Abu at-Tayyib al-Mutanabbi


Biography of Abu at-Tayyib al-Mutanabbi

Abu at-Tayyib al-Mutanabbi poet

Abu at-Tayyib Ahmad ibn al-Husayn al-Mutanabbi (Arabic: أبو الطيب أحمد بن الحسين المتنبّي Abū aṭ-Ṭayyib ʾAḥmad ibn al-Ḥusayn al-Mutanabbī‎) (915 – 23 September 965) was an Arab Iraqi poet. He is considered as one of the greatest poets in the Arabic language. Much of his poetry revolves around praising the kings he visited during his lifetime. Some consider his 326 poems to be a great representation of his life story. He started writing poetry when he was nine years old. He is well known for his sharp intelligence and wittiness. Al-Mutanabbi had a great pride in himself through his poetry. Among the topics he discussed were courage, the philosophy of life, and the description of battles. Many of his poems were and still are widely spread in today's Arab world and are considered to be proverbial.
His great talent brought him very close to many leaders of his time. He praised those leaders and kings in return for money and gifts. His powerful and honest[citation needed] poetic style earned great popularity in his time.
Al-Mutanabbi was killed because one of his poems contained a great insult to a man called Dhaba al-Asadi (Arabic: ضبة الأسدي Ḍabba al-ʾAsadī).[citation needed] Dhaba, along with his Uncle Fatik al-Asadi (Arabic: فاتك الأسدي Fātik al-ʾAsadī), were determined to kill Al-Mutanabbi because of that poem which contained a great insult to Dhaba. They managed to intercept Al-Mutanabbi, his son Muhassad (Arabic: محسد Muḥassad), and his servant near Baghdad. Ibn Rachik reported that when Al-Mutanabbi wished to flee, his servant awkwardly reminded him of his bold verses; Al-Mutanabbi resolved to live up to them, fought, and died along with his companions in 965.

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My Heart Is Aflame

My heart is aflame, burning with love for you
While your heart is frigid-cold toward me
You think so lightly of me, treating me with such indifference
My soul is sickened, my body debilitated
Why should I conceal a love that has consumed my body
When pretenders fake the love of Saif-Al-Dawlah
If what brings us together is our common love for you
I wish we would meritoriously share your bounties
Each according to the love he harbors for you

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