Bio: Jamil Buthayna

Bio: Jamil Buthayna

Jamil b. ´AbdAllah b. Ma´mar

(known as Jamil Buthayna)
b. in Hijaz – d. 82 H. in Misr

Tabi’i, love poet of Banu´Udhra, transmitted one hadith – may Allah be pleased with him

علقتُ الهوى منها وليداً، فلم *** يزلْ إلى اليومِ ينمي حبه ويزيدُ

I took to loving her from childhood,
and up til today this love continues to thrive and grow

Bio Ibn Khalikan

Ibn Khalikan’s biographical entry on

Jamil Buthayna

Abu Amr Jamil, the celebrated poet and the lover of Buthaina, was son of Abd Allah Ibn Mamar Ibn Subah Ibn Zabyan Ibn Hunn Ibn Rabia Ibn Haram lbn Dubba Ibn Abd Ibn Kathir Ibn ´Udhra Ibn Saad Ibn Hudaim Ibn Zaid Ibn Laith Ibn Sud Ibn Aslam Ibn Alhaf Ibn Kudaa.

Jamil was one of the famous Arabian lovers: his passion for Buthaina commenced when he was a boy; on attaining manhood he sought her hand in marriage, but met with a refusal. He then composed verses in her honor and visited her secretly at Wadi ‘l-Kura, where she resided. His poetical compositions are so well known, that it is needless to quote any of them.

Ibn Asakir relates, in his history of Damascus, that a person said to Jamil: “If you read the Koran, it would be more profitable for you than composing poetry;” to which Jamil replied: “There is Aris Ibn Malik who tells me that the Blessed Prophet said: ‘Wisdom comes certainly from some poetry.

Jamil and Buthaina, who was surnamed Omm Abd al-Malik, both belonged to the tribe of ´Udhra; beauty and true love abounded in that tribe: it was said to an Arab of the Desert, a member of the tribe of ´Udhra:

    “What is the matter with your hearts? They are as the hearts of birds, and dissolve away like salt in water. Why have you not more firmness?”
To this the other replied:
    “We see eyes of which you do not see the like.”

Another Arab being asked to what family he belonged, made this answer:
    “I am of a people who, when they are in love, die.”
A girl, who heard him say this, exclaimed:
    “By the Lord of the Kaaba! This man belongs to the Tribe of ´Udhra.”

The following lines are by Jamil:

My friends you told me that when summer comes
Taima would be where my loved one lived.
But now the summer months are gone;
Why is my love still far from me?
Buthaina, you bind me in state of torment,
The turtle-dove would sympathize were I
To accompany its complaints with mine
In the ardor of my passion.
The jealousy of gossips merely fires my love,
And prohibitions simply make me persevere.
Distance has not crushed my feeling,
In weary nights I’ve not renounced you,
You whose lips are my sweet source.
Do you not grasp that I grow weak with thirst
On days I do not see your face?
Often I fear death will catch me unawares
While my soul needs you, as still it does.

Anecdote related by Kuthayr
Kuthaiyr, the lover of Azza, related the following anecdote:

    “Would you like me to go,” I said, “to the camp of her tribe and recite as if by chance some verses in which I may hint at this circumstance, in case I find it impossible to speak to her in private?”
    “Yes,” replied Jamil, “that is a good plan.”

I then set out and made my camel kneel down in their camp, and her father said to me:
    “Son of my brother, what brings you back ?”
    “There are some verses,” I replied, “which I have just happened to compose, and I wish to tell them to you.”
    “Let us have them,” he said.

I then recited these verses while Buthaina was hearing:

I said to her: “O Azza! I
send my friend to you—
And he is a trusty messenger—
So that you may fix a place where we may meet,
So that you tell me what I am to do.
The last time I met you was in Wadi ‘d-Daum,
When clothes were being washed.”

Then Buthaina struck the curtain behind which she stood, and said:
    “Go away! go away!”
    “What is the matter, Buthaina?” said her father.
    “It is a dog,” she replied, “which has come to me from behind the hill, now that the people are asleep.”
She then said to her girl:
    “Let us go to the palm-trees and gather wood to cook a sheep for Kuthaiyr.”
    “No,” I said, “I am in too much of a hurry to wait.”
I then rode back to Jamil and told him what had happened, and he said:
    “The place of meeting is at the palm-trees.”

Then Buthaina went out with her women friends to the palm-trees, and I went to them with Jamil: the lovers did not separate till morning dawned, and I never saw a more virtuous meeting, nor two persons who knew so well what passed in each other’s hearts; I do not know which of the two was the more discerning.

Adapted from Ibn Khallikan’s Biographical Dictionary, translated by Bn Mac Guckin de Slane, Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland,  London, 1842-1871. Reprinted, 1961, Johnson reprint Corporation, New York. 4 volumes. Adaptation and selection Copyright © Rex Pay 2000

Banu Udhra

Love and Poetry of Banu ´Udhra

´Udhri poetry emerges in the same early Umayyad period as Hijazi poetry and in the same northwestern Arabian province, but is named after Bani Udhra, the tribe of Jamil ibn Ma’mar, a poet of Medina (d. 82 AH/ 701CE).

Jamil is famous as a lover of the lady Buthayna from a neighboring tribe.  The story of their romance is that Buthayna’s people turn down Jamil’s marriage proposal because they feel Jamil’s verses praising their love have compromised her honor—merely saying that a woman loved a man was considered a blot on her honor in ancient Arab tribal society (and in some sectors of modern Arab societies, for that matter). Buthayna is forcibly married off to another man, but she and Jamil continue to be in love with each other, although they never consummate their love. Jamil continues to visit her and to complain in verse of his longing:

My bosom friend, in your whole life,
have you ever seen a slain man
weep for love of his slayer, as I do?

