[ARABICA / HATIM AL-TAI] Hadha dâsitân-i Hâtem al-Tâî. [i.e. The legend of Hatim al-Tai], [with] Abu Ali Sina hikâyeleri [and] Bülbüknâme

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ANONYMOUS; HATIM AL-TAI, (?-578)., Tab'hâne-i Âmire Bab-i [Ser]Askeriye., Kostantiniyye [Constantinople - Istanbul], [AH 1256] = 1840.

Original quarter leather bdg. Slight wear on spine. Otherwise a very good copy. Cr. 8vo. (20 x 15 cm). In Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). 143 p.

Extremely rare first Turkish edition of the legend of Hatem of Tai tribe, or "the tale of Hatemtai, or qissa-e Hatem-Tai" which was very popular in the Indian subcontinent, as well as the earliest printed separate form from the Arabian nights [Alf laila wa laila] in the Middle East. 

In Turkish literature, this story was printed nine times separately from the Arabian nights (1840, 1856, 1867, 1871, 1874, 1879, 1885, 1891, 1925). This is the very first edition of this book.

Hatim al-Tai (Ḥâtim bin Abd Allâh bin Sa'ad a't-Tâ'iyy; Hatim of the Tayy tribe; deceased 578), was the ruling prince and poet of the Tayy tribe of Arabia. Stories about his extreme generosity have made him an icon among Arabs up until today, as evident in the proverbial phrase "more generous than Hatim". His son was Adi ibn Hatim, who was a companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Al-Tai lived in Ha'il in present-day Saudi Arabia and was mentioned in some Hadiths by Muhammad. He died in 578 AD and was buried in Tuwarin, Ha'il. His tomb is described in the Arabian Nights. He lived in the sixth century CE and was also mentioned in the Arabian Nights stories. The celebrated Persian poet Saadi, in his work Gulistan (1259 CE) wrote: "Hatim Tai 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". He is also mentioned in Saadi's Bostan (1257). According to legends in various books and stories, he was a famous personality in the region of Ta'i (present-day Ha'il) and is also a well-known figure in the rest of the Middle East as well as the Indian subcontinent, featuring in many books, films, and TV series in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Turkish, Hindi and various other languages.

The books on the story usually consist of a short introduction describing his ancestry and character and tell the seven episodes based on seven riddles, asked by a beautiful and rich woman named Husn Banu, who will marry only the person who is able to obtain answers to all seven of them. A king, who falls in love with her but is unable to find answers, tells the generous Hatemtai, whom he meets by chance, all about it. Hatim undertakes the quest to find the answers and help the king marry her.

Özege 3639.; TBTK 8155.; Only one copy in the Library of Congress according to OCLC 951465696.