Imru-ul-Quais is one of the most famous poets of the pre-Islamic period.

... Imru-ul-Quais, often spelled in our letters, which differ widely from Arabic forms, Amrulkais. He was a prince, who by his passionate devotion to affairs of love so angered his father, the sheik, or king, of the tribe, that Imru-ul-Quais was banished to the solitary life of a shepherd. He thus escaped the destruction which came upon all his people in a bitter tribal war; and he was left a tribeless wanderer. He came finally, about the year 530, to the court of the great Greek-Roman emperor Justinian, at Constantinople; and there the poet-wanderer was much honored. Tradition says he was put to death by torture for winning the love of a princess of Justinian's family. Mohammed declared Imru-ul-Quais to be the greatest of the Arab poets; and the poet-prince is said to have been the first to reduce to a regular-measured rhythm the wild individual chanting of the earlier desert-singers.

  • Some of his work is included in the The Hanged Poems
  • Mu'allaqat
  • Another discussion: Did Muhammad Plagiarize Imrau'l Qais?

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