Breached Obligations and Debts



Abu al-ʻAlaaʼ al-Maʻarri
Leah Glazman
PublisherMaktoob, New World Press, and the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
Language Hebrew
Year of Publication2019
Series Maktoob

Luzumiyyat: luzum ma la yalzam, or Breached Obligations and Debts, is a selection of Abu al-ʻAlaaʼ al-Ma‘arri’s daring and defiant oeuvre, which includes more than 1,500 poems. Al-Ma‘arri (973–1057) was a blind poet and a rationalist philosopher. Al-Ma‘arri doubted every form of blind belief and challenged the social and political conventions of his day as well as the then current conventional form of Arabic poetry (“a force stale rhyme”). His verbal depiction in “The barbs of Time unswerving on us alight” became a reality, ironically, in 2013, when ISIS members shattered a sculpture of him in his birthplace, the Al Nouman Cave, south of Aleppo in Syria.

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