Animals in Islamic Tradition and Muslim Cultures by Richard Foltz

By Richard Foltz

This ebook, the 1st of its type, surveys Islamic and Muslim attitudes in the direction of animals, and human responsiblities in the direction of them, via Islam's philosophy, literature, mysticism and paintings.

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Moreover, much of the representational art of Muslim societies is in the form of illustrations accompanying works of popular literature done for courtly elites. " . Animals in Muslim Literature As in the philosophical texts described in the previous chapter, animals in the popular literature and art of Muslim societies are most often used as embodiments of specific human traits - lions for bravery, faxes for cunning, donkeys for stupidity, peacocks for vanity - and for purposes of teaching moral lessons relevant to humans.

7 The punch line betrays the real purpose of the tale, which is to make a point about the futility and insignificance of the worldly preoccupations of humans. "18 Jalal aI-din Rumi Jalal aI-din Rumi (1207-1273), founder ofthe Mevlevi Sufi order (the "Whirling Dervishes") is one of the best-known mystics of all time, and modern renditions of his verse have made him the best-selling poet in English today. -ma'anawi, is sometimes referred to as "the Qur'an in Persian," so great has been its influence and Animals in Literature and Art 79 popularity in Muslim societies.

She had two smooth thin horns and two teats like filled buckets; Her neck and eyes resembled those of the young wild gazelle; Her ears were long, face oval, and teeth sparkled when she smiled. You were a living cloud, a spring-tide, you deserve good praise. If the living men could redeem the dead by payment of ransom, We would have redeemed you whatever the price. o Sawda, you were very good, would that you had lived longer. 2 These and similar poems would seem to be about actual animals known to the poet, as opposed to the instrumental and symbolic uses of animals in most Muslim literature.

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