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Old Saturday, May 19, 2012
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Default English Literature notes of Arabic including Modern trend

Pre Islamic Poetry
Origin of the Arabic Poetry:
When did these people spring? Is a question first posed and then answered by Clement Huart. According to Clement Huart, the Arabs belong to “Semite Group”, who from the lower plains Babylonia migrated to peninsula. The rugged terrain of the peninsula made them aloof from other Semitics groups and then develop their own language- Arabic – associated with “ Yahrib bin Qahtan”. The history is replete with the events of tribal clashes between the descendents of “Qahtan” and “Adnan”. The Arabs spent their life as nomads in search of water and Greenland. Thus it was during these migration the poetic genius of Arabian Peninsula was evoked.
Further Clement Haurt holds the opinion, “The long caravan marches across the monotonous dresses, turning the unaccustomed traveler sick, soon taught Arab to sing Rhymes. He noted various soon that he hurried the pace of recitation the any string of camels would raise their heads and got their pace. This creature is responsive to music rhythm.”
So, the Arab had produced poetry with absolutely knowledge of rules about it. The era of 250 to 400 years before the advent of islam is known as “Dour e Jahlia”. The evolution of poetry traced back in this era passed many steps to emerge as the poetry, known to the world.
1- Free Prose
2- Masjah Prose
3- Rijz
4- Qaseedah
5- Hadi Khawani
6- Behr And Qafia
1-Free Prose:
In very initial stage the poetry don’t follow any pattern. It was just an expression of thoughts and thus was called as free prose.
2-Masjah Prose:
Sermons and saying of wise people were mentioned in poetry which was in raw nature and was used to impress the people.
3- Rijz:
Rijz, a way to invoke emotion of the warrior Arab was in the blood of the Arabs as they were racially proud.
4- Qaseedah:
Qaseedah was the natural outcome as the Arab was fond of self praise.
5- Hadi Khawani:
The life is rugged terrain and unfavorable conditions resulted in the emergence of Hadi Khawani in the peninsula.
6- Behr and Qafia:
Final touch to the Arabian Poetry was given after the introduction of Behr and Qafia in it.
Types of Poetry:
1-Ghanai or Wajdani Poetry:
Ghanai poetry is a type of poetry in which the poets express the feelings of his heart.
2-Narrative Poetry:
Narrative poetry is used to narrate some happening or incident in war to boast of tribal pride.
3-Dramatic Poetry:
Dramatic poetry is concerned with the narration of conceptual or idealistic view points from some heroic achievements.
Zaidan in his treatise “Tarikh al adab al Arabi”and “Adab al Jahli” has mention that Dramatic poetry emerged even before the narrative or ghanai poetry but this does not seem to be true as Clement Huart and Dr. Nicholson validate the poetry.
Second, Arabs were nomads and were not able to think conceptually to such an extent.
The Poet – A Man to be revered:
According to F I Malik “The port in the pre Islamic era were respected by the people by and large. A poet was considered to be the savior of reverence of tribe on public forum like “Souk Akaaz”. He was considering being leader in case of war and peace. So, the poet held the central position in a tribe.
Clement Huart present an example to validate this point as he writes in his book “ A History of Arabic Literature” That Zuhair Ibn Janab used to enjoy such a level of respect that encampments by his tribe made or forsaken by his order. The booty was distributed by him. This shows that he enjoyed a level of respect.

Pre Islamic Poetry and Its Significance:
Hazrat Umer’s quote enunciating the significance of the pre Islamic poetry perfectly.

Pre Islamic era was the age when poetry had reached the apex of its brilliance. The poet was the most respectable person in tribe. To safeguard the honor and respect of the tribe, the poets were always at the forefront. Ahmed Hassan Zyat in his book “Tarikh Adab Arabi” has mentioned that “Whenever there emerged a poet in a tribe, it was taken as a blessing of Providence. The appearance was celebrated as the people of other tribe used to congratulate the tribe in which the poet was emerged”.
F I Malik in his book further quotes that “The poet was consider being the defender of the honor of tribe and was cause to bring a good name and fame to the respect of tribe. The poet was taken as a wise man and thus a leader of the tribe through thick and thin.”
Clement Huart in his book “Literary History of Arabs” has mention that there were many poets the evidence of whom was the final say in order to decide to encamp or decamp a certain place. The booty which was collected in fights with other tribes was distributed by no person other than the poet.”
Further in another chapter, Clement Huart writes that there were and markets in the Arab of pre Islamic era. Souk Akaaz was the most fascinating of the all. It used to be started on 1st Zil-Hajj and remained for 20 days. During there 20 days people from all over the Arab used to come and literary activities were at the zenith of their glory. The poet used to present their Qasaids and best of the best was selected or judged by Banu Tamin in Souk Akaaz. The best Qaseedah was written in gold and then was hanged with the wall of Ka’abah. Hammaad – The Rhapsodist has collected some of the Qasaids in the volume named as “Mualqaat” because these were believed to be hanged with the wall of Ka’abah. Another name “Muzhabat” is also given to them because these were believed to be written in gold.
Another significance of pre Islamic poetry is that it depicts the social and moral condition of the society of Arabs before the emergence of Islam. It is the pre Islamic Poetry which serve as a window through which one can see the situation, whether, it was moral or social, it was political or cultural, of the society of pre Islamic era. Through this poetry of Dour-e-Jahlia, we know that Arabs were racially prejudiced without any central government or authority. The Arab were worrier and they were disintegrated into tribes. The ordinary Arab out of the love for his tribe did not leave any stone unturned. Hijv, Fakhar, Madah, Qaseedah, Marsiya etc. were the main asnaf of poetry. The sole purpose of the poet was to show that his tribe was more respectable than the rival tribe.
The poetry was given so much importance that Allah bestowed on the Holy Prophet (PBUH) His miracle in the form of a lucid and eloquent Holy Quran. It is an established fact that the miracle bestowed by Allah to different Prophets were according to the art, which was at its apex in that era e.g. Juses was awarded with a miracle by dint of which he could touch a leaper and make him alright and could reincarnate life in a dead body. This miracle was bestowed by Allah Almighty on Jesus just because of the fact that “Ilm-e-Tib” was touching the heights of glory. Similarly Moses was the miracle to answer the magicians of that era. Same is true for the Holy Quran, a miracle of Allah, to show and answer the eloquent and lucid poets of Arabs. This fact validates that the poetry was most significant thing in the pre Islamic era.

