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245 245 The Isfahan Maqāmah by Badīʿ al-Zamān al-Hamadhānī695 : ‫ل‬� � ‫ق�ا‬ � � � ‫م‬ �‫ش�ا‬ ���‫ه‬� ‫ن‬ �‫�ب‬ ‫ى‬ � ‫س‬��‫ي‬ ��‫ع‬ � ‫�ا‬‫ن‬ �‫ث‬ ��‫د‬��‫ح‬ � ‫ب‬ � ‫ق‬ � � �‫ر‬ ‫�ت‬‫أ‬ �‫و‬�� ‫٭‬ ‫ة‬ ��‫ح‬ � ‫م‬ ‫ل‬ � ‫ل‬�‫ك‬� � ��‫ة‬ ��‫ل‬�� ‫ف‬ � � � ‫�ق�ا‬�‫ل‬� � ‫ا‬ ‫ع‬ �‫ق‬ � � �‫و‬� ‫�ت‬� ‫أ‬ � ‫٭‬ ‫ي‬ � � ‫�ف‬�‫ل‬� � ‫ا‬ ‫ل‬� � ‫و‬�‫ل‬��‫ح‬ � ‫�ا‬‫ه‬ � ‫ت‬ �‫ل‬�‫ل‬��‫ح‬ � ‫ف‬ � � � ‫٭‬ ّ ‫ي‬ � � � ‫ر‬‫ل‬� � ‫ا‬ ‫ى‬ � ‫ل‬�� ‫�إ‬ ‫ر‬‫ي‬ ��‫س‬��‫م‬ ‫ل‬ �� ‫ا‬ ‫م‬ �‫ز‬ � ‫ت‬ ��‫ع‬ � ‫أ‬ � ‫ن‬ �‫�ا‬‫ه‬ � ‫�ف‬�‫ص‬� �‫إ‬ ��‫ب‬ �� ‫ت‬ � ‫ن‬ �‫ك‬ � �� ‫٭‬ ‫ة‬ ��‫ب‬ ��‫�ج�ا‬ � ‫�إ‬� ‫ل‬ � � ‫ا‬ ُ‫ض‬ �� �‫ر‬ ‫ف‬ � � � ‫ن‬ � ّ ‫ي‬ ��‫ع‬ �‫ت‬ ��‫و‬�� ‫٭‬ ‫ه‬�‫ت‬ �‫ع‬ �‫م‬ �‫س‬�� ً‫ء‬‫ا‬‫�د‬‫ن‬�� ‫ة‬ �‫ا‬� ‫ل‬�‫ص‬� � ‫ل‬��‫ل‬� � ‫ي‬ � � �‫د‬‫و‬� ُ‫ن‬ �� ‫٭‬ ‫ه‬�‫ت‬ �‫ع‬ �‫ق‬ � � �‫و‬� ‫�ت‬� ‫�ا‬‫م‬� ّ ‫م‬ � ُ ‫ح‬ � ‫�ا‬ّ ‫�م‬‫ل‬�� ‫ف‬ � � � ‫٭‬ ‫ة‬ ��‫ح‬ �‫ص�ب‬�� �‫ل‬�‫ك‬� � ��‫ة‬ ��‫ل‬��‫ح‬ �‫ا‬‫ر‬‫ل‬� � ‫ا‬ ‫ت‬ �‫ن‬ �‫ع‬ � ‫ت‬ �‫�س‬�‫ا‬ ‫ي‬ � � ‫ن‬�‫ك‬ � � �‫ل‬�� ‫٭‬ ‫�ا‬‫ه‬ � ‫ك‬ � �� ‫ر‬ ‫�ت‬‫أ‬ � ‫ة‬ ��‫ل‬�� ‫ف‬ � � � ‫�ق�ا‬�‫ل‬� � ‫ا‬ ‫ت‬ �‫و‬� ‫�ف‬ � � ‫ى‬ � ‫ش‬ ��� ‫�خ‬ � ‫أ‬ �‫و‬�� ‫٭‬ ‫�ا‬‫ه‬ � ‫ك‬ � �� ‫ر‬‫د‬ ‫أ‬ � ‫ة‬ ��‫ع‬ � ‫ا‬� ‫م‬�‫ج‬ � � ‫ل‬�� ‫ا‬ ‫م‬ � ‫ن‬ �‫�غ�ت‬ � ‫أ‬ � ‫٭‬ ‫ة‬ ��‫ب‬ ��‫�ا‬‫ح‬ � ‫ص‬�� � ‫ل‬�� ‫ا‬ ‫ن‬ �‫ي‬ ��‫ب‬ �� ‫ن‬ �‫م‬� ‫ت‬ �‫ل‬�‫ل‬��‫س‬�� ‫ن‬ �‫ف�ا‬� � � ‫٭‬ ‫ف‬ � � �‫و‬� ‫�ق‬ � �‫و‬�‫ل‬��‫ل‬� � ‫ت‬ �‫ل‬��‫ث‬ �‫م‬�‫و‬�� ‫٭‬ ‫ف‬ � � �‫و‬� ‫�ف‬�‫ص‬� � ‫ل‬� � ‫ا‬ ‫ل‬� � ‫و‬�� ‫أ‬ � ‫ى‬ � ‫ل‬�� ‫�إ‬ ‫ت‬ �‫ر‬‫�ص‬ � ‫�ف‬ � � ‫٭‬ ‫ة‬ �‫ا‬� ‫ل‬�‫�ف‬�‫ل‬� � ‫ا‬ ‫ء‬‫�ا‬‫ث‬ �‫ع‬ �‫و‬�� ‫ى‬ � ‫ل‬��‫ع‬ � ‫٭‬ ‫ة‬ �‫ا‬� ‫ل‬�‫ص‬� � ‫ل‬� � ‫ا‬ ‫ت‬ �‫�ا‬‫ك‬ � �� ‫بر‬ ��‫ب‬ �� ḥaddathanā ʿīsa bnu hishāmin qāl: kuntu bi-ʾiṣfahāna ʾaʿtazimu l-masīra ʾila r-rayy * fa-ḥalaltuhā ḥulūla l-fayy * ʾatawaqqaʿu l-qāfilata kulla lamḥah * wa-ʾataraqqabu r-rāḥilata kulla ṣabḥah * falamm ā ḥumma mā tawaqqaʿtuh * nūdiya liṣ-ṣalāti nidāʾan samiʿtuh * wa-taʿayyana farḍu l-ʾijābah * fa-nsalaltu min bayni ṣ-ṣaḥābah * ʾaghtanimu l-jamāʿata ʾudrikuhā * wa-ʾakhshā fawta l-qāfilati ʾatrukuhā * lākinnī staʿāntu bi-barakāti ṣ-ṣalāh * ʿalā waʿthāʾi l-falāh * fa-ṣirtu ʾilā ʾawwali ṣ-ṣufūf * wa-mathaltu lil-wuqūf... A maqāmah (literally, “place or occasion where one stands,” sometimes translated as “assembly”) is a short, usually narrative “picaresque” text in ornate rhymed prose, often with interspersed poetry, involving a fictional narrator and a fictional vagabond-like character, who reappears (in a series of individually independent maqāmahs) in various disguises, usually swindling or coaxing people (including the narrator) to part with their money. The term is also applied more loosely, for non-narrative didactic or moralistic pieces employing rhymed prose.696 ʿĪsā ibn Hishām and Abū l-Fatḥ al-Iskandarī are the two fictional personages who occur in most maqāmahs by al-Hamadhānī, as narrator and trickster-vagabond, respectively. Aḥmad ibn al-Ḥusayn al-Hamadhānī (358/968–398/1008), nicknamed