CRITIQUE ON ARABIC LITERATURE IN THE PRE-ISLAMIC ERA
This article presents a comprehensive critique of Arabic literature in the Pre-Islamic Era, known as "Jahiliyyah" (الجاهلية). This term was originally associated with ignorance in the sense of idiocy and pessimism. The article delves into the various features of literary criticism during this era, including levels of criticism and the titles of notable poets.
In the Pre-Islamic Era, poets were recognized by different titles reflecting their mastery of poetry and emotive expression. Critics played a significant role during this period, attracting poets seeking their judgment. Critics often expressed favoritism towards certain poems, poets, tribes, or the entire Arab community, and this preference influenced their critical judgments.
The most famous critical judgments were directed at the "Mu'allaqat" (المعلقات), exceptional poems hung proudly on the Kaaba walls. Pre-Islamic criticism lacked fixed and written rules, relying on the critic's literary instinct and taste. It encompassed linguistic, moral, and thematic criticism.
The article explores the concept of "ijazah", where one poet completes the verse of another in a seamless manner, showcasing the depth of understanding and linguistic sensitivity of the second poet.
The article sheds light on the significance of literary criticism during the Pre-Islamic Era, its role in refining poetry, and the emergence of poets as skilled critics, contributing to the development of Arabic literature.