AI-MoslalvaJ I¸ O.

Bal
Beviev I¸· Aneev AIi
JouvnaI oJ lIe Bo¸aI Asialic Sociel¸ oJ Oveal Bvilain and IveIand, |Jan., 1907), pp. 218-220
FuIIisIed I¸· Cambridge University Press
SlaIIe UBL· http://www.jstor.org/stable/25210394 .
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218 NOTICES OF BOOKS.
or at least
part
of its
subject,
was
ably
treated
twenty
years ago
by
a
Rungpore
Pleader named Mohim Chandra
Mozamdar. But his "Brahmans in Gaur"
waft written in
Bengali,
and does not seem to be much known. Babu
Govindra Niith's work will call attention to the
question
of
Kulinism,
and will lead to
profitable
discussions.
H. B.
Al-Mostatuaf. Recueil de
morceaux
choisis
94
et la dans
Toutes les Branches de Connaissances
reputes
attra
gantes par
l'lmftm,
1'Unique,
le
Savant,
le tr&s
Erudit,
le
Disert,
le
Perspicace,
le Sa'ib
(Sheikh)
&ib&b-ad-Din
Ahmad
Al-Abslhi, que
Dieu le
couvre
de
sa
Mis?ricorde et lui accorde des
marques
de sa
satisfaction ! Amen I
Ouvrage Philologique,
Aneo
dotique,
Litteraire,
et
Philosophique,
traduit
pour
la
premiere
fois
par
G.
Rat,
Membre de la Society
Asiatique. (Paris
:
Ernest
Leroux,
1899.)
The
Mustatrafx
has until
now
been
a
sealed book in the
West to all
excepting
Arabic scholars. M. Rat has
placed
European
students interested in
a
rival civilization under
a
debt of
gratitude by
his careful translation of
a
work the
value of which is
hardly
known to the
general
world of
literature.
Compiled by
an
erudite Arab towards the close of the
fourteenth
century
of the Christian
era,
the
Mustatraf
is
a
mine of information in all branches of
knowledge
which
formed in those
days
an
essential
part
of Islamic culture.
Its
importance,
therefore,
as a
picture
of Arabian
society
can
hardly
be
exaggerated. Although
Western Asia and
Egypt
had for
over
three centuries been
engaged
in
a
life
and death
struggle
with the hosts of
Europe,
and the
Eastern
Caliphate
had been overwhelmed and
destroyed
by
the
Mongolian
avalanche,
the
glorious
traditions of
AL-MOSTATRAF. 2 i 9*
Moslem civilization
were
still
extant,
and the
pursuit
of
learning
and the search for
knowledge
still formed the
pride
of students and scholars.
In his
compilation
al-
Abshihi,
the author of the
Mustatraf,.
fulfilled
a
double
purpose.
He collected all the
learning
of the
age,
and at the
same
time
preserved
for
posterity
a
picture
of Moslem civilization at the best
period
of its
history.
The
immensity
of M. Rat's task will be
perceived by
the
enormous
range
of
subjects
dealt with in the
Mustatraf.
These
are
cleverly
summarised
by
the translator in his
preface
as
"un recueil
d'historiettes, d'anecdotes,
de traits
piquants,
de bons
mots,
d'apophthegraes, d'aphorismes,
de
preceptes,
de
pensees
philosophiques,
de maxiraes et de
sentences
morales,
de
melanges
litteraires et
philologiques."
But this
hardly gives
an
adequate conception
of the
encyclopaedic
character of the work. It consists of
eighty
four
chapters,
most of which
again
are
divided into sections.
Each
chapter
is devoted to the treatment of
a
special subject
with
more or
less
amplitude.
The fundamental
dogmas
of
Isliim,
general
ethics,
philosophy, political
and social
economy,
the relative duties of
sovereign
and
subject,
natural
history,
the
phenomena
of nature and the marvels
of the
earth,
poetry, music,
oratory,
medicine,
and
a
variety
of other
subjects
of the most multifarious character
are
treated and discussed in detail. The observations
are almost
always
illustrated
by
venerable traditions and
poetical
quotations.
Anecdotes from the lives of the
Caliphs
and
other eminent men
who
figure
in Moslem
history
are often
employed
to
point
the
moral,
and
passages
from the Koran
are
frequently
cited to
give
force to the
principles
enunciated.
General ethics
occupy
by
far the
largest portion
of the
work
;
the duties of
man to
man,
the
practice
of
benevolence,
mercy,
charity, fidelity, piety,
and
self-control,
the
discipline
of the
heart,
and the
training
of the mind
seem to
be
favourite
subjects
with the author. This
slight
reference
to the contents of the
Mustatraf
will show the value of
M. Rat's work. So far
as a
rather hurried
study
of the
220 notices of books.
translation and
comparison
with tho
original
can
enable
me
to
judge,
the learned translator has
performed
his task
with
remarkable exactitude. As
a
rule,
having regard
to
the
genius
of the two
languages,
Arabic and
French,
the
rendering
follows the
origiual
with admirable
fidelity, leaning
almost towards the literal. In.some
instances,
from the
exigencies
of the
case,
he has had recourse
to
a
paraphrase.
In the
preface
to the second volume he has disarmed the
criticism which
might suggest
itself to the student
un
acquainted
with Arabian
history
and
biography regarding
the absence of footnotes
giving
some account of the men
referred to in the anecdotes and the
principles
cited
by
the
author. As M. Rat
observes, any attempt
in this direction
would have involved
stupendous
labour and have swelled
the volumes. M. Rat has in his translation of the
verses
quoted
in the work
supplied
their
metre,
which is most
useful to those who
can read the
Mustatraf
in the
original.
Ameer Ali.
Zwei Gedichte
von
al-'A'sa,
herausgegeben,
iibersetzt,
und erlautert
von
R. Geyeh. I. Ma Buka'u.
(Wien,
1905.)
Al-'A'sa,
an
Arab
poet
of the time before
Islam,
is
celebrated
by
native critics
as one
of the foremost
poets
of
the
nation,
and
by
some
he is even
credited with the first
place.
To
judge
from
verses
of his which
are at
present
generally
accessible,
we can
only
confirm the
judgment
of
Arab critics.
The
poem
here edited
by
Professor
Geyer
is based
upon
the
excellent
manuscript
of his dlwan
preserved
in the
library
of the Escurial
(I)erenbourg
Cat.,
No.
303),
confronted with
all accessible
manuscripts
und the
Bulaq
edition of the
Jamhnrat-al-AS'ar of
al-Qurusi.
The text is excellent and
accompanied by
a
German
translation,
but the
principal
merit of this edition lies in the exhaustive
notes,
which
follow the text and which
some
may
consider rather
prolix.

