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The Inimitable Qurʾān

Some Problems in English Translations of the Qurʾān with Reference to Rhetorical Features

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Khalid Yahya Blankinship

In The Inimitable Qurʾān: Some Problems in English Translations of the Qurʾān with Reference to Rhetorical Features, Khalid Yahya Blankinship examines certain Arabic rhetorical features of the Qurʾān as represented in seven English translations. The author addresses the intersection of two important topics in Qurʾānic studies: the critique of the available English translations and the role of rhetoric in the interpretation of the Qurʾān. He identifies a number of figures characteristic of Qurʾanic style which represent some of the chief stumbling blocks for readers who are used to English in attempting to understand, interpret, and appreciate the text. The book should be useful to all those interested in rhetorical and translation studies and theory as well as Islamic studies.

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Ovamir Anjum

This is an unabridged, annotated, translation of the great Damascene savant and saint Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya’s (d. 751/1350) Madārij al-Sālikīn. Conceived as a critical commentary on an earlier Sufi classic by the great Hanbalite scholar Abū Ismāʿīl of Herat, Madārij aims to rejuvenate Sufism’s Qur’anic foundations. The original work was a key text for the Sufi initiates, composed in terse, rhyming prose as a master’s instruction to the aspiring seeker on the path to God, in a journey of a hundred stations whose ultimate purpose was to be lost to one’s self ( fanā’) and subsist ( baqā’) in God. The translator, Ovamir (ʿUwaymir) Anjum, provides an extensive introduction and annotation to this English-Arabic face-to-face presentation of this masterpiece of Islamic psychology.

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Ovamir Anjum

This is an unabridged, annotated, translation of the great Damascene savant and saint Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya’s (d. 751/1350) Madārij al-Sālikīn. Conceived as a critical commentary on an earlier Sufi classic by the great Hanbalite scholar Abū Ismāʿīl of Herat, Madārij aims to rejuvenate Sufism’s Qur’anic foundations. The original work was a key text for the Sufi initiates, composed in terse, rhyming prose as a master’s instruction to the aspiring seeker on the path to God, in a journey of a hundred stations whose ultimate purpose was to be lost to one’s self ( fanā’) and subsist ( baqā’) in God. The translator, Ovamir (ʿUwaymir) Anjum, provides an extensive introduction and annotation to this English-Arabic face-to-face presentation of this masterpiece of Islamic psychology.

The Second Canonization of the Qurʾān (324/936)

Ibn Mujāhid and the Founding of the Seven Readings

Shady Nasser

In The Second Canonization of the Qurʾān, Nasser studies the transmission and reception of the Qurʾānic text and its variant readings through the work of Ibn Mujāhid (d. 324/936), the founder of the system of the Seven Eponymous Readings of the Qurʾān. The overarching project aims to track and study the scrupulous revisions the Qurʾān underwent, in its recited, oral form, through the 1,400-year journey towards a final, static, and systematized text.
For the very first time, the book offers a complete and detailed documentation of all the variant readings of the Qurʾān as recorded by Ibn Mujāhid. A comprehensive audio recording accompanies the book, with more than 5,000 audio files of Qurʾānic recitations of variant readings.

Intolerance, Polemics, and Debate in Antiquity

Politico-Cultural, Philosophical, and Religious Forms of Critical Conversation

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Edited by George H. van Kooten and Jacques van Ruiten

In Intolerance, Polemics, and Debate in Antiquity scholars reflect on politico-cultural, philosophical, and religious forms of critical conversation in the ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, Graeco-Roman, and early-Islamic world. They enquire into the boundaries between debate, polemics, and intolerance, and address their manifestations in both philosophy and religion. This cross-cultural and inclusive approach shows that debate and polemics are not so different as often assumed, since polemics may also indicate that ultimate values are at stake. Polemics can also have a positive effect, stimulating further cultural development. Intolerance is more straightforwardly negative. Religious intolerance is often a justification for politics, but also elite rationalism can become totalitarian. The volume also highlights the importance of the fluency of minorities in the dominant discourses and of their ability to develop contrapuntal lines of thought within a common cultural discourse.

