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Now available in Open Access thanks to support of the University of Helsinki. Al-Maqrīzī's (d. 845/1442) last work, al-Ḫabar ʿan al-bašar, was completed a year before his death. This volume, edited by Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila, covers the history of pre-Islamic Iran from the Creation to the Parthians. Al-Maqrīzī's work shows how Arab historians integrated Iran into world history and how they harmonized various currents of historiography (Middle Persian historiography, Islamic sacred history, Greek and Latin historiography).

Among al-Ḫabar's sources is Kitāb Hurūšiyūš, the Arabic translation of Paulus Orosius' Historiarum adversum paganos libri vii. This source has only been preserved in one defective copy, and al-Maqrīzī's text helps to fill in some of its lacunae.
With a Critical Edition of al-Wārid al-šārid al-ṭārid šubhat al-mārid and its Persian version Zayn al-mu‘taqad li-zayn al-mu‘taqid
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.
Mulla Muḥammad-Ṭāhir Qummi’s Ḥikmat al-ʿĀrifīn
In Opposition to Philosophy in Safavid Iran, Ata Anzali and S. M. Hadi Gerami offer a critical edition of a hitherto unpublished manuscript that is arguably the most erudite and extensive polemical work against philosophy and philosophical mysticism from the Safavid period.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.
(Maqālīd al-ʿulūm) A Gift for the Muzaffarid Shāh Shujāʿ on the Definitions of Technical Terms
Maqālīd al-ʿulūm (Keys to the Sciences) is a significant source on definitions of Arabic scientific terms in the post-classical period. Composed by an anonymous author, it contains over eighteen hundred definitions in the realm of twenty-one religious, literary, and rational sciences. The work was dedicated to the Muzaffarid Shāh Shujāʿ, who ruled over Shiraz and its neighbouring regions from 759/1358 to 786/1384. The present volume contains a critical edition of Maqālīd al-ʿulūm based on its three extant manuscripts. In the introduction, the editors review previous scholarship on the text, present an overview of patronage at the court of Shāh Shujāʿ and identify some of the sources used by the author of the work. They suggest that the work in its structure mirrors Abū ʿAbdullāh Khwārazmī’s Mafātīḥ al-ʿulūm, completed in 366/976.
Editor / Translator: Oliver Kahl
The Arabic treatise edited and translated here was written in the middle of the 9th century CE by ʿAlī ibn Sahl Rabban aṭ-Ṭabarī, a Christian convert to Islam and one of the most remarkable thinkers of his time. The text can be described as a manual towards the preservation of health, addressed directly to the ʿAbbāsid caliph al-Mutawakkil and his household. It represents not only the oldest extant specimen of its kind, but is also distinguished by its largely non-technical language, as well as by a narrative style that creates an unusual interface with classical Arabic prose literature. The Greek and Indian sources upon which aṭ-Ṭabarī relied testify to the synthetic and inclusive character of early Islamic medicine.
A Critical Edition of Ḥāfiẓ-i Baṣīr’s Maẓhar al-ʿAjāʾib
The Maẓhar al-ʿajāʾib is the devotional work written to expound upon the teachings of Aghā-yi Buzurg, a female religious master active in the early 16th century in Bukhara. The work was produced in 16th century Central Asia, when the region underwent major socio-economic and religio-political changes in the aftermath of the downfall of the Timurid dynasty and the establishment of the Shibanid dynasty in Mavarannahr and the Safavid dynasty in Iran.
In its portrayal of Aghā-yi Buzurg, the Maẓhar al-ʿajāʾib represents a tradition that maintained an egalitarian conception of gender in the spiritual equality of women and men, attesting to the presence of multiple voices in Muslim discourse and challenging conventional ways of thinking about gender history in early modern Central Asia.