- Unpack an epic poem from the Pre-Islamic period of Arabic literature
- Cover the word-by-word explanation with Ustadh Farid in the Live Classes
- A course without recorded lessons, assignments or exams
- Students are recommended, but not required, to have a strong background in Arabic
About the Course
This course will unpack Shanfara’s Lamiyyat al-Arab word-by-word.
The course shall be taught entirely through Live Classes, each class covering 5 to 10 lines of the poem. Ustadh Farid Dingle shall explain the meaning, literary, and grammatical tools employed by the author. Students will be provided with the text of the Lamiyyat furnished with footnotes, a complete translation, a short critique of the work, as well as a recording of the recitation.
The course does not have any recorded lessons, assignments, or exams, but requires an estimated 2–3 hours per week outside the Live Class to review the text.
The language of the Lamiyyat is quite difficult. While everybody is welcome to enroll, students without a strong background in Arabic may fin the text somewhat challenging.
Did you know the Lamiyyat one of the most celebrated works of Pre-Islamic Poetry?
The Lamiyyat has received much attention from the scholars of Islam: many have written commentaries on it, while even Imam Shafi’i is thought to have taught it to the great poet al-Asmai, who was the teacher of the Caliph Harun al-Rashid’s sons.
Why is the Lamiyyat so famous?
The author of the poem, Shanfara, was cast out of his tribe and driven into the desert because of his colour, and because of his crimes. The desert and its animal inhabitants play a very central role in the poem, and a comparison between them and the sickness of human society is very carefully portrayed— a comparison that far pre-dates those of Gulliver’s Travels or Animal Farm.
The poem presents the nobility and the self-respect of the pre-Islamic subaltern. It has been said of the Lamiyyat: “Teach it to your children, because it teaches noble character traits.”