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Edited by Jamal J. Elias and Bilal Orfali

Light upon Light: Essays in Islamic Thought and History in Honor of Gerhard Bowering brings together studies that explore the richness of Islamic intellectual life in the pre-modern period. Leading scholars around the world present nineteen studies that explore diverse areas of Islamic Studies, in honor of a renowned scholar and teacher: Professor Dr. Gerhard Bowering (Yale University). The volume includes contributions in four main areas: (1) Quran and Early Islam; (2) Sufism, Shiʿism, and Esotericism; (3) Philosophy; (4) Literature and Culture. These areas reflect the enormous breadth of Professor Bowering’s contributions to the field over a lifetime of scholarship, teaching, and mentoring. Contributors: Hussein Ali Abdulsater, Mushegh Asatryan, Shahzad Bashir, Jonathan Brockopp, Yousef Casewit, Jamal Elias, Janis Esots, Li Guo, Matthew Ingalls, Tariq Jaffer, Mareike Koertner, Joseph Lumbard, Matthew Melvin-Koushki, Mahan Mirza, Bilal Orfali, Gabriel Reynolds, Nada Saab, Amina Steinfels & Alexander Treiger.

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Tahera Qutbuddin

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.

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Edited by Eric F. Mason and Edmondo F. Lupieri

The seventeen studies in Golden Calf Traditions in Early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam explore the biblical origins of the golden calf story in Exodus, Deuteronomy, and 1 Kings, as well as its reception in a variety of sources: Hebrew Scriptures (Hosea, Jeremiah, Psalms, Nehemiah), Second Temple Judaism (Animal Apocalypse, Pseudo-Philo, Philo, Josephus), rabbinic Judaism, the New Testament (Acts, Paul, Hebrews, Revelation) and early Christianity (among Greek, Latin, and Syriac writers), as well as the Qur’an and Islamic literature. Expert contributors explore how each ancient author engaged with the calf traditions—whether explicitly, implicitly, or by clearly and consciously avoiding them—and elucidate how the story was used both negatively and positively for didactic, allegorical, polemical, and even apologetic purposes.

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Edited by Florian Wilk

Scriptural Interpretation at the Interface between Education and Religion examines prominent texts from Jewish, Christian, and Islamic communities with a view to determining to what extent education ( Bildung) represents the precondition, the central feature and/or the aim of the interpretation of 'Holy Scripture' in antiquity. In particular, consideration is given to the exegetical techniques, the hermeneutical convictions and the contexts of intercultural exchange which determine the process of interpretation. The volume contains a methodological reflection as well as investigations of scriptural interpretation in Jewish texts from the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C.E., in New Testament writings, and in witnesses from late ancient Christianity and in the Qur’an. Finally, it contains a critical appraisal of the scholarly oeuvre of Hans Conzelmann. This work thus fosters scholarly understanding of the function of scriptural interpretation at the interface between education and religion.

Locating the Sharīʿa

Legal Fluidity in Theory, History and Practice

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Edited by Sohaira Siddiqui

The study of the sharīʿa has enjoyed a renaissance in the last two decades and it will continue to attract interdisciplinary attention given the ongoing social, political and religious developments throughout the Muslim world. With such a variety of debates, and a corresponding multitude of theoretical methods, students and non-scholars are often overwhelmed by the complexity of the field. Even experts will often need to consult multiple sources to understand these new voices and provide accessible answers to specialist and non-specialist audiences alike. This volume is intended for both the novice and expert as a companion to understanding the evolution of the field of Islamic law, the current work that is shaping this field, and the new directions the sharīʿa will take in the twenty-first/fifteenth century.

Contributors are Khaled Abou El Fadl, Asma Afsaruddin Ahmad Ahmad, Sarah Albrecht, Ovamir Anjum, Dale Correa, Robert Gleave, Sohail Hanif, Rami Koujah, Marion Katz, Asifa Quraishi-Landes, David Warren and Salman Younas.