Arabic literature is the writing, both prose and poetry, produced by writers in the Arabic language. The Arabic word used for literature is "Adab", derived from a meaning of etiquette, which implies politeness and enrichment. Arabic literature emerged in the 5th century with only fragments of the written language appearing before then; the Qur'an regarded by people as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language, would have the greatest lasting effect on Arabic culture and its literature. Arabic literature flourished during the Islamic Golden Age, but has remained vibrant to the present day, with poets and prose-writers across the Arab world, as well as rest of the world, achieving increasing success; the Qur'an had a significant influence on the Arab language. The language used in it is called classical Arabic, while modern Arabic is similar, the classical has social prestige. Not only is the Qur'an the first work of any significant length written in the language it has a far more complicated structure than the earlier literary works with its 114 suras which contain 6,236 ayat.
It contains injunctions, homilies, direct addresses from God and comments on itself on how it will be received and understood. It is paradoxically, admired for its layers of metaphor as well as its clarity, a feature it mentions itself in sura 16:103; the word Qur'an means'recite', in early times the text was transmitted orally. The first attempt at an authentic written version was during the reign of the third'Rightly Guided Caliph', Uthman. Although it contains elements of both prose and poetry, therefore is closest to Saj or rhymed prose, the Qur'an is regarded as apart from these classifications; the text is believed to be divine revelation and is seen by Muslims as being eternal or'uncreated'. This leads to the doctrine of i'jaz or inimitability of the Qur'an which implies that nobody can copy the work's style. Say, Bring you ten chapters like unto it, call whomsoever you can, other than God, if you speak the truth! This doctrine of i'jaz had a slight limiting effect on Arabic literature.
Whilst Islam allows Muslims to write and recite poetry, the Qur'an states in the 26th sura that poetry, blasphemous, praiseworthy of sinful acts or attempts to challenge the Qu'ran's content and form is forbidden for Muslims. And as to the poets, those who go astray follow them Do you not see that they wander about bewildered in every valley? And that they say that which they do not do Except those who believe and do good works and remember Allah much and defend themselves after they are oppressed; this may have exerted dominance over the pre-Islamic poets of the 6th century whose popularity may have vied with the Qur'an amongst the people. There were a marked lack of significant poets until the 8th century. One notable exception was Hassan ibn Thabit who wrote poems in praise of Muhammad and was known as the "prophet's poet". Just as the Bible has held an important place in the literature of other languages, The Qur'an is important to Arabic, it is the source of many ideas and quotes and its moral message informs many works.
Aside from the Qur'an the hadith or tradition of what Muhammed is supposed to have said and done are important literature. The entire body of these acts and words are called sunnah or way and the ones regarded as sahih or genuine of them are collected into hadith; some of the most significant collections of hadith include those by Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj and Muhammad ibn Isma'il al-Bukhari. The other important genre of work in Qur'anic study is the tafsir or commentaries Arab writings relating to religion includes many sermons and devotional pieces as well as the sayings of Ali which were collected in the 10th century as Nahj al-Balaghah or The Peak of Eloquence; the research into the life and times of Muhammad, determining the genuine parts of the sunnah, was an important early reason for scholarship in or about the Arabic language. It was the reason for the collecting of pre-Islamic poetry. Muhammad inspired the first Arabic biographies, known as al-sirah al-nabawiyyah. Whilst covering the life of the prophet they told of the battles and events of early Islam and have numerous digressions on older biblical traditions.
