An anthology of selections from Arabic and Persian writers

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Aspects of Islamic Civilization
Introduction - 9
1. Arabia Deserta - 19
2. The Speech of Allah - 32
3. The Sunna and the Successors - 52
4. Wisdom from the East - 72
5. Science from the West - 119
6. La dolce vita - 155
7. Religious counsels - 191
8. Mystical moments - 218
9. Lyrical interlude - 256
10. Faith and doubt - 279
11. Parable and anecdote - 308
12. The Art of Hafiz - 344
13. Two modern Egyptian poets - 359
14. The revolt of Islam - 378
Bibliography - 405
Index - 407


Islamic literature is rich, varied, and abundant, as befits the literature of a civilization which once controlled an empire as great as that of the Romans. In Aspects of Islamic Civilization, A. J. Arberry has chosen and translated passages from the most highly regarded works of Islamic literature in order to illustrate the development of Islamic civilization from its origins in the sixth century to the present.

This anthology is made up of selections from Arabic and Persian writers who have given world renown to Islamic literature—such as Hafiz, Sa'di, Jalal al-Din Rumi, Omar Khayyam, Ibn al-Farid, Avicenna, Ibn Hazm—and from such works as the Koran, the Masnavi, and the Moorish Anthology. It is an invaluable collection of sources for anyone interested in the Moslem world and a fascinating volume to browse in.