Saudi Arabia Poetry and Prose

Saudi Arabia Poetry and Prose


Although the poets are criticized in Sura 26, 224-26 in the Koran, this did not affect poetry. Mohammed’s († 632) praise poet Hassan Ibn Thabit and Kab Ibn Suhair sang about him and his mission. On Omaijadenhof in Damascus exchanged by 700 rivals Djarir and Farasdak, this supported by the Christian Achtal, artful coarse invective poems – in identical rhymes and meters parallel themes – in the language of ancient Arabic poetry. In this, Achtal also wrote poems of praise and abuse in support of the Umayyad politics.

Though townspeople for a long time, Dhu r-Rumma and Ruba Ibn al-Adjdjadj cultivated Bedouin traditions both linguistically and thematically. The anthology “al-Mufaddalijat” (8th century) provides information on the persistence and change of Bedouin ideals. The motif of tragic love (Madjnun and Laila) can be found in the tribe of the Udhrites (the Asra in H. Heine) and was later cultivated, also as a contrast to an increasingly lascivious courtly poetry and prose.

The main exponent of early urban poetry was the Meccan Omar Ibn Abi Rabia with revealing love poems for women of society. The Umayyad caliph Walid II († [murdered] 744) became known through light, provocative drinking and udhritic love songs. In the Abbasid period, after the founding of Baghdad as a metropolis in 762, based on elements of Bedouin poetry, genres such as the exuberant courtly praise poem developed, which contributed to the poet’s livelihood as well as the crude humiliation poem on political opponents of the respective prince and rival of the poet. Furthermore, the genres of the (also homoerotic) love poem (Ghazel) emerged), Wine and hunting poems, religious or ascetic poems as well as philosophical or wisdom poems, natural and descriptive poems (e.g. on food, buildings, parks, objects of court life), sometimes also oscillating, such as praise and mourning poems on court personalities as well Cities or regions. They all set a monument to court life.

The blind Bashshar Ibn Burd, suspected of heresy, of Persian origin, was known for praise, biting mockery and tender love poems, Abbas Ibn al-Ahnaf († 803 or after 808) as the courtly love poet for his beloved Faus, the libertine Abu Nuwas for his often lascivious, mostly homoerotic love and wine poems and Abu l-Atahija for rather anti-court ascetic poems in simple, natural language. As the first female mystic, Rabia al-Adawija (* 714?, † 801) from Basra became legendary. Hussain Ibn Mansur al-Halladj , who was crucified in Baghdad in 922, wrote delicate mystical poetry.

In Iraq, the New Style arose with more unusual images and metaphors. B. from Abu Tammam and his student Buchturi in their praise poems and from the subtle subsequent caliph for a day, Ibn al-Mutass, in wine, love and descriptive poems. He also wrote the first theoretical treatise on the “New Style”.

With the decline of the central government in Iraq, literary work shifted to smaller courts. Art-loving princes and viziers, often with large libraries, were patrons and had literary circles. Aleppo was exemplary for this in the 10th century withMutanabbi, known for artistic praise, but also insulting poetry of various rulers, and its critic, the poet-prince Abu Firas, famous for his elegiac and defiant poems from Byzantine captivity. Away from the courtyards, new forms and contents emerged, e.g. B. by the blind religious skeptic Abu l-Ala al-Maarri with his ” missive of forgiveness” and artistic, often resigned philosophical poems. The Egyptians Ibn al-Farid and Abu Busiri became famous for their mystical and religious poetry, respectively. Abu Dulaf (10th century) and later the Shiite Safi ad-Din al-Hilli (* 1278, † 1349) at Sunni courts wrote long poems about the counterworld of beggars and crooks, with milieu-specific vocabulary. The latter also wrote stanza poems in the vernacular, e.g. B. Diabolical poems on the month of fasting.


According to Youremailverifier, the first work in Islamic-Arabic prose literature is the Koran. Linguistically and stylistically, it is considered to be the miracle proof of the prophet Mohammed, so exemplary for all time, but inimitable. He influenced all of the later poetry and prose through quotations, quotations of prayers, oaths, instructions, warnings, stories about Koranic prophets and allusions to them, to this day also deeply and sometimes in opposite directions.

Basis of Adab, the instructive and entertaining literature, were next to ancient Arab prose and poetry that was collected from the 8th century and recorded in writing, translations of court secretaries from Middle Persian, especially since the early Abbasid Ibn Mukaffa, as well as from the Greek and Syrian, also Indian narrative materials and traditions. Ibn Mukaffa made the genre of the prince mirror (didactic-ethical writings about the ideal governance of a ruler based on Islamic rules of conduct and Middle Persian advisory literature) popular (e.g. Kalila and Dimna), which was interspersed with numerous anecdotes, verses of wisdom and narrative reports in a later Arabic adaptation. Founder of Adab as a thematically diverse genre of literature, mixed with anecdotes, memories, proverbs, proverbs of various origins, Koran verses, prophetic words, artistic letters, sermons, speeches, poems and comments by the compilers with informative prefaces, Djahis from Basra wasfull of many, sometimes extensive, works sharp, witty observations. He was followed by, among others. Ibn Kutaiba with his “quintessences of reports”, the Baghdad Tauhidi (* around 927, † 1023) at the court of Raj with his “book of spiritual insights and precious holdings”, the Chwaresmian commentator on the Koran Samachschari (* 1075, † 1144) with his “Spring of the Pious” and the Egyptian Ibschihi (* 1388, † around 1446) with his “Book of the Elegant on Every Art of the Extra”, thematically arranged Adab encyclopedias.

Tauhidi artistically recorded the literary circle at the court of Raj in his “Book of Pleasure and Sociability”. Abu l-Faradj al-Isfahani’s “Book of Songs” in 24 volumes is a unique source of cultural and social history (Arabic-Islamic philosophy, Arabic science). Since the 9th century with Djahis, anthologies have been created with anecdotes, memories and longer narratives on specific main topics. Such topics included “Joy after suffering” (as a literary psychotherapeutic in times of feudal arbitrariness; Tanuchi, * 940, † 924), “Good and Bad” (about the ambivalences of human behavior and well-being, also as an aid to decision-making; Baihaki, 1st half of the 10th century), similar to “seriousness and pain” (as a standard topic in prose and poetry up to the 19th century) or groups of people (stingy people, clever minds, thieves, the blind, lame, women, viziers, court secretaries).

From around 900 onwards, Arabic rhyming prose shone in epistles, political speeches, sermons and cover titles for almost all prose works. It found a high point in the genre of the Makame, the »beggar’s address«, spirited Picaro novels, which set verbal art monuments to the educated vagabonds of the time (founded by Ahmed al-Hamadhani , brought to perfection by Hariri and in content variants continued into the 19th century). A separate literary genre was the dispute over poetry, which also lived on until the beginning of the 20th century: flowers, fruits, animals, groups of people, drinks, branches of science, and later also means of transport, playfully argue for their social value in poetry and rhyming prose.

Saudi Arabia Poetry