From Arab Poet to Muslim Saint: Ibn Al-Farid, His Verse, and by Emil Homerin

By Emil Homerin

Via a close exam of a popular Arab mystical poet, Th. Emil Homerin presents one of many first case experiences to demonstrate an vague point of well known Islamic faith--the sanctification of saints and the construction of shrines in medieval occasions. although Muslims have commemorated saints for greater than 1000 years, Islam hasn't ever constructed a proper technique of canonization, and the method of sanctification is still a massive yet principally ignored measurement of Islamic scholarship. In "From Arab Poet to Muslim Saint", Homerin explores this uncharted territory through following the fortunes of a unmarried Sufi saint over seven and a part centuries. considered as a saint inside of a iteration of his loss of life, 'Umar Ibn al-Farid (1181-1235) continues to be commemorated at his shrine in Cairo. modern non secular singers and writers, together with Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz, proceed to quote the poet's verse. utilizing biographies, hagiographies, polemics, criminal rulings, histories, and novels, Homerin strains the process Ibn al-Farid's saintly popularity. He relates the increase and fall of Ibn al-Farid's attractiveness to Egypt's altering spiritual, cultural, and political atmosphere.

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Extra info for From Arab Poet to Muslim Saint: Ibn Al-Farid, His Verse, and His Shrine

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Neither al-Mundhiri, al-cAttar, Ibn al-Najjar, nor another student, Ibn al-Acma (d. 692/1293), however, appear to have been a rawfof Ibn al-Fario!. 23 Although most poetry students did not become rams, they often obtained ijdzahs, or "certifications," of having read and studied a given work, which they in turn could teach to others. Al-Mundhiri probably obtained an ijdzah for Ibn al-Farid's Dtwdn and the al-Td^tyah al-kubrd, and many copies of both works were made and studied during the thirteenth century.

59 32 From Arab Poet to Muslim Saint But these sporadic criticisms of Ibn al-Farid did not check his rise in popularity, and, in fact, they reinforced the popular Sufi view of the poet. By the beginning of the fourteenth century the notorious image of Ibn alFarid as an extremist Sufi was visibly interacting with the two prominent conceptions of him as a learned poet and an inspired mystic. A few decades later CA1I, Ibn al-Farid's grandson, would attempt to reconcile these positions with his own personal interpretation based on family sources.

53 As part of his defense, al-Tilimsanl related an account in which the prophet Muhammad allegedly appeared to Ibn al-Farid in a dream and asked him what he had named his long ode. Ibn al-Farid replied that he had named it Lawd^ih al-jandn wa-rawd^ih al-jindn (The Flashes of the Heart and the Fragrances of the Gardens). But Muhammad said: "No. 54 But such popular tales probably had little effect on Ibn al-Farid's detractors, such as the Hanball jurist Ahmad Ibn Hamdan (631-95/123496), who wrote a commentary critical of the al-Td^iyah al-kubrd.

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