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« Origins », Transmission, and Metamorphoses of Adab literature
The notion of adab is at the very heart of the Islamicate cultures. Born in the crucible of the Arabic and Persian civilisations of the Late Antiquity period, nourished by Greek, Syriac and Indian influences, this polysemic notion could cover a variegated range of meanings, ranging from good behaviour, good manners, etiquette, proper knowledge of the rules, to belles-lettres, and finally, literature. This volume addresses the notion of adab through four perspectives, which correspond to the four parts into which it is divided: “Origins”; “Transmissions”; “Metamorphosis” of the “Origins” and finally “Origins” through the lens of modernity.
Author:
For over sixty years, Professor Fuat Sezgin meticulously documented the literary and scientific writings and achievements of Muslim scholars. His celebrated Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums (GAS), the largest bio-bibliography for the Arabic literary tradition in general, and the history of science and technology in the Islamic world in particular, is still of utmost importance for the field.
Swahili Poetry of Commitment by Ustadh Mahmoud Mau
The present volume is a pioneering collection of poetry by the outstanding Kenyan poet, intellectual and imam Ustadh Mahmmoud Mau (born 1952) from Lamu island, once an Indian Ocean hub, now on the edge of the nation state. By means of poetry in Arabic script, the poet raises his voice against social ills and injustices troubling his community on Lamu. The book situates Mahmoud Mau’s oeuvre within transoceanic exchanges of thoughts so characteristic of the Swahili coast. It shows how Swahili Indian Ocean intellectual history inhabits an individual biography and writings. Moreover, it also portrays a unique African Muslim thinker and his poetry in the local language, which has so often been neglected as major site for critical discourse in Islamic Africa.
The selected poetry is clustered around the following themes: jamii: societal topical issues, ilimu: the importance of education, huruma: social roles and responsabilities, matukio: biographical events and maombi: supplications. Prefaced by Rayya Timamy (Nairobi University), the volume includes contributions by Jasmin Mahazi, Kai Kresse and Kadara Swaleh, Annachiara Raia and Clarissa Vierke. The authors’ approaches highlight the relevance of local epistemologies as archives for understanding the relationship between reform Islam and local communities in contemporary Africa.
In The Cooing of the Dove and the Cawing of the Crow Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych offers original translations, close readings, and new interpretations of selected poems from the two contrasting diwans of the blind Late ʿAbbāsid master-poet, Abū al-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī (d. 449 H./1057 C.E.). The first is Saqṭ al-Zand (Sparks of the Flint), the highly esteemed collection of qaṣīdah poetry of his youth, which he later disavowed. The second is Luzūm Mā Lā Yalzam (Requiring What Is Not Required), the programmatic double-rhymed collection from his later period of withdrawal and seclusion. She argues that the contrasting ‘poetics of engagement’ and ‘poetics of disengagement’ of the two diwans reflect the transition from High Classical to Post Classical aesthetics.