Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Representations: Dream Literature: Overview
(3,439 words)

There exist at least two types of dream literature in Arabic. The first is mainly represented by a unique collection of brief accounts of dreams, the Kitāb al-Manām by Ibn Abī al-Dunyā (208–81/823–94). This is the only known example of collected dream narratives but the material comprising it was drawn from earlier sources and was repeated in subsequent works belonging to various genres (Ibn Abī Dunyā 1994, 11–15). The purpose of the dream narratives collected in Kitāb al-Manām was to edify by delivering moral counsel.

The second type of dream literature consists of manuals expl…

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Mavroudi, Maria, “Representations: Dream Literature: Overview”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 30 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0622>
First published online: 2009

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