In Praise of the Few: Studies in Shiʿi Thought and History is a selection of Etan Kohlberg’s research on Shiʿi Islam over a period of fifty years. It includes previously published articles, revised dissertation chapters, and a full bibliography of the author’s work. Divided into two parts, the collection begins with chapters from Kohlberg’s Oxford doctoral dissertation (1971) and related articles that investigate Sunni and Shiʿi views on the Prophet’s Companions and debates concerning the extent of their authority as sources of religious knowledge. Part Two traces the doctrinal and historical developments pertaining to various dimensions of Imāmī Shiʿi intellectual tradition such as theology, hadith, law, jurisprudence, and exegesis.
A Literary History of Medicine by the Syrian physician Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿah (d. 1270) is the earliest comprehensive history of medicine. It contains biographies of over 432 physicians, ranging from the ancient Greeks to the author’s contemporaries, describing their training and practice, often as court physicians, and listing their medical works; all this interlaced with poems and anecdotes. These volumes present the first complete and annotated translation along with a new edition of the Arabic text showing the stages in which the author composed the work. Introductory essays provide important background. The reader will find on these pages an Islamic society that worked closely with Christians and Jews, deeply committed to advancing knowledge and applying it to health and wellbeing.
Can we know God or does he reside beyond our ken? In Ibn ʿArabī and ʿAbd al-Razzāq al-Qāshānī’s
Metaphysics of the Divine, Ismail Lala conducts a forensic analysis of the nature of God and His interaction with creation. Looking mainly at the exegetical works of the influential mystic, Muḥyī al-Dīn ibn ʿArabī (d. 638/1240), and one of his chief disseminators, ʿAbd al-Razzāq al-Qāshānī (d. 736/1335?), Lala employs the term
huwiyya, literally “He-ness,” as an aperture into the metaphysical worldview of both mystics. Does Al-Qāshānī agree with Ibn ʿArabī’s conception of God? Does he agree with Ibn ʿArabī on how God relates to us and how we relate to Him? Or is this where Sufi master and his disciple part ways?
Ibn Taymiyya on Reason and Revelation, Carl Sharif El-Tobgui offers the first comprehensive study of Ibn Taymiyya’s ten-volume magnum opus,
Darʾ taʿāruḍ al-ʿaql wa-l-naql. In his colossal riposte to the Muslim philosophers and rationalist theologians, the towering Ḥanbalī polymath rejects the call to prioritize reason over revelation in cases of alleged conflict, interrogating instead the very conception of rationality that classical Muslims had inherited from the Greeks. In its place, he endeavors to articulate a reconstituted “pure reason” that is both truly universal and in full harmony with authentic revelation. Based on a line-by-line reading of the entire
Darʾ taʿāruḍ, El-Tobgui’s study carefully elucidates the “philosophy of Ibn Taymiyya” as it emerges from the multifaceted ontological, epistemological, and linguistic reforms that Ibn Taymiyya carries out in this pivotal work.
Aphorisms enjoyed great popularity in the ancient and medieval world and, according to Maimonides, it was Hippocrates’ most useful work as it contained aphorisms, which every physician should know by heart. They were translated into Hebrew several times, but it was Maimonides’
Commentary on Hippocrates’ Aphorisms that made the work influential in Jewish circles. For the composition of his commentary, Maimonides consulted the
Aphorisms through the commentary by Galen, translated by Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq. This edition of Maimonides’ Arabic commentary and its Hebrew translations, the first with an English translation based on the Arabic text, is part of a project undertaken by Gerrit Bos to critically edit Maimonides’ medical works.