September 17, 2013


Poet regarded as having furnished the finest expression in Arabic of Sufi mysticism.

Son of a Syrian-born inheritance-law career but abandoned law for a solitary religious life in the Muqattam hills near Cairo.

He spent some years in or near Mecca where he met the renowned Sufi as-Suhrawardi of Baghdad.

Venerate as a saint during his lifetime, Ibn al-Farid was buried in the Muqattam hills where his tomb is still visited.

Many of Ibn al-Farid´s poems are qasidahs (odes) on the lover´s longing for reunion with his beloved. He express through this convention his yearning for a return to Mecca and at a deeper level, a desire to be assimilated into the spirit of Muhammad, first projection of the Godhead. He developed this theme at length in Nazm as-suluk (The Poem of the Way?). Almost equally famous in his Khamriyah (Wine Ode). This long qasidah describes the effects of the wine of divine love. Although Ibn al-Farid´s poetry in mannered in style with rhetorical embellishments and conventional imagery, his poems contain passages of striking beauty and deep religious feeling.

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