Importance of pre Islamic poetry in understanding Holy Quran
Socio Economic Culture:
The interpretation of Holy Quran sometimes require a peep into the socio economic set up of that era and the poetry of that era is very good depiction and manifestation of the socio economic circumstances of that time. So, poetry was consulted to know the customs and traditions of that era.

1- There are many strange words or Gharaib in the Holy Quran which were alien to Arabs because these were no more in use in there day to day life. However these words were used by the poets in their poetry. So, in order to understand these Gharaibs , the interpreters and Mufasareen used to consult the pre Islamic poetry, e.g.

Is the opening of a Surah in Holy Quran. This word has been used by Amrao ul Qais in his poetry also. To understand Waduhaa the Mufasareen sought help from Pre Islamic poetry.
2- Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas was asked to explain some Ayats of the Holy Quran, he made allusion to the pre Islamic poetry to make it comprehendible for the people who asked him to explain:
People asked:

Hazrat Abdullah points a verse of labid:

People asked:

Hazrat Abdullah replied by quoting Labid who mentioned:

People asked:

Hazrat Abdullah replied by quoting Labid who mentioned:

People asked:

Hazrat Abdullah replied by quoting Labid who mentioned:

3- The pr Islamic poetry was the master piece in the Arabic literature therefore this poetry provided as being a source for the grammar and it was used as a guideline.
4- Pre Islamic poetry also shows when it is compared with the Holy Quran that Holy Quran is the best of the lot and superior in its style, eloquence and lucidity than the pre Islamic poetry. Pre Islamic poetry validates the fact the Holy Quran is the “Kalam” of Allah and can not be of man, e.g. a German scholar writes when he compared Surah Rehman with the Qaseedah of pre Islamic era, “The Quran flips the Qaseedah-totally. Quran shows that the nature is transitory and human legacy is permanent while in ordinary Qaseedah human legacy change while the nature remain the same.” Secondly, pre Islamic poetry a propensity in people to listen to the poetic work of the poet in that era. It was obvious, Quran the miracle was the kalam of Allah which penetrated deep in the hearts of the people and thus the pre Islamic poetry indirectly helped the propagation of Quran and Islam.
Similarly, the poetry was indirectly helpful to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in preaching the non-believers. The people were very responsive to the literary activity. Quran being the most lucid and eloquent of the all works of that era, it was the master piece of Allah Almighty, casted deep impact on their hearts. They were turned non-believer to the follower of Holy Prophet because they got impressed by the miracle of the Holy Quran.

Salient Feature of Pre Islamic Poetry with Special Reference to “Muallaqat”
Pre Islamic era, known as “Dour-e-Jahlia” in other words it is the era of highly brilliant activities in poetic field. Many a notable can be traced back to that era. The poet enjoyed an unmatchable fame and respect in this era. As depicted by F I Malik in his book “Muqalat”’
“Whenever a poet used to emerge on the scene in any tribe, the people considered it the blessing of Allah Almighty. As he was the defender and leader of the tribe in all the circumstances to come.”
There are two main ways through which we can have an idea about the pre Islamic poetry:
1- The poetry in written form i.e. Muallaqat.
2- The poetry which was passed from generation to the other and finally was brought to written form.
Al-Muallaqat is the work (poetic) compiled by “Hammad Al- Rawya or Hammad- the Rhapsodist.” This poet work is consisted of Qasaids long poems of the poet of pre Islamic era. These are known as “Muallaqat” as it indicates these qasaids were hanged on the wall of Ka’abah. This point towards the customs of Arabs who used to hang the important documents wit the wall of Ka’abah. This goes with the historical evidence too. These Qasaids were declared, best of the lot, of the contemporary poetic work and these were hanged with the wall of Ka’abah to appreciate the poet. Many scholars objected this very fact but historical events e.g. hanging of document of boycott of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and hanging of Sorah Kosar by Hazrat Abdullah (R.A) are enough to prove this claim. Secondly, these qasaids, collectively are called “Muzhabat” which mean that these were written in gold.
Al-Nahas in his treatise writes “the true matter of the fact is that Hammad-The Rhapsodist saw how little the people cared about the Pre Islamic poetry, he collected all the poems and asked people to read them and respect them. This goes with all the other information as singing poetic work was the profession of Hammad. He had a very good grip of Arabic literature so it was instrument set for him to do this important task.
Hammad collected the work of these seven poets:
1- Amra ul Qais
2- ZAuhair bin abi Salma
3- Labid bin Abi Rabia
4- Tarfa al Abad
5- Haris bin Halza
6- Umro bin Kalsoom
7- Antra Absi

Abu Zaid Qureshi along with some other scholars has mentioned the name of:
1- Aashi
2- Nabigah Zaibani
3- Umro bil Al Bars
In this context.

Important Feature of Pre Islamic Poetry
Pre Islamic poetry was done in following asnaf:
1- Sanf-i-Hija
2- Maddah
3- Marsyia
4- Rijz
5- Mufakharat
6- Fakhar

The important feature of the poetry include following points.
1- Starting Style:-
After a conventional prelude, the Nasib , in which poet remembers his best beloved by standing on the forsaken place e.g. Amra ul Qais starts Qasidah as:

Zuhair bin Abi Salma’s Qaseedah starts with the following verse:

2- San-Artificiality:-
The poetry of pre Islamic era does not have any attribute of artificiality in it. It is altogether natural an outcome of the emotion of the poets.
3- Extemporaneous:-
The Arab poets were very much like reflectors what used to fall on them it was immediately reflected. They had a natural sense of ideas.

