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Arabic and Persian Literature A taste of the Middle East
Why is this study important?• 6th Century Islam expanded from Persia and Arabia (Modern day Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Oman, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Israel, Pakistan, Afghanistan)• Islam is a powerful and misunderstood culture• Islam brought modern mail service, banking, astronomy, navigation, medicine, math, and literature across Africa and Europe.
Pre-Islamic Influence of Persia 1000 BC-642 AD• Nomadic people• Zoroaster founder of Persian religion (Zoroastrianism)• Military Power Cyrus the Great (showed mercy, an example of Zoroastrianism influence)• Cambyses II expanded Persia• Darius I introduced roads, coinage, and weights to promote trade• 490 BC GreeksBattle of Marathon• 331 BC Alexander the Great• 224 BC Persia regains power• 651 AD Arabs defeat Persia Islam is introduced
Spread of Islam• Persians: Established major center of Islamic learning: Famous Poets Ferdowsi, Omar Khayyam, Rumi, Sadi• Arabs: Nomadic people (camel herders), spread Islam all the way to Spain• Mecca established• Persian Culture looses influence
Arabic Traditions: After 570 AD• Abraham• Desert nomads farmers and traders• Oases• Prophet Muhammad: Angel Gabriel• Islam: “submission to Allah’s will”• 640 AD Allegiance• Caliphs• Abbasid Dynasty: 762-1258 (Baghdad)
Persia and the Islamic Empire• The Samanids Islamic renaissance Bukhara
The People of Islam• Nomads Bedouins warriors• Rulers break of theocracy emits, Sultans, Shahs• Lower class taxed for not being Muslim, no slavery• Merchants/traders bazaars• Educated House of Wisdom (Caliph al Ma’mum• Mystics dervishes or fakirs (Sufism)• Women their rights improved (equals in the eyes of Allah)
LiteraturePre-Islamic: oral traditionselaborate odes (qasidas)AvestaIslamic Influence: Koran Sufism poetry Golden Age (753 AD)Encouraged great works of art