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Professor Dr Fuat Sezgin meticulously documented the scientific writings and advances achieved by Muslim scholars. His renowned Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums (GAS), the largest bio-bibliography for the Arabic literary tradition in general, and the history of science and technology in the Islamic world in particular, is still of utmost importance for the field. The Arabic Writing Tradition offers English translations of volumes 1-9, and includes information about renowned figures (writers, poets, philosophers, physicians, scientists, linguists etc.) from the Islamic world in the following subjects: • Qurʾānic studies, law, mysticism (vol. 1)
• poetry in Arabic until the eleventh century CE (vol. 2)
• the history of Islamic medicine (vol. 3)
• chemistry (vol. 4)
• mathematics (vol. 5)
• astronomy (vol. 6)
• astrology (vol. 7)
• lexicography (vol. 8)
• grammar (vol. 9)
Swahili Poetry of Commitment by Ustadh Mahmoud Mau
The present volume is a pioneering collection of poetry by the outstanding Kenyan poet, intellectual and imam Ustadh Mahmmoud Mau (born 1952) from Lamu island, once an Indian Ocean hub, now on the edge of the nation state. By means of poetry in Arabic script, the poet raises his voice against social ills and injustices troubling his community on Lamu. The book situates Mahmoud Mau’s oeuvre within transoceanic exchanges of thoughts so characteristic of the Swahili coast. It shows how Swahili Indian Ocean intellectual history inhabits an individual biography and writings while also portraying a unique African Muslim thinker and his poetry in the local language, which has so often been neglected as major site for critical discourse in Islamic Africa. The authors’ approaches highlight the relevance of local epistemologies as archives for understanding the relationship between reform Islam and local communities in contemporary Africa.
The selected poetry is clustered around the following themes: jamii: societal topical issues, ilimu: the importance of education, huruma: social roles and responsabilities, matukio: biographical events and maombi: supplications. Prefaced by Prof. Rayya Timamy (Nairobi University), the volume includes contributions by Jasmin Mahazi, Kai Kresse and Kadara Swaleh, Annachiara Raia and Clarissa Vierke.
K. al-Anwār al-bahiyya fī taʿrīf maqāmāt fuṣaḥāʾ al-bariyya is a work of adab attributed to the renowned littérateur and historian of literature Abū Manṣūr al-Thaʿālibī. The work consists of an introduction and four chapters. The first three chapters are concerned with knowledge (ʿilm): Chapter One discusses the merit and application of knowledge, Chapter Two the definition of knowledge and its true meaning, and Chapter Three the conditions of knowledge. The fourth chapter, which constitutes the bulk of the book, is concerned with occasions on which scholars and sages made speeches in the presence of rulers. It is divided into two parts: Part One presents pre-Islamic (jāhiliyya) speeches, incorporating Arab, Greek, Byzantine, Persian, and Indian traditions, and Part Two presents Islamic speeches. The work is introduced by an analytical study discussing the attribution of the work, its relation to the Maqāmāt genre, and the manuscripts used.
A Critical Edition of Saʿdeddīn Efendi’s (d. 1599) Selimname
Saʿdeddīn Efendi was a renowned Ottoman chief jurisconsult, influential statesman, eminent scholar, and prolific translator of Arabic and Persian works into Turkish. Prognostic Dreams, Otherworldly Saints, and Caliphal Ghosts comprises a critical edition, English translation, and a facsimile of his hagiographic work on controversial Ottoman sultan Selim I (“the Grim”). Saʿdeddīn’s Selimname consists of a preface and twelve anecdotes in which Selim I is portrayed as a divinely ordained sultan who delves into the realm of meditation, communicates with otherworldly saints and the “rightly guided” caliphs, and foretells the future.
