The Impact of Arabic in Islamic Civilization on Various Islamic Cultures – Page 4

Similarly, literature in the various Islamic cultures was affected due to Arabic. Arabic literature consisted of poetry like the qasida, satirical, wine and love poetry. There was a prevalence of prose about wisdom translated from Persian, Sanskrit and Greek literature . In addition to that, scientific and technical knowledge, such as astrology, astronomy, mathematics, medicine and engineering were also translated into Arabic . In addition to that, some Arabic literature incorporated elements from other Islamic cultures, for example the Arabian Knights had elements of Kalila wa Dimna. Moreover, tales of the prophets and other entertaining tales were enjoyed, for example the 1001 Nights . Similarly, Arabic influenced Persian literature because the new Persian literature consisted of more poetry like ghazals, wine, love and mystico-erotic poems.

In addition to that, heroic literature like, the Book of Kings (Shah-nama), romantic literature, like Leili va Majnun, mystical literature and prose translated from Arabic were enjoyed by Persians. Likewise, Persian literature influenced Turkic literature but Turkic literature emphasized the oral aspect of the material. Similarly, Persian literature influenced Urdu literature but Urdu literature consisted more of dastans like the story of Amir Hamza, Hamzanama .

Furthermore Arabic impacted the art of the various Islamic cultures because it transformed calligraphy to an art form. The Arabic script is based on the Syriac and Nabatean script but it was reformed by Ibm Muqla in the 10th c. . Scribes and calligraphers standardized and modified the styles of Arabic handwriting to be used to record the Quran within decades after the death of the prophet Mohammad. As a result, the Quran has been copied in all calligraphical styles in all periods . The styles used for state documents and copying the Quran were different from the styles used for personal documents. As the quality of paper improved in the thirteenth century, the art of calligraphy flourished and the demand for books increased drastically. Moreover sultans used calligraphy as signatures and calligraphy was used to decorate architectural tiles and inscriptions, metalwork, armour and pottery .

The role of Arabic in Islamic civilization is unlike that of any language in its respective civilization. It was the vehicle of Islamic learning, as the Quran is the heart of Islamic knowledge. It allowed the transition from an aural and oral culture to a book and book based culture. Moreover it was the lingua franca of the Islamic civilization which linguistically united people across vast regions.

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