ZUHAIR [Zuhair ibn Abī Sulmā Rabī’ a ul-Muzanī] (6th century), one of the six great Arabian pre-Islamic poets. Of his life practically nothing is known save that he belonged to a family of poetic power, his stepfather, Aus ibn Hajar, his sister, Khansā, and his son, Ka’b ibn Zuhair, were all poets of eminence. He is said to have lived long, and at the age of one hundred to have met Mahomet. His home was in the land of the Banī Ghatafān. His poems are characterized by their peaceful nature and a sententious moralizing. One of them is contained in the Moallakāt.
As a whole his poems have been published by W. Ahlwardt in his The Dreams of the six Ancient Arabic Poets (London, 1870); and with the commentary of al-A’lam (died 1083) by Count Landberg in the second part of his Primeurs arabes (Leiden, 1889). Some supplementary poems are contained in K. Dyroff's Zur Geschichte der Überlieferung des Zuhairdiwans (Munich, 1892). (G. W. T.)