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10. The Maghreb

(3,953 words)

Author(s): Carl Brockelmann
In volume 2 | book 3, The Decline of Islamic Literature | Section 2, From the Conquest of Egypt by Sultan Selīm I in 1517 to the Napoleonic Expedition to Egypt in 1798 previous chapter | German edition While the eastern lands of the Muslim world, though culturally stagnant, lived in relative peace under the Ottomans, North Africa gradually sank into barbarism. From the end of the fifteenth century onward, the Corsairs and their successsors—Turkish pashas, the beys of Tripoli, Tunis, and Algiers—became completely engrossed in their m…

10. Two Forgeries

(626 words)

Author(s): Carl Brockelmann
|⁴³In volume 1 | book 1, The National Literature of the Arabs | Section 2, Muḥammad and His Time previous chapter | German edition 1. The manuscript Ref. 33 (Leipz. 505) contains, in addition to the two dīwāns just mentioned, another, supposedly by Abū Ṭālib, the uncle of Muḥammad, and the poems contained within it deal with relations between the Prophet and the Quraysh. Although some of the songs, whose tone is in accordance with the real situation in which Abū Ṭālib found himself, may actually be authentic, most of them were inve…

3. North Arabia

(3,321 words)

Author(s): Carl Brockelmann
In volume 2 | book 3, The Decline of Islamic Literature | Section 1, From Mongol Rule Until the Conquest of Egypt by Sultan Selīm I in the Year 1517 previous chapter | German edition The Mongol onslaught never reached Arabia, and the lives of the herdsmen and bandits who made up the Bedouins of Najd remained undisturbed. Only rarely was the peace of the holy places of Mecca and Medina disturbed by disputes, usually between the ruling families of sharifs or as a result of attempts by Egyptian or Yemeni rulers to bring the area und…

2. The Qurʾān

(898 words)

Author(s): Carl Brockelmann
In volume 1 | book 1, The National Literature of the Arabs | Section 2, Muḥammad and His Time previous chapter | German edition |³⁴In the earliest period of his religious activity, the Prophet emptied his soul in true ecstasy; in passionately emotional, and, for the most part, short and incoherent phrases in sajʿ, i.e. the rhyming prose of the kāhin. Later, when he transformed himself more and more from an ecstatic into a preacher, reciting his admonitions in long phrases that were often adorned with stories from the Old Testament and the Haggada, he con…

III Division of the History of Arabic Literature

(538 words)

Author(s): Carl Brockelmann
|⁷In volume 1 | Introduction previous chapter | German edition When Arab philologists separated the history of the poetry of their people into the two periods of the jāhiliyya1 (pre-Islamic time) and Islam, this was not to disparage the former in an act of religious self-conceit. Quite the opposite, in fact, for its pre-Islamic exponents were regarded as unsurpassable models, and pedantecism often went so far that a poet whose achievement was highly regarded was nevertheless belittled merely because he was born after Muḥammad.2 For this reason they created the intermediary class of the m…

10. Pseudo-ʿAlid Literature

(1,422 words)

Author(s): Carl Brockelmann
In volume S1 | book 1, The National Literature of the Arabs | Section 2, Muḥammad and His Time previous chapter | German edition Of the Dīwān attributed to Abū Ṭālib there is also a modern copy in Cairo2 III, 115. Sharḥ Lāmiyyat Abī Ṭālib by ʿAlī Fahmī al-Mūstārī, Istanbul 1327. |⁷⁴ 2. A large number of the verses attributed to ʿAlī were known to the ancient philologists (see al-Marzubānī, Muʿjam 279 ff.); it seems that Ibn Qutayba, ʿUyūn 2 III, 5, 17 (see also Ṭabarī, Tafsīr VI, 110) knew a Dīwān ʿAlī. Al-Zamakhsharī, on the other hand, is said to have recognised only two verses as au…

7. Fiqh

(19,709 words)

Author(s): Carl Brockelmann
In volume S1 | book 2, Islamic Literature in the Arabic Language | Section 1, The Classical Period from ca. 750 until ca. 1000 previous chapter | German edition Apart from legal norms derived from the Qurʾān and prophetic ḥadīth, and whose knowledge constituted the essence of ʿilm, there was, from early Islam onward, an interest in a separate review of questions that could not be decided on the basis of these sources alone. This is how fiqh emerged, whose results, the raʿy of the jurisconsult, lay claim to normative power. This effort began in early Umayyad times in Medina, w…

7. India

(2,580 words)

