Islamic Bookmaking and Literature

By: Katie Grace Dockery and Korrie Brown

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In the 8th century, the Muslims turned bookmaking into an art form, using leather bindings, gold designs, and illustrations. Bookmaking was a huge business in the Muslim world. There were more than 100 bookstores in Baghdad. Many copies of the Qur’an were sold, as well as storytelling and poetry.

Storytelling & Poetry

The beautiful books the Muslims made honored love, praised rulers, or celebrated wit. They wrote epics, which were long poems that told a story. They also wrote in a writing style called prose, that eventually replaced poetry for recording history and telling stories. Prose is by definition, ¨written or spoken language in its ordinary form, without metrical structure.¨Lastly, a form of literature called Sufism, or Islamic mysticism, was a type of religious practice that involved writing poetry to express their devotion to God.

The Impact on the World

The Muslims wrote stories that are still well known today. The story A Thousand And One Nights, also known as Arabian Nights is a book filled with many different tales from Persia, India, and the Middle East. It is about a wife who tells her husband a new tale each night. Famous ones include: Aladdin's magic lamp, Ali Baba and his forty thieves, and Sinbad the Sailor, which all still have meaning to people and are treasured today.