Persian literature was dominated by a sophisticated tradition of poetry


A manuscript of Rumi's Masnavi dated1652–53. (Image: Bodleian Library, University of Oxford) A manuscript of Rumi’s Masnavi dated1652–53. (Image: Bodleian Library, University of Oxford)

Persian literature is dominated by a highly  sophisticated tradition of poetry dating to the tenth century. Persian poetry can generally be divided into two forms: the lyrical and the epic. The major lyrical forms are the qasida, ghazal, and rubai. The basic form of epic poetry is the masnavi.

The qasida, a long mono-rhyme (aa, ba, ca) similar to an ode, is mostly used as a speech or in praise of somebody as well as for secular or religious moralism. It consists of three parts – a prologue, the actual praise or tribute, and a final appeal to the patron. It was also used to praise of God and the Prophet. The chanted qasida is part of the religious tradition of Arabic and Persian–speaking Nizari Ismailis.

The ghazal, rhythmically similar to the qasida only…

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Al-Khwarizmi and Algebra


Ancient Greek Babylonian and Indian mathematicians had all found ways of calculating missing numbers. Al-Khwarizmi combined these methods together to develop algebra. The word algebra comes from the Arabic “al-jabr” which means “bringing back order.” Al-jabr was one of the terms used by al-Khwarizmi to describe how to find the missing numbers in an equation. Muhammad al-Khwarizmi lived in the 9th century and worked in Baghdad where he was an important scientist at the Bayt al-Hikma. Al-Khwarizmi wrote the first book on algebra.

Source: Talim Primary 3

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