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Common wisdom: Luqman the Wise in a collection of Coptic Orthodox homilies.

In the summer of 2004 I was invited by the organizers of the conference "The Life and Times of St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Saint Shenouda the Archimandrite (348-466) was the abbot of the White Monastery in Egypt. He is considered a saint by the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and is one of the most renowned saints of the Coptic Orthodox Church. " (1) to investigate collections of Arabic homilies attributed to this great monastic leader, for many years (c. 385-465) (2) the spiritual head of the White Monastery The White Monastery is a Coptic Orthodox monastery named after Saint Shenouda the Archimandrite. It is located near the Upper Egyptian city of Souhag, and about four Km south east of the Red Monastery.  federation at Atripe, across the Nile from the ancient city of Akhmim (= Shmin, Panopolis).

The first collection to which I turned my attention consisted in nine homilies for the seven Sundays of Lent, concluding with Palm Sunday Palm Sunday, in the Christian calendar, the Sunday before Easter, sixth and last Sunday in Lent, and the first day of Holy Week. It recalls the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem riding upon an ass, when his followers shouted "Hosanna" and scattered palms in his path. , (3) preserved in a seventeenth-century manuscript that had once been in the library of the White Monastery, now preserved in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris as ms. arabe 4761. (4) It quickly became clear to me that the homilies preserved in this manuscript were not translations from Coptic originals, as one would expect were the attribution to St. Shenoute (5) correct, but original Arabic-language compositions. I was not particularly surprised by this result, but I was surprised to discover that the homilies were not merely exercises in biblical exegesis exegesis

Scholarly interpretation of religious texts, using linguistic, historical, and other methods. In Judaism and Christianity, it has been used extensively in the study of the Bible. Textual criticism tries to establish the accuracy of biblical texts.
 (although biblical quotations and allusions abound) or in the use of the "language of Zion" (that is, specifically churchly church·ly  
1. Of or relating to a church.

2. Appropriate for or suggestive of a church: "aspires to the pure fragrance of churchly incense" Martin Bernheimer.
 discourse). Rather, the preacher, a Coptic Christian probably active sometime between the fourteenth and the seventeenth centuries, also drew from a store of edifying ed·i·fy  
tr.v. ed·i·fied, ed·i·fy·ing, ed·i·fies
To instruct especially so as to encourage intellectual, moral, or spiritual improvement.
 tales and wisdom literature that was shared by Christians and Muslims.

In this essay I highlight one element of the "common wisdom" that makes an appearance in these homilies: the wisdom tradition associated with Luqman the Wise. I offer this as a modest tribute to my friend and teacher Harold Vogelaar, who, throughout his career, has sought out Christian-Muslim "common wisdom" and has fashioned his life and ministry according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.


Luqman the Wise in Christian homilies

Luqman the Wise makes two appearances in these homilies. The first is in a homily homily (hŏm`əlē), type of oral religious instruction delivered to a church congregation. In the patristic period through the Middle Ages the focus of the homily was on the explanation and application of texts read or sung during the  appointed to be read after the Gospel on the Second Sunday of Lent. (6) Throughout, the preacher commends the Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting, and good works--and stresses the need to repent re·pent 1  
v. re·pent·ed, re·pent·ing, re·pents

1. To feel remorse, contrition, or self-reproach for what one has done or failed to do; be contrite.

 in this life before death, since death closes the door on the possibility of repentance and forgiveness. The problem, however, is that human beings are heedless and negligent. They require the ministry of scholars ("guides to God"), ascetics ("the way to God"), merchants ("God's faithful on his earth") and kings ("shepherds of the religion of God"). Unfortunately, the preacher explains, many hardships and misfortunes have come upon the people because these leaders have neglected their responsibilities: scholars have abandoned their pupils, ascetics have desired the world, merchants have not been good stewards, and kings have oppressed op·press  
tr.v. op·pressed, op·press·ing, op·press·es
1. To keep down by severe and unjust use of force or authority: a people who were oppressed by tyranny.

 their subjects and have not feared God! (7) The preacher comments:
How can these unseemly matters be, and how can we be negligent about
things pleasing to God our Creator, and about mentioning him constantly
in prayer?

