A Brief History of Arabic Literature

by Piero Scaruffi (E-mail)
Main Literary page | Ancient Literature | Modern Literature | Best novels in Hebrew/Yiddish and Arabic
Arabic Literature
Al Bab's History of Arab literature
Al Bab's Modern Arab writers
Arabic poetry
Did I miss any of the masterpieces? Did I miss any of the great writers? Send me your comments
TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
The dates of ancient works are obviously wildly approximate.
See Steve Moore: "The Novel" for synopses of the ancient narratives.

"Mu'allaqat" (5##) [p]
"Mufaddaliyat" (5##) [p]
Zuhayr/Zuhair ibn Abi Sulma (520): "Poems" (5##) [p]
Imrul Kais/ Imru Al-Qais (5##): "Qasida Odes" (5##) [p]
Abid ibn al-Abras (5##): "Diwan" (5##) [p]
Tarafah ibn al 'Abd ben Sufyan ben Malik al Bakri/ Tarafa (5##): "Diwan" (5##) [p]
Ziyad ibn Muawiyah al-Nabigha al-Dhubyani (535): "Poems" (604) [p]
Maymun ibn Qays al-A'sha (5##): "Poems" (6##) [p]
Abu Aqil Labi-d ibn Rabi-'ah Labid (560): "Poems" (6##) [p]
Antarah ibn Shaddad (580): "Poems" (6##) [p]
Adi ibn Zayd (5##): "Poems" (60#) [p]
Umayya ibn Abi's-Salt (5##): "Poems" (60#) [p]
Tumadir bint Amru al-Harith bint al-Sharid Al-Khansa (6##): "Funeral Elegies" (6##) [p] +
Shanfara (6##): "Odes" (6##) [p] +
Taabbata Sharran (6##): "Poems" (6##) [p]
Hassan Ibn Thabit (6##): "Poems" (674) [p]
Ghiyath ibn Ghawth al-Taghlibi Al-Akhtal (640): "Poems" (710) [p]
Hammam ibn Ghalib Abu Firas al-Farazdaq (641): "Poems" (732) [p]
Umar ibn Abi Rabiah (644): "Poems" (719) [p] +
Jarir ibn Atiyah (6##): "Poems" (728) [p]
Ghaylan ibn Uqbah (696): "Poems" (735) [p]
Zaid bin Thabit (610): "Quran" (634) [p] +
Abdul Rahman bin Ismail al-Khawlani/ Waddah al-Yaman (6##): "Poems" (708) [p]
Abdullah Ibn Dhadawayh ibn al-Muqaffa (706): "Kalila wa Dimma/ Kalila and Dimna" (760)
Bashar ibn Burd (714): "Poems" (784) [p]
Abbas Ibn al-Ahnaf (750): "Poems" (809) [p]
Abu Nuwas al-Hasan ben Hani al-Hakami (756) : "Poems" (810) [p] +
Abu al-Alahijah (7##): "Poems" (828) [p]
Abu Uthman Amr Ibn Bahr al-Kinani al-Fuqaimi al-Basri Al-Jahiz (776): "Kitab al-Bukhala/ Book of Misers" (8##) [h]
Habib ibn Aus Abu Tammam (805): "Poems" (845) [p]
Allah al-Buhturi (820): "Poems" (897) [p]
Abd Allah ibn Muslim Ibn Qutaybah (828): "Uyun al-akhbar" (8##) [h]
Ahmad Ibn Yahya al-Baladhuri (8##): "Kitab Ansab al-Ashraf/ Book of the Genealogies of the Noble" (8##) [h]
Abu abd-Allah Muhammed el-Gahshigar/ al-Jahshiyari (8##): "Alf Layla wa-Layla/ The Book of One Thousand and One Nights" (9##) [first collection]
Ibn ar-Rumi (836): "Poems" (896) [p]
Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Jarir ibn Yazid ibn Kathir al-Tabari (839): "Tarikh al-Tabari/ Tafsir al-Tabari" (9##) [h]
Abu al-Mughith ibn Mansur Al-Hallaj (858): "Poems" (922) [p]
