Al-Afghani and Aflaq: The Rhetoric of Renewal If Al-Afghani and Aflaq occasionally sound alike, it is because they are both drawing upon a longstanding theme in Arab literature and public speech: The rhetoric of renewal. The Arabs appear always to have had an idea of themselves as having been greater at some point in the past. Before Islam, Arab poetry of the Hijaz touched upon the glories of great heroes of bygone years, and even the Qur’an compares contemporary Arabs with the people of Ad and Thamud, ancient and vanished Arab civilizations. It is important to establish this point at the outset, because it dispels any notion that Aflaq consciously borrowed from Al-Afghani. It also explains why the two writers, otherwise so different in...The end:
..... of decadence and the imposition of the corrosive education provided by the West. Aflaq, on the other hand, suggests that the Arabs have never woken up in the first place, that they have not had a cause worth the fight until the ‘soil.’ It is a fascinating exercise to read Al-Afghani and Aflaq against each other, but not necessarily for the surface import of their work. Instead, the two men’s works conceal a great deal of deep narrative that alludes, directly and indirectly, to the formative impact of Islam on Arab life, with Al-Afghani awaiting Islamic renewal and Aflaq hoping to transcend the need for it altogether. References Aflaq. “Nationalism and Revolution.” Class material. Al-Afghani. “Commentary on the Commentator.” Class material.