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Series:

Edited by Andreas Bandak and Mikkel Bille

In Sainthood in Fragile States, a wide range of social scientists explore the contested role of sainthood in the contemporary Middle East. By expanding the notion of sainthood to cover both the religious and secular ways of dealing with extraordinary events, people and things, the volume offers new insights into the way sainthood is embedded in various levels of everyday life, as well as national and international politics. The case studies highlight how fragility as a central aspect of sainthood is a productive force that often consolidates tales of the extraordinary, and is also the source of contesting social identities.

Contributors include: Andreas Bandak, Mikkel Bille, Jürgen Frembgen, Sune Haugbolle, Angie Heo, Daniella Kuzmanovic, Edith Szanto, and Pnina Werbner.

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Edited by Joseph Verheyden

Solomon is one of the more complex and fascinating characters in the history of Israel. As a king he is second only to David. As the king who gave Israel its temple he is unsurpassed. As the prototype of the sage his name lives on in numerous biblical and non-biblical writings. As the magician of later tradition he has established himself as a model for many other aspirants in this field.

This volume contains the proceedings of an international conference on Solomon that was held at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of the University of Leuven, September 30 – October 2, 2009 and discussed various aspects of this multifaced character as he appears in Jewish, early Christian, and Islamic tradition.

The Comfort of the Mystics

A Manual and Anthology of Early Sufism

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Gerhard Böwering and Bilal Orfali

This critical Arabic text edition of Salwat al-ʿārifīn wa-uns al-mushtāqīn, a manual of early Sufism by Abū Khalaf al-Ṭabarī (d. ca. 470/1077), is based on a very old manuscript preserved in Dār al-Kutub al-Miṣrīya of Cairo, Egypt and copied in 459/1067. It is introduced by a detailed analytical study of the author and his work. Salwat al-ʿārifīn forms an integral part of Sufi literature and reflects Islamic developments in Nishapur in northeastern Iran. This crucial Arabic text, published for the first time, is especially valuable because of its great philological accuracy and sound textual tradition. It represents an essential source for the intellectual history of Islam during the middle of the 4th/10th to the middle of the 5th/11th century.

Sufism, Black and White

A Critical Edition of Kitāb al-Bayāḍ wa-l-Sawād by Abū l-Ḥasan al-Sīrjānī (d. ca.470/1077)

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Edited by Bilal Orfali and Nada Saab

This critical Arabic text edition of K. al-Bayāḍ wa-l-sawād min khaṣāʾiṣ ḥikam al-ʿibād fī naʿt al-murīd wa-l-murād ("The Black and White in the Words of Wisdom by Bondsmen Describing the Seeker and the Mystic Quest"), a substantial handbook of early Sufism by Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī b. al-Ḥasan al-Sīrjānī (d. ca. 470/1077), is based on three manuscripts and is introduced by a detailed analytical study of the author and his work. The work is written in the tone of a guiding Sufi master and collects the mystical tradition of early Sufis in the form of anecdotes and concise aphorisms to instill guiding wisdom into the hearts of aspiring Sufi adepts. K. al-Bayāḍ wa-l-sawād forms an integral part of Sufi literature and is an essential source for the intellectual history of Islam until the middle of the 5th/11th century.

Letters of a Sufi Scholar

The Correspondence of `Abd al-Ghanī al-Nābulusī (1641-1731)

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Samer Akkach

As a leading Muslim thinker, ‘Abd al-Ghanī al-Nābulusī of Damascus creatively engaged with the social, religious, and intellectual challenges that emerged during the early modern period in which he lived. Yet, at a time of high anti-mystical fervour, his Sufi-inspired views faced strong local antipathy. Through extensive correspondence, presented here for the first time, ‘Abd al-Ghanī projected his ideas and teachings beyond the parochial boundaries of Damascus, and was thus able to assert his authority at a wider regional level. The letters he himself selected, compiled, and titled shed fresh lights on the religious and intellectual exchanges among scholars in the eastern Ottoman provinces, revealing a dynamic and rigorous image of Islam, one that is profoundly inspired by humility, tolerance, and love.

