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Al Jahiz Book Of Animals Pdfgolkes

Al-Jahiz and the Book of Animals

Al-Jahiz (776-868 CE) was a famous Arab writer, scholar, and polymath who wrote on various subjects such as theology, literature, grammar, zoology, and history. He is considered one of the pioneers of the Arabic prose and one of the most original thinkers of the Islamic Golden Age.

One of his most famous works is the Book of Animals (Kitab al-Hayawan), which is a collection of essays on various animals, plants, and natural phenomena. The book is not a conventional zoology or a bestiary, but rather a rich source of information, anecdotes, observations, and reflections on the natural world and its relation to human society and culture.

al jahiz book of animals pdfgolkes


The Book of Animals consists of seven volumes, each containing several chapters on different topics. The book covers a wide range of animals, from insects and worms to birds and mammals, as well as plants, minerals, and meteorological phenomena. Al-Jahiz describes the physical characteristics, behaviors, habitats, and uses of these creatures, as well as their interactions with each other and with humans. He also discusses various philosophical, theological, ethical, and literary issues related to the natural world, such as the origin of life, the diversity of species, the adaptation to the environment, the role of divine providence, the moral value of animals, and the use of metaphors and similes in poetry.

The Book of Animals is not only a scientific work, but also a literary masterpiece that showcases al-Jahiz's eloquence, wit, humor, and creativity. He uses various rhetorical devices, such as anecdotes, dialogues, fables, parables, proverbs, quotations, and jokes to illustrate his points and to entertain his readers. He also draws on various sources of knowledge, such as the Quran, the Hadith, the Greek philosophy, the Indian lore, the Persian legends, and the oral traditions of the Arabs.

The Book of Animals is one of the earliest examples of encyclopedic writing in Arabic literature and one of the most influential works in the history of zoology. It reflects al-Jahiz's curiosity and fascination with the natural world and his attempt to understand it through observation and reasoning. It also reveals his humanistic vision and his appreciation of the diversity and beauty of God's creation.

If you want to learn more about al-Jahiz and his Book of Animals, you can check out these sources:

  • [The "book of Animals" (kitab Al-hayawan) of Al-Jahiz - Google Books]

  • [Book of Animals of al-Jahiz Archives at Yale]

  • [Al-Jahiz and The Book of Animals MOHA Research Center]

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