- Middle East and North Africa (34)
- Central and South Asia (10)
- Europe (6)
- Africa (1)
- North America (1)
- 500 CE - 1499 CE (29)
- 1500 CE - 1699 CE (10)
- 8000 BCE - 499 CE (7)
- 1850 CE - 1899 CE (7)
- 1700 CE - 1799 CE (6)
- 1800 CE - 1849 CE (5)
- 1900 CE - 1949 CE (3)
- Afro-Asiatic literatures; Semitic literatures
- Religion (6)
- History & geography (5)
- Arts & recreation (3)
- Science (2)
- Literature, rhetoric & criticism (2)
- Computer science, information & general works (1)
- Philosophy & psychology (1)
- Social sciences (1)
- Literature & rhetoric (1)
- Education, research & related topics (1)
- History, description & criticism (1)
- French & related literatures (1)
- French fiction (1)
- Poetry (29)
- Arabic poetry (26)
- Arabic literature (11)
- Arabic manuscripts (8)
- Criticism (8)
- Illuminations (6)
- Islamic manuscripts (5)
- Arabic calligraphy (4)
- Arabic language (3)
- Biography (3)
- Muḥammad, Prophet, died 632 (3)
- Poets (3)
- Poets, Arab (3)
- Rhetoric (3)
- Authors, Arab (2)
- Calligraphy, Persian (2)
- Codex (2)
- Description and travel (2)
- Islamic Empire (2)
- Love stories (2)
- Mathematics, Arab (2)
- Nasta'liq script (2)
- Persian poetry (2)
- Alexander, the Great, 356-323 B.C. (1)
- Allegory (1)
- Arabian Peninsula--Social life and customs (1)
- Aristotle (1)
- Avarice (1)
- Averröes, 1126-1198 (1)
- Avicenna, 980-1037 (1)
- Bahrām V, King of Iran, died 438 (1)
- Ballooning (1)
- Book of Sindbad (1)
- Caliphs (1)
- Civilization (1)
- Eloquence (1)
- Encyclopedias and dictionaries (1)
- Epic poetry (1)
- Grammar (1)
- Hayy ibn Yaqdhan (1)
- Ibn Ghāzī, Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad, 1437 or 8-1513 (1)
- Ibn Khaldūn, 1332-1406 (1)
- Ibn Ṭufayl, Muḥammad ibn ʻAbd al-Malik, died 1185 (1)
- Inheritance and succession (1)
- Islam (1)
- Islamic calligraphy (1)
- Islamic law (1)
- Islamic philosophy (1)
- Isḥāq, Adīb, 1856-1885 (1)
- Journalism (1)
- Jurisprudence (1)
- Khansāʼ, died approximately 645 (1)
- Legends (1)
- Literature, Medieval (1)
- Love (1)
- Malikites (1)
- Musicians (1)
- Mutanabbī, Abū al-Ṭayyib Aḥmad ibn al-Ḥusayn, 915 or 16-965 (1)
- Muʻallaqāt (1)
- Nāṣir Muḥammad ibn Qalāwūn, Sulṭān of Egypt and Syria, 1285-1341 (1)
- Oratory (1)
- Philosophy, Ancient (1)
- Plato (1)
- Politics and government (1)
- Prayers (1)
- Proverbs (1)
- Proverbs, Arabic (1)
- Rituals (1)
- Sati (1)
- Science fiction (1)
- Songs, Arabic (1)
- Speeches (1)
- Sufis (1)
- Sujak, Ahmad Rifa'i bin Muhammad Marhum bin Abi, Syaikhina Haji, 1786-1870? (1)
- Sunnites (1)
- Syriac poetry (1)
- Textbooks (1)
- Timbuktu manuscripts (1)
- Widow suicide (1)
- Wit and humor (1)
Type of Item
Three Collections of Proverbs and Sayings
This printed book was published in 1883 at the famous Jawa’ib Press founded by the Arab printer, author, and journalist Ahmad Fāris al-Shidiyāq. As is often the case with early printed books, the publication itself has received more attention than the contents of the work. Jawa’ib Press was established in the Ottoman capital of Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1860 and operated for about 20 years publishing the newspaper al-Jawa’ib (begun in 1861) as well as more than 70 Arabic classics and tracts. Books were printed in runs of ...
