The Islamic Context of The Thousand and One Nights by Muhsin al-Musawi

By Muhsin al-Musawi

In this attention-grabbing research, Muhsin J. al-Musawi exhibits how deeply Islamic background and tradition is embedded within the stories of The Thousand and One Nights (known to many because the Arabian Nights) and the way this integration invitations readers to make an Islamic milieu. Conservative Islam dismisses The Thousand and One Nights as facile renowned literature, and liberal perspectives omit the wealthy Islamic context of the textual content. coming near near the textual content with a clean and impartial eye, al-Musawi reads the stories opposed to Islamic faculties of proposal and theology and recovers persuasive ancient facts to bare the cultural and spiritual fight over Islam that drives the book's narrative stress and binds its probably fragmented stories.

Written via a couple of authors over a stretch of centuries, The Thousand and One Nights depicts a burgeoning, city Islamic tradition in all its sort and complexity. As al-Musawi demonstrates, the stories record their very own locations and classes of construction, reflecting the Islamic individual's turning out to be publicity to a few entertainments and temptations and their clash with the responsibilities of religion. geared toward a various viewers, those tales stick to a story arc that starts with corruption and ends with redemption, conforming to a paradigm that agrees with the sociological and spiritual matters of Islam and the Islamic country. by means of emphasizing Islam in his research of those unique and tutorial stories, al-Musawi not just illuminates the work's constant equation among paintings and lifestyles, yet he additionally sheds mild on its underlying narrative strength. His research deals an excellent portrait of medieval Islam in addition, specially its social, political, and monetary associations and its special practices of storytelling.

Show description

Read or Download The Islamic Context of The Thousand and One Nights PDF

Best middle eastern books

The Muslim Revolt: A Journey Through Political Islam (Columbia Hurst)

"We pay a excessive expense after we fail to appreciate Islam," writes Roger Hardy during this well timed advisor. Designed for readers of all backgrounds, this booklet demystifies the phenomenon of Islamism and the forces that force it, situating the flow inside of a clarifying background that perspectives Islamism, for the final 2 hundred years, because the fabricated from a conflict opposed to Western domination and on account of the disappointments of modernization.

Okakura Tenshin and Pan-Asianism: Shadows of the Past

This quantity explores 4 key issues emanating from Okakura Tenshin's philosophy and legacy: Okakura Tenshin and the appropriate of Pan-Asianism; other kinds of Pan-Asianism (especially Islam and China); artwork and Asia; and, methods of defining Asia (up to the current day). Okakura Tenshin (1862-1913), paintings historian and ideologue pushed via a suggestion of Asia certain by means of tradition, is an important determine in Japan's sleek highbrow heritage.

Additional info for The Islamic Context of The Thousand and One Nights

Sample text

Adultery rarely passes without punishment in the tales; the case of the abducted bride and the ifrit in the frame tale is an exception, as it combines abduction, fornication, and revenge in a wilderness where laws do not hold. As the family becomes as institutionalized as the state in its keeping with middle-class ethics, its strength and unity is behind the dynamic storytelling, its cycles of loss and gain, disappointment and joy. Transgressions, including familial matters such as greed, jealousy, and deceit, have a place in this narrative.

The fifth chapter follows these narrative topics with an analysis of the tales as popular literature, a literature no less threatening to the elite and its centers of power than the sprawling suburbs that historically became a nuisance, if not a menacing presence, to the caliphate’s center and its privileged domains. In this context, the tales move away from the basic frame tale toward another habitat, where the disguised slaves of the garden scene in the frame tale are more powerful in their own mounds and outskirts, though they remain within the reach of the intimidating rod and sword of authority.

The second chapter argues that the transition into an urban society of great complexity finds itself well expressed—but not reflected—in this collection. One may suggest that other tales and collections that supposedly migrated from Indo-Persian sources, such as ibn al-Muqaffa’s (d. 759) Kalilah wa-Dimnah, are no less significant in this respect and deserve the same analytic application. The latter is an allegorical work with impressive insights into statecraft, human nature, and, by implication, right belief.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.73 of 5 – based on 44 votes