Bashar ibn Burd
0714 – 0784
Who was Bashar ibn Burd?
Bashār ibn Burd nicknamed "al-Mura'ath" meaning the wattled, was a poet in the late Umayyad and the early Abbasid periods. Bashar was of Persian origin; his grandfather was taken as a captive to Iraq, his father was a freedman of the Uqayl tribe. Some Arab scholars considered Bashar the first "modern" poet and one of the pioneers of the badi' in Arabic literature. It is believed that he exerted a great influence on the subsequent generation of poets.
Bashar was blind from birth and said to have been ugly. He grew up in the rich cultural environment of Basra and showed his poetic talents at an early age. Bashar fell foul of some religious figures, such as Malik ibn Dinar and al-Hasan al-Basri, who condemned his poetry for its licentiousness. He exchanged Hija with several poets. being anti-Mu'tazili, he criticized Wasil ibn Ata, who by some accounts is considered the founder of the Mutazilite school of Islamic thought.
After the Abbasids built Baghdad, Bashar moved there from Basra in 762. Bashar became associated with the caliph al-Mahdi. Due to his libertinism, he was ordered by al-Mahdi not to write any love poetry.
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