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Abbasid History Podcast

Feb 18, 2024

Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥarīrī was an Arab poet, scholar and Seljuk government official who died in 1122CE aged 68 years old. His work al-Maqāmāt, a compilation of 50 highly-stylised comic anecdotes about the exploits of trickster Abū Zayd, received widespread renown in his time across the Muslim world and is regarded as a high point of Arabic literature.

We are pleased to be joined by Nasim Hassani in Tehran. Ms. Hasani hold a master's degree in Islamic Studies from Shahid Beheshti University,Tehran, Iran, where her dissertation was an Analysis of Mary and Jesus' Birth and Early Life in Quran and Apocrypha: James and Infancy Gospel of Thomas. She has a number of articles and translations in publication. 

This is an unusual episode in that  despite attempts at Zoom calls, the internet is currently too unstable in Iran, so instead I have sent audio files of my questions which she has kindly edited together for our presentation.

02:29 Al-Ḥarīrī was born in Basra 1054CE. He was descended from a companion of the Prophet Muḥammad. His family was wealthy. Before we look at his work, what do we know about the author's life and socio-political context?

14:23 Before we speak about his al-Maqāmāt and this specific illustrated edition, tell us about this genre of Arabic literature.

20:00 Before we dive into this specific illustrated edition, give us an overview of al-Ḥarīrī's al-Maqāmāt.

25:55 Now tell us more about this specific illustrated edition.

31:00 And finally before we end tell us where listeners can turn next to learn more about today's topic and what are other current projects that listeners can anticipate?

Edited and produced by Nasim Hassani

For more on our guest:


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IslamicHistory #MedievalHistory #AbbasidHistory #Poetry #ArabicPoetry #Literature #WorldLiterature #Seljuk