Poetry Collection of Ṣafī al-Dīn al-Ḥilli
Scholars consider al-Hilli one of the leading poets of postclassical times, that is, the period following the fall of the Abbasid Empire in 1258. His Diwan (Collection of poems) is in 12 chapters, which cover a variety of personalities and occasions and recount in verse vignettes his travels with the Egyptian Mamluk ruler Qalāwūn (died 1290) on his campaign to Mardin in eastern Anatolia. The poems are preceded by an autobiographical note in saj’ (rhymed prose). Al-Hilli was a recognized master of all forms of classical and popular poetry as ...
Born in what is now the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, ‘Ali ibn al-Muqarrab (1176 or 1177−1231 or 1232) had an adventurous life that included political intrigue and involvement with trade as well as literary accomplishment. Writing in the early 13th century, he is said to have been one of the last poets before modern times to have composed in the classical style. His Diwan (Poetry collection) is lauded for its historical as well as literary qualities. It is considered a primary source for geography and history as well ...
Literary Essays by Classical Arab Authors
Jesuit scholar Louis Cheikho was born in Mardin, Turkey, and educated at the Jesuit school in Ghazīr, Lebanon. He remained associated with the seminary and its successor institution in Beirut, Université Saint-Joseph, throughout his life. Cheikho studied in Europe and eventually gained a world-wide reputation as a Semitist and authority on Eastern Christianity. Al-Machriq, the journal he founded in 1898, is a principal resource for scholars in these fields. It is supplemented by Melanges de l’Université Saint-Joseph and Proche-Orient Chrétien from the same publishers. The work presented here, ‘Ilm ...
History of Arab Literature
Jirjī Zaydān was born in Beirut, Lebanon, into a Syrian Orthodox family of modest means. After a mediocre experience at local schools, he moved to Egypt to study at al-Qaṣr al-ʻAynī medical college, but he abandoned medicine in favor of a literary and publishing career. He founded Dar al-Hilal printing and publishing house and in 1892 brought out the weekly al-Hilal magazine, which continues publication to this day. Al-Ahram newspaper and al-Hilal became the most long-lived and influential media advocates for Egyptian national causes and modernizing progress based on Western ...
Pearls, or Selections of Fond Memory and Immortal Imprint
Al-Durar wa-hiyya Muntakhabat al-Tayyib al-Zikr al-Khalid al-Athr (Pearls, or selections of fond memory and immortal imprint) is a memorial volume that collects the political and literary writing of the influential Arab nationalist Adib Ishaq (1856−85). Born in Damascus, Ishaq was a precocious youngster who received his formative education in Arabic and French at the French Lazarist school there and under the Jesuits in Beirut. His family’s strained circumstances forced him to leave school for work as a customs clerk. Excelling at languages, he supplemented his income by writing ...
Islamic Civilization in the City of Peace
Hadharat al-Islam fi Dar al-Salam (Islamic civilization in the city of peace) is a work of historical imagination, written as a straightforward narrative free of stylistic adornments. The city referred to is Baghdad. The book straddles the transition in Arabic literature from baroque, poetic metaphor to a modern, economic prose style. Treatment of the subject is also innovative. Rather than an essay on glories of the Abbasid period (750−1258), the work is presented as the tale of an anonymous Persian traveler writing home about conditions in the largely Persianate ...
Emanations of Musk from Beiruti Verse
Al-Nafh al-Miski fi-al-Shi’r al-Bayruti (Emanations of musk from Beiruti verse) is a collection of verse by the prolific Lebanese poet Shaykh Ibrāhīm al-Aḥdab. The author was first and foremost a traditionalist in his literary as well as his legal career. The poems are of various rhyme schemes and meters and display mastery of classical prosody. They are primarily madh (praise) commemorating the achievements of public figures or personal acquaintances. Examples include “Commending His Excellency Muhammad Rushdi Pasha, Governor of Syria,” “Praising Prince ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza’iri on the Festival ...