Author(s): Carl Brockelmann
In volume 2 | book 3, The Decline of Islamic Literature | Section 2, From the Conquest of Egypt by Sultan Selīm I in 1517 to the Napoleonic Expedition to Egypt in 1798 previous chapter | German edition As part of a general increase in Islamic culture, Mongol rule in India also advanced Arabic literature, even though it took a backseat to literature in Persian as it was mainly limited to theology. It was only on the west coast, in Gujarat and Malabar, which were in regular contact with South Arabia and the Hijaz, that it gained increased importance. 1 Philology 3. Aḥmad b. Abi ’l-Ghayth b. Mughl…

2. Rhymed Prose and Stylistics

(2,225 words)

Author(s): Carl Brockelmann
In volume 1 | book 2, Islamic Literature in the Arabic Language | Section 2, The Post-Classical Period of Islamic Literature from ca. 400/1000 until ca. 656/1258 previous chapter | German edition 1. Abu ’l-Walīd Aḥmad b. ʿAbdallāh b. Ghālib b. Zaydūn al-Makhzūmī was born in 394/1003 in Cordova where, being from a good family, he soon gained a prominent role. He won the love of Wallāda, the witty and emancipated daughter of the Umayyad caliph al-Mustakfī billāh, who had been murdered in 416/1025.1 This love raised the suspicions of the ruler of Cordova, Abu ’l-Ḥazm Jawhar, who …

13. Mathematics

(3,126 words)

Author(s): Carl Brockelmann
|²¹⁵In volume 1 | book 2, Islamic Literature in the Arabic Language | Section 1, The Classical Period from ca. 750 until ca. 1000 previous chapter | German edition L.P.E.A. Sédillot, Matériaux pour servir à lʼhistoire comparée des sciences mathématiques chez les Grecs et les Orientaux, 2 vols., Paris 1845/9. |²³⁹M. Cantor, Vorlesungen über Geschichte der Mathematik, vol. I, Leipzig 1880, 593/700. H.P.J. Renaud, Additions et corrections à Suter, Isis XVIII, 1932, 166/88. Aldo Mieli, La Science Arabe et son rôle dans lʼévolution scientifique mondiale, avec quelques addit…

8. Abū Miḥjan and al-Ḥuṭayʾa

(383 words)

Author(s): Carl Brockelmann
In volume 1 | book 1, The National Literature of the Arabs | Section 2, Muḥammad and His Time previous chapter | German edition A younger contemporary of Muḥammad was Abū Miḥjan—whose real name is sometimes given as ʿAmr, though at other times as Mālik or ʿAbdallāh b. Ḥabīb—of the tribe of Thaqīf in the Hijaz. When the Prophet, after his capture of Mecca, also wanted to conquer this tribe, Abū Miḥjan took part in the defence of al-Ṭāʾif, the capital. However, when his tribe surrendered he converted to Islam, on 9 Ramaḍ…

7. Fiqh

(8,827 words)

Author(s): Carl Brockelmann
|¹⁶⁸In volume 1 | book 2, Islamic Literature in the Arabic Language | Section 1, The Classical Period from ca. 750 until ca. 1000 previous chapter | German edition See Suppl. I, 282/3 Older literature: A. v. Kremer, Culturgeschichte des Islāms I, 470/500, E. Sachau, Zur ältesten Geschichte des muhammedanischen Rechts, SBWA 65 (1875), 669/723, A. Sprenger, Eine Skizze der Entwicklungsgeschichte des muslimischen Gesetzes, Z. f. vergl. Rechtswiss. X, 1/31, Goldziher, Die Ẓāhiriten 3/19, MSt. II, 73/8. 1 The Ḥanafīs Die Krone der Lebensbeschreibungen, enthaltend die Klassen der…

8. North Africa

(9,318 words)

Author(s): Carl Brockelmann
In volume 2 | book 3, The Decline of Islamic Literature | Section 1, From Mongol Rule Until the Conquest of Egypt by Sultan Selīm I in the Year 1517 previous chapter | German edition North Africa faced the eastern lands of Islam as one united bloc, even though Tunis and Morocco, and, before 796/1393, Algeria as well, under the Ziyānids, were independent states. |³⁰⁷ Through the movement of the Almohads, the Berbers, who had always outnumbered the Arabs, had finally also got the better of them politically and culturally, even though they were unable to assert…

I The Task of Literary History

(590 words)

