Al-Mutannabbi's Diwan with Al-Ukbari's Commentary


Abu Al-Tayyib Ahmed ibn Al-Hussein (915–65 AD, 303–54 AH), better known as Al-Mutanabbi (Self-proclaimed prophet), is arguably the greatest Arab poet of all time. He lived a short, turbulent life of about 50 years. He was born in Iraq but traveled extensively, crisscrossing Syria and Egypt, then returning to Iraq and Persia in search of political and monetary rewards. Proud to the extent of arrogance and critical of his enemies, he was assassinated in his birthplace of Iraq, on his way home from Persia. His poetry endured because of his extraordinary ability to describe human emotions and his profound insights on life. Lines from many of his poems on human nature and the fluctuations of fortune have become proverbs and much-quoted wisdom. His work continues to influence Arab poets to the present. The commentary on al-Mutanabbi’s poetry collection by Al-Ukbari (died 1219 AD, 616 AH) is considered by many to be the most authoritative of its kind. It not only explains Al-Mutanabbi’s poetry, but also its connections with other literary gems from past generations.

Last updated: August 12, 2016