par gantes le le Disert. Bengali. formed in those days an essential part of Islamic therefore. Al-Abslhi. Niith's and will work will call attention to the question H. Al-Mostatuaf. et Philosophique. traduit pour la la Society de G. can hardly be exaggerated. M. in But his "Brahmans in Gaur" and does not seem to be much Babu known. Membre : Ernest Leroux. B. Ahmad &ib&b-ad-Din de sa Mis?ricorde et satisfaction dotique. of lead to profitable discussions.) The Mustatrafx has until now been a sealed book in the to all excepting West Arabic scholars. Rat has placed in a rival civilization under students interested European a debt of his careful translation of a work the by gratitude to the general world of is hardly known value of which literature. had for over three Egypt and by death struggle with had Eastern Caliphate the Mongolian Its as a picture Although been centuries the been hosts the of of Arabian Western engaged society Asia and in a life and the Europe. Perspicace. the Mustatraf century a mine of information which in all branches of knowledge culture. Erudit. premiere Asiatique. an erudite Arab towards the close of the Compiled by is of the Christian fourteenth era.218 or at least NOTICES OF BOOKS. importance. ! Amen I Litteraire. Rat. was ably treated twenty part of its subject. 1899. a named Mohim Chandra Pleader years ago by Rungpore waft written Mozamdar. Govindra Kulinism. le Sa'ib (Sheikh) le couvre que Dieu des marques de Aneo sa Ouvrage Philologique. fois par (Paris attra reputes le tr&s Savant. and overwhelmed glorious avalanche. lui accorde l'lmftm. Toutes Recueil les Branches de morceaux choisis le 94 et la dans de Connaissances 1'Unique. destroyed of traditions .

Abshihi. of the earth. pensees preceptes. piety. sentences morales. fulfilled He collected all the learning of the age. of the heart. Isliim. the duties of the occupy by far the largest portion of man to man. of The fundamental dogmas general the economy. are often other eminent men who figure in Moslem history to point the moral. and at the same time preserved for posterity a at the best period of its of Moslem civilization picture history. favourite subjects to M. translator de in his traits de de summarised cleverly by as "un recueil d'historiettes. most of which again are divided into sections. charity. seem to be and the training of the mind with the author. a double purpose. litteraires de melanges an adequate this hardly But gives d'aphorismes. for knowledge 2 and still the formed i9* of pursuit the pride learning of students and the search and scholars. the d'anecdotes. al. oratory. The immensity enormous range These preface piquants. the phenomena of nature and the marvels music. de d'apophthegraes. medicine. the contents Rat's work. the practice of benevolence. relative and social philosophy. de de bons mots. ethics. the discipline fidelity. are of M. Moslem civilization were still extant. of other treated always subjects and discussed illustrated of the most in detail. and self-control. philosophiques. . Rat's of subjects task will dealt with be perceived by the in the Mustatraf. frequently General work ethics . political duties of sovereign and subject. In his compilation the author of the Mustatraf. and passages from the Koran employed are cited to give force to the principles enunciated. encyclopaedic four chapters. Each chapter is devoted to the treatment of a special subject with more or less amplitude. and a variety poetry. venerable multifarious The are character are almost observations traditions and poetical by and from the lives of the Caliphs Anecdotes quotations.." of the conception It consists of eighty character of the work. reference This slight of the Mustatraf show the value of will So far as a rather hurried study of the mercy. natural history.AL-MOSTATRAF. et maxiraes et philologiques.

rendering follows the origiual almost towards the literal. we can confirm the judgment of accessible. any attempt involved labour and have swelled stupendous M. poet of native critics as one of the foremost poets of by and by some he is even credited with the first the nation. by accompanied lies in the exhaustive merit of this edition notes. generally only Arab critics. with to remarkable exactitude. As a rule. he has had recourse to a paraphrase. (I)erenbourg und the Bulaq edition of the accessible manuscripts poem here edited an Arab Jamhnrat-al-AS'ar text is excellent and The of al-Qurusi. Al-'A'sa. a German the principal but translation. von R. can enable translation and comparison with tho original me to his task the learned has performed translator judge.220 notices of books. would to in the anecdotes As have in M. which some may consider rather prolix. the text and which follow . confronted with the Escurial Cat. Ma Buka'u. Geyeh. celebrated The of all excellent by Professor Geyer is based upon the in the library of his dlwan preserved manuscript No. iibersetzt. the Arabic and French. 303). having regard the genius of the two languages. of the case. 1905. Rat has in his translation of the verses is most their metre. admirable fidelity. herausgegeben. I.) is the time before Islam. Ameer Ali. Rat and the principles cited by the in this direction observes. which supplied can read the Mustatraf in the original. exigencies to the second volume he has disarmed In the preface the un to the student itself criticism which might suggest and biography with Arabian history acquainted regarding some account of the men the absence of footnotes giving referred author. are at present To judge from verses of his which place. with the volumes. leaning from the In. quoted useful the work to those who Zwei Gedichte und erlautert von al-'A'sa..some instances. (Wien.

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