Islamization of Literature: Origin, Present Context and Some Proposals

Paper presented at a workshop on Islamic Epistemology & Curriculum Reform
2-3 May, 2008, Islamic University Kustia

In and out of the globe, Islam, as a complete code of life, does not leave any issue out of its scope. So very naturally, it takes a special interest in literature because literature, in the most popular definition, is an artistic expression of life. Islam, like literature, deals with all aspects of life, and therefore, as a significant human concern, literature has been duly treated in Islam from its very beginning. It is known that the ancient Arabs, who were of incredible poetic sense, questioned the authenticity of the holy Quran because of its charming language and artistic expression of its themes and style. The Quranic verse was the most significant the language of the holy Quran penetrated the stone like hearts of the unbelievers and made them feel the truth and peace of Islam. They got alarmed and threw an open challenge of debate to the Prophet. As a result an idealistic and aesthetic debate took place on the supremacy of Islam and other contemporary beliefs. It is notable in this regard.that our prophet (sm) encouraged Hassan bin Thabit (R), a famous contemporary poet, to use poetry in order to highlight and defend Islam and the Muslims amid the turmoil of poetic crossfire. In fact, our beloved prophet(sm) was the mastermind who used to supply his poets with necessary thematic and factual information and tips to win the contests.

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