Author(s): Carl Brockelmann
|¹In volume 1 | Introduction previous chapter | German edition |¹In its widest sense, one may call “literature” everything that has been written, or spoken and then written down, for the purpose of having it remembered. For this reason, A. Boeckh suggested including inscriptions as part of a people’s literature. In cases where the history of a dead language is written using a limited number of monuments one can also employ charters, letters, and the like. But when a language has such a rich abundance of e…

2. Poetry

(6,865 words)

Author(s): Carl Brockelmann
In volume 1 | book 2, Islamic Literature in the Arabic Language | Section 1, The Classical Period from ca. 750 until ca. 1000 previous chapter | German edition As early as the latter years of Umayyad rule, the qaṣīda had disappeared as a poetic art form. Considering that its limited, traditional subject matter was entirely linked to the life of the desert, it was no longer suitable for the entirely different conditions of the creolised, Arabo-Persian population of the big cities, which now formed the centre of intellectual life. The different elements of the old qaṣīda, to the extent to wh…

11. The Translators

(3,338 words)

Author(s): Carl Brockelmann
In volume 1 | book 2, Islamic Literature in the Arabic Language | Section 1, The Classical Period from ca. 750 until ca. 1000 previous chapter | German edition M. Steinschneider, Die arabischen Übersetzungen aus dem Griechischen, Einleitung 1–24, Centralblatt für Bibliothekswesen Beiheft 5 Jahrg. VI, 1889, I Abschnitt Philosophie (25–84), Beiheift 12, Jahrg. X 1893, III Die griechischer Ärzte § 1–34, Virchows Archiv 124 (1891), 115/36, 268/96, 455/87, II Mathematik, § 85–139, §140, Alchemie, Index, ZDMG 50, 161/219, 357/417.1 W. Kutsch, Zur Geschichte der syrisch-arab. Über…

2. Al-Jazīra, Iraq, and Bahrain

(2,038 words)

Author(s): Carl Brockelmann
In volume 2 | book 3, The Decline of Islamic Literature | Section 2, From the Conquest of Egypt by Sultan Selīm I in 1517 to the Napoleonic Expedition to Egypt in 1798 previous chapter | German edition Even the Ottoman conquest of the year 1048/1638 was not able to resuscitate the lifeless culture of the lands of the Euphrates and the Tigris. The officials of the sultan had to be content with defending, as well as they could, the remains of its material culture against outside pressure from Arab and Kurdish nomads. As such, Arabic l…

5. Kaʿb b. Zuhayr

(454 words)

Author(s): Carl Brockelmann
In volume 1 | book 1, The National Literature of the Arabs | Section 2, Muḥammad and His Time previous chapter | German edition had inherited his talent as a poet from his father (see p. 15). He flourished during the time Islam conquered the whole of Arabia in its unstoppable, victorious march. Both his tribe, Muzayna, and his brother Bujayr adopted the new faith, and as such the poet made fun of this in mocking verse. When Muḥammad learned of this he pronounced the death sentence on him. In order not to fall victim to a random fanatic, Kaʿb now had to obtain the Prophet’s pardon at any price. |³³|³⁹ Th…

12. Mathematics

(3,753 words)

Author(s): Carl Brockelmann
In volume S1 | book 2, Islamic Literature in the Arabic Language | Section 2, The post-Classical Period of Islamic Literature, from ca. 400/1000 until ca. 656/1258 previous chapter | German edition 1. Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥasan (as such in Ibn al-Qifṭī, but in Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa it is ‘Muḥammad’) b. al-Ḥasan (al-Ḥusayn b. Ḥusayn) b. Haytham al-Baṣrī al-Miṣrī (the ‘Alhazen’ of the Latins), was born around 354/965, and died in 430/1039. |⁸⁵² Al-Bayhaqī, Tatimma 77, Ibn Sāʿid, Ṭab. 60 (transl. Blachère, 116), Ibn al-Qifṭī 165/1, Jamīl Bek, ʿUqūd al-jawhar I, 54/61, Izmirli Ismāʿīl Ḥaqqī in Ilāh. Fak. M…

9. Jewish and Christian Poets before Islam

(1,082 words)

Author(s): Carl Brockelmann
In volume 1 | book 1, The National Literature of the Arabs | Section 1, From the Beginnings until the Appearance of Muḥammad previous chapter | German edition 1. The Jewish colonies in the northern Hijaz were most probably founded by refugees from Palestine after the crushing of their revolt by the Roman emperors Titus and Hadrian. Even though they had been completely Arabised and had also adopted members of authentic Arab tribes into their midst they remained connected to their country of origin not only by their written …
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