Why are dogs superior to some who wear clothes? What strange burial practice did the Vikings have a thousand years ago? Why are the two dispositions, anxiety and worry, as hurtful when present in excess, as the scarcity of them? Can a man living alone discover God without a revelation? Why is that fool riding backward on his donkey? A thousand years ago Muslims wrote on these and hundred of other topics. During their golden age of literature, Muslims wrote about everything including poetry, theology, spirituality, philosophy, geography, history, political science, sociology, psychology, belle letters, biography, autobiography and memoirs. And that doesn’t even include the science, mathematics, and medical science which are not represented in this book.
Among the authors who are represented in this Treasury of Muslim Literature are al-Shafi’i and al-Bukhari (theology); al-Jahiz and al-Hariri (belle letters); al-Tabari, al Mas’udi, and Nizam al Mulk (history and political science); Ibn Sina and al-Razi (autobiography and psychology); Ibn Tufayl (philosophical novel) and Umar al-Khayyam (poetry). And who is that wise fool who keeps popping up?
The Treasury of Muslim Literature is an introduction to a literature that too many of us are ignorant about. It is also an overview of the Muslim world’s literary excellence that students in secondary and tertiary education should be exposed to.