(3rd part in this ongoing series: more pearls from Alija Izetbegovic's treasure chest, 'Notes from Prison, 1983-1988)
-They were not Arabs, but they wrote in the Arabic language: Abu Nives, one of the greatest poets of Arab poetry, was Persian. Ibn el Mustafa, also a Persian, was the author of the most beautiful Arab prose (second century after Hijra). Sibenshi, the famous systemizer of Arab grammar, Ibn Sinna and the great scientist El-Birouni were also Persians. Ibn Rumi was of Greek origin, as well as the geographer Jakub, while Ibn-Kufi (Spanish chronicler), Ibn Hazm (theologian and writer) and Ibn Kuzman (great poet) were of Visigoth origin [Francesco Gabrielli, The History of Arab Literature, p.11]
In the first centuries of Islam, the predominance of Arabic language was absolute. The only exception to it was the Persian national reaffirmation movement in the tenth and eleventh centuries, first in poetry and then in prose. The complete separation of Persian literature from Arab happened only recently. The predominance of the Arabic language was everywhere due to the predominance of the Qur'an in spiritual life.
-Considering the relationships between the Arab-Muslim and Spanish-Catholic communities in the medeival Spain, Ortega Y Gasset said: "It is a real shame that the relationships that existed between these two communities have not yet come to light. We must admit that our Arabists (scientists who study the Arab world), led by Ribero, have made some important steps in the attempt to get a clearer picture of the way the Moors and the Spanish lived together. However, unless this issue is approached from deeper layers, it will not be possible to read much further."
Gasset believes that lack of knowledge or poor knowledge also characterized the relationship between Europe and Islam in general - "ignorance of the fact is one of the big realities of the history of the West" (Gasset in his preface to Ibn Hazm's Dove's Necklace)
-With the exception of the Mayan culture, ended by forceful death, all other cultures in history died gradually as a consequence of aging, the slowing down of life rhythm, some kind of sclerosis, that is, of internal changes. This process can be followed most clearly in Roman civilization, where the invasion of barbarians was just a coup de grace for an organism that had been in the state of agony for two centuries. The Arab civilization was not an exception to this rule. It is up to historians to establish what this culture suffered from, to examine the causes of its decline, in which colonial subjugation was not the reason for its fall but rather a consequence of its internal descent. Anyway, does the Qur'an not say: "Verily, never will God change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls)" [Qur'an 13:11]. It could be said that this rule has the power of natural law in the life peoples and their movement through history.