restricted access Accounts of Bunan, the Party-Crasher
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128 Accounts of Bunan, the Party-Crasher 164 Al-Khatib said: Bunan is the most talked-about party-crasher, the party-crasher of the farthest-reaching fame. And in terms of party-crashing—in terms of the extreme lengths to which he goes, as well as his customary goings-on—Bunan’s got what no one else has. News of him abounds; we cited some of it already. And now, God willing, we are going to present the rest. 165 There is dispute about his name, for he is called ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Uthman, and he is also called ‘Ali Accounts of Bunan, the Party-Crasher 129 ibn Muhammad. His last name is Bunan, and his patronymic is Abu al-Hasan. He was originally from Merv but resided in Baghdad, and his anecdotes are transmitted on the authority of a number of scholarly people. Bunan The Art of Party-Crashing 130 166 Ahmad ibn Abu Ja‘far told me that ‘Ali ibn al-Hasan al-Tarsusi in Egypt said, I heard ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Adi say, I heard al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali Salih saying: I heard Bunan saying, “I memorized the entire Qur’an, but I’ve forgotten all but four words: ‘Give us our lunch.’”1 167 Abu Mansur Muhammad ibn ‘Isa al-Hamadhani and Abu al-Qasim ‘Ubayd Allah ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Bardha’i and ‘Ali ibn Abu ‘Ali al-Basri told us, Muhammad ibn ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Shukhayr alSayrafi related to us, Ahmad ibn al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali al-Muqri’ related to us: I heard my father ask Bunan, “Have you memorized a single thing from the Book of God?” “Yes,” Bunan said. “A verse.” “Which one?” he asked. So Bunan said, “He told his slave, ‘Give us our lunch!’” 1. Qur’an 18:62. Accounts of Bunan, the Party-Crasher 131 Then my father asked, “Have you memorized any poetry?” Bunan said, “Yes. A line.” He asked, “Which one? And Bunan recited, We visit you, forgiving your cruel distance, for the true lover comes uncalled for. 168 Al-Husayn ibn Muhammad al-Rafiqi informed us, ‘Ali ibn al-Sari told us, Ahmad ibn al-Hasan al-Muqri’ related to us, Bunan told us, ‘Abbas alDawri related to me, Abu al-Hasan al-Mada’ini and others of his friends related to me on the authority of ‘Ali ibn Suhaym on the authority of al-Sha‘bi who said: They were discussing wedding food around ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, and someone asked him, “O Commander of the Faithful! Why is there a flavor in wedding food that you can’t find anywhere else?” “The Prophet prayed a blessing upon it,” he said, “and Abraham also prayed that God bless it and make it tastier, so there’s a pinch of the food of Paradise mixed in . . .” The Art of Party-Crashing 132 170 Al-Husayn ibn Muhammad al-Rafiqi informed us, ‘Ali ibn Muhammad ibn al-Sari told us, Ahmad ibn al-Husayn al-Muqri’ told us, I heard Bunan say, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Bazzaz told us, Ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Hasan ibn Shaqiq related to me on the authority of his father, Ibn al-Mubarak told me on the authority of al-Mubarak and Rabi‘, on the authority of al-Hasan who said: There are twelve features of mealtime that a Muslim ought to learn: four of them are an obligation from God, four were the customs of the Prophet, and four are a matter of good manners. The four obligatory points are to invoke God before eating, to know which food is forbidden, to take pleasure in it, and to thank God for it. The four customs of the Prophet are to sit on one’s left foot while eating, not to reach across the table, to eat with three fingers, and to lick the fingers when finished. As for the matters of good form: one should wash one’s hands, take little bites, chew thoroughly, and not stare at friends. 171 ‘Ubayd Allah ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Bardha‘i told us, Ahmad ibn Ibrahim ibn Shadhan told us, Abu Bakr Accounts of Bunan, the Party-Crasher 133 Ahmad ibn Marwan ibn Muhammad al-Maliki alQadi al-Dinawari told us, Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al- ‘Aziz told us, Muhammad ibn Dinar told us, I heard Waki‘ ibn al-Jarrah say: I was eating at the same table as Bunan the party-crasher, and I heard him say to me, “Dammit , Waki...