The use of stories and parables in religious teaching has had a very long history. These were common during the Greek times; in the example of Illiad and Odyssey, wherein tales of great heroes were told in the form of long lyrical songs that has survived all tests of time and still inspires and entertains thousands of people around the world. In a similar way the Pre-Islamic Arabs had been following their ancestral customs in their own folklores passed down from generation to generation in the oral tradition. A storyteller has a profound effect on people for he speaks to everyone in the way they would understand. Stories and fables play a great role in the lives of Muslims as the Qur’an, the Holy revealed book comes teeming with instructional accounts. As a matter of fact, the incidents from the lives of earlier prophets are told with great creativity and are introduced at intervals, at times repeated for emphasis and episodically as proofs of the eternal realities of life and death being articulated for the instruction of the Muslims. Along with quoting stories and anecdotes from the Qur’an to validate their points to the common masses, lawyers, theologians and preachers would recite anecdotes from the life of the Prophet Muhammad to give meaning to their theoretical explanation of Muslim life and doctrine. In this focused discussion, I intend to explore the didactic aspect of fables and stories from famous Muslims poets and authors, in relation to the modern era.
Didactic Fables and Stories, Instructional Folklore
2019 Special Focus—Universal Religious Symbols: Mutual Influences and Specific Relationships
Trainee teacher/student, Secondary Teachers Education Program, The Institute of Ismaili Studies, United Kingdom
London, United Kingdom
I am from the beautiful mountains in Northern Pakistan. After attaining a Master's degree in English Literature from Pakistan, I am now pursuing an MA in Muslim Societies and Civilizations at the Institute of Ismaili Studies London. This is a program where graduates are trained in professional teaching of a tailor made curriculum, based on modules ranging from history, Quranic interpretations, literature, ethics, faith and practices in the Muslim world in general and the Shia Ismaili community in particular.