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[pp. 502-504]


(1286-1347 A.D.)

Kamāl Ja'far Abū-l-Faḍl al-Edfūwī. Wrote a kind of "Who's Who" of Upper Egypt.

Aṭ-Ṭāli' as-sa'īd al-jāmi' asmā’ nujabā’ aṣ-Ṣa'īd.

Ed.: Sheikh Sa'd M. Hasan, Cairo 1966.

Exc.: Mus'ad, Al-Maktaba 238-240

T.: Hasan A: 0

[At Aswān] there are the Banū Kanz, a noble family of chieftains of the Rabī'a tribe. They are well known [p. 503] for their generosity and magnanimous deeds, and were celebrated by poets, both native and foreign. Al-Fāḍil as-Sadīd Abū-l-Ḥasan b. 'Arrām wrote their biography, where he mentioned their merits and lineage; he also recorded the names of those [Aswān citizens] who were their supporters or their opponents. I personally knew two members of their family, viz. Fakhr-ad-dīn Mālik and the son of his sister Najm ad-dīn Omar, both famous for their generosity.

It happened that the emir [Ḥisām ad-dīn] at-Tarāntay, the nā'īb of the Sultan's government at that time, importuned Najm ad-dīn with requests (for supplies?). The latter replied: "By God! I shall not give you even one grain!" He [Tarāntay] put him in prison in the Citadel and gave instruction that the prisoners be given only two loaves (raghīfayn) and a bowl of water per day; as no container was available in the prison, he made one by carving a hole in the rock. During the famine of the year 1294 A.D., he assisted the poor of Aswan giving out all his grain supplies until he had emptied his stores, then he distributed fruits (thimār) until nothing remained, then he slaughtered his sheep until the dearth was over, he and his children enjoy a high reputation at Aswan for their good deeds.

Shaykh Ḍiyā’ ad-dīn Muntasir b. al-Ḥasan al-Edfūwī, the khaṭīb (preacher), told me that when the Sultan [Saladin] sent an army against Kanz ad-dawla and his men and the army invaded the territory (bilād) [of the Kanz] and broke into their houses, they found poems which had been written in their praise, among them a poem by Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. az-Zubayr which said: "He whom the fate forsakes finds at last protection from these men whose support bears no humiliation. Whenever they grant it, everything under the planets becomes afraid. Whenever they deny it, everything on earth becomes miserable."

[p. 504] Guess what reward this bedouin (badawī) received for such a poem ? I enquired [in Aswān]; and ascertained that he was given 1,000 dinars and also he received in bequest a sāqiya estate, worthy 1,000 dinars, which [the successors] own until today. (Hasan, p. 30).