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On the Love of Books in the Islamic Tradition

Original price $15.90 - Original price $15.90
Original price
$15.90 - $15.90
Current price $15.90

Azenita Abdullah
Paperback, 200 pages


With Special Reference to al-Jahiz's Kitab al-Hayawan


Al-Jahiz (d. 868/869) lived the life of a book enthusiast and devoted his life to the pursuit of knowledge. Al-Jâhiz was also an excellent writer who wrote many books on different subjects. His most famous book is Kitab al-Hayawan - an extensive compendium in seven volumes on natural history.
In this book, the author highlights that Kitab al-Hayawan is probably the earliest written account in Islamic history that discusses the importance of books to human civilization. Written mostly in the form of anecdotes and poetic descriptions, al-Jâhiz discusses the following:
1) books as the best means of expression,
2) effective styles of writing,
3) the virtues of books,
4) the habit of collecting and beautifying books,
5) the problem of translation and editing, and
6) advice to writers (on the purpose of writing).

In addition, he also brings some criticisms against books and his insights into the many issues related to books that he encountered.
The Islamic literary craft and tradition is an essential and noteworthy achievement of Islamic civilization. Three significant highlights of this are discussed at the beginning of this work:
1) the writing and transmission of books,
2) the scribes and booksellers, and
3) the Islamic libraries.