Arab poetesses of Kaina: slaves who conquered the great Caliphs

Arab poetesses of Kaina: slaves who conquered the great Caliphs

Categories: Asia | History

In addition to decent women and prostitutes, a third, special type of ladies — courtesans-has been known for many centuries. In Europe, they aroused admiration, hatred or envy and could rise so high that they decided the fate of kingdoms. In the Islamic world, everything was different — Arab courtesans, kaynas, were nothing more than the things of their master, valuable, but deprived of any rights.

Arab poetesses of Kaina: slaves who conquered the great Caliphs

The Kains of the Arab East were real slaves. They were raised from childhood, selecting the most beautiful girls among those born as slaves or captives and teaching good manners, the basics of poetry and playing musical instruments.

Most of the kain turned out to be the property of the owners of inns and inns, where they were forced to entertain guests and guests all their lives, but the most beautiful and talented got to respectable men and joined the active social life.

Arab men gathered majlis houses, which were analogs of European salons with the participation of artists, scientists and writers. According to the rules, "honest women" could not be there. No, everything was very decent, just the laws of Islam were and still are. But the kains could freely be in the company of other men.

At the majlises, respected men drank tea or sherbet for an endless time and discussed a variety of issues. The Kains played musical instruments for them and recited poems and poems, mostly of their own composition, so that they would not get bored. In addition, beautiful slaves themselves could skillfully get involved in a conversation and turn it into an interesting discussion, which was very much appreciated among the elite.

Arab poetesses of Kaina: slaves who conquered the great Caliphs

When Kaina grew old and lost her beauty, she became useless and could only be a mentor for young slaves. Therefore, the slaves tried their best to find a solid lover who would want to buy her from the owner and if he did not marry her, then at least he would make her a favorite concubine. Sometimes, in search of a betrothed, the kains changed men every night, but it also happened that they tried to win the sympathy of one man and in every possible way pleased him at the majlis.

If kaina gave birth to a child to her master, then he could no longer throw her out into the street as unnecessary and was obliged to support her until the end of her days. Of course, because of this lifestyle and the requirement to walk with an open face, kain was considered shameless and unworthy women. But there were also those among them who, despite their reputation, went down in history and became real legends.

This kaina is the only one whose memory has been preserved not only because of her beauty and talents, but also because of her incredible devotion and love for the owner. Sakan had a soft, easy-going nature, which was considered a serious drawback for girls of her circle. Arab men loved the bold, ironic Kain, who bitterly ridiculed those present and were not afraid to enter into the most heated discussions.

Arab poetesses of Kaina: slaves who conquered the great Caliphs

Sakan was popular only because she sang well and composed poems, and her master, the thinker Mahmud al-Warrak, treated her very well. Unfortunately, the already not too rich philosopher went bankrupt and he was not up to majlises with guests.

To help her master, Sakan decided on an incredible act for Kaina — she wrote a letter to the Caliph al-Mu'tasim, who often visited al-Warrak, in which she asked to redeem her. Such a message could have been sent by a man, but not by Kaina herself, so the caliph only laughed at the woman who had lost her dignity and tore up her message.

But the worst thing was that the story of the ill-fated letter became public and Sakan was laughed at at all intersections and bazaars. To remedy the situation, Kaina wrote a beautiful poem-kasida, which was designed to remind everyone around that Sakan was and remains one of the best poets of her time.

Arab poetesses of Kaina: slaves who conquered the great Caliphs

The canons of versification required that at the beginning of the qasida, the author addressed the Caliph with ornate praise. Kaina deviated from this rule, writing about the Caliph in the third person, distantly. This could already be considered an unheard-of audacity, but Sakan went even further and made the hero of the poem Babek, who was executed for rebelling against the Caliph.

The poem caused such a resonance in society that during its discussions everyone forgot about how Kayna had humiliated herself in front of the Caliph shortly before. We can say that a talented woman has achieved her goal and distracted everyone from her shame, forcing them to talk about undoubted talents.

But Mahmoud al-Warrak still decided to sell his kaina, as he was so impoverished that he could not feed her. So that his pet does not starve, he found a buyer who, in his opinion, will become a kind owner. Of course, al-Warrak could have simply given the girl freedom, but that would have meant leaving her to the mercy of fate and condemning her to vagrancy, and the thinker could not go for that.

Arab poetesses of Kaina: slaves who conquered the great Caliphs

But everything did not go as planned by Mahmoud al-Warrak. When the buyer came to make a deal and put money in front of the owner of the kaina, Sakan swore that she was ready to endure any hardships, just not to part with him. Her speech was so hot that it touched the buyer to the quick and he left, leaving al-Warrak the money. Mahmud was so moved by the slave's act that he gave her freedom on the same day and took her as his wife.

Kayna Arib was the daughter of a vizier and a slave, whom her father sold to a stranger without the slightest remorse. The girl was distinguished by a sharp mind, obstinacy and pride. In addition, she was raised as a Christian slave, which left an imprint on her worldview.

Arib sang and danced perfectly, owned several musical instruments, wrote poetry and played backgammon well. In addition, she was an excellent horsewoman and had many other interesting, although not very necessary skills for Kaina.

