Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The Maqamat al-Hariri is one of the most notable examples of prose in Arabic literature. Called one of the most eloquent statements of medieval Arabic prose, it also serves as a religious, social, cultural, and political document of the Abbasid Caliphate. As a writer, al-Hariri became a famous figure in Arabic literature after writing his maqamat. This dissertation studies al-Hariri as a poet through his most important prose work, the Maqamat al-Hariri.
Chapter 1 of the dissertation provides an overview of the maqama genre, including its definition, themes, stylistic features, character types, a brief history of maqamat studies, and illustrations of maqamat genre. Furthermore, the review presents a brief biography of al-Hariri and his most famous text, the Maqamat al-Hariri, with a focus on his reasons for writing the work. Finally, the review contains a detailed discussion of the Maqamat al-Hariri, including its format, setting, prefatory material, content, structure, characters, locations, styles, commentaries, illustrations, and legacy.
Chapter 2 examines the themes, language, and structure in al-Hariri’s poetry, including the two types of poetry in the Maqamat al-Hariri. The chapter also looks at the function of poetry in the Maqamat al-Hariri; the use of trickery in al-Hariri’s poetry; the placement of poetry in the Maqamat al-Hariri; al-Hariri’s poetic themes; the poetic exchanges between the protagonist (Abu Zayd al-Saruji) and the narrator (al-Harith ibn Hammam); the poetic language of the Maqamat al-Hariri; and meters and rhymes in the Maqamat al-Hariri.
Chapter 3 considers the community issues in al-Hariri’s poems, focusing on political, social, religious, and psychological aspects.
Chapter 4, which examines al-Hariri’s superiority over all other Arabic poets, is divided into three sections: al-Hariri’s superiority over other classical Arab poets; al-Hariri’s superiority over al-Hamadhani; and al-Hariri’s superiority over the poets of his own era. The chapter compares poetry in eight maqamat written by al-Hamadhani and al-Hariri.
The Conclusion, discusses the significance of the Maqamat al-Hariri in medieval and modern Arabic literature, and argues that more studies on maqama poetry will help to advance this important academic topic.
Almujalli, Hussam, "The Function of Poetry in the Maqamat al-Hariri" (2020). LSU Doctoral Dissertations. 5156.