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Mukhlis, Naziha (1968) Studies in the social background to the "Arabian Nights". PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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CHAPTER I This chapter deals with the history and origin of the "Nights", and shows that the development of its contents have taken place in phases. The non-extant Baghdadi collection of the "Nights " is investigated in the light of an existing early collection of stories similar to the "Nights" in contents and background. CHAPTER II An attempt is made here to assess the place of the 'Abbasid aristocracy, and to demonstrate striking social changes at the court. Special attention is given to the historicity of the Caliphs' stories. CHAPTER III The background to the Middle-class of the "Nights" is discussed to show the significant changes in the spheres of commerce and culture. Special attention is given to trade, travels and business. The conditions and status of the merchant class are also discussed here. CHAPTER IV The economic and social gulf between the upper classes and the lower class is carefully examined. The chapter discusses in some detail the craft-guilds and other organisations of the people of the lower-classes. CHAPTER V Aspects of the relations between Muslims and non-Muslims are explored, and special attention is given to martial relations. The social, economic and cultural standards of the Dhimmis are discussed to assess their status in Muslim society. CHAPTER VI This chapter deals with Islamic institutions and customs and throws light on the position of women under Islam. The division between free and slave women is pointed out, and the effects of this division on moral and social attitudes are discussed. The picture of womenhood in the "Nights" is correlated with evidence from other Arabic sources. Special attention is given to the educated and fictitious women presented in the "Nights".

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:13

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