History Of Arabic Literature

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History of Arabic literature


The structure of the Arabic language is well suited to the harmony of word patterns, rhymes and rhythms produced. The first known literature emerged in northern Arabia around 500 AD and took the form of poetry which is recited loud, memorized and transmitted from one generation to another. It began to be written in the late seventh century. The most famous poems of the pre-Islamic period are known as the Mu'allaqat ("suspension"), presumably because they were considered sufficiently outstanding to be hung on the walls of the Kaaba in Mecca (Roger, 33).

Brief history and analysis

The Umayyad court in Damascus sponsored poets and musicians. It was also the scene of the evolution of the type called adab Arabic literature. Adab is usually translated as "belles lettres", which is a bit misleading. This literature, at least initially, was created to serve the practical purpose of educating the growing class of government ministers in the Arabic language, manners and behavior, history and statecraft.

Works in Sanskrit, Pahlavi, Greek, and Syriac and began to find their way into Arabic at this time. 'Abd al-Hamid ibn Yahya al-Katib, an official Umayyad and the creator of this genre, defined its objectives as follows: "Cultivating the Arabic language so you can talk properly, develop a script to add beautiful sparkle to your writing, learn Arabic poetry of memory, to become familiar with unusual ideas and expressions, read the history of the Arabs and Persians, and remember his great deeds. "'Abd Allah ibn al-Muqaffa', a contemporary of 'Abd al-Ham id ibn Yahya, translated from the history of the ancient kings of Persia to Arab and Dimna Kalilah-wa, a book Indian princes sharing tips in the form of animal fables. His works are the first surviving examples of Moorish art and prose are still used as models for schools across the Middle East (Roger, 47).

In the ninth century Arabic literature had entered its classical age. The various genera have been defined - adab, history, exegesis of the Koran, geography, biography, poetry, satire, and many more. Al-Jahiz was perhaps the greatest stylist of the era, and one of the most original. He wrote over two hundred books on every topic imaginable, it was critical, rational, and always fun.

The most gifted of contemporary al-Jahiz was probably Ibn Qutaybah, also a writer of encyclopedic learning and an excellent stylist. His Book of Knowledge, a world history from creation, is the first work of this type and then had many imitators.

The tenth century witnessed the creation of a new form in Arabic literature, the maqamat. This was the title of a work of al-Hamadhani, called Al Badi '-Zaman, "The wonder of the age." Your Maqamat ("Sessions") is a series of rhymed prose episodes about the life of Abu al-Fath al-Iskandari, a kind of con man who takes a different personality in each story and always succeeds in defrauding their victims. These stories are witty and full of action, and were immediately popular.

Rhymed prose, who had come to be used even in government ...
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