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Portrait of an Eighth-Century Gentleman. Khālid ibn Ṣafwān in History and Literature by Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila is an in-depth study of the eighth-century Umayyad and early Abbasid orator and courtier Khālid ibn Ṣafwān and the development of his character in adab literature. The book collects and translates all his sayings and stories about him culled from a wide range of Arabic and Persian texts.

In the book, Hämeen-Anttila studies the mechanisms of change in early narratives, showing how Arabic anecdotes developed and were modified by a series of authors during both their oral and literary transmission, changing a historical person into a literary character. Detailed chapters discuss Khālid in his various roles and analyse the literary techniques of the stories.
In The Semantics of Qurʾanic Language: al-Āḫira, Ghassan el Masri offers a semantic study of the concept al-āḫira ‘the End’ in the Qurʾān. The study is prefaced with a detailed account of the late antique concept of etymologia (Semantic Etymology). In his work, he demonstrates the necessity of this concept for appreciating the Qurʾān’s rhetorical strategies for claiming discursive authority in the Abrahamic theological tradition. The author applies the etymological tool to his investigation of the theological significance of al-āḫira, and concludes that the concept is polysemous, and tolerates a large variety of interpretations. The work is unique in that it draws extensively on Biblical material and presents a plethora of pre-Islamic poetry verses in the analysis of the concept.
Studies in Memory of G.H.A. Juynboll
Islam at 250: Studies in Memory of G.H.A. Juynboll is a collection of original articles on the state of Islamic sciences and Arabic culture in the early phases of their crystallization. It covers a wide range of intellectual activity in the first three centuries of Islam, such as the study of ḥadīth, the Qurʾān, Arabic language and literature, and history. Individually and taken together, the articles provide important new insights and make an important contribution to scholarship on early Islam. The authors, whose work reflects an affinity with Juynboll's research interests, are all experts in their fields. Pointing to the importance of interdisciplinary approaches and signalling lacunae, their contributions show how scholarship has advanced since Juynboll's days.

Contributors: Camilla Adang, Monique Bernards, Léon Buskens, Ahmed El Shamsy, Maribel Fierro, Aisha Geissinger, Geert Jan van Gelder, Claude Gilliot, Robert Gleave, Asma Hilali, Michael Lecker, Scott Lucas, Christopher Melchert, Pavel Pavlovitch, Petra M. Sijpesteijn, Roberto Tottoli, and Peter Webb.
The Thousand and One Nights does not fall into a scholarly canon or into the category of popular literature. It takes its place within a middle literature that circulated widely in medieval times. The Nights gradually entered world literature through the great novels of the day and through music, cinema and other art forms. Material inspired by the Nights has continued to emerge from many different countries, periods, disciplines and languages, and the scope of the Nights has continued to widen, making the collection a universal work from every point of view. The essays in this volume scrutinize the expanse of sources for this monumental work of Arabic literature and follow the trajectory of the Nights’ texts, the creative, scholarly commentaries, artistic encounters and relations to science.

Contributors: Ibrahim Akel, Rasoul Aliakbari, Daniel Behar, Aboubakr Chraïbi, Anne E. Duggan, William Granara, Rafika Hammoudi, Dominique Jullien, Abdelfattah Kilito, Magdalena Kubarek, Michael James Lundell, Ulrich Marzolph, Adam Mestyan, Eyüp Özveren, Marina Paino, Daniela Potenza, Arafat Abdur Razzaque, Ahmed Saidy, Johannes Thomann and Ilaria Vitali.
(Maqālīd al-ʿulūm) A Gift for the Muzaffarid Shāh Shujāʿ on the Definitions of Technical Terms
Maqālīd al-ʿulūm (Keys to the Sciences) is a significant source on definitions of Arabic scientific terms in the post-classical period. Composed by an anonymous author, it contains over eighteen hundred definitions in the realm of twenty-one religious, literary, and rational sciences. The work was dedicated to the Muzaffarid Shāh Shujāʿ, who ruled over Shiraz and its neighbouring regions from 759/1358 to 786/1384. The present volume contains a critical edition of Maqālīd al-ʿulūm based on its three extant manuscripts. In the introduction, the editors review previous scholarship on the text, present an overview of patronage at the court of Shāh Shujāʿ and identify some of the sources used by the author of the work. They suggest that the work in its structure mirrors Abū ʿAbdullāh Khwārazmī’s Mafātīḥ al-ʿulūm, completed in 366/976.
The Sea of Chronicles is an English translation of the ninth and tenth chapters of the historiographical work entitled Muḥīṭ al-tavārīkh by Muḥammad Amīn b. Mīrzā Muḥammad Zamān Bukhārī. The work is a valuable source in particular for the study of the late seventeenth-century Central Asian political, cultural and religious history.