Luqman the Wise says:
"O my son, don't let the rooster be better
  than you!
For it, when the night is half spent, beats
  its wings and cries out to God in praise."

So if a lowly bird that has no value praises God, how can it be that a
noble human being, whom God has set above all the creatures, does not
praise God and ascribe him holiness at all times? (8)

This reference to Luqman the Wise is followed by other quotations from better-known authorities: St. John Chrysostom Noun 1. St. John Chrysostom - (Roman Catholic Church) a Church Father who was a great preacher and bishop of Constantinople; a saint and Doctor of the Church (347-407)
John Chrysostom
, Solomon the Wise Solomon the Wise (original Yiddish title Shloime Chuchem) is a 1906 play by Jacob Gordin, based on French sources, and loosely based on actual events in 17th century France, during the reign of Louis XIII and the ascendancy of Cardinal Richelieu. , and Our Lord [Jesus Christ Jesus Christ: see Jesus.

Jesus Christ

40 days after Resurrection, ascended into heaven. [N.T.: Acts 1:1–11]

See : Ascension

Jesus Christ

kind to the poor, forgiving to the sinful. [N.T.

Another quotation from Luqman the Wise is found in the following homily, for the Third Sunday of Lent. (9) Surprisingly, this homily is not centered on a biblical passage or on the life of a Christian saint but rather on a story about Alexander the Great. We read that this great conqueror once discovered a country ruled by a woman. Taken aback by (what the reader is to understand as) this surprising state of affairs, Alexander made inquiries and learned that there was a male heir to the throne but that he had refused the kingdom and gone off to live by himself among the tombs. Alexander sought him out and attempted to persuade him to return to his city, be crowned as king, and serve as Alexander's loyal vassal vassal: see feudalism. . The hermit hermit [Gr.,=desert], one who lives in solitude, especially from ascetic motives. Hermits are known in many cultures. Permanent solitude was common in ancient Christian asceticism; St. Anthony of Egypt and St. Simeon Stylites were noted hermits.  prince agreed, but on the condition that Alexander grant him four things: youth without aging, eternal happiness Eternal Happiness is a 2002 TVB series starring a girl named Mang Lai Kuan. Cast
  • Michelle Ye
  • Raymond Lam
  • Tavia Yeung
  • Myolie Wu
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External links
  • Offical website
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 without grief, bodily health without illness, and life without death. Alexander, astonished a·ston·ish  
tr.v. as·ton·ished, as·ton·ish·ing, as·ton·ish·es
To fill with sudden wonder or amazement. See Synonyms at surprise.
 at this request, replied that these four are impossible for human beings, to which the hermit prince responded that it was then better for him to attend to the demands of God rather than to the affairs of kingship in this passing world. Alexander, stricken by he prince's words and conscious of his own thoroughgoing thor·ough·go·ing  
1. Very thorough; complete: thoroughgoing research.

2. Unmitigated; unqualified: a thoroughgoing villain.
 enmeshment in worldly affairs, departed in sorrow and with a request for prayers. (10)

In his response to the hermit prince's surprising request, Alexander quoted or alluded to scripture in order to prove the inevitability of suffering, as affirmed in Psalm 34:19 ("Many are the afflictions of the righteous") and illustrated by the careers of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the reality of illness, such as that of Job; and humanity's mortality in Adam ("You are dust, and to dust you shall return," Gen 3:19). Alexander concluded his speech about the inescapability of suffering and death with a quotation that does not come from the Bible:
Also, Luqman the Wise says:
  "God has humbled the people of the world
    with two traits: death and poverty.
  Were it not for death, no stubborn tyrant
    would submit.
  Were it not for poverty, no free people
    would serve slaves." (11)

In both instances in which Luqman appears in these Christian homilies, he is quoted as a figure of authority. His maxims take their place alongside verses from the Bible and a saying from Chrysostom. And so we ask: Who is this Luqman, and how did he become an authority for an Egyptian Christian preacher and his audience?

