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Volume :14 Issue : 56 1996      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Readings in the Intellectual and Ethical Context of Jahelite Poetry (in Arabic)

Auther : Ali Seliman

It is not the aim of this study to defend the Jahelite age, nor to admire it. It is neither an attempt to ascribe any moral or conceptual traits to it, nor allege glories it never possessed. It is, in fact, an objective reading, through works of poetry, of a transitional period of paramount importance in Arab history, preceding the advent of Islam, led by the great Prophet Mohammed, and constituting an unprecedented turning point in the lives of the Arabs.

Indeed, the Jahelite period was greatly neglected by scholars and thinkers. Its defects, weaknesses and shortcomings were often exaggerated with a view to highlighting the greatness of Islam which followed. Quite often, the Jahelite period was deliberately underrated in order to emphasize the role played by Islam in transforming the Arabs from a state of division and conflict, to a state of brotherhood, harmony, unity, strength and virtue.

Though the principal aim of this study is the exploration, through poetic text, of intellectual and ethical values, which stress the significance of the Jahelite period, it also hopes to reveal the role it played in paving the way for Islam. It, therefore, endeavors to point out conceptual and ethical links that relate the Jahelite Arabs to the Muslim Arabs. From such a perspective, a holistic view of Arab history can be attained without dividing it into separate, conflicting or contradictory periods. Instead, a sense of continuity, interaction and integration can be detected, and the flow of historical events, with their philosophical, religious, political and social trends, can be aptly traced.

This study hopes to make a fair contribution not only to the correct reading of the conceptual and ethical contexts of Jahelite prosody, but to the entire Jahelite way of life.

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