The Pillar Regarding Creation and Critique of Poetry
This book is a printed edition of Al-‘Umdah fi Sina’at al-Shi’r wa-Naqdih (The pillar regarding creation and critique of poetry), a foundational text of Arabic literary criticism. The author, Ibn Rashīq al-Qayrawānī, covers poetic history and prosody up to his lifetime in 11th century Qayrawān, the center of intellectual life in Tunisia, then called Al-Ifriqiya. The work is universally known as Ibn Rashiq’s Al-‘Umdah (The pillar). It is also cited as Al-‘Umdah fī maḥāsin al-shiʻr wa-ādābih. Scholarly judgment of Al-‘Umdah holds that although ...
The Interpreter of Arabic Literature and Its History
Al-Wasit fi-al-Adab al-‘Arabi wa-Tarikhih (The interpreter of Arabic literature and its history) is a textbook in Arabic literature approved for use by the Egyptian Ministry of Education in the various schools under its jurisdiction, namely all teacher-training institutes and secondary schools. The authors were religious and literary figures. The better known of the two, Shaykh Ahmad al-Iskandarī, was born in Alexandria, pursued his studies at al-Azhar, and became a teacher in the schools of al-Fayyūm and other areas around Cairo. He was appointed to the faculty of Cairo University ...
Explaining al-Khansa’ in Delightful Stanzas
This book is a printed collection of the verse of Tumāḍir bint ʿAmr ibn al-Ḥarth ibn al-Sharīd al-Sulamīyah entitled Anis al-Julasāʼ fī Sharḥ Dīwān al-Khansāʼ (Explaining al-Khansa’ in delightful stanzas). Known to history as al-Khansā’ (she of the snub-nose or of resemblance to a gazelle), the author is regarded as one of the leading poets of late pre-Islamic Arabia. After meeting the Prophet Muhammad, who is said to have admired her poetry, she became a Muslim. Contemporary and subsequent appreciation of her poetry owed much to the power of her ...
The Superabundance of the Commendable and the Reinforcement of the Yet-More Commendable: Poetry Collection
This diwan, Al-Faydh al- Muhammadi wa-al-Madad al-Ahmadi wa Huwa Diwan (The superabundance of the commendable and the reinforcement of the yet-more commendable: Poetry collection), is a book of poems, mostly in praise of the Prophet Muhammad or in supplication of his blessing and assistance. Some of the verses vary from this theme, for example, poetic prayers addressing Ahmad al-Rifa’i, founder of the famous Sufi order of which the author, Abū al-Hudá al-Ṣayyādī, was a prominent (and controversial) leader. Abu al-Huda was a prolific writer who rose from humble origins ...
Nymphs of the Valley
ʻArā'is al-Murūj (Nymphs of the valley) is a collection of short stories by the celebrated Lebanese-American author and artist Gibran Khalil Gibran. Gibran was born in 1883 to a Maronite Catholic family in the village of Bsharri in the north of Lebanon. His family immigrated to the United States in 1895, where he began his formal schooling, studying English and art. He is best known in the West for his book The Prophet, which was completed in 1923 and subsequently translated into more than 40 languages. Gibran died in ...
An Introduction to the Study of the Eloquent Speech of the Arabs
Muqaddama li dirāsat balāghat al-ʻArab (An introduction to the study of the eloquent speech of the Arabs) is a work on Arabic literature or belles lettres. The author, Aḥmad Ḍayf, was an instructor at the Egyptian University (later renamed the University of Cairo). The book was intended for students at the university and was to serve as a study guide for their understanding of literary eloquence. It includes a brief description of the modern Arabic literary movement. Other topics covered are belles lettres and society, and the different categories of ...
