse, al-Maʿarrī says that it is only right for fate to be silent and callous—humans themselves cannot keep from being so reticent about their grisly treatment of animals (meter: khafīf) (Al-Maʿarrī 1891–1895, vol. 1, p. 58; Al-Baṭalyawsī 1991, p. 67):Taṣaddaq ʿalā l-ṭayri l-ghawādī bi-sharbatin/mina l-māʾi wa-ʿdud’hā aḥaqqa mina l-insīFa-mā jinsuhā jānin ʿalayka adhiyyatan/bi-ḥālin idhā mā khifta min dhālika l-jinsīDonate sips of water to birds, gone by morning,and count them worthier of alms than men:their kind commits you no harm at all,even as you fear it from your own
If a wrongfully wounded beast remains as jubār, “unavenged, unretaliated” (Lane 1984, vol. 1, p. 377)16—a state of affairs for which humans are to blame, as al-Maʿarrī seems to imply—then it faces cruelty for no reason. Why, then, should humans expect such a reason when faced with their own looming, cruel demise? That they are found, in al-Maʿarrī’s calculus, morally lacking compared to animals recalls Plutarch’s imagined chat between Odysseus and Gryllus, one of the crewmen whom Circe changed into swine, and who, still in his porcine state, lists dozens of ways in which animals prove more virtuous than people— “for without command or instruction, ‘unsown and unploughed,’ it were, [the souls of beasts] naturally bring forth and develop such virtue as is proper in each case” (Plutarch 1927–2004, vol. 12, pp. 501–31, at 501).Wa-wajadtu l-zamāna aʿjama faẓẓan/wa-jubārun fī ḥukmihā l-ʿajmāʾūI found fate tongue-tied, bereft of mercy,while the dumb beast’s blood goes unavenged.
Later in his career, al-Maʿarrī still thought that certain Shiʿite groups— as well as Hindus and the followers of murdered Sufi al-Ḥallāj (d. 922 CE)—believed in metempsychosis. He writes in Risālat al-ghufrān that:Wa-law ṣaḥḥa l-tanāsukhu kunta Mūsā/wa-kāna abūka Isḥāqa l-dhabīḥāIf the doctrine of reincarnation were right,then you’d be Moses (Mūsā)and your father Isaac (Isḥāq) the Slain!
That al-Maʿarrī puts reincarnation squarely in India belies sophisticated contemporary knowledge—above all by the Persian traveler and polymath Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī (d. 1050 CE)—of non-Indic and especially Hellenic writings on metempsychosis (Walker 1991, pp. 220–22).28 In addition, given the fact that al-Maʿarrī was regularly accused of heterodox belief in “Brahmanism” (al-barhamiyyah) for his vegan lifestyle29; and given the fact that he thought, as others did, that some Shiʿites believed in reincarnation, it is remarkable that neither he nor al-Muʾayyad fī l-Dīn al-Shīrāzī charged each other more vehemently with such beliefs.This sect [al-niḥlah, referring to al-Ḥallāj and his disciples] propagates the idea of metempsychosis [al-tanāsukh], which is an ancient belief held by the Indians [ahl al-hind]. It has also become common among a group of Shiʿites [jamāʿah min al-shīʿah]. We ask God for success and protection (Al-Maʿarrī 2013–2014, pp. 78–79).27
4. Shocked to the Point of Compassion
Most commentators,35 including al-Anbārī (ibid.), understand the phrase khuḍru l-mazādī to mean either water pouches, normally made of goatskin, in which the water is covered by algae, or else stomachs (kurūsh) removed from animals and used as water bladders. Regarding the strange color, Ibn Manẓūr explains that “the water has remained a long time in the waterskins and thus gone green/darkened36 with age” (inna l-māʾ baqiyat fi l-adāwī fa-khḍarrat min al-qidam) (Ibn Manẓūr 1999, vol. 14, p. 152). The stomachs may also contain meat, as Ibn Qutaybah says about the word tanshīm (“rotting,” “putrefaction”): “Whenever the desert Arabs went military campaigns and crossed long distances, they would carve up meat and stow it in an animal’s stomach [used as a provision bag]; and after many days, the meat would go bad, and this is [the meaning of] ‘its rotting’” (kānū idhā ghazaw wa-sāfarū qaṭaʿū l-laḥm fa-jaʿalūhu fī kirsh fa-idhā atā ʿalayhi ayyām taghayyara fa-dhālika tanshīmuh) (Ibn Qutaybah 1953, vol., 3, pp. 381–82; also in Al-Baṭalyawsī 2008, vol. 1, p. 387). However, the horse in al-Maʿarrī’s story quotes ʿAlqamah’s line because it thinks—or it wants readers to think—that it is about slaughtering camels in order to consume their stomach content. This demonstrates al-Maʿarrī’s method of creatively reinterpreting well-known passages to fit his pacifist, zoocentric message, although at least one commentator, al-Akhfash al-Aṣghar, does support al-Maʿarrī’s understanding of the line by ʿAlqamah (Al-Akhfash 1999, p. 643).37 More on such interpretive somersaults by al-Maʿarrī in the next section.Wa-qad uṣāḥibu aqwāman ṭaʿāmuhumūkhuḍru l-mazādi wa-laḥmun fīhi tanshīmūAnd time was that I went around with a people34 whose dietis the dark-hued water of provision bags, and rank, fetid meat.
