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Mark Beaumont and Maha El Kaisy-Friemuth

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Alexandra Dunietz

In The Cosmic Perils of Qadi Ḥusayn Maybudī in Fifteenth-Century Iran Alexandra Dunietz explores the life and works of a provincial judge during a time of tribal rivalries and millennial expectations. During the decades preceding the rise of the Safavid regime and the establishment of Shiʿism throughout Iran, Maybudī participated in a network of intellectuals, administrators, and mystics, wrote prolifically, and worked as a judge within the Ak Koyunlu sphere. Drawing upon Maybudī’s commentaries and correspondence, the work focuses on the judge’s education, complex commentary on the poetry of ʿAlī, the foundational figure of Shiʿism, his professional life, and his death during a rebellion against Safavid control of his hometown. Maybudī exemplified the natural development of relations between Sunnis and Shiis, provincial elites and central authorities, rationalist philosophers and devotees of the esoteric.

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Pavel Pavlovitch

In The Formation of the Islamic Understanding of kalāla in the Second Century AH (718-816 CE), Pavel Pavlovitch studies traditions ( ḥadīth) about the lexical and terminological meaning of the Quranic vocable kalāla. Attempts to understand kalāla began with acknowledging its unintelligibility but ultimately brought into existence a capacious body of interpretative ḥadīth, associated with early Islamic authorities. The analysis of these traditions affords insights into the changing conception of scripture during the first two Islamic centuries, the early history of Islamic exegesis and jurisprudence, and varying scholarly attitudes towards constituent sources of Islamic law. The book highlights the importance of coherent methodology of dating and reconstructing Muslim traditions according to their lines of transmission ( isnāds) and their narrative content ( matns).