4- Love for Nature:-
The Arab had a deep contact with the nature. Some of the poets like Amra ul Qais had spent the life of wanderer’s bay making encampment here and there and remained in search of water and greenery. So it was obvious that love for nature was manifested in their poetry.

5- Mufakhirat:-
The poet has a sense of personal pride and prejudiced. This was very clear from their poetry also. The poetry of Umro bin Kalsoom is a good example of it.

6- Balaght -i- kalam:-
Eloquence, lucidity and extemporaneousness was the the most outstanding feature of the poet of the pre Islamic rea.

7- Not of Reward except Nabigah Daibani Poerty:-
Not a single except Nabigab Al Daibani who has used poetry for material gains. Taksab bil Sher was done by Nabigah.

8- Repetition of Subjects:-

There were repetitions of subjects in almost all the Qasaids of the poets of pre Islamic era.

9- Simplicity:-
The Arab led a simple life and that was depicted in the poetry also. The main events explained in the poetry were related to their best beloved, the adventure etc.

Sources of pre Islamic Arab Poetry
Pre Islamic Arab poetry has reached up to us in two forms i.e. written and unwritten. Written part is that of the Muallaqat and the unwritten portion was pen down in 7th and 8th century. Pre Islamic poetry has reached us in three ways.
Three Ways:
1- De’waan
2- Muntehibat
3- Kutb-i-Adb-i-Nasr

1- De’waan:-
The following poets had their de’waan:
Zuhair bin Abi Salma
Hassan Bin Sabat
Nabigah Al Daibani
Some other famous De’waans are:
De’waan Al Mehjhan
De’waan Al Khansaa
De’waan Al Hatyia
De’waan Uos Bin Hajar
De’waan Hatim Tai
De’waan Labid
2- Muntehibaat:
Muntehibat are actually a collection of books made for the purpose of reading pre Islamic poetry. We can classify it in the following five categories.
(i) Al-Mualliqat:-
These are also called Al-Mashuraat. These were collected by the legend Hammad Al Rawya, who though corrupted in some extent, yet his effort to collect the data was not less than an achievement. The numbers of Mualliqat are 7 to 10.
(ii) Hamasa:-
Hamasa is basically the collection of best poetic work by the well on scholar Abu Tamam Habib bin Aus who died in 850 A.D. he selected the master pieces of poetry from pre Islamic era and complied them in one book. The book has 10 chapters. Some of the chapters are as under:
Muzamt un Nisa,
Al Sanaat,
(iii) Al-Mufazilliat:-
This is also a collection of poetic works done in the 8th century, by Al Mufzil Al Ghabi. Basically Al Mufzil Al Ghabi was directed by the Caliph Mansoor to collect the poetic works from the pre Islamic era for his son. Originally there were 30 qasaids in that book but Asmai added 90 new qasaids so that total number of qasaids are 120 now.
(iv) Hamasa Al Bahtari:-
Many people were impressed by success of Hamasa, so they tried to follow the pattern of Hamasa. Al Bahtari was one of those scholars who jumped into this race. Though he died in 897 A.D. yet he completed his book which due some reason could not meet success.
(v) Jumhrah Ashaar Al Arab:-
Abu Zaid Qureshi was the author of this book. The book has 49 qasaids and 7 chapters. So the ratio was 7 qasaids per chapter

3- Kutb-i-Adb-i-Nasr:-
These were the books which are not basically the book of poetry, but in these books frequent reference to the poetic works have been made. So these books are important source for pre Islamic poetry.
i- Kitab Al Biyan Wal Bateen by Al Jahiz
ii- Kitab Al Sher Wal Shuraa by Ibn Qutaiba
iii- Al Kamal By Mubard
iv- Khazana Al Adab by Abdul Qadir Baghdadi

Different Types of Knowledge
It helps in understanding the appropriate meanings of words.
Mujahid says, “One who believes in Allah and Day of Judgment should not open his lips in respect of Quran unless he is thoroughly conversant with the philosophy of Arabic Language. Quran often an Arabic world has several meanings. A person may know only one or two of them; though in a given content actual meaning may be quite different.
Nahv i.e. syntax a branch of grammar which help in understanding the relation of a sentence with another and also of “Irab” (vowel sound) as change in Irab is a change in eanings.
Etymology a branch of grammar which helps in knowing the root words and conjugation. The meaning of a word change with the change in the root and with a change in conjunction. Allama Zamhashri says, “One who loses the knowing of etymology loses a great deal”.
It meaning is derivatives. It is necessary to have the knowing of derivatives and their roots words because if the word has been from two different root words it will be two different meanings e.g.
“The word ‘Masih’ is derived from ‘Masah’ which mean to touch or to move the wet hand and also from ‘Masahat’ which mean measurement.
Knowledge of semantics, because phrase construction are understood from their meaning.
Knowledge of figures of speech like similes and metaphors due to which expression or shades of meaning or similes and metaphors become known.
The knowledge of rhetoric’s which reveal the beauty of language and its implication.
Knowledge of pronunciation of the Holy Quran.
Knowledge of fundamental faith. This in necessary to explain certain analogy.
Principles of Islamic jurisprudence.
Asbab Al Anzaal:-
The knowledge of those conditions in which a verse of Holy Quran was revealed. Without the knowledge of those conditions, it is very difficult to understand the meaning of that verse.
The knowledge of those Ahadith which are related to some verses.
Nasikh – Mansukh:-
Knowledge of the commandments that have subsequently been abrogated or changed so that the abrogated commandment can be distinguished by standing ones.