Aqdam Riḥla Shinqīṭiyya Mudawwana: al-Riḥla al-Mubāraka lil-Ḥājj Muḥammad b. Abī Bakr al-Burtulī al-Wulātī ilā al-Ḥaramayn al-Sharīfayn (1204-1206H/1789-1791M)
The Oldest Travelogue from Chinguetti [Bilād Shinqīt, present-day Mauritania]: The Blessed Journey of al-Ḥājj Muḥammad b. Abī Bakr al-Burtulī al-Wulātī to the Two Holy Sanctuaries (1204-1205AH/1789-1790CE) was long considered lost. In addition to its historical value and the information it contains on the cultural relations between the western and eastern parts of the Islamic world, it stands out from other Ḥajj travelogues due to the itinerary it follows. The author describes cities, villages, and shrines of righteous people. The work is unique in its account of the unknown Algerian desert of Tenazruft, the landmarks and places along the way, as well as water wells and the notes on whether these are fresh or salty. The travelogue contains many historical references and reports on some ancient Arabic linguistic phenomena and is characterized by its level of detail and cautiousness.

إنها أقدم رحلة حج مدونة تخرج من بلاد شنقيط (موريتانيا الحالية) والتي بقيت دهرًا طويلاً في حكم المفقود. بالإضافة إلى قيمتها التاريخية وأهميتها في دراسة التواصل الحضاري بين غرب العالم الإسلامي وشرقه، فهي تتميز عن رحلات الحج الأخرى بمسارها. يصف المؤلف المدن والقرى ومزارات الصالحين. تتفرد الرحلة بوصف الصحراء الجزائرية المجهولة تنزروفت وتصف المعالم والأماكن على طول الطريق إلى الحرمين الشريفين في شبه الجزيرة العربية، وكذلك آبار المياه وما إذا كانت عذبة أو مالحة. والرحلة مليئة بالعديد من الإشارات التاريخية، بالإضافة إلى بعض الظواهر اللغوية العربية القديمة، وتتميز بدقة الوصف والاحتياط في الرواية.
Muḥammad ibn Ḥabīb (d. 860), a specialist in Arab history, tribal genealogy, and poetry, who lived in Baghdad, collected in his Prominent Murder Victims many stories of murderers and murder victims from the legendary pre-Islamic past, such as how Bilqīs, the Arabic name for the Queen of Sheba, came to power, to the assassinations ordered by viziers or caliphs in the early Islamic centuries. A lengthy appendix deals with poets from pre- and early Islamic times who were killed. The stories are entertaining as well as informative. Strikingly, the author refrains from explicit moralising. The present book offers a richly annotated English translation together with an improved Arabic text and indexes of persons, places, and rhymes.
(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.
Editor / Translator:
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.
The present volume consists of translated anecdotes, on musicological and socio-cultural topics, from al-Iṣbahānī’s Kitāb al-Aghānī al-Kabīr (The Grand Book of Songs) with annotations and commentaries. It deals with musical rhythmic and melodic modes, technical terms and treatises; music instruments; composition techniques and processes; education and oral/written transmissions; vocal and instrumental performances and their aesthetics; solo and ensemble music; change and its inevitability; musical and textual improvisations; ṭarab and the acute emotions of joy or grief; medieval dances; social status. Though extracts from The Grand Book of Songs have been translated in European languages since 1816, this work presents a much larger and more comprehensive scope that will benefit musicologists, medievalist and Middle Eastern scholars as well as the general reader.
Author:
For generations, Central Asian Muslims have told legends of medieval rulers who waged war, died in battle, and achieved sainthood. Among the Uyghurs of East Turkistan (present-day Xinjiang, China), some of the most beloved legends tell of the warrior-saint Satuq Bughra Khan and his descendants, the rulers of the Qarakhanid dynasty. To this day, these tales are recited at the saints' shrines and retold on any occasion.
Warrior Saints of the Silk Road introduces this rich literary tradition, presenting the first complete English translation of the Qarakhanid narrative cycle along with an accessible commentary. At once mesmerizing, moving, and disturbing, these legends are essential texts in Central Asia's religious heritage as well as fine, enduring works of mystical literature.