Forms of Arabic Poetry

Types of Arabic Poety


(Forms of Arabic Poetry, Types of Arabic Poetry, Classification of Arabic Poetry, Types of Arabic Poetry)


Forms of Arabic PoetryForms of Arabic Poetry

Forms of Arabic Poetry

Arabic poetry has been divided into several forms or categories according to contents or themes such as Hamasa, Fakar, Ghazal, Ma’d, Risha, Hija, Wasaf, etc.


Arabic poetry which expresses heroism, the endurance of hardships, and firmness of mind against the forces of nature,  is called Hamasa. Two scholars, Abu Tammam and Al-Buhtari compiled two anthologies of Arabic hamasa.


The poems which express details of the poet’s tribe, race, clan, family, etc., are called ‘Fakhr’. In such poems, the poets’ lineage, pride, vengeance, charity towards the poor, relationships with the neighbors, etc found their place.


The poems dealing with the theme of love were called ‘Ghazals’. Note that there is no fictional love story in Arabic love poems. The poets expressed their true love for their beloved through their poems.


The poems that express the heroism, praise, eulogy, etc. of a leader of one’s own race, clan, or lineage are called Ma’dah.


The poems written mourning the loss of the poet’s son, daughter, brother, or close relative were called ‘Risa’, and such a poet was called ‘Marasia Poet’.


The poems that express condemnation and ridicule were called ‘Hija’. Such poems were composed in defiance of any weakness or strength of the adversary of any individual or tribe.


Wasaf was a genre of descriptive poems. In such poems, the descriptive character was attributed. Such poems were naturally long and contained descriptions of various subjects such as love, warfare, camels, horses,  landscapes, etc.


Qasida is a genre of poems composed in the rhythm of twenty-five or more lines. The poem contains descriptions of tribal wars as well as descriptions of the social life, beliefs, culture, ancestry, ancestral love, etc. of the Arabs. Such poems usually begin with a description of the place where the poet’s beloved lived, and then the poet recounts the happy days of the past spent with the beloved. This is followed by a series of poems describing various topics and praising the poet’s patron.

Note: The word ‘Muwallaka’ (Mu’allaqat) is often used in the discussion of pre-Islamic poetry. According to some scholars, the word ‘muwallaka’ is derived from the Arabic word ‘ilk’ or ‘alkun’. This means something valuable or highly revered that is kept in the public eye. In this regard, Abu Jafar Annohas said that in the pre-Islamic era it was a tradition that every year the Arab poets, orators, and scholars gathered in the marketplace called ‘Ukaj’ near Mecca and recited their own masterpieces. The ‘Ukaj’ market was located between Nakhla and Tawf, 40 miles east of Mecca. The judges honored and awarded the winner in the competition and his poetry was hung on the doorstep of the Kaaba so that it could be easily seen or read by the public. It is to be noted that before hanging the poem on the wall of the Kaaba, the poem was presented to the king and was inscribed in golden letters as per his order.

These poems were called ‘Muallakas’ for hanging. They were also called ‘Jahbiah’ (golden poems) for inscribing with gold. The number of such ‘Muallaka’ was seven. Famous pre-Islamic Muallaka poets were: Imraul Qais, Labid bin Rabiah, Zuhair bin Abi Salma, Tarafa bin Al-Abd, Harish bin Hilliza, Antara bin Shaddad, and Amr bin Kulthum. It was also known as ‘Al-Shabou Al-Tiwal’ (the seven long poems) because of the length of the poems. During the reign of the Abbasid Caliph Mehdi, Hammad al-Rabi first compiled these famous seven (Muwallaka’) poems in book form. In addition to these seven muwallakas, some compilers included the poems of Al Asha, Al Nabigha, and Ummaiya bin Abi Salat in the list of the Muwallaka poems. 0 0 0.

Forms of Arabic Poetry,

Forms of Arabic Poetry

Read More: A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Early Islamic Period (622 AD-661 AD)

Forms of Arabic Poetry

N.B. This article ‘Forms of Arabic Poetry’ originally belongs to the book entitled ‘A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Pre-Islamic Period (500 AD-622 AD) by Menonim Menonimus. Forms of Arabic Poetry

Related Searches:

Books of Literary Criticism by M. Menonimus:

  1. World Short Story Criticism
  2. World Poetry Criticism
  3. World Drama Criticism
  4. World Novel Criticism
  5. World Essay Criticism
  6. Indian English Poetry Criticism
  7. Indian English Poets and Poetry Chief Features
  8. Emily Dickinson’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  9. Walt Whitman’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  10. Critical Essays on English Poetry
  11. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: Return of the Spirit-An Analytical Study
  12. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: ‘Yawmiyyat Naib Fil Arayaf’-An Analytical Study
  13. Analytical Studies of Some Arabic Short Stories
  14. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Pre-Islamic Period (500 AD-622 AD)
  15. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Early Islamic Period (622 AD-661 AD)

Previous articleBirth Development and Characteristics of Arabic Poetry
Next articleBirth and Development of Arabic Prose
I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here