▪ Islamic literature
also spelled  Ghazel, Gasal, or Gazel,  

      in Islāmic literature, genre of lyric poem, generally short and graceful in form and typically dealing with themes of love. As a genre the ghazal developed in Arabia in the late 7th century from the nasib, which itself was the often amorous prelude to the qasida (ode). Two main types of ghazal can be identified, one native to Hejaz, the other to Iraq.

      The ghazals by Umar ibn Abī Rabīʿahʿ (died c. 712/19) of the Quraysh tribe of Mecca are some of the oldest. Umar's poems, based largely on his own life and experiences, are realistic, lively, and urbane in character. They continue to be popular with modern readers.

      What became a classic theme of the ghazal was introduced by Jamīl (died 701), a member of the ʿUdhrah tribe from Hejaz. Jamīl's lyrics tell of hopeless, idealistic lovers pining for each other unto death. These enormously popular works were imitated not only in Arabic but also in Persian, Turkish, and Urdu poetry until the 18th century.

      Of additional note is the work of Ḥāfeẓ (also spelled Hafiz; died c. 1389/90), considered among the finest lyric poets of Persia, whose depth of imagery and multilayered metaphors revitalized the ghazal and perfected it as a poetic form.

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Universalium. 2010.

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