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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.
Author:
ضمن مجلد الفهارس العامة لموسوعة حلب الشهباء في عيون الشعراء، يصنّف المؤلف حسن قجّـة الفهارسَ ضمن ستة فصول: اثنان منها للإحصاءات والبيانات العامة، والثالث لفهارس الأعلام (أعلام الشعراء، الأعلام الواردة باللغة العربية، والأعلام بالأحرف اللاتينية)، بينما يضمّ الفصل الرابع فهارسَ الأماكن (فهرس للدول والمدن والمناطق الطبيعية باللغة العربية، وآخر بالأحرف اللاتينية، ثم فهرس للأماكن الواقعة ضمن مدينة حلب)، وفي الفصل الخامس نجد فهرس قوافي الشعر العربي القديم، ثم نجد في الفصل السادس والأخير الفهارسَ التفصيلية لموضوعات المجلدات الثلاثة.

In the general index volume of Aleppo through Poets' Eyes, the author, Hasan Kujjah, arranged the indices in six sections: two of them contain statistics and general data; the third consists of indices of names (names of poets, in Arabic and Latin script); the fourth section covers indices of places (an index of countries, cities, towns and regions in Arabic script, another one in Latin script, followed by an index of places located within the city of Aleppo); the fifth section is an index of rhyme in classical Arabic poetry; and finally the sixth section lists in detail the topics of the three volumes.
Author:
في كتاب حلب في كتابات المؤرّخين والباحثين والزوّار والأدباء يسعى حسن قجّـة إلى تسليط الضوء على التاريخ العريق لمدينة حلب من خلال الأوصاف والانطباعات والشهادات التي كتبها حولها مئات المؤرّخين والزوّار والأدباء من أنحاء العالم، عبر 15 قرناً. ويرصد الكتاب علاقة هذه النصوص بالأوجُه الحضارية المتعددة للمدينة، التي تُعرّف عراقتُها بالمفهوم الزمني التاريخي المديد والمتنوع، وبمفهوم الإرث الثقافيّ الواسع بأشكاله الماديّة وغير الماديّة، وبمفهوم الطابع التعدّدي المنفتح الذي رافق المدينة عبر معظم مراحلها التاريخية. ويهدف الكتاب إلى استقصاء القيمة الفعليّة والرمزيّة لمدينة حلب في نظر تلك الكتابات، من النواحي الموضوعية بصورةٍ رئيسة، ومن النواحي العاطفية في بعض الأحيان.
ويُستهلّ الكتاب بتقديم لمحةٍ عن تاريخ مدينة حلب، معزّزةٍ بملحقٍ للصور، كما يوْرِد عناوين مئات المؤلفات التي كُتبت عن حلب، أكثرها تتمحور حولها بالتحديد، وبعضُها يتحدث عنها في سياقاتٍ متّصلة.

Aleppo in the Writings of Historians, Scholars, Visitors and Literati sheds light on the ancient history of Aleppo, through descriptions, impressions and testimonies written by hundreds of historians, visitors, and writers, from across the globe, and over a time span of fifteen centuries.
In this book, Hasan Kujjah discusses the relationship of these texts with the various civilizational aspects of the city, whose authenticity is characterized by its long existence, broad cultural heritage (in both tangible and intangible forms), and the open, pluralistic character, that distinguished the city through most of its historical stages.
The book begins by providing an overview of the history of Aleppo, is supplemented by an appendix of photos, and lists the titles of hundreds of books written about the city.
Author:

Abstract

This article investigates European collecting of Malay manuscripts during the colonial era to address two inter-related questions: was this collecting instrumental in destroying the Malay manuscript tradition, and are colonial collections accurate representations of Malay manuscript culture? It makes the case that while European intervention was certainly destructive, in fact the majority of Malay-language literary texts survive only in colonial-era collections. It also considers whether colonial collections, precisely because they are high in Malay literary texts and low in Arabic religious texts (known as kitab), are unrepresentative of Malay manuscript culture in the nineteenth century and earlier. Taking Marsden’s seminal collection of Malay manuscripts as its case study, the article provides a fuller account of how this collection was assembled, and traces the individuals known to have acquired manuscripts for Marsden. Newly documented manuscript collections that remain in situ in Indonesia and in Malaysian institutions are discussed as a counterpoint.

Open Access
In: Philological Encounters
Free access
In: Arabica
In: Arabica
Author:

Abstract

The Kitāb al-Kašf and the Kitāb al-Šaǧara, two 4th/10th century Ismaili works, share a dualistic vision of the world, marked by a continuous struggle between good and evil, light and darkness. Evil is identified with the exoteric religion deprived of its esoteric dimension. It is caused by a satanic pair, typified by Abū Bakr and ʿUmar b. al-Ḫaṭṭāb, the archetypes of the antagonists (aḍdād) opposing the Prophets and their Imams, from Adam to the advent of the Resurrector (al-Qāʾim). Through a personalized reading of selected verses from the Qurʾān, the authors of both works interpret the rejection of ʿAlī’s legacy by the first two caliphs as the paradigm of all opposition against the Imām’s esoteric knowledge leading to salvation. When ʿUmar represents the principle of evil in se, Abū Bakr stands for the weakness of the largest part of mankind, eager to be induced into error. By introducing into this doctrine the Aristotelian distinction between potentiality and actuality, the Kitāb al-Šaǧara develops an encompassing theory about the dynamics of evil.

In: Arabica

Abstract

This study introduces and analyzes proximal and distal singular demonstratives in fourteen varieties of Musandam Arabic, a little-documented dialect group located on Musandam Peninsula in northern Oman and neighbouring areas of the United Arab Emirates. Following an overview of the dialect group in its regional context, the study provides a description of singular demonstratives from the point of view of phono-logy, morphology, and geographical distribution. The study then focuses on two salient features found in several of the varieties under investigation: gender distinction based on consonantal alternation (d-based masculine forms vs t-based feminine forms); and gemination of the feminine t-element. While the former is attested, albeit rarely, in other Arabic dialects, the latter is unheard of. In the last section of the article, some hypotheses are put forward as to how these forms could have developed from a historical point of view, in light of data from different Arabic and Semitic varieties. While the gemination of the t-element is best regarded as a Musandam-internal innovation, the d : t consonantal alternation reinforces the putative historical link between south-western Arabia and Oman.

Open Access
In: Arabica