restricted access The Meaning of “Party-Crashing” in the Language and the First Person Named after It
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6 The Meaning of “Party-Crashing” in the Language and the First Person Named after It 7 I read under al-Hasan ibn Abu al-Qasim on the authority of Abu al-Faraj ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Muhammad al-Isbahani, al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali ibn Zakariyya told me, Abu ‘Uthman al-Mazini told us, al-Asma‘i told us: The tufayli [party-crasher] enters a party uninvited . The word is derived from the root tafala, which refers to the encroaching darkness of nighttime upon the day. It is implied that the tufayli brings darkness upon the party, for the rest do not know who invited him, or how he got in. The Meaning of “Party-Crashing” 7 8 Al-Husayn ibn Muhammad ibn Ja‘far al-Rafiqi told us in his book, ‘Ali ibn Muhammad ibn al-Sari alHamdani told us, Ahmad ibn al-Hasan al-Muqri’ told us, Muhammad ibn al-Qasim ibn Khallad told us, al-Asma‘i told us: Someone called a tufayli goes to banquets uninvited . They are named after Tufayl, a man from Kufa of the Banu Ghatafan, who went to banquets uninvited. He was called “Tufayl of the grooms and the brides.”1 9 The Bedouin Arab calls a party-crasher a ra’ish or a warish, and calls someone who goes to a party of drinkers uninvited a waghil. 1. The explanations provided in anecdotes 7 and 8 contradict one another, but al-Khatib and his contemporaries often strove less in presenting a single narrative and more in “preserving disagreement—indeed, even accentuating it,” as Chase Robinson writes of medieval Arabic historians (Islamic Historiography, 73).This translation does not always include similar but different repetitions of the same tale; thus, skipped numbers often represent repeated anecdotes with slight variations in word choice— differences carefully preserved in the original Arabic text. The Art of Party-Crashing 8 Imru’ al-Qays said: Today I drink sinless before God, not as a waghil . . . 2 10 ‘Ali ibn Abu ‘Ali al-Mu‘addal told us, Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Rahim al-Mazini told us, ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Ahmad ibn Bakr al-Tamimi told us, ‘Abd Allah ibn Muslim ibn Qutayba told us: Someone entering a party of feasters uninvited is called a warish, and someone entering a party of drinkers uninvited is called a waghil. 11 Al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali al-Jawhari told us, Abu ‘Amr Muhammad ibn al-‘Abbas al-Kharraz told us, Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn al-Qasim ibn Bashshar alAnbari told us: 2. Imru’ al-Qays (d. ca. 565) was the pre-Islamic author of some of the most famous works of Arabic poetry, often boasting of his female conquests and his acts of mischief and bravery in the desert. The Meaning of “Party-Crashing” 9 He who enters the feast of a party uninvited is called a warish and a warush. The term tufayli is used by the common, and is derived from Tufayl of the Weddings, a man who attended banquets in Kufa uninvited. 12 Abu al-Husayn Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahid ibn ‘Ali al-Bazzaz told us, Muhammad ibn ‘Imran ibn Musa al-Katib told us, Ahmad ibn ‘Isa al-Karkhi told us, al-Harith ibn Abi Usama told us, Abu ‘Uthman al-Mazini told us, Abu ‘Ubayda related to me: A man from the Banu Hilal was staying by a well, called in those days “Abu Musa’s well,” because Abu Musa was the first to dig in that spot, and the site was therefore named after him. It was a regular campsite for the Arabs. So a man of the Banu Hilal was staying there, and his name was Tufayl ibn Zallal. Whenever he heard that some people were having a gathering, he would go there, and he would eat their food. A party-crasher is called a tufayli because of that man. 13 Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Husayn ibn Muhammad al-Khali‘ informed us, Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Hammad The Art of Party-Crashing 10 informed us, al-Husayn ibn al-Qasim al-Kawkabi informed us, Ahmad ibn ‘Ubayd informed us, alAsma ‘i said: The first person who party-crashed (taffala) was “al-Tufayl ibn Zallal.” The first person who sneaked food out of a party (zalla) was his father. Party-crashing was named after the son, and sneaking food out was named after his father.3 3. Ibn means “son of”; thus, the father’s name, Zallal, is found in the name of the son...