The Horses in Arab Culture
الفروسية والحصان في التراث العربي
مؤرخ وعالم اجتماع
Hasan Yahya, Ph.ds, Palestinian Sociologist and Historian
Horses and Camels are the two preeminent animals of Arabia. The desert as a habitable place cannot be imagined without these two animals. al mutanabbi in his famous poetry mentioned the horses plus other seven qualities for the great Arab man in his person He says:
الخيل والليل والبيداء تعرفني والرمح والسيف والقرطاس والقلم
Meaning: I was known by the horses, the Nights, the desert as well as by spear, sword, papers and writing methods (literature)
The importance of horses in Bedouin life comes from its use and services horses provide in transportation and wealth. As a mean toward victory in Ghazwat (short wars). God swear by horses: “wal aadiyati Dhabha” as a sign of important animals in man’s life.
In Solomon’s-the Jewish Prophet-story horses were representing power and might. Horses also, are sign of beauty, it is used sometimes dancing for the crowd in the Prophet Birth celebration in many places in the Muslim world, especially in Egypt and Sudan.
In a tradition narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “al Khayru Ma’qoodun binawasi al Khayl, ila Yawm al Qiyama”, meaning: (Horses benefits survive until the until the Day of Judgment).(al Tabarani, al Albani note 3349)
Horses are blessed animals, according to Arab tradition “there are three kinds : a horse for God’s purposes use, (used for the sake of God); a horse for Satan purposes use, and a horse for human being purposes use.
As a horse for the sake of God, Qur’an reads: “wa Ai’ddu lahum Mastata’tum min Quwwatin wamin Ribat al Khayl….. Turhibuna bih Adowwa Allahi….” (Anfal:60), meaning,( prepare as a force what can you prepare, and from horses, to scare God’s enemies…..)
As a horse for human being use< Qur’an reads: “Zuyyena linnasi hubbub ashahawat min al Nisaa wal baneen wal Qanateer al Muqantarati min al Dhahabi wal Fiddah, wal Khaylil Musawwamah…,.”(Al Umran:14) meaning, (pleasures for human beings we create : love of women, love of children, love of having more of Gold and silver, and good shaped horses).
While kings of Persia were interested to own good horses in the story of Hatim al Ta’i. the well known generous man in Arabia before Islam, he sloutered his horse to the envoy which came to ask for his horse to the King. As a generous man have nothing to feed his visitors on the time of visit, other than his cherished and well loved horse. His genourosity was retold in history of horses.
In conclusion, camels and horses in the life of old Arabs, especially Bedouins, those who dwell in desert was very important. In modern days, camels and horses have great position but different purposes. In some cases, a she camel for racing recently in one market was priced and sold of one million UAE Dirham. ($365,000) The price of horses, may reach tens of times of the camel price in world market. (453 words) AAE– www.hasanyahya.com
يرجى التكرم بعد قراءة هذه المقامة إذا وافقت هوى في نفوسكم أن تخبروا أصدقاءكم لتعم الفائدة من المعلومات فيها، وشكرا لكم.
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Hasan Yahya is a Palestinian Sociologist and Historian, former professor of Comparative Sociology and Educational Administration at Michigan State University and Jackson Community College. He is the Board Editing member at International Humanities Studies (IHS) Journal. Dr. Yahya is the originator of Arab American Encyclopedia and Ihyaa al Turath al Arabi fil Mahjar-USA. His publication may be observed on Amazon and Kindle. To reach the writer: Email: email@example.com
Dr. Yahya Credentials:
Ph.D in Comparative Socioloy 1991, Michigan State University.
Ph.D in Educational Administration, Michigan State Univ.
M.A Psychology of Schhols Conflict Management, Michigan State Univ.
Diploma M.A, Oriental Studies, St. Joseph Univ. Beirut, Lebanon
B.A Modern and Classical Arab Literature
Life Achievements: Publishing 250 plus Books and 1000 plus articles