عنوان مقاله [English]
al-Jāḥiẓ (163-255 H./ 780-868 AD) is indisputably the most prominent early Muslim zoologist, as his book entitled Kitāb al-Ḥayawān (Book of Animals) has been, over many centuries, the main reference of the next generations of Muslim Zoologists and other scholars who have somehow dealt in their essays with animals or animals’ role in Arabic culture. Besides different kinds of literature and verbal resources, antecedent and contemporary philologist’s essays, and other available monographs, the Arabic translation of Aristotle’s Historia Animalium, prepared by Syrian scholar, Yaḥya (John) Ibn al-Batrīq, was one of the most important al-Jāḥiẓ’s sources His influence of Aristotle was not only in the form of quotations and adaptations but also, he had many creative inspirations, which resulted in his personal contemplations of surrounding nature. A very illustrious case which discriminates his book from Aristotle’s thoughts and other Islamic zoological texts is a kind of spider with the Arabic name Layth. al-Jāḥiẓ’s detailed account of the hunting etiology of this arthropod shows his creative, active, and accurate nature observations, and could be matched the members of jumping spiders (Salticidae) in present zoology as well. Such comprehensive descriptions are especially important about animals that are not simply recognizable via their common names in old texts solely. Without al-Jāḥiẓ’s elucidation of Layth’s hunting method, it might have remained unknown in all historical texts of zoology, forever, or at best could have known as a kind of spiders. In none of his antecedents’ remained essays or Aristotle’s explanations about spiders, al-Jāḥiẓ’s account of Layth could be found. It seems that seeing a descriptive name of a kind of spider, namely λυκος in Aristotle’s Historia Animalium, has sought al-Jāḥiẓ’s its appellation, watched Layth in nature around and explained carefully whatever he has seen. This could also be an example showing al-Jāḥiẓ’s own ideas in nature description, and the independence of his book of animals from Greek resources.