Hamziyya Notes


Material Information

Hamziyya Notes
Series Title:
Hichens Collection
Added title page title:
MS 53827 : William Hichen's notes on the Hamziyya
Physical Description:
Mixed Material
Hichens, William, -1944
Sayyid Idarus bin Athman ( contributor )
Sheikh Muhammad Said Albusiry ( contributor )
Publication Date:
Paper ( medium )
25 cm.
1 volume (32 pages)


Subjects / Keywords:
Swahili poetry
Religious beliefs
Imani za kidini
Kiswahili mashairi
Spatial Coverage:
Africa -- Kenya
-1.266667 x 36.8


Introduction to the Hamziyya of Aidarus bin Athman al-Sheikh Ali (A.H. 1162, A.D. 1749) translated into Swahili from the Arabic Ummal-Kura of Sheikh Muhammad bin Said Albusiri.
General Note:
This manuscript contains notes and part of the poem in what seems to be Hichens's notebook. In the same way as he has done for the original copy of Al-Inkishafi (SOAS manuscript MS 253029), here too Hichens is attaching a notebook to the manuscript poem (SOAS manuscript MS 53823). The first eight pages are historical and literary notes on the poem. These are followed by 30 typescripts and 90 handwritten baiti (verses) of the poem. The handwritten part has some scattered translations written on pieces of paper and inserted within the poem. This manuscript has to be read together with SOAS manuscript MS 53823.
General Note:
Typescript in black ink on thin paper, with handwritten notes in black ink
General Note:
Mistari ya kwanza ya hati: Hamziyya in Arabic prosody means any poem rhyming in 'Hamza'
General Note:
First lines of the manuscript: Hamziyya in Arabic prosody means any poem rhyming in 'Hamza'
General Note:
English text with holographic inscriptions.
General Note:
Forward to the Hamziyya (8 pages)
Purchased from Kegan Paul, 26 November 1948
Digitised for Swahili Studies at the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures at the Universität Hamburg, with funds from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (the German Research Foundation).

Record Information

Source Institution:
SOAS, University of London
Holding Location:
Archives and Special Collectoins
Rights Management:
This item is in the public domain. Please use in accord with Creative Commons license: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA). High resolution digital master available from SOAS, University of London - the Digital Library Project Office.
Resource Identifier:
soas manuscript number - MS 53827
System ID:

This item has the following downloads:

Table of Contents
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Hamziyya (verses)
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Hamziyya (2nd draft)
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
    Hamziyya (other notes)
        Page 32
        Page 33
Full Text
-'hs 536a7 1
H A 1' Z I Y Y A.
. 't- ' S-iv-a, tc c t
juilt-v^i-vtrfU Af{ ll&Z
Say/C C Hamziyya in Arabic Prosody means any poem rhyming
in "Hamza" i.e. Arabic letter ................. In the sajne
way those rhyming in letter ........^r^......can be called
Baiyya and those in letter .......Wrd....... Taiyya etc.
But although Hamziyya carries that meaning in prosody yet, the
word has come to stay as the name of' e poem by Sheikh "'uhammad
bin Said Albusiry inspite of the poet naming the poem
Albusiry wrote this 456 verse poem in praises'of the
Prophet Muhainmad. Verses 1 to 10C are about the Prophets'
History from birth to Flight to Medina. 101-198 are about his
actions and habits and the praises of the Koran. 199-252 are
about Jews and hazarenes and their enemity towards Islam.
Verses 255-280 are about the hypocrites of Medina and the
Unbelieve's of Uecca, 281-525 are about his anxiety to visit
Medina and the description of his journey thereto. Verses
526-589 are praises f'or the Frophet, his family and companions
and 590 to the end are about his own repentence and short-
comings a.nd ends in prayers for I ercy ior the Prophet.
Sheikh Muhammad bin Said bin Hamad of' the village
of Busiri in Egypt well known as "Abusiry" was born in
608 A.H. 1212 A.D. during thc reign of Almalikil Adil bin
Ayyub one of' the Bani Ayyub family and decendants of the
famous Salah Dine

