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Ganjīna-yi khuṭūṭ va yādgār nāma-yi mashāhīr-i ʿilmi-yi Īrān az sāl-i 845 tā 1022 HQ
In the history of Islam and the Islamic world, the authentication of knowledge has always been important. Thus, the Prophetic traditions are typically introduced by chains of transmission going back from the speaker, all the way to a direct witness of the Prophet’s sayings or deeds. And in scholarship, too, the ijāza or licence attesting to someone’s proficiency in some subject written by an established teacher was very important as well, comparable to a modern certificate or diploma. Against this background, the booklet published here is rather unique. This is because it contains study certificates and samples of the handwriting of various scholars and religious authorities, issued to five generations of scholars from one and the same family from Yazd, starting with Najm al-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥammūʾī Yazdī (d. 885/1480) and ending with Sālik al-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥammūʾī Yazdī (duwwum) (d. after 1022/1613). Most of the texts are in Arabic, while the poetry is mostly in Persian.
ʿAjāʾib aḥkām Amīr al-Muʾminīn, Dhikr al-khalāʾif wa-ʿunwān al-maʿārif, Faḍl al-ʿilm, Dhakhāʾir al-ḥikma, Mukhtaṣar-i Jāvidān khirad
Today most oriental manuscript collections are kept in institutional and other (semi-) public libraries. Yet many of these collections were jumpstarted with the acquisition or donation of some private collection. Even now, private collections may still yield unexpected finds. A case in point is MS Tehran, National Library, Arabic 16574. This manuscript belonged earlier and until 1423/2002 to Sayyid Muḥsin Amīn ʿĀmilī, author of the famous biographical dictionary Aʿyān al-Shīʿa, and then to his son Sayyid Ḥasan Amīn, after whose death it devolved to the National Library of Iran. Compiled in 420/1029, this manuscript contains six medium-sized classical texts in Arabic from before ca. 390/1000. From among these, special mention must be made of an abbreviated version ( mukhtaṣar) of Ibn Miskawayh’s (d. 421/1030) gnomological work in Arabic, the Jāvidān khirad. Copied while Ibn Miskawayh was still alive, this abbreviation represents the oldest sample of the original text and certainly merits consideration in any future edition.
Yād dāshthā-yi Qurʾānī va tafsīr-i āya-yi nūr az Mullā Ṣadrā, Muntakhab-i Baḥr al-Ḥaqāʾiq Najm al-Dīn-i Dāyah va al-Taʾwīlāt-i ʿAbd al-Razzāq-i Kāshī
The Islamic manuscript has many forms and shapes, from notes on a scrap of paper to the most preciously illuminated manuscript that can compete with the best one can find in the western world. Usually, a text would be written out at least twice: first as a draft and then as a clean copy from which later copies would be made. Usually, draft versions would either be destroyed, or washed and dried as a means to save paper, or used as reinforcement material by the bookbinder. Thus very few drafts have come down to us. And this is precisely what lends the present manuscript, containing a draft commentary on Qurʾān 24:35 (the celebrated Light Verse) by the famous 11th/17th-century philosopher Ṣadr al-Dīn Shīrāzī (d. 1050/1640) its special interest. Also in this manuscript: sundry notes on the Qurʾān and excerpts from two works by Najm al-Dīn Dāya (d. 654/1256) and ʿAbd al-Razzāq Kāshī (d. 736/1336).
Rashīd al-Dīn Hamadānī’s (d. 718/1319) Jāmiʿ al-tawārīkh has been described by many as the first world history ever. Composed in Persian for the Mongol Il-khans Ghāzān (r. 1295-1304) and Öljeitü (Uljāytu, r. 1304-16), its aim was to set out the history and condition of the Mongol people, conquerors of the world (part one), followed by a description of the other peoples and nations of the world and their histories (part two). Given its unprecedented scope, Rashīd, vizier to both rulers, mobilized a whole team of specialists, informants, and collaborators to assist him in his task. Making use of written and oral sources, the part on the Mongols is a key source on the emergence and organisation of the Mongol empire. An anonymous Arabic translation of this part, made in the 8th/14th century and running until Güyük Khān’s accession to power in 644/1246, is published in facsimile in this volume.
ʿUmdat al-ḥisāb wa-Qisṭās al-muʿādala fī ʿilm al-jabr wal-muqābala
Not much is known about ʿIzz al-Dīn Zanjānī’s (d. 660/1262) personal life other than that at different times in his career he was in Mosul, Baghdad, Bukhara and Tabriz, where Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsi (d. 672/1274) wrote his Tadhkira fi ʼl-hayʾa at his request. To posterity Zanjānī is maybe best known for his work on Arabic morphology, the Mabāḍiʾ al-taṣrīf, also known as Taṣrīf al-Zanjānī and al-ʿIzzī, on which many commentaries and supercommentaries were written. Zanjānī has four more works on linguistics, besides one work on astronomy and six treatises on mathematics, two of which are published in facsimile here. The first of these is his ʿUmdat al-ḥisāb on arithmetic and the second the Qisṭās al-muʿādala on equations. Following Zanjānī’s own statements at the beginning of these treatises they were written for practical reasons, people in general standing in need of a good text on arithmetic, while the text on equations was especially relevant for jurists.
