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Letter writers of medieval Arab world


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Ruhi_Rose
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« on: September 12, 2020, 12:28:51 pm »




 
The letter writer, medieval Egypt
                                                            

This does not suggest that the customers of letter writers were illiterate. Literacy rate particularly within the female population in the Muslim world was highest in the Middle East in the middle ages.  

Letter writing in medieval Muslim society went much beyond the representation of official documents and written communications between office holders and dignitaries.  




Letter writer works for a lady client at her home 



Letter writer Ottoman era, Turkey



Preparing a personal missive                                                        


Letter writing, on the other hand, was an intellectual profession in this period and a component of the intellectual life of the society.  Every letter writer had their own eloquent flair of artistic prose and decorous metaphors that gave a special rhythm to the text of every personal missive. Even the selection of the pen and its nib was in accordance with the type of paper on which the message was written.   Letter writers in medieval Islamic world were culture-specific professionals.



Petition writer, Ottoman era, Turkey



Preparing a document, Ottoman Turkey



Turkish scribe, ottoman era 1862, waiting for clients
                                                           

The rapid shift from oral to written culture within the Islamic world also had another contributing factor, that is, the growing availability of paper with the passage of time.  Writing was the outlining and shaping of letters to indicate spoken words which in turn display the quality of the human soul.   Written messages were enduring while oral communications were far more temporary.  Spoken words take little time to be forgotten.  But written text remain as the thoughts and intents of successive generations leading to the formation of culture and history.



A pubic scribe with expertize in official communication, Ottoman Turkey   


                                                           
A letter writer                                                              


Writing letters was an important sphere of intellectual life in the Middle Islamic period.  It was an excellent source of information for much of the cultural history of medieval Islamic society, exhibiting the concept of "power of the pen."    It also made it easier to discern the differences and similarities of the medieval Islamic culture in comparison to the western values. 



A public scribe, Ottoman Turkey
                                                             

Often referred to as the "Adab" (أدب‎)  literature, it was more or less synonymous with epsitolography reflecting the mind through eloquent writing.   It isn't just the decor of the tongue but also of the fingertips.   

The sizable collections of letters, written mainly in artistic prose, can be categorized as the letter-writing genre in the middle Muslim era.  It surely reveals that Muslim letter-writing in the medieval Islamic era was very culture oriented.
                                                     
Without a doubt, the era of letter writing in medieval Islamic world had left a rich legacy to Western societies.                                                            


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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2020, 02:36:23 pm »




Deep breath! .. wish I could fly out of time into the past   😅    Reminds me of that phrase “Life was so simple when apples and blackberries were fruit, a tweet was the sound of nature, and facebooks were photo albums.”

Incredibly enjoyable read.  I so much envy those folks looking so relaxed in these paintings. 

Many many thanks for the entertainment Sister Ruhi.  A wonderful change.

Allah bless you dear sister.  Ameen.



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Ruhi_Rose
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2020, 02:40:58 pm »



Welcome .... and thanko sis gdbi




“Life was so simple when apples and blackberries were fruit, a tweet was the sound of nature, and facebooks were photo albums.”



Ooh!  This is sooooo true ....


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N. Truth Seeker
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2020, 08:32:09 am »

   

Very interesting topic with excellent illustrations.
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N. Truth Seeker
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2020, 08:34:08 am »




.... “Life was so simple when apples and blackberries were fruit, a tweet was the sound of nature, and facebooks were photo albums.”


I think so too .... 😆

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Zeynab
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2020, 01:41:28 pm »



Love this topic and its adorable arts 👍🏻👍🏻 

Many thanks for the great read Sister Ruhi.
   
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