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1.1.2 - Hatim al-Taiy, the Icon of Hospitality and Generosity

Hatim al-Taiy (Hâtim al-Tâ’iy) is a prominent jahily (pre-Islamic) poet and legendary philanthropist famous for his unbounded generosity and bounteousness. He lived in the sixth century AD. Stories about his extreme generosity have made him an icon to the Arabs up till the present day, as in the proverbial phrase “more generous than Hatim!”. He used to invite the outsiders and provide the needy, slaying a camel every day, and he used to have a large copper vessel always on fire, cooking for visitors seeking him from all over the region.

As he quoted many of his stories, Ibn al-Arabi is always proud of Hatim and calls him: “my grandfather” [see for example: Muhadarat al-Abrâr, v.1:p.441]. Hatim died in 578 AD, just few years before the spreading of Islam.

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