He's fond of anyone who throws a party;
he's always at a party in his dreams,
for party-crashing's blazoned on his heart . . .
a prisoner to the path of fine cuisine.
With this statement, al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, a Muslim preacher and scholar, introduces The Art of Party-Crashing, a book that represents a sharp departure from the religious scholarship for which he is known. Compiled in the eleventh century, this collection of irreverent and playful anecdotes celebrates eating, drinking, and general merriment. Ribald jokes, flirtations, and wry observations of misbehaving Muslims acquaint readers with everyday life in medieval Iraq in a way that is both entertaining and edifying.
Selove's translation, accompanied by her whimsical drawings, introduces the delights and surprises of medieval Arabic humour to a new audience.
Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (1002-1071) was a Muslim preacher and scholar of the hadith. Al-Khatib is most well-known for Tarikh Baghdad (The History of Baghdad), which describes thousands of Baghdadi scholars. Like most of his writing, Tarikh Baghdad was intended as an aid for students of the hadith. Emily Selove is a PhD candidate and Arabic instructor at the University of California in Los Angeles, USA. She is currently writing her dissertation on Hikayat Abi al-Qasim, an eleventh-century Arabic text about a Baghdadi party-crasher in Isfahan.