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Arabic Classics.

Yassine
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8/25/2015 2:19:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
- Any Arabic speaking people here? Do you have any favourite classics? How about others, do you have favourites of your own? Please share with us your favourite classics, no matter what your language is, & tell us what you like about them.

- Even though my most favourite books are not novels, I still like a number of them (I generally prefer more scholarly types, relating to religion, law, theology, philosophy, history, science"). My favourite ones are primarily in Arabic, obviously, plus few favourite classics in French, which some of you might be familiar with: Cyrano de Bergerac by Rostand, L'Avare by Moliere, L'Argent by Zola, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo"

- One of my most favourite Arabic classics is Rashf az-Zulal Mina as-Sahri al-Halal ("Aspiring Delight From Unforbidden Enchantment") by the muslim polymath Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti (d. 1505) who wrote over 600 books in a wide variety of fields.

- The novel is a story of 20 single scholars who, upon attending a sermon the day of Eid (Islamic holiday) in which the imam spoke about & praised marriage, decided all to get married, consummate their marriage on the same date, & get together the next morning. That morning, they gathered in a sitting & each of them was required to provide an account of his night, how he spent it with his new wife. From the plot, the novel might sound like a Middle Ages version of Fifty Shades of Grey! But, that couldn"t be further from the truth!

- What is fascinating to me about the novel & the reasons I like it are:
1. The whole concept is interesting & amusing.
2. The 20 scholars are from different backgrounds: a reciter, an exegetist, a historian, a jurist, a theorist, a dialectician, a lexicographer, a linguist, a grammarian, three rhetoricians, a poet, an author, a mathematician, a physicist, an astronomer, a physician, a logician & a mystic (sufi). So, the variety of characters is very refreshing.
3. The entire discussion is metaphorical & thus quite clever. All accounts are a series of metaphors & allusions about marriage, foreplay & sex. Which makes it much much more enjoyable than an actual erotic account, at least from a literary perspective.
4. Each of these characters provides an account of the first night he spent with his wife in accordance with his own background, trying to act witty & show off his eloquence & expertise. The logician would be relating his story in Logic terminology & allusions. The jurist would be relating his in the way a jurist would, in legal jargon. The rhetorician would be using all kinds of rhetorical tools. The doctor would be making references about anatomy & physiology" & that makes it highly intellectual as well.
5. It being metaphorical & in different jargons & styles makes the novel much more harder to get. One would have to be familiar with the field in which the character speaks to really get what he is saying. For instance, if you"re not familiar with Logic, you will probably not understand the allusions the logician is making. So, once you get it, you feel proud, like you unlocked a level or something!
6. The text is an alternation of poetry & rhymed prose (saj"). The style, vocabulary, eloquence & poetry involved are of high literature. As-Suyuti himself was one of the most renown Arab linguists, poets & rhetoricians. For those who appreciate high literature, this one is truly mesmerising. Sometimes you get lost in the beautiful literature & forget about the story, it"s humbling. & for those who don"t have a good grip on Classical Arabic, this should be the perfect appetiser ; you might not understand what the author is saying, but you"ll feel its beauty nonetheless.
7. The novel is basically written for the highly educated or the scholar. The beauty of this is that the novel makes you interested in new fields & encourages you to learn something about them, just so that you may appreciate it more. It increases your literary awareness by many levels & forces you to make a real effort to understand it. It also gives you a look into the scholarly world of 15th century Islam.

.
=> Your turn. :)
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The-Voice-of-Truth
Posts: 6,580
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8/25/2015 2:33:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/25/2015 2:19:18 PM, Yassine wrote:
- Any Arabic speaking people here? Do you have any favourite classics? How about others, do you have favourites of your own? Please share with us your favourite classics, no matter what your language is, & tell us what you like about them.

- Even though my most favourite books are not novels, I still like a number of them (I generally prefer more scholarly types, relating to religion, law, theology, philosophy, history, science"). My favourite ones are primarily in Arabic, obviously, plus few favourite classics in French, which some of you might be familiar with: Cyrano de Bergerac by Rostand, L'Avare by Moliere, L'Argent by Zola, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo"

- One of my most favourite Arabic classics is Rashf az-Zulal Mina as-Sahri al-Halal ("Aspiring Delight From Unforbidden Enchantment") by the muslim polymath Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti (d. 1505) who wrote over 600 books in a wide variety of fields.

