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Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

356                   27> Contribution to Islam
held various public appointments at Cairo, until he fell from
grace and retired to the islet of Rauda. Hardly a branch of the
Muslim Sciences' is without some contribution from his facile
pen, and Brockelmann's list of 333 treatises under his name is
probably far from complete. It is doubtful whether any single
author has so enriched the whole field of Arabic literature.
In a summary of this kind, only the most famous names can
be mentioned. Al-Damiri (1344-1405), author of the greatest
zoological work in Arabic (Haydt al-hayawdn), was a native of
Cairo, as was also the celebrated alchemist al-Jildaki (d. 1342).
Of Egyptian birth were al-Isra'ili (d. 932) and Ibn Ridwan
(d. 1068), physicians; al-Mundhiri (d. 1258) and al-Munawi
(d. 1622), traditionists; al-Nawaji (d. 1455), the anthologist;
Ibn Sayyid al-Nas (d. 1334), author of a well-known biography
of Muhammad; al-Jundi (d. 1365) the Maliki, Taqi al-Din
al-Subki (d. 1355) anc* his namesake Taj al-Din (d. 1370), both
ShafTi, and Ibn Nujaym (d. 1563) and al-Timirtashi (d. 1595),
Hanafi lawyers, as well as the Shafi'ites al-Bulqini (d. 1403),
al-Aqfahsi (d. 1405), and Zakariyya al-Ansari (d. 1520); and
al-Khafaji (d. 1659), the philologist and poet.
Most noteworthy is the contribution made by Egyptian
writers, mainly but not exclusively journalists, to the develop-
ment of the 'new style' in Arabic, the vehicle of a vigorous
modern prose. The subject is exhaustively treated in H. A. R.
Gibb's Studies in Contemporary Arabic Literature, and here it
will be sufficient to recall the names of Manfaluti, Mazini,
Haykal, Taha Husayn, 'Aqqad, Ahmed Amin and Fikri Abaza,
who have all assisted in adapting the archaic, stilted classical
tongue to the requirements of the present day. It is necessary
also to refer to the creation, by the late King Fu'ad, of the
Royal Egyptian Academy, composed of distinguished European
and oriental Arabic philologists, whose programme it is to
purify the printed language of colloquialisms and neologisms,
and to 'standardize' the Arabic of the future.