- From Ibn Sina to Sindbad
From Ibn Sina to Sindbad
A Guided Reader to Classics of Arabic Literature
A unique textbook of guided readings from the great works of Arabic prose for advanced level students of Classical Arabic literature
From Ibn Sina to Sindbad makes some of the greatest works of the Golden Age of Arab Civilization accessible to Arabic students at the mid- to high-advanced level of proficiency, while also providing a ready curriculum for teachers of Advanced Arabic.
It introduces students to classical Arabic literature through twenty guided readings of works spanning prose genres from travel writing to philosophy, science, religion, humor, and imaginative fiction, including texts by al-Jahiz, al-Kindi, Ibn Khaldun, and Ibn Rushd. Original texts are supplemented with supporting explanatory material, to make them accessible to students, who then progress through an extensive series of exercises to test their comprehension, develop interpretive and critical reading skills, and apply the linguistic structures to their own speaking and writing.
Each of the twenty lessons is designed to stand alone for classroom use or individual study, making this a valuable resource for students and teachers alike.
Lesson One: Biography of the Prophet—Ma’mar Ibn Rashid
Lesson Two: Adab—Al-Jahiz
Lesson Three: Philosophy—Al-Kindi
Lesson Four: Ethnicity in Islam—Ibn Qutayba
Lesson Five: Government and Leadership—Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih
Lesson Six: Anthropology and Religion—Al-Biruni
Lesson Seven: Education—Ibn Sina
Lesson Eight: Religion vs. Philosophy I—Al-Ghazali
Lesson Nine: Religion vs. Philosophy II—Ibn Rushd
Lesson Ten: Impressions of Europeans—Usama Ibn Munqidh
Lesson Eleven: Women in the Caliphal Court—Ibn al-Sa’i
Lesson Twelve: Travel Literature—Ibn Battuta
Lesson Thirteen: History—Ibn Khaldun
Lesson Fourteen: Popular Storytelling—The Arabian Nights
Lesson Fifteen: Fantasy and Adventure—Sindbad the Sailor
Lesson Sixteen: Moral Literature—Ibn al-Muqaffa
Lesson Seventeen: The Maqamat—Al-Hariri
Lesson Eighteen: Philosophical Novel—Ibn Tufayl
Lesson Nineteen: Satire—Abu Al-‘Alaa’ al-Ma‘arri
Lesson Twenty: Animal Rights—Ikhwan al-Safa’
Glossary of Vocabulary Terms
Resources for Further Study
David DiMeo is an associate professor and director of the Arabic program at Western Kentucky University and has taught Arabic for over twenty years. He holds a PhD from Harvard University and an MA from Princeton University. He is the author of Taha Hussein’s The Days: A Guided Study for Arabic Learners (AUC Press, 2022) and co-author of The Travels of Ibn Battuta: A Guided Arabic Reader (AUC Press, 2016). He hosts the podcast The Golden Age of Islam.
Inas Hassan has a PhD and an MA in Arabic linguistics from Alexandria University in Egypt and is assistant teaching professor and coordinator of the Arabic program at Loyola University Maryland. She is co-author of The Travels of Ibn Battuta: A Guided Arabic Reader (AUC Press, 2016).
"DiMeo and Hassan’s anthology of Classical Arabic texts is an accessible and entertaining textbook for the advanced Arabic student. It covers a wide range of topics and styles and the helpful vocabulary lists and comprehension questions are perfect for self-study."—Adam Talib, The American University in Cairo
"This text will be a boon to the teacher of Classical Arabic. Not only does it contain a wide range of authentic texts, all with abundant support materials, but it also devotes attention to matters of culture and to skills such as analysis and presentation. It is a welcome addition to the resources currently available for the Classical Arabic classroom."—Kay Heikkinen, The University of Chicago