Ibn Al-Mutazz (861): "Poems" (908) [p]
"Nahj al-Balaghah/ The Road to Eloquence" (9##) [h]
Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani (897): "Kitab al-Aghani/ Book of Songs" (9##) [p]
Abu al-Tayyib al-Mutanabbi (905): "Poems" (965) [p] +
Abu Hayyan al-Tawhidi (930): "al-Imta' wa l-Muanasa/ Enjoyment and Conviviality" (10##) [h]
Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Miskawayh (932): "Tahdhib al-Akhlag" (9##) [h]
Abu Firas al-Hamdani (932): "Poems" (968) [p]
Muhammad al-Muqaddasi (946): "Ahsan at-Taqasim fi Marifat il-Aqalim/ The Best Divisions for Knowledge of the Regions" (98#) [h]
Sahnun ibn Sa'id ibn Habib at-Tanukhi (95#): "Mudawwana" (9##) [h]
Sahnun ibn Sa'id ibn Habib at-Tanukhi (95#): "al-Faraj bad al-shidda" (9##)
Badi al-Zaman al-Hamadha-ni (968): "Maqamat" (10##) [p]
Muhammad Ibn Abbad al-Mutamid (1040): "Poems" (1095) [p]
Abu Ala Al-Maari (973): "Poems" (1057) [p] +
Abu Muhammad Ali ibn Hazm (994): "Tawq al-hamamah/ The Dove's Neckring" (10##) [h]
Abu Muhammad Ali ibn Hazm (994): "Al-Fisal fi al-Milal wa al-Nihal" (10##) [h]
Ahmad ibn Zaidun (1003): "Diwan" (1070) [p]
Solomon ibn Gabirol (1021) : "Keter Malkhut/ The Kingly Crown" (105x)
Al-Hariri (1054): "Maqamat/ The Assemblies of al-Hariri" (10##) [p] +
Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali (1056): "Ihya Ulum-Id-Din/ Revival of Religious Learnings" (10##) [h]
Yehudah/Judah Halevi (1075): "Kitab al-Hujjah wal-Dalil fi Nusr al-Din al-Dhalil/ Sefer ha-Kuzari" (11##) [h]
Muhammad ibn Quzman (1078): "Poems" (1160) [p]
Abu Bakr ibn Tofayl/ Tufail (1105): "Hayy Ibn Yaqzan/ Alive son of Awake" (11##) +
Abu Ltahir Muhammad al-Saraqusti (11##): "Maqamat" (1143) [p]
Ali izz al-Din Ibn al-Athir (1160): "al-Kamil fi at-Tarikh/ The Complete History" (12##) [h]
Ibn Arabi (1165): "Fusus al-Hikam/ Seals of Wisdom" (12##) [h]
"Sirat Antar/ The adventures of Antar" (12##) [p]
Shaykh Umar ibn Al-Farid (1182): "Poems" (1235) [p] +
Ahmad al-Tifashi (12##): "Nuzhat al-albab fi-ma la yujad fi kitab/ Delight of Hearts Concerning What will Never Be Found in a Book" (12##) [h]
Busiri (1211): "al-Kawakib ad-Durriya fi Madh Khayr al-Bariya/ Celestial Lights in Praise of the Best of Creation" aka "Qasida al-Burda/ Poem of the Mantle (12##) [p] +
Muhammad ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (1292): "Rawdat al-muhibbin wa-nuzhat al-mushtaqin/ Meadow of Lovers and Diversion of the Infatuated" (13##) [h]
Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta (1304): "Rihla" (13##) [h]
"Alf Layla wa-Layla/ The Book of One Thousand and One Nights [final collection]" (13##) +
"Sirat Faris al-Yaman al- Malik Sayf Dhi Yazan/ The Adventures of Sayf" (13##) [p]
Abu Zayd Abdu r-Rahman ibn Khaldun (1332): "Muqaddimah" (1378) [h]
Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Nafzawi (13##): "Al-rawd al-Atir fi Nuzhati'l Khatir/ The Perfumed Garden" (14##) [h]
Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq (1805): "al-Saq 'ala al-saq fi ma huwa al-Faryaq/ Leg over Leg" (1855)
Muhammad Taher Haki/ Tahir Haqqi (18##): "Adraa Denshawi/ Adhri Dinshawdi/ The Maiden of Dinshway" (1909)
Georgy Zeidan/ Zaidan (Lebanon, 1861): " Abu Muslim Al Khorassani" (19##)
Jamil Sidqi al-Zahawi (Iraq, 1863): "Poems" (1936) [p]
al-Muwaylihi/ al-Mahwili (Egypt, 1868): "The Hadith of Issa ibn Hisham" (1906)
Ahmed Shawqi (Egypt, 1868): "Masraa Kliyubatra/ The Death of Cleopatra" (1929) [t]
Ahmed Shawqi (Egypt, 1868): "Majnun Layla/ The Name of a Famous Ghazal Poet" (1931) [t]
Ahmed Shawqi (Egypt, 1868): "Amirat al-Andalus/ The Spanish Princess" (1932) [t]
Ahmed Shawqi (Egypt, 1868): "Nahj al-Burdah/ In the Path of Burdah" (1910) [p] +
Khalil Mutran (Egypt, 1870): "Poems" (1949) [p]
Hafiz Ibrahim (Egypt, 1871): "Poems" (1932) [p]
Maaruf al Rusafi (Iraq, 1875): "Poems" (1945) [p]
Khalil Gibran (Lebanon, 1883): "Poems" (1931) [p]
Hasan Haykal/ Hussein Heikal/ Hasnin Heikhal (Egypt, 1888): "Zaynab" (1914)
Taha Husain/ Taha Hussein (Egypt, 1889): "Adib/ A Man of Letters" (1935)
Abbas Mahmoud el-Akkad (Egypt, 1889): "al-Abkariat" (19##)
Ahmad Zaki Abu Shadi (Egypt, 1892): "Poems" (1955) [p]
Mahmud Taimur (Egypt, 1894): "Nida al Maghul" (19##)
Maryam "Mayy" Ziyade (Lebanon, 1895): "Poems" (1941) [p]
Tawfiq al-Hakim (Egypt, 1898): "Ahl al-Kahf/ The People of the Cave" (1933) [t] +
Tawfiq al-Hakim (Egypt, 1898): "Shahrazad/ Scheherazade" (1934) [t]
Tawfiq al-Hakim (Egypt, 1898): "Ughniyyat Al Mawt/ Death Song" (1950) [t]
Tawfiq al-Hakim (Egypt, 1898): "Al Aydi Al Na`imah/ Soft Hands" (1954) [t]
Tawfiq al-Hakim (Egypt, 1898): "Al Sultan Al Hair/ The Sultan Perplexed" (1960) [t]
Tawfiq al-Hakim (Egypt, 1898): "Al Safqah/ The Deal" (1956) [t]
Tawfiq al-Hakim (Egypt, 1898): "Ya Tali Al Shajarah/ The Tree Climber" (1962) [t] +
Tawfiq al-Hakim (Egypt, 1898): "Masir Sersar/ The Fate of a Cockroach" (1966) [t]
Tawfiq al-Hakim (Egypt, 1898): "Bank Al Qalaq/ Anxiety Bank" (1967) [t]
Abou-Al-kacem Echebbi/ Abu Al Qassim Al Shabbi (Tunisia, 1909): "Poems" (1934) [p]
Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt, 1911): "Zuqaq al-Midaqq/ Midaq Alley" (1947)
Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt, 1911): "Bayn al-Qasrayn/ Palace Walk" (1956) +
Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt, 1911): "Awlad Haratina/ Children of Gabalawi" (1959) +
Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt, 1911): "Thartharah fawq al-Nil/ Chitchat on the Nile (1966)
Tawfiq Yusuf Awwad (Lebanon, 1911): "Death in Beirut" (1972)
