Poetry

Islamic Art as Visual Literature

Islamic Art as Visual Literature

Fundamental to the expression of the spiritualism of Islam is the idea that its essence rests within one’s soul. In poetry and prose, that expression is rendered in literature, a reflection of the language of scholarly discourse that has endured since the religion’s founding moments. Though the application of that scholarship has changed, the Sufi(…)

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Britta Janssen: “The Lordly Wind:” Eco-Spirituality in the Poetry of Jalāl Al-Dīn Rūmī

Britta Janssen: “The Lordly Wind:” Eco-Spirituality in the Poetry of Jalāl Al-Dīn Rūmī

“The Lordly Wind:” Eco-Spirituality in the Poetry of Jalāl Al-Dīn Rūmī The role of nature in the religion of Islam can be observed in multiple ways. Those interested in the human nature relationship can look at the way governments and religious leaders talk about the environment, or alternatively, the opposing views of dissenting non-profits and(…)

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Adam Jussila: Calligraphy: The Art of Andalusia and Maghreb

Adam Jussila: Calligraphy: The Art of Andalusia and Maghreb

For the Islamic people, calligraphy is more than a means of communication. It is an art form, a way to connect with and honor the divine, which has been widely practiced for over a thousand years. The first words that the angel Gabriel said to the prophet Muhammad were, “Recite: In the name of thy(…)

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Adam Jussila: A Common Heritage: Mughal, Ottoman, and Safavid Empires

Adam Jussila: A Common Heritage: Mughal, Ottoman, and Safavid Empires

Three empires rose out of the Islamic societies in the Middle East and Central Asia, all coming into existence around the end of the 15th century into the beginning of the 16th century. They were the Ottoman Empire in the west, the Safavid Empire mostly in Iran, and the Mughal Empire in the east, covering(…)

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Reactions by the Alem-i Mümin

Reactions by the Alem-i Mümin

 Reactions from the Alem-i Mümin   Our readings and class discussion in the last weeks revolved around intrareligious interactions, especially involving the Muslim community’s responses to outside stimuli. And especially our fierce brainstorming in class when we personnally experienced overlapping master narratives revealed to me how significantly single stories can dominate/disrupt knowledge.  Our attempts to(…)

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Delaney Meyers: Interfaith Communication and Hierarchy

Delaney Meyers: Interfaith Communication and Hierarchy

I would argue that some of the factors of Islam as a religion that lead to it’s speedy successful expansion are also leading factors of Islam’s early potential for interfaith communication. For example, the attractive quality of the eternal afterlife was a significant factor in conquered people’s acceptance of Islam because it meant that their(…)

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Adam Jussila: The Rise of Islam

Adam Jussila: The Rise of Islam

Islam was not created in a day, but its creation and subsequent rise in popularity in the 7th century was remarkable to anyone who has studied it. It was a combination of luck and brilliant religious and political leadership- some might call it the perfect storm. The prophet Muhammad came out of nowhere to create(…)

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James Fleming (RELG 373): The Eternal and the Ephemeral, Differences in Mystical Approaches

James Fleming (RELG 373): The Eternal and the Ephemeral, Differences in Mystical Approaches

Though all are considered to be vital to nearly all tariqas, or Sufi lines, the poets and mystics Rumi, Hafez, and Sa’di differ in their views on how the mystic concepts behind Sufism should be approached. This can be demonstrated with examples of their works, which for these purposes include, A son leaves his father(…)

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Gabe Weiland: Rumi

Gabe Weiland: Rumi

      Throughout Rumi’s poems, one can notice several recurring themes related to Sufi ideology and practices. Notably, the importance of divine love, and the description of Sufis as lovers are prevalent themes in Rumi’s writings. Similarly, the usage of metaphors such as wine and drunkenness for the divine intoxication experienced by Sufi’s is(…)

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Noah Schiller: Three Rumi Poems

Noah Schiller: Three Rumi Poems

The first poem I have selected to analyze is The Qazvin Softie Who Wanted a Tattoo. I found this poem both humorous and insightful. The poem is about a man from a town called Qazvin who asks his barber to tattoo a lion across his shoulder blades. However, whenever the barber begins his work, the(…)

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James Fleming (RELG 373): Rumi and the Paradox of the Moment’s Son

James Fleming (RELG 373): Rumi and the Paradox of the Moment’s Son

Although Rumi’s verse in his work Masnavi is laid out in a very clear manner with simple allegorical structure, the content and the underlying meaning is far from being being restricted to any such manner of superficiality. Each poem is extremely multilayered, with many esoteric truths and mystic knowledge being alluded to. As a result(…)

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Micah Vriezelaar: “Muhammad as Friend and Lover”

Micah Vriezelaar: “Muhammad as Friend and Lover”

Defined in indirect ways, the character of the Prophet in some regard makes up the most important facet of the Qur’an; serving as both the conduit, the Messenger of God, Muhammad did well to disseminate what he learned from Gabriel to his friends, followers, and among the Quraysh he hailed, but on a different level,(…)

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Ghalib Dehlavi: A Thousand Times Go Away, A Hundred Thousand Times Come Back

Ghalib Dehlavi: A Thousand Times Go Away, A Hundred Thousand Times Come Back

This is my favorite poem from Ghalib Dehlavi (d. 1869) sent to me today by my sister Amineh      Mahallati, Professor of Persian Language at Princeton: ز من گرت نبود باور انتظار، بیا بهانه جوی مباش و ستیزه‌کار، بیا! به یک دو شیوه ستم، دل نمیشود خرسند به مرگ من که به سامان روزگار(…)

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Zoe Dubno: Al-Mulk, Kabanni, and Political Poetry

Zoe Dubno: Al-Mulk, Kabanni, and Political Poetry

Nizam Al-Mulk (originally known as Abdul Ali Hasan ibin al Tusi) lived from 1018-1092. His adopted name, meaning “Order of the Realm” in Persian reflected his status as a prominent scholar and vizier of the Seljuq Empire. Although he was not a direct descendent of the Seljuq dynasty, he held nearly absolute power for 20(…)

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Various Conceptions of Love in Islamic Poetry

Various Conceptions of Love in Islamic Poetry

I was drawn to Rumi’s 13th century poem, “The Alchemy of Love,” due to the contradictions it possessed and the questions it posed. At the poem’s conclusion, Rumi defines love as “the offspring of knowledge.” I found this especially interesting due to the fact that, in many cases, knowledge generates cynicism and hopelessness. For example,(…)

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Lucy Hall: Themes in Classical and Modern Islamic Poetry

Lucy Hall: Themes in Classical and Modern Islamic Poetry

The two poems I chose were Sa’di’s “Compassion on the Orphans” for the classical selection and “Water” by Sohrab Sepehri as my modern poetry selection. First, I will analyze these poems separately and identify their moral connections to Islam. Then I will compare the two and the ways in which these poems differ in the(…)

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