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"Life After Death" In Early Arab Conception

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Chapter Summary

The habit of the early Arab during his lifetime consists in wandering. According to early Arab conception, the Arab nomad, through death, loses his nomadic habit definitely, becomes, as it were, a real (permanent) &t;sedentary&t;, muqῑm. He thus, through death, enters a condition which, during his life-time, he has hardly considered as attractive. This chapter, among other things, examines a few lines from the Dῑwān of Zuhayr b. Abῑ Salmā. Muqῑm is, in certain other passages, used in its intransitive meaning, &t;staying, sedentary&t;, as an epithet of the human being that has died. The motif of the dead man's companions abandoning him and speedily hurrying on with their wandering is also found in various contexts in which-in difference from the two last-quoted passages-the forsaken man is expressly described as having become muqῑm, &t;sedentary&t;.

Keywords: Arab nomad; death; early Arab conception; life; muqῑm; sedentary



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