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The Malay Hikayat Miʿrāj Nabi Muḥammad

The Prophet Muḥammad’s Nocturnal Journey to Heaven and Hell. Text and Translation of Cod. Or. 1713 in the Library of Leiden University

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Edited by Th.C. van der Meij and Nannoo Lambooij

Texts about the nocturnal journey of the Prophet Muḥammad (Mi‘rāj) abound in the Muslim world and outside. International attention has never been afforded to any version of text in any language of the Indonesian archipelago. One old version of the text from the area, the Malay Hikayat Mir’āj Nabi Muḥammad is presented here in Malay and English translation. The introductory chapters place the text in a wider context in Indonesian literatures while the manuscript of the text (Cod.Or. Leiden 1713) is described in detail. The text and translation purport to enhance interest in this important text in the Muslim world as seen from the Malay/Indonesian perspective.

A Turkic Medical Treatise from Islamic Central Asia

A Critical Edition of a Seventeenth-Century Chagatay Work by Subḥān Qulï Khan

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László Karoly

This is the first serious study on seventeenth-century Central Asian medicine that provides a major resource for the linguistic and cultural history of Central Asia. The richly annotated English translation makes the edition useful for readers without special knowledge on medical history and Turkic studies.
The author offers a critical edition of a seventeenth-century Central Asian medical treatise written by Sayyid Subḥān Qulï Muḥammad Bahādur khan in the Chagatay language.The edition includes a detailed introduction, a transcription of the original text for philological purposes, an annotated English translation, complete lexica of vocabulary, herbs and plants, minerals and chemicals, diseases and related terms, measures and units, personal names and Qur’ānic verses, and finally two manuscripts in facsimile.


The series Documenta Coranica is dedicated to the study of history of the Qurʾānic text as manifested in manuscripts and other sources. Documenta Coranica publishes witnesses of the Qurʾān from the early period in the shape of facsimile, accompanied by transcription and a commentary. The series makes codices on parchment, papyri, inscriptions, variant readings and other relevant sources for the history of the Qurʾān, accessible to the academic public. The first volumes contain manuscript fragments from Sanaa (DAM 01-25.1, DAM 01-27.1, DAM 01-29.1), the manuscript Ma VI 165 (Tübingen), and the codex Or. 2165 of the British Library.


The series comprises two sections: Manuscripta contains facsimile editions of Qurʾānic manuscripts with a line-by-line transcript in Modern Arabic script on the opposite page and a commentary about codicology, paleography, variant readings and verse numbering explaining content and characteristics of each manuscript. Testimonia et Studia contains studies about material evidence for the history of the Qurʾān, as manifested on papyrus, stone and rock inscriptions etc., as well in exegetical, narrative and philological sources.


Documenta Coranica inscribes itself into a German-French cooperation: in the framework of the research project Coranica, 2011-2014, and Paleocoran 2015-2018, both funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Agence Nationale de la Recherche.

Avicenna in Medieval Hebrew Translation

Ṭodros Ṭodrosi’s Translation of Kitāb al-Najāt, on Psychology and Metaphysics

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Gabriella Elgrably-Berzin

In this volume, Gabriella Elgrably-Berzin offers an analysis of the fourteenth-century Hebrew translation of a major eleventh-century philosophical text: Avicenna’s Kitāb al-Najāt (The Book of Salvation), focusing on the psychology treatise on physics. The translator of this work was Ṭodros Ṭodrosi, the main Hebrew translator of Avicenna’s philosophical writings. This study includes a critical edition of Ṭodrosi’s translation, based on two manuscripts as compared to the Arabic edition (Cairo, 1938), and an appendix featuring the section on metaphysics. By analyzing Ṭodrosi’s language and terminology and making his Hebrew translation available for the first time, Berzin’s study will help enable scholars to trace the borrowings from Todrosi’s translations in Jewish sources, shedding light on the transmission and impact of Avicenna’s philosophy.

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.

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.

