The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in Arabic literature, the poetry of mockery, defamation, invective, and ridicule. The genre constitutes the opposite of panegyric (madh, madih) in the medieval literature of the peoples of the Near and Middle East and Middle Asia. It evolved at the same time as panegyric poetry, serving as its antithesis. It was an essential weapon of the professional court poet in his struggle for survival. The hajw was most often directed against a rival poet and other personal enemies and was also written upon the order of rulers to discredit opponents or disgraced nobles. Rival poets often exchanged several works of invective, which were frequently compiled as a single manuscript and became widely known.

As the hajw was personal in nature, it did not rise to the level of generalized socially oriented literature or civic poetry. It is not satire in the genuine sense of the word, although one exception is the satirical work of the 14th-century Persian poet Ubayd-i Zaki. A specific form of hajw known as shahrashub developed in the 16th century. By the 19th century, the hajw invective had matured as civic poetry and political satire.


Krymskii, A. E. Arabskaia literatura v ocherkakh i obraztsakh. Moscow, 1911.
Mashtakova, E. I. Iz istorii satiry i iumora v turetskoi literature. Moscow, 1972.
Goldziher, J. “Über die Vorgeschichte der Higa-Poesia.” In his Abhandlungen zur arabischen Philologie, vol. 1. Leiden, 1896.
Mo’tamen Zeyolabedin. She’r va adab-e farsi. Tehran, 1332 AH.(A.D. 1954).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Hajw added that the injured people also shown symptoms of shortness of breath and severe consciousness symptoms and disorders in a way that one of the wounded persons was so nervous after the CPR that he wanted to attack his friends and bite them.