Studies in the history of medieval astronomy in the Iberian Peninsula and the Maghrib
Author: Julio Samsó
In On Both Sides of the Strait of Gibraltar Julio Samsó studies the history of medieval astronomy in al-Andalus (Muslim Spain), the Maghrib and the Christian kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula. He proves that the Arabic, Latin, Hebrew, Castilian and Catalan sources belong to the same tradition whose origin can be dated in the 11th century due to the changes in Ptolemy’s astronomical theory introduced by the Toledan astronomer Ibn al-Zarqālluh/Azarquiel.
The book also analyses the role of al-Andalus and the Iberian Peninsula in the transmission of Islamic astronomy to Europe and justifies the fact that Eastern Islamic works published after ca. 950 CE were not accessible to medieval European scholars because they had not reached al-Andalus.
Identity, Art and Transregional Connections
This interdisciplinary volume addresses the history, literature and material culture of peoples of Turkish origins in India over the eleventh to eighteenth centuries. Although many ruling dynasties and members of the elite in this period claimed Turkish descent, this aspect of their identity has seldom received much scholarly attention. The discussion is enriched by a focus on connections and comparisons with other parts of the broader Turko-Persian world, especially Anatolia. Although discussions of Turkish-Muslim rulers in India take account of their Central Asian origins and connections, links with Anatolia, stretching back to the medieval period, were also important in the formation of Turkish society and culture in India, and have been much less explored in the literature. The volume contains contributions by some of the leading scholars in the field.
Muqarnas 37 introduces new research on Islamic material culture ranging from Abbasid period mosaics to the early twentieth-century art market. Featured articles include Charles Melville’s introduction of a chronicle that sheds light on the architectural program of Shah ʿAbbas I, in particular his patronage of the dynastic shrine at Ardabil. From the Ottoman period, two essays discuss painted manuscripts: the first traces shifting representations of urban space in late sixteenth-century Istanbul, and the second focuses on sumptuous objects—namely, candy gardens and decorated palms—accompanying the extraordinary 1720 circumcision festival under Sultan Ahmed III. Another article seeks to unravel the mysterious origins of an unusually sophisticated painting of Mecca from the seventeenth or eighteenth century. Other topics covered are archaeological finds in Tunisia, and the legacy of Russian modernization efforts in the architecture of East Anatolia, especially the city of Kars. The Notes and Sources section examines the waqfiyya of the earliest surviving Halveti lodge in Amasya, as well as the function of various types of lamps in contemporary Pakistani Sufi shrines.
Author: Li Guo
This handbook aims mainly at an analytical documentation of all the known textual remnants and the preserved artifacts of Arabic shadow theatre, a long-lived, and still living, tradition — from the earliest sightings in the tenth century to the turn of the twentieth century. The book consists of three main parts and a cluster of appendixes. Part One presents a history of Arab shadow theatre through a survey of medieval and premodern accounts and modern scholarship on the subject. Part Two takes stock of primary sources (manuscripts), published studies, and the current knowledge of various aspects of Arabic shadow theatre: language, style, terminology, and performance. Part Three offers an inventory of all known Arabic shadow plays. The documentation is based on manuscripts (largely unpublished), printed texts (scripts, excerpts), academic studies (in Arabic and Western languages), journalist reportage, and shadow play artifacts from collections worldwide.
Portrait of an Eighth-Century Gentleman. Khālid ibn Ṣafwān in History and Literature by Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila is an in-depth study of the eighth-century Umayyad and early Abbasid orator and courtier Khālid ibn Ṣafwān and the development of his character in adab literature. The book collects and translates all his sayings and stories about him culled from a wide range of Arabic and Persian texts.

In the book, Hämeen-Anttila studies the mechanisms of change in early narratives, showing how Arabic anecdotes developed and were modified by a series of authors during both their oral and literary transmission, changing a historical person into a literary character. Detailed chapters discuss Khālid in his various roles and analyse the literary techniques of the stories.
Breaching the Bronze Wall deals with the idea that the word of honorable Muslims constituted proof and with the concept that written documents and the word of non-Muslims were inferior. Foreign merchants in cities like Istanbul, Damascus or Alexandria could barely prove any claim, as neither their contracts nor their words were of any value if countered by Muslims. Francisco Apellániz explores how both groups labored to overcome these ‘biases against non-Muslims’ in the courts and markets of Mamluk Egypt and Syria of the 14th and 15th centuries, and how the Ottoman conquest (1517) imposed a new, orthodox view on the problem. The book dives into the Middle Eastern archive and the Ottoman Dīvān, and scrutinizes the intricacies of sharia and the handling of these intracacies by consuls, dragomans, qaḍīs and other legal actors.
In Carrying on the Tradition Garrett Davidson employs a variety of largely unutilized print, as well as archival sources collected from the Near East, North Africa, India, Europe, and North America. He analyses these sources to excavate the fundamental reinvention of the conceptions and practices of hadith transmission that resulted from the establishment of the hadith canon. Further, the book examines how hadith scholars reimagined the transmission of hadith, not as a scholarly tool, as it had originally been, but instead as, among other things, an act of pious emulation of the forefathers. It demonstrates the emergence of new genres and subgenres of hadith literature, as a result of this shift, examining them as artefacts of the cultural, social, and intellectual history of Muslim religiosity from the tenth to twentieth centuries.
The Latin Church of Jerusalem in the Palestine War and Its Aftermath, 1946–56
The history of Palestine War does not only concern military history. It also involves social, humanitarian and religious history, as in the case of Jerusalem’s Roman Catholic diocese. Tribulationis Tempore offers a complex narrative on this church, commonly portrayed as monolithically aligned with anti-Zionist and anti-Muslim positions during the “long 1948”. Making use of largely unpublished archives in the Middle East, Europe and the United States, including the recently released Pius XII papers, Maria Chiara Rioli depicts a church engaged in multiple and sometimes contradictory pastoral initiatives amid battles, relief missions for Palestinian refugees, theological reflections on Jewish converts to Catholicism, political relations with the Israeli and Jordanian authorities and liturgical responses to this fluid and uncertain scenario.
Sufism through the Eyes of ʿImād al-Dīn Aḥmad al-Wāsiṭī (d. 711/1311)
Author: Arjan Post
The Journeys of a Taymiyyan Sufi examines the life and doctrine of ʿImād al-Dīn Aḥmad al-Wāsiṭī (d. 711/1311), a little-known Ḥanbalī Sufi master from the circle of Ibn Taymiyya (d. 728/1328). The first part of this book follows al-Wāsiṭī’s physical journey in search of spiritual guidance through a critical study of his autobiographical writings. This provides unique insights into several important manifestations of Sufism that he encountered as he travelled from Wāsiṭ to Baghdad, Alexandria, Cairo, and finally, Damascus. The second part focuses on his spiritual journey through a study of his Sufi writings, which convey a distinct type of Sufism that was specifically formulated within the boundaries of traditionalist theology as he understood it.