The horse goes on to describe how humans wear out their camels with overmuch walking, or how, as in a poem attributed—incorrectly40—to Juwayriyah ibn Asmāʾ al-Fazārī, travelers slaughter their riding camels so that an attacking wolf will eat them instead of the humans (ibid., p. 126). With these examples at its command, the horse builds to a crescendo: “No animal has endured torture from the Sons of Eve like the camel has” (wa-mā ṣabara shayʾun min al-bahāʾim ʿalā ʿanat Banī Ḥawwāʾ mā ṣabarathu al-ibil) (ibid., p. 125).Inna l-saʿīda man yamūtu jamaluhyaʾkulu laḥman wa-yaqillu ʿamaluhHappy is he whose camel dies, so heeats the meat, saves himself the work!39
5. From Poetic Myth to Zoocentric Reality
In these lines, later Arabic commentators saw the human-centered fatalism so familiar to pre-Islamic verse. Even the pre-Islamic and mukhaḍram poets themselves felt this way, a fact that can be discerned from the case of Abu Dhuʾayb, the pupil of Sāʿidah, who expanded his mentor’s themes into the single most celebrated Hudhalī poem: an elegy to his five sons who died of plague within a single year, and in which the tragic abruptness of their fate is likened to wild asses (jawn, “humpbacked,” and jadāʾid, “plump [she-asses]”) killed by a hunter’s bow and arrow; a lone oryx (shabab) attacked by hounds; and two champion warriors (sing. kamiyy, pl. kumāt) who slay each other in battle (Jones 2011, pp. 493–524).Ḥattā utīḥa lahū rāmin bi-muḥdalatin/jaʾshin wa-bīḍin nawāḥīhinna ka l-sajamī47Dallā yadayhi lahū qaṣran48 fa-alzamahū/naffāḥatan ghayra ikhṭāʾin49 wa-lā sharamīFa-jāla minhu bi-aʿlā l-raydi thumma kabā/ʿalā naḍiyyin khilāla l-jawfi50 munḥaṭimīThen fate decreed a shooter with a delicate, well-worn bowand white arrows whose blades are like willow leaves.51He hung his hands from above, to let fly with utmost power (qaṣran),then dealt it a bloodspattering shaft, nor flying amissnor merely grazing skin.The ibex fled the high mountain ridge, then fell forwardonto the bare bolt, which pierced its gut through to the ribs.
Aṭʿim akhāka min ʿaqanqali l-ḍabbinnaka in lā tuṭʿimanhu yaghḍabFeed your brother lizard gut fat—if you don’t, then he’ll get mad!52
Conflicts of Interest
- Aḥmad, Muḥammad Shākir, and ʿAbd al-Salām Hārūn, eds. 1955. Al-Aṣmaʿiyyāt, 5th ed. Cairo: Dār al-Maʿārif, Repr. in Beirut. 5th repr, n.d. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Ābī, Abū Saʿd Manṣūr ibn al-Ḥūsayn. 1980–1991. Nathr al-durr fī l-muḥāḍarāt. Edited by Muḥammad ʿAlī Qarnah and ʿAlī Muhammad al-Bijāwī. 7 vols. Cairo: Dār Al-Hayʾah al-Miṣriyyah Al-ʿĀmmah li-l-Kitāb. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Akhfash, al-Aṣghar. 1999. Kitāb al-Ikhtiyārayn, al-Mufaḍḍaliyyāt wa-l-Aṣmaʿiyyāt. Edited by Fakhr al-Dīn Qabāwah. Damascus: Dār al-Fikr. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Andalusī, Ibn Shuhayd. 1967. Risālat al-tawābiʿ wa-l-zawābiʿ. Edited by Buṭrus al-Bustānī. Beirut: Dār Ṣādir. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Baṭalyawsī, Ibn al-Sīd. 1991. Sharḥ al-Mukhtār min Luzūmiyyāt Abī l-ʿAlāʾ. Edited by Ḥāmid ʿAbd al-Majīd. 2 vols in 1. Cairo: Al-Hayʾah al-Miṣriyyah al-ʿĀmmah li-l-Kitāb. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Baṭalyawsī, Ibn al-Sīd. 2008. Sharḥ al-ashʿār al-Sittah al-Jāhiliyyah. Edited by Nāṣīf Sulaymān ʿAwwād. 2 vols. Beirut: Al-Maʿhad al-Almānī li-l-Abḥāth al-Sharqiyyah. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Bīrūnī, Abū Rayḥān. 2020. The Yogi Sutras of Patañjali. Edited by Mario Kozah. Translated by Mario Kozah. New York: Library of Arabic Literature; New York University Press. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Bukhārī, Muḥammad ibn Ismāʿīl. 2002. Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī. Beirut and Damascus: Dār Ibn Kathīr. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Ḍabbī, Al-Mufaḍḍal ibn Muḥammad. 1921. The Mufaḍḍalīyāt: An Anthology of Ancient Arabian Odes. Edited by Charles James Lyall. Translated by Charles James Lyall. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Dīnawarī, Abū Hanīfah. 1974. Kitāb al-nabāt. Edited by Bernhard Lewin. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag GMBH. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Ḥarīrī, Abū Muḥammad al-Qāsim. 2020. Impostures. Translated by Michael Cooperson. New York: Library of Arabic Literature; New York University Press. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Jāḥiẓ, Abū ʿUthmān ʿAmr ibn Baḥr al-Kinānī. 1938. Kitāb al-ḥayawān, 2nd ed. 1965–1969. Edited by ʿAbd al-Salām Muḥammad Hārūn. 8 vols. Cairo: Sharikat Maktabat wa-Maṭbaʿat Muṣṭafā al-Bābī al-Ḥalabī wa-Awlādihi. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Jāḥiẓ, Abū ʿUthmān ʿAmr ibn Baḥr al-Kinānī. 1948. Kitāb al-bukhalāʾ. Edited by Tāhā al-Hajirī. Cairo: Dār al-Maʿārif. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Jāḥiẓ, Abū ʿUthmān ʿAmr ibn Baḥr al-Kinānī. 1997. The Book of Misers: A Translation of al-Bukhalāʾ. Translated by Robert Bertram Serjeant. Reading: Garnet. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Jundī, Muḥammad Salīm, ed. 1962–1964. Al-Jāmiʿ fī akhbār Abī l-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī wa-āthārihi. 3 vols. Damascus and Beirut: Dār Ṣādir, Repr. 1992. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Kalāʿī, Abū l-Qāsim Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Ghafūr. 1985. Iḥkām ṣanʿat al-kalām, fī funūn al-nathr wa-madhāhibihi fī l-mashriq wa-l-Andalus, 2nd repr. Edited by Muḥammad Riḍwān al-Dāyah. Beirut: ʿĀlam al-Kutub. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Maʿarrī, Abū l-ʿAlāʾ. 1891–1895. Luzūm mā lā yalzam. Edited by ʿAzīz Zand. 2 vols. Cairo: Maṭbaʿat al-Maḥrūsah. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Maʿarrī, Abū l-ʿAlāʾ. 1938. Al-Fuṣūl wa-l-Ghāyāt fī Tamjīd Allāh wa-l-Mawāʿiẓ. Edited by Mahmūd Hasan Zanātī. Cairo: Maṭbaʿat Ḥijāzī. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Maʿarrī, Abū l-ʿAlāʾ. 1945. Shurūḥ Saqṭ al-zand, 3rd ed. Edited by Tāhā Husayn, Muṣṭāfā al-Saqā, ʿAbd al-Salām Hārūn, ʿAbd al-Raḥīm Maḥmūd, Ibrāhīm al-Ibyārī and Ḥāmid ʿAbd al-Majīd. 