‘Antarah, a name synonymous with chivalry, is the greatest romantic figure in Arabian history. Born to an enslaved princess from the Horn of Africa, his father refused to acknowledge him as his son. Using his strength, valour, and wits, ‘Antarah overcame enemies near and far, including some of the worst institutionalized racism in history. Even as a sworn enemy of his beloved ‘Ablah’s clan, he earned her hand in marriage and was immortalized as a warrior, chaste romantic, and poet. Over a millennium and a half have passed since his epic tale, yet he remains the subject of symphonies, songs, TV series, and folk culture east and west.
In this course, we cover his magnum opus, the Mu’allaqah, or, ‘Hanging Ode’. In addition to a discussion of thematic elements, the course will cover vocabulary and grammatical points that are useful to students of Arabic in general, and students of the Qur’an in particular. While knowledge of Classical Arabic is required for a full appreciation of the text, it isn’t a strict requirement for the course. The Arabic text and translation for the course will be based on The Mu’allaqat for Millennials, available for free at ithra.com.