Emanations of Musk from Beiruti Verse


Al-Nafh al-Miski fi-al-Shi’r al-Bayruti (Emanations of musk from Beiruti verse) is a collection of verse by the prolific Lebanese poet Shaykh Ibrāhīm al-Aḥdab. The author was first and foremost a traditionalist in his literary as well as his legal career. The poems are of various rhyme schemes and meters and display mastery of classical prosody. They are primarily madh (praise) commemorating the achievements of public figures or personal acquaintances. Examples include “Commending His Excellency Muhammad Rushdi Pasha, Governor of Syria,” “Praising Prince ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza’iri on the Festival of ‘Id al-Adha,” and “Congratulations to the Distinguished Ibrahim Efendi, Chief of the Beirut Commercial Office on His Promotion in Grade.” Such encomiums were often commissioned for declamation at weddings, returns from the pilgrimage, or to elicit a reward for the poet, as happened when he received medals and other adornments in precious stones. More important than al-Ahdab’s versifying was his membership in the Jami’at al-Funun (Society of [Useful] Arts) and editorship of its journal Thamarat al-Funun (Fruits of the [useful] arts), the first Lebanese Muslim journal to confront the growing number of political and religious journals published by Christian reformers or missionaries. This organ, along with al-Jawa’ib (Responses) of Aḥmad Fāris al-Shidyāq (circa 1804−87), presented counterviews in support of Muslim interests and in sympathy for Ottoman authority. The journal flourished in the last quarter of the 19th century.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

al-‘Umumiyah Press, Beirut


Title in Original Language

النفح المسكي في الشعر البيروتي

Additional Subjects

Type of Item

Physical Description

232 pages


  1. Philippe de Tarrazi, Tarikh al-Sihafah al-‘Arabiyah (History of the Arab Press). (Baghdad: al-Muthanna, 1967).

Last updated: September 18, 2014