Arab poetesses of Kaina: slaves who conquered the great Caliphs

In her youth, Kayna fell in love with a blue-eyed handsome Bedouin and ran away with him from the owner. There was no limit to the grief of the orphaned man, and his son was so upset that he wrote a poem with a story of love and escape. But Arib's infatuation turned out to be fleeting — she quickly became disillusioned with her chosen one and left him. Soon the girl was caught and returned to the owner, who happily forgave her for her audacious act.

Kaina was incredibly beautiful and intelligent, so she was possessed by several rulers. At first, Caliph al-Amin came to the owner of Arib with such a proposal, but the deal did not take place because of his imminent death. After that, it was acquired by the next Caliph-al-Ma'mun, and then it became the property of the Caliph al-Mu'tasim, the same one who insulted the Sakan. This ruler, having bought Arib for a lot of money, granted her freedom.

The woman did not change her habits and also continued to lead a dissolute lifestyle. She began to collect majlises herself and chose lovers for them, whom she changed almost daily. The former Kayna managed to earn money by composing songs to order, and in addition, Arib had influential fans who pampered her with gifts and money.

Noble men often gathered in the house of Arib for conversations on political topics and many historians believe that the opinion of a woman was highly valued in their circle. In total, during her life, Arib managed to visit the mistress of seven caliphs, as well as to visit a deeply vicious relationship by the standards of Islam with the poet Ulaya, whom she called the happiness of her whole life. The beautiful Arib lived her life without regretting anything, and died at the age of 96 from old age in warmth and prosperity.

The life story of Kaina Farida is very short and tragic. The girl was considered the best singer of her time and was very beautiful. Therefore, it was bought from the owner by the Caliph al-Wasik — a cruel and arrogant tyrant. During one of the meetings, the Caliph was not in the mood and kicked the singing Kaina in the chest, knocking her to the floor and breaking the instrument.

Arab poetesses of Kaina: slaves who conquered the great Caliphs

It is said that an elderly ruler did this because he had the idea that after his death, Farid would delight someone's eye and hearing. This incident struck Kaina so much that after the death of al-Wasik, she refused to sing and tore out the strings of the instruments that were given to her in her hands. Forcing Farida to sing, the new owner beat her to death with whips.

Kaina named Inan went down in the history of the Arab world as the most witty. The girl was half Spanish and she inherited the pride and waywardness of this people. Inan was considered one of the best poets of her time, and besides, she did not hesitate to criticize other people's poems. Because of this, the majlis with kaina were very popular and gathered poets and lovers of heated discussions.

History has preserved Inan's correspondence with the famous poet Abu Nuwas — the opponents insulted each other so viciously and exquisitely that hundreds of "fans" from both sides watched their skirmish. One of the unpleasant features of Kaina for men was that she liked to make a mockery of them in caustic epigrams after a night of love.

Arab poetesses of Kaina: slaves who conquered the great Caliphs

Since Inan changed lovers very often, she had many enemies with a wounded ego. But the girl was so good that the flow of people who wanted to spend time with her never dried up. One of the fans of Kaina was the Caliph Harun ar-Rashid, known to us from Arabic fairy tales. Inan hoped that the ruler would buy her from her master, but generous and wasteful in legends, the ruler was stingy in life and the price of a slave seemed high to him.

Master Inan hated her for her sharp tongue and success with men, and Kaina answered him in the same coin. For her audacity, the girl was repeatedly punished with rods, but this was not enough for long. After the death of the owner, Harun ar-Rashid received Inan to pay off the debt and, in order to pacify Kaina, sent her to the slave market. At the last moment, the Caliph himself bought the girl and, striking her with this act, earned love and respect. Kaina Inan became the concubine of the Caliph and her traces are lost in the huge harem of the ruler.

It is quite obvious that for the Kaina of the East, the connection with the ruler meant disappearing from sight in the depths of the harem. In Europe, everything was different and many courtesans, being mistresses of kings, brought a lot of benefits to people and the country.

Keywords: Arabs | East | Harem | Islam | Muslims | Songs | Poetry | Slavery | Dance | Philosophy

Recent articles

The most famous works of Antonio Gaudi
The most famous works of Antonio Gaudi

The most outstanding Spanish architect of the XIX-XX centuries can rightly be called Antonio Gaudi. The master is the creator of ...

"No men allowed!": island resort for feminists only opens in Finland
"No men allowed!": island resort for feminists only opens in ...

Under the slogan "No entry for men", a new SuperShe Island resort will start operating in the summer of 2018: an entire island off ...

Rescue and incredible transformation of Frankie the dog found in a ditch
Rescue and incredible transformation of Frankie the dog found ...

Bali, an island in Indonesia, has a population of 4,220 million people. In addition, there are about 400 thousand stray dogs who ...

Related articles

How and when did the Jews appear in Russia
How and when did the Jews appear in Russia

It is known that Jews have been living on the territory of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus since time immemorial. Surprisingly, the ...

Mistress of Africa Al-Kahina: The witch the Arabs feared
Mistress of Africa Al-Kahina: The witch the Arabs feared

In the Islamic world, men reign supreme and their authority is unshakable. Therefore, the Arab chronicles, which describe the ...

Harems of the Middle Kingdom: hierarchy, recorded sex and other "Chinese ceremonies"
Harems of the Middle Kingdom: hierarchy, recorded sex and ...

Turkish and Persian harems are well known to everyone, many poems and novels have been written about them, as well as historical ...