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Sumerian

الحكايات والامثال تغير الاحوال (Arabic Literature with English Translations)

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The hilarious backstory behind the Arabic idiom  "أحمق من هبنقة" (Aḥmaqu min Habannaqah -- stupider than Habannaqah). It's after a comically stupid Bedouin man from Banī Qays b. Thaʿlabah named Yazīd b. Thawrān. The first story is about how his brother had a necklace he would wear, and one day as Yazīd slept, his brother put the necklace on him. When Yazīd awoke he exclaimed "You are me, and I am you!" The Second story is about how when he lost his camel he had put out a "Juʿālah" (essentially a notice) for it, and as the reward he said that whoever finds it may keep it. When he was asked why even seek it then. He replies "then where would be the sweetness of finding it", meaning that there's some pleasure in at least knowing where his camel is.

Jamharat al-Amthāl v. 1 pg. 309

أحمق من هبنقة.jpg

Edited by Ibn Al-Ja'abi

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Salams,

A piece of Arabic prose I really like about the qualities of the world. This is something only properly appreciated in Arabic. The first two lines:

"If the world draws near it tests, and if it withdraws it exhausts."

It's filled with what are known as أفعال معتلة, or weak verbs. These verbs have defective root letters (و, ي, ى) and experience mutations in their conjugation (though they are still entirely regular, they have their own set of rules). So it seems as if each second verb, which is the consequence of the world, is the first verb, which si the act of the world, just cut in half. It shows how remarkable the Arabic language is in its ability to make such clever poetry and prose.

From Mawsu'ah Hada'iq al-Ans (Qom, 1400 AH) by al-Kashani.

كلام البلغاء في صفات الدنيا.PNG

Edited by Ibn Al-Ja'abi

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فرد جحا عليه قائلاً: وما العجب في ذلك؟ القرية التي يشرب فيها الفئران العسل لا تستبعد أن تحمل النسور فيها حصانًا وبضائع!

So Juha replied to him saying: "And what is strange about this? In the village which rats drink honey [in], it is not far-fetched that vultures carry horses and luggage".

________

This was the response of the famous character Juha, who supposedly left his honey with a merchant. When he came back to the merchant to ask him about his honey that he left over, the merchant said the rats drank it all. Juha was angry and clearly didn't believe such nonsense.

So when he caught the merchant loading up his luggage onto his carriage, he quickly took his move and stole the load and the horse behind the merchant's back.

Then he came back to the merchant and saw him upset, so he asked the merchant why he seems sad. The merchant told him he had just been robbed off his horse and load.

Juha said he saw vultures carrying his load and horse.

The merchant asked how is that possible, so Juha hit him back with that killer response which I translated at the top :hahaha:

Edited by Sumerian

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Salams,

A difficult couplet showing the complexity of Arabic vocabulary:

ألم ألم ألم ألم بدائه إن أن آن آن آن أوانه

It's vocalized:

alamun alamma alam ulima bidāʾihi / in anna ānun āna ānu awānihi

It means:

وجع أحاط بي لم أعلم بمرضه / إذا توجّع صاحب الألم حان وقت شفائه

"A pain encompasses me and I do not know it's cause / When the pained expresses his pain the time of his healing nears."

Wassalam

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Salams,

This is taken from the twitter of Ahmad al-Jallad, an epigraphist, philologist, and historian of Arabic:

image.png.8f4ac336624e1abceef9fa9493316730.png

It's written a pre Islamic Ancient North Arabic script, it was pronounced like this:

1) ḥagga mōtu wal-lāẓẓu ṯarām
2) fa-muyakānu layālī-hu wa-ʾaywām-uh
3) wa-hāʾ baʿalu yabītu wa-lā-hu bāta wa-mā nām

It can be put into the Arabic script like this:

حَجَّ مُوتُ وَاللَّاظُّ ثرَام
فَمُيَكَانُ لَيَالِيهُ وَأَيوَامُه
وَهَا بَعَلُ يَبِيتُ وَلَاهُ بَاتَ وَمَا نَام

It means:

1) Mōt has held a feast; the scorner eats
2) Established is the alternation of his nights and days
3) Behold Baʿal slumbers; he slumbers indeed, but not dead…

It isn't the prettiest poem but as far as I'm aware, this is the oldest Arabic poem that's been discovered, undated but the language of these inscriptions (in the Safaitic script) appeared from 100 BC to 300 AD so at latest it is 300 years older than Islam. It tells us many interesting facts about how the Arabic language varied before Islam which the nuhat couldn't have written about.