Some of the earliest work studying the Arabic language was started in the name of Islam. Tradition has it that the caliph Ali, after reading a copy of Qur'an with errors in it, asked Abu al-Aswad al-Du'ali to write a work codifying Arabic grammar. Khalil ibn Ahmad would write Kitab al-Ayn, the first dictionary of Arabic, along with works on prosody and music, his pupil Sibawayh would produce the most respected work of Arabic grammar known as al-Kitab or The Book. Other caliphs exerted their influence on Arabic with'Abd al-Malik making it the official language for administration of the new empire, al-Ma'mun setting up the Bayt al-Hikma or House of Wisdom in Baghdad for research and translations. Basrah and Kufah were two other important seats of learning in the early Arab world, between which there was a strong rivalry; the institutions set up to investigate more the Islamic religion were invaluable in studying many other subjects. Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik was ins
Sufism or Taṣawwuf, variously defined as "Islamic mysticism", "the inward dimension of Islam" or "the phenomenon of mysticism within Islam", is mysticism in Islam, "characterized... values, ritual practices and institutions" which began early in Islamic history and represents "the main manifestation and the most important and central crystallization of" mystical practice in Islam. Practitioners of Sufism have been referred to as "Sufis". Sufis have belonged to different ṭuruq or "orders" – congregations formed around a grand master referred to as a wali who traces a direct chain of successive teachers back to the Islamic prophet, Muhammad; these orders meet for spiritual sessions in meeting places known as khanqahs or tekke. They strive for ihsan, as detailed in a hadith: "Ihsan is to worship Allah as if you see Him. Sufis regard Muhammad as al-Insān al-Kāmil, the primary perfect man who exemplifies the morality of God, see him as their leader and prime spiritual guide. All Sufi orders trace most of their original precepts from Muhammad through his cousin and son-in-law Ali, with the notable exception of one.
Although the overwhelming majority of Sufis, both pre-modern and modern and are adherents of Sunni Islam, there developed certain strands of Sufi practice within the ambit of Shia Islam during the late medieval period. Although Sufis were opposed to dry legalism, they observed Islamic law and belonged to various schools of Islamic jurisprudence and theology. Sufis have been characterized by their asceticism by their attachment to dhikr, the practice of remembrance of God performed after prayers, they gained adherents among a number of Muslims as a reaction against the worldliness of the early Umayyad Caliphate and have spanned several continents and cultures over a millennium expressing their beliefs in Arabic and expanding into Persian and Urdu, among others. Sufis played an important role in the formation of Muslim societies through their missionary and educational activities. According to William Chittick, "In a broad sense, Sufism can be described as the interiorization, intensification of Islamic faith and practice."Despite a relative decline of Sufi orders in the modern era and criticism of some aspects of Sufism by modernist thinkers and conservative Salafists, Sufism has continued to play an important role in the Islamic world, has influenced various forms of spirituality in the West.
The Arabic word tasawwuf translated as Sufism, is defined by Western authors as Islamic mysticism. The Arabic term sufi has been used in Islamic literature with a wide range of meanings, by both proponents and opponents of Sufism. Classical Sufi texts, which stressed certain teachings and practices of the Quran and the sunnah, gave definitions of tasawwuf that described ethical and spiritual goals and functioned as teaching tools for their attainment. Many other terms that described particular spiritual qualities and roles were used instead in more practical contexts; some modern scholars have used other definitions of Sufism such as "intensification of Islamic faith and practice" and "process of realizing ethical and spiritual ideals". The term Sufism was introduced into European languages in the 18th century by Orientalist scholars, who viewed it as an intellectual doctrine and literary tradition at variance with what they saw as sterile monotheism of Islam. In modern scholarly usage the term serves to describe a wide range of social, cultural and religious phenomena associated with Sufis.
The original meaning of sufi seems to have been "one who wears wool", the Encyclopaedia of Islam calls other etymological hypotheses "untenable". Woollen clothes were traditionally associated with mystics. Al-Qushayri and Ibn Khaldun both rejected all possibilities other than ṣūf on linguistic grounds. Another explanation traces the lexical root of the word to ṣafā, which in Arabic means "purity"; these two explanations were combined by the Sufi al-Rudhabari, who said, "The Sufi is the one who wears wool on top of purity". Others have suggested that the word comes from the term ahl aṣ-ṣuffah, who were a group of impoverished companions of Muhammad who held regular gatherings of dhikr; these men and women who sat at al-Masjid an-Nabawi are considered by some to be the first Sufis. According to Carl W. Ernst the earliest figures of Sufism are Muhammad his companions. Sufi orders are based on the "bay‘ah", given to Muhammad by his Ṣahabah. By pledging allegiance to Muhammad, the Sahabah had committed themselves to the service of God.
