Ahmed Mouloud Akah

from the



Sayyida Sukainah

Bint Al Hussein (


AH / 736 CE), to the Forum of the Andalusian Princess the Poet Wlada Bint Al-Mustaqfi (d. 484 AH / 1091 CE), not ending in the salon of the contemporary Levantine writer May Ziada (d.1362 AH / 1941 CE);

We find a historical line connected to a cultural phenomenon that has long been thought by many to be modern, while it is ancient since the days of the pre-Islamic era, and this phenomenon is what was called in the past "the Council of Literature" and became known today as the "Cultural Salon";

The word "culture" - in the language of our time - is the semantic equivalent closest to the ancient concept of "literature".

And of course;

The reference to the councils of feminist culture - from Sakinah to Mei - does not mean anything other than emphasizing the prevalence and generalization of that Arab cultural phenomenon.

As it was polarizing all classes and diversities of Islamic societies throughout its history since the time of the Companions of this phenomenon, and with the major political and cultural transformations, these salons became one of the closest pillars of the palaces of government and the most prominent features of the homes of notables from the intellectuals of society, and with the emergence of the writing and blogging industry, it became a necessary component in the activities of book markets and shops. Leafy.

It is noteworthy here that public spaces were designated in the middle of Islamic cities to hold literary and cultural councils, discussion and dialogue sessions.

Perhaps inspired by the idea of ​​"Arab markets" in their jahiliyyah, and a development of the precedent enacted by Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab (d. 23 AH / 645 AD) in Medina, as will be mentioned below.

Thus, Kufa had a cultural space, and Basra had a competing space.

Perhaps one of the most important conclusions that can be concluded from the phenomenon of cultural forums in our history is that it is a very indicative sign of the vitality of the social public sphere in the Islamic civilization, and the great contribution it made to the production of culture, the circulation of thought and the exchange of opinion, in a balanced and free manner that stems from the movement of people and their literary experience. It is not a directive from an authority figure, as there is no real control in these forums except for the strength of the statement and proof.

Especially as it was a framework for formulating public opinion positions on issues and people as a hot field for the intertwining of ideas, doctrines and tendencies.

As for the arts and skills that accompanied this phenomenon - and the cultural networks, literary trends and expressive employments it generated - it is difficult to monitor its details exclusively.

Far from it was contributing to the maturity of gaining culture, strengthening morals and crystallizing ideas among its users, it was also a stage for the invention of the arts of dramatic performance and what is needed in terms of cosmetic methods and fashion style!

In this article;

We review how a central aspect of the Arab cultural scene in the Islamic civilization has been managed - brilliantly - through the societal role, since the field was opened to it by the nature of Islam, which gives the oral narrative a decisive role in the horizons of knowledge reception;

We will enter the worlds of the phenomenon of literary councils, which formed a historical precedent for the idea of ​​"cultural salons", and learn about the molds, returns and literary activities that were full of them in public squares and closed homes;

And we monitor - by tracking its stages and forums - what was the knowledge that it had, which poured its tributaries in favor of the emergence of literary arts and writing templates that enriched cultural and literary life.

Ancient roots

poetry refused to leave its impact on societal life in the Arab space so strongly that the tradition of literary encounters and platforms was rooted in it.

Ibn Khaldun (d. 808 AH / 1406 AD) stated that “the leaders of the Arabs were competitors in it (= poetry) and they were standing in Souk Okaz (near the city of Taif) to sing it, and each one of them presented his preamble (= his style) to the stallions of affairs and the people of Al-Basr" with poetry and criticism.

We realize from this the extent of the awareness of Arab society - since the era of Jahiliyyah - to the importance of creating public spaces for holding poetry events and rhetorical festivals, so that research journey led them to test the markets out of poetry and literature from the scope of family interaction and mini-meetings to where everyone meets and the public interaction is most intense. Toward what the poetic competition sessions achieve in "Arab markets".

Abu Ali Al-Marzouqi (d. 421 AH / 1031 CE) - in 'Times and Places', quoting Ibn Duraid al-Azdi (d. 321 AH / 933 CE) - stated that “the great Arab markets were thirteen markets in the Jahiliyyah.” Poetry activities were among the main activities in the number of From them all year long.

Abu Ahmad al-Askari (d. 382 AH / 993 CE) - in 'Guarded in Literature' - depicts part of that poetic competition.

He tells that the poet Al-Nabigha Al-Dhabiani (d. 18 BC / 604 AD) used to "hit him the dome of Adam (= julud) in Okaz market, so poets would come to show him her poems."

Away from the space of the crowded and bustling markets;

The shades of the Arab community set out to hold literary councils and dances in their homes in order to listen to the texts produced by poets and interact with their creativity, whether it was between the walls of houses or in the shadows of the Kaaba or in the midst of the hustle and bustle of markets, and even on the roads and during travels.

This was an expression - from early time - that literature is a first-class deliberative matter that public councils use as passage channels for everyone to associate with them, and therefore Ibn Hisham al-Hamiri (d.218 AH / 833 CE) - in 'The Prophet's Biography' - states that “he was not from the Quraysh So take unless they have a known club in the Grand Mosque to sit in. "

In the long tradition of the idea of ​​the Arab community “diwaniyas” and the influence of their host on their pioneers;

We read in Al-Jahiz (d. 255 AH / 868 AD) - in “Al-Bayan and Al-Tabiyyin” - Ibn Abbas’s saying: “Quraysh used to be the home of Abu Bakr (Al-Siddiq d. 13 AH / 635 AD), may God Almighty be pleased with him, for two characteristics: knowledge and food. When he embraced Islam, he embraced Islam in general. Who was sitting with him! "

As Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (d. 241 AH / 855 CE) - in the book 'The Virtues of the Companions' - narrates the saying of Omar bin Al-Khattab (d.23 AH / 645 CE): “We had a council in which men from Quraysh gathered in the hazurah (= Souk of Mecca) at the house of Amr bin Ayed [Makhzoumi]!