5 vols. Cairo: Dār al-Kutub al-Miṣriyyah. 3rd repr. 1986, Repr. 1965. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Maʿarrī, Abū l-ʿAlāʾ. 1975. Risālat al-ṣāhil wa-l-shāḥij. Edited by ʿĀʾishah ʿAbd al-Rahmān Bint al-Shāṭiʾ. Cairo: Dār al-Maʿārif, Repr. 1984. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Maʿarrī, Abū l-ʿAlāʾ. 1982. Rasāʾil Abī l-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿārrī: al-juzʾ al-awwal. Edited by Ihsān ʿAbbās. Beirut: Dār al-Shurūq. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Maʿarrī, Abū l-ʿAlāʾ. 2013–2014. The Epistle of Forgiveness. Edited by Gregor Schoeler and Geert Jan van Gelder. Translated by Gregor Schoeler, and Geert Jan van Gelder. 2 vols. New York: Library of Arabic Literature; New York University Press. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Maydānī, Abū l-Fadl Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad. 1959. Majmaʿ al-amthāl. Edited by Muḥammad Muhyī l-Dīn ʿAbd al-Hamīd. 2 vols. Cairo: Al-Maktabah al-Tijāriyyah. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Nīsābūrī, Abū l-Hasan Muslim ibn al-Hajjāj. 1991. Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim. Edited by Muḥammad Fuʾād ʿAbd al-Bāqī. 5 vols. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Kutub al-ʿArabiyyah. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Qifṭī, Jamāl al-Dīn Abū l-Hasan ibn Yūsuf. 1950. Inbāh al-ruwāt ʿalā anbāʾ al-nuḥāt. Edited by Muḥammad Abū l-Fadl Ibrāhīm. 4 vols. Cairo: Dār al-Kutub al-Miṣriyyah. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Shāfiʿī, Muḥammad ibn Idrīs. 2001. Kitāb al-umm. Edited by Rifʿat Fawzī ʿAbd al-Muttalib. 11 vols. Mansoura, Egypt: Dār al-Wafāʾ. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Shirbīnī, Yūsuf. 2016. Brains Confounded by the Ode of Abū Shādūf Expounded. Edited by Humphrey Davies. Translated by Humphrey Davies. New York: Library of Arabic Literature; New York University Press. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Sukkarī, Abū Saʿīd al-Hasan ibn al-Husayn. 1965. Sharḥ ashʿār al-Hudhaliyyīn. Edited by ʿAbd al-Sattār Aḥmad Farrāj and Mahmūd Muḥammad Shākir. 3 vols. Cairo: Maṭbaʿat al-Madanī, Repr. 1995. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Sulamī, ʿIzz al-Dīn ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn ʿAbd al-Salām. 1991. Qawāʿid al-aḥkām fī maṣāliḥ al-anām. Edited by Tāhā ʿAbd al-Raʾūf Saʿd. 2 vols. Cairo: Maktabat al-Kulliyyāt al-Azhariyyah. [Google Scholar]
- Al-Sulamī, ʿIzz al-Dīn ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn ʿAbd al-Salām. 2010. Rules of the Derivation of Laws for Reforming the People (Qawaʿid al-Ahkam fi Islah al-Anam). English translation. Kuala Lumpur: Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM). [Google Scholar]
- Al-Tawḥīdī, Abū Hayyān. 1988. Al-Baṣāʾir wa-l-dhakhāʾir. Edited by Wadād al-Qādī. 10 vols. in 6. Beirut: Dār Ṣādir. [Google Scholar]
- Amanat, Abbas. 1996. The Nuqṭawī Movement of Maḥmūd Pisīkhānī and his Persian Cycle of Mystical-Materialism. In Medieval Ismaʿili History and Thought. Edited by Farhad Daftary. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 281–97. [Google Scholar]
- Antoon, Sinan. 2011. Abū ʾl-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī. In Essays in Arabic Literary Biography, Volume 2: 925–1350. Edited by Terri DeYoung and Mary St. Germain. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, pp. 228–34. [Google Scholar]
- Arthur John Arberry, trans. 1955, The Koran Interpreted, 3rd ed. 2 vols in 1. Toronto: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., Repr. 1969.
- ʿAṭṭār, Farīd al-Dīn. 1905–1907. The Tadhkiratu’l-Awliyá (“Memoirs of the Saints”) of Muḥammad ibn Ibráhím Farídu’ddín ʿAṭṭár. Edited by Reynold A. Nicholson. 2 vols. London: Luzac & Co., Leiden: E.J. Brill. [Google Scholar]
- ʿAṭṭār, Farīd al-Dīn. 1966. Muslim Saints and Mystics: Episodes from the Tadhkiratal- Auliya’ (Memorial of the Saints). Translated by Arthur John Arberry. London and New York: Routledge, Online 2008. [Google Scholar]
- Augustine. 1957. City of God, Volume 1: Books 1–3. Translated by George E. McCracken. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. [Google Scholar]
- Babayan, Kathryn. 2002. Mystics, Monarchs, and Messiahs: Cultural Landscapes of Early Modern Iran. Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press. [Google Scholar]
- Barkoudah-Raoux, Joumana. 2009. Al-Ma’arri, ou l’Art D’écrire sous la Censure: l’exemple de Risalat al-sahil wa-l shahig, “L’Épître du Cheval et du mulet”. Ph.D. dissertation, Université Lumière Lyon, Lyon, France. [Google Scholar]
- Bauer, Thomas. 1992. Altarabische Dichtkunst: Eine Untersuchung ihrer Struktur und Entwicklung am Beispiel der Onagerepisode. 2 vols. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. [Google Scholar]
- Black, Deborah L. 1993. Estimation (Wahm) in Avicenna: The Logical and Psychological Dimensions. Dialogue XXXII: 219–58. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Blankinship, Kevin. 2019a. Al-Maʿarrī’s Esteem in the Islamic West: A Preliminary Overview. Al-Masāq: Journal of the Medieval Mediterranean 31: 253–71. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Blankinship, Kevin. 2019b. Missionary and Heretic: Debating Veganism in the Medieval Islamic World. In Insatiable Appetite: Food as Cultural Signifier in the Middle East and Beyond. Edited by Kirill Dmitriev, Julia Hauser and Bilal Orfali. Leiden: Brill, pp. 260–91. [Google Scholar]
- Burge, Stephen Russell. 2009. Angels in Islam: A Commentary with Selected Translations of Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūṭī’s Al-Ḥabāʾik fī akhbār al-malāʾik (The Arrangement of the Traditions about Angels). Ph.D. dissertation, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK. [Google Scholar]
- Chittick, William. 2020. Spring 2020 online edition. Ibn ‘Arabî. In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Edited by Edward N. Zalta. Stanford: Stanford University Press, Available online: https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2020/entries/ibn-arabi/ (accessed on 5 May 2020).
