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Kinany, A. K. (1948) The development of Ghazal in Arabic literature (pre-Islamic and early Islamic periods). PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Though the characteristics of pre-Islamic ghazal have often been summarily discussed, its development and evolution in the early period of Islam and the Umayyad age have not hitherto received the attention they deserve and it is hoped that this thesis will form a contribution to the subject and to the study of Arabic literature generally. It is claimed, despite objections which have been raised, that pre-Islamic poetry is authentic. This study shows that pagan ghazal reflected the life of its composers, their environment and the social life of the time. It was composed by people whose personality was not divided by religion into soul and body; who understood love as youthful dalliance, who did not separate it from pleasure, and who enjoyed it as much as their desert, tribal life, and lack of culture allowed. Islam brought about great changes. As far as emotional life was concerned, it became richer, deeper, and more intense. Conversly it brought about a strict morality which stopped the development of ghazal for a while. Thereafter ghazal could not begin developing again before the Omayyad period when the grasp of religion relaxed somewhat. Then the traditional ghazal flourished again over the Arabian country, except in Hijaz where wealth, idleness, and particular political and social conditions gave birth to the Omarit ghazal which sacrificed true love for pleasure, and united music to poetry. As a reaction against this tendency and as a compromise between love and religion, the 'Udhri ghazal came to life. Its authors took a sacrificial pleasure in unrequited love. These and other features are illustrated and discussed. This study, in a way, shows the development of women's status before and after Islam and the development of the emotional life of the Arabs during the three early periods of their history.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:07

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