Beyond the Arabian Poetry In the light of Arabic literature in Muslim Spain, It was one of the greatest lands at that time. Most of people were educated in too many studies, due to the Abd al-Rahman III one of the Umayyad Rulers. Abd al-Rahman III was interested greatly in books and education, which made him to collect a lot of books around the world. Arabic literature’ books were also interested by Abd al-Rahman III, which made a lot of Muslim Spain’s people interested on in and study it as well. Muslims and Jews were inherited in the Arabic literature which made them write stories and poetry. All that had a deep effect on literature scholars and especially Jewish scholars. When they were studying Islamic, Arabic literature they were also studying Islamic literature and the influence of the relationship of Arabic language and Islam.
In that vein, many of the Jews converted to Islam by their own, But not all about Jews. And this raises the mind a question that what are the sources and the power of the Arabic literature which make these Jews converting to Islam by their own? And it appears that the larger spiritual vision of Islamic religious traditions and the Ideology of Islamic Arabic poems are involved with that. Therefore the Islamic traditions and the Islamic, Arabic poetry are the source of converting some of the Jews to Islam by their own in Muslim Spain. According to the book the Jews of Islam says “Islam had its sway over Jewish cultural life too. In literature, and the arts, the Muslim influence on the Jews is enormous.” (Lewis 81) It appears from that Islam affected on Jews through literature and the arts which means by traditions and poetry.
In the same note of converting the Jews to Islam, the Islamic literature was very strong, because it was getting through the soul and shapes it. And writing famous poems on the walls of Madden T Al-Zahra, helped Jewish to read poems in the in that time, so one line of any Islamic poem has that huge effect for the reader. But that script was in Arabic, how did the spoken Hebrew, Jewish did read that? What kind of influence that the script has if it has translated to Hebrew? Would it be strong as it is in Arabic? There were people in Muslim Spain who were in interested in reading Arabic poem translated to Hebrew. And according to book The Dream of the Poem for Peter Cole that it says there is a scholar who was translating poems to Hebrew by comparing meters to their Arabic models. (Cole 333). So this shows that yes by an effort of scholars the influence of Arabic poetry kept as itself, therefore spoken Hebrew Jews got a chance to read the Arabic poems with its influence which helped to make some of them convert to Islam.
According to book of Daily life of Jews in the Middle Ages for Norman Roth he says “While some Jews, indeed, converted to Islam of their own free will in the early medieval period.”(Roth 202) and also Roth said that there are some of Jewish scholars in Muslim Spain Wrote in Arabic poems for them and one of them converted to Islam as Ibrahim Ibn Sahl, as he believe(Roth 165). By reading this book or some quotes of it we will see how the poetry affected these Jews to convert, even if it is not the big motive of converting, but Poetry was the media of the motive of converting these Jews to Islam. In that time Art was greatly considered as poems, due to the Islamic religion and the many of poets in that time, the poems were spread a lot in Muslim Spain, so it was easy for all to read them, and this shows that how the poems were the media of converting the Jews to Islam by their own.
Furthermore the Jews were very interested with the Arabic poetry, and most of the Arabic poetry is describing Islam and how it is good for life. According to book of Arabic and Hebrew Love Poems in Al-Andalusia By Shari Lowin which says “Brann similarly maintains that Jews had primary knowledge of the sacred texts of Islam” (Lowin 40) and this shows that Jews were affected very deeply from the poems to know about Islam which made them to go and read holy texts from the Islamic religion. Moreover the connection of the poetry with science by proving that holy Quran proved a lot of science statements, and that was really convincing to the Jewish to convert to Islam, because the Jewish people believe in the concrete and the logic (Gwynne 160), and when they found that Islam is logical with the earth and it’s science so they will be more attracted to convert to Islam.
All that is just from a link from Arabic poetry that talks about science and how Islam in the holy Quran proved it. In the line with that, it proves that Jews converted to Islam by their own, because they read these sacred texts by their own and without any force from anyone, and this shows how strong was the Islamic literature, it affected the mind and the soul of Jews in Muslim Spain thus makes them convert to Islam. So the source of that is the literature of Islamic poetry and traditions. The poetry in Islam was very nice, great and wonderful and Muslim’s prophet Muhammad said to have enjoyed the poetry (Scheindlin 7), which made Muslims do great efforts to add in the Islamic poetry, which makes a lot of kind of attractive ways to Islam, which made the Jews be Muslims and be satisfied of converting, and this proves that the converting Jews in Muslim Spain to Islam by their own by the poetry.
