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Nahj al-Balāghah, the celebrated compendium of orations, letters, and sayings of ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib (d. 40/661) compiled by al-Sharīf al-Raḍī (d. 406/1015), is a masterpiece of Arabic literature and Islamic wisdom studied and memorized avidly and continually for over a thousand years. Showcasing ʿAlī’s life and travails in his own words, it also transcribes his profound reflections on piety and virtue, and on just and compassionate governance. Tahera Qutbuddin’s meticulously researched critical edition based on the earliest 5th/11th-century manuscripts, with a lucid, annotated facing-page translation, brings to the modern reader the power and beauty of this influential text, and confirms the aptness of Raḍī’s title, “The Way of Eloquence.”
In: Nahj al-Balāghah: The Wisdom and Eloquence of ʿAlī
In: Nahj al-Balāghah: The Wisdom and Eloquence of ʿAlī
In: Nahj al-Balāghah: The Wisdom and Eloquence of ʿAlī
In: Nahj al-Balāghah: The Wisdom and Eloquence of ʿAlī
Jihād Ideology from the Conquest of Jerusalem to the end of the Ayyūbids (c. 492/1099–647/1249)
In Reinventing Jihād, Kenneth A. Goudie provides a detailed examination of the development of jihād ideology from the Conquest of Jerusalem to the end of the Ayyūbids (c. 492/1099–647/1249). By analysing the writings of three scholars - Abū al Ḥasan al Sulamī (d. 500/1106), Ibn ʿAsākir (d. 571/1176), and ʿIzz al-Dīn al-Sulamī (d. 660/1262) - Reinventing Jihād demonstrates that the discourse on jihād was much broader than previously thought, and that authors interwove a range of different understandings of jihād in their attempts to encourage jihād against the Franks. More importantly, Reinventing Jihad demonstrates that whilst the practice of jihād did not begin in earnest until the middle of the twelfth century, the same cannot be said about jihād ideology: interest in jihād ideology was reinvigorated almost from the moment of the arrival of the Franks.

Abstract

The conclusion returns to the model of the counter crusade, and re-evaluates it on the basis of the preceding chapters. It argues that whilst the basic parameters of the model of the counter crusade remain unchallenged for the practice of jihād in the twelfth and the thirteenth centuries, they are inadequate in the context of the ideology of jihād. When alternative discourses of jihād are taken into account, the twelfth and thirteenth centuries emerge as a period wherein scholars continuously wove together different discourses of jihād in attempts to encourage their rulers and their co religionists to fight against the Franks: this was not an iterative process working towards a new and fundamental jihād ideology, but rather a process of flux and reflux which was inherently relative to the changing socio-political contexts. In this way, it argues for the necessity of disengaging the political dimension of the revival of jihād from its ideological dimensions: the monograph demonstrates that there was no delay between the arrival of the Franks and attempts to modify jihād ideology, and that this urge to modify jihād was continuous and reflexive throughout the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

In: Reinventing Jihād

Abstract

The first chapter discusses the broader development of jihād before the twelfth century. It outlines the two main branches of the discourse on jihād: the juristic discourse of jihād, which was founded upon the opinions and writings of religious scholars, and an alternative discourse of jihād which focused on the spiritual and the individual and which arose from Sufi texts. This discourse is known as jihād al-nafs in modern scholarship and as mujāhada in Sufi texts. After outlining how these two discourses had crystallised by the eve of the First Crusade, the chapter argues that a third discourse of jihād emerged on the Muslim-Byzantine frontier in eighth-century al-Shām in the Kitāb al-jihād of Ibn al-Mubārak (d. 181/797), from where it was exported to other frontiers. This discourse argued that the demonstration of devotion to God and to Islam was enacted through military action and necessarily culminated with martyrdom, and exhibited some elements in common with the Sufi discourse.

In: Reinventing Jihād

Abstract

The third chapter turns to Abū al Qāsim Ibn ʿAsākir (d. 571/1176). After broadly outlining his relationship with Nūr al-Dīn and his jihād activities, it focuses on his al Arbaʿūn ḥadīthan fī al ḥathth ʿalā al jihād and his Taʾrīkh madīnat Dimashq. The chapter argues that Ibn ʿAsākir’s understanding of jihād was fundamentally influenced by Ibn al-Mubārak, such that the Arbaʿūn presents a new understanding of jihād modelled on the general contours of Ibn al Mubārak's understanding of jihād, as expressed in the Kitāb al jihād, but nevertheless adapted for the socio political context of the twelfth century. It argues that the Taʾrīkh madīnat Dimashq provides further evidence for the significance which Ibn al Mubārak had upon Ibn ʿAsākir understanding of jihād. Ibn ʿAsākir’s biographical notice of Ibn al-Mubārak represents an attempt to reinvent Ibn al-Mubārak as the exemplary mujāhid, and to re frame him as a suitable model upon whom Ibn ʿAsākir’s contemporaries could base their actions in the struggle against the Franks.

In: Reinventing Jihād

Abstract

The introduction presents the rationale for an in-depth study of jihād ideology in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, arguing that while the practice of jihād in this period has been well-studied, we have only a limited idea of contemporary perceptions of jihād. It provides the background and necessary context to the monograph; in particular, it outlines the current model for understanding twelfth- and thirteenth-century jihād–known as the counter-crusade–and its limitations. Finally, it provides an overview of the structure of the monograph.

In: Reinventing Jihād