Quran is neither a Prose nor Poetry. Comment it.
The holy Quran is the master piece of Allah Almighty and miracle of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The Holy Quran, a specimen of eloquence and lucidity in different from poetry and prose of the time when it was revealed. Truly wrote by Dr. Taha Hussain,
“Quran is neither prose nor poetry. It is something different which has immaculate impact on the reader. It is not poetry because it does not observe any metre and rhyme of the poetry. It is not prose because it is not composed, the way, the prose is composed customarily. The Holy Quran consists of verses which very in length depending upon the situation and occasions for which these are revealed. What is more interesting is the word selection, a selection which allows varying reading speed which make it even more effecting and impressive.”
On this point Dr. Taha Hussain further wrote,
“For example those verses dealing with dialogue that took place between the Prophet (PBUH) and the pagan and legislation have low reading speed. While the verses dealing with the non-believer, who are warned of punishment against their infidelity, have high reading speed.”
Taha Hussain further elaborates the fact by quoting examples of high reading speed and low reading speed surah:
Surah Al Shuraa: Example of speedy reading
Surah Al Qasas: Example of slow reading
How Quranic Theme is Different from the Themes Depicted in Contemporary Poetry:-
The subject matter of the poetry in the era when the Holy Quran was revealed was very limited. The poet usually said poems on verses on the incidents of their love affairs, the memorization of the forsaken place by their beloved and the events boasting the status of their tribe.
Quran presents the illustrations from a minute to the universe. It is complete code of life because it contains the preaching, legislation, way to lead a social and every bit of information necessary for spend a life according to the commandments of Allah.
Quran’s style is Narrative and Dramatic:-
While explaining the stories of Noah, Ibrahim, Moses, Jesus, Joseph, David, Suleiman, etc. while the poets followed ghanai or wajdani style in contemporary era which is inferior.
Another point which is elaborated by ‘Angleika Neuwirth’ explain how Quran flips qaseedah (one of the most important sanf of poetry). In surah Rehman Allah Almighty has presented the bounties which will be showered on those people who will accept the commandments of Allah and spend their lives accordingly. In this surah, the nature in transitory while the human legacy lives on which is the reversal of the ordinary qaseedah.
Some scholars, however, by keeping in view, the style followed by the Holy Book have drawn influence that it has some time the characteristics of both the poetry and prose. The harmonious effects of Surah ‘Al Najam’ and initial verses of Surah ‘Al Maryum’ are cited as the example to validate the above stated notion. But overall, the Holy Quran in neither a verse nor a prose, it is something else above the level of a man as it is Devine and from the Providence. This is the miracle of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

Arabic Poetry in Sub-Continent with Special Emphasis on the Contribution of Ghulam Ali Azad Bilgrami

The Indian continent did not participate to such an enormous extent as was done by other poet or non Arabic areas such as Iran, Iraq, Egypt, and Syria. Whatever was the work done by the poets in Indian Sub-Continent was mostly lost unfortunately. Whatever poetry is available to us shows following are important figures who contributed in this genre of literature:
1- Syed Abdul Jalil Bilgrami
2- Ghulam Ali Azad Bilgrami
3- Molvi Fazl-e-Haq Khair Abadi
4- Ameer Khusru
5- Shah Ahmad Share’e
6- Qazi Abdul Muqtadar
7- Nasir-ud-Din Chiragh
8- Muhammad Bin Abdul Aziz
9- Syed Ali Khan Ibn-e-Masoom
10-Masood bin Saad
Out of these Muhammad bin Abdul Aziz is the only poet whose life history is available to us. Muhammad bin Abdul Aziz is the one who saw the era when ‘Vascode Gama’ invader the southern India and he had fought against Raja Samri. He explained all the incidents in a ‘Razmia nazm’ composed of 503 verses. This is master piece in the literature of Arabic in Sub-Continent.
Arabic poetry with special mention of Ghulam Ali Azad Bilgrami.
He was born to a well to do family. In the age of 25, he went to Saudi Arabia for performing hajj and remained there for 2 years to learn Arabic. After his return to the home land he started poetry and was given the title of ‘Hasan ul Hind’ like Khakani was given the title of ‘Hasan Al Ajam’. He got his education in Aahadith and Islamic law from Abdul Wahab Tantavi.
He learnt the art of poetry from Syed Abdul Jalil Bilgrami who was also his maternal uncle.
He left many dewans behind him. Some scholars believe that he left 7 dewans behind him. In his book ‘subht ul marjaan fi asaar hindostan’ he has mentioned about many mufasreen and figures that have done some great service for the cause of Islam. In total he has mentioned about 150 people in his book.
Azad as use in name:-
Ghulam Ali used Azad as his ‘Takhalas’ and this was liked by his teacher Abdul Wahab Tantavi. Ghulam Ali Azad Bilgrami has also written in Persian language.
Subht ul Marjaan fi Asaar Hindostan;-
This book was published in 1885 and in one of its poem; ‘Mirat Al Jamal’ the poet has praised all the body parts from starting head to the toe. This poem shows the class of the poet. Another thing very interesting about ‘Azad’ is the use of similes and metaphor. In one of his verse he has written a word ‘sari’ which mean walk, but at the same time he has used this word to make an allusion to the word ‘sahri’ which is the dress of Indian women.
Azad has performed his immaculate work in all the forms of poetry i.e. Nazem, Masnavi, Rubai etc.
His Work:-
1- Subht ul Marjaan fi Asaar Hindostan
2- Dewan Azad
3- Mukhtarat Dewan Azad
4- Tasliya ul Lail
5- Shafa ul Lail
6- Al Sahjra Al Tabiya
7- Al Sabah Al Sariya
8- Shamamah Al Amber
9- Mazhar Al Barkat

A Comprehensive Note on Arabic Lexicography

When Islam reached to the areas where Arabic was not understood or spoken before the emergence of Islam, there emerged problems and mistakes in the pronunciation of Arabic. As Arabic in the vast language and even slightest change in the pronunciation may alter the meaning to a great extent. Rather a slightest change may bring the opposite meaning then the intended ones. This problem necessitated the need to have the lexicography of Arabic Language.
Initial Work:-
Initially small ‘rasails’ containing the correct Arabic name of common thing were written by ulema e.g. some ‘rasails’ containing the name of days of week, body parts, other common thing of day to day use. But the situation turned from bad to worse.

