1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Behā ud-Dīn Zuhair

17300911911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 3 — Behā ud-Dīn ZuhairGriffithes Wheeler Thatcher

BEHĀ UD-DĪN ZUHAIR (Abū-l Fal Zuhair Ibn Maḥommed Al-Muhallabī) (1186–1258), Arabian poet, was born at or near Mecca, and became celebrated as the best writer of prose and verse and the best calligraphist of his time. He entered the service of Malik uṣ-Sāliḥ Najm ud-Dīn in Mesopotamia, and was with him at Damascus until he was betrayed and imprisoned. Behā ud-Dīn then retired to Nablūs (Shechem) where he remained until Najm ud-Dīn escaped and obtained possession of Egypt, whither he accompanied him in 1240. There he remained as the sultan’s confidential secretary until his death, due to an epidemic, in 1258. His poetry consists mostly of panegyric and brilliant occasional verse distinguished for its elegance. It has been published with English metrical translation by E. H. Palmer (2 vols., Cambridge, 1877).

His life was written by his contemporary Ibn Khallikān (see M‘G. de Slane’s trans. of his Biographical Dictionary, vol. i. pp. 542-545).  (G. W. T.)