Imru Al-Qays

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Imru Al-Qays


(also, Hunduj ibn Hujr al-Kindi). Date of birth unknown; died between 530 and 540. Arab poet.

Imru al-Qays came from the Kinda tribe. For indecent conduct, he was deprived of his inheritance and banished by his father, who headed an early unified state in central Arabia. After his father’s death, he waged war with his native tribe and sought support from the Byzantine emperor Justinian. Love lyrics and bucolic lyrics predominate in his poetry. His joyous verses and the simplicity and expressiveness of their poetic language were highly valued by the Arabs, although many critics considered them somewhat coarse. He was one of the creators of the qasida, the classic genre of Arabic poetry. Particularly well-known is his qasida “Both of you stop, we’ll cry a bit. …”


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Thus Imru al-Qays, the earliest of the qasidists, who is believed to have died around 550 CE and whom Mohammad is alleged to have proclaimed "the most poetical of the poets and their leader into Hellfire," launches his qasida with the following words:
This would suggest the poet is consciously following at least one narrative thread that might be loosely called mock "Arabic" or "Muslim," embracing in its irreverence the sort of ludic powers which would have brought a smile to the face of the pre-Islamic hellfire poet Imru al-Qays.
SPS points out that the most important reliance on Gaster has been Adnan Haydar, "The Muallaqa of Imru al-Qays .
al-Hudadiyya, as well as in the celebrated passage taken from the Mu allaqa of Imru al-Qays, given as the first item of the inventory, and in nos.
An interesting memoir by Nasir al-Din Nashashibi going back to the 1940s and earlier is the subject of a translation by Trevor le Gassick in "A Palestinian Journalist Looks Back." Finally--for the Arabic contributions--in "Baqillani's Critique of Imru Al-Qays," Mustansir Mir shows that al-Baqillani's analysis of the poet's qasida not only does not stand up to scrutiny, but even worse, if his criticisms were valid, they would be applicable to the Qur'an as well--a notion that would certainly horrify al-Baqillani, especially since his critique is meant as a vindication of the doctrine of the Qur'an's inimitability.