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An Arabic proverb which goes to show the cultural context in which it was said:

أول الغزو أخرق

"The beginning of the raid is the most clumsy."

It's used to express "قلة التجارب", or inexperience. 

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Salams,

I thought it might be interesting to have some pre-Classical Arabic (though I gather it was likely adapted somewhat to standard Classical Arabic over its transmission) from the Era of Ignorance/Jahiliyyah. This is supposed to be the proclamation of obedience/talbiyah of Banu ʿAkk which they recited when setting out as pilgrims. In front of them would be two black slaves leading the procession saying: "we are the crows of ʿAkk". Banu ʿAkk would respond after them: "ʿAkk is subservient to you, (they are) your Yemeni slaves, (we go forth) in order that we might make pilgrimage again!"

Some lexical notes I've found on this verse:

غرابا عك has غراب in the dual and according to the editor, the "aghrubah" (أغربة), or crows, of the Arabs meant the black people among them. Thus here it means the black members of ʿAkk. This was noted by the editor of K. al-Asnam.

ʿAkk were an Arab (or Arabized) tribe from Yemen (as عبادك اليمانية would imply) that lived in the southern end of Tihama near Wadi Zabid.

عانية comes from the word عنو which also appears in the Qur'an (Q.20:111) and according to Lanes Lexicon and Hans Wehr means "to be humble", "submissive", "subservient", "servile".

God alone knows how true this is though.

For those interested, if you search on Youtube نحن غرابا عك you'll find the opening scene from the Egyptian film Hijrat al-Rasul (هجرة الرسول) where you have Kuffar in Mecca reciting this talbiyah, although in Mecca rather than on their way to Mecca.

 

Ref. to Hisham b. Sa'ib al-Kalbi, Kitab al-Asnam. e.d. Ahmad Zaki Basha. (Cairo: 1995).

image.png.ced91605821455467e7326bd4ef2094f.png

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تبي وأبي!

تقول العامّة لا سيّما في الخليج: 
أنا أبي وأنت تبي
يعنون: أنا أريد وأنت تريد

وأصل الكلمة: أبغي وتبغي
وهي فصيحة
قال ﷻ:
﴿قلْ أغيرَ ﷲِ أبـغي ربًّا وهوَ ربُّ كلِّ شَيْءٍ﴾

فأكلت الناس الغين مع مرور الزمن
ولهذا لا يزال بعضهم يقول: «أبغَى»
بل ولا يزال الأقل يقول: «أبغي»

Posted on twitter: https://twitter.com/Tadkik/status/1103683791716040704

Tabī wa ʾabī!
People, especially in the Gulf, say:
"You tabī and I ʾabī."
They mean: "You desire and I desire."

The phrase was originally: "ʾabghī and tabghī."
And this is eloquent [classical in origin].
God said:
"Say: is there other than God whom I should desire as my Lord, while He is the Lord of all things?'" [Q.6:164]

People "swallowed" [that is to say, they dropped it in pronunciation] the "ghayn" with the passage of time.
As such most people continue to say "ʾabghā".
While few have not ceased to say "ʾabghī".
 

A Yemeni friend of mine told me in Yemen they say "ايش تبى" ("ēsh tabā", meaning "what do you want").

Edited by Ibn Al-Ja'abi

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A man traveled in a ship, and a Jewish man went on board with him,

holding a basket of sliced (beef) - so the man stole it, and began eating it, until nothing was left, but bones. Wherefore he wanted to exit, the Jewish man saw the basket empty,

and he asked about that, so they said to him: “This man ate all of it.” the Jewish man said: “Woe to me! You've ate my father!” - so they asked him about that, he said: “My father had his will (bequest) to be buried in Jerusalem, so when he died we chopped him into pieces, so he can be carried easily, and this man ate him!”

Capture.png

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A man was asked about his name, he said: “My name is Bahr.” (sea), they said: “Father of who?” he said: “Abul-Faidh.” (flood), they said: “Son of who?” he said: “Son of Al-Furat” (Euphrates), so the man said to him: “Your friend shouldn't visit you, except with a ship.”

