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Kaʿb b. Zuhayr

(463 words)

Author(s): Basset, R.
, an Arab poet and contemporary of the Prophet. A son of Zubayr b. Abī Sulmā [ q.v.], he seems to have given proof of his poetic talent at an early age; although belonging to the Muzayna, he lived with the D̲h̲ubyān and was involved in the wars of his tribe against the Ṭayyiʾ, the Ḳurays̲h̲ and the K̲h̲azrad̲j̲. His brother Bud̲j̲ayr was converted shortly before year 7 of the Hid̲j̲ra , but he refused vehemently to follow suit and wrote some satirical verses attacking Muḥammad. The latter officially sanctioned his murder. From that day, “the e…


(679 words)

Author(s): Basset, R.
, 1. A piece of woollen cloth used since pre-Islamic times, which was worn as a cloak by day and used as a blanket by night. That of the Prophet has become famous. As a reward for Kaʿb b. Zuhayr’s [ q.v.] poem, he made him a present of the burda he was wearing. It was bought from the son of the poet by Muʿāwiya and was preserved in the treasury of the ʿAbbāsid Caliphs until the occupation of Bag̲h̲dād by the Mongols. Hülegü 1 caused it to be burned but it was afterwards claimed that the real burda of the Prophet was saved and is still preserved in Constantinople. (R. Basset) Bibliography Dozy, Dictionnaire …


(217 words)

Author(s): Basset, R.
, one of the most important tribes of the Mag̲h̲rib in the Middle Ages; they were at one time called Saṭfūra and were descended through Fātin from Mādg̲h̲īs al-Abtar. Tradition says that the brothers of Kūmiya, the eponymous ancestor of the tribe, were Lemāya and Maṭg̲h̲ara from whom were descended numerous families, some of whom still exist at the present day. The most important representatives of the Kūmiya, who live in the north-west ¶ west of Algeria between Tlemcen and Ares̲h̲ḳūl (Ras̲h̲gun) are the B. ʿĀbid, from whom was descended the first caliph of the Almoh…

al-Ḥād̲j̲d̲j̲ Ḥammūda

(119 words)

Author(s): Basset, R.
b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz (d. 1201/1787), secretary to ʿAlī b. al-Ḥusayn, Bey of Tunis (1172-96/1759-82), and then of his successor Ḥammūda b. ʿAlī (1196-1229/1782-1814), composed a Kitāb al-Bās̲h̲ā , a history of the Ḥafṣids and the Turkish governors of Tunis, which is still largely in manuscript. A portion dealing with the wars of K̲h̲ayr al-Dīn and ʿArūd̲j̲ was published by Houdas, Chrestomathie maghrébine , Paris 1891,14-96; two other portions were translated by A. Rousseau (Algiers 1849) and Cherbonneau ( JA, July 1851). (R. Basset*) Bibliography Roy, Extrait du catalogue des manusc…

Ḥanẓala b. Ṣafwān

(465 words)

Author(s): Basset, R.
b. Zuhayr al-Kalbī , ¶ general and governor of the Umayyads who, in S̲h̲awwāl 102/April 721, was appointed by the caliph Yazīd II governor of Egypt in place of his brother Bis̲h̲r b. Ṣafwān, who had been sent to Ifrīḳiya. During his three years in Egypt (S̲h̲awwāl 102— S̲h̲awwāl 105/April 721—March 724) he had statues destroyed and paintings effaced, on the orders of Yazīd. His̲h̲ām, after removing him from office, was obliged to send him back to Egypt (7 S̲h̲aʿān 118/20 August 736), as the incompet…

Kult̲h̲ūm b. ʿIyāḍ al-Ḳus̲h̲ayrī

(408 words)

Author(s): Basset, R.
, Ḳaysī notable [see ḳays ] whom the Umayyad caliph His̲h̲ām b. ʿAbd al-Malik sent to the Mag̲h̲rib, in D̲j̲umādā II 123/April-May 741, to avenge the bloody defeat which the Berbers, commanded by the successor of Maysara [ q.v.], K̲h̲ālid b. Ḥamīd/Ḥumayd al-Zanātī, had inflicted on the Arabs in the “battle of the nobles” ( g̲h̲azwat al-as̲h̲rāf ). Kult̲h̲ūm left at the head of an army of 30,000 men, to which there were added contingents raised along the way, and he joined up with Ḥabīb b. Abī ʿUbayda al-Fihrī, the former companion of Mūsā b. Nuṣayr [ q.v.], who was endeavouring to halt the …

ʿAbd Allāh

(245 words)

Author(s): Basset, R.
b. Mūsā b. Nuṣair, eldest son of the famous conqueror of the Mag̲h̲rib and of Spain. He was entrusted by his father, when the latter set out for Spain, with the administration of Ifrīḳīya (93 = 711). He likewise took his father’s place when the latter, having been denounced by Ṭāriḳ, left for the East, whence he never returned. Involved in the downfall of his family brought about by the caliph Sulaimān, who could not see without distrust one son of Mūsā (ʿAbd Allāh) the governor of Ifrīḳīya, anothe…

Kaʿb b. Zuhair

(433 words)

