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A Companion to Islamic Granada gathers, for the first time in English, a number of essays exploring aspects of the Islamic history of this city from the 8th through the 15th centuries from an interdisciplinary perspective. This collective volume examines the political development of Medieval Gharnāṭa under the rule of different dynasties, drawing on both historiographical and archaeological sources. It also analyses the complexity of its religious and multicultural society, as well as its economic, scientific, and intellectual life. The volume also transcends the year 1492, analysing the development of both the mudejar and the morisco populations and their contribution to Grenadian culture and architecture up to the 17th century.

Contributors are: Bárbara Boloix-Gallardo, María Jesús Viguera-Molíns, Alberto García-Porras, Antonio Malpica–Cuello, Bilal Sarr-Marroco, Allen Fromherz, Bernard Vincent, Maribel Fierro–Bello, Mª Luisa Ávila–Navarro, Juan Pedro Monferrer–Sala, José Martínez–Delgado, Luis Bernabé–Pons, Adela Fábregas–García, Josef Ženka, Amalia Zomeño–Rodríguez, Delfina Serrano–Ruano, Julio Samsó–Moya, Celia del Moral-Molina, José Miguel Puerta–Vílchez, Antonio Orihuela–Uzal, Ieva Rėklaitytė, and Rafael López–Guzmán.
Author: Allen J. Frank

Abstract

Tales about the caliph ʿAlī have circulated as popular entertainment throughout the Islamic world since the medieval era. While their meaning to their audiences has varied, on the frontiers of Islam, including in Siberia and the Kazakh steppe, the battles of ʿAlī and other companions of the Prophet against infidels took on special meaning. Among Kazakh nomads under Russian rule, these tales gained broad popularity in the second half of the nineteenth century as the status of Kazakhs as a Muslim community came under threat from changing Russian policies. It was at this time that Kazakh-language ʿAlī tales were composed and published by Muslim publishers in Russia. One of these was the Qiṣṣa-yi Ṣalṣāl, by the Siberian poet Mäulekey Yumachikov, in which the infidels whom ʿAlī and the other companions battle are clearly identified as being Russians, although placed in the earliest period of Islam. This tale enables us to see the political evolution of such tales, which constitute a response to the cultural and political pressures of Russian colonialism.

In: Die Welt des Islams