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Arab Humor. The Abbasid period. Part 4

Four humorous characters stand out in this period:

1. Abu Dulama Zand, ibn al Jawn, was an auto derision poet and mocked himself, wife and children.

2. Bashar bin Burd (714-784) was blind. He is considered the best poet, second to Abu Nawas at the time. He was disrespectful of religions and their precepts, and lived in an ruthless society for the handicapped people

3. Abu Nawas (757-815).

4. Jahez (776-868) was the most famous author at the time and the most cultivated. He wrote “The Stingy” and “The Animal”

Samples of the humors:

1. The Abbasid caliph Mahdi (father of Harun Rashid) lost his hunting party and ended up at bedwin tent. asking to be fed. The bedwin fed him and poured date wine to the stranger. The first cup was an opportunity for the caliph to say “Do you know who I am? I accompany the Commander of the Believers“.  The second cup “I am one of the knights of the caliph”, the third cup “I am the caliph”. The bedwin closed the bottle and would not pour another cup. He said: “I am afraid in the fourth round you might claim that you are Prophet Muhammad

2. Caliph Harun Racheed told a man from Morocco (Maghreb, or the province of the setting sun) “The world is a bird whose tail is the Maghreb”. The man retorted “Correct. This bird is a peacock

3. Caliph Mutawakkel asked the blind Abul Ayn (eye) “How do you find my house?”. He replied “I have seen houses around the world, but in your case, it is the world that you built within these walls”

4. Caliph Mutawakkel was saying “The Moslems were not happy with Othman (third caliph). The first caliph Abu Bakr stepped down one step from the chair of the prophet in the Mosque. The second caliph Omar stepped down two steps. Othman stood on top of the chair. Othman was too arrogant and insensitive…” Abbad replied “You have to give thanks to Othman. Otherwise, we will be listening to you from the bottom of a pit

5. Harun Racheed told a man from the Maghreb “Aren’t you glad that we delivered you from the plague?”  The Maghribi man retorted  “Grace to the equitable Allah. Between your dominion and the plague…”

6. Caliph Ma2moun summoned a woman claiming to be a prophet by the name of Fatima. Ma2moun said “Do you believe in everything the Prophet revealed?” The woman said “Yes, I do”  The caliph said “Didn’t the prophet say “No prophet after me?” The woman retorted “Yes, he did. But never did He mentioned women prophets

Note: Extracted from the French book “The Book of Arab Humor” by Jean-Jacques Schmidt

“The Book of Arab Humor” by Jean-Jacques Schmidt, Part 1

1. Ugly Walid ibn Yazid (future caliph) came in to visit caliph Hisham, his uncle. Walid was wearing an intricate laced turban that cost 1,000 dinars. Hisham was flabbergasted by this expensive item. Walid said: “This turban covers the most important part of my body. You purchased a girl slave for 10 times that amount, just to satisfy the vilest of your parts…” (The Omayyad Empire reached its vastest expansion, from Afghanistan to Spain during Hisham)

2. Abu Harith was cooking meat with friends. One retrieved a piece of meat saying “It lacks salt”, another “It lacks pepper”, “It lacks onion”… Abu Harith checked the pot and exclaimed “It lacks meat

3. I married a woman in Harran and she gave birth within 40 days. She explained “You built the walls on the foundation of another one…”

4. The wife heard the imam preaching: “If your husband “honors” you once, you set the foundation for your palace in Heaven. If he does it twice, you erect the walls, the third times you raise the arches…”  The husband had to be awakened several times that night to build the entire palace. At last the husband got a relief as he reminded his wife “The masons told me that if the clay is not allowed to dry and hardened, the whole palace will collapse…”

5. The bereaved daughter was crying “Where are they taking you father? To a place where there is not light, no food, no drink, no joy, no conversation…?” The kid accompanying his father said “Dad? Are they sending this body to our home?”

6. The Abbasid caliph Mahdi (father of Harun Rashid) lost his hunting party and visited a bedwin tent. asking to be fed. The bedwin fed him and poured date wine to the stranger. The first cup was an opportunity for the caliph to say “Do you know who I am? I accompany the Commander of the Believers“.  The second cup “I am one of the knights of the caliph”, the third cup “I am the caliph”.

The bedwin closed the bottle and would not pour another cup. He said: “I am afraid in the fourth round you might claim that you are Prophet Muhammad


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adonis49

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