The Role of Ḳasida in the Formation of Medieval Arab-Muslim Culture


  • Vakhtang Tevdoradze Akaki Tsereteli State University


Ḳasida, poetry, poetic forms, Islamic culture


The history of Arabic literature which plays a significant role in the formation of Islamic culture in the Middle Ages begins before Islam by the end of the V century. It does not appear to be connected with the Hellenistic culture. The first examples of Arabic literature that survived cover the period from the end of the V century until the middle of the VII century, in particular the period before Islam. The pre-Islamic Arabic poetry takes the most important and special place in the history of Arabic literature. Poetic forms, themes, motifs, genres, and poem measures established in that period determined the development of poetry of the next periods not only in Arabic poetry but in the literature of other Islamic countries. They were spread in almost every Muslim country, greatly influenced Islamic poetry, and existed until the end of the XIX century. The pre-Islamic verse had its forms: asida (قصيدة) and it‘a/muatta‘a (مقطوعة // قطعة). asida (which means having some kind of goal) is a long and more complete form than it‘a/muatta‘a, where the amount of couplets is more than fifteen. asida, which survived and is available for us today, does not consist of more than 120 beits.

We can freely admit that the development of all the above-mentioned innovations was encouraged by asida, the poem form which was so flexible, perfect, and refined that enabled all the poets to express their individualism, create something new which would be relevant to current time and condition. It was able to go back to the past but thematically refer to the current political situation. Hence, the poet was familiar with the structure of asida, used it perfectly, and stated the topic, which was beneficial for him in order to get the attention of the audience from the very beginning. Then, in a matter of a second, he moved to the main topic and brought to society what was aimed initially. Another version was to start from the main topic and synthesize other topics skillfully or skip from one topic to another. Undeniably, it was not easy and required great intelligence from the poet. Awareness and realization of literary traditions acquired from other people were of paramount importance. All the facts mentioned above contributed to the formation of the whole Arab-Muslim culture, which flourished in the Medieval Caliphate.



How to Cite

Tevdoradze, Vakhtang. 2022. “The Role of Ḳasida in the Formation of Medieval Arab-Muslim Culture”. Free University Journal of Asian Studies, no. 3 (March). Tbilisi.