Shcikh Fuha .mad or rather Ahusiry was, hesides heing^.
a great writer and vei-y learned, the most prominent poet in his
time in Egypt and died in the year 698 A.H. 1296 A.D. during
the reign of Kathagha one of the Mamelukes.
The "Hamziyya" had heen translated into Swahili hy
Sayyid Aidarus hinAthman kl Sheikh Ali who was one of the
prominent theologians in the East Coast o1 Africa. Sayyid
Aidarus completed the translation of this poem in the year
1162 A.H. 1749 A.D. and although in his translation he has
followed the Arahic method of 2 line-^a verse and 15
syllahles in a line as the Arahic Kamziyya yet he hss msde
his verses rhyme in ?rim .....r?.... with the vowel "a" ..Jl...
Tn prosody theref'ore the Swahili Eamziyya should properly he
called "Fimiyy translation of' Hamziyya".
Because of the poet's ahility in hoth Ar&hic and
Kiswahili he has followed the difficult method of translating
word hy word in each line of' a verse and at the same time
mske his verses rhyme as well. Thi.s hss rendered many of the
Swahili verses unintelligihle to those who co not know the
Arahic version of the poem. Inspite of that the Swthifi
Hamziyya is very interesting and instructive in Swahili
lenguage, hecause of' its meny achaic words. There are even
today many people who can recite a numher of verses of' the
Hamziyya hut very few indeed who can translate most of the
words in modern Swahili. t'any families have manuscripts of
the "Himiyya translation of Famziyya" hut owing to
difficulties of the language it is not very ofteft read out
to congregations. \
i M i' /'i >' ! I
M /p/-. CrT i '' v. !

Ghepter 4.
The Hamziyya of Aidams h. /thrn ai-Sh.eik illi.
A .K. 1162 A.B.1749.
The first half o? the eighteenth century produced a
poet, Sayyid Aidarus bin Athman al-Sheikh Ali whose work
is of speci8l distmction in being the ciaeat coinplete
epic yet known to us, the Hamziyya. it dates frcm A.D.
174S and apart from condieratj.ons of theme and style, it
is cf particular mterest frorc the fsct thet it is written
ln an older form cf the Swahili language than any cther^i^
work cf which an entire manuscript has yet been found.
The Haniiiiyya of Sayyia Aidarus is e metnoal rimed
tranalation mto Swahili frorn the Arabic of the poem
Ummul-Kura SU /kryUc^ /§ -^S-^ico which was
--- (i)
ccmposed by the renowned Arabian poet, Al-Eusiry, in the
Xillth century.
The term hamziyya m Arahic prosody 13 a generic cne
applioable to any poem riming in the letter hamz8;and

likewise vers^s piming ln y ba, may be termed baiyy8)
those in , ta, taiyya, and so on; end although /.1-
Busiry entitled his work (Jmmul-Kure, it is equelly known
as al-Khamslyya the title which has persisted for the
Swahili version.
Savyid Aidarus, who was one of the prominent theolo-
gians of the Lamu coast, completed his Swahili recension
of Al-Busiry's work in 1162 i.H. 1749 A .D. xn his
trsnslation he adopts /1-uusiry's prcsodic mould of a
two-lme verse of' fiftepn syllables to th line; hut
whereas Al-Wusiry rim^d his lin^s in hamza /iderus rimes
his ln ^ mim vocalised with -e, end he has thus con-
structed what would be known morp correctly ss e mimiyye
upon Ummul-Kura iidarus is reputed to have been an
accomplished scholar ln both irabic and Kiswahili and in
his translation he has drswn freely from both lenguagps
in order to meet his difficult method of trensleting,
almost word for word, the lin^s of il-Busiry while
leading the Swahili rime to -ma Fis recension is rich
in Swahili forms but where that. language lacked e nuance
of approprxate expression, i-idarus has teken over/from
the Arebic, sometimes with vocalio or syllabic modificatior
to Swahili usages, but xn some mstances without adaption.
This closely litersl rendermg has says Sheikh
Mbarak, "rendered many of the verses unmtelligible to
the less literate Swehili and although there &re todey

