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Pre-Islamic Values Poetry

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Madiha S.

on 11 November 2013

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Transcript of Pre-Islamic Values Poetry

Pre-Islamic Values and Poetry
Muru’ah is one of the oldest value in pre-Islamic Arabia. It means chivalry, generosity, loyalty, magnanimity and courage. It associates to qualities that Arab poets possessed in pre Islamic Arabia and mostly what their poems or qasidas revolved around.

Al –Muallaqat is ‘The Suspended Odes’ or ‘The Hanging Poems'. It includes qasidas of different famous poets all combined to form the best work of poetry in pre-Islamic Arabia.

Amr b.Kulthum
Al-Nabigha al-Dhubani

These are all famous poets during the time of pre-Islamic Arabia.There works are included in Al-Muallaqat which means there work was honored and written in gold to be hung on the kaabah.

Amr b. Kulthum





Amr b. KulthÙm

Full name:
Amr ibn Kulthum Ibn Malik Ibn A`tab Abu Al-Aswad al-Taghlibi
Born in Bahrain and died in 584 AD
He was the leader of his tribe, the Taghlib, and he was also their knight and poet.

The Taghlib tribe
Taghlib was a glorious tribe who came from Al-Forat
island and was famous for their fearless knights and cruel behavior in wars.

A saying "People were about to be eradicated by the Taghlibs, except for the appearance of Islam.”

He has only four poems that
have survived:

(The Muallaqah)

His Work
Story and background:
‘Amr ibn Kulthum was a Jahili poet,
he wrote this poem when ‘Amr ibn Hind (Lakhmid leader) was invited ibn Kulthum to a meal. However, in the meal – ibn Hind ordered the mother of ‘ibn Kulthum to serve his mother – [indirectly] humiliating and degrading ibn Kulthum’s mother.

She cried out ‘Wa ‘Amraa!’ (O Help ‘Amr!) and her son came in rage at this open humiliation and killed ibn Hind with his sword. He left with his mother and wrote a famous mu’allaqah in defense of his mother, tribe and person and also in fakhr (pride) and threat.

Parts of the Muallaqah
Her real name is Tumāḍir bint Amr ibn al-Ḥarth ibn al-Sharīd al-Sulamīyah.

She was born in 575 in Saudi Arabia (known as Najd during that time)

She’s known as Al-Khansā’ which means gazelle in Arabic.

She was an Arabic poet in the 7th century.

She is the best recognized female poet in Arabic Literature
Her elegies, which she wrote for her brothers Ṣakhr and Muāwiyah after they died in battle, earned her respect and fame
An elegy is  a sorrowful, melancholic or plaintive poem
Her poems were generally short and filled with a strong and traditional sense of desolation at the irreversible loss of life.

A brief translated section of one of her elegies:
"The herald of the dead announced the loss Of the most generous man, Sakhr; And he cried it so loud That far and wide he was heard.
It wounded me so painfully That in my misery I looked like a drunken person.Every morning when I awaken,The first rays of the sun remind me of him And every evening when the sun sets I mourn for him”

She lost all four sons, Yazīd, Muāwiyah, Amr, and Amrah, in the battle of Qadisiyah
She allegedly did not mourn their death but was thankful to Allah instead for giving her such an honor of being the mother of four martyrs
She died in 645 at the age of 70
Her poems were later collected in one book “Diwan Al-Khansā’”.

Thabet bin Aws Al Azdi was known as
Al Shanfara and he was was one of the
important poets of the
pre Islamic Arabia.
He grew up in Bani Salaman from Bani Fahm who took him captive when he was a child. When he knew about the story, he vowed he would murder a hundred men from them. He succeeded in killing ninety-nine, but as he reached the hundredth, he failed and was killed. After his death, the 100th victim kicked Al Shanfara's skull which caused his death. He died in year 525 A.D. Al Shanfara was known for his poetic courage as well as his manly courage, that he was known as one of the most prestigious poets of his age.
He was named Al Shanfara for his mean
demeanor. Al Shanfari was one of the finest
vagabond poets, along with others such as
Ta’abatta Sharran and ‘Urwah ibn Al-Ward.
The reasons for him being called such a term
remain ambiguous, yet the reasons still do
not fail to amuse those who read and learn
about his history.