Even though the Jews reacted to most creative way of the brilliant Arab culture as I will show here “according to Bargebuhr, Hispanic Jews reacted in a most creative way to the influences of the brilliant Arab culture (though without converting to Islam, as the Persians did). (Jayyusi and Marin 515) ” So it appears that Jews did not convert to Islam by reading that smart Arabic poems. But in the beginning I said some of Jews converted to Islam. And the same book said that some of Jews did not use the Hebrew language as well in reading the Islamic poems. Moreover they have reacted the Arabic poems not the Islamic one, but when it appears that the Hispanic Jews reacted to the smart Arabic poems it appears not the all Jews converted to Islam, but Some of them, who reacted to the Islamic Arabic Poems.
The holy Quran is in Arabic and it has its language, and most of the Arabic in Muslim Spain were influenced in the holy Quran, and how it has the secret way to attract non-Muslim people to it, that are the Holy Quran ways, But the Arabs poets as I said they influenced of that and they started to work with it to attract people to Islam. And how about some of Jews Scholars had been influenced and attracted to the Quran language, and converted to Islam, they will have the power of attracting their previous people the Jews. Therefore the possibilities of converting Jews to Islam were so high because of the many of the Converted Jews scholars to Islam, and the knowing of the Hebrew language, they will be able to know how to attract people to Islam by making good Hebrew poets, that has the attraction ways of Holy Quran. Adding knowledge to the pomes in the Muslim Spain was so great, some of the Poets added a lot of knowledge in his poems, and by clever way the poets were adding attracting language to make the Jews
convert to Islam when they were reading knowledge.
All that made the Jews convert to Islam by reading the Arabic poetry in Muslim Spain. But did these converted Jews really converted to Islam just by reading the poems? Why if they were converting to Islam just not to pay the (Jyzia) which is a tax that Muslims take it from non-Muslims people? It could be, and this would happen, but not all of Jews who converted to Islam just because of the Jyzia, because the one who converted should not be so poor to not pay a small amount of money as a tax. Moreover a lot of poor Jews in Muslim Spain were able to pay the Jyzia, unless if that Jew is cheap or greedy, he would do that. But another question is in the mind now, which is what kind of poems affected the Jews that range to convert to Islam? We said before that the poets were Arabs from Muslim Spain and Jews scholars too who wrote poems in both languages as well, Moreover the Holy Quran’s Influence which attracted all those to convert to Islam.
But the kind of poems are the one which were describing Islam and how it is, and the one which described other religions, and making Islam the best of them. Moreover the poems which describes the Islamic architecture, and the science as well especially the one which discovered by Muslims scientists. However these poems are showing in its form, it talks about architecture or science, how would that help or motive or being a media to convert the Jews to Islam? The questions here is logic and it appears that it has no answer.
But the answer is simple, the poets really care to make the readers being pleased reading the poems they wrote, that would not happen they appeared they are trying to let non-Muslims readers to get bored fast, or to leave the poems by thinking it is trying to make them Muslims, so the poets used a hidden way to let the readers not feeling that they added the thing that make them convert, so they added in a hidden way, for example when they want to describe the architecture, they will describe the Mosque in purpose to let the readers to be attracted to the Mosque (Ruggles 171-8) , and also if they want to write about science they write about the Muslims scientists or how Islam explained science in perfect way, all that just by great poems that did not seemed to be like that. As Ibrahim Ibn Sahl did after he converted (Roth 165-9). In the end of this it was a clever idea to make the Islamic poetry strong to be capable to convert people by their own, and also the traditions of Muslims in Muslim Spain were much educated to make a lot of ways to add the Islamic sense at the poetry to make the Jews to convert.
Moreover the secret way of attracting Non-Muslims to Islam was really strong because it was within the language which is the most playable media to attract people to Islam. Especially the Jews, but how about the Christians did they also converted to Islam by poems in Muslim Spain? If they did so, what was attracting them, to be converted? But are not they were jealous of Muslims who were able to convert Jews by their own, so they did the inquisition and forced people to convert to their religion by force. Or they were scare to be attracted by Muslims and then convert to Islam. And this raises the concept of Muslims verses Christian’s tactics of conversion. And the Muslim’s cultural influence verses Christian’s state violence.
Cole, Peter. The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950-1492. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007. Print. D, F R. “Arabic Poetry and Architectural Memory in Al-Andalus.” Ars Orientalis. 23 (1993): 171-178. Print. Gwynne, Rosalind W. Logic, Rhetoric and Legal Reasoning in the Qur’an: God’s Arguments. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 2014. Internet resource. Lewis, Bernard. The Jews of Islam. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1984. Print. Lowin, Shari L. Arabic and Hebrew Love Poems in Al-Andalus. New York: Routledge, 2014. Print. Roth, Norman. Daily Life of Jews in the Middle Ages. New York: Routledge, 2005. Print. Scheindlin, Raymond P. The Gazelle: Medieval Hebrew Poems on God, Israel, and the Soul. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1991. Print. Jayyusi, Salma K, and Manuela Marín. The Legacy of Muslim Spain. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1992. Print.