Islamic Literature between Theory and Practice

  • Muhammad Badawi


If literature is the expression in words of human ideas, emotions and beliefs, and if it reflects culture and collective attitudes, is it justifiable to speak of literature belonging to an ideology in the same way as we speak of literature belonging to a nation, a country or a linguistic group? The question that poses itself is whether we can treat literary works that are the product of certain ideological or philosophical influences as more or less distinct cultural entities. It stands to reason that, having so much in common, literary works emanating from a certain collective ideological frame of mind can be grouped together in spite of national, linguistic, cultural, and stylistic differences. So, it would appear that we are perfectly safe in speaking of Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, or even evolutionary, socialist, Marxist, Freudian, or existentialist literature in much the same way as we speak of Arabic, English, American, French, or Malay literature. However, it is to be conceded that, as in the case of literatures of linguistic or national groups, what is meant by each individual term needs to be more defined. Islamic literature is the concern of this paper, and an attempt at a working definition of it will be made later. It is to be noted, moreover, that literary schools belonging to specific ideologies reflect - sometimes consciously/directly and other times unconsciously/indirectly – the ideals, values and attitudes of their respective mother ideologies and communities in works of art like poetry, drama, and the novel...


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How to Cite
Badawi, M. (2013). Islamic Literature between Theory and Practice. Intellectual Discourse, 1(1). Retrieved from