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Arab literature at the time of jâhiliyya: Al-Nâbigha al-Dhubyânî

أدباء الجاهلية : النابغة الذبياني

Al-Nâbigha al-Dhubyânî
(born around the middle of the 6th century.)

Dubyani comes from the Banu Dhubyan tribe, he lived near Mecca. He was first a tribal poet, before entering the court of King Lakhmide Al-Nu’man Abu Qabus, whom Dubyani will mourn in an elegy that has become famous. Following some verses on the queen considered insulting, he is forced to leave the kingdom before returning there in 600. He then enters the court of Ghassanides where he leads a sumptuous life.

The date of his death is uncertain, but it seems he did not know what Islam was. His poems are largely praise and satire on the Ghassanids, the Banu Abs and the Banu Dhubyan.

The end of his ode, sometimes included in the mu’allaqât, translated by Jacques Berque, shows the political aspect of this poet:

  My praise so beautifully you listen to it
  It won’t have been, oh no, curse!
  to perform to your favors
  This is just a plea, may it serve me
  otherwise I would have made a pact with misfortune!