The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Al-shu'ara

After all this work I've put in on Umayya bin Abi'l-Salt this last autumn ... I have to say, little of it has helped my main projects. The "Ararat Tax" project on sura 23 and (implicitly) sura 43 does refer to "Damdam" but this is very weak tea, given how marginal are those two suras.

I got more mileage out of Adi bin Zayd. Adi offered that whole Nestorian / Catholic, eastside - westside thing - this helps us understand the basic sectarian milieu of the Prophet. I can honestly admit "darn, I wish I had known about this when I was writing up House of War". And that was just in that one poem.

There are sixty-odd poems ascribed to Umayya and none of them are much help; they are all banally secular-Arab or else banally Islamic. Mostly my admissions here run more to the "darn, I wish I hadn't wasted quite so much time on this".

I wonder if that itself might be significant. Perhaps the Umayya poems are more important to the tafsir-stage (of Hisham through to the Abbasids) than to the qurra-stage (of the earlier Umayyads).


posted by Zimri on 00:32 | link | 0 comments

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