The best comebacks

al-Salāmu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullāh

One thing that can be noticed about the poets of old is that they would always seem to come out with the best comebacks in the form of clever couplets.

One such example is from Ibn Rashiq al-Qayrawanee when he received a letter from Ibn al-Aghlab, the ruler of Majorca, asking him to come to visit him by sea. Ibn Rashiq, afraid of what the sea may bring did not want to set out on such a voyage, so he replied with two lines of poetry:


You ordered me to take my efforts to the sea,

But I disobeyed you, so select another means:

You are not Nooh that your ship can protect me,

nor am I 'Eesa that I can walk on water.

7 Responses to The best comebacks

  1. Assalamu 3alaikum,

    Do you know of any good websites for Arabic poetry? I like the way you have the lines shown there. Did you just type it in a word processor and paste it as an image into wordpress? Or is it already an image available on the website?

    Jazaka Allahu khairan. I’ll be linking your site in my blog inshallah if that’s alright. Please keep me in you du’a.

    Assalamu 3aliakum,

  2. wa ‘alaykum al-salām,

    Wa iyyakum.

    I pasted the poetry as an image, it is not available on the website.

    You can try http://aladeeb.com for poetry in shaa’ Allaah.

  3. WHAT A wonderful reply,

    reminds me of a response which said something like,,

    You are not better than Moses, Nor am I worst than Firaun.

    It was in response to harsh temperament used to correct him.

  4. Cool blog…Are witty comebacks called رد بارع أو معوّج بارع? Im sure there is a technical term for this because so many poets employ this slick tool of rhetoric.

  5. Pingback: The best comebacks (via Arabic Gems ~ جواهر العربية) | quran reciter blog

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