And the like of this, is that a man of our friends in Iraq, was from a family that God bestowed upon them guidance, after they had been from Ahlul-Khilaf, and their names stayed, so a man asked him about his father's name, he said: “Othman.” and his mother, he said: “Aisha.” and his uncle, he said: “Bakr.” so it was said: “And your name?” and another man said: “His name is Shimr!” (jokingly).

Capture.png

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It’s said that the sultan is the shadow of God on Earth (e.g., Zell'ollah).

The Sultan of India once said to Emir Abu'l-Qasim 'Al-Fendereski:

“Is it true [of what is said] that the Prophet doesn't have a shadow?”

He said: “Yes, and only if God didn't have a shadow.”

So, the Sultan became shy.

Capture14.png

Edited by Simon the Canaanite

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Salams,

This might be perhaps thought of as the Arabic version of "when in Rome":

من دخل ظفار حمر

Also reported as:

من دخل ظفار تحمر

"Whoever enters Dhafar must speak Himyari."

Dhafar was a city in the central Yemen highlands where the dialect that was spoken was influenced by the pre-Islamic languages of the region (leading to things like variations in grammar and different vocabulary). This proverb has been quoted in Lisan al-Arab among other sources.

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Capture36.png

It was related, that a man fornicated with a woman, and made her gravid (I.e., pregnant...)

People told him: “Couldn’t you isolate (leave) her?”

He said: “I heard from the jurists, that isolation is detested.”

They told him: “Haven’t you heard that fornication is forbidden?!”

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Capture29.png

A 'Sunni' scholar once said to Bahlool: “In the authentic tradition: that the doings of A'bu Bakir and Omar will be put in a mizan (scale pan), and the other creations will be put in another, in the day of judgement, and the scale of A'bu Bakr and Omar will over weigh.”

Bahlool said: “If this tradition was authentic, then the error is in the mizan!”

Edited by Simon the Canaanite

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أ یُقتَلُ ظمآناً حسینٌ بکربلا             و فی کلّ عضوٍ من أناملِهِ بحرُ

How is Hussein, killed in Karabal  thirsty, despite the fact that in every head of his finger can be found seas of  of exaltation

this verse is said that repeated by Imam Mahdi (aj) from Ibn arandas ابن عرندس & who recites this poem in any community Imam Mahdi (aj) will be there with them to hear it

و من شعر شیخنا الصالح رائیة اشتهر بین الأصحاب أنَّها لم تقرأ فی مجلس إلّا و حضره الإمام الحجّة المنتظر عجّل اللَّه تعالى فرجه، توجد برمّتها فی منتخب شیخنا الطریحی «3» (2/75) و هی:

          طوایا نظامی فی الزمان لها نشر «4»             یعطِّرها من طیب ذکراکمُ نشرُ

             قصائدُ ما خابت لهنَّ مقاصد             بواطنُها حمدٌ ظواهرُها شکرُ

             مطالعُها تحکی النجومَ طوالعاً             فأخلاقها زُهرٌ و أنوارُها زَهرُ

             عرائس تجلی حین تُجلى قلوبَنا             أکالیلُها درٌّ و تیجانُها تبرُ

             حسانٌ لها حسّانُ بالفضلِ شاهدٌ             على وجهها تبرٌ یُزان بها التِّبرُ

 

الغدیر فى الکتاب و السنه و الادب، ج‏7، ص: 26

         أُنظِّمها نظم اللآلی و أسهر اللیال             ی لیحیى لی بها و بکم ذکرُ

             فیا ساکنی أرضِ الطفوفِ علیکمُ             سلامُ مُحبٍّ ما له عنکمُ صبرُ

             نشرتُ دواوینَ الثنا بعد طیِّها             و فی کلِّ طرسٍ من مدیحی لکمْ سطرُ

             فطابق شعری فیکمُ دمع ناظری             فمبیضُّ ذا نظمٌ و محمرُّ ذا نثرُ

             فلا تتهمونی بالسلوِّ فإنّما             مواعیدُ سلوانی و حقّکمُ الحشرُ

             فذلّی بکم عزٌّ و فقری بکم غنىً             و عسری بکم یسرٌ و کسری بکم جبرُ

             ترقُّ بروقُ السحبِ لی من دیارِکمْ             فینهلُّ من دمعی لبارقِها القطرُ

             فعینای کالخنساءِ «1» تجری دموعُها             و قلبی شدیدٌ فی محبَّتکم صخرُ

             وقفت على الدار التی کنتمُ بها             فمغناکمُ من بَعد معناکمُ فقرُ

             و قد درست منها الدروس و طالما             بها درّس العلمُ الإلهیّ و الذکرُ

             و سالت علیها من دموعی سحائبٌ             إلى أن تروّى البانُ بالدمعِ و السدرُ

             فَراقَ فِراقُ الروحِ لی بَعد بُعدِکمْ             و دارَ برسمِ الدارِ فی خاطری الفکرُ