Contentment of the Seeker Regarding the Most Famous Arabic Compositions Printed by Eastern and Western Printing Presses
Edward Van Dyck was an American diplomat and author who served as consular clerk and vice-consul in Lebanon and Egypt from 1873 to 1882. He was the son of the missionary Cornelius Van Dyck, a medical doctor who was professor of pathology at the Syrian Protestant College (which became the American University of Beirut), but who is well known for his Arabic edition of the Bible. Kitāb iktifā' al-qanūʻ bimā huwa matbuʻ min ashhar al-ta'ālīf al-arabīya fī al-maṭābiʻ al-sharqīya wa al-gharbīya (Contentment of the seeker regarding the most famous ...
A Journey through the Atmosphere on an Airship
Al-riḥla al-jawwīya fī al-markaba al-hawā'iya (A journey through the atmosphere on an airship) is an Arabic translation by Yusuf Ilyan Sarkis (1856−1932 or 1933) of Cinq Semaines en Ballon (Five weeks in a balloon), a novel by the French author Jules Verne originally published in 1863. Shown here is a second edition of this work, produced by the Jesuit print shop in Beirut in 1884 (the first edition having been published in 1875). The novel tells the story of an explorer, Dr. Samuel Ferguson, who, accompanied by a ...
Commentary on al-Busti’s Poem “To Rise in One’s World is to Decline”
This manuscript was composed by Hasan al-Burini (1555 or 1556−1615 or 1616). It is a commentary on a qasidah (poem) of moral aphorisms by al-Busti entitled “To Rise in One’s World Is to Decline.” Al-Burini is best known for his commentary on the mystical poetry of Ibn al-Farid and for his biographical dictionary of Damascus. He is also recognized as a poet, mathematician, and logician, although few of his works in these fields have survived. In this commentary on al-Busti’s poem, he generally follows a pattern of ...
The Path of the Vexed Towards Achievement
This manuscript is a qasidah (poem) of eight pages by Zayn al-Din Sha’ban ibn Muhammad al-Athari (1364−1425) praising the Prophet Muhammad. The poet lists the perfections of the Prophet and his stature above all of God’s creatures. He then proceeds to the miracle of the Isra and Miraj, Muhammad’s night journey to heaven. He addresses the Prophet directly, asking him to “take him by the hand.” He exalts ahl al-bayt (the family of the Prophet) and declares that prayers are “blocked and nugatory” if they do ...
This manuscript is an undated poem by ‘Ali ibn ‘Abd al-Haqq al-Qusi (1788−1877). The poem is a qasidah (lyric poem). The author was from al-Qus, a town in Upper Egypt. He studied there and at al-Azhar in Cairo. After early travels, he settled in Asyut, a town on the Nile approximately 320 kilometers south of Cairo, where he taught for the rest of his life. His known writings include works of religion and astronomy. This qasidah, of which an autograph copy is held in the library of King Saud ...
Untitled Outline in Verse of Islamic Obligations
This untitled Arabic manuscript is an urjūza (versification) of Muqaddimat Ibn Rushd (Ibn Rushd’s introduction). It is a work on Mālikī Islamic jurisprudence by Ibn Rushd al-Jadd (the grandfather), otherwise known as Abū al-Walīd Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad (circa 1058−circa 1126), not to be confused with his famous grandson, the philosopher Abu al-Walid Ibn Rushd (1126−98). This versification, commonly known as Naẓm muqaddimat Ibn Rushd (The versification of Ibn Rushd’s introduction), is ascribed to ʻAbd al-Rahman ibn ʻAlī al-Ruqʿī al-Fāsī (died in Fez, in present-day Morocco, circa ...
The Burdah Poem
This illuminated small codex contains a famous poem in honor of the Prophet Muhammad popularly known as “Qaṣīdat al-Burdah” (The poem of the mantle), which was composed by Sharaf al-Dīn Muḥammad al-Būṣīrī (died 694 AH [1294 CE]). This copy was executed in a variety of scripts, probably in Iran, by Ḥabīb Allāh ibn Dūst Muḥammad al-Khwārizmī in the 11th century AH (17th century CE). The first page (folio 1b) of the manuscript features an illuminated rectangular headpiece with five inner panels of text executed in the following scripts: muhaqqaq (gold ...