The eclipse of the stars is caused by the moon obscuring them, as it
obscures the sun. This could be designated khusuf. Eclipse of the stars,
on the other hand, does not mean that their luminosity has disappeared,
but that there has been a conjunction. Astrologers call this phenomenon
Abu Tammam has, then, described the phenomenon according to the
astrologers' concept. As the eclipse of the stars is but rare, people in
general do not know about this. They are only aware of solar and lunar
eclipses, particularly as they persist for longer periods. The sun and the
moon signal day and night and prayers are offered upon their eclipse:
the timings of the prayers are also determined by them. Prayers are related to dawn, early afternoon, late afternoon, sunset and night. People
are generally demoralised by eclipses, especially when the inane predictions of the astrologers who regard themselves as the repositories of
sacred and profane knowledge add fuel to the fire. However, for all and
sundry, the eclipse of the sun is a major happening and that of the moon
a lesser one. And Abu Tammam is a victim of Abu al-Qasim to a considerable extent.
The Names and Characteristics of Pearls Among Jewellers
The designations of pearls among jewellers are generally based upon
similitudes and because of these their names have undergone changes
with different peoples in different ages and regions. We have, therefore.
avoided a discussion of these names given by Al-Kindi.
Lu'lu' is called moti in Hindiya. It was also a name borne by a
famous Hindu Rajah known for his conquests over the Turkish people
There is an ovoid variety of the pearl called 'i'yun. It is always
spoken of as noun plural, not singular f'ayn). 'Ayn is singular in the case
of gold not plural f'Lyunj. It is round like the pupil of the eye. If it has
a pleasing colour, good shine and lusture, it is also known as najni and
There is also an oblong variety of the pearl. It is round on both sides
and is shaped like the dung of the goat. Known as pashki in Persian, it is
also compared with the olive and called zaytaui. At times it is called
khayah dls, i.e. like an egg.
The ghulami variety is globular, having an even surface and pointed
end. It is a tapering sphere and is shaped like a long cap.
The falaki kind known as badrisqi is Persian. Badrisah is a little
round piece of wood or leather fixed on a distaff or spindle upon which
the thread is wound. The fawfU is level, and has a cupola-like cover on
the upper surface in the way of the areca nut. Then there is the lawzi
and sha'iri kind with slender ends. In Persian it is known as jawdanali,