Whereas these councils are a cultural and social habit in their lives;

They took evenings and evenings as dates for a meeting in them, as Ibn Aybak Al-Dawadari (d. 736 AH / 1432 CE) - in 'Treasure of pearls' - tells us: “The tan is the conversation at night, and the origin of the sun is that the shadow of the moon, and they used to sit in it for conversation, so he borrowed the name for their conversation.”

Promote and consolidate

when Islam came;

Mosques proliferated throughout the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and the Levant, whereby gatherings were renewed twice a day throughout the week, thus filling the void left by the disappearance of the traditional "Arab markets", and providing a spacious place and incubators for the circulation of literary content and support for its societal spread.

This is what opened the Arabic poem - since the Prophet’s era - a platform from which it benefited in gaining popularity. A poem such as “Al-Burdah” by Kaab bin Zuhair (d.26 AH / 648 CE) paved its way to fame and eternity when Ka’b stood. “The Messenger of God, may God bless him, sang And greeting in the mosque:

Suad was absent, so my heart today is pissed off ** and I am full of love after it, it has not come down

According to Ibn Hisham's narration in 'The Biography of the Prophet'.

Islam infused its influence on the life of the Arab community, including the public councils, which it found a communicative model, its age in a way that achieves enjoyment and benefit, and an interactive method, and it used it to be an effective means - among other styles - in building its civilization, and the frequency of its employment increased in quantity and quality.

We find confirmation of this in what Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi (d. 463 AH / 1071 AD) narrated - in the book “Al-Faqih and Al-Mutafiqah” - from the testimony of the hadith Imam Abu Al-Ahwas Al-Hanafi (d.179 AH / 795 AD): “We realized people and their councils are only mosques.”

On the centrality of literature in these councils;

The great companion Jabir ibn Samra al-Suwai (d. 76 AH / 696 CE) tells us about the proliferation of gatherings of poetry during the “Dawn of Islam,” and he says: “I sat with the Prophet, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, more than a hundred times and his companions were chanting things, and they were reciting the things of my companions. Perhaps he will smile with them ”(Sunan Al-Tirmidhi).

The Messenger, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, was not only satisfied with honoring literary councils with attendance and approval, but he sometimes asked to establish them and chant poetry in his hands even while he was on the battlefield.

As we read - in 'Sahih Muslim' - on the authority of Amr ibn al-Sharid bin Suwaid al-Thaqafi (d. Around 100 AH / 720 CE) on the authority of his father that he was a companion to the Prophet, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, on his mount. He said: Do you have anything from the poetry of Umayya bin Abi Al-Salat with you? I said: Yes, he said: It is (= increase), so I called him a house, then he said: He is it! Then I called him a house, and he said: He is it! A hundred !!

However, what is really striking is the provision of the Prophet’s Mosque with a platform for literary activity.

In 'Sahih al-Bukhari' that the Prophet, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, “used to put Hassan (Ibn Thabit d. 54 AH / 675 CE) a platform in the mosque” to recite poems.

And Imam al-Bayhaqi - in 'Sunan al-Kubra' - narrates that the Prophet, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, said while on a journey: Where is Hassan? So Hassan said: O Messenger of God, bless you! He said: Uhud (= sing), so he made a chant and [the Prophet] listened to him. Until he finished his hymn, then the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, said: This is why it is more difficult for them (= the polytheists) than the fall of the noble (= arrows) !!

A discussion arena,

and in that it was the bright color of the samples of literature councils by setting them up in the Islamic civilization during the trips. Indeed, the Companions invested in this literary tradition as they waded through the desert scales in their travels, and even on their way to the battlefields of war for jihad.

Ibn Salam al-Jamhi (d. 232 AH / 846 CE) narrates - in 'Tabaqat al-Shuara’s Phalanx ”- on the authority of Ibn Abbas (d.68 AH / 688 CE) that he said:“ Umar told me the night of his march to al-Jabiyah (= a place in the Levant) in the first raid he conquered [and he is the Caliph ]: Do you tell [something] to the poet of poets? I said: And who is he? He who says: And

if praise perpetuates people, they will be immortalized = But the praise of people is not immortal.

I said: That is Zahir, he said: That is the poet of poets! I said: And what was the poet of poets ?! He said: Because he used to do not excuse himself in speech (Mu'tazila: overlapping words), and he used to avoid wild poetry!

Rather, if the matter came to allocating Caliph Umar Al-Faruq to a public field in the city, in which people would meet to recite poetry, rhetoric, debate and culture;

Imam Malik bin Anas (d. 179 AH / 795 CE) - in al-Muwatta ’- narrated that Umar ibn al-Khattab built a wide area in the area of ​​the mosque called al-Batiha, and he said:“ Whoever wants to chant poetry or raise his voice, let him go out into this space. ” "!!

Then the custom of holding these literary councils continued in the life of the Companions after the era of the Rightly Guided Caliphs.

They had fixed councils to appeal to poems and narrate them, without being interrupted by their preoccupation with the affairs of the new religion and spreading it to the horizons, nor to face the challenges of life in which they live.

This literary dimension has been entrenched in their lives to the extent that Imam al-Tabi'i describes to us Amer al-Sha'bi (d. 104 AH / 723 CE) by saying: “I saw men of the Companions, may God be pleased with them, in the annihilation of the Kaaba, pleading with poems!”

Indeed, the "translator of the Qur’an," Abdullah bin Abbas, used to allocate - within the schedule of his scientific programs - a day a week for poetry and a council for the days of the Arabs and their literature.

Therefore, Imam Ibn Katheer (d. 774 AH / 1372 CE) - in “The Beginning and the End” - states that “he used to sit on a day in which he mentioned except for jurisprudence, days and days (= the interpretation of the Qur’an), days (= interpretation of the Qur’an), days = days (= interpretation of the Qur’an). ".

Among the great evidences for the centrality of these councils in the life of the Companions is what Imam Al-Bayhaqi reported in 'Al-Sunan Al-Kubra' - on the authority of the Prophet, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him’s translator and writer, and the head of the Qur’an Writing Committee, Zaid bin Thabit Al-Khazraji (d. 45 AH / 666 AD) and his interest in poetic encounters.

