Search this website:

This web page location:

home page  >   Literature and Writing  >   Arabic Literature

Literature and Writing

Arabic Literature

Major historical events, Arabic culture, Arabic Literature, Arabian Peninsula, rise of Islam

Deeper web pages:

>  Pre-Islamic Literature

>  Medieval Arabic Literature

>  Modern Arabic Literature

>  Contemporary Arabic Literature

Arabic Literature, literature written in the Arabic language, from the 6th century to the present. This literature has its roots in seminomadic societies on the Arabian Peninsula. Its spread is linked to the rise of Islam in the 7th and 8th centuries. The influence of the Arabic language and Arabic culture eventually expanded with Islam throughout the Middle East, as far east as Afghanistan and as far west as Spain and northern Africa’s Atlantic coast. Arabic literature today crosses geographical and national boundaries and includes numerous genres.

Major historical events have played a pivotal role in the development of Arabic literature. The Arab-Islamic conquests of the 7th and 8th centuries created a vast multinational empire in which scholars and writers flourished. The literature created within this empire surpasses in scope and sophistication the literature of medieval Europe.

The influence of the West on Arabic literature and culture started at the end of the 18th century with France’s invasion of Egypt. The revival of Islam around the world in the late 20th century also has had an enormous effect on Arabic literature, both secular and religious. Writers today often draw upon early Arabic texts and conventions for inspiration, perpetuating the vibrant, self-aware tradition of Arabic literature.


Malti-Douglas, Fewda, A.D., M.A., Ph.D.

Martha C. Kraft Professor of Humanities, Indiana University.

Article key phrases:

Major historical events, Arabic culture, Arabic Literature, Arabian Peninsula, rise of Islam, Arabic language, northern Africa, Atlantic coast, pivotal role, sophistication, France, Afghanistan, Spain, roots, scope, spread, inspiration, world, century, centuries, Middle East, present, West, influence, conventions, culture, end, scholars, writers

Search this website: