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Background Islamic Literature Cornell P 1

Background Islamic Literature Cornell P 1

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Background Islamic Literature Cornell P 1

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  1. Background Islamic Literature Cornell P 1 • During the Dark Ages, the Muslims collected and translated many of the ancient Greek philosophical and scientific texts into Arabic. • Most of the western world is not familiar with original Islamic literature because it was written in languages that are often hard to tranlate and because the alphabet was in Semetic script. MRC

  2. Poetry Islamic Literature Cornell Q 1 • Islamic poetry “for centuries used traditional, rigid and distinctive forms in a highly stylized way.” • “Classic Arabic poetry was built on the priciple of monorhyme, and the single rhyme was employed throughout a poem, whether it was long or short.” • “Within the rhyming pattern, there were 16 basic meters in five groupings, but the poet was not allowed to change the meter in the course of a poem.” MRC

  3. Poetry Islamic Literature Cornell S 2 • Five types of Islamic Poetry – the qasida, the ghazel, the qitah, the masnavi and the roba’i • The qasida consists of a elaborately structured ode from 20 to 100 verses. It’s usually a love poem. After the coming of Islam, it was used as an instrument to praise go. • The ghazel is a love poem from 5-12 verses that can be religious or secular. • The qitah is used for less serious matters and its main function was for satire, jokes, word games and codes. • The masnavi originated in Persia. The term means the “doubled one” or rhyming couplet. It allows the poet to tell a long story by stringing together thousands of versus. • The roba’iis in the form of the quatrain (4 line verse) where the first, second and fourth lines rhyme MRC

  4. Prose Islamic Literature Cornell s 2 • The maqamah is rhymed prose • It told basic entertaining stores in a complicated style. • It could be very hard to understand because the author often tried to prove his wit, learning and eloquence. MRC

  5. BackgroundIslamic Literature Cornell P 4 • The Hadith was the record of the all of the sayings and deed of Muhammad. These sayings and deeds were thought to be inspired. • By the 9th century, the Hadith was finalized with no new traditions added. • It is still revered today as a major source of religious law and moral conduct, second only to the Koran, MRC

  6. Poetry Islamic Literature Cornell S 4-5 • The Umayyad Caliphate – used poetry to support political factions. • Al-Akhatal and Firas (al-Farazaq) supported different political regimes and wrote harsh satires of each other • Their poetry gave historians an understanding of the social and political climate of Islam in the 8th century. • Lasted for 90 years MRC

  7. Poetry Islamic Literature CornellS 5-6 • The Abbasid Caliphate lasted for more than 5 centuries and was considered the golden age of Islamic began. • Brought cultural currents of the Ancient Near East came together. • The poet Abu Nuwas wrote bawdy drinking poems and said “accumulate as many sins as you can.” • Common theme was choosing to die if you couldn’t be with the one you loved. • A blind Syrian poet al-Ma’rri showed strong contempt for hypocrisy, injustice and superstition. One of his poems was thought to be a parody of the Koran. MRC

  8. Poetry Islamic Literature Cornell S 7 • Spain and North Africa were the western lands of the Muslim empire but it had some of the greatest literature. • Famous mystics and philosophers • Others wrote about their travels and geography and their works are helpful for scholars today. MRC

  9. Background Early IslamQ 108 “Islamic Literature began with the Bedouin Poets who developed the Arabic language into a supple and expressive literary instrument.” MRC

  10. Background Early IslamP 108 • Poets became popular in courts • Poets could earn gold and praise if it is good • Cultural diffusion with new ear; Greek, Indian and Persian influenced poets to widen poet’s range. MRC

  11. Background Islam, the Qu’ran and the Arabic Literature S 5 • Poetry vs. Prose. • Poetry was more popular because it could be memorized and more easily preserved. • Poetry is the main form of artistic expression during the Pre-Islamic era • Prose was used mainly for genealogies and legends dealing with inter-tribal wars. MRC

  12. Poetry Islam, the Qu’ran and the Arabic Literature S 6 • THE ROLE OF THE POET • Yearly fairs were poets would come and recite their poetry. Poets tried to get fame and recognition. • Poetry readings were the main form of entertainment at these fairs. • Poets were artists, entertainers, journalists, historians and spokesman for their tribes, all in one. • Able to influence public opinion and enjoyed prominent Status MRC

  13. Qur’an Islam, the Qu’ran and the Arabic LiteratureQ 6 • The “Qur'an, it has been constantly maintained, embodies linguistic and literary beauty which exceeds anything of human origin. This is borne out by the fact that no-one has ever been able to compose anything remotely resembling it in its linguistic, literary or conceptual elegance.” MRC

  14. Qur’an Islam, the Qu’ran and the Arabic Literatures 8 • Qur’an made Arab people aware of the richness and beauty of their language. • The revelation of the Qur’an was the most important event in the history of the Arabic language. • Efforts were made to develop and refine the Arabic alphabet when scholars were trying to preserve the Qur’an MRC

  15. Qur’an Islam, the Qu’ran and the Arabic LiteratureS 11 • The Qur’an is made up of verses that vary in length depending on their theme and the occasion. • In the 7th Century, the Qur’an expanded the scope of Arabic. • It encouraged new fields of study such as philology, Islamic Law and Philosophy. MRC

  16. Qur’an Islam, the Qu’ran and the Arabic LiteratureQ 10 “It does not deal with any such things as ruins, camels, or long journeys in the desert; no does it describe longing for the beloved, love, or eulogy ,topics most familiar to pre-Islamic Arabs. But rather it talks to the Arabs about such things as the oneness of God, His limitless power, His knowledge, which is unattainable, His will, which is unstoppable, and His creation of heaven and earth.” MRC

  17. Qur’an Islam, the Qu’ran and the Arabic LiteratureP 10-14 NOVEL THINGS ABOU THE QUR’AN • Narrative stories of Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses and Jesus • Presents dialogues as well as claims and counterclaims. • Included theme, plot, well-developed characters and denouement. • Used words of non-Arabic origin including Persian, Sanskrit, and Syriac • Contributed to structure and style of Arabic language including grammar. • Used imagery and metaphor, adding beauty to plain speech. • Considered to be both poetry and prose due to rhythmic patterns. MRC