many people who can recite & ntmber of verses fron the
Hamziyya there are but very fev> who can translate most
of the worcls into modern owehili. k number of householcls
own manuscript copies of the vork, but it is not often
r8d to congregations in the moscues owing to the diffioul
ties of its archaic language."
The manuscript from which our present transcription res
made nsa obtained bv Muhammacl Kijume at Lamu in September,
19.4, It consists of eighteen sheets of eerly hand-made
paper, wateraarked with the three fools caps of its
size, but folcled and sevm bookwise to make thirtv-six

pages, of which the poem occupies thirty-four. It was
written by
and, as he statea wtthin it, he completed the manuscript
on tbe 14th day of the month of Dhu-l-Hij jat, l .H.1207 -
(A.D.1792). The document thus gives us en euthentic
reccrd of the Swahili languege as it was written a century
and a half ago. The peper has browned with age gnd tbe
red pigment used for the zitno or 'stops' between the
lines of each verse has faded; but the jet-bleck ink of
the script has lost none of its density end tbe caligraphy.
fully voc8lised, is clear, precise and finely written m
the nakshi style.
it sets out Al-Busirv's in Arabic, interlined with
the Swahili recensioii of Aidarus; and thus e comperison

of the t"jvo versions hes msde posaible 8 more eccurste
tranalation than might have heen the csse hed thp archaic
Swshili stood alone. Fortunetelj'-, too, the copyist did
nct adopt the method, nov? followed m most Lamu manuscripts
of eliding -n where lt stands "before t in some of the
older Swahili forms, muntu, wentu, yonte, etc., now dis-
nlecd hy the modern mtu, watu, yote, end thus ve heve
) this esrlier useges specifioelly preserved. The manuscript
elso gives evidence of the use of lu^ ss the singular
prefix of the ma- class of nouns, another form which has
3ince dissolved from owahili sppech; and it preserves
numerous other old constructions with which wp h?ve already
dealt more fully ln Chspter li. it is rich m the so-
C8lled Kingovi forms, or, as Muhammad Kijuma remsrks m
the cov^ring note which he attached to it, "maneno j'ake
Kmgovi khalisi kigumu sana" 'ita words are genuine
Kingovi, very hard to re8d'; end students will hsve no
occasion to dispute that statement m so far as the
difficulty of reading is conoerned. How far Kxngovx
mat be regarded as a diatinot form of the language has
been diacusaed in Chapter II.
Like other oompositions based upon a religo-historieal
theme, the Hamziyya is long poem of the epie type,
subsiating upon the mterest of its subject-matter, rather
than upon graoes of rime and rythra, though theae are by
no means laokmg in its rioh syllabio cadenoes, even to

to our unaooustomed ears. It oonsists of 456 verses
portraymg the life of the irophet Muhairaaad. Terses
1 100 reoount his history from feirth to the Flight j
vv. 101-198 deal with his aotions and habits, and with
the Quraaj V7. 19y-262 relate to the ennuty of the Jews
and Nazarenes towards Islamj vv. 263-280 are about the
Hypotrites of Madina and the Unbelievers of Mekkaj vv.
281-325 reoount the Prophet's journey tc Medmaj vv. 326-
389 are in praise of Muhammad, his famil/ and his Companions
and vv. 3yo to the end are of repentanoe, ooneludxng j.n a
prayer for meroy and a subsoription oonoernmg the names
of the author and oopjriat and guvmg the date of the oopy.