He narrated with his chain of transmission to Al-Taba'i Muhammad bin Katheer bin Aflah that he said: “The last sitting in which Zaid bin Thabit we sat was a gathering in which poetry appealed to us!

A civilized tool, and

because cultural councils are a productive and fulfilling tool of civilization;

The Islamic geography was on a date with a huge cultural contribution of a central country in which it made these councils the most prominent tools of civilization.

By that, we mean Iraq with the Egyptians of Basra and Kufa, which were newly established during the caliphate of Umar al-Faruq. They undertook early formation of a legacy of knowledge, especially at the level of linguistic sciences and arts of literature, which they produced with a positive and intimate competition reflected by their grammatical schools.

We find a reflection of the atmosphere of the beginnings of that heated competition in an expressive position conveyed to us by the Qifti historian (d.646 AH / 1248 CE) - in “the narrators noticed” - by saying: “When it was said to Yahya bin Khaled (Al-Baramaki, the Abbasid minister d.190 AH / 811 CE): This [Siboye] ( T. 179 AH / 795 AD)] Fadel Nahaat al-Basra [entered Baghdad]! He longed to hear his words, and it was said to him: Combine him with the grammar of Kufa al-Kasaei (d.189 AH / 805 CE), so he combined them, and attended to Kufa.

Such a gathering is not strange for the people of a region that planned public squares in its cities to hold literary and cultural councils, perhaps inspired by the idea of ​​Arab markets in their ignorance or an imitation of the pre-age in the Prophet's city.

So Kufa had a public space for poets known as “the knights” that “the nobles of Kufa used to come out to the face of it, reciting poems, talking and remembering the days of people.”

According to what is in al-Aghani by Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani (d. 356 AH / 967 CE).

As for the people of Basra, their literary forum was the “Al-Marbad” market located on the outskirts of their city, and which provides us with Yaqut al-Hamwi (d.626 AH / 1229 CE) an introductory glimpse of it, and says - in the 'Dictionary of Countries' - that it was “the camel market .. in the past and then it became a great locality where it lived People, and in it the boasts of poets and councils of preachers. "

Al-Marbad gained more fame than his Kufi rival in the “Knissat” for having hosted - for decades - major poetic battles in the second half of the first AH / seventh century AD. Among its famous knights were Farazdaq al-Tamimi (d.110 AH / 739 CE) and Jarir al-Tamimi (d. 110 AH / 739 CE), Al-Akhtal Al-Thalabi (d. 92 AH / 712 CE) and al-Shepherd al-Numayri (d. 90 AH / 710 CE);

The camel shepherd [Numayri] and the Farazdaq and their meeting had a circle at the top of Al-Marbad in Basra where they were sitting.

According to the "Al-Aghani" by Al-Isfahani, who also talks about the place where Jarir recited his poetry, he says: "And his majlis and the farazdaq council was known."

And while hosting those poetic contradictions and the flaring critical trade-offs regarding them;

Al-Murabd was a center that attracted linguists, literary and criticism scholars to record the stranger of the language and its poetic evidence from the mouths of the Arabs coming from the valley of the Arabs, and to support their studies and projects regarding language and monitor its phenomena, as reported by Abu Ali al-Qali al-Baghdadi (d.356 AH / 967 CE) - in his book ' Al-Amali'- From the words of Imam al-Adab al-Asma'i (d.216 AH / 831 CE): “I came to Abu Amr ibn Al-Ala (Al-Basri d. 154 AH / 772 CE), and he said to me: Where did you come from? I said: I came from Al-Marbad!” He said: Bring what is with you [from his narrations] So I read on him what I had written in all neighborhoods. "

With a special character, it

suffices to clarify the role of this well-known literary platform for its contribution to the graduation of writers and the strengthening of their cultural capabilities.

Fayqot Al-Hamwi tells us, for example, that Al-Jahiz "caught eloquence from the Arabs in check with wanting"!

And he overlooked a scene from his various literary gatherings through what was reported by Abu Abdullah Al-Marzabani (d. 384 AH / 994 AD) - in “Al-Muwashah in the sockets of scholars on poets” - on the authority of one of them was the poet Dhu al-Rumah al-Tamimi (d.117 AH / 736 CE).

Where he says: “Dhu al-Ramah stood chanting his poem .. Then the people gathered and heard - and that was in the mard - so the farzq passed by and stood listening, and the man of the rama looked at him until he finished, then he said: How do you hear, Abu Firas? He said: What is the best of what you said!”

It seems that this intense literary activity - in the pulpits of Kufa and Basra - was an urgent public demand.

The community joined forces with generations of poets to continue to fuel its flame and maintain its fire. Among this is what Abu Al-Fath Al-Abbasi (d. 963 AH / 1556 AD) mentions - in the 'Textual Institutes' - that “Boys of a calf said to Abu An-Najm (Al-Ajali 120 AH / 739 AD) this. Rua'ah (Ibn al-Ajaj al-Tamimi d. 145 AH / 762 CE) sits in al-Murabd, and his poetry is heard and people sing, and the boys of Tamim meet him! He said, Or do you like that? They said yes…! [So he entered the room] and said: “Yes, he entered the room. They asked him to sing them, and he sang them ... and he was one of the best people. "

Literary councils in the first Islamic era printed several returns and techniques, the most prominent of which were touches related to the field of "drama" and the art of theater, which gave these councils a special touch that had the effect of strengthening the relationship between its stars of poets and the audience of recipients, to attract it to the literary content presented.

Besides enriching this product content;

Poets and preachers begged with many appearances to implement their creative looks that they desired, so they used - to maintain the audience's interaction with them - the body language that Al-Jahiz draws our attention to its importance in the art of speech and speech by the Arabs.

And he says - in 'Al-Bayan and Al-Bayan' - that “the amount of the signal (= body language) is far from the amount of the sound ... and the good pointing with the hand and the head is the same as being well-defined by the tongue." Then he clarified - in his book "The Animal" - what he applauds in the body language of "raising The eyebrows, the breaking of the eyelids, the turning of the lips, the movement of the necks, and the clenching of the lashes of the face! "

Among those techniques is also what Al-Isfahani reported - in 'Al-Aghani' - of certain rituals that were adopted by poets in those councils and forums.

