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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.

Christian Apocalyptic Texts in Islamic Messianic Discourse

The ‘Christian Chapter’ of the Jāvidān-nāma-yi kabīr by Faḍl Allāh Astarābādī (d. 796/1394)

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Orkhan Mir-Kasimov

In Christian Apocalyptic Texts in Islamic Messianic Discourse Orkhan Mir-Kasimov offers an account of the interpretation of these Christian texts by Faḍl Allāh Astarābādī (d. 796/1394), the founder of a mystical and messianic movement which was influential in medieval Iran and Anatolia. This interpretation can be situated within the tradition of ‘positive’ Muslim hermeneutics of the Christian and Jewish scriptures which was particularly developed in Shıīʿī and especially Ismaīʿlī circles. Faḍl Allāh incorporates the Christian apocalyptic texts into an Islamic eschatological context, combining them with Qurʾān and ḥadīth material. In addition to an introductory study, the book contains a critical edition and an English translation of the relevant passages from Faḍl Allāh’s magnum opus, the Jāvidān-nāma-yi kabīr.

Le Cercle des lettres de l’alphabet Dā’irat al-aḥruf al-abjadiyya

Un traité pratique de magie des lettres attribué à Hermès

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Cécile Bonmariage and Sébastien Moureau

Le Kitāb dā’irat al-aḥruf al-abjadiyya est un traité de magie pratique attribué à Hermès. Ce texte composite, qui ne peut être daté avec précision, est un ouvrage de magie basée sur la doctrine de la science des lettres ( ‘ilm al-ḥurūf). Le présent livre offre la première édition critique du texte, accompagnée d’une traduction annotée et d’une étude historique et philologique exposant les principes théoriques à la base des procédés décrits dans les recettes ainsi que des entités, objets et ingrédients utilisés (noms des anges invoqués, types de fumigations et d’encres, dessins et figures, etc.). Il s’agit d’une des premières éditions critiques d’un traité de magie pratique des lettres, genre encore fort méconnu bien qu’abondamment représenté dans les manuscrits arabes.

The Kitāb dā’irat al-aḥruf al-abjadiyya is a composite treatise of letter magic attributed to Hermes. The edition and annotated translation of the Arabic text are accompanied by an explanation of the theoretical principles underlying the procedures described in the recipes, and a discussion of the entities, objects and ingredients used. These include names of the angels to be summoned, types of incenses and inks to be used, sketches and images to be drawn, etc. This is one of the first critical editions and translations of a full-length text of practical magic containing recipes pertaining to ‘ilm al-ḥurūf (the science of letters). The book is addressed to Arabists and to any non-Arabist interested in the tradition of magic.

‘Alā’ al-Dawla al-Simnānī Between Spiritual Authority and Political Power: A Persian Lord and Intellectual in the Heart of the Ilkhanate

With a Critical Edition of al-Wārid alšārid al-ṭārid šubhat al-mārid and its Persian version Zayn al-mu‘taqad li-zayn al-mu‘taqid

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Giovanni Maria Martini

In ʿAlāʾ al-Dawla al-Simnānī between Spiritual Authority and Political Power: A Persian Lord and Intellectual in the Heart of the Ilkhanate, Giovanni Maria Martini investigates the personality of a major figure in the socio-political and cultural landscape of Mongol Iran. In pursuing this objective, the author follows parallel paths: Chapter 1 provides the most updated reconstruction of Simnānī’s (d. 736/1336) biography, which, thanks to its unique features, emerges as a cross-section of Iranian society and as a microhistory of the complex relationships between a Sufi master, Persian elites and Mongol rulers during the Ilkhanid period; Chapter 2 contains a study on the phenomenon of Arabic-Persian diglossia in Simnānī’s written work, arguing for its socio-religious function; in Chapters 3 to 6 the critical editions of two important, interrelated treatises by Simnānī are presented; finally, Chapter 7 offers the first full-length annotated translation of a long work by Simnānī ever to appear in a Western language.

'Stringing Coral Beads': The Religious Poetry of Brava (c. 1890-1975)

A Source Publication of Chimiini Texts and English Translations

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Edited by Alessandra Vianello, Lidwien Kapteijns and Mohamed Kassim

This book presents fifty-one didactic and devotional Sufi poems (with English translations) composed by the ulama of Brava, on Somalia’s Benadir coast, in Chimiini, a Bantu language related to Swahili and unique to the town. Because the six ulama-poets, among whom two women, guided local believers towards correct beliefs and behaviours in reference to specific authoritative religious texts, the poems allow insight into their authors’ religious education, affiliations, in which the Qādiriyyah and Aḥmadiyyah took pride of place, and regional connections. Because the poems refer to local people, places, events, and livelihoods, they also bring into view the uniquely local dimension of Islam in this small East African port city in this time-period.