             و قد أقلعت عنها السحابُ و لم یَجُد             و لا درَّ من بعد الحسین لها دَرُّ

             إمامُ الهدى سبطُ النبوّةِ والد الأئمّ             ة ربّ النهی مولىً له الأمرُ

             إمامٌ أبوه المرتضى علم الهدى             وصیُّ رسولِ اللَّهِ و الصنوُ و الصهرُ

             إمامٌ بکته الإنسُ و الجنُّ و السما             و وحش الفلا و الطیرُ و البرُّ و البحرُ

             له القبّةُ البیضاءُ بالطفِّ لم تزل «2»             تطوفُ بها طوعاً ملائکةٌ غرُّ

             و فیه رسولُ اللَّهِ قال و قولُه             صحیحٌ صریحُ لیس فی ذلکمْ نکرُ

             حُبی بثلاثٍ ما أحاطَ بمثلِها             ولیٌّ فمن زیدٌ هناک و من عمرو

 

الغدیر فى الکتاب و السنه و الادب، ج‏7، ص: 27

         له تربةٌ فیها الشفاءُ و قبّةٌ             یجابُ بها الداعی إذا مسّه الضرُّ

             و ذُریّةٌ دریَّةٌ منه تسعةٌ             أئمّةُ حقِّ لا ثمانٍ و لا عشرُ

             أ یُقتَلُ ظمآناً حسینٌ بکربلا             و فی کلّ عضوٍ من أناملِهِ بحرُ

             و والدُه الساقی على الحوضِ فی غدٍ             و فاطمةٌ ماءُ الفراتِ لها مهرُ

             فوا لهفَ نفسی للحسینِ و ما جنى             علیه غداة الطفِّ فی حربِهِ الشمرُ

             رماهُ بجیشٍ کالظلامِ قسیُّه الأ             هلّةُ و الخرصانُ أنجمُه الزهرُ «1»

             لرایاتِهمْ نصبٌ و أسیافُهم جزمٌ             و للنقعِ رفعٌ و الرماحُ لها جرُّ

             تجمّع فیها من طغاةِ أُمیّةٍ             عصابةُ غدرٍ لا یقوم لها عذرُ

             و أرسلها الطاغی یزیدُ لیملکَ ال             عراقَ و ما أغنته شامٌ و لا مصرُ

             و شدَّ لهم أزراً سلیلُ زیادِها             فحلَّ به من شدِّ أزرِهمُ الوزرُ

             و أمّرَ فیهم نجلَ سعدٍ لنحسِهِ             فما طال فی الریِّ اللعینِ له عُمرُ

             فلمّا التقى الجمعانِ فی أرضِ کربلا             تباعد فعلُ الخیرِ و اقترب الشرُّ

             فحاطوا به فی عشرِ شهرِ محرّمٍ             و بیضُ المواضی فی الأکفِّ لها شَمرُ

             فقام الفتى لمّا تشاجرتِ القنا             و صال و قد أودى بمهجته الحَرُّ

             و جال بطرفٍ فی المجالِ کأنَّه             دجى اللّیلِ فی لألاءِ غرَّتِهِ الفجرُ

             له أربعٌ للریحِ فیهنَّ أربعٌ             لقد زانه کرٌّ و ما شانه الفرُّ

             ففرّقَ جمَع القومِ حتى کأنَّهم             طیوُر بُغاثٍ «2» شتَّ شملَهمُ الصقرُ

             فأذکرَهمْ لیلَ الهریرِ فأجمعَ الکلا             بُ على اللیثِ الهزبرِ و قد هرّوا «3»

 

الغدیر فى الکتاب و السنه و الادب، ج‏7، ص: 28

         هناک فدتْهُ الصالحون بأنفسٍ             یُضاعَفُ فی یومِ الحسابِ لها الأجرُ

             و حادوا عن الکفّارِ طوعاً لنصرِهِ             و جاد له بالنفسِ من سَعدِه الحُرُّ «1»