Footaotesto the Haraziyya foreyord, Chip 4
1. See pp. __ sef^.
2. Sheikh Muhammad bm Said bin Hamad al-Busiri was born
in Sgypt at the village of Busiri in A.H. 608 (A.D.1212)
duriag the reiga of il-Malikil Adil bin dyyub, one of the
Bani Ayyub, desoendanta of the famous Salah-ed-Din. Al-
Busiry, as he is popularly known, was a distinguished
wrifcer and saholar and the most promjment poet of his
tirae in ^gypt. Fe died in khsxyRKx 698 .F. (A.D.1296)
dunng the reign of the Maraeluke Ketbagha
P. This paper has been xdentified by the Bbitish Museum
as havmg been raade by
4. it will thus be noted thet the bookform manusoript
as distinot from the soroll, was in use on the Swahili
coast ln the 1700*8. The manuscript, says Muh. Kijuraa,
was criginally m a leathern cover whioh hsa fallen to
5. ftote on soribe.
b. See Ghap. II, p.
7. See Chap. ll.p._

Hsniziyya .
(oayvid iiidsrus bin 'i.thusn al-ohmkh Lh i .F.1162)
1. Naanda k.vs jinale bismidlahi li-sthsns ,
ns r-rshmam muv.'awazi ns r-rshms
2. oifa ns matilo ys jsmeli nekuyrweys
zisitskihili mr.velfiwa rcngu rcols siarce
r' ,os 18 ne sslsmu za dswsrcs m.vandsyn sllahir
zircutnlele i'uhammadi mwnye mskama
o Na aliz zote na sshaba na wandsmizi
ns wsndsrcizao wsndsraizi kssire jn&
Baada ys sayo yndo zsngu natsks dus,
Mola aveairi nitakao kuyswsndsrca
6. illa n'na niliko nize niya tsks kuitends
kitenzi che sii Hamzlyys yske kslircs
7. Azitungileo Mubemmadi man<= Js'idi
al-Busiri utoleo wenye nathircs
3. Pindi azilepo kws khstihu rrwenye rcsksrcs
kwa'stifhamu sli rcwenye nksbs thsrcs
9. Hali ws kilsy kuiilsko raturae ycnte
uwingu usio kuluti^s ni mcja ssms
10. Xswa fsm na w irj.ngsni rcbws hs jezele
nuru ns r'ifa1 s :taki ksti kv'enu kulu 'sthimu

, L L *
11. Aalimtth^lple sifa zeko kuliko wentu
jsjmaa ye liyo kunathilt ndam nujune
12, Ui) e nd i'.v e fe le ya f a t h i la na me j u j iTre
nurn 'c.vaze l.a wi illa irrwako nuru^.i jne
9 ,iLtuve,
1?. Dhatu l'ulurai zilawazo -ove 'elini
l'gha ibi ko ni nes piio yaendana
14. Nyuma kulaaile masituni ye kuoneka
kuteluliwa .veu naheti nepc wema
lh. Fapapesilupo tendekeno la kulla tuna
ille kihashin enhiya kamw<= keune
1d. i\a tafakhari ezmeni nakutokoka
kjyava nartsbe baadeyo rutsbe jene
17. Eali thihiriye kuoneke kanwe kenmu.
utosilioo kwa karirna weshe kuraraa
iiesabu wathani yusherafu kv e z <= bebuz
yuta (9) ya jeuze beghili (?) 'ule nujun£
19. j-enda za 'ciguu chesiye nde neo fekhari
uwe kuguguni ukijuo nu'tesima
20. 2 ufutukiivao na usiku nulbi lane

