Biography of al-Farazdaq
Hammam ibn Ghalib Abu Firas, commonly known as al-Farazdaq (ca. 641 - ca. 728-730) , was an Arab poet.
He was born in Kadhima (modern day Kuwait) and lived at Basra. He was a member of Darim, one of the most respected divisions of the Bani Tamim, and his mother was of the tribe of Dabba. His grandfather Sa'sa' was a Bedouin of great repute, his father Ghalib followed the same manner of life until Basra was founded, and was famous for his generosity and hospitality.
At the age of 15, Farazdaq was known as a poet, and though checked for a short time by the advice of the caliph Ali to devote his attention to the study of the Qur'an, he soon returned to making verse. In the true Bedouin spirit he devoted his talent largely to satire and attacked the Bani Nahshal and the Bani Fuqaim. When Ziyad, a member of the latter tribe, became governor of Basra in 669, the poet was compelled to flee, first to Kufa, and then, as he was still too near Ziyad, to Medina, where he was well received by the city's emir, Said ibn al-As. Here he remained about ten years, writing satires on Bedouin tribes, but avoiding city politics.
But he lived a prodigal life, and his amorous verses led to his expulsion by the caliph Marwan I. Just at that time he learned of the death of Ziyad and returned to Basra, where he secured the favor of Ziyad's successor Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad. Much of his poetry was now devoted to his matrimonial affairs. He had taken advantage of his position as guardian and married his cousin Nawar against her will. She sought help in vain from the court of Basra and from various tribes. All feared the poet's satires. At last she fled to Mecca and appealed to the political contender to the Ummayids Abdallah ibn Zubayr, who, however, succeeded in inducing her to consent to a confirmation of the marriage.
Quarrels soon arose again. Farazdaq took a second wife, and after her death a third, to annoy Nawar. Finally he consented to a divorce pronounced by Hasan al-Basri. Another subject occasioned a long series of verses, namely his feud with his rival Jarir and his tribe the Bani Kulaib. These poems are published as the Nakaid of Jarir and al-Farazdaq.
Al-Farazdaq became official poet to the Umayyad caliph Al-Walid I (reigned 705–715), to whom he dedicated a number of panegyrics.
He is most famous for the poem that he gave in Makkah when Ali bin Hussain bin Ali bin Abu Talib (Zayn al-Abidin) entered the Haram of the Kaba angering the emir. The poem is extremely powerful. It is because of this poem that he was imprisoned.