Questions tagged [arabic-language]

Questions about works of literature originally written in any of the Arabic languages, including Classical Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic.

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Origin of the phrase "Open Sesame"

The phrase, "Open Sesame", is a curious one indeed. Until a few days ago I foolishly believed that it was derived from a slurring of the words "Open, says me". But after coming to the story of Ali ...
Parzival's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
810 views

How does scansion work in Arabic poetry?

I was reading about Arabic poetry on Wikipedia, and specifically the description of scansion: The rhymed poetry falls within fifteen different meters collected and explained by al-Farahidi in The ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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11 votes
3 answers
1k views

What are the 1001 stories in One Thousand and One Nights?

Recently I bought a One Thousand and One Nights book hoping that I would read 1001 stories. But then I find out that the number of stories varies depending on the version. Some versions have 200 - ...
Chaotic's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Did Dante plagiarize the Divine Comedy from Kitab al-Miraj?

By looking up what the Kitab al-Miraj was, you can see many similarities to the Divine Comedy: a traveler's journey through the afterlife. Is it possible that Dante plagiarized this work?
user4281's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
272 views

What significance does the opening grid illustration of Burton’s 1,001 Nights have?

In Burton’s The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, the first thing in each volume is a whole page illustration of a grid or a maze: What’s the significance of this? Arabic art centres on ...
Robin Whittleton's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
159 views

Why do the translators of "Social Justice in Islam" strongly hint at its controversiality, without mentioning what's controversial?

I recently started reading the book, "Social Justice in Islam." This is a book by Sayyid Qutb, translated into English by John B. Hardie, commissioned by the Near Eastern Translation Program. There's ...
user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Does anyone know which story of One Thousand and One Nights the following artwork from Léon Carré illustrates?

The following illustration by Léon Carré supposedly depicts a passage from a story in One Thousand and One Nights. I am searching for the title of the story the artwork was intended to illustrate. ...
C. M. Belanger Nzakimuena's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
145 views

When did Ja'far ibn Yahya start being portrayed as an evil vizier?

Ja'far ibn Yahya or Ja'far al-Barmaki was an 8th century vizier of the caliph Harun al-Rashid. From a distinguished central Asian family, he was known for his knowledge of science, as well as his ...
Adam Burke's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
110 views

Identify Arabic book, Flowers of the Spring

From Wavell's A Modern Pilgrim in Mecca (1913), p. 138: Sir Richard Burton got into hot water with many people for translating literally and without expurgation the “Arabian Nights.” A perusal of his ...
Tomas By's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
163 views

Is Wilfrid Scawen Blunt's poem 'The Camel Rider' really a translation?

I came across an interesting poem by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt in a forgotten old tome, The Faber Book of Twentieth Century Verse. Blunt's own note states it is 'From the Arabic'. Is this just a device, or ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
192 views

How can we explain the porter's order of events in The Arabian Nights?

In The Arabian Nights, translated by Husain Haddawy, the following chronology appears in The Story of the Porter and the Three Ladies on the 28th night (my emphasis): She walked before him until ...
Alex's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
76 views

I would like to identify a specific part of Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddimah

I would like to identify the passage from the Arabic original text of Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddimah whose translation is the following one. It corresponds to Chapter 38 of Book 6, and the quoted ...
Instanton's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
352 views

Automata in the Arabian Nights, specifically "The Story of the Magic Horse"

Christa A. Tuczay writes in “Motifs in ‘The Arabian Nights’ and in Ancient and Medieval European Literature: A Comparison” that automata remain a recurring motif in The Arabian Nights and that their ...
mmm's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
288 views

Are modern editions of the Koran still written in the original form of Arabic?

The Koran, the most important sacred text of Islam, was originally written in Arabic, and some Muslims argue that it should only be read in Arabic, as translating it to other languages would mar the ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
39 views

What are the jinn in The Case of the Animals versus Man?

The Case of the Animals versus Man is a 10th-century Arabic philosophical text about a court case held between humans, arguing that animals should rightfully be their slaves, and animals, arguing that ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
99 views

How long did it take a scribe to manually copy the Quran before the invention of printing?

According to the article Your Copy of the Quran Was Probably Written by this Man (undated), A Mushaf usually requires more than 3 years to write a Quran and an additional year to proofread it. This ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
114 views

Why is the Quran said to be the most beautiful Arabic literature?

Various sites on the Internet claim that the Quran is the most beautiful book written in the Arabic language, e.g. on Blogspot and a chapter from the course Keane World Religions on Course Hero. The ...
J Li's user avatar
  • 137
1 vote
1 answer
182 views

In "Sinbad the Seaman and Sinbad the Landsman", from Arabian Nights, what does gars me pine mean?

From The Arabian Nights: Each morn that dawns I wake in travail and in woe, And strange is my condition and my burden gars me pine. Many others are in luck and from miseries are free, And Fortune ...
godjohnson's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
583 views

Why is poetry so important in 1001 Nights?

I'm currently reading "1001 Nights", the first book, and I realized that a lot of characters seem to be very fond of expressing themselves through poetry, this seems to be true (I haven't finished the ...
Oberon's user avatar
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