Arabic poetry is more than 1500 years old. It existed before Islam which is 1444 years old.
Arabs use poetry as a type of communication, expressing opinions, emotions and ideas.
(Margoliouth,1). In this paper I will be discussing the political and the social affect of Arabic poetry in the eras of Pre Islam, after Islam and after the western interaction. Each era has its own features, genres and subjects of poetry. However, they all share the same purpose and effect over the political and social situation of the region.
On one hand, no doubt that Arabic culture has poetry as a part of its structure especially when poets need their voices to reach to the authorities and people when it comes to sharing their political opinions and conflicts as well as the social situations between them. On the other hand, this practice carries weight over time and can become into generational long-lived arguments. In this paper I will be arguing the fact that this way of communication was pretty effective and enriched the culture and the society significantly even though it went though some turning points that caused it structural changes that didn’t change its meaningful purpose.
How did Arabic poetry influence the social and political situations in the eras of pre, after Islam and the Western imperialism?
Opposing argument: Arabic literature has been transmitted verbally from mouth to mouth which makes it an unreliable source of information (Monroe,3).
Concession: It’s right that the poetries and literature in general has been delivered for us from one mouth to another which makes it a doubtful source to depend on but with then most of our humanity’s history was delivered to us verbally which leads to that we don’t have any history before writing.
Refutation: Arabic poetry has a specific structure to be written in which every chosen word is structured based on its letters and number of syllabus and there is a whole science behind this called Arud. In other words, it’s hard for someone to change or update a poetry into new words or meanings because it must be weighed in a specific way that I will discuss more in the first draft. (Ziadeh ,1).
Main idea 1:
Arabic poetry started before the beginning of Islam, and it used to be written about different topics than modern poetry such as wisdom and social situations and there are some evidence for its existence during that period in which we know for sure when the very beginning of it was. (Dover, 42).
Arabs used to have the greatest poems the seven Mu’allaqat hanged in the Honored Ka’bah’), is a building at the center of Islam’s most important mosque, the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia) as a way to express honor and pride of these poetries before Islam and they were collected to prove the existence of poetry before Islam (Irshad,1).
Evidence 2: There are many great poems and poets that are still known honored and appreciated since more than 1400 years such as imru’ al-Qais, Samaw’al ibn ‘Adiya, al-Nabigha, Tarafa, Zuhayr bin Abi Sulma, and Antarah ibn Shaddad in which they all died since a long time, but their poems are still being transmitted form a generation to another (Kister,28).
There are some poems that were said to embrace the pride of the poets themselves and their tribe. For example, the case of Antarah ibn Shaddad in which they are rooted in the Arabic history and being taught over the generations (Dover,41).
There are some love stories that are rooted in Pre-Islam poems. For example, the case of Imru’ al-Qais and his lover Fatimah in which their names are pretty known in the Arabic history and their stories are proverbial since (Yacoub,166).
Main Idea 2:
Arabic poetry has 2 main turning points in which its features, subjects and genres changed. the first one was after the beginning of Islam before 1444 years due to the impact of Islamic morals and rules. the second one was when the western imperialism started. The structure of Arabic poetry has changed which led to the appearance of new types of poetry that didn’t exist before.
The topics of Poems and vocabulary used in them has significantly changed even within the same poet production as they went through different 2 phases (Hawatmeh, 2).
There are some Arab modernists who had the impact on this specific change as they broke down the Qasidah(poem) form by abandoning the 2-hemistich verse and creating the free verse form (Fakhreddine, 40).
Main idea 3:
Arabic poetry has a bad side to it in which conflicts written as poems can cause reputation problems that stay stuck to families for hundreds of years later. Those conflicts stay rooted in the history and get taught in schools as a type of poetry genres while if they were normal conversational conflicts they would be forgotten since a long time, and it wouldn’t reach to our generation.
The case of Jarir and Alfarazdaq.
The Case of Nizar Qabbani and Mahmoud Darwish.
The case of Jarir and Alakhtal Altaghlibi.
To sum up, Arabic poetry started before Islam since Imru’ AlQais is considered the father of Arabic poetry who lived way back in the 6th century. On one hand, no doubt that Arabic culture has poetry as a part of its structure especially when poets need their voices to reach to the authorities and the society. On the other hand, this practice carries weight over time and can become into generational long-lived arguments and causes as a result harm to the reputation of other sides. However, there are many turning points Arabic poetry had to go through starting from the pre-Islamic period until today’s version, such as the moral shift of Islam and the western imperialism. With that being said, the social and the political opinions and the way to express them had to go through the same phases and changes which will be discussed in this paper.