http://tntypography.com/brill.html

The Messiah of Shiraz

Studies in Early and Middle Babism

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Dennis MacEoin

The 19th century saw an enormous shift in the authority structure of Iranian and Iraqi Twelver Shiʿism, with the victory of a theological school (Usulism) that stressed the power of the clergy. This is well known. What is less well known is that there was a parallel development of authority in the Shaykhi school and its offshoot, the Babi sect. Here, especially in later forms of Babism, the Shiʿite claim to charismatic authority reached its limits in hyperbolic attestations of divinity. The present text is in two parts: a study of how Shaykhism bifurcated into a form close to orthodoxy next to the highly unorthodox Babi movement. Part two examines how Babism changed after the death in 1850 of its founder, the Bāb.

Sufism in an Age of Transition

ʿUmar al-Suhrawardī and the Rise of the Islamic Mystical Brotherhoods

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Erik Ohlander

Although the early thirteenth century was a critical period in the development of Sufism, it has received little scholarly attention. Based on heretofore unexplored sources, this book examines a pivotal figure from this period: the scholar, mystic, statesman, and eponym of one of the earliest ṭarīqa lineages, ʿUmar al-Suhrawardī. In situating Suhrawardī’s life work in its social, political, and religious contexts, this book suggests that his universalizing Sufi system was not only enmeshed within a broader economy of Muslim religious learning, but also furnished social spaces which allowed for novel modes of participation in Sufi religiosity. In doing so, this book provides a framework for understanding the increasingly ubiquitous presence of intentional Sufi communities and institutions throughout the late-medieval Islamic world.

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Bernd Radtke

Arabic texts dating from the 3rd-4th/9th-10th centuries by the following five authors are here presented: Abū Shaykh al-Burjulānī, Ibrāhīm al-Khuttalī, Ibn al-Naḥḥās, Abū ʿAbd Allāh al-Rūdhabārī and Ibn Ḥamakān. The texts appear in transliteration along with a German translation. Their chains of transmission (isnāds) are analyzed and parallels with other authors are noted. The subject dealt with throughout is mystical piety. These highly interesting materials throw light on Islamic mysticism's early stage of development.

Pure Gold from the Words of Sayyidī ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz al-Dabbāgh

Al-Dhahab al-Ibrīz min Kalām Sayyidī ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz al-Dabbāgh

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John O'Kane and Bernd Radtke

Around 1720 in Fez Aḥmad b. al-Mubārak al-Lamaṭī, a religious scholar, wrote down the words and teachings of the Sufi master ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz al-Dabbāgh. Al-Dabbāgh shunned religious studies but, having reached illumination and met with the Prophet Muḥammad, he was able to explain any obscurities in the Qurʾān, ḥadīths and sayings of earlier Sufis. The resulting book, known as the Ibrīz, describes how al-Dabbāgh attained illumination and access to the Prophet, as well as his teachings about the Council of the godly that regulates the world, relations between master and disciple, the darkness in men’s bodies, Adam’s creation, Barzakh, Paradise and Hell, and much more besides.
This ‘encyclopaedia’ of Sufism with its many teaching stories and illustrations provides a window onto social life and religious ideas
in Fez a generation or so before powerful outside forces began to play a role in the radical transformation of Morocco.

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Mahdi Tourage

This is the first systematic examination of the esoteric significance of the bawdy tales and explicit sexual passages present in Rūmī’s (d. 1273) Mathnawī, a masterpiece of medieval Perso-Islamic mystical literature and theosophic teachings. Using the relevant features of postmodern theories as strategic conceptual tools, and drawing on the recent interpretations of medieval kabbalistic texts, it is a fascinating examination of the link between the dynamics of eroticism and esotericism operative in Rūmī’s Mathnawī. In some of these bawdy tales, the phallus is used as an esoteric symbol. The book concludes that these tales are used primarily to communicate esoteric secrets, particularly when this communication is contemplated along gender lines, mediated through erotic imagery, or expressed in sexual terms.