Arabic Language and Literature for Kids - who were the famous Islamic authors? what did they write about?
Islamic Language and Literature
Arabic is in the Semitic language
group, which seems to have originated somewhere near modern Syria, and
to have spread from there through Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan down to
the Arabian peninsula.
Until the time of Mohammed
in the 600s AD
, Arabic was mainly spoken and
not written. Still, there are some written records from the Arabian
peninsula from before the 600s AD. These are called Sabataean. But
they are only short inscriptions in stone, not really literature.
After the Islamic conquests
of the late 600s AD, people soon began to speak Arabic all over the
Islamic Empire, from Afghanistan to Spain, and people speak Arabic in
even more places today (though not in Spain). By 1000 AD, people spoke
Arabic in India
Many people began to write in Arabic. Among the first things to
be written was the Koran
, but soon
many scientific texts and medical
and math books were written
in Arabic, and also stories like the Arabian
or the story of
Aladdin. There were many Arab historians
, and poets
Also, in the eastern part of the Islamic Empire, many people spoke and
wrote in Persian (an Indo-European
language). One famous Persian story, written about 1000 AD, is the story of Sohrab
Here's a song by Yusuf Islam (who used to be Cat Stevens)
to teach the Arabic alphabet:
As Turkic and Altaic people from Central Asia moved into West Asia, beginning in the later medieval period, many people also told or wrote stories in Turkish. You can compare stories about the trickster Nasruddin to African Anansi stories.
To find out more about Arabic and Islamic literature, check out these books from Amazon or from your local library: