28 Facts About Arabic literature


Arabic literature is the writing, both as prose and poetry, produced by writers in the Arabic language.

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The Arabic word used for literature is Adab, which is derived from a meaning of etiquette, and which implies politeness, culture and enrichment.

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Arabic literature emerged in the 5th century with only fragments of the written language appearing before then.

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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 in the Arab diaspora, achieving increasing success.

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Jahili literature is the literature of the pre-Islamic period referred to as al-Jahiliyyah, or "the time of ignorance".

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Some important poets in Abbasid Arabic literature were: Bashar ibn Burd, Abu Nuwas, Abu-l-'Atahiya, Muslim ibn al-Walid, Abbas Ibn al-Ahnaf, and Al-Hussein bin ad-Dahhak.

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Andalusi Arabic literature was produced in Al-Andalus, or Islamic Iberia, from its Muslim conquest in 711 to either the Catholic conquest of Granada in 1492 or the Expulsion of the Moors ending in 1614.

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Sufi Arabic literature played an important role in literary and intellectual life in the region from this early period, such as Muhammad al-Jazuli's book of prayers Dala'il al-Khayrat.

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Translation of foreign Arabic literature was a major element of the Nahda period.

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Common theme in the modern Arabic literature novel is the study of family life with obvious resonances of the wider family of the Arabic literature world.

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Muhammad inspired the first Arabic literature biographies, known as Al-Sirah Al-Nabawiyyah; the earliest was by Wahb ibn Munabbih, but Muhammad ibn Ishaq wrote the best known.

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Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik was instrumental in enriching the literature by instructing scholars to translate works into Arabic.

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The Persian language Kusraw i Kawadan ud redak-ew, translated into Arabic literature after the conquest of the Sasanian Empire by Arab armies in the 7th century, was a guide to the sophisticated culinary and court culture of the time, written as a fictionalized narrative about an orphan descended from priestly roots who learns the ways of Khosrow I's court.

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The historian regarded as the greatest of all Arabic literature historians though is ibn Khaldun whose history Muqaddimah focuses on society and is a founding text in sociology and economics.

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Arabic literature's diary was the earliest to be arranged in order of date, very much like modern diaries.

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Literary criticism in Arabic literature often focused on religious texts, and the several long religious traditions of hermeneutics and textual exegesis have had a profound influence on the study of secular texts.

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Not many writers would write works in this al-ammiyyah or common language and it was felt that Arabic literature had to be improving, educational and with purpose rather than just entertainment.

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Finally, she ascertained that Arabic children's literature is an important contribution the development of Arab society, crucial to keeping Arab culture and the Arabic language alive.

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Women's literature in Arabic has been relatively little researched, and features relatively little in most Arabic-language education systems, meaning that its prominence and importance is probably generally underrated.

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Pre-Islamic women's Arabic literature seems to have been limited to the genre of marathiya.

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Arabic literature wrote The Case of Contemporary Poets which is considered a major contribution to Arab literary criticism.

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Arabic literature is best known for her unconventional comments on Arab and Muslim issues and her involvement in global feminism.

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Contemporary Arab women's literature has been strongly influenced by the diaspora of Arabic-speakers, who have produced writing not only in Arabic, but in other languages, prominently English, French, Dutch and German.

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Some first studies of Arabic literature poetry are Qawa'id al-shi'r or The Rules of Poetry by Tha'lab and Naqd al-shi'r or Poetic Criticism by Qudamah ibn Ja'far.

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Arabic literature was considered by many the greatest of all Arab poets, but his own arrogant self-regard for his abilities did not endear him to other writers and they looked for a source for his verse.

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Arguably his most notable work is A Guide to Understanding Arabic literature Poetry, written over thirty-five years and published in four volumes of several thousand pages.

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One of the first important translations of Arabic literature was Robert of Ketton's translation of the Qur'an in the twelfth century, but it would not be until the early eighteenth century that much of the diverse Arabic literature would be recognised.

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Antoine Galland's French translation of the Thousand and One Nights was the first major work in Arabic literature which found great success outside the Muslim world.

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