Qus bin Saidah al-Iyadi


Qus bin Saidah al-Iyadi

Qus bin Saidah al-Iyadi

Qus bin Saidah al-Iyadi

Qus bin Saidah al-Iyadi

Brief Life Sketch: Qus bin Saidah al-Iyadi was a famous poet, prose writer, and orator of the pre-Islamic era. He was born in the Iyad tribe in a place called Najran in Arab. The names of his parents are not known. From an early age, he was thirsty for knowledge and learned about Christianity and Judaism.

He spent his youth in the court of the Roman emperor Kaiser and became a favorite of the emperor because of his honesty, philosophy of life, and wisdom. One day the emperor asked him, “What is the work of the best intellect?” In reply, he said, “Stay within the limits of your own knowledge.” He spent many years in the court of Kaiser and wrote many poems and delivered many speeches. He was known to have been one of the most learned men of his time and many people came to him seeking redressal of their grievances. “When settling a dispute, the plaintiff must prove his guilt and if the defendant denies it, he must take an oath,” said Kush bin Saida al-Ayyadi. He used the phrase “Amma Baad” (hereinafter) in Arabic. This rule is still followed today.

He is said to have lost two of his siblings at the age of about 50, and in their grief, he became gloomy. History testifies that in his old age he gave up worldly desires and devoted himself to the worship of Allah (God). This great man passed away in 601 AD.

Literary Career:  Kush bin Saidah al-Ayadi was a philosopher, poet, prose writer, and orator. A brief discussion is done below on his prose composition.

He gave lectures to impart humane, moral, justice and religious education to the people. His speech was very eloquent and appealing. He delivered lectures at various public gatherings and was also invited to speak at the famous Ukaz Fair. He had once delivered a philosophical lecture in the presence of Hazrat Muhammad (sm) at the Ukaz fair. It is said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was impressed by his speech and praised him much and prayed to Allah with all his heart for him.

He made lectures on many necessary topics relating to life and thus disseminated knowledge among the masses. But sadly, his speeches have been lost forever due to lack of preservation. One and half a century after his death, a few of his speeches were recovered from the public memory and were preserved in writing form. The following is an excerpt from one of his speeches:

“O mankind! gather here, listen to and remember, the one who is born will die. He who tastes death will depart. Whatever is to happen will happen. This dark night, this bright day, this ornamented sky, this radiant constellation, this rippling ocean, these strong hills and mountains, this vast expanse of plain, these ever-flowing rivers, all testify that there is a special great power in heaven. Where do these people go from where they never return? ” 

The above-quoted lines prove that Kush’s prose was emotional and influential. He used simple, straightforward words, although he arranged them in such a way as to capture the emotional feelings of his listeners.

In a dark age like the pre-Islamic era, the statements of Qus bin Saidah al-Iyadi must be commendable. His prose works have been lost in the course of time, although it is undeniable that his prose played a role in the development of Arabic prose literature. 0 0 0.

Qus bin Saidah al-Iyadi

Read More: A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Early Islamic Period (622 AD-661 AD)

Qus bin Saidah al-Iyadi

N.B. This article ‘Qus bin Saidah al-Iyadi’ originally belongs to the book entitled ‘A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Pre-Islamic Period (500 AD-622 AD) by Menonim Menonimus. Qus bin Saidah al-Iyadi

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