Abu Mihjan al-Thaqafi | His Life and Poetry


Abu Mihjan al-Thaqafi | His Life and Poetry

Abu Mihjan al-Thaqafi | His Life and Poetry

Abu Mihjan al-Thaqafi | His Life and Poetry

Abu Mihjan al-Thaqafi | His Life and Poetry

Brief Life Sketch: Abu Mihjan al-Thaqafi is one of the most widely discussed Arabic mukhadrim poets. He is known in the history of Arabic literature as the ‘poet of wine’ He is also known as the ‘Soldier Poet’ because he served as a soldier in several wars and composed many war poems based on his experiences.

He was born into the famous Thakif family in Arabia. His real name was Amr bin Habib bin Amr bin Umayr bin Awf bin Aqda bin Anaza bin Awf bin Thaqif. His popular name was Mihzan Thaqafi. He is believed to have been born in the middle of the sixth century. His father’s name was Habib bin Amr and his mother’s name was Qunud bint Abdullah bin Abd Shams. From childhood, he was very wicked and rude in nature and as he grew older he became accustomed to living an independent and chaotic life. He was also accustomed to drinking too much alcohol. However, he became proficient in wrestling and archery in his youth. In 630 AD, he fought bravely against the Muslims at the Battle of Taif. In 631 AD, however, he was fascinated by the monotheistic message of Islam and went to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) with some of his tribe and converted to Islam. He then devoted himself to the service of Islam.

After his conversion to Islam, he served as a soldier in many battles during the reign of Caliph Abu Bakr (RA) and wrote many poems based on his real war experiences. Though he was converted to Islam, he could not give up his drinking habit. Therefore, the Caliph Hazrat Umar (peace and blessings of Allah be with him) arrested him and threw him into prison. It is said that during the Battle of Qasdiya in 635 AD, he went to Sa’d bin Waqqas, the commander of the Islamic army, and asked permission to take part in the battle. However, he was drunk at the time and was chained to prison instead of being allowed to participate in the war. Abu Mihzan Thaqafi was observing the fighting from prison. At one point, seeing the defeat of the Muslim soldiers, he pleaded with the commander’s wife to free him from prison, and after coming out from the prison, he mounted a beautiful horse named ‘Balka’ and jumped into the battlefield. With his joining, the situation of war went in favor of the Muslims and the Muslims won the Battle of Qasediya.

He lived long after the Battle of Qaseddiya and fought in several battles. This soldier poet died in 650 AD.

Poetic Career: Abu Mihzan al-Thaqafi was one of the most popular Arabic mukhadrim poets. He wrote many poems, but only parts of them have been preserved. His main themes of poetry were wine, war, the bravery of his tribe, and praise. Some of his poems are satirical.

Abu Mihzan al-Thaqafi was so addicted to wine that he could not give up his drinking habit despite being punished and condemned for drinking alcohol. He also wrote several poems on wine. In a poem he wrote–

“Bury me under the vine after my death,

That the roots thereof may feed my bone

Never bury me in an open field

To deprive me of the juice of grapes.”

Though Mihjan al-Thaqafi was an alcoholic, he had many good qualities such as fighting bravely for Islam, giving shelter to the distressed, helping the poor, etc. In a poem he wrote about himself:

“Don’t tell anyone about my abundance of wealth.

Tell them about my honest nature and determination.

I jump on and cut off the heads of all my enemies making them armless.”

His poems embody the poet’s personal emotions, feelings, imagination, and sense of life. His poetry is also a document of the political and social life of the time. His language is fluent and rhythmic. He adorned his theme of poetry with simple but enjoyable imagery. His contribution to the development of poetry in the early Islamic period is undoubtedly commendable. 0 0 0.

Abu Mihjan al-Thaqafi | His Life and Poetry

Read More: A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Pre-Islamic Period (500 AD-622 AD)

Abu Mihjan al-Thaqafi | His Life and Poetry

Note: The article ‘Abu Mihjan al-Thaqafi | His Life and Poetry’ originally belongs to the book entitled ‘A Brief History of the Arabic Literature: Early Islamic Period (622 AD -661 AD)’ by Menonim Menonimus. Abu Mihjan al-Thaqafi | His Life and Poetry

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