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111 Mention of the Party-Crashers’ Conversations, Advice, and Poetry 140 Abu Muslim Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abd alRahman ibn Bundar al-Qadi in Qasan related to me, I read in a book written in my father’s hand: A party-crasher was blamed for his party-crashing , and he said, “What was food made for except to be eaten? What was the table laid for except to be enjoyed? Households aren’t maintained except to be entered. I’ve never given a gift hoping for an invitation, and I don’t dislike being rude to someone who seems stingy with my food. So I burst into a party, and I take command of the social situation, and I smile at anyone I see frowning, and eat my fill in spite of him, and The Art of Party-Crashing 112 after I’ve gorged myself I eat again just to give him a pain. And I don’t spend one dirham or wear out my servant. In regards to all this, I say: Each day I rove the courtyard with the fly who buzzes ’round the scent of roasted meat and if there’s but a stirring or a sigh of dinner guests, or catered meet-and-greet, I never fear to jeer and push on by the guard, and circle like an eagle free, I sneer at someone giving me the eye, unburdened of the least anxiety about the butcher or the veggie guy . . . 1 141 It was told on the authority of Ibn Dab that these verses are from Abu al-‘Araqib al-Madani, the partycrasher , and they begin: Tell the party-crashers far and wide, I am your leader, young and elderly! And at the end he mentioned more lines in addition to what we’ve quoted, with a few variations of expression: 1. Another version of this poem is given below in anecdote 152. Party-Crashers’ Conversations, Advice, and Poetry 113 And I don’t need approval high or low, You don’t see me run from man or dog, The people fear that I will tear their clothes . . . 142 Abu al-Qasim al-Azhari related to us, Ahmad ibn Ibrahim ibn Shadhan told us, Ahmad ibn Mas‘ud ibn ‘Amr told us, Ibrahim ibn ‘Abd al-Salam told us, Bashr ibn Hayyan told us, Sulayman al-Minqari told us: I was at one of my friend’s parties, and there was a party-crasher in the crowd. One of the other guests began to stare at him suspiciously. “Hey, young man,” said the party-crasher, “praise God, didn’t you hear that the Prophet, peace and prayers upon him, forbid a man to stare at someone who is eating?” The man turned to me and said, “Did you know that?” “No, by God!” I answered. I left the party. I’ve been asking around about it ever since.2 2. Although Sulayman al-Minqari was unable to find the party-crasher’s hadith, al-Khatib al-Baghdadi evidently managed to do so and provides it below. The Art of Party-Crashing 114 143 Abu ‘Amir al-‘Uqdi related to us, Sufyan ibn Salama told us, al-Khallal, brother of Ibn Salama and father of ‘Umar said on the authority of ‘Abd Allah ibn Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Amr ibn Hazm, on the authority of his father, that: The Prophet, peace and prayers upon him, forbade a man to stare at a companion while he is eating. 145 The judge Abu al-‘Ala’ Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Ya‘qub al-Wasiti told us, Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali ibn Ahmad ibn al-Hasan al-Hafiz told us, Abu alHusayn Muhammad ibn ‘Uthman ibn Abu al-‘As alThaqafi in Basra told us, Bakr ibn Ahmad ibn Sakhit al-Qazzaz al-Farisi told us, Nasr ibn ‘Ali Abu ‘Amr al-Jahdami related to us:3 3. This is the anecdote that first drew al-Khatib alBaghdadi ’s interest to the subject of party-crashing, possibly because it involves a discussion of hadith and al-Khatib alBaghdadi was a hadith scholar. See the introduction for his first mention of the tale. Party-Crashers’ Conversations, Advice, and Poetry 115 I had a neighbor who was a party-crasher, and he was one of the best-looking and best-spoken people, and the best perfumed and most finely dressed as well. It was his custom to follow me when I was invited to a gathering, and people did honors to him...


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