(from Farrukh, Vol. 1, p. 482)

Indeed, Jamil ibn Ma’mar was the first to come up with the notion, which became a staple of Arabic love poetry ever after, that to die in love is martyrdom, as in these verses:

They say, go out in jihad, Jamil, do battle
But what jihad do I want beside woman?
For every conversation with women is joy,
and he who is slain while among them is a martyr

(from Farrukh, Vol. 1, p. 481)

The classic Udhri lovers are Laila and Majnun, a star-crossed pair whose story is set, as Udhri romances tend to be set, in the desert rather than the city landscape of Hijazi love poetry. The real ‘Majnun’ is said to be the poet Qais Ibn al-Mulawwah. The real ‘Laila’ is Laila bint Sa’d al-Amiriya (d. 688CE). Also a poet, she wrote:

I have been through what Majnun went through,
But he declaimed his love
And I treasured mine,
Until it melted me down

(Udhari, p. 76)

Sorce: Ecerpted from:


Isnad of poetry

At some periods there have been unbroken chains of illustrious poets, each one training a rawi as a bard to promote his verse and then to take over from them and continue the poetic tradition.

Tufayl trained
‘Awas ibn Hajar , ‘Awas trained
Zuhayr ibn Abî Sûlmâ , Zuhayr trained
his son Ka’b bin Zuhayr , Ka’b trained
al-Hutay’ah , al-Hutay’ah trained
Jamil Buthaynah and Jamil trained
Kuthayyir ‘Azzah .



ديوان : جميل بثينة

وما أنسَ، مِ الأشياء، لا أنسَ قولها *** وقد قُرّبتْ نُضْوِي: أمصرَ تريدُ؟
ولا قولَها: لولا العيونُ التي ترى *** لزُرتُكَ، فاعذُرْني، فدَتكَ جُدودُ
خليلي، ما ألقى من الوجدِ باطنٌ *** ودمعي بما أخفيَ، الغداة َ، شهيدُ
يقولون: جاهِدْ يا جميلُ، بغَزوة ٍ، *** وأيّ جهادٍ، غيرهنّ، أريدُ
لكلّ حديثِ بينهنّ بشاشة *** وكلُّ قتيلٍ عندهنّ شهيدُ
وأحسنُ أيامي، وأبهجُ عِيشَتي، *** إذا هِيجَ بي يوماً وهُنّ قُعود
تذكرتُ ليلى ، فالفؤادُ عميدُ، *** وشطتْ نواها، فالمزارُ بعيدُ
علقتُ الهوى منها وليداً، فلم *** يزلْ إلى اليومِ ينمي حبه ويزيدُ


من تاريخ دمشق لإبن عساكر
جميل بن عبد الله بن معمر بن الحارث بن خيبري بن نهيك بن ظبيان، أبو عمرو العذري، الحجازي، الشاعر المشهور صاحب بثينة. حدث عن أنس بن مالك، ووفد على الوليد بن عبد الملك وعمر بن عبد العزيز. روى عنه محمد بن راشد الحبطي، وكثير عزة الشاعر. ذكره الجمحي في الطبقة السادسة من الاسلاميين ( 1).

قال الخطيب: وليس له إلا حديث واحد وهو: ( إن من الشعر حكمة )، وقد أسنده ابن عساكر من طريق الحبطي عنه عن أنس. وأخرج عن المسور بن عبد الملك اليربوعي قال: ماضر من روى شعر جميل وكثير أن لا يكون عنده
مغنيتان مطربتان.

مات جميل بمصر سنة اثنين وثمانين. روى ابن عساكر وغيره من طرق: أن جميلا قدم مصر على عبد العزيز بن مروان يمدحه، فرآه رجل فقال له: ما رأيت في بثينة، فو الله لقد رأيتها ولو ذبح بعرقوبها طائر لا نذبح. فقال له جميل: إنك لم ترها بعيني، ولو نظرت إليها بعيني لأحببت أن تلقى الله وأنت زان.

ثم أنه مرض فدخل عليه العباس بن سهل الساعدي وهو يجود بنفسه، فقال له جميل: ما تقول في رجل لم يقتل نفسا، ولم يزن قط، ولم يسرق، ولم يشرب خمرا قط، أترجو له؟ قال العباس: أي والله، فقال جميل: إني لأرجو أن أكون ذلك الرجل. قال العباس: فقلت: سبحان الله، فأنت تتبع بثينة منذ ثلاثين سنة. فقال:
يا عباس، إني لفي آخر يوم من أيام الدنيا، وأول يوم من أيام الآخرة، لا نالتني شفاعة محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم إن كنت وضعت يدي عليها قطّ. قال: ومات رحمه الله.
وقيل: إن هذه الحكاية جرت له بالشام، وفيها: إن كنت وضعت يدي عليها لريبة قط. ثم مات.

وحدث هارون بن عبد الله القاضي قال: قدم جميل بن معمر مصر على عبد العزيز بن مروان ممتدحاً له، فأذن له وسمع مدائحه، وأحسن جائزته، وسأله عن حبه بثينة، فذكر وجداً فوعده في أمرها موعداً، وأمره بالمقام، وأمر له بمنزل وما يصلحه، فما أقام إلا يسيراً حتى مات هناك، وذلك في سنة اثنتين وثمانين.
( 1) الطبقات ص 529

مختصر تاريخ دمشقلابن منظور ص 255-281

من قصص العرب

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