View Full Version : Abul fath Uthmaan Jinni

13-12-2011, 09:19 PM
anybody know who Abul Fath Uthmaan Jinni(RA) is?
any articles would also be welcome.

Mubid al-Majus
14-12-2011, 01:02 PM
The following is from the English translation of Wafayat al-A`yan, entitled "Ibn Khallikan's Biographical Dictionary," with a few minor changes on my part:

Ibn Jinni (d. 392)
Abu ’l-Fath Othman Ibn Jinni, a native of Mosul, was one of the great masters in the science of grammar. He studied the belles-lettres under Abu Ali ’l-Farisi, and, on quitting him, he commenced as teacher in Mosul. His former master, happening to pass through the city, saw him surrounded by pupils at their lessons, on which he said to him: “You are rotten before you are ripe.” On hearing these words he abandoned his class, and became the assiduous disciple of Abu Ali till he acquired a perfect knowledge of the science. His father Jinni was a Greek slave belonging to Sulaiman ibn Fahd ibn Ahmad al-Azdi, a native of Mosul, and to this circumstance he alludes in the following passage from one of his poems:

“Were I sprung from nothing, my learning would be a title of nobility. But I come of princes powerful and noble, Caesars, whose voice silenced the threats of adversity. For them the Prophet prayed, and the prayer of a prophet is glory sufficient.”

He composed some fine poetry. The following lines of his indicate that he had only one eye, which is said to have been really the case; but some attribute them to Abu Mansur al-Dailami:

“Thy rigour towards me who have committed no fault denotes an evil intention. I swear by thy life! that I wept till I felt afraid for my single eye. And yet were it not that I should never see thee again, it would be no advantage for me to preserve my sight.”

I saw a qasida (poem) of his, in which he laments the death of al-Mutanabbi, and I would give it here were it not so long.


Ibn Jinni composed a number of instructive works on the science of grammar, namely: the Kitab al-Khasa’is (on the principles of grammar); the Sirr al-Sana`a (secret of the art); the Munsif (impartial), intended to elucidate Abu Othman al-Mazini’s treatise on the declensions and conjugations; the Talqin (instruction); the Ta`aqub (mutual succession); the Kafi (sufficient), being a commentary on al-Akhfash’s treatise on rhyme; a work on the genders; a treatise on the nouns ending with a short alif and those ending with a long one; the Tamam (completion), being a commentary on the poems of the Hudhailites; the Manhaj (highway), treating of the derivation of those proper names which occur in the Hamasa; a concise treatise on prosody; another on rhyme; al-Masa’il al-Khatiriyat (questions incidentally suggested) ; al-Tazkira tal-Asbahaniyya (memorial of Esfahan); extracts from Abu Ali ’l-Farisi’s Tazkira, selected and put in order; the Muqtadib (rough draught), treating of the concave verbs; the Luma (flashes); the Tanbih (warning); the Muhaddab (regularly draivn up); the Tabsira (elumdation); etc. It is said that the Shaikh Abu Ishaq as-Shirazi borrowed from him the titles of his own works, for he also composed a Muhaddab and a Tanbih, but on jurisprudence, and a Luma and a Tabsira on the principles of jurisprudence. Another work of Ibn Jinni’s is the Fasr (disclosure), forming a commentary on the Diwan of al-Mutanabbi, which work he had read through under the tuition of the author. In this commentary I read the following passage:

“A person once asked al-Mutanabbi why, in his verse, ‘Bada hawaka sabarta am lam tasbira’ (suffer as you may, with firmness or with impatience, you cannot conceal your love), he wrote the word ‘tasbira’ with a final alif, notwithstanding the presence of the apocopating (jazima) particle lam, which required ‘tasbir.’ To this he answered: ‘Were Abu ’l-Fath here’—meaning me—‘he would tell you the reason.’—The alif replaces here the simple corroborative nun (i.e. nun al-ta’kid al-khafifa); the original form of the word is ‘tasbiran,’ but when this nun is followed by a full stop, an alif is put in its place; it is thus that al-Aasha says: ‘Adore not Satan, adore God;’ (la ta`budi ’s-Shaitana wa ’Ilaha fa`buda); here the original form of the word is ‘fa`budan,’ but the subsequent stop (waqf) brings in the alif to replace the nun.”

Ibn Jinni was born at Mosul some time before A. H. 330 (A.D. 941); he died at Baghdad on Friday, the 27th of Safar, A. H. 392 (January, A. D. 1002).


Ibn Khallikan's Biographical Dictionary (2:191-193)
Wafayat al-A`yan (3:246-348)