The development of the Luqman tradition

For most contemporary readers of these homilies, Luqman the Wise is best known as the sage for whom the thirty-first surah surah
 or sura

Any chapter of the Qur'an. According to Muslim belief, each of the 114 surahs, which vary in length from several lines (known as ayahs) to several pages, encompasses one or more divine revelations of Muhammad.
 of the Qur'an is named. (12) There he is mentioned (v. 12) as one to whom God gave al-hikmah: wisdom, or even a Book of Maxims. (13) Several of his sayings are then presented in the form of admonitions to his son (introduced with the words "O my son," in vv. 13, 16, and 17), which is reminiscent of chapters 1-7 of the biblical book of Proverbs Proverbs, book of the Bible. It is a collection of sayings, many of them moral maxims, in no special order. The teaching is of a practical nature; it does not dwell on the salvation-historical traditions of Israel, but is individual and universal based on the  as well as other Near Eastern wisdom collections, for example, the aphorisms of Ahiqar the Wise. (14) Of the six verses of the surah that have the form of Luqman's admonitions, the first four (vv. 12-13, 16-17) enjoin To direct, require, command, or admonish.

Enjoin connotes a degree of urgency, as when a court enjoins one party in a lawsuit by ordering the person to do, or refrain from doing, something to prevent permanent loss to the other party or parties.
 right piety: gratitude to and exclusive worship of the One God, prayer, "bidding to honor and forbidding dishonor To refuse to accept or pay a draft or to pay a promissory note when duly presented. An instrument is dishonored when a necessary or optional presentment is made and due acceptance or payment is refused, or cannot be obtained within the prescribed time, or in case of bank collections, ," and patience; these are of a piece with prophetic teaching throughout the Qur'an. The next two admonitions (vv. 18-19), however, are strongly reminiscent of ancient wisdom traditions. In the rendering of Abdel Haleem:
Do not turn your nose up at people,
  nor walk about the place arrogantly,
  for God does not love arrogant or
  boastful people.
Go at a moderate pace
  and lower your voice,
  for the ugliest of all voices is the
  braying of asses. (15)

There is no mention of Luqman in the Qur'an outside of the thirty-first surah, but his mention there was sufficient to make him the great sage of Islamic tradition, one who could be safely admired by Muslims: his wisdom was given by God and sanctioned by the Qur'an and therefore not in any way in competition with the revelation vouchsafed to Muhammad. As a result, Luqman was of great interest to later scholars and became a magnet for wisdom literature of all kinds. In a first stage of development, (16) a major written collection of Luqman material came into existence; the convert to Islam from Judaism and transmitter of pre-Islamic materials Wahb ibn Munabbih

'Wahb ibn Munabbih' (Arabic , وهب بن منبه )was a Muslim traditionist of Dhimar (two days' journey from Sanaa) in Yemen; died at the age of ninety, in a year variously given by Arabic authorities as
 (d. c. 730) is the critical figure here. He is said to have read ten thousand babs--chapters? headings?--of Luqman's hikmah. (17)

In a second stage coinciding with the great age of translation into Arabic, Christians as well as Muslims played a role in shaping the expanding Luqman corpus. One of the greatest of the translators, the renowned "Nestorian" Christian scholar Hunayn ibn Ishaq Hunayn ibn Ishaq (Arabic: أبو زيد حنين بن إسحاق العبادي, , included Luqman material in his Nawadir al-falasifah (The Rarities of the Philosophers); furthermore, it was probably through Christians that Arabic versions of Aesop's fables were made and attributed to the new "ecumenical" Luqman. (18) This second period culminates, however, with a collection by a Muslim scholar with strong ties to the Fatimid court in Cairo: Mukhtar Mukhtar, meaning "chosen" in Arabic, refers to the head of a village or mahalle (urban district) in many Arab countries. The name refers to the fact that mukhtars are usually selected by some consensual or participatory method, often involving an election.  al-hikam wa-mahasin al-kalim (The Choicest Maxims and Most Beautiful Words) of Abu 1-Wafa' al-Mubashshir ibn Fatik, composed in 1048-1049. (19) While al-Mubashshir's work includes wisdom material from many sources, the section on Luqman is sizeable; it occupies seventeen pages in 'Abd al-Rahman Badawi's edition of 1958. (20)