A trusted and much-used means to navigate between words and languages, the dictionary has a long history. The oldest bilingual dictionary is a Sumerian-Eblaite lexicon of more than 4000 years ago. The earliest monolingual dictionary is preserved in fragments from a Chinese lexicon from around 800 BCE. As for Arabic-Persian dictionaries, of which the facsimile published here is a valuable specimen, these made their first appearance in the 4th/10th century, at the time of the first translations of the Qurʾān and its commentaries and the increase of scientific texts in Arabic eligible for translation into New Persian. The present dictionary was copied in 684/1286, but is certainly older than that. It is a general lexicon which has been alphabetically arranged. At the end there is an appendix with an overview of the terminology of various practical fields that leaves a very modern impression (days of the week, basic arithmetic etc.). Historical and philological introducton, indices.
The Ṣaḥīfa Sajjādiyya is a compilation of supplicatory prayers ascribed to the fourth Imam of the Shīʿa, ʿAlī b. al-Ḥusayn al-Sajjād (d. 94/712-13 0r 95/713-14). Alternatively referred to as the ‘psalms’ ( zabūr) or the ‘gospels’ ( injīl) of the family of the Prophet, the Ṣaḥīfa Sajjādiyya ranks among the holiest books of the Shīʿa, together with the Qurʾān and ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib’s Nahj al-balāgha. Al-Sajjād was known for his piety and for his being given to prayer. Yet it is more likely that the Ṣaḥīfa is a later compilation of prayers attributed to him. The Ṣaḥīfa published here in facsimile is the ‘complete’ ( kāmila) recension ascribed to Ibn Makkī (d. 786/1384) in a copy made just five years after Makkī’s death, together with an early interlinear Persian translation. Apart from the orthographical and linguistic points of interest of this manuscript, its early dating may throw light on the history of transmission of Ibn Makkī’s recension.
About fifty years ago, during renovation works in the complex of Imam Reza in Mashhad, a hoard of manuscripts was discovered in a secret niche. These manuscripts had probably been stashed away in a time of unrest to prevent them from getting looted or destroyed. Among them, there was one quite remarkable codex, copied in 481/1088 and published here, containing the divan of ʿAbdallāh b. Aḥmad al-Khāzin, a poet who belonged to entourage of the Buyid vizier Ṣāḥib b. al-ʿAbbād (d. 385/995). Al-Khāzin was his librarian for a time, until he was banished from the court. Since most of the poems are dedicated to Fakhr al-Dawla (d. 387/997) and Ibn al-ʿAbbād, they must have been written after Fakhr al-Dawla was brought to power by Ibn al-ʿAbbād in 373/983. Even with sections missing, this manuscript contains no less than 1.922 verses by al-Khāzin, much more than the 241 verses quoted in al-Thaʿālibī’s (d. 429/1038) Yatīmat al-dahr.
From the time of its foundation in 284/897, the Zaydī Imamate of Yemen was home to Muʿtazilī ideas. During the first centuries and starting with Imam al-Hādī ila ʼl-Ḥaqq (d. 298/911), Zaydī ideology included elements akin to the opinions of the Baghdad School of the Muʿtazila as founded by Bishr b. al-Muʿtamir (d. 210/825). However, in the 5-6th/11-12th centuries, we see a rise in popularity of Bahshamiyya ideas, a sub-group of the Basran School of the Muʿtazila around Abū Hāshim al-Jubbāʾī (d. 321/933). These ideas were systematized and elaborated upon by the Zaydī theologian al-Raṣṣāṣ (d. 584/1188). Among those who resisted Bahshamī ideas to defend the teachings of the earlier imams was the jurist, theologian and author of more than 100 works, Ḥusām al-Dīn al-ʿAnsī (d. 667/1268). This volume contains a facsimile of the largest copy of al-Maḥajja al-bayḍāʾ fī uṣūl al-dīn, al-ʿAnsī’s major theological handbook, covering the first four parts out of eight.
Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsī (d. 672/1274) was an influential philosopher, theologian, mathematician and astronomer, besides being the first director of the famous observatory at Marāghah near Tabriz as well as a man of politics. The author of a large number of works, he is especially famous for such treatises as his Tajrīd al-iʿtiqād on theology; the Zīj-i Īlkhānī on astronomy; the Ḥall mushkilāt al-Ishārāt; his influential commentary on Avicenna’s (428/1037) Kitāb al-ishārāt wal-tanbīhāt on philosophy and logic; and his Akhlāq-i Nāṣirī on ethics. Another famous work is his Tadhkira fī ʿilm al-hayʾa published here. As stated by the editor, this is one of the most important and influential astronomical works written in the pre-modern Islamic world. It belongs to the second phase of Ṭūsī’s academic career and constitutes a synthesis between two earlier works by him, written when he was still working for the Nizārī Ismailis. Arabic text and apparatus, Persian introduction translated from the English edition.