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Hassan Bin Thabit

Outline
A: Introduction
B: His Life
C: Hassan Poet Of the Prophet
D: Salient features of his poetry
E: Samples from his verses
Introduction
Hassan Bin Thabit was the greatest and most revered poet of the Nabuwwah period.
Famously and aptly dubbed as The Poet of the Prophet. Hassan did a great service to Islam
and led his poetic language against the Quraysh and defended the owner of the Prophet from
the scathing Satire of such Quraishy poets as Al-Zabari, Abu-Sufyan bin Al-Harith and Amr Bin
Al As. His poetry came to be considered as a great literary heritage of Islamic Ummah
containing the valuable treasure of verses that he composed in defense of islam in its Nascent
stage. Moreover, his poetry has a historical and cultural significance. The history of many
events of Jahilia and Islam can be resurrected from his verse. His Eulogies for the Ghassanids and the
Manadhras in the Jahiliyahs portrays. A political and cultural pictures of that age. Similarly, his
preserving many Islamic events in his poetry as the Battle of Badr, Uhud and Hudaibia treaty.
His life: name, genealogy and family
Hazrat Hassan bin Thabit belong to the Khazraj tribe of the Ansar group of Medines denizens.
His genealogy (Nasab) is related thus:
Thus he was from the Banu Najjar division of the Ansars.
His taknonyms (kunya) were three: Abul Walid, Abu Abdul Rahman, and Abul Hussam.
The mother of Hassan bin Thabit was Ghariqa bint Khalid.
He had two wives: it is reported that the Prophet (PBUH) gave Hassan his slave Sirin, the sister
of the Prophet Muhammads (PBUH) wife Maryah al-Qibtiyyah. The sisters were Egyptian
Coptic christions sent as gift to Prophet (PBUH) by Muqawqis, a rulet of Egypt, in around 628.
Sirin bore Hassan a son, Abdul Rahman, who was also a poet of great ability.
Circumstances of His life
In his youth Hassan bin Thabit has won acclaim at the courts of the chiristian Arabs
Ghassanids kings in Syria and the Lakhmid Kings of al-Hira in Iraq. He especially eulogized the
Banu Jafna of the Ghassanids who showered mumificience over the poet. When he settled in
Madinah where he accepted Islam at the age of 60, the Ghassanids continued sending presents
to their former eulogizer.
In the Jahilliyah, Hassan earned his livelihood through poetry by eulogizing the
ghassanids and the lakhmids. After the advent of Islam, the Prophet (PBUH) and the pious
Caliphs cared for the material needs of the poets. He had his stipend fixed in the bayt-ul-mall.
Age and Death
According to a tradition Hassan lived for 120 years, sixty before converting to Islam and sixty
after that. He died in the region of first Ummayaad Caliph, Muawiyah.
Salient Features of his poetry
Hassan experimented his poetic skills in the wide range of motifs, the chief among them are:
i) The Naat
ii) The Elegies in the memory of the prophet
iii) The praise and elegies of many companions
iv) The events of early Islamic battle
v) The defence of islam
vi) Satire of the Quraish
Traditional Genres:
i) Pride
ii) Eulogy
iii) Description
iv) Love-Poetry
v) Wisdom
2. Hassans poetry can be judged in two periods:
Of jahiliyah and Islamic period. In the Jahiliyah, he employed in his poetry such motifs as pride,
eulogy, description, ghazal and wisdom. All those motifs are composed in beautiful words,
influential style and effective meanings. The historians say that his Islamic poetry is not as much
meritorious as that of the jahilliyah. The reasons may be as:
i) Islam rejected the old motifs of poetry as pride, asabiyyah, and boastful poetry.
ii) His old age might have been a factor in the weakening of his public skills.
iii) However, his poetry in praise of the Prophet (S.A.W.W) and in defence of islam does
not exhibit any literary fault as it is often held.
Opinion of the Critics:
1: Abu Ubaydah Says:
Hassan was the poet of Ansar in Jahiliyyah. The poet of the prophet in prophethood era,
and the poet of all Yemens in the Islamic period.
2. Abu Ubaydah also delivered this judgement:
The arabs are agreed that Hassan was the greatest poet of the Jipsy people.
3. Ismaili has called Hassan:
The greatest of the great poets.
However, ismaili was not impressed by the poetry of Hassan that he composed in the
Islamic era.
4. Ibn Sallam said of Hassan:
His poetry was great in quantity and fine in quality.
5. Abdul Malik:
He called him the greatest eulogist ever. He especially liked this verse of Hassan:
They areso generous to people that even their dogs do not bark at the new coming guests
as they are but usual guests.
6. Abul Hatim Al-Sajistani: has opined that his verses are delicate and fine.
7. Hutaia: is reported to have once said:
Inform the ansars: Theirs is the greatest of Arab poets.
Hassan: The Poet Of Prophet
At the advent of islam the quraish started their enmity to islam and began to threw satirical
cuts at the venerable person of the prophet. The chief poets who were leading the rostrum
of satirizing the prophet were: Abdullah Bin Zubari, Abu Sufyan and Amr Bin al-As. As their
poetical satire grew to an unacceptable degree, the prophet(S.A.W.W) exclaimed:
Those who have assisted God and His apostle with their weapons. Why do they not assist
him with their tongues.
Hazrat Hassan said: I am for that.
Then the Prophet (S.A.W.W) asked: how would you satirize them and I am from them.
Hassan replied: I shall separate you from amongst them as one separates hair from flour.
Then the Prophet (S.A.W.W) said: Satirize them and Gabrail is with you.
Hazrat Hassan started to eulogize the Prophet (S.A.W.W) and satirize the quraish who were
dumbfounded at his pique and satire:
In this way he was the pioneer of the Naatia poetry.
Sample From His Verse:
His most famous couplet in praise of the Prophet (S.A.W.W) is as:
I have never seen anyone better than you.
Nor dis any women give birth to anyone more beautiful than you.
You have been created free from all faults.
Just as you yourself wished to be created.
Another Naatian verse for the Prophet (S.A.W.W):
The seal of the prophethood is shining on the Prophet (S.A.W.W), which is a witness to his
being a true and last Prophet.
Allah has attached Mohammads name with His name.
Which the Muazzin mentions five times a day.
Allah has elevated His honour, and made him the holder of Maqam-e-Mehmood.