Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Hikayat Abi al-QasimA Literary Banquet$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Emily Selove

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474402316

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474402316.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 16 May 2021

The Cosmic Crasher

The Cosmic Crasher

(p.135) 5 The Cosmic Crasher
Hikayat Abi al-Qasim

Emily Selove

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter delves deeper into Ab016B l-Qāsim's status as a microcosm, reading him as representing the paradoxical joining of the opposite figures of Satan and the Prophet Muḥammad. It shows that the trickster figure and the holy man often blend into one another, for example, in the Maqāmāt, in portrayals of wise fools, and inmystical Sufi literature, as well as in other literary traditions influenced by ancient Greek Cynicism or by Neoplatonic thought. It discusses Al-Jāḥiẓ's Book of Living, and its representation of man as a microcosm, composed of both high and low elements, and of good and evil qualities. It also describes man's similarities to other animals, like monkeys and donkeys, as described in the Ḥikāya, and the Ikhwān al-Ṣafā’. It concludes by arguing that like the Qur'ān, and other great works of literature that have been misunderstood and criticised as being incoherent and garbled, the Ḥikāya creates a new world with its microcosmic language.

Keywords:   microcosm, Satan, mystical literature, Cynicism, Book of Living, Qur’ān, wise fools, Ikhwān al-Ṣafā’, donkeys

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.