Al-Nabigha (al-Nābighah al-Dhubiyānī)
His real name is Ziyad ibn Muawiyah ibn Muder.
Historians are not certain about his date of birth but they believe that he lived from c. 535 – c. 604. (the last half of the century before the rise of islam).

according to critics, he was named "Al-Nabigha" for many reasons:

1- "Al-Nabigha" means "genius" in Arabic.
2- The literal meaning of the word "Nabagha Al-ma'a".
3- He was the only poet in his family.

His poems give us a glance about his life. Al-Nabigha wrote love poetry (Ghazal) when he was young, but as he grew older, he used poetry to fight for the honor of his tribe.
Al-Nabigha's poems consist largely of eulogies and satires, and are concerned with the strife of Hirah and Ghassan, and of the Banu Abs and the Banu Dhubyan.

He is one of the six eminent pre-Islamic poets whose poems were collected before the middle of the 2nd century of Islam, and have been regarded as the standard of Arabic poetry. These poems were known as Mo`allakat since they were hung on the walls of the Kaaba for everyone to admire and read.
Al-Nabigha is also known to be the person who gave the poet Al-Khansa her name.

He used to evaluate great poets like (Al-Akhtal) in Souq Okaz.

He had good relations with rulers: (Al-Noman ibn Al-Monther).

{ Conclusion }
Done by:
Reference List:
Overview about life in pre-Islamic Arabia
Pre-Islamic Arabia or Arabia before Islam is called “Jahiliyya” which means ignorance or not having a certain religion or a book of religion.
Tribes in pre-Islamic Arabia used to fight against each other, for that, fighting was a natural part in pre-Islamic Arabia which is called “ayyam al-arab” or days of the Arabs.
Arabs in Jahiliyya were famous in blood-revenge and Muru’a.
Muru’a is one of the oldest value in pre-Islamic Arabia. It consist of:
Hospitality and generosity.
Courage and heroism.
Loyalty and judgment.

Blood Revenge
Blood revenge means
in Arabic or “vengeance” in English.
Blood revenge could be described as “a disease of honor which might be described as madness.
Vengeance should be taken upon the murderer or one of his fellow tribesmen.
Usually after the vengeance, the matter end and everything return as it was before, but in some cases, the vengeance would still for a long time as in what happened with Kulayb that led forty years of war and fighting between two parties, Bakr and Taghlib.

Most famous people in pre-Islamic Arabia in muru’a:
- Al-Shanfarā Al-Azdī was known by his courage and heroic acts.
- Samaw'al b. 'Adiya was known by his loyalty.
- Hitim of Tayyi‘ was known by his generosity and hospitality.

Al-Shanfarā Al-Azdī
His name is Thabet bin Aws Al-Azdi, he died in 525 BC, from a tribe called Azed in Yemen.
He is known by his heroic and courage.
His enemies in which they are from azedeyyen tribe killed his father then his mother moved to Salaman tribe, so he swore to kill one-hundred of them. He killed ninety-nine until they prisoned and killed him. After a period of time, a person of his enemy was killed because he kicked his skull in the ground, so a splinter of bone injuries his foot, then he Bled to death. thus how he killed one-hundred.

Samaw'al b. 'Adiya
Samaw'al b. 'Adiya was an Arabian poet and warrior in jahiliyya
He is known by his loyalty, he was called "Awfa min 'l-Samaw'ali"—"More loyal than al-Samaw'al “.
The story of his loyalty is when he kept treasures and mails for Imru'u ‘Al-Qays. After Imru'u ‘Al-Qays died when he was on his way to home from Constantinople, so an old enemy sent an army against Sama’al demanding that he should give them treasures and mails, but he refused, so they caught his son while he was hunting and brought his as a hostage to force Samaw’al to give them treasures and mails, but he refused, so they slew his son and they did not get treasures and mails.