This Jarir became one day preparing to go to the place where he recited his poem in which the Bani Nimir satirized the tribe of his adversary the shepherd, and before his departure, he “called for anointing, and cuffed his head (= joined his limbs) and he was well-haired. Then he said: Oh boy, let me go, so he brought him a horse. He intended their council, "then he mentioned that he became concerned with producing the text of his poem, when he became" if he grows up, he would have said it eighty houses in Bani Namir "!

And he grew even bigger when he said in his house, which has been transmitted through tongues through the ages: So turn a blind eye, that you are from a tiger ** There are no heels or dogs!

It is between two sects,

and the earliest times of this aspect - it seems - go back to before Jarir's arguments and his strikes;

As we find - according to Al-Isfahani in Al-Aghani - that Hassan bin Thabit (d. 54 AH / 675 CE) “used henna on his mustache and tunnel and did not stain all of his beard, so his son Abd al-Rahman said to him: Who did you do 723 AH / 1043 AH)? He said: To be as if I were a lion and stung in blood !!

This is what suggests taking this aspect for a purpose related to participating in the venues of poetic competition, just as his background converges with the monotheistic comment (d. After 400 AH / 1010AD) - in 'Insights and Ammunition' - on what was said about the companion poet Lubaid bin Rabia (d. 41 AH / 662 AD) That if he recited his poetry in the Jahiliyyah, he would “anoint one of the two halves of his head, and loosen his wraps, and wear one sole. Likewise, the poets used to do in the Jahiliyyah if they wanted satire !!”

In general, they are two options that seem to be the case in the appearances of the poets participants, either to take strange appearances or choose to dress and be well dressed.

As we read - in 'Al-Aghani ’- that“ (=) a group (=) circled in the meadow upon the poet Dhu al-Rumah while standing on it with a hail (= cloak) worth a hundred dinars (= today approximately 17 thousand US dollars), so listen to him chanting -and his tears flow on His beard - [his poem]: What do you think of it spills water in your eyes !!

In the context of the interest of the poets of the Islamic era in the techniques of poetic participation, they used some methods to support their literary presence.

This linguistic imam, Ahmad bin Yahya, known as Ba'alab (d. 291 AH / 904 CE) tells us - in his book 'Majalis al-Thaqal' - that “[the poet] Dhul-Rumah was mentioned in a council in which there are several Bedouins, so [one of them] said: Oh, ask about him; it was One of the funniest people .. the sweetest of logic, and if a barbar sang (= loudly) and harsh (= thickened) his voice, if he came back to you, you would not be bored with his speech and words !!

Al-Sowali (d. 335 AH / 946 CE) - in his book “Akhbar Abi Tammam” - mentions that this brilliant poet was fearful of his voice, so he had to accompany “a good narrator of the nasheed” with him, so he would accompany him to sing his poetry to him in the councils of caliphs and leaders of the state.

Imam Ibn Asaker (d. 571 AH / 1175 CE) - in “History of Damascus” - also narrates that the poet Al-Bhatri used to employ body language in his literary presence, so “if he sang, he would be proud in his chanting, and he moved his hands and pointed his head with admiration for what he was coming, and he said: Well done By God, what do you do not do well (= you say to me: well done) and marvel at what you hear ?! And that was perhaps angered [the Caliph] al-Mutawakkil (al-Abbasi d. 247 AH / 861 CE) ", even though Al-Bahtari was the poet of his favorite court !!

Some poets may resort to concealment tricks to ensure that they win the wager of victory in poetry councils.

Among the images of this is what Ibn Abd al-Malik al-Marrakchi (d. 703 AH / 1303 CE) narrates - in 'The Tail and Complementary' - that the poet Yusef bin Musa al-Hawari al-Marrakchi (d.649 AH / 1251 CE) used to “take the hearts together when he recited the Qur’an or sang poetry, and if He attended with the poets - to sing in the hands of the kings of his time [in the monotheistic state] - he wanted .. to postpone it to the end of them, so if he sang another, I forget - with the goodness of his tone and the kindness of his singing - every kindness that other glorified poets offered .. so the councils will be for him never !!

A propaganda tool

because literary councils are not only a societal affair, and they are not limited to being a mechanism in Islam for disseminating scientific content.

The governments of successive Islamic countries have received with great interest the idea of ​​holding these councils and exploited them - in the context of their political struggles - to create propaganda content in support of their regimes, and it seems that the authoritarian entry into this field was sometimes through the umbrella of literary criticism that was established in the shadow of these official and societal councils.

This Abu Hilal al-Askari (d. 395 AH / 1005 CE) narrates - in the 'Diwan of al-Ma'ali' - what the Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik bin Marwan (d. 86 AH / 705 CE) said one day in a semi-orientation workshop for poets: “You liken us once to the lion, once to the rugged mountain, and once to the sea. Al-Ajaj (= very salty); did you not say, as Ayman bin Khuraym (Al-Asadi t about 80 AH / 700 AD): Your

day is suffering and fasting ** and your night is prayer and contemplation, and

they are a land for your feet and you ** for their heads and eyes equally

And in the midst of the authorities' attempts to employ literary councils;

Political pitfalls cast a shadow over the course of these salons, limiting the circulation of some texts of a political nature within them, as indicated by a commentary by Al-Marzabani - in the 'Dictionary of the Poets' - on a poem by the poet Auf bin Abdullah bin Al-Ahmar Al-Azdi (d.646 AH / 686 AD), saying: This elegy was hidden during the days of the Umayyads, but it was released after "their country has gone!"

Al-Isfahani also tells us - in the songs - that the poet Al-Kumait (d.126 AH / 743 CE) “was the first thing that [ah] the Hashemites said, so he covered it” for fear of the Umayyads!

