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Title: O tempora, o islamici mores!
Subtitle: Between Sincere Criticism and Edifying Topos: Moral Corruption in Medieval Arabic Literature
Author(s): BUENDÍA, Pedro
Journal: Le Muséon
Volume: 134    Issue: 1-2   Date: 2021   
Pages: 147-180
DOI: 10.2143/MUS.134.1.3289401

Abstract :
In medieval Arabic literature there are numerous examples of a special type of lamentation regarding the moral decline and progressive and inevitable deterioration of human civilization. This characteristic lamentation feeds on two beliefs which together make up a particular topos: traditional Arab fatalism, of a metaphysical, moralizing and elegiac nature, and the Islamic belief in the perfection achieved by humanity at the time of the Prophet and early Islam, after which there is nothing but decline and decadence. This notion of fatalism after perfection likely appeared in the first century of Islam, due to various political, religious and social reasons, and can be thoroughly documented from the end of the ninth century in almost all the manifestations of Arabic literature: poetry, adab prose, historical prose, collections of ḥadīth and other religious works.

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