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Devotional Poetry

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

    Devotional Poetry

    Early Islam discouraged poetry, which was criticized in the Quran and often described negatively in hadith. Sufi poems composed in the tenth and eleventh centuries spoke of the poet's longing for his divine beloved, using imagery of profane love. The first major genre entirely confined to devotional expression was the mawlud, a poem recited on the Prophet Muhammad 's birthday. Parallel with the mawlud is a narrative that describes the wondrous acts of the Prophet, of the first four caliphs, or very often of Sufi saints. Both folk and “high” Muslim devotional poetry are found throughout the Islamic world.

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