The official councils of the Umayyads included political poetic posts in a way that welcomes the poetry of the majlis as long as they can use them as a tool in political conflict and authoritarian propaganda, including what was reported by Ibn Salam al-Jamahi - in the 'Classes of the Poetics' - from the words of Ubayd Allah bin Qais al-Ruqayyat (d. About 75 AH / 694 CE): They

do not revile among the Umayyads except ** that they dream if

they are

angry and

that they are the metal of kings, so they are only suitable for them by the Arabs

Similar to the behavior of the Umayyads;

The Abbasids proceeded in the political employment of these councils, as in the words of the poet Mansour al-Nimri (d.190 AH / 805 CE), granting the Abbasids the political legitimacy to the exclusion of others who preceded them.

He says as in Ibn Qutaybah (d.279 AH / 892 CE):

The caliphate was the legacy of your father ** without

tayam and God's forgiveness would be expanded if it were not for Uday and


would not have reached ** illiteracy that passes through and sucks

This strong presence of literary councils - in light of their political uses and the importance of their cultural roles - was a natural motivation to search for enjoyment of the literary position, and at the same time to rely - at the same time - on the application of some methods that stimulate literary creativity, two things that coincide to highlight the color of literary councils based on improvisation as a test of capabilities The poets.

In this, the Abbasid caliph, the poet Abdullah bin Al-Mu'taz (d. 296 AH / 909 CE) - in his book Tabaqat al-Shuaraa - narrates that Harun al-Rashid (d. 193 AH / 808 CE) once said to the poet Abu al-Ghoul al-Nahshli (d.190 AH / 806 CE): We have something in your hair, so if you uncover it with something that you say on the face of it? Then turn around and find the Secretary (Ibn al-Rashid d. 198 AH / 814 CE) standing on his right and al-Ma'mun (Ibn al-Rashid d.218 AH / 833 CE) on his left, so he created to say: You have

built for Abdullah after Muhammad **


was born The dome of Islam, so its oud became green. They

are its supplications. God bless them ** And you are the Prince of the Believers, its pillar!

One of the dimensions that preserved the celebration of cultural and literary councils is resorting to them to enjoy their contents and savor their creativity, which contributed to the consecration of images of literary interaction that are one side of a coin and the other side are the expressions of recitation and participation by poets and writers, it came - in the 'songs' of Isfahani - that the prominent Abbasid poet Al-Abbas ibn Al-Hanaf (Al-Hanafi d. 192 AH / 814 CE) when I sang the poem of Ibn al-Dumayna (Al-Khathami d. 130 AH / 747 CE):

“O Saba, do we find when you came from Najd? ** The path of drowsiness increased to me very much in my face!

” ) .. And he said: I bow the pillar from the goodness of this poetry !!

A remarkable spread

of the palaces of the sultans and the houses of the intellectuals in the community, the literary councils extend until they reach the shops and stores during the Abbasid era, thus drawing a painting of their community spread that is full of pillars and colors.

The Abbasid Emir Abdullah bin Al-Mu'taz (d. 296 AH / 909 CE) narrates in his book Tabaqat al-Shuaraa: “Nasr bin Muhammad (al-Khazri d. Before 300 AH / 912 CE) told me: Ibn Abi, the sister of al-Warraq, told me: The poets were meeting in his father’s shop in Baghdad." Then he narrated some of the stories of the poet Abi Al-Ataheh (d. 211 AH / 826 CE) in the boards of this shop.

Yaqut al-Hamwi - in the 'Dictionary of the Writers', quoted by the poet Abu Bakr al-Sanobri (d. 334 AH / 945 CE) - tells us about a literary salon that was held in one of the commercial libraries of two books of a writer named Saeed al-Warraq (d. Before 321 AH / 933 CE);

Al-Senoubri says: “Balraha (= the Turkish city of 'Urfa' today) was a lover called 'Happy', and in his shop was the council of every writer, and good manners and understanding used thin poetry, and we would not leave his shop .. [We] and other poets of Levant and Diyar Egypt"!

During the deliberations of poets and their arguments in those multiple clubs, new names and writers were discovered to show their abilities. Indeed, mosques and mosques were often platforms for highlighting the emerging talents of poetry and getting acquainted with the new talent of poets.

Perhaps the most prominent example of this is the discovery of the great poet Abu Tammam al-Ta'i (d.231 AH / 845 CE), whose poetics was announced on a Friday at the Baghdad Mosque.

Its historian, Imam Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi, speaks to us, describing the context in which this historical poetic discovery was made, and that it was inside the "poets' dome" inside the mosque.

Al-Khatib says - in “The History of Baghdad” - quoting with his chain of transmission from the poet Ali bin al-Jahm (d. 249 AH / 863 CE): “The poets used to gather every Friday in the dome known to them from the Al-Madina Mosque (= Baghdad), and they chanted poetry and each of them presented to his companions what More recent than the saying after they separated on the Friday that preceded it, so I was on a Friday of that Friday .. -and the people were listening to each other's singing- I saw a young man in the other people seated in the clothes of the Bedouins and their appearance. When we stopped the chanting, he said to us: I have heard your chanting since today, and then they heard Sing me! We said: Give!

The narrator Ibn al-Jahm adds that Abu Tammam sang poems to him “until he finished to the end, so we said to him: Who is this poetry for?” So he said: To whom did you recite it? We said: Who are you? He said: I am Abu Tamam Habib bin Aws al-Ta'i ... so we knew him until he became with us in our position. ... and we made him like one of us, and our admiration for him intensified for his gentleness, gentleness ... and the quality of his hair, and that day was the first day we knew him, and then his condition improved until it was his command !!

It seems that the Baghdad Mosque’s embrace of the forums of its great poets continued until the era of al-Khatib al-Baghdadi himself in the fifth century AH / tenth century AD.

As we find him recounting some of his memories of the poet Mihayar al-Dailami (d. 428 AH / 1038 CE), and he says: “He was a poet who spoke in advance of the people of his time ... and I used to see him attending the Al-Mansour Mosque [in Baghdad] on Fridays and reading his poetry collection on him, so I was not appreciated that I hear something from him. "

This reveals the extent to which society at that time focused on literary figures - whatever the position of the jurists towards them - to enjoy their councils and to seek cultural and moral benefit.

