SAJc IN THE QUR'AN: PROSODY AND STRUCTURE From pre-Islamic times until the twentieth century, sa)C has con- tinuously occupied an important place in Arabic literature and in Arab society. It has been used in the sayings of the pre-Islamic kuhhdn, in ser- mons and prayers, proverbs and aphorisms, epistles, maqa-mdt, biographies, and histories. From the tenth until the twentieth century, book titles were almost invariably written in Introductions to works of many genres were often written entitely in saj'c. In short, saj'c con- stitutes an extremely important feature of Arabic writing, including both elite and popular literature. It seems strange that a literary phenomenon of this dimension has received so little attention on the part of medieval and modern Arab literary critics. What is The common English translation of the term is "rhymed prose", but is simply that: prose which rhymes? A cursory reading of examples of saj? reveals that there are certain basic rules governing its composition, yet Arab critics wrote very little about these rules in con- trast to their monumental efforts to record the rules of poetry. In his Miftäh al-culiim, which has been perhaps the most widely used text book of rhetoric for centuries,
Journal of Arabic Literature – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1990
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