- The novel is a story of 20 single scholars who, upon attending a sermon the day of Eid (Islamic holiday) in which the imam spoke about & praised marriage, decided all to get married, consummate their marriage on the same date, & get together the next morning. That morning, they gathered in a sitting & each of them was required to provide an account of his night, how he spent it with his new wife. From the plot, the novel might sound like a Middle Ages version of Fifty Shades of Grey! But, that couldn"t be further from the truth!

- What is fascinating to me about the novel & the reasons I like it are:
1. The whole concept is interesting & amusing.
2. The 20 scholars are from different backgrounds: a reciter, an exegetist, a historian, a jurist, a theorist, a dialectician, a lexicographer, a linguist, a grammarian, three rhetoricians, a poet, an author, a mathematician, a physicist, an astronomer, a physician, a logician & a mystic (sufi). So, the variety of characters is very refreshing.
3. The entire discussion is metaphorical & thus quite clever. All accounts are a series of metaphors & allusions about marriage, foreplay & sex. Which makes it much much more enjoyable than an actual erotic account, at least from a literary perspective.
4. Each of these characters provides an account of the first night he spent with his wife in accordance with his own background, trying to act witty & show off his eloquence & expertise. The logician would be relating his story in Logic terminology & allusions. The jurist would be relating his in the way a jurist would, in legal jargon. The rhetorician would be using all kinds of rhetorical tools. The doctor would be making references about anatomy & physiology" & that makes it highly intellectual as well.
5. It being metaphorical & in different jargons & styles makes the novel much more harder to get. One would have to be familiar with the field in which the character speaks to really get what he is saying. For instance, if you"re not familiar with Logic, you will probably not understand the allusions the logician is making. So, once you get it, you feel proud, like you unlocked a level or something!
6. The text is an alternation of poetry & rhymed prose (saj"). The style, vocabulary, eloquence & poetry involved are of high literature. As-Suyuti himself was one of the most renown Arab linguists, poets & rhetoricians. For those who appreciate high literature, this one is truly mesmerising. Sometimes you get lost in the beautiful literature & forget about the story, it"s humbling. & for those who don"t have a good grip on Classical Arabic, this should be the perfect appetiser ; you might not understand what the author is saying, but you"ll feel its beauty nonetheless.
7. The novel is basically written for the highly educated or the scholar. The beauty of this is that the novel makes you interested in new fields & encourages you to learn something about them, just so that you may appreciate it more. It increases your literary awareness by many levels & forces you to make a real effort to understand it. It also gives you a look into the scholarly world of 15th century Islam.

.
=> Your turn. :)

I don't speak Arabic, but I have an English translation of the Quran. That's about all I got pertaining to anything Arabic.
"You're more of a fluentic fail doer who sometimes does a doo dah with a diggity ding, managing to push open doors that weren't meant to be opened, only to find that there's no floor, so you instead become spiderman and crawl on the walls." -Vaarka

I'm Rick Harrison and this is my pawn shop. I work here with my old man and my son, Big Hoss, and in 23 years I've learned one thing. You never know what is gonna come through that door
Yassine
Posts: 2,617
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8/26/2015 12:30:41 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/25/2015 2:33:22 PM, The-Voice-of-Truth wrote:

I don't speak Arabic, but I have an English translation of the Quran. That's about all I got pertaining to anything Arabic.

- Well, you can check translations of Arabic books, although I personally hate translations. Every language has its own great classics, "No man was educated unless he was acquainted with the masterpieces of his tradition." R. Hutchins. In this age, books from all over the place are getting translated, especially to English. It's just sad that, with few exceptions, Arabic classics are yet to be translated! The only known Arabic classic known in the West is probably Alf Layla Wa Layla ('A Thousand & One Night").