And the phenomenon of hosting mosques and mosques - in those eras - of poetry spaces is expanding, as a chant and our recording to Egypt.

When the sheikh of the commentators and the imam of historians Abu Jaafar al-Tabari visited it for the second time in the year 256 AH / 870 CE, he found its people not knowing the poetry of Al-Tarmah bin Hakim al-Ta'i (d.150 AH / 768 CE), and they asked him to hear it from him, so he sat “dictating it [to them] at the house of money in the mosque (= =). Mosque of Amr bin Al-Aas in Fustat) ";

According to the testimony of Yaqut al-Hamwi in the 'Dictionary of the Authors'.



in most parts of Islam and during most of its ages;

Many councils of court literature celebrated the participants widely, and it was a gathering for them.

The Council of Minister Al-Buihi Al-Saheb Ibn Abbad (d. 385 AH / 995 AD) in the city of Al-Ray (today Tehran) described by Imam Al-Samani (d. 562 AH / 1167 AD) - in his book “The Genealogy” - as “he was full of virtues and poets from all over the world.” Therefore, he asserted Al-Dhahabi - in the 'History of Islam' - that he “was the best of the ministers of the Daylamite state (= the Buyids), the most prolific of them in knowledge, the broadest of manners, and the most good of them!”

The Sultans' tiles gave a special appreciation - in the literary councils - to those with a prominent literary contribution, and it was an effective factor in imparting their production to specificities that appear in various aspects of their creativity.

We find, for example, that the poet Aba Al-Tayeb Al-Mutanabi (d. 354 AH / 965 CE) was exempted from some of the controls for poetic recitation in these tiles. In the 'Treasury of Literature' by Abdul Qadir Al-Baghdadi (d. 1093 AH / 1682 AD) that Al-Mutanabi, when he came to Saif al-Dawla al-Hamdani, “stipulated that he He only sings a qaeda, "and standing for singing was the official custom (protocol) for the poets.

At the end of this fourth century AH;

We find within the Umayyad state apparatus in Andalusia - in its Amiriya version - a department for culture and literature affairs, which is the closest thing to an official union of poets that registers the names of the most talented of them after testing their competence and takes care of them and honors them according to their creativity.

This is what Imam Ibn Abi Nasr Al-Hamidi Al-Andalusi (d. 488 AH / 1095 CE) tells us that during the reign of the powerful minister Al-Mansur Ibn Abi Amer (d. 392 AH / 1003 CE), “The poets had ... a divan (= administration) they gained from it according to their ranks, and no They violate the service with poetry in its aspects. "

He mentioned that those who took over this administration were the writer Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Muslimah (d. 437 AH / 1046 CE) .. In his office he was the “reins of poets” in that country, and on his hands were their prayers (= their rewards) and their fees, and according to his arrangement they were doing their affairs ".

Al-Hamidi gives us an example of the work of this administration or union.

He says that the poet Ahmad bin Daraj al-Qasttali (d. 421 AH / 1031 CE) accused him - at the beginning of his poetic career - of some of them as being “an impostor who stole [his poetry] who did not deserve to be proven in the Divan of Tender.” Al-Mansour invoked him on Thursday for three years of Shawwal two days Eighty and three hundred (382 AH / 992 AD), he tested it and suggested to him (= he asked him for improvisation), so he emerged and preceded and the accusation was removed from him, so he connected him to a hundred dinars and made a livelihood on him (= salary), and proved it among the poets !!

Traditions and dates,

and within the framework of this celebration of literature forums;

The nature of his majlis continued to reveal many of its features and peculiarities, as we read in the book of al-Maqari al-Tlemceni - in 'Nafah al-Tayyib' - from the hadith of the Andalusian poet Abi Bakr Ibn al-Labanah al-Dani (d. 507 AH / 1113 CE) on the authority of the Emir of Almeria al-Mu'tasim bin Sumadh (d. 484 AH) / 1091 AD) and his treatment of literature councils.

Al-Maqqari said about him: “I mentioned it to one of the writers who accompanied him [m] .. He was eager to meet with him and wanted me to ask his permission for that. When I informed Ezz al-Dawla (= Prince Al-Mu'tasim), he said: O Abu Bakr! Lethargy and restlessness that cannot accommodate us with them nor is it nice for us to meet with anyone, especially with those with politeness and cleverness !!

This concern for the appropriate time to sit down with writers and poets is also found by the Andalusian prince, the poet al-Mu'tamid ibn Abbad (d. 488 AH / 1095 CE).

Al-Maqri tells us that the poets in the era of al-Mu'tamid "had ... a special day in which no one else would enter the king, and perhaps it was Monday" of every week.

The cultural and literary councils of Asmar were also a basic given in the programs of a number of the sultans of the Ayyubid state, where al-Nuwayri (d. 733 AH / 1333 CE) - in 'The End of Arb ’- spoke about the complete Sultan of Egypt Ibn al-Adil al-Ayyubi (d.635 AH / 1238 CE), stating that“ he was sitting In a special council every Friday night, in which jurists, writers, poets and others meet.

Al-Maqrizi (d. 845 AH / 1441 CE) - in “The Adoration of the Al-Hanifa” - highlights the interest of the Fatimid minister in Egypt Tala'a bin Ruzayk (d. 556 AH / 1161 CE) in literature, and he was a brilliant leader and a brilliant poet.

He said that he had “set a council for him to be attended by people of literature at night, and poetry cast them in it.”

Not far from the era of Ibn Ruzayk.

Sultan Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi was known for his literary councils in Egypt and the Levant, despite the state of war and constant jihad against the Crusaders.

Al-Dhahabi tells us - in the 'biography' - about Saladin's passion for preserving literature and chanting poetry, so that he “used to preserve the 'enthusiasm' (= a book of poetry) and thought that every jurist preserved it.” Rather, he rewarded everyone who memorized it and sang it in his council !!

