Saudi Arabia Learned Literature

The learned literature also began with the Koran, which was initially not allowed to be translated. Because God’s word should not be conveyed and explained to the growing multitude of Muslims in the Arabic language, philology with grammars, dictionaries and rhetorical manuals as well as theology with extensive Koran commentaries developed. The scientists were often polyhistorians and traveled widely to gain knowledge. Chalil from Basra founded the Arabic metric system and wrote the first dictionary based on word roots, which was, however, sorted phonetically. His pupil, the Persian Sibawaih, wrote the first major grammar. Schools of philology emerged in Basra and Kufa in the 9th century. Philologists collected ancient Arabic poetry for documentary purposes.

Islamic religious law was taught in or near mosques. It received its canonical form among the Sunnis in the law schools of Abu Hanifa , Malik , Schafii and Ibn Hanbal , which still exist today, and among the Twelve Shiites in the Djafarija. It produced many extensive works. The adab includes special works on the conduct of the judge. In addition to the Koran, the legal source was the literature on Muhammad’s words and deeds, Hadith, systematically collected and recorded in extensive compendia since the 9th century. Especially the hadiths of Bukhari and the Muslim Ibn al-Hadjdjadj (* around 820, † 875) became canonical. They also contain anecdotes, stories and memories, some of them from the time after Mohammed.

Philologists, theologians and religious lawyers paved the way for universities (madrasas) with large libraries, e.g. B. the Nisamija (founded 1066/67) and the Mustansirija (founded 1227) in Baghdad, the Azhar (teaching since 978) in Cairo and the Saituna (founded 1283) in Tunis, which replaced the mosque college of Kairouan. The extensive theological literature ranged from works of Sunni Orthodoxy (Ashari) to the comprehensive “revival of the religious sciences” by Abu H. Ghasali , who after a crisis of faith wanted to soften orthodox rigor with elements of mysticism.

Systematic and alphabetical reference works opened up the practical and theoretical sciences, e. B. the first lexical encyclopedia of charismi (2nd half of the 10th century). Extensive grammars, multi-volume dictionaries (beginning with Djauharifrom Transoxania), rhetorical manuals (Djahis , Ibn Kutaiba ) and encyclopedias, etymological name books (Ibn Duraid, * 837, † 933) and highly developed poetics (Ibn Tabataba) testify to the high esteem in which the language culture is held , † 934; Kudama Ibn Djafar, † 948; Ibn Raschik, * 1000, † 1063 or 1071, from Kairouan; Djurdjani, † 1081; Kartadjanni, * 1211, † 1285, from Carthage), who was influenced by Greek models.

According to payhelpcenter, the writing of history, the biography and the geography produced considerable works, also linked in terms of content: The writing of history is rich in depictions of individual epochs, dynasties, places, religions, personalities as well as overall views, both in the context of salvation stories as well as concrete political, power-stabilizing, integrating interests. Most historiographical and biographical works contain anecdotes, memories and verses. The oldest story of the Prophet Mohammed goes back to Ibn Ishak. Baladhuri († 892) wrote a story of the conquest. The conquest of Egypt was shown by Abd al-Hakam († 871). The Persian Tabari († 923) With his »History of the Prophets of Kings«, following on from earlier Arabic annals and chronicles as well as translations from Middle Persian and Greek, he wrote a multi-volume world history from Islamic times in annals. He followed z. B. Ibn al-Athir from Mosul. Local histories often contain valuable topographical and biographical information, e.g. B. the Chronicle of Damascus in 80 volumes by Ibn Asakir († 1176).

Valuable sources are the detailed historical-biographical works on certain groups of people, e.g. on Muhammad’s family, early followers and descendants (Ibn Sad), on theologians, traditional scholars (Ibn Hadjar), viziers (Marsubani), writers (Jakut), doctors (Ibn al-Kifti, † 1248), judges, philologists and court secretaries. Chatib al-Baghdadi (* 1002, † 1071) compiled around 8,000 biographies of famous Baghdad personalities (mainly men, but also some women) in his “History of Baghdad”. Ibn Challikans “Dates of death and notables” contain 855 biographies of personalities whose date of death was known. Dhahabi wrote biographical encyclopedias on notables, Koran reciters and others, Safadi († 1363) a gigantic encyclopedia with 14,000 articles and two smaller ones on well-known contemporaries and famous blind people.

From the 9th century onwards, geography developed based on Greek, Sassanid and Indian traditions as well as travel observation. It comprised itineraries intended for the post office and for pilgrims (Mohammed Ibn Musa Charismi ), geographical works (Ibn Chordadhbeh; Ibn Haukal, * 943, † 983; Mukaddasi), explanatory maps (Balchi, † 934) and those with an entertaining adab -Character (Ibn al-Fakih, around 903). Masudi’s “gold washes” are a large compendium of cultural history and geography. The “Chronology of the Ancient Peoples” by the mathematician and astronomer Biruni and his book on the religions and sciences of India bear witness to universal thinking. Travel descriptions are informative in terms of social and cultural history: from Ibn Fadlan about a trip to the Volga Bulgarians, from Ibn Jakub about trips to several European countries, from Ibn Djubair († 1217) about a trip from Spain via North Africa to Mecca, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and back, from Ibn Battuta over a journey from North Africa to India and China and from Abd al-Ghani. Idrisi from Ceuta created a comprehensive geographical representation with a world map at the court of Rogers II in Palermo. The Prince of HamaAbu l-Fida is informative in its geographical compilation and its world history as a contemporary witness. Kaswini and Dimaschki († 1327) wrote cosmographies. Yakut’s »Geographical Lexicon« is very rich in biographical and historical scientific information.

The Mongol storm in the 13th century destroyed the centers of Islamic-Arab culture in the east, which only gradually recovered. Great historical works were created in Egypt, for example by Makrisi, known especially for his detailed typography Kairos, and by Ibn Ijas (a chronicle). Ibn Arabshah wrote a biography of Timur who held him prisoner for a long time. Djabarti became a chronicler of the Napoleonic expedition in Egypt 1798–1801 with several works. – Ibn al-Khatib, courtier, poet and scholar in Granada and Fez, is particularly known for regionally specific historical and a biographical work. The cyclical theory of history of the Tunisian Ibn Chaldun in the introduction to his world history was unique for the Middle Ages. The encyclopedic works of the Egyptians Nuwairi (* 1297, † 1332), Kalkaschandi (* 1355, † 1418), Sachawi (* 1427, † 1497) and the polyhistor Sujuti († 1505) have not been scientifically developed to this day. The annotated book directory of the Hadjdji Chalifa from Constantinople continued the tradition of the Baghdad bookseller Ibn an-Nadim, but also includes Persian and Turkish works.

Saudi Arabia Learned Literature