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Maari, Abu al-Ala al-

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    Maari, Abu al-Ala al-

    (d. 1058 )

    Classical Arabic-language poet, blind, and well-known for composition of qasidah (panegyric) and ghazal (lyric) forms of poetry. Works include citations from the broad expanse of Arabic literature. His greatest collection of poetry is Luzumiyyat, named for self-imposed requirements in meter and rhyme. Al-Maari condemned the injustice and hypocrisy of rulers, ordinary citizens, and religious scholars alike. He regarded life as misfortune due to the extent of human shortcomings apparent in the world. Ridiculing formal religious dogmas, he claimed that the only truly religious people were those who helped their fellow human beings, regardless of what they believed privately.

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