Hitim of Tayyi'
Hatem ibn Abdellah ibn Sa'ad at-Ta'iy was Christian and he belonged toTai tribe.
He was well-known by his extreme generosity and hospitality.
He was mentioned in some hadiths by the prophet Mohammad
When he was young his father was thinking that his son is wasting his food by sharing or giving it to a slave-girl.
We see his extreme generosity when he argued with his father because he served all camels that he was taking care of in the pasture to the visitors that visited him, so when his father knew that he did that, he came to him and told him “you are out of my family”, then he left him lonely.

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One of these stories states that Al Shanfara had promised his wife’s father something really of importance yet that still remains unknown. Other states that Al Shanfara was extremely saddenned when his wife abandoned him and left for her parent’s house. And yet another claims that he was angered by the fact his tribe snitched all his deep secrets to the public. Al Shanfara’s poem verses were usually ironic and meant to tease the listeners in order to show approval of tribal ways of life.
-His poems were usually ironic and attcked the tribal life.

AL Mu‘allaqāt
The Mu‘allaqātis the title of a group of seven long Arabic poems or qasida that have come down from the time before Islam.
The name means ‘The Suspended Odes’ or ‘The Hanging Poems’, the traditional explanation being that these poems were hung on or in the Ka'ba at Mecca
Each is considered the best work of these pre-Islamic poets.

Hammad Ar-Rawiya saw how little men
cared for poetry, he collected seven pieces of poetry and urged people to study them, said to them: “These are the [poems] of renown.” It is also assumed that he is responsible also for the somewhat fantastic title of "the suspended".

Imru' al-Qais – The wandering king
Tarafa- The playboy
Zuhayr- The moralist
Antara Ibn Shaddad- The black night and Arab hero
Labīd-The cenetenarian
Amr ibn Kulthum- The regicide
Harith bin Hillizah- The leper
Collection of seven pre-Islamic Arabic qaṣīdahs (odes)
Each considered to be its author’s best piece. Since the authors themselves are among the dozen or so most famous poets of the 6th century, the selection enjoys a unique position in Arabic literature, representing the finest of early Arabic poetry.

Taken together, the poems of the Muallaqāt provide an excellent picture of Bedouin life, manners, and modes of thought.
The qasida followed a standard pattern, three main themes:

- Love, in which the poet describes his search for his beloved.
- Journey theme, in which the poet describes his journey in which he usually praises his companion and horse or camel who carries hi burden.
It is considered the main theme of poem in which the poet devote either to extolling his virtues, glorifying his tribe and depreciating its enemies.

These were some of the most memorable poets who composed outstanding poetry in the Pre-Islamic period. To this day, their poetry is honored in the Arab World as masterpieces.
The effect of Pre-Islamic values and traditions can be concluded from their poetry, such as courage, generosity, and satire.

Poets wrote Al-Muallaqat to deliver their message because poetry was a perfect instrument of concession, clarity and eloquence.

Hope you enjoyed our presentation
Nicholson, R. A. (1997). A literary history of the arabs. New York: Kegan Paul International.

"Al-Muʿallaqāt." Encyclopedia Britannica. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2013. <http://global.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/395740/Al-Muallaqat
"Al-Muʿallaqāt." Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_mu%27allaqat>.

"Arabian Poetry: Introduction: II.—The Mu‘allaqāt, or, Seven Ancient Arabic Prize Poems." Arabian Poetry: Introduction: II.—The Mu‘allaqāt, or, Seven Ancient Arabic Prize Poems. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2013. <http://www.sacred-texts.com/isl/arp/arp005.htm>.

إبن الصقلي. (2010). Al-Khansa': A Jahili & Muslim Elegiac Poetess. Dar Al Hadith. Retrieved November 10th 2013 from http://daralahadith.blogspot.ae/2010/08/al-khansa-jahili-muslim-elegiac-poetess.html

Al-Khansa'. Retrieved November 10th 2013 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Khansa

Elegy. Retrieved November 10th 2013 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elegy

Al-Khansa'. Retrieved November 10th 2013 from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/316311/al-Khansa/

Ḥammūd, M. (1991). Al-nābighah al-dhubyānī. Beirut، Lebanon: Dār al-Fikral Lubnani

His name
His Poetry
The purpose of his poetry
Al- Nabigha wrote poetry for many purposes such as eulogies, satires and strife.

He was also known with his Proficiency in Description.
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