The literary works of Ibn Sanaa Al-Mulk were the focal point of the second session of the Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation's symposium.
March 21, 2023
Naja: The poetic fame of Ibn Sanaa Al-Mulk spread across horizons, and he became known among poets of Egypt and the Levant.
Hasabullah: The literary discourse of Ibn Sanaa encompassed vocabulary, meanings, intricate metaphors, imagery, and ideas.
The sessions of the eighteenth edition of the Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation continued with the convening of its second session, dedicated to honoring the poets Ibn Sanaa Al-Mulk and Ibn Maleek Al-Hamawi. The session was titled "Ibn Sanaa Al-Mulk: His Literature and Legacy" and was moderated by Dr. Abdulaziz Safar.
At the beginning, Dr. Ashraf Naja from Egypt addressed the literary poetry and heritage of Ibn Sanaa Al-Mulk. He pointed out that the poet being celebrated is Abu Al-Qasim Hibatullah bin Ja'far bin Sanaa Al-Mulk. This is the title by which he is well-known—a distinguished poet and writer.
Naja mentioned that despite Ibn Sanaa Al-Mulk residing in Egypt, his poetic fame spread widely, and he became known among both Egyptian and Levantine poets. Additionally, he hosted gatherings where discussions and friendly debates took place, which were enjoyed by those who attended. His house became a venue that combined enjoyment and leisure, yet he maintained a high standard of noble ethics, characterized by moderation, piety, integrity, pride, and self-confidence.
Naja also mentioned that the scholarly and literary works of Ibn Sanaa Al-Mulk are not numerous, pointing out that among them is the book "Ruh al-Hayawan" (The Spirit of Animals), in which he summarized the book "Al-Hayawan" by Al-Jahiz. He added that Ibn Sanaa was impressed by Al-Jahiz's writing style. In addition to that, he wrote "Selected Poetry of ibn Rashiq al-Qayrawani." Moreover, there is the poetry collection "Diwan Ibn Sanaa Al-Mulk" itself, which is massive and contains nearly eight thousand verses of poetry. More than half of this Diwan is dedicated to the art of praise, with around seventy-five poems in that category. Additionally, he wrote his Muwashihat (short lyrical poems) composed in the Maghrebi style. Ibn Sanaa Al-Mulk mentioned that these Muwashihat were sung and known by both men and women, enjoyed by the elderly and the youth alike.
In the second part of the session, Dr. Baha Hassaballah from Egypt discussed the aesthetic aspects of literary discourse in the poetry of Ibn Sanaa Al-Mulk. He began by defining literary discourse as the creation of language from language and meaning. He pointed out that literary discourse gives birth and is born, similar to a living organism that grows, evolves, maintains its genetic characteristics, and acquires new attributes through cross-fertilization. As a result, it influences and is influenced by its surroundings.
He emphasized that delving into the rules of literary discourse is a challenging endeavor. Hearing about it might seem easier than actually engaging in the research. Literature is a constantly evolving entity that always imposes the renewal and updating of its rules. This dynamic nature makes interpreting these rules in each literary period or genre an exceedingly difficult and elusive task.
He mentioned that the literary discourse of our poet (Ibn Sanaa Al-Mulk) is a form of aesthetic formation. It encompasses in its linguistic event the words, meanings, concepts, images, ideas, and visions, along with its unique crafted façade. This creation emerges from the difficulties of writing, and it's not easy to overlook it without delving into its features, diversities, and compositions. He indicated that the literary discourse in Ibn Sanaa Al-Mulk's poetry is a creation and innovation, a construction within the text that works to unleash the language with all its connotations of reference, culture, and civilization. It becomes a source of symbols for both absent and present things nestled within the text.
Dr. Hassaballah elaborated on the contributions of Ibn Sanaa Al-Mulk to Arabic literature, indicating that he left a substantial legacy in Arab literature. His contributions were distinct and notable within the realm of literature, spanning across various domains. At the forefront of his literary contributions lies his poetic Diwan, an exquisite collection that firmly establishes his footprint on the poetic landscape. This Diwan testifies to his profound understanding of poetry, as well as his eloquence and creativity in this field. Moreover, he undertook the task of condensing "The Spirit of the Animal," and authored "Hunting the Ephemeral." Ibn Sanaa Al-Mulk passed away in the month of Ramadan, in the year 608 AH, in Cairo.
At the conclusion of the session, the floor was opened for interventions, questions, and inquiries that enriched the discourse of the session.