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127 127 Bedouin Romance: The Unhappy Love Story of Qays and Lubnā381 Qays and Lubnā are a famous couple known for their sad love affair (though Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī, the compiler of the Book of Songs, also gives an alternative , happy ending). Their story is told in simple prose, but not in a straightforward manner: it is somewhat rambling and repetitive, with a number of digressions. One could leave out all the chains of authorities and digressions, to make the text more unified and “literary,” as has been done for example by Max Weisweiler in his German translation (Arabesken der Liebe , pp. 78–90), and long before him by Ibn Wāṣil al-Ḥamawī (d. 697/1298) in his Tajrīd or “Abstract” of al-Aghānī. But this would distort the character of the original text, which is an illustration of how belles lettres and scholarship often go hand in hand. Here the chapter is translated almost in full, omitting only some lines of long poems and some technical details on the songs and the musicians. The longer chains of authorities have been printed in a smaller font size, to distinguish them from the story. Qays ibn Dharīḥ (ca. 4/626–70/689), of the tribe of Kinānah, fosterbrother of al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib (grandson of the Prophet and the most famous martyr of the Shīʿites), is famous as a poet of ghazal of the ʿUdhrī kind. Qays ibn Dharīḥ, his genealogy and the reports about him As is mentioned by al-Kalbī, al-Qaḥdhamī, and others, he is Qays ibn Dharīḥ ibn Sunnah ibn Ḥudhāqah ibn Ṭarīf ibn ʿUtwārah ibn ʿĀmir ibn Layth ibn Bakr ibn ʿAbd Manāh, who is ʿAlī ibn Kinānah ibn Khuzaymah ibn Mudrikah ibn Ilyās ibn Muḍar ibn Nizār. Abū Shurāʿah al-Qaysī says that he is Qays ibn Dharīḥ ibn al- Ḥubāb ibn Sunnah; the rest of the lineage is identical. He argues this on the basis of Qays’s verse: If my doting on Lubnā is misguided, then, Dharīḥ ibn al-Ḥubāb, I am indeed misguided. 128 128 128 128 Prose Al-Qaḥdhamī says that his mother was the daughter of Sunnah ibn al-Dhāhil ibn ʿĀmir al-Khuzāʿī, which is correct; and that a brother of his mother was called ʿAmr ibn Sunnah, who was a poet. He was the one who said, They hit the elephant at al-Mughammas, till it crept along as if it had a fever.382 Of him, Qays said, My uncle, I am told, is owner of a camel herd with smooth heads flat like stone slabs, near the holy place.383 In days gone by, when you lived near us as our protégé, you had no camel mare to tend, nor stallion. It would not harm you, Uncle ʿAmr, if they drank from other cisterns, while the well is overflowing.384 Al-Ḥasan ibn ʿAlī informed me: Muḥammad ibn Mūsā ibn Ḥammād related to me: Aḥmad ibn al-Qāsim ibn Yūsuf related to me: Jazʾ ibn Qaṭan related to me: Jassās ibn Muḥammad ibn ʿAmr, one of the Banū l-Ḥārith ibn Kaʿb, related to us, on the authority of Muḥammad ibn Abī l-Sarī, on the authority of Hishām ibn al-Kalbī, who said: A number of tribesmen from Kinānah told me that Qays ibn Dharīḥ was a foster brother of al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib (may God be pleased with them), who was suckled by Qays’s mother. Several of our teachers informed me about Qays and Lubnā, his wife, in stories both connected and disconnected, in reports either scattered or properly arranged. I have put them all together to make a coherent text, except those isolated reports that could not be incorporated in the ordered narration, so I have mentioned them separately. Among those who informed me about Qays is Aḥmad ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz al-Jawharī, who said: ʿUmar ibn Shabbah related to us (giving no link to further informants); and Ibrāhīm ibn Muḥammad ibn Ayyūb, on the authority of Ibn Qutaybah; and al-Ḥasan ibn ʿAlī, on the authority of Muḥammad ibn Mūsā ibn Ḥammād al-Barbarī, on the authority of Aḥmad ibn al-Qāsim ibn Yūsuf...


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