Since the latest posts have been about the Arabic Language, I thought it would be good to post the following:
Wanna take you back…way back…to our days of glory in Spain....sigh..
"Turning to the far West, we find that in Moorish Spain, too, the Christian subjects had fallen under the 'spell' of Arabic Language and literature. Many of them were so deeply imbued with the Arabic culture that we find a contemporary writer, Alvaro, Bishop of Cordova, bitterly deploring this state of affairs.
"My fellow Christians delight in the poems and romances of the Arabs; they study the works of Mohammedan theologians and philosophers, not in order to refute them, but to acquire a correct and elegant Arabic style. Where today can a layman be found who reads the Latin commentaries on Holy Scriptures? Who is there that studies the Gospels, the Prophets, and the Apostles? Alas! The young Christians who are most conspicuous for their talents have no knowledge of any literature or language save the Arabic; they read and study with avidity Arabic books; they amass whole libraries of them at a vast cost; and they sing everywhere the praises of Arabian lore. On the other hand, at the mention of Christian books they disdainfully protest that such works are unworthy of their notice. The pity of it! Christians have forgotten their own tongue, and scarce one in a thousand can be found able to compose in fair Latin a letter to a friend. But when it comes to writing Arabic, how many there are who can express themselves in that language with the greatest elegance, and even compose verses which surpass in formal correctness those of the Arabs themselves!" ¹
¹ Spanish Islam- English translation by F.G. Stokes Page #268 (London, 1913)
......sigh.......those were the days.....
Whilst at it… how about changing the words ‘Christian’ and ‘Arabic’ in the above to ‘Muslim’ and ‘English’? Nah…not really…..