Arabic Prosody in Europe: Muwashshahāt, Azjāl and the Catalan Troubadours

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The Almoravid and Almohad periods (1091-1145 and 1145-1230, respectively) saw the greatest flowering of the art. Scores of poets composed great verses of Muwashshahāt and Azjāl. Ibn Bājjah, Ibn Baqī (d. 1145), Ibn Hardus (d. 572/1176), Ibn Hayyun, Ibn Hazmun al-Mursi (d. 614 AH), Ibn Labbun, Ibn Ruḥaīm, Ibn Sahl al-Balansī (d. 1251), Ibn Said Abu Ja'far (d. 559/1164), Ibn Ubāda al-Washshāh, Ibn Zamrak (1333-1393), Muhammad al-Qabrī al-Darīr, Muhiuddīn Ibn Arabī (credited with twenty-eight Muwashshahāt), Muqaddam b. Mu'afa al-Qabrī (circa. 225/840-circa. 299-912), Ubāda b. Abdullah b. Ma' al-Sama al-Balansī, Ubāda b. al-Qazzāz al-Balansī (d. 529/1130), and others are to be noted for developing the genre.

The Zejel pattern has been followed by many a Spanish poets in Medieval and Modern times. We have numbers of examples from the Concioneros. Poems from Juan Ruiz the Archbishop of Hita (c. 1283-c.1350), especially his Amor (In praise of love) from his celebrated Libro de Buen Amor (Book of Good Love), to the serranillas of Iñigo López de Mendoza Marquis of Santillana (1398-1458), the popular ballads of Jorge Manrique (1440-1474), especially his Coplas por la muerte de su padre (Ode on the death of his father), the love elegy of Garcilas de la Vega (1503-1536), the mystical poems of Fray Luis de León (1528?-1591), the most inflamed mystic poetry of Sa Juan de la Cruz (1542-1591), the epic and amorous themes of Fernando de Herrera (1534?-1597), the Prince of Sighs whose love is of Provençal and Petrarchan origin, the Epístola Moral of Andres Fernández de Andrado (c. 1600) – all are characterized by the features and fervor of Andalusian Muwashshahāt-Azjāl genres. A number of Spanish poets who represent Romanticism in Modern times have composed poems on Zejel pattern. Canción del Pirata (Pirate's Song) of José de Espronceda (1808-1842), Herosura (Beauty) and Duerme, Alma Mia (Sleep, My Soul, Sleep) of Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936), Amanecer de Ontono (Autumn Dawn) of Antonio Machado (1875-1939) and a number of Juan Ramón Jimenez (b. 1881) such as No era nadie (There was no one), Amor (Love), Luz Tú (You Light) and others, are beautiful examples of Spanish Zejel songs.

The paper approaches the subject in historical-textual and interpretive perspectives.


Keywords: Azjāl, Concioneros, Muwashshahā, Troubadours
Stream: Literature, Literary Studies
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Mohd. Sanaullah

Associate-Professor, Department of Arabic
Aligarh Muslim University, India, Aligarh Muslim University

Aligarh, Utter Paradesh, India

Email: su_amu@maktoob.com su_amu@yahoo.fr Dr. MOHD. SANAULLH
Department of Arabic ALIGARH MUSLIM UNIVERSITY, INDIA 1. Honored with National Award Maharishi Badrayan Vyas Samman by the President of India, in 2006, in recognition of contributions towards a synergy between Arab-Islamic legacy and ancient Indian wisdom, especially between Yoga and Sufi Sadhna. 2. Published Works: a. Books in English: 1. The Arab Legacy in Latin Europe, Aligarh, 2003. 2. The Arab-Romance Parnassus, Aligarh, 2006. b. Books in Arabic: 3. Shu’ra Wojoodiyoon Min Gharb Asia, (Existentialist Poets from West Asia), Aligarh, 2003. 4. al-Wojoodiyah: Falsafah wa Adab (Existentialism: Philosophy and Literature), Aligarh, 2006.c. Books in Urdu: 5. Klasiki Adabiyat e Europe per Islam ka Asar-Dante ke hawale Se (Islam and The Classical European Literature— A Case Study of Dante Alighieri), Aligarh, 2002. 6. Arabi Islami Uloom aur Mustashriqeen(Orientalism on Arab-Islamic Legacy), Kishananj, 2004. d. Papers and Articles: Over 100 Articles, Research Papers and Translations in Arabic, Urdu and English on comparative literature and philosophy published in different national and international Journals and Magazines such as Hamdard Islamicus (Karachi, Pakistan), Islam and the Modern Age (New Delhi, India), Thaqafat al-Hind (New Delhi, India), al-Ba's al-Islami (Lucknow, India), Aligarh Journal of Islamic Philosophy (Aligarh, India), Tahqeeqat-e-Islami (Aligarh, India), Majallah al-Majma' al-Ilmi al-Arabi al-Hindi (Aligarh, India), etc. e. Participation in Seminars, Conferences, etc: Participated and presented papers in over 20 national and international seminars and conferences in India and aboard (Morocco, Kuwait, etc) f. TV/Radio talks: Several Talks on al-Majd TV Channel, Saudi Arabia and FM band, Radio Jakarta, Indonesia.
3. Address for Correspondence: Department of Arabic ALIGARH MUSLIM UNIVERSITY ALIGARH (U.P.) INDIA Phone Number: 0091-571-2709062

Ref: H08P0399