Al-Mubashshir's Mukhtar al-hikam is a work of extraordinary importance in the history of books and their transmission. It was translated into Spanish (as Bocados de oro) before 1257, and translations were printed in France, England, and Spain before 1500. (21) However, extracts from al-Mubashshir's work were being copied by Egyptian Christians at least as early as the fifteenth century, as we know from the manuscripts Paris, B.N. ar. 49 and 309. (22) Other manuscripts bear witness to the material's continuing interest to Egyptian Christians (23) as well as to the use of Luqman material among the Melkite Christians of Syria. (24)

Luqman among Christians and Muslims

The Luqman materials in Paris, B.N. ar. 309 (15th c.) were published, with a French translation, by Leroy in 1909, providing us with a convenient collection of Luqman sayings as they may have been known to a late medieval Coptic Orthodox preacher. (25) The first section, The History of Luqman the Wise (Akhbar Luqman al-hakim), (26) presents several reports about his origins. While these differ in detail, they tend to make him of African origin and a slave (as was Aesop!) and a contemporary of King David.
It is said that one day King David summoned [Luqman] and told him that
he would be made qadi, to exercise judicial authority among the people.
He, however, refused. So [the king] said: "What is your problem with
this, that you be a wise man truthfully pronouncing judgment among the
people?" [Luqman] said: "I do not wish to be exalted in this world, or
strong and powerful, but tormented and debased in the world to come!
Whoever sells the hereafter for the sake of this world will lose them

[The narrator of this report] said: God (glory be to him!) was pleased
with this speech, and sent him an angel to help him in [the acquisition
of] wisdom; and he became the wisest of the people of earth. David used
to spread the news of his wisdom and say to him: "Congratulations, O
Luqman! You have been granted your full share of sagacity."

David's vocation (27) had been offered Luqman, but he refused to accept
it. (28)

The report echoes the majority opinion among Muslim scholars that Luqman was not a prophet (as was David) but a man on whom exceptional wisdom had been bestowed. (29) It also establishes the asceticism asceticism (əsĕt`ĭsĭzəm), rejection of bodily pleasures through sustained self-denial and self-mortification, with the objective of strengthening spiritual life.  that is at the heart of Luqman's wisdom. The saying "Whoever sells the hereafter In the future.

The term hereafter is always used to indicate a future time—to the exclusion of both the past and present—in legal documents, statutes, and other similar papers.
 for the sake of this world will lose them both" could well summarize the point of view of the hermit prince who refused Alexander's offer of kingship.

After a few more "historical" anecdotes about Luqman, the text of this manuscript turns to The Rules of Conduct of Luqman the Wise, a long set of admonitions to his son, each beginning "O my son." Among them is the saying about the rooster rooster

its crowing at dawn heralds each new day. [Western Folklore: Leach, 329]

See : Dawn


symbol of maleness. [Folklore: Binder, 85]

See : Virility
, with wording almost identical to that found in the homily for the Second Sunday of Lent. (30) This set of admonitions is followed in the manuscript by The Testament of Luqman to his Son before His Death, and here we find the saying about death and poverty, with wording nearly identical to that found in the homily for the Third Sunday of Lent. (31) It is not far-fetched to think that the preacher of the "Shenoutian" homilies in Paris, B.N. ar. 4761 was familiar with a work such as that preserved in Paris, B.N. ar. 309.

Muslims, too, were familiar with Luqman material of the sort preserved in Paris, B.N. ar. 309, and edifying maxims of Luqman may be found in a wide range of sources. I illustrate with three instances of the saying about the rooster.

