This article deals with an epistle known as Kitāb al-Ḥijāb or Kitāb al-Ḥijāb wa-dhammih (“Book of the Chamberlain and its Censure”), published as a work of al-Jāḥiẓ. Based on internal evidence in Kitāb al-Ḥijāb and some specific aspects of al-Jāḥiẓ’s stylistic art of writing, it is argued that the work is yet another of many texts wrongly attributed to him. In addition, the adīb-scholar Muḥammad b. Khalaf b. al-Marzbān (d. 309/921), who reportedly has written one al-Ḥijāb wa-dhammih, is proposed as its probable author.
Al-MarzubānīAbū ʿUbaydallāh Muḥammad b. ʿImrānSellheimRudolfNūr al-qabas, al-mukhtaṣar min al-Muqtabas (Die Gelehrten-Biographien des Abū ʿUbaidallāh al-Marzubānī in der Rezension des Ḥāfiẓ al-Yaghmūrī)1964WiesbadenFranz Steiner VerlagTeil i: Text
MarlowLouiseCounsel for Kings: Wisdom and Politics in Tenth-Century Iran. The Naṣīḥat al-Mulūk of Pseudo-Māwardī2016Vol. I: Contexts and Themes, Vol. II: Texts, Sources and AuthoritiesEdinburghEdinburgh University Press
ZakeriMohsenScheinerJensJanosDamienMuḥammad b. Khalaf b. al-Marzbān (d. 309/921) and his role in translations from the Middle PersianContexts of Learning in Baghdad: 8th-10th Centuries2014PrincetonThe Darwin Press343362
Ibn al-Nadīm, Fihrist, 209; Yāqūt, Muʿjam al-udabāʾ, 2117 (continued pagination). Warrāq is in general a papermaker, copyist of manuscripts and note taker, but when serving a particular author for these purposes, as was the case with Abū Yaḥyā Zakariyyā b. Yaḥyā b. Sulaymān for al-Jāḥiẓ, he acts as secretary, hence my translation “amanuensis.” Al-Dhahabī (Siyar, xi, 528) mentions the addition of a book called al-Jimāl (“The Camels”) to the Ḥayawān, but he remarks that this is not a work of al-Jāḥiẓ nor comes close to his style of writing.
Ibn Faqīh, Buldān, 312; Ṣafadī, al-Wāfī, xii, 12. The poem was allegedly addressed to Ibn Abī l-Raʿd’s friend Abū ʿAbdallāh b. al-Ḥasan b. Abī l-Shawārib in Sinjār. Anyway, if the poem was al-ʿAṭawī’s, he must have lived up to the time of al-Muʿtaḍid.
Ibn al-Marzbān, Faḍl al-kilāb, 10; tr. 5. The extant specimens of Abū Hiffān’s poetry and fragments of his prose writings have been collected and published by Nājī, Abū Hiffān, 191-250; for more information about Abū Ḥiffān, see Toorawa, Ibn Abī Ṭāhir Ṭayfūr, 110-112; Sezgin, gas, ii, 372-373.
Ibn al-Nadīm, Fihrist, 190; Ibn al-Muʿtazz, Ṭabaqāt, 396-397; al-Khaṭīb al-Baghdādī, Taʾrīkh Baghdād, iv, 202-3. The collection of Ibn Abī Fanan’s poetry consists of 74 pieces, 167 lines of verse in total; see Sāmarrāʾī, Aḥmad b. Abī Fanan, 131-90; idem, Shuʿarāʾ ʿAbbāsiyyūn, i, 105-196; see also Ibn Wakīʿ Tinnīsī, Munṣif li-l-sāriq, for many quotations of his poems; cf. Marzubānī, Muwashshaḥ, 347-348; Sezgin, gas, ii, 585.