By Franz Rosenthal
, first released in 1956, is a pioneering examine through the flexible and prolific student Franz Rosenthal (19142003), who (having released a piece of writing on mediaeval Arabic blurbs), must have written this article himself. It comprises an annotated translation of an Arabic textual content on a determine who grew to become the topic of many jokes and anecdotes, the grasping and obtuse Ashab, a singer who lived within the 8th century yet whose literary and fictional lifestyles lengthy survived him. the interpretation is preceded by means of chapters at the textual assets and at the old and mythical personalities of Ashab; the publication ends with a quick essay on laughter. even if the jokes will make a latest reader snicker, the ebook is a beneficial resource for these heavily drawn to a faith or a tradition that every one too frequently yet unjustly is linked, by means of outsiders, with an aversion to laughter.
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Additional info for Humor in Early Islam
Bakk~r wrote a work entitled History (akhbdr) of Ash'ath 2). Since, as we shall often have occasion to notice, the Ash 'ab story is closely connected with the Zubayrids and since az-Zubayr b. Bakk~r. a member of that large clan of the ancient Muslim nobility, plays a considerable part in its transmission, it would seem most appropriate to find in this title a History of Ash'ab. However this may be, the work is not preserved, and we have to rely for information concerning Ash 'ab on the scattered references in Arabic literature.
139), or thinking that he will receive a gift whenever he hears two people whisper to each other (no. 49), or hoping that every young bride is destined for him (no. 95). Then, there is Ash «ab the stingy lover whom his girl asks for a ring as a token of remembrance and who tries to avoid the expense by saying: "Rather remember that I refused it to you (no. 45, et. also no. " The tragicomic problem of the financial aspects of courtship and marriage appears in the Ash «ab legend on several occasions (nos.
It is true that in their dealings with Ash 'ab, some of them do not quite behave in a way that would befit future saints (nos. 40, 53, 99, roo), and al-l;lusayn's daughter Sukaynah is no paragon of virtue in the Ash 'ab stories. All this, however, indicates no bias against the 'Alids but rather is a faithful description of society in Medina. But there is one story in which the 'Alids are praised at the expense of the Zubayrid~ (no. 104), and since Ash 'ab was connected with the Zubayrids, such praise coming from him would be high praise indeed.
Humor in Early Islam by Franz Rosenthal