1. The lexicon Thimar al-qulub (Fruit of the Hearts) by 'Abd al-Malik ibn Muhammad al-Tha'alibi (961-1038) devotes an entry to "the wisdom of Luqman," (32) identified as an Abyssinian slave of an Israelite at the time of King David. Al-Tha'alibi gives a sampling of Luqman's "most beautiful exhortations to his son," beginning with:
O my son, sell this world for the sake of the
  and you will gain them both! (33)
O my son, beware of an evil companion, for
  he is like a sword:
  its appearance is beautiful, but its trace is
O my son, don't let the ant be more clever
  than you,
  for it gathers during the summer [in
  preparation] for the winter!
O my son, don't let the rooster be
  more clever than you,
  for it cries out before daybreak while you
  are sleeping!... (34)

Al-Tha'alibi's sampling of Luqman sayings is just that, a sampling, and so it is difficult to interpret the saying about the rooster. Should it be taken with the saying about the ant and interpreted simply as an exhortation to early rising and hard work? Or should it be taken with the exhortation to "sell this world for the sake of the hereafter," in which case it could be interpreted as an exhortation to wake from spiritual slumber and to devote oneself to ascetic endeavor?

2. There is no question about the force of the saying about the rooster in a classic of the Islamic spiritual tradition, Ayyuha l-walad (Letter to a Disciple disciple: see apostle. ) by Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (1058-1111). The saying appears in the same form as in Thimar alqulub, but in the context of an exhortation to keep vigil by night and to pray:
[Sufyan al-Thawri] said:

In the first part of the night, a Caller from beneath the Throne calls
  "Let the worshippers arise!"
    And they arise and pray as God wills.
At midnight, the Caller calls out:
  "Let the pious arise!"
    And they arise and pray until the latter part of the night.
And at the latter part of the night, the Caller calls out:
  "Let those who seek forgiveness arise!"
    And they arise and seek forgiveness.
And when dawn breaks, the Caller calls out:
  "Let the heedless arise!"
     And they arise from their beds as the dead shall be raised from
     their graves.

O my child ...

It is narrated in The Counsels of Luqman the Wise to His Son that he

  O my son, don't let the rooster be more
    clever than you,
    for it cries out before daybreak while
    you are sleeping!

The one who said this in verse did well:

  In the dark of night a dove called out
    from a branch, after midnight--while I
    was sleeping.
  By the House of God, I am a liar! Were I
    truly a Lover,
    doves would not have outdone me in
  I claim to be in love, fervently longing
    for my Lord--but I weep not, while the
    beasts are weeping. (35)

3. A more recent example comes from the supercommentary of Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Sawi (d. 1825/6) on the well-known Tafsir al-Jalalayn Tafsir al-Jalalayn (Tafsir of the twin Jalals) is a classical Sunni tafsir of the Qur'an, composed first by Jalal ad-Din al-Mahalli d. 864H and then completed by his student Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti d. 911H, thus its name. . (36) In his comment on Sur at Luqman, al-Sawi reproduces a number of sayings attributed to Luqman, beginning as follows:
O my son, take the fear of the Lord as
  and gain will come to you without
O my son, attend funerals,
  but do not attend weddings;
  for funerals will remind you of the
  while weddings will arouse your desire for
  this world!
O my son, do not be weaker than this rooster
  who cries out before daybreak while you
  are sleeping in your bed!
O my son, do not put off repentance,
  for truly death comes suddenly!... (37)

Although we once again simply have a sampling of the sayings of Luqman, those reproduced here have a consistent message: Live this life in watchfulness, repentance, and the fear of the Lord, in preparation for judgment and the world to come. With the saying "Do not put off repentance, for truly death comes suddenly" we have returned to the major theme of the Lenten homilies.

Whether in the Christian or the Islamic texts sampled here, Luqman's saying about the rooster is used to exhort believers to prayer and to rouse them from heedlessness and negligence. Reading the Christian and the Islamic texts together, we become aware of realms of common wisdom and common piety shared by Christians and Muslims in the medieval Middle East. Luqman the Wise was a teacher for them all.

Mark N. Swanson

Luther Seminary Luther Seminary is the largest seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Located in the Saint Anthony Park neighborhood of St Paul, Minnesota, its mission is to prepare students for service in rostered ministry and leadership positions within the ELCA and its

Saint Paul, Minnesota
For an overview of the Twin Cities metropolitan area, see Minneapolis-Saint Paul.
Saint Paul is the capital and the second most populous city of the U.S. state of Minnesota and is the county seat of Ramsey County.

