Hatim al-Tai

Hatim al-Tai

"Hatimtai" or "Hatim Tai" (also Hatem at-Ta'i i.e. Hatim of the Tai tribe), formally Hatem ibn Abdellah ibn Sa'ad at-Ta'i ( _ar. حاتم بن عبد الله بن سعد الطائي) was a famous pre-Islamic (Jahiliyyah) Arabian poet, and the father of the Sahaba Adi ibn Hatim and Safana bint Hatem. He was a Christian [ [http://www.bakhdida.com/Personalities/BahiDadiza.htm Biography of Sheikh Bahi Dadiza] (Arabic)] , and belonged to the Ta'i Arabian tribe. Stories about his extreme generosity have made him an icon to Arabs up till the present day, as in the proverbial phrase "more generous than Hatem" (Arabic: أكرم من حاتم).

At-Ta'i lived in Ha'il (now in Saudi Arabia). He was mentioned in some Hadiths by Muhammad, the prophet of Islam. He died in 578, and he didn't overtake Islam [Kitab al-Aghani by Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani] . He was buried in Toran, Ha'il ( [http://www.flickr.com/photos/48654904@N00/323636787/ picture of his tomb] ). The tomb is described in the Arabian Nights [http://books.google.com/books?id=xd5VonTOppMC&pg=PA290&lpg=PA290&dq=hatim+tomb&source=web&ots=gJjqKxrlpt&sig=SFNWeYUvJ95FVOwwQpo7XAf7Ouo E. J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913-1936 ] .

He lived in the sixth century CE, was a legendary personality famous for his generosity, goodness and adventures. He also figures in "The Arabian Nights" . Accoding to the legends associated with him in many books and stories : He was the most famous personality in Tai (Najd province in the central part of the Arabian Peninsula, now in Saudi Arabia). He is a well-known figure in the Middle East and India.

He traveled to different and dangerous places far away to solve the seven question he faced for justice and truth and to help the poor and the weaker people who were in need of help.All over the world, there are many books written and translated about him. Also several movies and TV Series were produced about his interestingadventures.

Rozat-ul-Sufa mentions that “In the eighth year after the birth of his eminence the Prophet, died Noushirwan the Just, and Hatim Tai the generous, both famous for their virtues.” [http://persian.packhum.org/persian/pf?file=08501030&ct=0] , around in 579 CE. According to D'Herbelot, his tomb is still present at a small village called Anwarz, in Arabia [http://books.google.com/books?id=s_4KV4Ixq4IC&pg=PA132&dq=Hatim+Tai#PPA132,M1] .

Hatim’s son Adi, who succeeded him, fled from the Muslims, but later converted into Islam. His sister Sufana was taken as a prisoner but was released by the Prophet Muhammad [http://www.salaam.co.uk/knowledge/biography/viewentry.php?id=1920 Hatim Tai] upon hearing about her father. She said that she was the daughter of someone who ransomed prisoners, fed the poor and helped those in distress. As the daughter of such a man she could not accept her freedom unless all the members of her tribe were also freed. The prophet set all prisoners of Banu Tai free [ [http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Articles/companion/24_ali_bin_talib.htm Campaign Against Banu Tai ] ] .

The celebrated Persian poet Sa‘dī, in his Gulistan (Rose-Garden) writes::"Hatim Taï no longer exists but his exalted name will remain famous for virtue to eternity. Distribute the tithe of your wealth in alms; for when the husbandman lops off the exuberant branches from the vine, it produces an increase of grapes." [http://www.sacred-texts.com/isl/arp/arp159.htm HATIM TAI, THE GENEROUS ARAB CHIEF]

"Poems by Hatim:"

* [http://www.sacred-texts.com/isl/arp/arp028.htm#page_99 ON AVARICE by HATEM TAI]

"Books About Hatim:"

* The Story of Hatim in "The Arabian Nights" (AD 800-900 in modern form).
* "The Adventures of Hatim Tai" (Qissa-e-Hatim Tai, from a 1824 Persian manuscript) [http://persian.packhum.org/persian/pf?file=08501030&ct=0] by "Duncan Forbes".
* Adventures of the second Darwesh in Bagh-o-Bahar or Qissa Chahar Darvesh, Mir Amman of Delhi, Urdu 1804, translated by Duncan Forbes" [http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00urdu/baghobahar/index.html#index]
* Many books written and translated in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Hindi,etc.

Outline of Qissa-e-Hatim Tai

Qissa-e-Hatim Tai is very popular in the South Asia. The two movies (below) about hatim Tai are based on this story.

It consists of a short introduction describing his ancestors and his own virtues. In seven chapters, seven of his adventures are given.

The stories are based on seven questions, asked by a beautiful and rich woman Husn Banu, who will marry only the person who will obtain answers to these questions [http://books.google.com/books?id=s_4KV4Ixq4IC&pg=PA132&dq=Hatim+Tai#PPA132,M1 Persian Portraits: A Sketch of Persian History, Literature and Politics By F. F. Arbuthnot] :
#' What I saw once, I long for a second time.'
#' Do good, and cast it upon the waters.'
#' Do no evil; if you do, such shall you meet with.'
#' He who speaks the truth is always tranquil.'
#' Let him bring an account of the mountain of Nida.'
#' Let him produce a pearl of the size of a duck's egg'
#' Let him bring an account of the bath of Bad-gard.'

A prince falls in love with her and wanders around, not knowing where to go or what to do. By chance he meets Hatim Tai, to whom he tells his story. Hatimundertakes to find the answers to the questions.

"Movies About Hatim:"

*"Hatamtai"(1967) - A Pakistani Urdu movie starring Muhammad Ali.
*"Hatimtai"(1990) - A Bollywood Hindi movie starring Jeetendra [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0242509/] . [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wBWE_u8fpg video clip]
*"Hatimtai"(1956) - A Bollywood Hindi movie starring Jayraj and Shakila [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0325527/] .
*"Hatimtai"(1933) - A Bollywood Hindi movie starring Pran [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0372958/] .
*Many other old and regional versions were also produced.

"TV Series About Hatim:"

*"Dastaan-e-Hatimtai" - A TV Series aired on "DD National" .
*"Hatim" - A TV Series on "STAR TV (Asia)" produced by the "Sagar Films ( Pvt.Ltd.)".

"About the TV Series "Hatim":"

[ To know all about this TV Series , see the Main Article Hatim (TV Series). ]

Definition and Meaning of "Hatim":

Hatim is also a Muslim Name (Mostly in the Bohris). Some people say that Hatim means "Generous". Another definition of the name Hatim is "Determined".

References


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