- Crone, Patricia. 2012a. Al-Jāḥiẓ on Aṣḥāb al-Jahālāt and the Jahmiyya. In Medieval Arabic Thought: Essays in Honour of Fritz Zimmermann. Edited by Rotraud Hansberger, Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti and Charles Burnett. London and Turin: The Warburg Institute and Nino Aragno Editore, pp. 27–39. [Google Scholar]
- Crone, Patricia. 2012b. The Nativist Prophets of Early Islamic Iran: Rural Revolt and Local Zoroastrianism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Google Scholar]
- Dozy, Reinhart. 1877–1881. Supplément aux Dictionnaires Arabes. 2 vols. Leiden: E.J. Brill, EI2 = Encyclopedia of Islam, Second Edition. 1960 (vol. 1)–2009 (index vol.); 2012 online. Leiden: Brill Online. [Google Scholar]
- Fahd, Toufic. 1996. Botany and Agriculture. In Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science. Edited by Rashed Roshdi and Régis Morelon. London: Routledge, pp. 813–52. [Google Scholar]
- Furber, Musa. 2015. Rights and Duties Pertaining to Kept Animals: A Case Study in Islamic Law and Ethics. Abu Dhabi: Tabah Foundation. [Google Scholar]
- Glick, Thomas F. 1979. Islamic and Christian Spain in the Early Middle Ages. Princeton: Princeton University Press. [Google Scholar]
- Goffman, Erving. 1981. Forms of Talk. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. [Google Scholar]
- Lenn E. Goodman, and Richard McGregor, transs. 2009, The Case of the Animals versus Man before the King of the Jinn: A Translation from the Epistles of the Brethren of Purity. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, in association with the Institute of Ismaili Studies.
- Gruber, Christiane. 2018. The Praiseworthy One: The Prophet Muhammad in Islamic Texts and Images. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. [Google Scholar]
- Heller-Roazen, Daniel, ed. 2010. The Arabian Nights. Based on the Edition of Muhsin Mahdi and Translation of Husain Haddawy. New York and London: W.W. Norton and Company. [Google Scholar]
- Ḥusayn, Tāhā, Muṣṭāfā al-Saqā, ʿAbd al-Salām Hārūn, ʿAbd al-Raḥīm Mahmūd, Ibrāhīm al-Ibyārī, and Hāmid ʿAbd al-Majīd, eds. 1944. Taʿrīf al-qudamāʾ bi-Abī l-ʿAlā. Cairo: Wizārat al-Maʿārif al-ʿUmūmiyyah. [Google Scholar]
- Ibn al-Kalbī, Abū l-Mundhir Hishām. 1995. Kitāb al-aṣnām, 3rd repr. Edited by Aḥmad Zakī Bāshā. Cairo: Dār al-Kutub al-Miṣriyyah. [Google Scholar]
- Ibn Durayd, al-Azdī. 1987–1988. Jamharat al-lughah. Edited by Ramzī Baʿlabakkī. 3 vols. Beirut: Dār al-ʿIlm li-l-Malāyīn. [Google Scholar]
- Ibn Manẓūr. 1999. Lisān al-ʿarab, 3rd repr. Edited by Amīn Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Wahhāb and Muḥammad Ṣādiq al-ʿUbaydī. 17 vols. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī. [Google Scholar]
- Ibn Qutaybah, Abū Muḥammad ʿAbd Allāh. 1953. Kitāb al-maʿānī al-kabīr. Edited by Fritz Krenkow. 7 vols. Beirut: Dār al-Nahḍah al-Ḥadīthah. [Google Scholar]
- Ibn Qutaybah, Abū Muḥammad ʿAbd Allāh. 1996. ʿUyūn al-akhbār. 2nd repr. 4 vols. Cairo: Dār al-Kutub al-Miṣriyyah. [Google Scholar]
- Ibn Ṭufayl. 2008. Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān l-Ibn Sīnā wa-Ibn Ṭufayl wa-l-Suhrawardī, 4th repr. Edited by Aḥmad Amīn. Cairo: Dār al-Maʿārif. [Google Scholar]
- Ṭufayl, Ibn. 2009. Ibn Tufayl’s Hayy ibn Yaqzan: A Philosophical Tale, 6th ed. Translated by Lenn Evan Goodman. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. [Google Scholar]
- Ikhwān, al-Ṣafāʾ. 1957. Rasāʾil Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ wa-khullān al-wafāʾ. Foreword by Buṭrus al-Bustānī. 4 vols. Beirut: Dār Ṣādir, Qom: Maktab al-Iʿlām al-Islāmī, Repr. 1985. [Google Scholar]
- Alan Jones, trans. 2011, Early Arabic Poetry: Select Poems, 2nd ed. Reading: Ithaca Press.
