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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



Lived around the turn of the sixth century. Arab poet from southwest central Arabia.

Shanfara was numbered among the saluqiin, who were the ancient Arab counterparts of the izgoi in Kievan Rus’; specifically, the saluqiin were the poor who had no tribal affiliation as a result of the decay of the clan tribal system. In Shanfara’s poetry motifs of self-praise (fahr) predominate, affirming the heroism of individuals and a lack of tolerance for social injustice. Shanfara is best known for his lamiyah (literally, “poem rhyming in l”); however, scholars now think the work was actually written by the eighth-century Iraqi philologist Halaf al-Ahmar.


Krachkovskii, I. Iu. “Ash-Shanfara: Pesn’ pustyni.” Izbr. soch., vol. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1956. Pages 238–45.
Blachère, R. Histoire de la littérature arabe, vol. 2. Paris, 1964. Page 285.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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