Nazik Al-Malaika (Iraq, 1922): "Qararat al-Mawja/ Bottom of the Wave" (1957) [p]
Nazik Al-Malaika (Iraq, 1922): "Tree of the Moon" (1968) [p] +
izar Tawfiq Kabbani (Syria, 1923): "Poems" (1998) [p]
Abdal-Wahhab/Abdul Wahab al-Bayati (Iraq, 1926): "Abariq Muhashshama/ Broken Pitchers" (1954) [p]
Abdal-Wahhab/Abdul Wahab al-Bayati (Iraq, 1926): "Sifr Al-faqr wa al-Thawra" (1965) [p] +
Abdal-Wahhab/Abdul Wahab al-Bayati (Iraq, 1926): "Poems" (1999) [p]
Badr Shakir al-Sayyab (Iraq, 1926): "Rain Song" (1960) [p] +
Yusuf Idris (Egypt, 1927): "Al-Haram/ The Sin" (1959)
Al-Tayyib Salih (Sudan, 1929): "Season of Migration to the North" (1966) +
Al-Tayyib Salih (Sudan, 1929): "Urs al-Zayn/ The Wedding of Zein" (1969)
Ali Ahmad "Adonis" Said (Syria, 1930): "Afghani Mihyar ad-Dimashqi/ Songs of Mihyar the Damascene" (1961) [p] +
Ali Ahmad "Adonis" Said (Syria, 1930): "Mufrad bi-Sighat al-Jam/ Singular in the Plural Form" (1975) [p] ++
Ali Ahmad "Adonis" Said (Syria, 1930): "Desire Moving Through Maps of Matter" (1987) [p]
Ali Ahmad "Adonis" Said (Syria, 1930): "The Pages of Day and Night " (1994) [p]
Ali Ahmad "Adonis" Said (Syria, 1930): "al-Kitab/ The Book" (2002) [p] +
Ali Ahmad "Adonis" Said (Syria, 1930): "Prophesy" (2003) [p]
Zakaria Tamer (Syria, 1931): "The Neighing of the White Steed" (1960)
Nawal El Saadawi (Egypt, 1931): "Memoirs of a Woman Doctor" (1958)
Abdul Rahman Munif (Iraq, 1933): "Mudun al-Milh/ Cities of Salt" (1989) +
Mohamed Choukri (Morocco, 1935) "Al Khubz al-Hafi/ For Bread Alone" (1972) +
Mohamed Choukri (Morocco, 1935) "Zaman Al- Akhtaa aw Al-Shuttar/ Time of Mistakes or the Streetwise" (1992)
Ghassan Kanafani (Palestine, 1936): "Rijal Fish-shams/ Men in the Sun" (1963)
Mahmoud Darwish (Palestine, 1941): "Uhibbuki aw la Uhibbuki/ I love you I love you not" (1972) [p]
Mahmoud Darwish (Palestine, 1941): "al-Nasheed al-jasadi/ The Music of Human Flesh" (1980) [p]
Hanan al-Shaykh (Lebanon, 1945): "Misk al-ghazal/ Women of Sand and Myrrh" (1989)
Elias Khoury (Lebanon, 1948): "al-Jabal al-Saghir/ Little Mountain" (1977)
Elias Khoury (Lebanon, 1948): "Abwab al-Madinah/ The Gates of the City" (1981) +
Elias Khoury (Lebanon, 1948): "Bab Al-Shams" (1998)
Ibrahim Al-Koni (Libya, 1948): "al-Tibr/ Gold Dust" (1990)
Ibrahim Al-Koni (Libya, 1948): "Anubis" (2002) +
Hoda Barakat (Lebanon, 1952): "The Tiller of Waters" (2000)
Ahlam Mosteghanemi (Algeria, 1953): "Memory in the Flesh" (1998)
Alaa al Aswani (Egypt, 1957): "Imarat Yaacoubian/ The Yacoubian Building" (2002)
Rajaa al-Sanei (Saudi Arabia, 1981): "The Girls of Riyadh" (2005)
TM, ®, Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.


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TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.