- Komnene, Anna. 1969. The Alexiad. Translated by Robert Sewter. London: Penguin Books, Repr. 2003; rev. ed. 2009. [Google Scholar]
- Kurd ʿAlī, Muhammad, ed. 1913. Rasāʾil al-bulaghāʾ. 2 parts in 1. Cairo: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿArabiyyah al-Kubrā. [Google Scholar]
- Lagerlund, Henrik. 2018. Food Ethics in the Middle Ages. In The Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics. Edited by Anne Barnhill, Mark Budolfson and Tyler Doggett. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 759–72. [Google Scholar]
- Lane, Edward William. 1984. Arabic-English Lexicon. 8 vols. in 2. Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society. [Google Scholar]
- Mahdi, Muḥsin. 1984–1994. The Thousand and One Nights (Alf Layla wa Layla): From the Earliest Known Sources. 3 vols. Leiden: Brill. [Google Scholar]
- Margoliouth, David S. 1902. Abu’l-ʿAlā al-Maʿarrī’s Correspondence on Vegetarianism. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland April: 289–332. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Melvin-Koushki, Matthew. Forthcoming. The New Brethren of Purity: Ibn Turka and the Renaissance of Neopythagoreanism in the Early Modern Persian Cosmopolis. In Companion to the Reception of Pythagoras and Pythagoreanism. Edited by Robert Aurélien, Irene Caiazzo and Constantin Macris. 2 vols. Leiden: Brill.
- Miller, Nathaniel. 2016. Tribal Poetics in Early Arabic Culture: The Case of Ashʿār al-Hudhaliyyīn. Ph.D. dissertation, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA. [Google Scholar]
- Miller, Jeannie. 2017. Man is Not the Only Speaking Animal: Thresholds and Idiom in al-Jāḥiẓ. In Arabic Humanities, Islamic Thought: Essays in Honor of Everett K. Rowson. Edited by Joseph E. Lowry and Shawkat M. Toorawa. Leiden and Boston: Brill, pp. 94–121. [Google Scholar]
- Moin, A. Azfar. 2012. The Millennial Sovereign: Sacred Kinship & Sainthood in Islam. South Asia Across the Disciplines. New York: Columbia University Press. [Google Scholar]
- Montgomery, James. 2006. Beeston and the Singing-Girls. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 36: 17–24. [Google Scholar]
- Nasrallah, Nawal, ed. 2017. Treasure Trove of Benefits and Variety at the Table: A Fourteenth-Century Egyptian Cookbook. Leiden: Brill. [Google Scholar]
- Nutton, Vivian. 1984. From Galen to Alexander: Aspects of Medicine and Medical Practice in Late Antiquity. Dumbarton Oaks Papers 38: 1–14. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Obolensky, Daniel. 1948. The Bogomils: A Study in Balkan Neo-Manichaeism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Twickenham: Anthony C. Hall, Repr. 1972. [Google Scholar]
- Plutarch. 1927–2004. Moralia. Translated by Harold Cherniss, William Clark Hembold, Paul Augustus Clement, Herbert Benno Hoffleit, Frank Cole Babbitt, Philip Howard de Lacy, Benedict Einarson, Lionel Pearson, Francis Henry Sandbach, Harold North Fowler, and et al.. 16 vols. Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. [Google Scholar]
- Sahl, ibn Hārūn. 1973. Kitāb al-namir wa-l-thaʿlab. Edited by ʿAbd al-Qādir Mahīrī. Tunis: Al-Jāmʿiyah al-Tunisiyyah, Kulliyyat al-Ādāb wa-l-ʿUlūm al-Insāniyyah. [Google Scholar]
- Sezgin, Fuat. 1974–1995. Geschichte des arabischen Schriftums. vols. 1–9, plus index vol.; 2000–2005, vols. 10–12. Leiden: Brill, (vols. 1–9). Frankfurt am Main: Institute for the History of Arabic-Islamic Science, (vols. 10–12). [Google Scholar]
- Sheibani, Mariam. 2020. Innovation, Influence, and Borrowing in Mamluk-Era Legal Maxim Collections: The Case of Ibn ʿAbd al-Salām and al-Qarāfī. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Forthcoming. [Google Scholar]
- Smoor, Pieter. 1981. Enigmatic Allusion and Double Meaning in Maʿarrī’s Newly-Discovered ‘Letter of a Horse and a Mule’. Part 1. Journal of Arabic Literature 12: 49–73. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Smoor, Pieter. 1982. Enigmatic Allusion and Double Meaning in Maʿarrī’s Newly-Discovered ‘Letter of a Horse and a Mule’. Part 2. Journal of Arabic Literature 13: 23–52. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Stetkevych, Jaroslav. 2002. In Search of the Unicorn: The Onager and the Oryx in the Arabic Ode. Journal of Arabic Literature 33: 79–130. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Stoneman, Richard. 2020. The Greek Experience of India: From Alexander to the Indo-Greeks. Princeton: Princeton University Press. [Google Scholar]
- Strauss, Leo. 1941. Persecution and the Art of Writing. Social Research 8: 488–504. [Google Scholar]
- Thaʿlab, Abū l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad ibn Yahyā. 1960. Majālis Thaʿlab. Edited by ʿAbd al-Salām Muḥammad Hārūn. 2 vols. Cairo: Dār al-Maʿārif, 1st repr. [Google Scholar]
- Tlili, Sarra. 2010. The Meaning of the Qurʾanic Word ‘dābba’: ‘Animals’ or ‘Nonhuman Animals’? Journal of Qurʾanic Studies 12: 167–87. [Google Scholar]
- Tlili, Sarra. 2012. Animals in the Qur’an. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Google Scholar]
- Tlili, Sarra. 2014. All Animals are Equal, or Are They? The Ikhwān al-Ṣafā’s Animal Epistle and its Unhappy End. Journal of Qur’anic Studies 16: 42–88. [Google Scholar]
- Tlili, Sarra. 2015. Animals Would Follow Shāfiʿism: Legitimate and Illegitimate Violence to Animals in Medieval Islamic Thought. In Violence in Islamic Thought from the Qurʾān to the Mongols. Edited by Robert Gleave and István T. Kristó-Nagy. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 225–44. [Google Scholar]
- Tlili, Sarra. 2017. From Breath to Soul: The Quranic Word Rūḥ and Its (Mis)Interpretations. In Arabic Humanities, Islamic Thought: Essays in Honor of Everett K. Rowson. Edited by Joseph E. Lowry and Shawkat M. Toorawa. Leiden and Boston: Brill, pp. 1–21. [Google Scholar]
- Ullmann, Manfr. 1981. Das Gespräch Mit Dem Wolf: Beiträge zur Lexikographie des Klassischen Arabisch. Munich: Verlag der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, in Kommission bei C.H. Beck. [Google Scholar]
- Walker, Paul. 1991. The Doctrine of Metempsychosis in Islam. In Islamic Studies Presented to Charles J. Adams. Edited by Wael B. Hallaq and Donald P. Little. Leiden, New York, Copenhagen and Cologne: E.J. Brill, pp. 219–38. [Google Scholar]
- Weiss, Bernard G. 1998. The Spirit of Islamic Law. Athens and London: The University of Georgia Press. [Google Scholar]
- Timothy John Winter, trans. 1995, Al-Ghazālī: On Disciplining the Soul (Kitāb riyāḍat al-nafs) & On Breaking the Two Desires (Kitāb kasr al-shahwatayn), Books XXII and XXIII of the Revival of the Religious Sciences (Iḥyāʾ ʿulūm al-dīn). Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society.
