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Raji, Moshood G.A. (1986) A modern trend in Nigerian Arabic literature: The contribution of 'Umar Ibrahim. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis is a research into the growth in Nigeria of Modern Arabic Literature, from the impact of modern secular thought on the medieval Arabic-Islamic literary tradition. In chapter one the spread to Nigeria of Islam and the growth within its cultural context of Arabic literature are discussed in the light of the classical Arabic literary theory. Cultivated as an integral part of Islamic traditional sciences, Arabic literature throughout its development in Nigeria had remained the function of Islamic religion. All the literary men were essentially Muslim jurists (al-fuqaha') writing in a sacred medium. The various aspects of this religious literary tradition, al-taqlid, are described with illustrations in chapter two. In chapter three the process of how modern European literature had given birth in Egypt and Greater Syria to Modern Arabic Literature, and its major currents are described. Thus inspired, Modern Arabic Literature is not Islamic but Arab nationalist oriented with very little to offer the non-Arab Muslims in the name of the Islamic Commonwealth. The non-Arab Muslims have accordingly embarked on developing their own national literature in English, French or a vernacular. This phenomenon, seen in Turkey, Iran and Senegal is also demonstrated in Nigeria by the birth of modern Hausa literature instead of Arabic. This development is discussed in chapter four within the context of the Western cultural impact on Islamic Nigeria. But the study of Arabic and Islamic religion in secular institutions imposed by modern political order has begun to challenge the existing religious literary tradition. Nigeria has now produced some Arabists, including Christians, in whose literary innovations Arabic language and literature is no longer an exclusive function of Islamic culture. Influenced by neo-classical Arab writers, the most outstanding contribution to this new trend is the diwan (anthology) of 'Umar Ibrahim, the literary exposition of which is made in chapter five. In conclusion, the scope of the literary innovations introduced into Nigerian Arabic literature is highlighted with an attempt to determine its prospect.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:12

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