1. The conference was sponsored by the Saint Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society and held at the University of California The University of California has a combined student body of more than 191,000 students, over 1,340,000 living alumni, and a combined systemwide and campus endowment of just over $7.3 billion (8th largest in the United States).  at Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. , August 13-14, 2004, and its proceedings published in Coptica 4 (2005). I am grateful to the society's president, Hany Takla, for the invitation to participate and for providing me with copies of the relevant manuscripts.

2. All dates in this paper are given in the Common Era.

3. The manuscript gives two homilies for each of the first two Sundays of Lent, for a total of nine homilies.

4. For details of the manuscript and its contents, see my contribution to the conference: Mark N. Swanson, "St. Shenoute in Seventeenth-Century Dress: Arabic Christian Preaching in Paris, B.N. ar. 4761," Coptica 4 (2005): 27-42.

5. The saint's name takes various forms: "Shenoute" is transliterated from Sahidic Coptic, while "Shenouda" reproduces the Arabic pronunciation.

6. Paris, B.N. ar. 4761, ff. 20v-28v.

7. Ibid., ff. 20v-23r.

8. Ibid., f. 23rv.

9. Ibid., ff. 29r-36v. Edition and French translation: Victor Ghica, "Sermon arabe pour le troisieme dimanche du Careme, attribue a Chenoute (ms. Par. ar. 4761)," Annales Islamologiques 35 (2001): 143-61. A partial English translation may be found in Ashraf Hanna, "St. Shenouda's Writings," St. Shenouda Coptic Newsletter 1, no. 4 (July 1995): 4-6.

10. Ghica was unable to locate this story among the many recensions of the Alexander Romance The Alexander Romance is any of several collections of legends concerning the mythical exploits of Alexander the Great. The earliest version is in Greek, dating to the 3rd century.  and related materials (Ghica, "Sermon," 147-50). However, the story does bear some resemblance to the stories about Alexander's visit to the Brahmins or gymnosophistoi--the "naked philosophers"--of India, and their King Dandamis. In contemporary English translations, see Richard Stoneman, The Greek Alexander Romance (London: Penguin, 1991), 131-33 [from the [beta]-recension]; idem, Legends of Alexander the Great (London and Vermont: Everyman, 1994), 34-56 [Palladius, On the Life of the Brahmans]). For background to the Alexander Romance in Arabic Christian literature Christian literature is writing that deals with Christian themes and incorporates the Christian worldview. This constitutes a huge body of extremely varied writing. Scripture , see Samir Khalil, "Les versions arabes chretiennes du Roman d'Alexandre," in La diffusione dell'eredita classica nell'eta tardoantica e medievale. Il'Romanzo di Alessandro" e altri scritti. Atti del Seminario internationale di studio (Roma--Napoli, 25-27 settembre 1997), ed. R. B. Finazzi and A. Valvo (Alessandria: Edizioni dell'Orso, 1998), 227-47.

11. Paris, B.N. ar. 4761, f. 34v; Ghica, "Sermon," 156, no. 79-80.

12. Helpful encyclopedia articles on Luqman include B. Heller and N. A. Stillman, "Lukman," Encyclopedia of Islam (new ed.), V:811-13; A. H. M. Zahniser, "Luqman," in Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an The Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an (EQ) is a scholarly work with essays on the most important themes and subjects, and an encyclopaedic dictionary of Qur'an terms, concepts, personalities, place names, cultural history and exegesis. , ed. Jane Dammen McAuliffe (Leiden and Boston: Brill Brill or Bril, Flemish painters, brothers.

Mattys Brill (mä`tīs), 1550–83, went to Rome early in his career and executed frescoes for Gregory XIII in the Vatican.
, 2001-2006), III:242-43; and Dmitri Gutas, "Luqman: a Legendary Hero," in Encyclopaedia of the Holy Qur'an, 5 vols., ed. N. K. Singh and A. R. Agwan (Delhi: Global Vision Publishing House, 2000), III:724-27.

