Stories of Piety and Prayer

Deliverance Follows Adversity

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Julia Bray
Julia Bray
Library of Arabic Literature
  • New York, NY: 
    New York University Press
    , May
     320 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


Uplifting tales from one of the most influential Arabic books of the Middle Ages.

One of the most popular and influential Arabic books of the Middle Ages, Deliverance Follows Adversity is an anthology of stories and anecdotes designed to console and encourage the afflicted. Regarded as a pattern-book of Arabic storytelling, this collection shows how God’s providence works through His creatures to rescue them from tribulations ranging from religious persecution and medical emergencies to political skullduggery and romantic woes. 

A resident of Basra and Baghdad, al-Tanukhi (327–84/939–94) draws from earlier Arabic classics as well as from oral stories relayed by the author’s tenth-century Iraqi contemporaries, who comprised a wide circle of writers, intellectuals, judges, government officials, and family members. This edition and translation includes the first three chapters of the work, which deal with Qur'anic stories and prayers that bring about deliverance, as well as general instances of the workings of providence. The volume incorporates material from manuscripts not used in the standard Arabic edition, and is the first translation into English. The complete translation, spanning four volumes, will be the first integral translation into any European language.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Julia Bray is Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain Laudian Professor of Arabic at the University of Oxford and a fellow of St. John’s College, having previously taught at the universities of Manchester, Edinburgh, St Andrews and Paris 8-Vincennes—Saint-Denis.


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