             و مدّوا إلیه ذُبّلًا سمهریّةً «2»             لطولِ حیاةِ السبطِ فی مدِّها جزرُ

             فغادره فی مارق «3» الحرب مارقٌ             بسهمٍ لنحرِ السبط من وقعه نحرُ

             فمالَ عن الطرفِ الجواد أخو الندى             الجوادُ قتیلًا حوله یصهلُ المهرُ «4»

             سِنانُ سنانٍ خارقٌ منه فی الحشا             و صارمُ شمرٍ فی الوریدِ له شَمرُ «5»

             تجرّ علیه العاصفاتُ ذیولَها             و من نسجِ أیدی الصافناتِ له طمرُ «6»

             فرجّت له السبعُ الطباقُ و زلزلتْ             رواسی جبالِ الأرضِ و التطمَ البحرُ

             فیا لکَ مقتولًا بکته السما دماً             فمغبرُّ وجه الأرض بالدمِ محمرُّ

             ملابسُه فی الحربِ حمرٌ من الدما             و هنَّ غداةَ الحشرِ من سندسٍ خضرُ

             و لهفی لزینِ العابدینَ و قد سرى             أسیراً علیلًا لا یفکُّ له أسرُ

             و آلُ رسولِ اللَّهِ تسبى نساؤهم             و من حولهنَّ السترُ یهتَکُ و الخدرُ

             سبایا بأکوارِ المطایا حواسراً             یلاحظُهنَّ العبدُ فی الناسِ و الحرُّ

             و رملةُ «7» فی ظلّ القصورِ مصونةٌ             یُناطُ على أقراطِها الدرُّ و التِّبرُ

 

الغدیر فى الکتاب و السنه و الادب، ج‏7، ص: 29

         فویلُ یزیدٍ من عذابِ جهنّم             إذا أقبلتْ فی الحشرِ فاطمةُ الطُهرُ

             ملابسُها ثوبٌ من السمِّ أسودٌ             و آخرُ قانٍ من دمِ السبطِ محمرُّ

             تنادی و أبصارُ الأنامِ شواخصٌ             و فی کلِّ قلبِ من مهابتها ذُعرُ «1»

             و تشکو إلى اللَّه العلیِّ و صوتُها             علیٌّ و مولانا علیٌّ لها ظهرُ

             فلا ینطقُ الطاغی یزیدُ بما جنى             و أنّى له عذرٌ و من شأنه الغدرُ

             فیؤخذُ منه بالقصاصِ فیحرم النع             یم و یُخلى فی الجحیم له قصرُ

             و یشدو له الشادی فیطربُه الغنا             و یسکبُ فی الکاسِ النضارِ له خمرُ

             فذاک الغنا فی البعثِ تصحیفُه العَنا             و تصحیفُ ذاک الخمرِ فی قلبِه الجمرُ

             أ یُقرع جهلًا ثغرُ سبطِ محمدٍ             و صاحبُ ذاک الثغرِ یُحمى به الثغرُ

             فلیس لأخذِ الثارِ إلّا خلیفةٌ             یکونُ لکسرِ الدینِ من عدلِهِ جبرُ

             تحفُّ به الأملاکُ من کلِّ جانبٍ             و یقدمُه الإقبال و العزُّ و النصرُ

             عوامله فی الدارعین شوارعٌ             و حاجبه عیسى و ناظره الخضرُ

             تظلّله حقّا عمامة جدِّه             إذا ما ملوکُ الصیدِ ظلّلها الجبرُ

             محیطٌ على علمِ النبوّةِ صدرُه             فطوبى لعلمٍ ضمّه ذلک الصدرُ

             هو ابنُ الإمامِ العسکریِّ محمدُ الت             قیُّ النقیُّ الطاهرُ العلَمُ الحَبرُ