^o/. tCJz' /wu^
j.U ^t^diiyo lU^ZiJU ^sUU. t-y -
Lc^pj^. - tCCCuy^ tU UtUc'
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21. Usiku wa kuzala m sikuye arabao kanba
Farnwelp sururu na fakhari ya dini thama
22. Xx Fakafuatana na hishare za hilingano
kamba lizaziwa mustafai pamwele ziraa
2? o Ukalewalewa ukupmga wake kisraye
ni muujiza ukabaghali waku kinama
24. pakesiri sapo kula yumbe mui ya moto
zijalele ghamu kwa kuzima na pa zema
2i. iv'iSto ya furusi yafusile ha 1 pewili
kuzima kwa soyo moto weo wakunguru.me
26. Kuza wakukulu mbwa liwele kufe na wamba
kwa uz in i za o ka f ir i w a 1 i co 1 s ms
27. Kutangiwe 'rwayo kwa amma na meujiya
ambao hawashe rifuwa kweyo kedime
26. Yeni furahiyo mwana kembe tukul'3
mimba tuma aumbeke fazili cheme
29. oiku apeteo kwa kuzala bmti 2'ahbi
fakhari ambazc kazipata ni wake wima
c0. amina k^ndeye keumuye na afthali
kama tukuwao kablaye ni Paryama

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' I \ I HA H I Y Y A I c11c' A oem rhymi n g 1 1 f ny Hamzj y y in Arabic Pr sody In t he same ,. in arnza i.e. A r ahic letter .......... ...... w those r yming in J t t e r o o o o c n be call d Baiyya nd tho e in l "'t ter 0 0 o a i y l e t c But alt ho ug F mziyya c rries tha t m aning in r sody yet the word h s c m t o stay as the n arn of oem by Sheikh uhe_m, ad bin Albusir y inq, i t of the oet n m i f!. the oern Trnrnu 1Kur ". Alhu i r wro t e this 456 verse ro m in rei Ee_l{ of the Pro e t 1uhatn.nad V rses 1 t o 1CG ar a bou t the Pro hets' History from irth t o Flight to 1:e ina. 101-19b ar abou t hj s c tions nd habit a nd the rais s of th oran. 1 9 9 252 are about Jews a n d z r nes nd the' r enemity t owards Isl&rn Verses 25'):,280 are bout t e ypocri tes of redi na nd t he nbe of -52!:i r e bout hi "nxiet y to visit .edina nd the descri tion o f his theret o Verses '):,26 389 are ) r ises for the F o het, his 'ly a corn e .nions and 390 to the end a r e about his own re ente nce n d short comings nd ends in pr y rs for 1 ercy for the rophet. Sheikh 'uhammad bin Said bin H m d of h e v ill f!_e of Busiri in t -well known as Abusiry" was born in 608 } 1212 A D during the reif!.n of Alm l ikil Adil bin IY u one of he Bani Ay ub f amily nd decendants o f he f amous Sal h Di n o


( Sheik t uha . m d or r a t he r Abusir v .as, besides bein g.Z._ a great wr i t e r a n d v e r y learned the most r rom i nent _oet in his time in E gyp t a n d d ied i n the year 6 98 A F -1 29 6 1 \ D d u r i n g the reign o f K a t b a gha one o f t h e T he h a been translE>t ed int o Swahili b y S a id A i d erus bi1-\A thrn n A l S he i kh Al i V iho was o n e of the romi nent t h eolo g a n s n t h e CoLs t of Africa S a y i d Aio rus o let e d the tr n slet i on o f t i s o in the yea r 1 1 6 2 i H -1 7 49 A D a n a l t houp:h i n h i s t r a n s l tion h e h s followed e a h i c m e t h o d f 2 ine-r'a v e rse n d 1 5 yllables i n 1 i n e t he IT b i c ziy y ye t h e h a m de " his versP.s rhyme i n r J m I wit h h VOV/ e . --. I n pro8 o d y ther e fon' the S'v\ i i Ec-:nz i yy c:h ou l o 1 O l erl v be ... e a lPd fi11i..y.,r t r am' tion o f -amzi y yr." Bee use o f t h o chi l i t y in b o t h .i:J :.. i c a n d K i s w H ili h e ts f o1Jow ed the d i f-i"ic u l t e t hod oft '='n..;l t i n g wor d y in ach line o f v ers n . a t the .1:1e t ime 11a1hi1i E ny f :aiUe f h c v e mBn u s c r i p t f t hf: r i miy y a t r a nslrtion o f famziyya u t owi ng t o diffic n } ies f t h e it i s n o t v ry often. r e d ou t t o s I : I J J


