Skip to main content

Islamic Literature: Overview of Islamic Literature

Provides an overview of Arabic literature, primarily books, poetry and folktales. The literary works by Arabic speaking Turks, Persians, Syrians, Egyptians, Indians, Jews, and other Africans and Asians, as well as the Arabs themselves.

FIVE PERIODS OF ISLAMIC LITERATURE

PRE-ISLAMIC PERIOD
To  610

Covers 150 years and ends when Mohammed arrives with his teachings. Koran was the first literary prose and is still considered to be the finest work of poetry and eloquence.
EARLY ISLAMIC PERIOD

Begins with the Revalation of the Koran and includes the literature of the Prophet's time. Ends with the fall of the Umayyad Empire in 750.

The Umayyads runtil until 750 and their capital was Damascus, Syria, considered to be one of the most important cultural centers in the world. The Umayyads contact with the Greeks, Persians, and Indian cultures created a cultural renaissance of Arabic music and dance. Poetry was connected

ABBASID PERIOD Begins in 750  and is considered the glorious days of Islamic civilization and Islamic literature. This period ends in 1256 with the fall of Bagdad and its capture by the Mongol hordes.
PERIOD OF DECLINE Lasts until the renaissance of Arabic literature in the middle of the 19th century. Few great writers emerged during this period.
RENAISSANCE OF ARABIC LITERATURE This time is also known as An-Nahda. Arrived with the influence of Western literature and the growing Arab nationalistic movement. Modern libraries were built, and many scientific, literary, and political societies were founded. This period continue up into present day.