Badīʿ al-Zamān (“Wonder of the Age”) is the “inventor” of the maqāmah; his fame was overshadowed by later and more artful practitioners of the form such as al-Ḥarīrī (d. 516/1122). To sepa- 246 246 246 246 Prose rate the rhyming segments full stops are used in Arabic editions; this would be confusing in my English rhymed version and they have been replaced by asterisks. ʿĪsā ibn Hishām related to us: Once I * was in Isfahan, * though going to Rayy697 * was my plan. * Therefore I only stayed * as briefly as the fleeting shade, * expecting the arrival of the caravan every second * and any morning to departure to be beckoned. * Now when the expected event was near, * the call to prayer I could hear: * it was a religious obligation, * so I slipped away from my friends to join the congregation, * and for the mosque I headed. * To miss the caravan was what I dreaded, * but it would be for the best * if by this prayer I would be blessed * so as to withstand * hardship in the desert land. * I found a place in front and there * I stood for the start of the prayer. * The imam came to the prayer niche and at this site * he started to recite * and began * with the “Opening” Sura from the Holy Qur’an * according to the manner of Ḥamzah, * lengthening each “stretching” with the “glottal stop,” i.e. the hamzah.698 * On tenterhooks I sat, in suspension * and full of apprehension * about missing the caravan and being left in this place. * But the imam followed up the “Opening” with “The Great Case,”699 * while I was being roasted upon the fire of patience, burning, * and grilled upon the coals of frustration, tossing and turning. * But I could only be silent and be brave, * or else speak up and then the grave! * For I knew that the uncouth people of that city * would not have any pity * in case of the prayer’s truncation * before the final salutation. * So under duress * I remained in this situation of stress * until the end of the sura * while my chances of catching the caravan grew ever poorer, * and I was filled with despair * of ever getting away from there. * Then the imam bent his back for the prostration * with an uncommonly humble self-abnegation * and an unusual manner of resignation. * Then, with his head and his hands raised, * he said, “May God listen to those by whom He is praised!” * Then he stood for a while, making me suppose * he had fallen into a doze. * But he came round * and bent down, hand and forehead to the ground. * I raised my head, looking for an opportunity * to slip away with impunity, * but between the rows I found no space, * so I sat down to prostrate myself in that place, * until the imam said “God is great!” for the sitting position. * And then the son-of-a-whore700 stood up for a...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780814745113
Related ISBN
9780814770276
MARC Record
OCLC
859687281
Pages
496
Launched on MUSE
2013-05-20
Language
English
Open Access
No
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