The contribution of Aseel The

literary councils included another factor that did not go a long way until it appeared with complete clarity, which is the prominent role of female poetic participants who influenced the literary and cultural content.

When we review the earliest models of female participation in literary forums, we find that it was done on the level of its various samples, so that while - the first advent of Islam - remained from the "Arab markets", poetic competition did not remain the preserve of male poets.

Bahaa al-Din al-Baghdadi (d. 562 AH / 1167 CE) narrates - in the 'Al-Tadhkira al-Hamduniyya' - that when Hind bint Utbah (d. 14 AH / 636 CE) was hit by what she was injured [by killing her father, brother and uncle in the Battle of Badr in the year 2 AH / 624 CE] Bint Amr (d. Circa 24 AH / 646 CE) [from crying and lamenting her brother Sakhr] said: I am greater than al-Khansa ’calamity!

So she ordered her Hodja to be used as a banner, and she witnessed the season in Okaz .. She said: Associate my camel with the Khansaa camel!

So they did, and when she approached her, Al-Khansa said to her: Who are you, brother?

She said: I am Hind bint Utbah bin Rabia, and I am the greatest of the Arab calamity, and I have been told that you have venerated the Arabs for your misfortune. ”Then the poetic debate between them was in full view of Okaz’s audience !!

The foundations of this feminist literary contribution have steadily taken root since the receptive councils in which a group of companions and followers narrated on the authority of the Mother of the Believers Aisha (d.58 AH / 679 CE), may God be pleased with her, and from what they received was a large portion of her poetic archives.

Ibn al-Qayyim (d. 751 AH / 1350 CE) - in Zad al-Ma’ad - narrated that Imam Abu Al-Zinad al-Madani (d. 130 AH / 749 CE) said: “I never saw poetry from Urwa (Ibn al-Zubayr died 94 AH / 714 CE); it was said to him (= = Erwa): I did not see you [for poetry], O Abu Abdullah! He said: What was my story in Aisha [and his maternal aunt] ?! She did not come down with anything but sang poetry in it !!

Rather, it was a poetic judgment that they feared to separate them in their poetic competition.

Among this is what Imam Abu Jaafar al-Tabari (d. 310 AH / 922 CE) stated - in Tahdheeb al-Athar - that Urwah ibn al-Zubayr and Marwan bin al-Hakam (d.65 AH / 685 CE) had a poetic conversation in Aisha’s house while she heard them from behind a veil, and at the end of the conversation. She ruled fairly in favor of Marwan over her nephew, Erwa, who addressed him, saying: "Marwan has an inheritance in poetry that you do not have !!"

In contrast to the male literary activity, which preferred the markets and the atmosphere of public forums as channels of interaction and exchange;

The phenomenon of women's participation in literary councils was often imprinted with the imprint of privacy, so poets and writers preferred homes to accommodate the oldest feminist cultural salons.

This is represented by the Majlis of Mrs. Sakina bint Al-Hussein, may God be pleased with them both (d. 117 AH / 736 AD), about which Al-Dhahabi said in 'The Biography of the Flags of the Nobles': “The daughter of Al-Hussein, the martyr, narrated on the authority of her father, and she was Badi’a al-Jamal… a magnificent gentleman .., and she has systems (= = Some of them said: I came to her, and at her door there was Jarir, Al Farazdaq, and Jamil (Bin Muammar d. 82 AH / 702 AD) and many (bin Abdul Rahman d. 107 AH / 726 AD), so she ordered each one of a thousand dirhams (= today approximately 1,000 US dollars) !!

And Imam Ibn al-Jawzi (d.597 AH / 1201 CE) tells us - in his book “The Regular” - that if Sakina was visited by the poets, she “gave permission for them, so they entered her, so she sat where she saw them - and they did not see her - and listened to their words.”

Poetic conquest,

and such cultural activities related to the production of poets were not only linked to the Council of Lady Sakina.

Al-Marzabani tells us - in “The Poetry of Women” - that he “judges to Layla (the Achilles d. 80 AH / 704 AD) poets ... [among them]: Al-Nabigha al-Jaadi (d. About 50 AH / 671 CE) and Hamid bin Thor al-Hilali (d. About 30 AH / 652 CE)." !

Likewise, Imam Ibn Asakir states - in the History of Damascus - that “Aqeelah bint Aqeel bin Abi Talib was sitting for people, and in us she was sitting when she was told: Al-Azri (= the poet Jamil bin Muammar) at the door, and she said: Permit him!"

Then the poet Al-Ahwas Al-Ansari (d. 105 AH / 723 AD) entered, and she reviewed in her literary council part of their poems.

This is in addition to what the well-known cultural salon of the princess and the well-known Andalusian writer Walida Bint Al-Mustaqfi (d. 484 AH / 1091AD), for which Imam Ibn Bashkawal (d. 578 AH / 1182 CE) translated into his book, Al-Silah - said, describing her cultural position and her superiority over the geniuses of the writers of her time: A poetess, Jazlah al-Qul, the publication of poetry, and she mixes with poets, interrogates writers, and surpasses the poet!

Ibn Dahya Al-Andalusi (d.633 AH / 1236 AD) - in his book Al-Mutarib - stated that “its council in Cordoba was the forum of Ahrar al-Masr, and its annihilation was a playground for the horses of systems and prose”!

As part of the data related to the privacy of women while carrying out their cultural roles;

Sometimes the framing traditions emerge for her presence in public forums, including that she was participating in some of these literary gatherings from behind a veil, as we have seen in the case of Sakina bint Al Hussein.

And evidence of the continuation of this tradition in later ages is that Ibn Fadlallah al-Omari (d. 749 AH / 1349 CE) mentions - in Masalik al-Sightsar - one of the literature of the fourth century AH / tenth century AD called “Jada”;

He says, "It was said that she was ... stalking poets, and she was still attending the Majlis of Saif al-Dawla (Al-Hamdani d. 356 AH / 967 CE) behind a veil that was left without her."

The poetic women had their presence in the poetry competitions held in the councils of princes and ministers, especially on festive occasions.