Khalil Bin Ahmad:-
During this crucial time, a prolific figure, named Khalil bin Ahmad emerged on the scene. He wrote the first and most comprehensive book of lexicography in which the words consisted of one, two or more words mere arranged in order. He also arranged the words according to their pronunciation e.g.
1- Larynx
2- Tongue
3- Teeth
4- Lips
This book was the first complete effort in this regard. Abu Bakar bin Dureed prepared the compendium of this book which collected more fame then the original book. This book of Khalil bin Ahmad remained incomplete during the life time of Khalil and this was completed by one of the pupil of Khalil. The part compiled by his pupil shows certain mistakes.

Lisan-ul-Arab by Ibn-e-Manzoor:-
Ibn-e-Manzoor was born on 1233, and was descendant of Governor of Tripoli. Ibn-e-Manzoor was a moderate shia and his work in Arabic Lexicography is second to none. He wrote ‘Lisan ul Arab’, a dictionary which was published in 18th century and contains 20 volumes. This show how enormous was the work of Ibn-e-Manzoor. The comprehensiveness of this book is second to none in this regard.
The book Liasan ul Arab follows a specific pattern. It follows the arrangement of roots. The headwords are not arranged by the author contrary to what is done in modern Lexicography of Semitic Language.
The arrangement made by Ibn-e-Manzoor is according to the last radical which makes finding rhyming ending.
In short the contribution of Ibn-e-Manzoor is the most valuable service done to Arabic Lexicography.

Sources of Lisan ul Arab:-

1- Tahdib ul Lugah by Al Azhri
2- Mukam of Ibn-e-Sedah
3- Nihaya of Al Dhabi

Short Story in Arabic and Different Approaches
Brief History of Short Story:-
Points to be elaborated:-
1- This art was taken from the Iranian but then so much progress was made that the Arabs became the competitor of Iranians.
2- “Thousand and one Night” enormous addition was done by Arabs.
3- “Kulia wa Damnta” taken from Indian literature. It was translated by Inb-e-Mafqah.
The Development of Short Story in its True Sense:-
With the development of printing press the short story was introduce in Arabic literature. In 1870, for the first time ‘Al Qisas Al Saghrah’ emerged in newspaper and magazine. By the end of 19th century, Egyptian, Lebanese, and Syrian magazines incrased the publication of short stories. Predominantly this was the era when the Arabs were impressed from the new ideas so they translated the western work in Arabic.
Tofiq Al Hakeem
Muhammad Hussain Hekal
Mehmood Taimoor
Were the most prolific short story writers of this age. They not only translated the new work but also brought the old work in to new shape. Tofiq al Hakeem even brought the Quranic incident of seven sleepers into dramatic form.
Main Satges:-
1- Embryonic Stage (From beginning to 1914)
2- The Trial Stage (1914 to 1925)
3- The Formative Stage (1925 todate)
The Embryonic Stage:-
This time period extends from the beginning of short story in 1870 to the year of 1914. The work of Khalil Jabran, Mustafa Lutfi al Manfluti is the trade mark work of this stage. They adopted western way of narrating the short story.
The Trial Stage:-
This also called the traditional stage which starts from 1914 and extends up to 1925. This is the stage in which we find the authentic vices from the Arab world.
The Formative Stage:-
The third stage is the formative stage which starts from 1925 to present era. It is logical more sound as an obscure or vague tone in used in the story to let the reader interpret the story by himself after reading it. In 1960s it took new turn and psychological development of readers was done through these stories. The short story was short in length with minimum number of characters and encompassing small time fram.

Write a Note on “Khumriat” in Abbasid Era

Khumriat are collectively called as poems which are meant on describing the events of luxury and drinking. In Ummayad era when the Islamic state expanded and with the expansion came the prosperity. It was obvious that luxuriousness, drinking and other such habits became the order of the day.

Khumriat is Abbasid Era:-
The Abbasid poet excelled in the composition of ‘Bacchic’ poetry devoted drinking, singing and luxury. Ti was obvious that the economic prosperity and progress of that era supplied ample resources for the Abbasid during their reign. The propagation of political ideas was needed so the poet were given patronage by the influential person and the caliph. Under the auspices of the caliph, these poet excelled in Madah, khumriat etc. It is a well established fact that there were certain caliphs ho liked such poetry. Ibn-e-Mutaz is quoted as an example in this content. In Abbasid era the most prominent figure who wrote ‘khumriat’ was Abu Nawas. He was such a prolific poet in this context that it was said by Al Jahiz,
“ Had Husnain ( Ibn-e-Sereen and Hassan Basri) listened/heard the khumriat of Abu Nawas, they would have left the path of virtue and adopted a habit of drinking”.
Al Jahiz who was all in praise for Abu Nawas once said, “I have not seen any one more prolific in lexicography and eloquence then Abu Nawas.” Al Jahiz declared Abu Nawas as capable as Bashar bib Bard.
Abu Nawas started poetry when he learnt by heart the poetic work of all the male poets along with the poetry of more than 60 ladies poets. So, the immaculate poetry by this outstanding figure was a glaring addition in Arabic literature.
Other poets in this regard are:
Bashar bin Bard
Abu al Atahia
But their contribution is in no comparison to Abu Nawas’s work done in writing “khumriat”

Promotion of Arabic in Sub-Continent and Pakistan
Historical Perspective:-
Promotion of Arabic language in Sub-Continent is historical phenomenon becaue Arabic is the language of Quran and Islam. It is an established fact that Arabs had contact with the Indians even before the emergence of Islam. A verse of Amra ul Qais depicts a word ‘Qarn Fil’ which is believed to be taken from Hindi language. There are many Ahadith in which language shows the words are used having roots in Hindi Language. Arabic was introduced in India in different phases and through different process/ways. In northern India Muslims conquered it and held their sway from 712 to 1857 A.D. while the southern India was in touch with Arabic culture through the traders and trade activities of the Arabs. After 712 the Islam as a religion was accepted by the local population. Islam is inextricably intertwined with the Arabic language because understanding of Holy Quran, Hadith and Fiqh requires a good grip of Arabic language because without it comprehending Quran and Islam become impossible.
Many a literary figure were brought by Sultan Mehmood Ghaznawi with him who introduced the people with Arabic literature and history. This exchange was not one way rather it was two ways. The Arabs who come to India learnt a lot from their Indian counterparts. The Sultan also sent people to the Arabian region so that they could learn Arabic culture in better way. Abu Aflah and Abu Mehshar Sindhi are two prominent names. They contributed a lot in Arabic language. Abu Mehshar was a ‘Muhadiss’ and when he passed away, his funeral prayer was offered by the people under ‘Immamat’ of Caliph Haroon Ur Rasheed. This shows the clas of the man named Abu Mehshar.