13. Gutas makes an argument for hikmah being understood here as a book of maxims in "Classical Arabic Classical Arabic, also known as Koranic (or Qur'anic) Arabic, is the form of the Arabic language used in the Qur'an as well as in numerous literary texts from Umayyad and Abbasid times (7th to 9th centuries).  Wisdom Literature: Nature and Scope," Journal of the American Oriental Society The American Oriental Society was chartered under the laws of Massachusetts on September 7, 1842.  101 (1981): 49-86, at 50-51. He summarizes the evidence for the existence of written wisdom collections in pre- and early Islamic times at pp. 55-57.

14. Ahiqar was said to be the wise counselor of the Assyrian kings Sennarcherib and Esar-haddon (7th c. B.C.E.). An Arabic recension re·cen·sion  
1. A critical revision of a text incorporating the most plausible elements found in varying sources.

2. A text so revised.
 of his life and teaching was published with a French translation in L. Leroy, "Histoire d'Haikar le sage Le Sage ia a surname, and may refer to:
  • Alain-René Le Sage
  • Georges-Louis Le Sage
See also: Lesage

This page or section lists people with the surname Le Sage.
," Revue revue, a stage presentation that originated in the early 19th cent. as a light, satirical commentary on current events. It was rapidly developed, particularly in England and the United States, into an amorphous musical entertainment, retaining a small amount of  de l'Orient Chretien 13 (1908): 367-88; 14 (1909): 50-70, 143-54.

15. The Qur'an: A New Translation, trans. M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, Oxford World's Classics Oxford World's Classics is an imprint of Oxford University Press. First established in 1901 by Grant Richards and purchased by the Oxford University Press in 1906, this imprint publishes primarily dramatic and classic literature for students and the general public.  (Oxford and New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
: Oxford University Press, 2004), 262. Rendel Harris once pointed out a parallel to v. 19 in the aphorisms of Ahiqar the Wise: see Leroy, "Histoire," 13 (1908): 371 (no. 8); English trans. in Gutas, "Luqman: a Legendary Hero," 725.

16. According to Gutas, who very helpfully summarizes the history of the Luqman tradition in "Classical Arabic Wisdom Literature," 57-58, which is the principal source for this entire paragraph.

17. Ibid., reproducing the report from Ibn Qutaybah's Kitab al-Ma'arif.

18. A collection of forty-one fables of Lukman, copied by a Coptic Orthodox scribe scribe (skrīb), Jewish scholar and teacher (called in Hebrew, Soferim) of law as based upon the Old Testament and accumulated traditions. The work of the scribes laid the basis for the Oral Law, as distinct from the Written Law of the Torah.  in 1299, is found in Paris, B.N. ar. 175. This collection was published with a French translation in 1850: J. Derenbourg, Fables de Loqman le Sage (Berlin and London: A. Asher & Co., 1850).

19. For biographical information on al-Mubashshir, see Franz Rosenthal Franz Rosenthal (August 31, 1914 – April 8, 2003) was the Louis M. Rabinowitz and Sterling Professor Emeritus of Arabic, scholar of Arabic literature and Islam.

Rosenthal was born in Berlin, Germany.
, "Al-Mubashshir ibn Fatik: Prolegomena to an Abortive abortive /abor·tive/ (ah-bor´tiv)
1. incompletely developed.

2. abortifacient (1).

3. cutting short the course of a disease.

 Edition," Oriens 13-14 (1961): 136-38.

20. So Gutas, "Classical Arabic Wisdom Literature," 58; I have not seen the edition, which was published in Madrid.

21. Ibid., 133-34, 149-55.

22. See Gerard Troupeau, Catalogue des manuscrits arabes, vol. 1 (Paris: Bibliotheque Nationale, 1972): 34-35, 270-71. Gutas mentions the possibility that the manuscripts in the Bibliotheque Nationale could represent extracts from one of al-Mubash-shir's sources rather than from Mukhtar al-hikam itself; "Arabic Wisdom Literature," 58. The matter awaits investigation.

