Islamic foundations ( waqf, pl. awqāf) have been an integral part of Yemeni society both for managing private wealth and as a legal frame for charity and public infrastructure. This book focuses on four socially grounded fields of legal knowledge: fiqh, codification, individual waqf cases, and everyday waqf-related knowledge. It combines textual analysis with ethnography and seeks to understand how Islamic law is approached, used, produced, and validated in selected topics of waqf law where there are tensions between ideals and pragmatic rules. The study analyses central Zaydī fiqh works such as the Sharḥ al-azhār cluster, imamic decrees, fatwās, and waqf documents, mostly from Zaydī, northern Yemen.
Rationalized Traditionalistic Theology
In Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya and the Divine Attributes Miriam Ovadia offers a thorough discussion on the hermeneutical methodology applied in the theology of the Ḥanbalite traditionalistic scholar Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (d. 1350), the most prominent disciple of the renowned Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328). Focusing on Ibn al-Qayyim's voluminous – yet so far understudied – work on anthropomorphism, al-Ṣawāʿiq al-Mursala, Ovadia explores his modus operandi in his attack on four fundamental rationalistic convictions, while demonstrating Ibn al-Qayyim's systemization of the Taymiyyan theological doctrine and theoretical discourse. Contextualizing al-Ṣawāʿiq with relevant writings of thinkers who preceded Ibn al-Qayyim, Ovadia unfolds his employment of Kalāmic terminology and argumentations; thus, his rationalized-traditionalistic authoring of a theological manifesto directed against his contemporary Ashʿarite elite of Mamluk Damascus.