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Stories of Piety and Prayer: Deliverance Follows Adversity
Stories of Piety and Prayer: Deliverance Follows Adversity

NYU Press

Stories of Piety and Prayer: Deliverance Follows Adversity

al-Muhassin ibn 'Ali al-Tanukhi, Julia Bray (tr.)

Arabic with parallel English translation




Al-Faraj baʿd al-shiddah


Uplifting tales from one of the most influential Arabic books of the Middle Ages


One of the most popular and influential Arabic books of the Middle Ages, Deliverance Follows Adversity is an anthology of stories and anecdotes designed to console and encourage the afflicted. Regarded as a pattern-book of Arabic storytelling, this collection shows how God’s providence works through His creatures to rescue them from tribulations ranging from religious persecution and medical emergencies to political skullduggery and romantic woes.


A resident of Basra and Baghdad, al-Tanukhi (327–84/939–94) draws from earlier Arabic classics as well as from oral stories relayed by the author’s tenth-century Iraqi contemporaries, who comprised a wide circle of writers, intellectuals, judges, government officials, and family members. This edition and translation includes the first three chapters of the work, which deal with Qur'anic stories and prayers that bring about deliverance, as well as general instances of the workings of providence. The volume incorporates material from manuscripts not used in the standard Arabic edition, and is the first translation into English.




1. In the Quran. God Exalted reveals how deliverance follows suffering and ordeals


2. What Tradition relates of deliverance following desolation and how one may be rescued from sore adversity and tribulation


3. Presages bringing tidings of delivery to those saved from trials by speech, prayer, or entreaty