,qhapter The Hamz1yya of .Aidaru s Athman a -Sh.eik .Ali ....7---A R 1162 .A D .1 7 4 9 The f1rst half of the eLghteenth century produced a poet, Sayy1d A1darus b1n Athman al-She1kh All w h ose work is of spec1al distinction in be1ng the oldest complete ep1o yet known to us, the Hamzlll! It dates from .A.D. 1749 and apart fro m con d 1erat1ons of theme and style, it is of part1oular 1nt e r e a t from the fee t h a t 1t 1 s wr1t t n 1n an older form o the S ah1l 1 languag e tha n a n y work o f wh1ch a n ent1re man uscr1pt has yet been found. The of Sayy1d A i darus is e metr1oal r1med translat1on 1 n t o S wah1l1 from the Arable of the poem Ummul-Kura ;j 'fh ioh was (i) composed by the renowned Arab1an poet, Al-Bus1ry, in the Xlllth century. The term 1n .Ara ble pr so y 1 s a g e n e ric one appl1oabl to a ny poem rimi n g i n t h e h mza; nd 1


verses r1m1ng 1 n ba, may be t e r med sill!, those in ta, taiyya, and so on; and although AlBusiry ent1tled h1s work U m mul-Kura, it is equally known as the titlfl which has persisted for the Swahili v ersion. Sayyid Aidarus was one of the promin ent theolo gians of t h e Lam u coast, c o mple t e d his Swa h i l i r e ce nsio n of Al-Busiry' s wor k in 1162 A F -1749 P D his translatio n hA adopts p rosodic mo ld of a two-line v ersA o f fiftePn syl .lahles to thP line; but wh r as Al-rsus iry rimeo his l ines in harrJZa, .Pidar 1s riP1es h 1 s mim vocal1sed vnth _::!, Bnn he has thus constr 1cted what w o lld b e {nown P1ore correctlJ as a miP1iyya upon Ummul K urs A i daru 1 s reputed to have be n an accomplished scholar in both \ rah1c and and in his translation be has dr&wn freely from both lang uaees in order to meet h 1 s difficult m thoo f trans sting, almost wor for word, he J inPs of 1-.tllS iry while leading the Sw hiJ.i riP1 to -me. _is recens ion i s rich in 3wahili forms, hut where that languaee lacke a nuance free 1 ;r of ap ropr iatA A i arus has t aken overjfrom the .Arable, somAtiP1AS with vocBlic or s;;rJ flbic P1odificBtiC!l to 'wah1li usagfls, but i n soP1e 1nstances without adaptio n This closely 1ltPrB e has, says ShPlkh arak, 11ren ereo many of the VPrses nn1 ntelJ.J..g i le t o t be ess litera A Swahi11 ana e1thong there are 2


) many who can rec1te a number of verses froP1 the Hamz1 yya, there err but v erJ fPv V.1h o can translate most of the words i nto madern P. number of house.hnlds wWn manuscript Copi e s of t P but it is nat often road ta congrPgations i n thP mosquPs owing to the dlff1 o11 ties of its archaic la 11 The m nusc r i p t from wh1ch our prPsPn t trtnscriptian made N BS abtainAo by -fuham!Tl8c1. Kijuma Bt LBmu in 19?4. It consists of eighteen sheAt of Parly hand-made paper, watermarkecl. with the thrPP fools' ce s of its size, b u t fol eel. and SAWn to mekP t 1 r t 1 S l X a gAs, of wh1cb the poA m occupiAs th1rty-four. written by It was and, as be states it, be comple ted the manuscrip t o n the 1 4th day of the m o n t h o f Dhu1 H ijjat, A H l207 -ULD l792) The document thus g 1ves us an euthPntic record of the 3wahi l i lenguagP s it was written a c ent ury and a half ago. TbP pepPr has browned with a g P and the rPd i ment used for the zit 10 or 'stops 1 bPtwPPn tbP lines of each verse has fac1.8d; but the in of the scrip t has lost none of its dPnsity ena the celigrephy fully vocal1sAcl., is clear, p r e c ise and finely writtPn 1 n the naksh 1 s tyle. It set s out Al-Bus1r y s i n A r abic, interlined w ith the Swahil i rPcPnsioh of A idarus; and thus a corn ariso n ') \