             سلیلُ علی الهادی و نجلُ محمدِ ال             جواد و من فی أرضِ طوسٍ له قبرُ

             علیّ الرضا و هو ابن موسى الذی قضى             ففاح على بغدادَ من نشرِهِ عطرُ

             و صادقُ وعدٍ إنّه نجلُ صادقٍ             إمامٌ به فی العلمِ یفتخرُ الفخرُ

             و بهجة مولانا الإمام محمد             إمام لعلمِ الأنبیاء له بَقرُ

             سلالةُ زینِ العابدین الذی بکى             فمن دمعِهِ یُبس الأعاشیبِ مُخضرُّ

             سلیل حسینِ الفاطمی و حیدر ال             وصیِّ فمن طُهرٍ نمى ذلک الطهرُ

 

الغدیر فى الکتاب و السنه و الادب، ج‏7، ص: 30

         له الحسنُ المسموم عمٌّ فحبّذا الإ             مامُ الذی عمَّ الورى جودهُ الغمرُ

             سمیُّ رسولِ اللَّه وارثُ علمِهِ             إمامٌ على آبائه نزلَ الذِکرُ

             هم النورُ نورُ اللَّهِ جلَّ جلالُه             همُ التینُ و الزیتونُ و الشفعُ و الوترُ

             مهابطُ وحیِ اللَّهِ خزّانُ علمِهِ             میامینُ فی أبیاتِهم نزلَ الذِکرُ

             و أسماؤهم مکتوبةٌ فوقَ عرشِهِ             و مکنونةٌ مِن قبلِ أن یُخلَقَ الذرُّ

             و لولاهمُ لم یخلقِ اللَّهُ آدماً             و لا کان زیدٌ فی الأنامِ و لا عمرو

             و لا سُطِحتْ أرضٌ و لا رُفعت سما             و لا طلعت شمسٌ و لا أشرقَ البدرُ

             و نوحٌ به فی الفلک لمّا دعا نجا             و غیض به طوفانُه و قضی الأمرُ

             و لولاهمُ نارُ الخلیلِ لما غدتْ             سلاماً و برداً و انطفى ذلک الجمرُ

             و لولاهمُ یعقوبُ ما زالَ حزنُهُ             و لا کان عن أیّوبَ ینکشفُ الضرُّ

             و لانَ لداودَ الحدیدُ بسرِّهمْ             فقدَّر فی سردٍ یحیر به الفکرُ

             و لمّا سلیمانُ البساطُ به سرى             أُسیلت له عینٌ یفیض له القطرُ

             و سخّرتِ الریحُ الرخاءُ بأمرِه             فغدوتُها شهرٌ و روحتُها شهرُ

             و هم سرُّ موسى و العصا عندما عصى             أوامرَه فرعونُ و التقف السحرُ

             و لولاهمُ ما کان عیسى بنُ مریمٍ             لعازر من طیِّ اللحودِ له نشرُ

             سرى سرّهمْ فی الکائناتِ و فضلُهمْ             و کلُّ نبیٍّ فیه من سرِّهم سرُّ

             علا بهمُ قدری و فخری بهم غلا             و لولاهمُ ما کان فی الناسِ لی ذکرُ

             مصابکمُ یا آلَ طه مصیبةٌ             و رزءٌ على الإسلامِ أحدثَه الکفرُ

             سأندبُکمْ یا عدّتی عند شدّتی             و أبکیکمُ حزناً إذا أقبل العَشرُ

             و أبکیکمُ ما دمتُ حیّا فإن أمت             ستبکیکُم بعدی المراثی و الشعرُ

             عرائسُ فکرِ الصالحِ بنِ عرندسٍ             قبولکمُ یا آل طه لها مهرُ

             و کیف یحیطُ الواصفون بمدحِکمْ             و فی مدحِ آیاتِ الکتابِ لکم ذکرُ

             و مولدُکمْ بطحاءُ مکةَ و الصفا             و زمزمُ و البیتُ المحرَّمُ و الحجرُ

 

الغدیر فى الکتاب و السنه و الادب، ج‏7، ص: 31

         جعلتکُمُ یومَ المعادِ وسیلتی             فطوبى لمن أمسى و أنتمْ له ذخرُ

             سیُبلی الجدیدانِ الجدیدَ و حبُّکمْ             جدیدٌ بقلبی لیس یُخلِقُه الدهرُ

             علیکم سلامُ اللَّهِ ما لاح بارقٌ             و حلّت عقودُ المزنِ و انتشر القطر

Edited by Ashvazdanghe

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On 4/15/2019 at 6:31 PM, Ibn Al-Ja'abi said:

Salams,

This might be perhaps thought of as the Arabic version of "when in Rome":

من دخل ظفار حمر

Also reported as:

من دخل ظفار تحمر

"Whoever enters Dhafar must speak Himyari."

