Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Adab Literature: 9th to 13th Century
(1,597 words)

Adab encompasses various literal and metaphorical meanings. Conventionally, adab has been used to refer to the profane literature as distinct from ʿilm, which refers to the religious sciences. It has been defined to include the “best” of what had been said in the form of verse, prose, and anecdotes on every subject which an educated man, an adīb, is supposed to know. The task was that of transmitting a canon of knowledge belonging to general culture, offering an education in aesthetics, and inculcating ethical values (Leder and Kilpatrick 1992).

Adab literature is heterogeneous, org…

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El Cheikh, Nadia Maria, “Adab Literature: 9th to 13th Century”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 02 February 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICSIM_0031>
First published online: 2009

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