23. E.g. Paris, B.N. 310 (17th c.) and 4898 (18th c.); Cairo, Coptic Museum The Coptic Museum is a museum in Coptic Cairo, Egypt with the largest collection of Egyptian Christian artifacts in the world. It was founded by Morcos Smeika Pasha in 1910 to house Coptic antiquities.  supp. Hist. 6 [new register no. 515] (1739); Cairo, Coptic Patriarchate pa·tri·ar·chate  
1. The territory, rule, or rank of a patriarch.

2. See patriarchy.


the office, jurisdiction or residence of a patriarch

 Bibl. 58 [Simaika 120] (1788).

24. E.g., Paris, B.N. 28 (1539), and Vatican City Vatican City (văt`ĭkən), independent state (2005 est. pop. 900), 108.7 acres (44 hectares), within the city of Rome, Italy, and the residence of the pope, who is its absolute ruler. , B.A.V. ar. 286 (17th c.).

25. L. Leroy, "Vie, preceptes et testament de Lokman (texte arabe, traduction francaise)," Revue de l'Orient Chretien 14 (1909): 225-55.

26. Paris, B.N. ar. 309, ff. 38v-41r; Leroy, "Vie, preceptes et testament de Lokman," 226-28 (Arabic text), 241-43 (French trans.).

27. Lit. "the matter which David was David Was (born David Weiss, 26 October 1952, Detroit) is, with his stage-brother Don Was, the founder of the influential 1980s pop group, Was (Not Was).

Reviewed by The New York Times

28. Paris, B.N. ar. 309, f. 40r; Leroy, "Vie, preceptes et testament de Lokman," 227 (Arabic text); 242 (French trans.).

29. Modern discussions of this point may be found in 'Abd Allah Kannun al-Hasani, Luqman al-hakim (Cairo: Dar al-Ma'arif, 1969), 22-24; or Muhammad Khayr Ramadan Yusuf, Luqman al-hakim wa-hikamuhu (Damascus: Dar al-Mushaf, 1984), 106-9. Both allow for uncertainty on this point, and the discussion in the latter volume concludes: wa-llahu a'lam, "God is the greater knower!"

30. Leroy, "Vie, Preceptes et testament de Lokman," 230, lines 1-3 (Arabic text); 244 (French trans.).

31. Ibid., 238, lines 2-4 (Arabic text); 252 (French trans.).

32. Abu Mansur 'Abd al-Malik Muhammad ibn Isma'il al-Tha'alibi, Thimar al-qulub fi l-mudaf wa-l-mansub, ed. Ibrahim Salih (Damascus: Dar al-Basha'ir, 1994), I: 228-30.

33. We note that this is a precise complement to the saying found in Paris, B.N. ar. 309: "Whoever sells the hereafter for the sake of this world will lose them both!"

34. Ibid., 230. I was alerted to the presence of this material in Thimar al-qulub by 'Abd Allah Kannun al-Hasani, Luqman al-hakim, pp. 74-75.

35. Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali, Ayyuha l-walad, ed. 'Abd Allah Ahmad Abu Zaynah (Cairo: Dar al-Shuruq, 1975), 43-46. I look forward to seeing the new bilingual edition: al-Ghazali, Letter to a Disciple = Ayyuha l-walad, trans. Tobias Mayer Tobias Mayer (17 February 1723 – 20 February 1762) was a German astronomer famous for his studies of the Moon.

He was born at Marbach, in Württemberg, and brought up at Esslingen in poor circumstances.
 (Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society, 2005).

36. Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Sawi, Hashiyat al-Sawi 'ala Tafsir al-Jalalayn, 4 parts (Mumbai: Molvi Mohammad bin Gulamrasul Surtis Sons, 1981). Again, I was directed to this reference by 'Abd Allah Kannun al-Hasani, Luqman al-hakim, 70-73.

37. Hashiyat al-Sawi III:239.
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Author:Swanson, Mark N.
Publication:Currents in Theology and Mission
Date:Jun 1, 2006
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