Given this governor’s death date, Pieter Smoor estimates that the Ṣāhil was completed no later than 1020 CE (“Al-Maʿarrī,” EI2).
An admittedly anachronistic term, “vegan” comes closest to describing al-Maʿarrī’s avoidance of all animal products, including fish, milk, eggs, and honey, plus his exhortation that everyone else should avoid them, too. For further discussion, see (Blankinship 2019b, p. 261), footnote 1.
Thanks to one of the anonymous reviewers for suggesting further discussion of this point.
(Arberry 1955), vol. 2, pp. 293–94.
For an overview of ḥadīth that spell out these guidelines, see (Furber 2015, pp. 7–17). One sees an overall concern for animal welfare in ḥadīths that tell of the Prophet praising a man for giving water to a thirsty dog (the matn states, “There is a reward for every moistened liver” [fī kulli kabidin raṭbatin ajrun], meaning that every good deed, such as wetting the liver of thirsty animals—giving them water to drink—will be rewarded) (Al-Nīsābūrī 1991, vol. 4, p. 1761, #2244; Al-Bukhārī 2002, p. 569, #2363); or of a woman damned to hellfire for starving a cat to death (ḥattā māta jūʿan) (Al-Nīsābūrī 1991, vol. 4, p. 1760, #2242-2243; Al-Bukhārī 2002, p. 569, #2364-2365; p. 862 #3482).
In the immediate Arab cultural milieu, some also saw kindness to animals as part of “manly virtue,” murūʾah. For instance, the early writer Ṣāliḥ ibn Janāḥ (d. ca. 767 CE) says in his Risālah fī l-adab wa-l-murūʾah: “A man’s kindness to his riding animals, his taking good care of them, and his support for them, is indeed a righteous act, a way toward prosperity, and one of the many aspects of manly virtue” (Inna rifq al-rajul bi-dawābbihī wa-ḥusn taʿāhudihī lahā wa-qiyāmihī ʿalayhā ʿamal min aʿmāl al-birr wa-sabab min asbāb al-ghinā wa-wajh min wujūh al-murūʾah) (Kurd ʿAlī 1913, part 2, p. 305). Thanks to Geert Jan van Gelder for this reference.
According to Tlili, “the two [Sunnī] schools that are more text-oriented, the Shāfiʿī and the Ḥanbalī, are more attentive to nonhuman animals’ well-being. Shāfiʿīs and Ḥanbalīs, therefore, can more accurately be described as Ḥadīth champions than as animal champions. The two descriptions, however, are not mutually exclusive” (Tlili 2015, p. 244).
Since the term anām refers, especially in post-Qurʾānic usage, to creatures seen as “rational” (ʿāqil)—namely humans, angels, and jinn (Tlili 2012, p. 139)—It makes sense that the Qawāʿid should focus on human rather than animal welfare. That said, Qurʾānic usage is often more capacious, e.g., the word dābbah, which in later texts means “nonhuman animal” but which, according to Qurʾān commentators, includes humans too (Tlili 2010).
For more on this jurist, see (Sheibani 2020).
Al-Jāḥiẓ ascribes a number of unorthodox opinions to these aṣḥāb al-jahālāt, by whom he also meant the Jahmiyyah, that is, followers of slain theologian Jahm ibn Ṣafwān (d. 745 CE). He shows them, for instance, promoting extreme voluntarism, namely a denial of inherent differences between physical objects, since the only real difference lies in God’s will. Supposedly the aṣḥāb al-jahālāt held to his view against al-Naẓẓām’s doctrine of “latency,” al-kumūn, which says that traits like wetness, dryness, heat, and saltiness inhere in the objects themselves. The logical conclusion of the Jahmiyyah viewpoint, at least as recounted by al-Jāḥiẓ, is that, “apart from God, nothing really exists” (Crone 2012a, p. 29).
Thanks to Geert Jan van Gelder for this reference.
(Sahl 1973). For more on his life and times, see Mohsen Zakeri, “Sahl ibn Hārūn,” EI2.
Lane quotes a saying of the Prophet, jurḥ al-ʿajmāʾ jubārun, “The wound of the speechless beast is a thing for which no retaliation, nor expiatory mulct is extracted” (ibid.; Al-Bukhārī 2002, “Kitāb al-diyāt,” p. 1709, #6913; Al-Nīsābūrī 1991, vol. 3, “Kitāb al-ḥudūd,” pp. 1334–35, #1710; Al-Shāfiʿī 2001, vol. 10, “Bāb jurḥ al-ʿajmāʾ jubārun,” pp. 315–17) (thanks to Geert Jan van Gelder for the ḥadīth and al-Shāfiʿī references). This is almost certainly an unstated allusion of al-Maʿarrī’s line.
Found in the grasslands and deserts of Central and Southwestern Asia, bagworms are known proverbially in Arabic for industriousness due to their oddly distinctive log cabin cocoon: aṣnaʿ min al-surfah (craftier than a bagworm). The cocoon is often made with twigs from the saxaul tree (al-rimth) and is known colloquially as mukḥulat al-dhīb, “the wolf’s antimony jar,” since it appears in the branches of far-off trees, familiar only to wolves (Ibn Manẓūr 1999, vol. 6, pp. 244–45).
For a fuller study of these letters with respect to veganism, see (Blankinship 2019b).
The Qurʾān endorses humankind’s profiting from animals as a natural resource, whether of flesh and milk (e.g., 23/al-Muʾminūn: 21–2), wool, fur, and skin (e.g., 16/al-Naḥl: 80), or prowess in hunting (e.g. 5/al-Māʾidah: 4).