- Anyways, how about you share with us which classics, in your own language, you like & why.
Current Debates:

Islam is not a religion of peace vs. @ Lutonator:
* http://www.debate.org...
The-Voice-of-Truth
Posts: 6,580
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8/26/2015 1:44:04 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/26/2015 12:30:41 AM, Yassine wrote:
At 8/25/2015 2:33:22 PM, The-Voice-of-Truth wrote:

I don't speak Arabic, but I have an English translation of the Quran. That's about all I got pertaining to anything Arabic.

- Well, you can check translations of Arabic books, although I personally hate translations. Every language has its own great classics, "No man was educated unless he was acquainted with the masterpieces of his tradition." R. Hutchins. In this age, books from all over the place are getting translated, especially to English. It's just sad that, with few exceptions, Arabic classics are yet to be translated! The only known Arabic classic known in the West is probably Alf Layla Wa Layla ('A Thousand & One Night").

The bane of globalization.

- Anyways, how about you share with us which classics, in your own language, you like & why.

The Time Machine: The first Sci-Fi I ever read. It inspired my love for science and engineering, and it expanded my curiosity greatly.

The Bible: Though it was originally Hebrew, and the Greek, it is still considered a "classic" in my book. It is my law, Christ's Law, and I follow it, though not quite perfectly, as all sin and fall short. I read and study it, and I learn a lot from it.

The Count of Monte Cristo: An awesome book that has everything to do with revenge and adventure -- being frank, what human does not like both?

That is just a few off the top of my head.
"You're more of a fluentic fail doer who sometimes does a doo dah with a diggity ding, managing to push open doors that weren't meant to be opened, only to find that there's no floor, so you instead become spiderman and crawl on the walls." -Vaarka

I'm Rick Harrison and this is my pawn shop. I work here with my old man and my son, Big Hoss, and in 23 years I've learned one thing. You never know what is gonna come through that door
fromantle
Posts: 274
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8/27/2015 5:17:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
You are a lucky man to speak three languages my native and only tongue is english.
I am quite widely read I suppose I should be at 74yrs
I have no qualifications so I'm self taught.
I have read a few books by Victor Hugo only in English translations.
He was a great writer and a great man, there were two million mourners at his funeral.
I replied to your post to see if you had read The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayam it was trsnslated from persian by an Englisan called Edward Fitzgerald and became one of the most popular poems in the English langauge. Some say Omar was a Sufi but Fitzgerald has produced a very liberal interpretation.
The Moving Finger writes ; and having writ ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
Yassine
Posts: 2,617
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8/28/2015 3:27:32 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/26/2015 1:44:04 PM, The-Voice-of-Truth wrote:

The bane of globalization.

+1

The Time Machine: The first Sci-Fi I ever read. It inspired my love for science and engineering, and it expanded my curiosity greatly.

- Not a Sci-Fi fan, but I just read the synopsis & it seems interesting.

The Bible: Though it was originally Hebrew, and the Greek, it is still considered a "classic" in my book. It is my law, Christ's Law, and I follow it, though not quite perfectly, as all sin and fall short. I read and study it, and I learn a lot from it.

- I wouldn't consider the Bible to be a classic, it's a book of Revelation after all.

The Count of Monte Cristo: An awesome book that has everything to do with revenge and adventure -- being frank, what human does not like both?

- Ah, of course. Forgot that one. One of my absolute favourites. I should've added it to my list.
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Yassine
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8/28/2015 3:36:38 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/27/2015 5:17:18 PM, fromantle wrote:
You are a lucky man to speak three languages my native and only tongue is english.

- Thank you. I actually speak four ;) . I like being diverse in my reading.

I am quite widely read I suppose I should be at 74yrs

- Wow! Hello, sir. Pleased to have made your acquaintance.

I have no qualifications so I'm self taught.

- Literary awareness is an individual journey.

I have read a few books by Victor Hugo only in English translations.
He was a great writer and a great man, there were two million mourners at his funeral.

- One of the greatest authors of French Literature, if not the greatest.

I replied to your post to see if you had read The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayam it was trsnslated from persian by an Englisan called Edward Fitzgerald and became one of the most popular poems in the English langauge. Some say Omar was a Sufi but Fitzgerald has produced a very liberal interpretation.