The ninth chapter offers accounts of the Timurid, Abulkhayrid/Shaybanid and the first four Ashatrkhanid khans. The tenth chapter which is the most original and important chapter of the work presents a detailed account of the life and time of the last great Ashatkhanid ruler, Subḥān Qulī Khān (r. 1682–1702), revealing historical information essential for the study of the period and region.
A civilising process ? (Sixteenth-Twenty-First Centuries)
Adab is a concept situated at the heart of Arabic and Islamic civilisation. Adab is etiquette, ethics, and literature. It is also a creative synthesis, a relationship within a configuration. What became of it, towards modernity ? The question of the "civilising process" (Norbert Elias) helps us reflect on this story. During the modern period, maintaining one's identity while entering into what was termed "civilisation" ( al-tamaddun) soon became a leitmotiv. A debate on what was or what should be culture, ethics, and norms in Middle Eastern societies accompanied this evolution. The resilient notion of adab has been in competition with the Salafist focus on mores ( akhlāq). Still, humanism, poetry, and transgression are constants in the history of adab.

Contributors: Francesca Bellino, Elisabetta Benigni, Michel Boivin, Olivier Bouquet, Francesco Chiabotti, Stéphane Dudoignon, Anne-Laure Dupont, Stephan Guth, Albrecht Hofheinz, Katharina Ivanyi, Felix Konrad, Corinne Lefevre, Cathérine Mayeur-Jaouen, Astrid Meier, Nabil Mouline, Samuela Pagani, Luca Patrizi, Stefan Reichmuth, Iris Seri-Hersch, Chantal Verdeil, Anne-Sophie Vivier-Muresan.
Author: Harry T. Norris
In this work translations of four texts are provided from Ghadāmis and from Mali. The first is a biography of the Ghadāmisī scholar ʿAbdallāh b. Abī Bakr al-Ghadāmisī (1626–1719 AD), written by the eighteenth-century author Ibn Muhalhil al-Ghadāmisī. A second text is “The History of al-Sūq”, concerning al-Sūq, the historic town of Tādmakka and the original home of the Kel-Essouk Tuareg. The third text is “The Precious Jewel in the Saharan histories of the ‘People of the Veil’” by Muḥammad Tawjaw al-Sūqī al-Thānī, a contemporary Tuareg author. It pertains to the Kel-Essouk and their historical ties with the Maghreb and West Africa. The final text is a description of the Tuareg from the book “Ghadāmis, its features, its images and its sights” by Bashīr Qāsim Yūshaʿ, published in Arabic in 2001 AD.
In Arabic Oration: Art and Function, a narrative richly infused with illustrative texts and original translations, Tahera Qutbuddin presents a comprehensive theory of this preeminent genre in its foundational oral period, 7th-8th centuries AD. With speeches and sermons attributed to the Prophet Muḥammad, ʿAlī, other political and military leaders, and a number of prominent women, she assesses types of orations and themes, preservation and provenance, structure and style, orator-audience authority dynamics, and, with the shift from an oral to a highly literate culture, oration’s influence on the medieval chancery epistle. Probing the genre’s echoes in the contemporary Muslim world, she offers sensitive tools with which to decode speeches by mosque-imams and political leaders today.
Editor: Peter Webb
In The Arab Thieves, Peter Webb critically explores the classic tales of pre-Islamic Arabian outlaws in Arabic Literature. A group of Arabian camel-rustlers became celebrated figures in Muslim memories of pre-Islam, and much poetry ascribed to them and stories about their escapades grew into an outlaw tradition cited across Arabic literature. The ninth/fifteenth-century Egyptian historian al-Maqrīzī arranged biographies of ten outlaws into a chapter on ‘Arab Thieves’ in his wide-ranging history of the world before Muhammad. This volume presents the first critical edition of al-Maqrīzī’s text with a fully annotated English translation, alongside a detailed study that interrogates the outlaw lore to uncover the ways in which Arabic writers constructed outlaw identities and how al-Maqrīzī used the tales to communicate his vision of pre-Islam. Via an exhaustive survey of early Arabic sources about the outlaws and comparative readings with outlaw traditions in other world literatures, The Arab Thieves reveals how Arabic literature crafted lurid narratives about criminality and employed them to tell ancient Arab history.