The Book of Conviviality in Exile (Kitāb al-īnās bi-ʾl-jalwa)

The Judaeo-Arabic Translation and Commentary of Saadia Gaon on the Book of Esther

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Michael G. Wechsler

This volume presents a critical edition of the Judaeo-Arabic translation and commentary on the book of Esther by Saadia Gaon (882–942). This edition, accompanied by an introduction and extensively annotated English translation, affords access to the first-known personalized, rationalistic Jewish commentary on this biblical book. Saadia innovatively organizes the biblical narrative—and his commentary thereon—according to seven “guidelines” that provide a practical blueprint by which Israel can live as an abased people under Gentile dominion. Saadia’s prodigious acumen and sense of communal solicitude find vivid expression throughout his commentary in his carefully-defined structural and linguistic analyses, his elucidative references to a broad range of contemporary socio-religious and vocational realia, his anti-Karaite polemics, and his attention to various issues, both psychological and practical, attending Jewish-Gentile conviviality in a 10th-century Islamicate milieu.

The Book of Noble Character

Critical Edition of Makārim al-akhlāq wa-maḥāsin al-ādāb wa-badāʾiʿ al-awṣāf wa-gharāʾib al-tashbīhāt, Attributed to Abū Manṣūr al-Thaʿālibī (d. 429/1039)

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Bilal Orfali and Ramzi Baalbaki

This critical Arabic text edition of K. Makārim al-akhlāq wa-maḥāsin al-ādāb wa-badāʾiʿ al-awṣāf wa-gharāʾib al-tashbīhāt( Book of Noble Character, Excellent Conduct, Admirable Descriptions, and Curious Similes) is a substantial work of adab attributed to the prominent littérateur Abū Manṣūr al-Thaʿālibī (d. 429/1039) that consists of a short introduction and three chapters. The first chapter addresses acquiring noble character and excellent conduct ( al-taḥallī bi-makārim al-akhlāq wa-maḥāsin al-ādāb); the second addresses shunning away from base character and ugly traits ( al-tazakkī ʿan masāwiʾ al-akhlāq wa-maqābiḥ al-shiyam); and the third addresses admirable descriptions and curious similes ( badāʾiʿ al-awṣāf wa-gharāʾib al-tashbīhāt). At the end of the text one finds a relatively large collection of widely circulating proverbs ( amthāl sāʾira) that are alphabetically arranged. Makārim al-akhlāq is in essence an anthology of “good conduct” and of quotations suitable for social and literary discourse. It reflects the three ingredients of adab: behavior, literary culture, and learning. The work is introduced by an analytical study discussing the attribution of the work, the related genres, and the unique manuscript of the text.

Metapoesis in the Arabic Tradition

From Modernists to Muḥdathūn

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Huda J. Fakhreddine

In Metapoesis in the Arabic Tradition Huda J. Fakhreddine expands the study of metapoesis to include the Abbasid age in Arabic literature. Through this lens that is often used to study modernist poetry of the 20th and the 21st century, this book detects and examines a meta-poetic tendency and a self-reflexive attitude in the poetry of the first century of Abbasid poets. What and why is poetry? are questions the Abbasid poets asked themselves with the same persistence and urgency their modern successor did. This approach to the poetry of the Abbasid age serves to refresh our sense of what is “modernist” or “poetically new” and detach it from chronology.

A Qurʾān Commentary by Ibn Barrajān of Seville (d. 536/1141)

Īḍāḥ al-ḥikma bi-aḥkām al-ʿibra (Wisdom Deciphered, the Unseen Discovered)

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Gerhard Böwering and Yousef Casewit

A Qurʾān Commentary by Ibn Barrajān of Seville (d. 536/1141) is a critical Arabic text edition of a medieval Muslim Qurʾān commentary entitled, Īḍāḥ al-ḥikma bi-aḥkām al-ʿibra ( Wisdom Deciphered, the Unseen Discovered). The annotated Arabic text is accompanied by an analytical introduction and an extensive subject index.

This Qurʾān commentary is Ibn Barrajān’s last and most esoteric work, and as such offers the most explicit articulation of his mystical and philosophical doctrines. It synthesizes his teachings, drawn from a wide array of Islamic disciplines, and provides a link between early Sufism and Muslim mysticism in medieval Spain (Andalusia). The Īḍāḥ moreover is the earliest known work of its kind to make extensive use of Arabic Biblical material as proof texts for Qurʾānic doctrines.

