Open Access

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.
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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.
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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.
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Edited by Kai Kresse

Sheikh al-Amin Mazrui wrote his essays of this Guidance ( Uwongozi) collection in Mombasa between 1930 and 1932, providing social critique and moral guidance to Kenya’s coastal Muslims during a period of their decline during British colonial rule. The essays were initially published as a series of double-sided pamphlets called Sahifa (The Page), the first Swahili Islamic newspaper. Inspired by contemporary debates of Pan-Islam and Islamic modernism, and with a critical eye on British colonialism, this leading East African modernist takes issue with his peers, in a sharply critical and yet often humorous tone. Al-Amin Mazrui was the first to publish Islamic educational prose and social commentary in Swahili. This bi-lingual edition makes fascinating reading for specialists and general readers.
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al-ʿAllāmah al-Ḥillī

Edited by Sayyid Amjad Hussain Shah Naqavi

Foundations of Jurisprudence: An Introduction to Imāmī Shīʿī Legal Theory is a critical edition of the Arabic text with a parallel English translation of Mabādiʾ al-wuṣūl ilā ʿilm al-uṣūl by al-ʿAllāmah al-Ḥillī, introduced, edited and translated by Sayyid Amjad H. Shah Naqavi.
Al-ʿAllāmah al-Ḥillī participated in the leading debates of his day and applied his vast erudition in philosophy, logic, and theology to the paramount subject of jurisprudence. This text presents an exemplar of the rich revival of Shīʿī scholarship in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries of the Common Era. Concise, yet comprehensive, this work sets the standard for the subsequent development and discussion of Imāmī Shīʿī legal theory, such that its influence can be traced through to modern times. This dual-text edition is indispensable for students and scholars of Imāmi Shīʿī jurisprudence.
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Synopsis Purioris Theologiae / Synopsis of a Purer Theology 

Latin Text and English Translation: Volume 2, Disputations 24 - 42

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Henk van den Belt, Riemer Faber, Andreas Beck and William den Boer

This bilingual edition of the Synopsis Purioris Theologiae (1625) provides English readers access to an influential textbook of Reformed Orthodoxy. Composed by four professors at the University of Leiden (Johannes Polyander, Andreas Rivetus, Antonius Walaeus, and Anthonius Thysius), it offers a presentation of Reformed theology as it was conceived in the first decades of the seventeenth century. From a decidedly Reformed perspective, the Christian doctrine is defined in contrast with alternative or diverging views, such as those of Roman Catholics, Arminians, and Socinians. The Synopsis responds to challenges coming from the immediate theological, social, and philosophical contexts. The disputations of this second volume cover topics such as Predestination, Christology, Faith and Repentance, Justification and Sanctification, and Ecclesiology.

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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).
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The Poetic Works of Helius Eobanus Hessus

Volume 4: Between Erasmus and Luther, 1518–1524

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Harry Vredeveld

In this volume, Eobanus Hessus turns from passionate Erasmian into staunch defender of Luther, only to find himself caught in the no-man’s-land between the two titans. Under Erasmus’ spell, he writes "Itinerary of My Journey to Erasmus," "On the Restoration of Studies at Erfurt," epigrams against Edward Lee, and "Short Preface to the 'Enchiridion.'" Changing course in 1521, he publishes "Elegies in Praise and Defense of Luther" and "Letter of the Afflicted Church to Luther." Thereafter, amid tumults and academic collapse, he battles the radical preachers in "Some Letters of Illustrious Men Concerning the More Humane Studies" and "Three Dialogues." Two elegies serve as intermezzos: a "Consolation" to the imprisoned William of Brunswick and a patriotic "Invective" against Johannes Dantiscus.
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Edited by Mark Beaumont and Maha El Kaisy-Friemuth

al-Radd al-jamīl attributed to al-Ghazālī (d. 1111) is the most extensive and detailed refutation of the divinity of Jesus by a Muslim author in the classical period of Islam. Since the discovery of the manuscript in the 1930’s scholars have debated whether the great Muslim theologian al-Ghazālī was really the author.

This is a new critical edition of the Arabic text and the first complete English translation. The introduction situates this work in the history of Muslim anti-Christian polemical writing. Mark Beaumont and Maha El Kaisy-Friemuth argue that this refutation comes from an admirer of al-Ghazālī who sought to advance some of his key ideas for an Egyptian audience.
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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.