Judge Abu Ali al-Tanukhi (d. 384 AH / 995 CE) tells us - in the 'Neshwar al-Mu'tarah' - saying: “I attended [with] Baghdad in the King’s Council, supporting the state (Al-Buihi T 372 AH / 983 AD) on the day of Eid al-Fitr in the year sixty-seven (367 AH / 978 CE) ) The poets sang congratulations to him, so [the poetess] Abda al-Juhaniyyah (d. After 367 AH / 978 CE) came to ... and sang a poem from which I won nothing! "

If al-Tanukhi lost the text of the poem of the poet of Baghdad al-Juhaniyyah;

The Hadith Imam Al-Hamidi Al-Andalusi missed the name of an Andalusian poetess who he called “Al-Ghassaniyyah” and described her as “a famous poet who praises the kings”, but Al-Hamidi preserved for us - in his book 'The Adhimat Al-Muqtabat' - part of her poem praising the Emir of Almeria, Khairan As-Saqqabi Al-Ameri (d.418 AH / 1028 AH / 1028 AH / 1028 AH / 1028 AH / 1028 AD ), And stated that it was “a long poem… with which [the poet] opposes Abu Umar Ahmad bin Darraj (Al-Qastali) in his poem,” which this prince praised.

We also see in Al-Hamidi this mention of literary salons to teach women literature in Andalusia.

He translates to a young woman named Maryam bint Abi Yaqoub al-Fasouli (d. After 400 AH / 1010 CE), describing her as "a well-known poetess writer, who taught women literature and was modest about her religion and virtue" !!

An enrichment of knowledge

recorded for the science of the Prophet’s hadith, its important impact on the phenomenon of scientific and literary councils by providing them with their templates and enriching their contents with its mechanisms for receiving my verbal and attributional documentation, including what is known as “dictation councils” which were a great component in the scientific scene elements throughout the centuries of the history of Islamic civilization. This dictation is given by the narrator of the cognitive content to the listeners to write it word for word.

While al-Khatib al-Baghdadi - in “The Compilation of the Ethics of the Narrator and the Etiquette of the Listener” - he looked at the precedence of the hadiths to hold dictation councils, saying that “among the earlier scholars [of the hadiths] are a group who used to hold the majlis.”

It can also be said that the phenomenon of “dictation councils” was one of the results of the disappearance of the pulpit of Basra's literary shrine, after it was ravaged by the bloody fires of the “Zinj revolution” 255-270 AH / 869-883AD to the extent that Yaqut al-Hamawi said: “It is now ruin!”

Before he met that sad fate,

His literary gatherings had poured the juice of her creativity into the channels of cultural life in Basra to pour into the river of the councils of linguists, literary and critical scholars, as Al-Isfahani highlights - in Al-Aghani - quoting Ahmad bin Ubaid Allah bin Ammar (Al-Thaqafi d. 314 AH / 926 AD), he said We used to disagree with Abu al-Abbas al-Mubarrad (d. 286 AH / 999 CE) - We are young men (= boys) - we write about the narrators what they narrate of morals and news. "

Whatever the case;

The oldest codification we have of the contents of literary dictation goes back to the linguistic fox councils in which he dictated the lessons of literature and criticism to his listeners.

In this, Al-Nadim (d. 384 AH / 995 CE) says - in his book al-Fihrast: “Abu al-Abbas had gatherings that he dictated to his companions in his sittings that contain a piece of grammar, language, news and meanings of the Qur’an and poetry, from what he heard and spoke about, and that was narrated by a group of his students.

And the copy printed today - under the title 'Majalis al-Thaqab' - was compiled by his student Sheikh Abu Bakr Ibn Muqasim al-Baghdadi (d. 354 AH / 965 CE).

This is in addition to the literary book “Majalis al-Ulama” by Abu al-Qasim al-Zajaji al-Baghdadi (d. 340 AH / 952 CE), who was the “Sheikh of Arabia” in Baghdad and Damascus;

As al-Dhahabi says in al-Sirah.

The expansion of the geographical area of ​​the phenomenon of literary dictation councils appears from the fact that they covered between Khurasan in the east and Andalusia in the west.

Cordoba embraced - throughout a century - the literary dictation councils held by Abu Ali al-Qali al-Baghdadi (d. 356 AH / 967 CE) after its Umayyad court polarized him in the year 330 AH / 942 CE, and he was one of the masters who narrated Arab literature (poetry, prose, language, and criticism) in Iraq. Andalusia and published his knowledge "which included his great book 'Amali al-Qali';

According to Al-Dhahabi in Al-Sirah.

In addition to the linguistic and literary "art of the Amalites", which was one of the fruits of this great interest in literary councils;

Thanks to these salons, the Arab Library has been adorned with great records in other fields of knowledge and social literature based on the style of conspiracies and dialogues, similar to what we find in the book 'The Pleasure and Sociability' of Abu Hayyan al-Tawhidi, which was included in the outcome of forty nights of his conspiracies to a Buyid minister in Baghdad.

Included in the young fruits of literary salons is the qualitative leap that Arab literature witnessed - at the end of the century that followed the monotheistic era - which strengthened the path of one of its art, which was not yet well established, namely, the "art of shrines".

In the Council of Abbasid Minister Al-Hassan Ibn Sadaqa (d.522 AH / 1128 CE) in the capital of the Caliphate, Baghdad, the symbolic tape was cut to launch the "Maqamat Hariri" project, which has a flying reputation in the world of Arab literature!

And about the connection between this minister and the birth of the “maqamat”, the historian Ibn Khallakan (d.681 AH / 1282 CE) tells us - in “Deaths of notables” - and says: “I saw in some months of the year fifty-six and six hundred (= 1258 AD) in the protected Cairo a copy of the maqamat, all of which were written in Hariri's graffiti line ( Al-Basri d. 516 AH / 1122 AD), and he also wrote in his handwriting on the back: It was written by Minister Jalal al-Din, Dean of the State, Abi Ali al-Hassan bin Abi al-Ezz Ali bin Sadaqa.