Verily, those who give Bai'âh to you they are giving Bai'âh to Allâh. The Hand of Allâh is over their hands. Whosoever breaks his pledge, breaks it only to his own harm, whosoever fulfils what he has covenanted with Allâh, He will bestow on him a great reward. — Sufis believe that by giving bayʿah to a legitimate Sufi shaykh, one is pledging allegiance to Muhammad. It is through Muhammad that Sufis aim to learn about and connect with God. Ali is regarded as one of the
Adriaan Reland was a noted Dutch Orientalist scholar and philologist. He is considered to have made a long-lasting and significant contribution to research of the historical geography of early Palestine. Reland was the son of Johannes Reland, a Protestant minister, Aagje Prins in the small North Holland village of De Rijp. Adriaan's brother, was an influential lawyer in Haarlem. Reland first studied Latin language in Amsterdam at age 11, enrolled at University of Utrecht in 1693, at age 17, to study theology and philosophy. Interested in Hebrew and Syriac, he began studying Arabic. In 1699, after obtaining his doctorate in Utrecht, Reland moved to Leiden and tutored the son of Hans Willem Bentinck, 1st Earl of Portland; the latter invited him to move to England, but Reland declined because of his father's deteriorating health. In 1699, Reland was appointed Professor of Metaphysics at the University of Harderwijk. By this point, he had achieved fluency in Arabic and other Semitic languages. In 1701, at age 25, he was appointed Professor of Oriental Languages at the University of Utrecht.
Beginning in 1713, he taught Hebrew Antiquities. This was extended with a Chair in Jewish Antiquity. Reland gained renown for his research in Islamic linguistics. Additionally, he studied Persian and was interested in the relation of Eastern myths to the Old Testament, he published a work concerning East Asian myths, Dissertationum miscellanearum partes tres, in 1708. Moreover, he discovered the link for the Malay language to the Western Pacific dictionaries of Willem Schouten and Jacob Le Maire. Reland, through compiling Arabic texts, completed De religione Mohammedica libri duo in 1705; this work, extended in 1717, was considered the first objective survey of Islamic beliefs and practices. It became a reference work throughout Europe and was translated into Dutch, German and Spanish. Reland extensively researched Middle Eastern locations and biblical geography, taking interest in the Semitic peoples of Palestine, he published Antiquitates Sacrae veterum Hebraeorum and Palaestina ex monumentis veteribus illustrata, in which he described and mapped the geography of Palestine.
Reland retained his professorship for his entire life, additionally became a noted poet. In 1718, at age 41, he died of smallpox in Utrecht. De religione Mohammedica libri duo - the first European attempt to systematically describe Islamic religious practices. Utrecht 1705, 1717 Dutch Translation Verhandeling van de godsdienst der Mahometaanen, als mede van het krygs-regt by haar ten tyde van oorlog tegens de christenen gebruykelyk. Utrecht 1718 English translation: Of the Mahometan Religion, Two books. London 1712 German translation: Zwey Bücher von der Türkischen oder Mohammedischen Religion. Hannover 1716, 1717 French translation: La Religion des Mahometans exposée par leurs propres Docteurs, avec des éclaircissemens sur les opinions qu'on leur a Faussement attribuées; the Hague 1721 Palaestina ex monumentis veteribus illustrata - a detailed geographical survey of biblical Palestine, written in Latin. Published by Willem Broedelet. Utrecht 1714Dutch translation: Palestine opgeheldert, ofte they gelegentheyd van het Joodsche country.
Analecta rabbinica. Utrecht 1702, 1723 Dissertationum miscellanearum partes tres. Utrecht 1706-1708, 3 Teile Antiquitates sacrae veterum Hebraeorum. Utrecht 1708, 3. Uppl. 1717, 1741 De nummis veterum Hebraeorum. Utrecht 1709 Brevis introductio ad grammaticam Hebraeam Altingianam. Utrecht 2. Uppl. 1710, 1722 De natuurlijke wijsgeer - a Dutch translation of Ibn Tufail's Arabic novel Hayy ibn Yaqdhan. Printed by Pieter van der Veer. Amsterdam 1701 Galatea. Lusus poetica - a collection of Latin love-elegies, which brought Reland some fame as a Neolatin poet. Amsterdam 1701 Literature on Reland in Dutch Digital Library Maps by Reland Complete bibliography on WorldCat Hadriani Relandi Analecta Rabbinica, 2-nd ed. 1723 on Google Books Hadriani Relandi Palaestina ex monumentis veteribus illustrata 1714 on Google Books Chart of Southern India by van Keulen after Hadriano Relando. The Heinsius-Collectie: Adriaan Reland, 1676-1718 Map of Palestine by Relnad, 1714 Eran Laor Cartographic Collection; the National Library of Israel
Arabic epic literature
Arabic epic literature encompasses epic poetry and epic fantasy in Arabic literature. All societies have developed folk tales encompassing tales of heroes. Although many of these are legends, many are based on historical figures. Taghribat Bani Hilal is an Arabic epic recounting the Banu Hilal's journey from Egypt to Tunisia and conquest of the latter in the 11th century, it was declared one of mankind's Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by the UNESCO in 2003. In the 13th century, an Arabic epic poem entitled Antar was created based on Antarah ibn Shaddad, a pre-Islamic Arabian-Abyssinian warrior-poet. In 1898 the French painter Étienne Dinet published his translation of Antar, which brought Antar bin Shaddad to European notice, it has been followed by a number of derivative works such as Diana Richmond's Antar and Abla, which furthered Western exposure to the Antar bin Shaddad legends. The One Thousand and One Nights is the best known of all Arabic literature and which still shapes many of the ideas non-Arabs have about Arabic culture.