Al Beruni:-
Al Beruni came to India during the early period of introduction of Islam in Sub-Continent. He wrote a book ‘ kitab ul Hind’ which was a master piece. The work done by the Indian figure was also translated in to Arabic e.g. ‘kulia wa Damnta’, the incident of Adam (A.S) being arrived to cylon was also introduced in Arabic after being translated. The work in the field of medicine by ‘Chirka’ and ‘Sehserta’ was also translated in to Arabic.
Many ‘Tafseer’ of Holy Quran were written in this content. The important name are:
Turab Ali
Salam Ullah
Abdul Hakeem Sialkoti
Shah Wali Ullah Dehlvi
Much work was done in sub-continent in the field of ‘Ilm ul Hadith’ and ‘Ilm e Fiqh’. Along with it ‘Philosophy’ was another field where in Arabic work done by the natives can not be ignored. Fatwa Alamgeire and other treatise of Shah Wali Ullah are the illuminating example in this perspective.

Some poet have also rendered invaluable service for the promotion of Arabic. Unfortunately, their work is confined to southern India.
Amir Khusru
Moulana Fazl-e-Haq Khair Abadi
Ghulam Ali Azad Bilgrami
Syed Abdul Jalil Bilgrami
Are the prominent poets of Arabic in sub-continent.

Promotion of Arabic in Modern era in Pakistan:-
After the emergence of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam said in his speech,
“Urdu will be the national language of Pakistan while it is the first and foremost duty of Pakistan’s people to lean and speech Arabic”
For promotion of Arabic following steps proposed are worth mentioning:
1- Jamiet Hizb Ullah arranged a conference in East Pakistan in 1951, for the promotion of Arabic language.
2- Majlis Rabita Islami supported Arabic language.
3- Co-ordination of Islam Rabica council.
4- Urdu, Bengali and Arabic would be taught up to Matric Level.
5- It is essential to facilitate the propagation of Arabic in Pakistan.

The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973:-
1- Quran, Islam and Arabic compulsory.
2- From 1982, Arabic language has been taught as compulsory subject to higher secondary level. Syllabus of Azad Kashmir shows that it is even taught at Graduation level.
3- In our universities Arabic subject is also included in higher education
4- Arabic language is also taught in our medrassah system.

Development of Arabic in Spain
The Arab started their conquest of Spain during the Ummayad Dynasty but it was Abdul Rehman-I who fled the barbaric cruelty of Ibn-e-Safah and managed to hoist the flag of Ummayad Khilafat at Spain till 1492, when the Muslims were overpowered by Christan – a sad event in Muslim History. The time when Abdul Rehamn arrived at Spain, Yemni and Egyptian were at loggerheads with each other. It was charismatic Abdul Rehman-I who turned them into a big force by uniting them. This was the point from where the Arabic got its root for an immaculate performance in the centuries to come. The basic reason behind this progress was the transformed behavior of Arabs in Spain. In the East, Iraq, they did not like to get mixed up with the local population out of their ‘Racial Prejudice’ but in Spain the situation was totally different.
Now they were more in close contact with the common people. Europe was at that point of time in the shadow of darkness as for as the progress in all the fields of knowledge is concerned. This looks obvious that the people very soon adopted the customs, traditions, moors, norms and language of the Arabs—who were superior in all the cases.
Many a local people embraced Islam and thus an amalgam was created with the mixture of people from two different backgrounds. The civilization which took start in Spain was because of the Arabs a scenario contrary to the situation faced by Muslims when they conquered Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Iran. However, this contact of Semite people with the Aryans proved to be a blessing and life-line for Arabic’s development in Europe.
However, the Arabs and Spanish population always kept on looking towards East for attaining guidance in the fields of Religion, language and cultural development. During the reign of Abdul Rehman-II and III Arabic language flourished with a rapid pace. They established huge ‘madrassah’ and administrative offices. The jurisprudential material was in Arabic and it became a sort of ‘National language of Spain’. The era of Abdul Rehman-III witnessed such a marvelous growth in the propagation of Arabic culture, civilization and literature that during this time, Spain become equaling to Baghdad in magnificent.
But soon after their reign, the control over Spain was not properly maintained by Muslims. Their disunity resulted in their weakness and their rule was challenged by Christians from the west. They put an end to the ‘Muslim Rule’ in Spain in 1492 and thus Arabic was banned by the new rulers. In 1501 and 1510 laws were passed which forbade the possession of Arabic books. Thus Arabic after seeing a growth for more than 7 centuries was forced out of Spain but it left an inimitable and unreadable impact on Spanish language as thousands of words of Spanish language still find their roots in Arabic.

