The Mantle Odes

Overview

Three of the most renowned praise poems to the Prophet, the mantle odes span the arc of Islamic history from Muhammad's lifetime, to the medieval Mamluk period, to the modern colonial era. Over the centuries, they have informed the poetic and religious life of the Arab and Islamic worlds. Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych places her original translations of the poems within the odes' broader cultural context. By highlighting their transformative power as speech acts and their ritual function as gift exchanges, this ...

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Overview

Three of the most renowned praise poems to the Prophet, the mantle odes span the arc of Islamic history from Muhammad's lifetime, to the medieval Mamluk period, to the modern colonial era. Over the centuries, they have informed the poetic and religious life of the Arab and Islamic worlds. Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych places her original translations of the poems within the odes' broader cultural context. By highlighting their transformative power as speech acts and their ritual function as gift exchanges, this book not only demonstrates the relevance of these poems to contemporary scholarship but also reveals their power and beauty to the modern reader.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

"Stetkevych provides an original translation and careful analysis of three landmark poems in Arabic Islamic literature... Recommended." —Choice

Michael Sells

"A work of scholarship at the highest level, critically groundbreaking, textually grounded, elegantly argued, and of a depth and breadth that is rare in any field." —Michael Sells, author of Desert Tracings: Six Classic Arabian Odes

Muhsin al-Musawi

"A great achievement in literary theory and Islamic thought and a significant contribution to Arabic literature." —Muhsin al-Musawi, author of Reading Iraq: Culture and Power in Conflict

S. Gomaa

Also author of The Poetics of Islamic Legitimacy (2002) and The Mute Immortals Speak (1993), Stetkevych (Indiana Univ.) provides an original translation and careful analysis of three landmark poems in Arabic Islamic literature: Ka'b ibn Zuhayr's "Su'ad Has Departed" (presented to the prophet in his life), Al-Busiri's "Mantle Ode" (13th century), and Ahmad Shawqi's "The Way of the Mantle" (early 20th century). The author argues that these are essentially praise poems with similar structural elements. They are addressed to the prophet in exchange for a gift, and the nature of this gift varies according to the poem's cultural and historical circumstances. Each of the book's three chapters presents a comprehensive and compelling line-by-line analysis of its subject poem. The book also includes an appendix of Arabic texts. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers/faculty. -- ChoiceS. Gomaa, Salve Regina University, Jan. 2011

From the Publisher
"A great achievement in literary theory and Islamic thought and a significant contribution to Arabic literature." —Muhsin al-Musawi, author of Reading Iraq: Culture and Power in Conflict
Choice

"Stetkevych provides an original translation and careful analysis of three landmark poems in Arabic Islamic literature... Recommended." —Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253222060
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych is Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures and Adjunct Professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University, Bloomington. She is author of The Poetics of Islamic Legitimacy: Myth, Gender, and Ceremony in the Classical Arabic Ode (IUP, 2002).

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface XI

Acknowledgments XV

Note on Translation and Transliteration XVII

List of Abbreviations XIX

1 Ka'B Ibn Zuhayr and The Mantle of the Prophet

Introduction 1

The Pre-Islamic Prototype 1

1 'Alqamah's A Heart Turbulent with Passion: The Poem as Ransom Payment 3

2 Al-Nabighah's O Abode of Mayyah: Transgression and Redemption 12

3 Zuhayr ibn Abi Sulmá's The Tribe Set Out: The Tacit Panegyric Pact 19

The Pre-Islamic as Proto-Islamic 28

Ka'b ibn Zuhayr's Su'ad Has Departed 30

The Conversion Narrative 33

The Conversion Ode 38

Part 1 Lyric-Elegiac Prelude (Nasib) 38

Part 2 Desert Journey (Rahil) 42

Part 3 Praise (Madih) 46

Mythogenesis: The Donation of the Mantle 62

Conclusion 66

Hassan ibn Thabit's At Taybah Lies a Trace 66

2 Al-Busiri and The Dream of The Mantle

Introduction 70

Poetic Genre 71

Poetic Style: Classical and Post-Classical Badi' 73

The Poet and His Times 81

The Miracle and the Poem 82

'Umar ibn al-Farid's Was That Laylá's Fire 88

The Mantle Ode 90

The Structure of al-Busiri's Burdah 90

The Beginning of the Supplicatory Pattern: Parts 1-3 92

Part 1 Prophetic Nasib 92

Part 2 Warning against the Desires of the Self 95

Part 3 Praise of the Noble Messenger 97

The Sirah-Derived Passages: Parts 4-8 106

Poeticization and Polemicization 107

Part 4 The Birth of the Prophet 111

Part 5 The Miracles of the Prophet 117

Part 6 The Noble Qur'an 121

Part 7 The Night Journey and Ascension 127

Part 8 The Messenger's Jihad and Campaigns 132

Completion of the Supplicatory Pattern: Parts 9-10 141

Part 9 Supplication and Plea for Intercession 142

Part 10 Fervent Prayer and Petition 144

Conclusion 148

3 Ahmad Shawqi and the Reweaving of the Mantle

Introduction 151

Ahmad Shawqi and the Nahdah 151

Poetic Precedents 153

Authorizing the Text: The Khedive, the Shaykh, and the Adib 156

The Colonial Double Bind 160

Shawqi's Nahj al-Burdah: The Thematic Structure 163

Nahj al-Burdah Movement I: In the Path of al-Busiri-Parts 1-6 166

Part 1 Nasib: Complaint of Unrequited Love 166

Part 2 Chiding the Unruly Soul-Warning against Worldly Temptations 171

Part 3 Repentance, Submission, and Supplication 173

Part 4 Prophetic Praise 176

Part 5 Sirah Themes: The Birth of the Prophet; The Night Journey and Ascension; The Miracle of the Cave 184

Part 6 Metapoetic Recapitulation of Prophetic Praise 194

Nahj al-Burdah Movement II: The Ihya' Project: Parts 7-12 200

Part 7 Polemic against Christianity 201

Part 8 Defense/Praise of Jihad and the Prophet's Military Campaigns 202

Part 9 The Shari'ah 208

Part 10 The Glory of Baghdad 216

Part 11 The Orthodox Caliphs 219

Part 12 Benediction and Supplication 224

Conclusion 231

Umm Kulthum, al-Qaradawi, and Nahj al-Burdah 231

Appendix of Arabic Texts 235

Notes 26l

Works Cited 287

Index 297

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