The stories of Aladdin and Ali Baba regarded as part of the Tales from One Thousand and One Nights, were not part of the Tales. They were first included in French translation of the Tales by Antoine Galland who heard them being told by a traditional storyteller and only existed in incomplete Arabic manuscripts before that; the other great character from Arabic literature, Sinbad, is from the Tales. The Thousand and One Nights is placed in the genre of Arabic epic literature along with several other works, they are like the Tales, collections of short stories or episodes strung together into a long tale. The extant versions were written down late on, after the 14th century, although many were undoubtedly collected earlier and many of the original stories are pre-Islamic. Types of stories in these collections include animal fables, stories of jihad or propagation of the faith, humorous tales, moral tales, tales about the wily con-man Ali Zaybaq and tales about the prankster Juha; the epic reached its final form by the 14th century.
All Arabian fantasy tales were called "Arabian Nights" when translated into English, regardless of whether they appeared in The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, in any version, a number of tales are known in Europe as "Arabian Nights" despite existing in no Arabic manuscript. This epic has been influential in the West since it was translated in the 18th century, first by Antoine Galland. Many imitations were written in France. Various characters from this epic have themselves become cultural icons in Western culture, such as Aladdin and Ali Baba. Part of its popularity may have sprung from the increasing historical and geographical knowledge, so that places of which little was known and so marvels were plausible had to be set further "long ago" or farther "far away". A number of elements from Arabian mythology and Persian mythology are now common in modern fantasy, such as genies, magic carpets, magic lamps, etc; when L. Frank Baum proposed writing a modern fairy tale that banished stereotypical elements, he included the genie as well as the dwarf and the fairy as stereotypes to go."Arabian Nights" was not the only Fantasy story that exist in Arabic epic literature.
Arabic short stories scripts was discovered in 1933 when Hellmut Ritter, a German orientalist, stumbled across it in the mosque of Ayasofya and translated it into his mother tongue. An Arabic edition was belatedly printed in 1956, it contains stories from the Arab world the stories originating in the 10th century, the title page of this medieval Arab story collection has been lost, but the opening sentence of its introduction declares that these are "al-hikayat al-‘ajiba wa’l-akhbar al-ghariba", which translate in english to "Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange". The Ottoman sultan Selim the Grim, having defeated the Mamluks in two major battles in Syria and Egypt; the sultan celebrated his victory by taking Arabic manuscripts and shipped to Istanbul and distributed among the city’s mosques. This is how the manuscript of Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange ended up in the library of the great mosque of Ayasofya; the stories are old, more than 1,000 years old, Six of these stories were included in the Arabian Nights, but most of the stories are quite new and are not found in the Arabian nights stories.