Literature and Notable Figures of Spain:-
Spanish contribution in Arabic literature is very valuable. Two new ‘asnaf’ were added in the Arabic poetry by the poets of Spain.
1- Mohshahaat
2- Zajal (it was more a local asnaf than being a trans national one)
Other asnafs were Maddah, Ghazal, Maesiya, Tasawaf, Philosophy, Mazah, etc. in which these poet rendered in valuable services. Even political matters were also discussed in the poetry. However, in the style and format, Spanish poets always looked forward towards the East.
Another field was Ilm-e-Lughat in which though less, work was done. Abu Bakar Ibn Duraid wrote a compendium of ‘Kitab ul Ain’, a book of Khalil Bin Ahmad. This compendium got more fame then the original book even.
Poets of Spain:-
1- Ibn Aubdrba
2- Ibn Zaidoon
3- Ibn-e-Hani Undalsi
4- Lisan ud Din Ibn Khatib
5- Ibn-e-Hamd Las Saqli
6- Ibn-e-Khafafa Undalsi

New Trends in Arabic Literature in 20th Century (1900 – 1999)

How and when Arabic literature was revived?
Arabic literature which was facing its downfall for the last five centuries was revived in Egypt. After the invasion of Napoleon, Arabs especially Egypt came in direct contact with French or west. Now all the trends which were introduced in Arabic literature were determined by this very fact. This revival of Arabic literature is called ‘ Al-Nahdat Al-Adab’. During the 20th century the Arabic literature was affected by the political turmoil and upheavals which were taking place in the Arab world.
A cursory look at the trends in all genres will make the situation and picture more clearly to us.
1- Poetry:-
Poetry was an area in which the new trends were emerged during 20th century. Overall these are four main groups of poet in modern era of Arabic poetry.
1- Neo – Classical
2- Pre – Romantic
3- Romantic
4- Committed Poets
First part of 20th century witnessed that most of the poets wrote romantic poetry. Poetry of Adb-e-Mehjar was part of it. Jabran, Abu Alia Mazi, Mikhail Naemia etc. were from famous Mehjari poats.
Ibrahim Naji, Khalil Matran and Ahmad Zaki Abu Shadi were some other poets of romantic group of poets.
However, after world war-I, the political situation took new turn. The forceful creation of Israel was a sort of injury inflected on the heart of Arabs by the western world. Romantic poetry lost its charm and was replaced by the committed poetry. Now it was regarded necessary that there should be an objective or commitment of the poetry. No poetry can be said as according to the circumstances and charm full until an objective is not tried to achieve. Some poets resort to write for the favor of Nationalism. Mahmood Dervaish, who got unmatchable fame, was a ‘Palestinian Poet’ who wrote for the propagation of Nationalism. Another innovation was the introduction of ‘Free Verse’ by the poet named ‘Badr Shakir Al-Sayab.

2- Modern Arabic Novel in 20th Century:-
Modern novel or novel of 20th century also witnessed two trends. These trends are as following:
1- Neoclassical movement to revive the old traditions of past. Maqama and Thousand and One Night is an example.
2- Modern movement which emphasized on imitating the French novel.
Notable novel writers include:
1- Jurji Zaidan
2- Jabran
3- Mekhail Naemia
4- Najib Mehfooz
Najib Mehfooz, from Egypt got a Nobel Prize in literature in 1988.

3- Drama in 20th Century:-
Though Drama in Modern era was started to be written in 19th century, it took major trends in 20th century by getting influenced by the French Drama.
Tofique Al Hakim is one of the most famous Drama writers of his times. His drama which was re-telling of “Quranic” story of “seven sleepers” and epilogue of “Thousand and one Night”

Quran - Its Miracles, Language of Quran with special Influence on Subsequent Literature

Miracles of Holy Quran:-
1- Inimitable:-
The Holy Quran was revealed in an era when the Arabian Peninsula was full of the lucid and eloquent poets. But Quran as it was ‘kalam’ of Rehman was superior to the poetic work of the poets. Quran challenges everybody to bring even a very small verse in competition to Quran.
Quran put the same challenge four times before the non-believer. No one was able to meet the challenge from then to now.
2- Miracle of The Holy Prophet (PBUH)
Every prophet of Allah Almighty was awarded with a miracle of the art which was at its apex during that time. The Jesus was given the miracle of ‘Tib’. He used to touch the leapers to make him healthy and could reincarnate the life in to a dead body. This was bestowed by Allah almighty on Jesus Christ because this was the time when ‘Ilm-e-Tib’ was touching the height of its glory.
Moses was given the miracle to competes rather over power the magicians and it was magic that was consider to be the order of the day. During the era of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), lucidity and poetry was at its apex. Then it was necessary to beat this art. That is the reason Allah Almighty awarded the Holy Prophet (PBUH) with the miracle of Quran. Quran was the best when it was compared to the literary work of that time.
3- Quran – Safeguarded by Allah Almighty:-
Even after 1400 year time, the Holy Quran is safeguarded and intact. This is indeed a marvelous miracle of the Holy Quran that Allah Almighty has safeguarded this book by employing ‘His Wisdom’. Even a minute change can not occur in this Holy Book, this indeed is the blessing and miracle of Allah.

Impact of Quran for the who understand it are Miraculous:-
The Holy Quran’s lucidity made it even more effective for the people who try to understand it. Labid bin Rabia embraced Islam when he tried to complete (in poetic sense, he tried to add another stanza) Sura-al-kusar but could not do so. He understood that this cannot be the kalam of a man. So, he wrote ‘This is not written by any man’ and embraced Islam. Similarly, the incident of Hazrat Umer’s embracing Islam shows that its impact are great and cannot be explained in words.
Quran neither A verse nor A prose:-
Another miracle is that Quran has been revealed in such a way that it looks like a neither prose nor like a verse, as depicted by Dr. Taha Hussain. It flips qasidah, totally, when Sura Rehman is revealed and understood. All the magnificence shows that Quran is also a miracle in its context and style.
Impact of Quran on Subsequent Literature
Impact of Holy Quran on the subsequent literature can be enunciated by mentioning following points.
1- Impact on language
2- Impact on prose
3- Impact on calligraphy
4- Impact on creating new fields of knowledge
5- Introduction of new narrative style

1- Impact on Language:-
The Holy Quran introduced new words in it e.g.
Al Qayam
Al Rakuh
Al Sajood
Ghraibs were used by Quran. Imam Raghib Asfahani has counted many Ghraibs which were mentioned in the Holy Quran. These Ghraibs were no more use of the ordinary Arab people.
2- Impact on Prose:-
As the Holy Quran was revealed and preached by the Holy Prophet (PBUH), soon it as spread far off areas which came under the sway of Muslims. Their expenses were recorded the revenue and expense of the Caliphate.
Secondly, the letters written by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) ‘Maktubat e Nabvi’ and ‘Khutbat e Nabvi’ followed a specific style which was propagated in Islamic Caliphate.
3- New Fields of knowledge:-
After the revelation of the Holy Quran, it was propagated to the far off areas. Non Arabic people committed blunders while pronouncing the Holy Quran. This necessitated the introduction of new fields of knowledge in order to understand Holy Quran.
The new fields e.g.
Ilm e lughat
Ilm e Fiqah
Sarf e Nahv
Were introduced by the Muslims.

