Tuesday

Video: "Ta'abbut Sharran" from the Mufaddliyyat

For the past few weeks I've been reading poetry with the director of my program in Qatar, Dr. Abdulla Abd Al-Rahman.

We've been reading a text called Diwan al-Mufaddliyyat ديوان المفضليات which is a collection of pre-Islamic poems put together by the Classical linguist and literary scholar Al-Mufaddil Al-Dabbi المفضل الضبي. After some run-ins with the Abbassid Caliph Abu Ja'afar al-Mansur, Al-Mufaddil was 'asked' to educate the Caliph's son Mehdi and did so with this collection of 130 qasida قصيدة, or odes. Dr. Abd Al-Rahman described these poems as "the key to Arabic literature".

Today, I have a video of me reciting the first poem from memory. Dr. Abd Al-Rahman, who also teachers our Modern Arabic Literature class, encourages all of us in the program to memorize poetry. Not only is it part of Arab literary culture - Arabs pride themselves on their poetry, and rightfully so - but its very helpful from a language point of view. Memorizing poetry helps with pronunciation as well as strengthening broader language skills like grammar and syntax. I'm working now on a piece about the power of Arabic poetry, and I hope to have that up soon too.

The first poem is called "Ta'abbut Sharran" تأبط شرا and begins with the line: يا عيدُ ما لَكَ من شوق و إيراقِ.



Ta'abbut Sharran is the nickname of the poem's author and it means "to have a sword under your arm." The author, whose name is Thabit bin Nazzaar, had a reputation for bravery and seeking danger (hence the nickname). He was also a member of the Sa'aliks, a group of revolutionaries in pre-Islamic Arabia who robbed wealthy tribes and gave the money to the poor (doesn't that sound familiar?). Bravery, toughness and tribal politics all feature in the poem's contents.

The qasida is 26 bayt بيت, or lines, long and it touches on several themes relevant to Thabit's world view and that also on themes typical to pre-Islamic poetry. I hope to share a detailed analysis of the poem in a forthcoming post.

For now, here is a basic outline:

The poem begins with a reference to the memory of Thabit's beloved which continues to linger and haunt him. He then describes how he was ambushed by his former tribe and despite their strength and speed he escaped them. He then expresses he resentment of his fellow tribesmen and expresses his allegiance to Basir, the leader of the Sa'aliks. Thabit proceeds to praise him and the Sa'alik's toughness and bravery. And he ends by admonishing his former tribe, who he now fights against, and tells them that one day they will regret their actions.

Here is the video and the text of the poem follows. I hope that you enjoy it!



قال تأبط شراً

يا عِيدُ مالَكَ من شَوْقٍ وإِيراقِ = ومَرَّ طَيْفٍ علَى الأَهوالِ طَرَّاقِ
يَسْرِي علَى الأَيْنِ والحيَّاتِ مُحْتَفِياً = نفسي فِداؤُكَ مِن سارٍ علَى ساقِ
إنى إِذا خُلَّةُ ضَنَّتْ بِنَائِلِها = وأَمْسكَتْ بضعيفِ الوصلِ أَحذَاقِ
نَجوْتُ منها نَجائي مِن بَجِيلةَ إِذْ = أَلْقَيْتُ ليلةَ خَبْتِ الرَّهِط أَرواقى
ليلةَ صاحُوا وأَغْرَوْا بِي سِرَاعَهُمُ = بِالعَيْكَتَيْنِ لَدَى مَعْدَى ابنِ بَرَّاقِ
كأَنَّما حَثْحَثُوا حُصًّا قَوادِمُهُ = أَو أُمَّ خِشْفٍ بِذى شَثٍّ وطُبَّاقِ
لا شيءَ أَسْرَعُ مِنَّي ليس ذا عُذَرٍ = وذا جَناحٍ ِبجنْبِ الرَّيْدِ خَفَّاقِ
حتى نَجَوتُ ولمَّا ينْزِعُوا سَلَبي = بِوَالِهِ مِن قَبِيض الشَّدِّ غّيْدَاقِ
ولا أَقولُ إِذا ما خُلَّةٌ صَرَمَتْ = يا وَيحَ نفسيَ مِن شوقٍ وإِشْفاقِ
لكنَّما عَوَلِي إِنْ كنْتُ ذا عَوَلٍ = علَى بَصيرٍ بِكَسبِ الحمدِ سَبَّاقِ
سَبَّاقِ غاياتِ مَجدٍ في عَشِيرَته = مُرَجِّعِ الصَّوتِ هَدَّا بينَ أَرْفَاقِ
عارِى الظَّنَابِيبِ، مُمْتدٍّ نَوَاشِرُهُ = مِدْلاجِ أَدْهَمَ وَاهِي الماءِ غَسَّاقِ
حَمَّالِ أَلويةٍ، شَهَّاِد أَندِيةٍ = قَوَّالِ مُحْكَمَةٍ، جَوَّابِ آفاقِ
فَذَاكَ هَمِّي وغَزْوى أَسْتَغِيثُ به = إذا استَغَثْتَ بِضَافِي الرَّأْسِ نَغَّاقِ
كالحِقْفِ حَدَّأَهُ النَّامُونَ قلتُ له: = ذُو ثَلَّتَيْنِ وذُو بَهْمٍ وأَرباقِ
وقُلَّةٍ كَسِنَانِ الرُّمْحِ بارزَةٍ = ضَحْيَانَةٍ في شُهورِ الصَّيفِ مِحرَاقِ
بادَرتُ قُنَّتَها صَحبي وما كَسِلُوا = حتَّى نَميْتُ إِليها بَعدَ إِشْراقِ
لا شيءَ في رَيْدِها إِلاَّ نَعَامَتُهَا = منهَا هَزيمٌ ومنها قائمٌ باقِ
بِشَرْثَةٍ خَلَقٍ يُوقَى البَنَانُ بها = شددتُ فيها سَرِيحاً بعدَ إِطْرَاقِ
بَلْ من لِعَذَّالةٍ خَذَّالةٍ أَشِبٍ = حَرَّقَ باللَّوم جِلدي أَيَّ تَحْرَاقِ
يقولُ أَهلكْتَ مالاً لَّو قَنِعْتَ به = مِن ثَوبِ صِدْقٍ ومن بَزٍّ وأَعلاقِ
عاذِلَتي إِنَّ بعضَ اللَّومِ مَعْنَفَةٌ = وهَلْ متاعٌ وإِنْ أَبقيْتُهُ باقِ
إِني زَعِيمٌ لئن لم تتركُوا عَذَلي = أَنْ يَسْئَلَ الحيُّ عنِّي أَهلَ آفاقِ
أَن يَسْئَلَ القومُ عني أَهلَ مَعْرِفَةٍ = فلا يُخبِّرُهُمْ عن ثابتٍ لاَقِ
سَدِّدْ خِلاَلَكَ من مالٍ تُجَمِّعُهُ = حتَّى تُلاَقِي الذي كلُّ امرىءٍ لاقِ
لَتَقْرَعَنَّ عليَّ السِّنَّ من نَدَمٍ = إِذا تذكرتَ يوماً بعضَ أَخلاقي

No comments:

Post a Comment