HARIRI [Aba Mahommed ul-Qasim ibn 'Ali ibn Mahommed al-Hariri, i.e. " the manufacturer or seller of silk "] (1054-1122), Arabian writer, was born at Basra. He owned a large estate with 18,000 date-palms at Mashan, a village near Bara. He is said to have occupied a government position, but devoted his life to the study of the niceties of the Arabic language. On this subject he wrote a grammatical poem the Mulhat ul-'Irdb (French trans. Les Recreations grammaticales with notes by L. Pinto, Paris 1885-1889; extracts in S. de Sacy's Anthologie arabe, pp. 145-151, Paris, 1829); a work on the faults of the educated called f)urrat ul-Ghawwas (ed. H. Thorbecke, Leipzig, 1871), and some smaller treatises such as the two letters on words containing the letters sin and shin (ed. in Arnold's Chrestomathy, pp. 202-9). But his fame rests chiefly on his fifty maqamas (see ARABIA: Literature, section " Belles Lettres ") These were written in rhymed prose like those of HamadhanI, and are full of allusions to Arabian history, poetry and tradition, and discussions of difficult points of Arabic grammar and rhetoric.
The Maqamas have been edited with Arabic commentary by S. de Sacy (Paris, 1822, 2nd ed. with French notes by Reinaud and J. Derenbourg, Paris, 1853); with English notes by F. Steingass (London, 1896). An English translation with notes was made by T. Preston (London, 1850), and another by T. Chenery and F. Steingass (London, 1867 and 1898). Many editions have been published in the East with commentaries, especially with that of Sharishi (d. 1222). (G. W. T.)
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)