Abul ʿAla Al-Maʿarri (Arabic أبو العلاء المعري Abū al-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī, full name أبو العلاء أحمد بن عبد الله بن سليمان التنوخي المعري Abū al-ʿAlāʾ Aḥmad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sulaimān al-Tanūẖī al-Maʿarrī; 973–1057) was a blind Arab philosopher, poet, and writer.

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  • Abul ʿAla Al-Maʿarri (Arabic أبو العلاء المعري Abū al-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī, full name أبو العلاء أحمد بن عبد الله بن سليمان التنوخي المعري Abū al-ʿAlāʾ Aḥmad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sulaimān al-Tanūẖī al-Maʿarrī; 973–1057) was a blind Arab philosopher, poet, and writer. Al-Maʿarri held and expressed an irreligious worldview which was met with controversy, but in spite of it, he is regarded as one of the greatest classical Arabic poets.Born in the Syrian city of Maʿarra, he studied in nearby Aleppo, then in Tripoli and Antioch. Producing popular poems in Baghdad, he nevertheless refused to sell his texts. In 1010, he returned to Syria after his mother began declining in health, and continued writing which gained him local respect.Described as a "pessimistic freethinker", Al-Maʿarri was a controversial rationalist of his time, citing reason as the chief source of truth. He was pessimistic about life, describing himself as "a double prisoner" of blindness and isolation. He attacked the dogmas of religion and rejected Islam. He was equally sarcastic towards the religions of Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians. He advocated social justice, and lived a secluded, ascetic lifestyle. He was a strict vegetarian, writing "do not desire as food the flesh of slaughtered animals." Al-Maʿarri held an anti-natalist view, in line with his general pessimism, suggesting that children should not be born to spare them of the pains of life.Al-Maʿarri wrote three main works that were popular in his time. Among his works are "The Tinder Spark", "Unnecessary Necessity", and "The Epistle of Forgiveness" which may be considered a precursor to Dante's Divine Comedy. Al-Maʿarri never married and died at the age of 83 in the city where he was born, Maarrat al-Nuʿman. In 2013, a statue of Al-Maʿarri located in his Syrian hometown was beheaded by jihadists from the Al-Nusra Front. (en)
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  • December 973 (en)
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  • May 1057 (en)
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  • Maarrat al-Nu'man, Mirdasid Emirate of Aleppo (en)
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  • The restrictive rhyme and meter can be heard in the start of poem 197 (en)
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  • Abul ʿAla Al-Maʿarri (Arabic أبو العلاء المعري Abū al-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī, full name أبو العلاء أحمد بن عبد الله بن سليمان التنوخي المعري Abū al-ʿAlāʾ Aḥmad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sulaimān al-Tanūẖī al-Maʿarrī; 973–1057) was a blind Arab philosopher, poet, and writer. (en)
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