This verbiage comes directly from the Qurʾān, e.g., Q 2/Al-Baqarah 143, inna llāha bi-l-nāsi la-raʾūfun raḥīmun (“Truly God is All-gentle with the people, All-compassionate,” Arberry 1955, vol. 1, p. 46); Q 9/Al-Tawbah 128, bi-l-muʾminīna raʾūfun raḥīmun (“gentle to the unbelievers, compassionate,” ibid., p. 223).
“Those who have witnessed Indians practice self-immolation (man shahida īḥrāqahum nufūsahum) tell that when they feel the fire burning they want to get out, but those present push them back with sticks and sharpened swords. There is no god but God; << You have done a monstrous thing!>> [quoting Q 19/Maryam, v. 89]” (Al-Maʿarrī 2013–2014, vol. 2, pp. 80–83).
Ibn al-ʿAdīm writes that al-Maʿarrī went to Antioch (Ḥusayn et al. 1944, pp. 555–56), while Jamāl al-Dīn al-Qifṭī says he visited Latakia (Al-Qifṭī 1950, vol. 1, p. 49). Even though such details differ, the biographers who mention this episode all agree that al-Maʿarrī traveled beyond Greater Syria in his youth, and that the trip affected his worldview.
In the twelfth-century Byzantine historical epic The Alexiad, at the back half of Book 14 and the middle of Book 15, Princess Anna Komnene (d. 1153 CE) exposes various dualist offshoots for the perceived threat they posed. She calls the Bogomils “a serpent lurking in its hole” and describes how, like a viper, their ideas had slithered into small towns and villages, taking hold especially among the peasants (Komnene 1969, pp. 455–63).
For more on Galen as a canonical source of Byzantine medicine, see (Nutton 1984).
Muḥammad Salīm al -Jundī rolls out statements by al-Maʿarrī on a number of theological positions, especially those for which he was charged with unorthodox views. (Al-Jundī 1962–1964, vol. 3, pp. 1398–487). Even though al-Jundī seems eager to defend al-Maʿarrī, he adds up enough evidence to show that al-Maʿarrī was not a convinced reincarnationist.
As Kathryn Babayan points out, the Sufi belief in waḥdat al-wujūd—which here al-Maʿarrī conflates with metempsychosis—was, at least in the mind of heresiographers, shared by Iranian neo-Pythagorian movements like the Nuqṭavīs.
Nor is this for al-Bīrūnī’s lack of knowledge about the Indic tradition, reckoning by his commentary on yoga philosophical texts (Al-Bīrūnī 2020).
For examples of such accusations, see (Al-Jundī 1962–1964, vol. 1, pp. 406–9).
Recent research casts doubt on some of the stark lines that have been by scholars between Hellenic and Indian thought, judging from centuries of direct contact between the two (Stoneman 2020).
Many thanks to one of the anonymous reviewers for suggesting further discussion on this point.
The word for fat, nayy, “raw” or “untouched by fire,” is originally written nayʾ. Traditionally, desert Arabs distinguished fat as an uncooked substance from flesh, sometimes called naḍīj, “cooked” (Lane 1984, vol. 2, supplement, p. 2930). Abū l-Muzāḥim, or sometimes Ibn al-Muzāḥim or simply muzāḥim, “fighter,” can by association mean a raging elephant or, in this context, a bull with broken horns (munkasir al-qarnayn, reading munkasir for munkar in the text) (Ibn Manẓūr 1999, vol. 6, p. 29).
In literature, disemboweling and the like seems emblematic of a particularly gruesome death. In his Brains Confounded by the Ode of Abū Shādūf Expounded (Hazz al-quḥūf bi-sharḥ qaṣīd Abī Shādūf), seventeenth-century Egyptian author Yūsuf al-Shirbīnī (d. ca. 1700 CE) includes an anecdote about a wolf cub raised on the milk of a ewe, which it then eviscerates (Al-Shirbīnī 2016, vol. 1, pp. 40–41); and about a hyena raised by a Bedouin man, whose stomach the hyena later rips open (ibid.). Apart from highlighting the starkness of the violence, these stories are meant as evidence that humans, like animals, “will not escape their inborn nature” (lā yakhruju al-insān min ṭabʿihi, ibid., pp. 38–39).
There is a variant reading of the first hemistich: Wa-qad uṣāḥibu fityānan ṭaʿāmuhumu, “and time was that I went with young warriors [geared for raiding] whose food was” etc.
Many thanks to Geert Jan van Gelder for checking my understanding of this line, and for suggesting the various references that appear in this paragraph.
Khuḍr can mean green, but also brown or black in classical Arabic—presumably this refers to how the water was colored by the dark contents of their stomachs, but possibly also bile (this seems less likely).
“Whenever the desert Arabs rode through a barren wasteland, i.e. one without moisture, they would give water to a sturdy camel, then pierce its snout [to bind it] so that it could not chew its cud. Then, when thirst overtook them, they would puncture the camel’s upper chest and drink whatever water was in its stomach. The name of that water is faẓẓ, ‘pressed-out’” (kānū idhā rakibū mafāzatan jardāʾ, ay lā māʾ fīhā, arwaw baʿīran thumma jadhdhū mashāfirahu li-allā yajtarr, fa-in ajhadahum al-ʿaṭash naḥarūhu wa-sharibū mā fī jawfihī min al-māʾ, wa-ism dhālika l-māʾ al-faẓẓ).
In his edition of Ibn al-Kalbī’s Kitāb al-aṣnām (Book of Idols), Aḥmad Zakī Bāshā reproduces a marginal note from the unique Egyptian National Archives manuscript (Ibn al-Kalbī 1995, p. 3) explaining the phrase inna llāha arāḥakum min al-sajjah wa-l-bajjah, “God has given you respite [i.e. freed you] from the pagan god Sajjah and the practice of blooddrinking.” The note glosses al-sajjah as “an idol once worshipped alongside Allāh” (ṣanam kān yuʿbad min dūn Allāh), and al-bajjah as “phlebotomized blood which the desert Arabs would consume in times of crisis” (al-faṣīd alladhī kānat al-ʿarab taʾkulu fī l-azmah). In his Kitāb al-bukhalāʾ (Book of Misers), al-Jāḥiẓ mentions majdūḥ, a Bedouin “emergency dish” made of blood mixed with other things (Al-Jāḥiẓ 1948, pp. 216, 218; Al-Jāḥiẓ 1997, trans. Serjeant, pp. 195, 197; cf. Ibn Durayd 1987–1988, vol. 1, p. 435). Thanks to Geert Jan van Gelder for the references in al-Jāḥiẓ and Ibn Durayd. Setting aside the question of historicity, such references show that, in the Arab popular imagination, opening the veins of mounts and pack animals was considered a standard tactic of Bedouin desert survival.