Author(s): Basset, R.
, son of the celebrated poet and author of a Muʿallaḳa, Zuhair b. Abī Salmā, and of Kabs̲h̲a bint ʿAmmār. Poetic talent seems to have been one of the privileges of the family, for, not to speak of Kaʿb and his father, we have verses by eleven of its members, including the famous Tumād̲h̲ir (al-Ḵh̲ansā). We do not know the date of his birth; he was the eldest of three brothers, the other two being Bud̲j̲air and Sālim. Traditions, more than suspicious, report that he early gave proof of his poetic talents, …


(108 words)

Author(s): Basset, R.
(other forms: Ait̲h̲, At̲h̲, At) is a Berber word signifying “sons of”, used exclusively in compound proper names, like Banū and Awlād in Arabic. It is only used however by three groups of Berber tribes: in Algiers by the Kabyles of the Ḏj̲urd̲j̲ura (e. g. Ait̲h̲. Yenni, Ait̲h̲ Iraten); in Morocco by the Berbers of the Central Atlas (Ait Atta, Ait ʿAyās̲h̲), and by those of the Sūs and the Wēd Draʿa (Ait Bū ʿAmran). Elsewhere (in the western Sahara) the words Ida (Ida Bū Akil), or Kēl (Touareg), or also the Arabic words Beni (= Banū) or Oulad (= Awlād) are in use. (R. Basset)

Abū Yazīd

(616 words)

Author(s): Basset, R.
b. Kaidād, a Ḵh̲ārid̲j̲ite, who imperiled the Fāṭimide dynasty at its very beginning. His real name was Muk̲h̲lad b. Kaidād, he belonged to the Banū Warkū, a subdivision of the Zanāta tribe, and was born at Kawkaw, in the Sudan, where his father was engaged in business. He embraced very early the Ḵh̲ārid̲j̲ite doctrines of the Nekkārites and propagated them at Taḳyūs, where he lived practicing the profession of schoolmaster. Having become suspected on different occasions, he departed to the East;…


(802 words)

Author(s): Basset, R.
, name of two towns in Northern Africa: 1. A town generally designated under the name of Ṭobna, the ruins of which still exist four kilometres to the south of Bariḳa, in the department of Constantine, at an elevation of 460 metres (about 1182 feet), on the quaternary plateau which separates the Wādī Bariḳa from the Wādī Baitam. It was a flourishing town known as Thubunae in the time of the Romans but was destroyed by the Vandals; it was restored by the Byzantines, ¶ who built a castle there the ruins of which may yet be seen. According to tradition, it was conquered by Mūsā b. …


(156 words)

Author(s): Basset, R.
, Berber tribal name meaning free man (pl. Imazīg̲h̲en) and used in this sense in the Rīf, in S̲h̲ilḥa, in S̲h̲āwiya, at Demnat, in the Ḳṣūr of South Oranais, at G̲h̲dāmes and in the Ḏj̲ebel Nefūsa. The feminine ( Tamazīg̲h̲t) denotes the Berber language in the same dialects. In accordance with the rules of the permutation of consonants, the z is represented by an h in most of the Tuareg dialects (hence Amaheg̲h̲, pl. Imohag̲h̲ in Ahaggar), or by a s̲h̲ or a z̲h̲. These dinstictions can be traced in antiquity: in the name of Mas̲h̲uas̲h̲a, a Berber tribe which invaded Egypt under the 19th dynasty,…


(429 words)

Author(s): Basset, R.
or Ketama , one of the great Berber families; when Islam was introduced into North Africa, they occupied all the northern part of the region of the Constantincis, between the Awrās [ q.v.] and the sea, that is the region containing the towns of Īkd̲j̲ān, Seṭīf, Bāg̲h̲āya, Ngaus (Niḳāwus), Tiguist (Tikist), Mīla, Constantine, Skīkda, D̲j̲id̲j̲ellī, Bellezma, and also Lesser Kabylia. One legend ¶ flattering the national pride makes them to have been descended from the Ḥimyarites brought there by Ifrīḳus. Katām, the eponymous ancestor of their race, was said …

ʿAbd Allāh b. Mūsā

(184 words)

Author(s): Basset, R.
b. Nuṣayr , eldest son of Mūsā b. Nuṣayr [ q.v.] the conqueror of the Mag̲h̲rib and Spain. When his father left for Spain, he was charged with the administration of Ifrīḳiya (93/711). When Mūsā, denounced to the caliph al-Walīd by Ṭārīḳ, left for the East, whence he never returned, he again left ʿAbd Allāh as his lieutenant. Involved in his family’s disgrace by the caliph Sulaymān, who saw not without disquiet Ifrīḳiya governed by one son of Mūsā (ʿAbd Allāh), Spain by a second (ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz) and the Mag…


(15,335 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch. | Yver, G. | Basset, R. | Galand, L.
, the name by which are commonly designated the populations, who, from the Egyptian frontier (Sīwa [ q.v.]) to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and the great bend of the Niger, speak—or used to speak before their arabicisation—dialects (or rather local forms) of a single language, Berber. This term is probably an abusive or contemptuous epithet, used in Greek ( Barbaroi ) and in Latin ( Barbari ) as well as in Arabic ( Barbar , singular Barbarī , pl. Barābir , Barābira ), and does not constitute a national name, as some people (cf. P. H. Antichan, La Tunisie , 1884, 3) mai…