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Poet called ‘Two Masters’

Ahmad Al-Sarraf
Prominent Kuwaiti poet Mullah Abdeen Baqer, a.k.a. ‘Two Masters’ because he mastered Arabic and Persian, jokingly recited ‘Grapico blackino after greyano and sweetano, and after ripanio sourano”. Of course this means nothing either in Arabic or Persian but he wanted to say was ‘Grapes turned from green to black and from sweet to sour. It was Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah who gave him the name Two Masters.

Mullah Abdeen wrote the following line on the Gate of the Seif Palace: ‘If it lasted for others, you would have not reached it’, which impresses the readers. His calligraphy was beautiful, and was in the form of a poem to a friend or a relative, and sometimes written in a way close to the face of the one he wrote about.

He also had a spectacular style in writing. He would show you a man or a flower or any image drawn on paper, then he would cover the paper and the picture turned into a Quranic verse or a line of poetry or an attractive word. He mastered the art of his forefathers.

Poet Zine El Abidine Ben Ali Hassan bin Baqir, has given his last name to the Diwan of Mulla Baqir in Dasma, which includes families of Al-Kout, Al-Sarraf, Mullah Juma’a and Mulla Baqir.

He is known among the people as Mulla Abdeen. He was born in 1866 in the neighborhood of Al-Midan and this article is written on the occasion of his 150th anniversary.

Mullah Abdeen’s origin is Persia. He grew up in a poor family. Poetry was his profession and earned his living by teaching religion and arithmetic.

Among his first students were Abdulsamad Turki and Ismail Jamal and others, men from the first generation in Kuwait.

Mullah Abdeen did not complete his education except for what he learned from his surroundings. He was an avid reader of literature, both Arabic and Persian. He became renowned for his poetry written in praise of King AbdulAziz bin Saud for which he was given an annual stipend and clothing until his death in 1950 when he was for 84 years old.

Mullah also traveled to Turkey, Egypt, India, the GCC countries and Iran. Although Mulla wrote more than forty books of poetry, most of them are lost or the family destroyed them after his death.

His works included ‘Saudi Arabia in the poetry of Zine El Abidine the Kuwaiti’, and Professor Ya’aqoub Al-Ghunaim had earlier commented on it.

Much information about Mullah Abdeen was given by his grandson Jawad Hassan Mulla Abdeen, former director of the private institutes at the Ministry of Education, on March 5, 2011, during an interview with the Al-Anba newspaper.

Late poet Khalid Saud Al-Zaid mentioned him in his book ‘Writers of Kuwait in two centuries” and Abdulaziz Al-Babtain was interested in his biography.

email: habibi.enta1@gmail.com

By Ahmad Al-Sarraf


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