Also appearing in the “Kitāb al-ṭaʿām” (Book of eats) of Ibn Qutaybah’s ʿUyūn al-akhbār (Book of Choice Accounts) (Ibn Qutaybah 1996, vol. 3, p. 213).
There is a confusion, as noted in (Ullmann 1981, p. 88, note 84), with the well-known poet Asmāʾ ibn Khārijah al-Fazārī (on whom see e.g., Sezgin 1974–1995, vol. 2, p. 329); Bint al-Shāṭiʾ, editor of the Ṣāhil, did not notice this. Perhaps al-Maʿarrī misremembered; Ullmann thinks it is due to copyists. Ullmann gives all eighteen lines in transliteration, translation, and with extensive commentary (Ullmann 1981, pp. 87–96). The lines are from a poem by Asmāʾ ibn Khārijah (Aḥmad and Hārūn 1955, pp. 48–52). Many thanks to Geert Jan van Gelder for pointing out the misattribution and recommending these sources.
Other talking mules in Arabic literature include the donkey-shaped jinn that appear in the fourth and final section of Ibn Shuhayd al-Andalusī’s Risālat al-Tawābiʿ wa-l-zawābiʿ (The Treatise of following spirits and whirling demons) (Al-Andalusī 1967, “Ḥayawān al-jinn,” pp. 147–52), and in the Thousand and One Nights (Mahdi 1984–1994), the deceitful donkey of “Ḥikāyat al-ḥimār wa-l-thawr” (The Tale of the donkey and the ox) (Thousand and One Nights, Mahdi 1984–1994, vol. 1, pp. 66–69; Heller-Roazen 2010, pp. 13–15).
Thanks to one of the anonymous reviewers for pointing this out.
Al-muḥaddith normally carries the technical meaning of a ḥadīth transmitter. So it may here too, although the full Arabic statement is general enough not to mark it either way. Umm Shamlah is a nickname for the sun; it can also mean wine or, more generally, the world and its fleeting joys, “so called because compassing [shamlah] the intellect of a man and concealing it” (Lane 1984, vol. 1, p. 1610).
In discourse analysis, sociologist Erving Goffman is credited with the distinction between “overhearers,” i.e. those who are privy—or potentially privy—to a conversation not directly “intended” for them, and “ratified participants,” namely those for whom a conversation is intended, whether or not they happen to be listening (Goffman 1981, pp. 124–59). Whatever one thinks about an author’s ability to imagine future readers, if one assumes that there are readers whom the author has not thought of, but who may in fact one day read his works, then they could be described as overhearers.
For more on this poet, see (Al-Sukkarī 1965, vol. 3, pp. 1095–185).
Lines 8, 15, and 16 occupy the same order in both the Ṣāhil and al-Sukkarī. Lines 9, 10, 12, and 13 in the Ṣāhil are, respectively, lines 10, 9, 14, and 12 in al-Sukkarī. Most of the variant recensions change by just a single word, e.g. al-Sukkārī’s yanẓuruhā versus al-Maʿarrī’s yarqubuhā in line 11. The only major change appears in the first hemistich of al-Maʿarrī’s line 10, yarūdu fīhā nahāran thumma mawriduhū / ṭāmin ʿalayhi furūʿu l-qāni wa-l-nashamī (“Here it wanders during the day, followed by its drinking/where branches of grewia and old man’s beard [Clematis vitalba] drape overhead”), versus al-Sukkarī’s line 9, yaʾwī ilā mushmakhirrātin muṣaʿʿidatin/shummin bi-hinna furūʿu l-qāni wa-l-nashamī (“It takes shelter in points up high/where branches of grewia and old man’s beard spread out overhead”).
Al-Sukkarī has sayran, “flying” (lit. “moving,” “going”) (Al-Sukkarī 1965, p. 134).
Al-Sukkarī has ghayra inbāʾin, “without warning” (Al-Sukkarī 1965, p. 134).
Al-Sukkarī has khilāla l-ṣadri, “through the chest” (Al-Sukkarī 1965, p. 134).
Lane translates al-saḥam as “a kind of tree,” but says of al-sajam that it refers to the leaves of a tree called khilāf and which—most relevant here—are often compared to arrowheads (Lane 1984, vol. 1, p. 1322). Most scholars translate khilāf as “Egyptian willow,” Salix aegyptiaca, in Arabic ṣafṣāf miṣrī (e.g., Stetkevych 2002, p. 112; Nasrallah 2017, p. 296; Dozy 1877–1881, vol. 1, p. 397), or simply “willow” (Al-Ḥarīrī 2020, p. 285); while a minority give “oleaster,” Elaeagnus angustifolia, known as Persian olive, or in French, chalef and eleagne (e.g., Fahd 1996, p. 826). Although the term khilāf might refer to both trees, this seems unlikely, since willows and oleasters belong not just to different biological genera, but in fact to different families, Salicaceae (the willow family) and Elaeagnaceae (the oleaster family) (ambiguity in Arabic animal terms tends to stay at the genus level, e.g. namir, which denotes the genus Panthera, hence why it is used interchangeably to mean “tiger,” “leopard,” or “panther,” or ghurāb for the genus Corvus and which is used to mean “crow” or “raven”).
Also found in (Thaʿlab 1960, vol. 2, p. 506; Al-Ābī 1980–1991, vol. 6, p. 201; Al-Tawḥīdī 1988, vol. 6, p. 162, quoting Ibn al-ʿAmīd; Al-Maydānī 1959, vol. 1, p. 431, no. 2271). Ironically, the uromastyx lizard appears again in the Ṣāhil—though only in passing—as “judge of all the animals” (qāḍī al-bahāʾim) (Al-Maʿarrī 1975, p. 214).
© 2020 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).