Early Islamic Law in Basra in The 2nd/8th Century

Aqwal Qatadah b. Da'amah al-Sadusi

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Edited by Abdulrahman al-Salimi

The manuscript of the Aqwāl Qatāda has repeatedly attracted particular interest among modern scholars, as it raises questions concerning the early development of the Ibāḍī Basran community and the emergence of Islamic jurisprudence in Iraq. It is a unique document because it attests to the existence of a scholarly link between Sunnīs and Ibāḍīs during the early development of Islamic law. The fact that the legal responsa and traditions of Qatāda b. Diʿāma al-Sadūsī (60/680-117/735) are part of an Ibāḍī collection, in which the traditions of Ibāḍī Imam Jābir b. Zayd (d. 93/ 711) have been transmitted through ʿAmr b. Harim and ʿAmr b. Dīnār, proves that the Ibāḍī lawyers of the first generations considered Qatāda to be a faithful upholder of Jābir's doctrine. Given the lack of material available for Jābir, instructions must have been given to collect whatever was transmitted through Qatāda. Qatāda's legal responsa must have corresponded to those of the first Ibāḍī authorities, which explains why the collator of the Aqwāl Qatāda (probably Abū Ghānim al-Khurāsānī) included them in an Ibāḍī manuscript. The present volume sheds light on the relationship between the Aqwāl Qatāda and Ibāḍī authorities such as al-Rabī, Abū Ubayda, and Jābir.

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Éléonore Cellard

Codex Amrensis 1, the first volume of the series Documenta Coranica contains images and Arabic texts of four sets of fragments (seventy-five sheets) of the Qurʾān codex, once kept in the ʿAmr ibn al-ʿĀṣ Mosque at Al-Fusṭāṭ, and now in the collections of the National Library of Russia, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, The Museum of Islamic Art, Doha and the Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art. It includes an extensive introduction, the facsimile of the original, and the full text with annotations.The manuscript, copied during the first half of the 8th century and written in ḥiǧāzī script, contains diacritical signs for about 20% of the letters, without any signs for short vowels. It varies from today’s reference editions of the Qurʾān in verse numbering and has a different orthography. Essential reading for students and scholars of the history of the Qurʾān and its written transmission.

Le Codex Amrensis 1 rassemble quatre fragments manuscrits, aujourd'hui dispersés dans les collections de la Bibliothèque nationale de France, de la Bibliothèque nationale de Russie, du Musée d'art islamique à Doha et dans la collection de Nasser D. Khalili. Ces fragments appartiennent à un même manuscrit, le Codex Amrensis 1, qui était autrefois conservé dans la mosquée de ʿAmr ibn al-ʿĀṣ à Fusṭāṭ. Ses caractéristiques physiques et textuelles en font un témoin essentiel pour l'histoire du texte coranique et de sa transmission écrite au cours des deux premiers siècles de l'islam. Le présent volume propose aux lecteurs, étudiants et chercheurs, le fac-similé des folios, des annotations concernant son texte ainsi qu'une introduction à l'étude du manuscrit.


Opposition to Philosophy in Safavid Iran

Mulla Muḥammad-Ṭāhir Qummi’s Ḥikmat al-ʿĀrifīn

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Edited by Ata Anzali and S.M. Hadi Gerami

In Opposition to Philosophy in Safavid Iran, Ata Anzali and S. M. Hadi Gerami offer a critical edition of a hitherto unpublished manuscript that is arguably the most erudite and extensive polemical work against philosophy and philosophical mysticism from the Safavid period. The introduction offers an extensive and in-depth analysis of the status of philosophy in the late Safavid period, placing Mulla Muhammad-Tahir Qummi’s (d. 1689) work in the broader context of the relevant cultural and intellectual developments of his time.
The content of Hikmat al-‘arifin itself is divided between a refutation of many traditional philosophical arguments about the nature of God and His attributes and, more importantly for those interested in Safavid intellectual history, attacks on Mulla Sadra and his students for synthesizing fundamental elements Ibn ‘Arabi’s thought into the framework of traditional philosophical discourse.

The Orientalist Karl Süssheim Meets the Young Turk Officer İsma’il Hakkı Bey

Two Unexplored Sources from the Last Decade in the Reign of the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II

Jan Schmidt

The book consists of transcriptions and summary translations of two texts in, mostly, Ottoman Turkish, the first of which is the recently discovered second volume of the diary of the German orientalist Karl Süssheim, covering the years 1903-08 which he mostly spent in Istanbul. The second text is a printed memoir of a Young Turk officer called İsma’il Hakkı, in which the latter discusses his life, political engagement and the resulting problems. Süssheim met İsma’il Hakkı in Cairo in 1908 and kept in contact with him later. The texts offer a lively picture of Istanbul and Cairo in the early years of the 20th century, the repressive regime of Sultan Abdulhamid II and the heady days of the Young Turk revolution of July 1908.