About This Chapter
Literature & Islam - Chapter Summary
This comprehensive literature chapter analyzes significant works of Islamic literature. Though a series of informative lessons, you'll become familiar with Islamic history and beliefs and the ways in which they are addressed through literature. You'll examine texts from the Qur'an as well as works by Basavanna, Rumi, Elhillo, Pamuk, Rushdie and El Saadawi. Work through the chapter at your own pace, and submit questions to our expert literature instructors if you need any extra help with the material. By the end of the chapter you should be able to:
- Summarize the life of Mohammed and the development of Islam
- Identify unifying Islamic cultural elements
- Analyze the symbolism from the Qur'an's Surah 19 and Surah 55
- Assess religion in Basavanna's ''Cripple Me Father'' and Rumi's ''Dissolver of Sugar''
- Discuss feminism and post-colonialism in Elhillo's ''Asmar''
- Describe religion and race in Pamuk's To Look Out the Window and Rushdie's ''The Perforated Sheet''
- Interpret and analyze El Saadawi's In Camera
1. Mohammed and the Birth of Islam
Out of the deserts of Arabia would come a man who would change the world. He was Mohammed, founder of the religion of Islam, and this lesson serves as a brief summary of his life and the founding of the religion of Islam.
2. Cultural Elements that Unified the Islamic World
Despite stretching from Morocco to the Philippines, the Islamic world managed to maintain a surprising amount of cultural coherence during the Middle Ages.
3. Surah 19 in the Qur'an: Literary Analysis & Symbolism
In this lesson, we will analyze and discuss the symbols from Surah 19 of the Qur'an. This chapter, entitled 'Maryam' describes several miracles and prophets, including the story of Mary and Jesus.
4. Surah 55 in the Qur'an: Analysis & Symbolism
In this lesson, we will analyze Surah 55 from the Qur'an. This chapter, which is titled 'ar-Rahman' (The Compassionate), describes the blessings of Allah and encourages gratitude for those blessings.
5. Race & Religion in Basavanna's Cripple Me Father
In this lesson, we will examine race and religion in the poem 'Cripple Me Father' by Basavanna, a 12th century Indian philosopher and poet.
6. Love & Religion in Rumi's Dissolver of Sugar
Meet Rumi, a 13th century Sufi poet. Though Rumi wrote poetry as a way to deepen his relationship with God, modern readers find his discussions of love deeply romantic, lending the poetry a universal and relevant quality even today.
7. Post-Colonialism & Feminism in Elhillo's Asmar
In this lesson, we will examine Safia Elhillo's poem 'asmar' through the lenses of post-colonialism and feminism. This poem explores the Sudanese search for identity.
8. Race & Religion in Pamuk's To Look Out the Window
In this lesson, we will examine themes of race and religion from Orhan Pamuk's short story 'To Look Out the Window.' This is a story about a normal Turkish family facing a universal problem.
9. Race & Religion in Rushdie's The Perforated Sheet
In this lesson, we will examine the elements of race and religion that influence 'The Perforated Sheet,' which is the first chapter in Book One of Salman Rushdie's novel 'Midnight's Children.'
10. El Saadawi's In Camera: Analysis & Interpretation
In this lesson, we will analyze and interpret the short story 'In Camera' by Nawal El Saadawi. This story is a commentary on female oppression in patriarchal Islamic societies.
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