This thesis examines the self-writing of the Morisco writer Aḥmad ibn Qāsim al-Ḥajarī (b. 1569–1570) who fled his homeland in Spain for the Maghreb where he could live safely as a Muslim. While it may seem that the Moriscos were one static, monocultural group, studying them as individuals reveals the group’s diversity and complexity. Al-Ḥajarī is an excellent example of one Morisco writer who identifies more with the greater Muslim community than with the Iberian Moriscos. His most well-known work, Kitāb Nāṣir al-dīn, combines Arabic literary genres in order to create this self-portrait. Other Moriscos fought for their right to stay on the peninsula, whereas Kitāb Nāṣir al-dīn is the story of how and why al-Ḥajarī willingly left Iberia. Through analysis of both the content and the structure of this text, this thesis shows how Kitāb Nāṣir al-dīn can be considered the autobiography of al-Ḥajarī despite autobiography being considered a Western genre that only surfaced in modern times. Further, this thesis brings to light an individual who shifted between cultures during a time where cultures appear to have been divided by religion, culture and language.


School of Humanities and Social Sciences


Arab & Islamic Civilizations Department

Degree Name

MA in Arabic Studies

Graduation Date

Summer 6-15-2024

Submission Date


First Advisor

Dr. Adam Talib

Committee Member 1

Dr. Dina Heshmat

Committee Member 2

Dr. Camilo Gómez-Rivas


91 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item