Comprehensive note on Al Jahiz
His full name was ‘Abu Usman Umro Bin Behr Al-Jahiz, born in Bsara. He was very ugly, of short stature and strange eyes. Therefore he was named as ‘Al-Jahiz’ as the person with stange eyes is called:

He spent a life of 100 years where he saw many upa and downs yet he was the most glaring personality of Arabic literature as he has been designated the title of ‘Imam ul Adab’ in a book of Al Qairwani. The name of that book is ‘Al Umda’

He got his education from the prominent and capable scholars of their times. He got his education from ‘Basra’, which was the stage of learning at that particular time;
Abu Ishaq
Abu Obaida
Were his teacher. He was very fond of reading and used to read ferociously.
School of Thought:-
Al Jahiz belonged to ‘Mutazilla’ school of thought initially but then he developed his own school of thought, the followers of which named it as “Al Jahizya”

His Activities
1- A prolific intellectual and translator. He translated the works of Persian and Greece in Arabic.
2- He did invaluable service in the fields of Geography and even wrote a book in this regard.
3- When we see the second group of prose writers, without any doubt and dispute, Jahiz was the leader of this group.
4- He wrote as many as 200 hundred books but as bad luck would have it, most of his books have been lost. His books have been praised by ‘Ibn Al Amid’ in these words “ the books of jahiz teach us knowledge and duty”
Some of the name of his books are given as under:
I – Kitab al Biyan wal Batin (Arabic culture and literature)
II – Kitab al Najla (society and man)
III – kitab al Haivan (About animals)
IV – kitab al Usmania (Three caliphs were defended and reject shiaism)
V – kitan al Taaj
5- Another contribution of Al Jahiz is that he was the first who started to pen down the literary tradition in Abbasid era. This was done by him because of the reason that many non Arabic crept in because of the territorial expansion. Mistakes and flaws in the Arabic of non indigenous people who was avoided by Al Jahiz by ensuring what was pure Arabic work. He also invented the technique to introduce humor in serious writing to make it more interesting and affective.
Some interesting facts about Al Jahiz:-
Ahmad Hassan Ziyat in his book “Tarikh e Adb e Arabi” has commended that Al Jahiz was man of terrible features with unbalanced body. Once he was called by Caliph Mutawakil, when he heard about his accomplishment in all the fields of knowledge. The Caliph wanted him to be the tutor of his beloved child but when he saw Al Jahiz, the ugly but prolific literary man he gave him 10 thousand Dirham and asked him to leave. Nevertheless, he was a man of high literary status. He remained for 100 long years and died after his right side was paralyzed owing to illness.
Although he was one of the most glaring personalities of Arabic literature yet he was not able to avoid criticism. The criticism about him is pertaining to his exaggeration while praising the Caliph.

Role of “Khalil Bin Ahmad” with special reference to ‘Kitab ul Ain’
His full name is ‘Abu Ahmad or Abu Abdul Rehman Khalil bin Ahmad bin Ahmad Fraheedi’ and he was born at Basra. He was brought up in Basra and got education from A’aema-e-Arba in Ilm e Nahv, Qirat and Hadith. Then he got education from Abu Umer bin Al Uala and Essa bin Umro in Ilm-e-Rawat. Then went to villages for becoming proficient in the field of Lexicon. He accumulated great knowledge in the field of lexicon and then returns to Basra. He got such a fame then the Caliph called on him to teach his child but Khalil refuse to do so. He considered the poverty much endeared then getting subjugated to the royal court.
Khalil bin Ahmad remained in the service of knowledge throughout his life and when he met his demise he was doing the same. He rendered invaluable service in the almost all the fields of knowledge. A cursory glance at his service would reveal the greatness of khalil bin Ahmad in a better way.
1- He was the only man who did not know the foreign language and nor he had formal education in the field of music yet he wrote a book on music “Kitab ul Nagham”.
2- Khalil bin Ahmad wanted to calculate such a easy method of calculation which would be comprehendible to a child even but the life span of his proved to be short to perform his task.
3- Khalil Bin Ahmad was a poet also. He invented 15 metres and divided them in five groups.
4- Khalil was efficient in ‘sehat qiyas’, ‘Nahvi Tehlil o Tawaa’ and ‘Istinbat’. Saibovia’s book ‘Al Kitab’ has been majority completed by ‘Khalil bin Ahmad’.
Kitab ul Ain:-
During the time Khalil bin Ahmad was rendering service in all the fields of knowledge, Arabic was spread to the non Arabic areas. People began to make mistakes and this presented a challenge to the scholars. Many tries were made to combat this problem but all in vain. It was Khalil bin Ahmad, who wrote “Kitab ul Ain” the first ever book on the Ilm-e-Lughat. He arranged the words composed of two three and four letters and then he arranged the words according to their pronunciation. He organized according to the following order:
1- Larynx
2- Tongue
3- Teeth
4- Lips
Abubakar bin Duraid wrote a compendium of ‘Kitab ul Ain’ which was presented to the Caliph of Spain. This compendium got more fame than the original book.
Some other books of Khalil:-
1- Kitan ul Nagham
2- Kitab ul Arooz
3- Kitab ul Shawahid
4- Kitab ul Eeqah
5- Kitab ul Naqat wa Shakal
6- Kitab ul Ain
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Pre Islamic poetry
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