Al Mutanabbi: خل

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by Andrew___, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. Andrew___

    Andrew___ Senior Member

    May I ask what this word خل means in the third verse of this extract from one of Al Mutanabbi's poems. Is it vinegar? :confused:

    أصاحب نفس المرء من قبل جسمه
    I befriend the soul of a person before his body

    وأعرفها في فعله والتكلم
    And I know him from his actions and his words

    وأحلم عن خلي وأعلم انه
    And I dream about my vinegar and I am aware that it (ie. the vinegar)

    متى أجزه حلما على الجهل يندم

    What on earth is going on here? :confused:
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2008
  2. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    This isn't the word for vinegar. This word is خـِلّ (khill), which means "lover" or "friend" (same root as خليل).

    (Of course, this word is still used often in Arabian poetry in the same sense, which demonstrates the close lineal relationship between Classical and vernacular Arabian poetry).

    And أحلم here is not derived from حُلُم ("dream"), but from حِلْم (the quality of not getting angry easily, or of not reacting to provocation), which is one of the most prized qualities among the Arabs.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2008
  3. yasmeena Senior Member

    Arabic (Lebanon)
    I think it is "خِلي" khillii, from "الخلة" al-khullah, meaning friendship.

    أحلم here comes from الحِلم which means tolerance.
    He knows that if he tolerates and forgives his friend's ignorance, the latter would regret what he has done.
  4. Andrew___

    Andrew___ Senior Member

    Thanks Yasmeena and Wadi Hanifa for your help with this, it's clear to me now.
  5. Andrew___

    Andrew___ Senior Member

    Regarding the phrase متى أجزه حلما, could anyone help me understand what is this verb أجزه and what this phrase literally says here.

    Many thanks.

  6. ayed

    ayed Senior Member

    He deals with me in ignorance while I am meek with him
    lierally "reward" but it means "whenever I meekly deal with him over his ignorance , he regrets.
  7. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Nowadays, the word جهل is translated as "ignorance," but in Classical and Quranic Arabic the word had a wider application. I guess the meaning could range from "acting out of irrational anger" to "barbarism." Hence the Arabic verse: ألا لا يجهلن أحد علينا فنجهل فوق جهل الجاهلينا.

    أجزه is pronounced "ujzihi". It's the verb from جزاء which means reward (or punishment).

    Here the meaning is roughly (but not exactly): "whenever I reward my lover's anger with tolerance he repents/relents/regrets, etc."
  8. Xence Senior Member

    Algeria (Arabic - French)
    In fact ujzii أُجزي is the present tense of ajzaa أَجزى which is a derived form (maziid)
    The base form (mujarrad) of the verb is: jazaa جَزى - yajzii يَجزي which is likely, IMO, the form used here by Al-Mutanabbii.

    Just remember the well known 7adiith الصوم لي وأَنا أَجْزي به and so many Quranic verses as لِيَجْزِيَهم الله أَحسنَ ما كانوا يَعْملون or Labiid's rhyme:

    وإذا جُوْزِيْتَ قَرْضاً فـاجْـزِهِ ***** إنَّما يَجْزي الفَتى لَيْسَ الجَمَلْ

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