The Samaritan Version of Saadya Gaon’s Translation of the Pentateuch

Critical Edition and Study of MS London BL OR7562 and Related MSS

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Tamar Zewi

This edition of MS London BL OR7562 and other related MSS, and the accompanying linguistic and philological study, discuss a Samaritan adaptation of Saadya’s Judeo-Arabic translation of the Pentateuch, its main characteristics and place among other early Medieval Arabic Bible translations, viz., other versions of Saadya’s translation of the Pentateuch, other Samaritan Arabic versions of the Pentateuch, and Christian and Karaite Arabic Bible translations. The study analyses the various components of this version, its transmission, its language, the extent to which the Samaritans adapted this version of Saadya’s translation to their own version of the Hebrew Pentateuch, and their possible motives in choosing it for their own use.

The Arabic Version of Ṭūsī's Nasirean Ethics

With an Introduction and Explanatory Notes

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Joep Lameer

Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsī’s (d. 672/1274) Nasirean Ethics is the single most important work on philosophical ethics in the history of Islam. Translated from the original Persian into Arabic in 713/1313, the present text was primarily intended for the Arabic-speaking majority of the people in Iraq. A fine example of medieval Persian-to-Arabic translation technique, this first edition carefully reproduces Middle Arabic elements that can be found throughout the text.

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Edited by Wilferd Madelung and Abdulrahman al-Salimi

In Ibāḍī Texts from the 2nd/8th Century Abdulrahman Al-Salimi and Wilferd Madelung present an edition of fourteen Ibāḍī religious texts and explain their contents and extraordinary source value for the early history of Islam. The Ibāḍīs constitutes the moderate wing of the Kharijite opposition movement to the Umayyad and ‘Abbasid caliphates. The texts edited are mostly polemical letters to opponents or exhortatory to followers by ‘Abd Allah b. Ibad , Abu l-‘Ubayda Muslim b. Abi Karima and other Ibadi leaders in Basra, Oman and Hadramawt. An epistle detailing the offences of the caliph ‘Uthman is by the early Kufan historiographer al-Haytham b. ‘Adi. By their early date and independence of the mainstream historical tradition these txts offer the modern historian of Islam an invaluable complement to the well-known literary sources.

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Edited by Rifaat Ebied and David Thomas

Acknowledged as a leading medical expert in his day, and secretary to a succession of caliphs in the mid-ninth century, the Nestorian Christian ʿAlī ibn Rabban al-Ṭabarī converted to Islam around the age of 70. He then wrote Radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā, a recantation of his former faith, and Kitāb al-dīn wa-l-dawla, a defence of the Prophet Muḥammad based substantially on biblical proof-texts. The range of arguments he produced against the soundness of his former faith in these two works influenced sections of Islamic scholarship for many centuries.
These new editions and translations of his works are based on all the available evidence for the texts, accompanied by extensive introductions and studies of their place in Islamic thought.



Al-Ṣāḥib Ibn ʿAbbād Promoter of Rational Theology

Two Muʿtazilī kalām texts from the Cairo Geniza

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Edited by Wilferd Madelung and Sabine Schmidtke

The volume contains critical editions of the extant parts of two hitherto unknown theological works by the Būyid vizier al-Ṣāḥib b. ʿAbbād (d. 385/925), who is well known to have vigorously promoted the teaching of Muʿtazilī theology throughout Būyid territories and beyond. The manuscripts on which the edition is based come from Cairo Geniza store rooms. They consist of two manuscripts for each of the two texts—testimony to the impact of al-Ṣāḥib’s education policy on the contemporaneous Jewish community in Cairo. The longer treatise of al-Ṣāḥib of ca. 350/960, possibly his Kitāb Nahj al-sabīl fī uṣūl al-dīn, appears to be the earliest Muʿtazilī work preserved among the Jewish community. The second, briefer treatise also contains a commentary by ʿAbd al-Jabbār al-Hamadānī (d. 415/1025).

Caliphate and Kingship in a Fifteenth-Century Literary History of Muslim Leadership and Pilgrimage

al-Ḏahab al-masbūk fī ḏikr man ḥaǧǧa min al-ḫulafāʾ wa-l-mulūk. Critical Edition, Annotated Translation, and Study

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Jo van Steenbergen

In Caliphate and Kingship in a Fifteenth-Century Literary History of Muslim Leadership and Pilgrimage Jo Van Steenbergen presents a new study, edition and translation of al-Ḏahab al-Masbūk fī Ḏikr man Ḥağğa min al-Ḫulafāʾ wa-l-Mulūk, a summary history of the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca by al-Maqrīzī (766-845 AH/ca. 1365-1442 CE). Traditionally considered as a useful source for the history of the ḥağğ, al-Ḏahab al-Masbūk is re-interpreted here as a complex literary construction that was endowed with different meanings. Through detailed contextualist, narratological, semiotic and codicological analyses Van Steenbergen demonstrates how these meanings were deeply embedded in early-fifteenth century Egyptian transformations, how they changed substantially over time, and how they included particular claims about authorship and about legitimate and good Muslim rule.