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The New International Encyclopædia/Kaab ibn Zuhair

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KAAB IBN ZUHAIR, käb ib'n zōō'hār (Ar. Ka'b). An Arabian poet of the seventh century, a contemporary of Mohammed. His father, Zuhair ibn Abi Sulma Rabia al-Muzani, was also a poet and author of one of the seven poems of the Muallakat, the great collection of pre-Islamic Arabic poetry. All the other members of Kaab's family (the Muzainah) became converts to Islam, and when his brother Bujair adopted the new faith, Kaab indited a bitter and sarcastic poem which came to the notice of the Prophet, and Kaab was outlawed. By means of a clever stratagem, however, he gained access to Mohammed and recited a famous eulogy, called, from the first two words, Bānat Su'ād (Su'ād—a woman's name—fled). Mohammed was pleased and gave the poet his own mantle. Kaab is reported to have died soon after. The two poems referred to are translated by Brockelmann in his (popular) Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur, pp. 52, 53 (Leipzig, 1901); the second also by Gabrieli, Al-Budatān (Florence, 1901). The best editions of the Bānat Su'ād are those of I. Guidi (Leipzig, 1871-74) and Nöldeke, in his Delectus Veterum Carminum Arabicorum (Berlin, 1890).