Abu al-'Abbas al-Dabbi

Abū al-ʿAbbās al-Ḍabbī (Arabic: أَبو العبَّاس الضَّبِّي, fl. c. 1000) was a protege of Ṣāḥib ibn ʿAbbād (a Persian scholar and statesman, grand vizier to the Buyid rulers of Ray 976–95 CE). Al-Ḍabbī is noted today for his poetry. Inter alia, he composed the book Kitāb al-Armāz fī l-alġāz. Although it is now lost, it may have been the first book of riddles in Arabic; nine poems survive from it in the Kitāb al-iʿjāz fī l-aḥājī wa-l-alghāz bi-rasm al-amīr Qaymāz (Inimitable Book on Quizzes and Riddles, Composed for the Emir Qaymāz) composed during the reign of Caliph al-Muqtafī (1136–60CE) by Abū al-Maʿālī Saʿd ibn ʿAlī al-Ḥaẓīrī. Al-Ḥaẓīrī himself did not think highly of al-Ḍabbī's riddles, however, finding them too obscure.[1]: 265 

One example of al-Ḍabbī's poetry, as translated by Mansour Ajami, is as follows:[2]


  1. ^ Nefeli Papoutsakis, 'Abū l-Maʿālī al-Ḥaẓīrī (d. 568/1172) and his Inimitable Book on Quizzes and Riddles', Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes, 109 (2019), 251–69.
  2. ^ Mansour Ajami, Pouring Water on Time: A Bilingual Topical Anthology of Classical Arabic Poetry (Gerlach Press, 2016).