Poetry Collection


Born in what is now the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, ‘Ali ibn al-Muqarrab (1176 or 1177−1231 or 1232) had an adventurous life that included political intrigue and involvement with trade as well as literary accomplishment. Writing in the early 13th century, he is said to have been one of the last poets before modern times to have composed in the classical style. His Diwan (Poetry collection) is lauded for its historical as well as literary qualities. It is considered a primary source for geography and history as well as genealogy and information about the social and cultural conditions of his region. Al-Muqarrab’s tribe, the al-‘Uyuni, ruled portions of the coast of the Arabian Peninsula for more than 150 years, from the 11th to the 13th centuries. Failed political ambitions caused al-Muqarrab to flee to Baghdad and Mosul (present-day Iraq). Historian ‘Abd al-Khalaq al-Janbi discusses many of the strengths and weaknesses of al-Muqarrab as a historian, and notes the confusion in reference works over his name and the authorship of works attributed to him. Manuscripts of the Diwan are found in many Western and Middle Eastern libraries. The edition presented here was printed in Mecca in 1889 and reprinted in Bombay in 1892.

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Amiriyah Press, Mecca


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120 pages ; 28 centimeters


  1. Safa Khulusi. “A Thirteenth Century Poet from Bahrain,” in Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies (held in London, July 1975; London: Seminar for Arabian Studies, 1976).

Last updated: July 21, 2014