The Mantle Odes: Arabic Praise Poems to the Prophet Muhammad

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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The Mantle Odes: Arabic Praise Poems to the Prophet Muhammad

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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

"[T]he reader can learn much from Stetkevych's study...." —Speculum

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: 9780253354877
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 6/16/2010
  • Pages: 307
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (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
Acknowledgments
Note on Translation and Transliteration
List of Abbreviations

1. Ka'b ibn Zuhayr and the Mantle of the Prophet
Introduction
The Pre-Islamic Prototype
1. 'Alqamah's A Heart Turbulent with Passion: The Poem as Ransom Payment
2. Al-Nabighah's O Abode of Mayyah: Transgression and Redemption
3. Zuhayr ibn Abi Sulmá's The Tribe Set Out: The Tacit Panegyric Pact
The Pre-Islamic as Proto-Islamic
Ka'b ibn Zuhayr's Su'ad Has Departed
The Conversion Narrative
The Conversion Ode
Part 1: Lyric-Elegiac Prelude (Nasib)
Part 2: Desert Journey (Rahil)
Part 3: Praise (Madih)
Mythogenesis: The Donation of the Mantle
Conclusion
Hassan ibn Thabit's At Taybah Lies a Trace
2. Al-Busiri and the Dream of the Mantle
Introduction
Poetic Genre
Poetic Style: Classical and Post-Classical Badi'
The Poet and His Times
The Miracle and the Poem
'Umar ibn al-Farid's Was That Laylá's Fire
The Mantle Ode
The Structure of al-Busiri's Burdah
The Beginning of the Supplicatory Pattern: Parts 1-3
Part 1: Prophetic Nasib
Part 2: Warning against the Desires of the Self
Part 3: Praise of the Noble Messenger
The Sirah-Derived Passages: Parts 4-8
Poeticization and Polemicization
Part 4: The Birth of the Prophet
Part 5: The Miracles of the Prophet
Part 6: The Noble Qur'an
Part 7: The Night Journey and Ascension
Part 8: The Messenger's Jihad and Campaigns
Completion of the Supplicatory Pattern: Parts 9-10
Part 9: Supplication and Plea for Intercession
Part 10: Fervent Prayer and Petition
Conclusion
3. Ahmad Shawqi and the Reweaving of the Mantle
Introduction
Ahmad Shawqi and the Nahdah
Poetic Precedents
Authorizing the Text: The Khedive, the Shaykh, and the Adib
The Colonial Double Bind
Shawqi's Nahj al-Burdah: The Thematic Structure
Nahj al-Burdah Movement I: In the Path of al-Busiri—Parts 1-6
Part 1: Nasib: Complaint of Unrequited Love
Part 2: Chiding the Unruly Soul—Warning against Worldly Temptations
Part 3: Repentance, Submission, and Supplication
Part 4: Prophetic Praise
Part 5: Sirah Themes: The Birth of the Prophet; The Night Journey and Ascension; The Miracle of the Cave
Part 6: Metapoetic Recapitulation of Prophetic Praise
Nahj al-Burdah Movement II: The Ihya' Project: Parts 7-12
Part 7: Polemic against Christianity
Part 8: Defense/Praise of Jihad and the Prophet's Military Campaigns
Part 9: The Shari'ah
Part 10: The Glory of Baghdad
Part 11: The Orthodox Caliphs
Part 12: Benediction and Supplication
Conclusion
Umm Kulthum, al-Qaradawi, and Nahj al-Burdah

Appendix of Arabic Texts
Notes
Works Cited
Index

Indiana University Press

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