Tales of the Marvellous includes tales of the supernatural, comedy, Bedouin derring-do and one story dealing in apocalyptic prophecy. The contents page indicates that the complete manuscript contained 42 chapters, of which only 18 chapters containing 26 tales have survived. Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, considered the greatest epic of Italian literature, derived many features of and episodes about the hereafter directly or indirectly from Arabic works on Islamic eschatology: the Hadith and the Kitab al-Miraj concerning Muhammad's ascension to Heaven, the spiritual writings of Ibn Arabi. Al-Risalah al-Kamiliyyah fil Siera al-Nabawiyyah, known in English as Theologus Autodidactus, written by the Arabian polymath Ibn al-Nafis, is one of the earliest known science fiction novel. While being an early desert island story and coming of age story, the novel deals with various science fiction elements s
Arabic is a Central Semitic language that first emerged in Iron Age northwestern Arabia and is now the lingua franca of the Arab world. It is named after the Arabs, a term used to describe peoples living in the area bounded by Mesopotamia in the east and the Anti-Lebanon mountains in the west, in northwestern Arabia, in the Sinai Peninsula. Arabic is classified as a macrolanguage comprising 30 modern varieties, including its standard form, Modern Standard Arabic, derived from Classical Arabic; as the modern written language, Modern Standard Arabic is taught in schools and universities, is used to varying degrees in workplaces and the media. The two formal varieties are grouped together as Literary Arabic, the official language of 26 states, the liturgical language of the religion of Islam, since the Quran and Hadith were written in Arabic. Modern Standard Arabic follows the grammatical standards of Classical Arabic, uses much of the same vocabulary. However, it has discarded some grammatical constructions and vocabulary that no longer have any counterpart in the spoken varieties, has adopted certain new constructions and vocabulary from the spoken varieties.
Much of the new vocabulary is used to denote concepts that have arisen in the post-classical era in modern times. Due to its grounding in Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic is removed over a millennium from everyday speech, construed as a multitude of dialects of this language; these dialects and Modern Standard Arabic are described by some scholars as not mutually comprehensible. The former are acquired in families, while the latter is taught in formal education settings. However, there have been studies reporting some degree of comprehension of stories told in the standard variety among preschool-aged children; the relation between Modern Standard Arabic and these dialects is sometimes compared to that of Latin and vernaculars in medieval and early modern Europe. This view though does not take into account the widespread use of Modern Standard Arabic as a medium of audiovisual communication in today's mass media—a function Latin has never performed. During the Middle Ages, Literary Arabic was a major vehicle of culture in Europe in science and philosophy.
As a result, many European languages have borrowed many words from it. Arabic influence in vocabulary, is seen in European languages Spanish and to a lesser extent Portuguese, Catalan, owing to both the proximity of Christian European and Muslim Arab civilizations and 800 years of Arabic culture and language in the Iberian Peninsula, referred to in Arabic as al-Andalus. Sicilian has about 500 Arabic words as result of Sicily being progressively conquered by Arabs from North Africa, from the mid-9th to mid-10th centuries. Many of these words relate to related activities; the Balkan languages, including Greek and Bulgarian, have acquired a significant number of Arabic words through contact with Ottoman Turkish. Arabic has influenced many languages around the globe throughout its history; some of the most influenced languages are Persian, Spanish, Kashmiri, Bosnian, Bengali, Malay, Indonesian, Punjabi, Assamese, Sindhi and Hausa, some languages in parts of Africa. Conversely, Arabic has borrowed words from other languages, including Greek and Persian in medieval times, contemporary European languages such as English and French in modern times.
Classical Arabic is the liturgical language of 1.8 billion Muslims, Modern Standard Arabic is one of six official languages of the United Nations. All varieties of Arabic combined are spoken by as many as 422 million speakers in the Arab world, making it the fifth most spoken language in the world. Arabic is written with the Arabic alphabet, an abjad script and is written from right to left, although the spoken varieties are sometimes written in ASCII Latin from left to right with no standardized orthography. Arabic is a Central Semitic language related to the Northwest Semitic languages, the Ancient South Arabian languages, various other Semitic languages of Arabia such as Dadanitic; the Semitic languages changed a great deal between Proto-Semitic and the establishment of the Central Semitic languages in grammar. Innovations of the Central Semitic languages—all maintained in Arabic—include: The conversion of the suffix-conjugated stative formation into a past tense; the conversion of the prefix-conjugated preterite-tense formation into a present tense.
The elimination of other prefix-conjugated mood/aspect forms in favor of new moods formed by endings attached to the prefix-conjugation forms. The development of an internal passive. There are several features which Classical Arabic, the modern Arabic varieties, as well as the Safaitic and Hismaic inscriptions share which are unattested in any other Central Semitic language variety, including the Dadanitic and Taymanitic languages of the northern Hejaz; these features are evidence of common descent from Proto-Arabic. The following features can be reconstructed with confidence for Proto-Arabic: negative particles m *mā.