Wednesday 12 May 2010

Fantasy Epics and the Muslim World

The Atlantic Monthly issue of 4 May 2010 contains an article on the comic The 99, a superheroes story inspired by Islamic history.  Click on the image below to read:

The 99 appears to be part of a broader phenomenon also issuing from elsewhere in the Muslim World. In fact, Urdu culture lays claim to having launched the very genre of  magical fantasy epics with the publication of Hoshruba, which allegedly can be traced back to two prose writers from late 19th-century Lucknow, one of northern India's main centres of traditional Islamic learning and literature.

This massive narrative is loosely based on The Adventures of Amir Hamza, a story cycle inspired by the biography of the Prophet Muhammad's uncle and very popular at the Court of Moghul Emperor Akbar (r. 1556-1605). An English translation, the first volume of which is published as Hoshruba: The Land and the Tilism, is the brainchild of Musharraf Ali Farooqi, and forms part of the Urdu Project, an initiative that seeks to introduce translations from Urdu to the North American market. Click here to read an excerpt from the translation.

1 comment:

Ahmed Maajid said...

thank you for the information.

There is another classic of Arabic language, called Sayf ibn Zhi Yazan, which has been translated into Urdu also. I have been looking for this book for a long time (I am in the Maldives) but haven't been able to get it, and haven't been able to get any helpful information about it on the internet also (i have no skills in Arabic or Urdu language, which means I have major limitations). I thought you might be very kind to give a help here. (By the way, I am currently about to begin learning and Arabic and Urdu) What I need is a direction in getting the Arabic/Urdu original of this great classic.