Dhafar was a city in the central Yemen highlands where the dialect that was spoken was influenced by the pre-Islamic languages of the region (leading to things like variations in grammar and different vocabulary). This proverb has been quoted in Lisan al-Arab among other sources.

Bismillah
Salams,

I mentioned in Ancient West Arabian where I read about this proverb last time but was unable to find it. Coincidentally Dr..... Ahmad Al-Jallad ended up sharing it. The story is recounted by Ibn al-Jinni but I've found it mentioned in Yaqut al-Hamawi's geographic encyclopedia, Mu'jam al-Buldan:

Quote

قال الأصمعي: دخل رجل من العرب على ملك من ملوك حمير وهو على سطح له مشرف فقال له الملك ثب فوثب فتكسر فقال الملك ليس عندنا عربيت من دخل ظفار حمر. قوله: ثب أي اقعد بلغة حمير وقوله عربيت يريد العربية

http://islamport.com/d/3/bld/1/39/325.html

"Al-Asmaʿī said: An Arab went to see one of the kings of Ḥimyar who was on a raised terrace. The king told him, 'thib.' So he jumped and broke to pieces. The king then said, 'We don't have ʿArabiyyat, whoever enters Dhofar must speak Ḥimyarī.' By saying 'thib' he meant 'sit down' in Ḥimyarī, and by saying 'ʿArabiyyat' he intended to say 'Arabic'."

 

Himyar was located in modern-day Yemen and was the successor state to the ancient South Arabian kingdoms, its capital was Dhofar. Prior to the expansion of Arabic into the Arabian peninsula, Ancient South Arabian languages were spoken there, the only ones we have records for are Sabaic, Minaic, Qatabanic, and Hadhramautic, these belonged to the South Arabian classification. By the end of the first millennium BC the writing began to show a decidedly non-South Arabian substrate and around this period, Arabic began making further incursions south. Eventually a dialect of Arabic arose in the region which was heavily influenced by the pre-Arabic languages of the region known as Himyari, or Himyari. This story showcases the differences in Himyari and Standard Arabic in a rather hilarious manner, the verb wathaba in Standard Arabic means "to jump" but in Himyari meant "to sit", thib being the imperative of wathaba. So when the Arabic is told by the Himyari king "sit" ("thib!"), he thought he was told to jump and leaped to his death because he "shattered to pieces". Interestingly, in the Ancient South Arabian language of Sabaic, the root w-th-b meant "to sit" (as indeed it did in Hebrew and other Semitic languages). Even today the dialects of Yemen show traces of the pre-Islamic languages of the region in vocab and, at times, even in grammar. The king then went on in the story to remark that they don't speak "ʿArabiyyat" but Himyari, this show cases another remarkable feature of this dialect whereby the pausal form "-ah" is reduced always to an "-at", so what would be pronounced "ʿArabiyyah" in Standard Arabic is "ʿArabiyyat" in Himyari. After all, whoever enters Dhofar must speak Himyari.

Edited by Ibn Al-Ja'abi

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It’s said that a cemetery, with a high engraved dome was built for Ḵḫāwaja Mūn’im that workers worked on for a whole year, so the Ḵḫāwaja told the workers one day, “Is there anything more that the dome needs?” The workers replied: “Your honorable presence.”

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On 2/21/2019 at 8:20 AM, Sumerian said:

الطول طول النخلة

والعقل عقل السخلة

The height [is the] height of a palm tree

[but]

the intellect [is the] intellect of a goat

___

An Iraqi saying, probably used against adults who behave with a small brain attitude.

Reminds me of this, that I read.

:كان لمحمّد بن بشير الشّاعر ابن جسيم ولدٌ فأرسله في حاجة فأبطأ عليه ثمّ عاد ولم يقضها، فنظر إليه ثمّ قال

ْعَقْلُهُ عَقْلُ طَائِرٍ     وَهُوَ فِي خِلْقَةِ الجَمَل

:فأجابه

شُعْبَةٌ مِنكَ يَا أبِي     لَيْسَ لِي عَنْهُ مُنتَقَلْ

output-onlinepngtools.png.715a2a707d9451538fb7744b45fb5f66.png

Edited by Simon the Canaanite

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