) of the two versions h as m ade possible a t r anala t ion tha n might have the case hed the archa 1 c S1ahili stood alone too the copy1st d i d n e t adopt the I!lethod, now f ollowed in most Lsmu manuscripts of eli d ing n where 1 t stands before t in some of tre Pte now isplacod by the modern watu, yotP, an thus A have this earlle r usag 8s srecifica _ly pr SPrved. ThP t also g 1vea evidence of the us of l t as thP singular prefix of the maclass nouns, another form wh1ch has s inoe issolv,::J from 3wahili spPP.ch; Bnd it preserves numerous othPr old constructions with w h 1ch wP havP already dAalt fully in Charte r 11 lt is rich 1n the socalled Kingovi forms, or, as ;r reTDBrks in the cov or ing note which he attachocl t o 1t, "maneno yake K1ngo v i khali a i k igumu sana" its words are genuine Kingovi, very bar d t o r ead' ; an d student s will have no occasion t o d i spute that s tatement i n so fares the diffioult7 of re ding i s How f a r Kingovi t be ,e a rded a d1atinot form of the language has een discussed in Chapter 11. L1ke other upon religo-hlstorloal th e t h e Ramz1U! ia a long poe of the epio t1Pe, subsisting upon the interest ot ita subjeot-metter, rather than upon gr oes of r1 and ryth t h ough these are 1 o means in ita riob 17llabio oadenoes, e ven to 4


to our unaccustomed ears. It oonsista of 456 verses portra7ing the life of the Prophet ferses 1 lOO reoount b1stor1 from \1rth to the Flight ; vv. 101-198 deal with h1a aetions and habits, and with the Quran; vv. relate to the of the Jews and Nazarenea towarda ialam; vv. 268-280 are about the Ryporites of UAdina and the Unbelievers o! Kekka; vv. 281-825 reoount the Prophet' journe1 to Yea ; vv. 26. 389 are praise of MUhamaad, his and his aad vv. 390 to the end are of repenta oe, .n a pr ,er for mero7 aad a subseription aonoerniag the ames of the author -and opJl&t and the date of the oo 1


) Footno tes to the Hamz1.na 1. S ee pp set'!. -2. heikh Muh mmad bin Said b1. Hamad aluairi was bora iR Ecypt at the Yillage of Busiri in A.H. 608 (A.D.l212) -duriag the reig:a of !1-Kalikil Adil bl.ll Annb, one of the AJ1Ub, desoe dents of the famous Selah-ed-Din. AlBusiry, as he is pop ularly known, was e distingui shed wrter and seholar and the most poet o f his t1m e in He died i n 698 F during the re1gn o f the MBmeluke Katbagha Th1s p aper has been .Ldentif'ied by the lH11t1sh M useum as hav1ng been m ade ny in 4 l t w ill thus be t hat the boakform manuscri pt, as distinct from the sc r ol l was i n u s e on thA Swahil 1 coas t 1n the 1700' s The manuscript, s eys M u h K1jums, was or 1ginally 1 n a lesthern cove r wh1ch hac f a llen to decay 5 ote on aor ibe ti Se e Chap. II, p . 7. See Chap. I l .p. ____


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