- He WAS sufi, no doubt. I read some of his work, his poetry is timeless. & there is also Rumi. Though, I like Arab sufis better, such as al-Hallaj & Ibn 'Arabi.
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Islam is not a religion of peace vs. @ Lutonator:
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PetersSmith
Posts: 5,860
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8/28/2015 3:52:31 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/25/2015 2:19:18 PM, Yassine wrote:
- Any Arabic speaking people here? Do you have any favourite classics? How about others, do you have favourites of your own? Please share with us your favourite classics, no matter what your language is, & tell us what you like about them.

- Even though my most favourite books are not novels, I still like a number of them (I generally prefer more scholarly types, relating to religion, law, theology, philosophy, history, science"). My favourite ones are primarily in Arabic, obviously, plus few favourite classics in French, which some of you might be familiar with: Cyrano de Bergerac by Rostand, L'Avare by Moliere, L'Argent by Zola, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo"

- One of my most favourite Arabic classics is Rashf az-Zulal Mina as-Sahri al-Halal ("Aspiring Delight From Unforbidden Enchantment") by the muslim polymath Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti (d. 1505) who wrote over 600 books in a wide variety of fields.

- The novel is a story of 20 single scholars who, upon attending a sermon the day of Eid (Islamic holiday) in which the imam spoke about & praised marriage, decided all to get married, consummate their marriage on the same date, & get together the next morning. That morning, they gathered in a sitting & each of them was required to provide an account of his night, how he spent it with his new wife. From the plot, the novel might sound like a Middle Ages version of Fifty Shades of Grey! But, that couldn"t be further from the truth!

- What is fascinating to me about the novel & the reasons I like it are:
1. The whole concept is interesting & amusing.
2. The 20 scholars are from different backgrounds: a reciter, an exegetist, a historian, a jurist, a theorist, a dialectician, a lexicographer, a linguist, a grammarian, three rhetoricians, a poet, an author, a mathematician, a physicist, an astronomer, a physician, a logician & a mystic (sufi). So, the variety of characters is very refreshing.
3. The entire discussion is metaphorical & thus quite clever. All accounts are a series of metaphors & allusions about marriage, foreplay & sex. Which makes it much much more enjoyable than an actual erotic account, at least from a literary perspective.
4. Each of these characters provides an account of the first night he spent with his wife in accordance with his own background, trying to act witty & show off his eloquence & expertise. The logician would be relating his story in Logic terminology & allusions. The jurist would be relating his in the way a jurist would, in legal jargon. The rhetorician would be using all kinds of rhetorical tools. The doctor would be making references about anatomy & physiology" & that makes it highly intellectual as well.
5. It being metaphorical & in different jargons & styles makes the novel much more harder to get. One would have to be familiar with the field in which the character speaks to really get what he is saying. For instance, if you"re not familiar with Logic, you will probably not understand the allusions the logician is making. So, once you get it, you feel proud, like you unlocked a level or something!
6. The text is an alternation of poetry & rhymed prose (saj"). The style, vocabulary, eloquence & poetry involved are of high literature. As-Suyuti himself was one of the most renown Arab linguists, poets & rhetoricians. For those who appreciate high literature, this one is truly mesmerising. Sometimes you get lost in the beautiful literature & forget about the story, it"s humbling. & for those who don"t have a good grip on Classical Arabic, this should be the perfect appetiser ; you might not understand what the author is saying, but you"ll feel its beauty nonetheless.
7. The novel is basically written for the highly educated or the scholar. The beauty of this is that the novel makes you interested in new fields & encourages you to learn something about them, just so that you may appreciate it more. It increases your literary awareness by many levels & forces you to make a real effort to understand it. It also gives you a look into the scholarly world of 15th century Islam.

.
=> Your turn. :)

Orientalism by Edward Said.
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Yassine
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8/28/2015 4:15:13 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/28/2015 3:52:31 AM, PetersSmith wrote:

Orientalism by Edward Said.

- Not a novel, but great nonetheless. I just read an intro to the book, & it seems quite interesting. I am probably gonna read it. Thanks.
Current Debates:

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