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Various Authors & Editors

An expanding e-book collection of carefully selected research companions to various key aspects of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. Peer reviewed and written by experts, these handbooks offer balanced accounts at an advanced level, along with an overview of the state of scholarship and a synthesis of debate, pointing the way for future research. All volumes are in English.

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Daniel Varisco

Varisco’s Culture Still Matters: Notes from the Field is on the relationship between ethnographic fieldwork and the culture concept in the ongoing debate over the future of anthropology, drawing on the history of both concepts. Despite being the major social science that offers a methodology and tools to understand diverse cultures worldwide, scholars within and outside anthropology have attacked this field for all manner of sins, including fostering colonialism and essentializing others. This book revitalizes constructive debate of this vibrant field’s history, methods and contributions, drawing on the author’s ethnographic experience in Yemen. It covers complicated theoretical concepts about culture and their critiques in readable prose, accessible to students and interested social scientists in other fields.
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Africa Yearbook Volume 14

Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara in 2017

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The Africa Yearbook covers major domestic political developments, the foreign policy and socio-economic trends in sub-Sahara Africa – all related to developments in one calendar year. The Yearbook contains articles on all sub-Saharan states, each of the four sub-regions (West, Central, Eastern, Southern Africa) focusing on major cross-border developments and sub-regional organizations as well as one article on continental developments and one on African-European relations. While the articles have thorough academic quality, the Yearbook is mainly oriented to the requirements of a large range of target groups: students, politicians, diplomats, administrators, journalists, teachers, practitioners in the field of development aid as well as business people.
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The Third Edition of Brill’s Encyclopaedia of Islam appears in substantial segments each year, both online and in print. The new scope includes comprehensive coverage of Islam in the twentieth century and of Muslim minorities all over the world.
This Part 2018-5 of the Third Edition of Brill’s Encyclopaedia of Islam will contain 49 new articles, reflecting the great diversity of current scholarship in the fields of Islamic Studies.
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Rethinking Islamic Legal Modernism

The Teaching of Yusuf al-Qaradawi

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Ron Shaham

In Rethinking Islamic Legal Modernism Ron Shaham challenges the common opinion that Islamic legal modernism, as represented by Rashid Rida (d. 1935), is of poor intellectual quality and should not be considered an authentic development within Islamic law. The book focuses on the celebrated Sunni jurist, Yusuf al-Qaradawi (b. 1926), whom Shaham perceives as a close follower of Rida.

By studying the coherence of Qaradawi's Wasati theory of ijtihad and the consistency of its application in his legal opinions (fatwas), Shaham argues that Qaradawi, by means of eclecticism and synthesis, conducts a bold dialogue with the Islamic juristic heritage and brings it to bear on modern developments, in particular the institutional framework of the nation-state.
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A Greek and Arabic Lexicon (GALex)

Materials for a Dictionary of the Mediaeval Translations from Greek into Arabic. Volume 1 (Alif) أ to ي Second, Revised Edition

From the eighth to the tenth century A.D., Greek scientific and philosophical works were translated wholesale into Arabic. This activity resulted in the incorporation and reorganization of the classical heritage in the new civilization which, using Arabic, spread with Islam.
A Greek and Arabic Lexicon is the first systematic attempt to present in an analytical and rationalized way our knowledge of the vocabulary of the translations. It is based on the glossaries included in text editions, both published and unpublished, and on other materials gleaned from various sources. The work is published in fascicules of 128 pages of lexical entries plus indexes of the Greek-Arabic correspondences, of Greek proper names and transliterated words, of variant Greek and Arabic passages, and of the Greek authors cited in the context passages. From the second fascicule onwards the indexes are cumulative.
A Greek and Arabic Lexicon is an indispensable reference tool for the study and understanding of Arabic scientific and philosophical language and literature. It facilitates the preparation of future editions of Arabic texts translated directly from the Greek, as well as of works originally composed in Arabic but based on the translations. It contributes to our knowledge of the vocabulary and syntax of Classical and Middle Arabic, of the thought and methods of the translators and of the nature of the translation activity into Arabic methods of the translators and of the nature of the translation activity into Arabic as a whole, and of the way a new vocabulary may develop in an existing language.
Moreover, the Greek-Arabic glossary in general and the index of variant Greek passages in particular will assist in future editions of the Greek text of the works translated into Arabic. These provide information, in a way that can be used by classical scholars who do not know Arabic, on the readings of the manuscripts which were used by the Arab translators and which antedate by more than two centuries the Greek manuscripts actually extant. The work further contributes to our knowledge of the vocabulary of Classical and Middle Greek and of the reception and reading of classical Greek works in late antiquity and pre-Photian Byzantine literature.
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Encyclopaedia Islamica Volume 6

Dāʿī Shīrāzī - Fāṭimids

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Asad Q. Ahmed

Abstract

This article argues that Ḥanafī uṣūlīs of the later phases of the postclassical period understood uṣūl to be universal propositions that were underdetermined with respect to their evidentiary bases. Though the purpose of such propositions was to confer actionable certainty to particular legal effects, the later tradition imagined the main charge of uṣūl al-fiqh on a meta-theoretic level, i.e., to determine how such propositions could themselves be suitably grounded. In casting the discourse within the framework of naturalized technical methods and distinctions from fields of logic and philosophy, the tradition generally granted the relational and systemic validity of each proposition in terms of the grounding it received from another underdetermined proposition. This second-order perspective of the tradition reveals that uṣūl were systemically and relationally valid, but individually underdetermined. Thus the application of the attribute of relational validity to them and to the effects for which they are serviceable is apt.

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Asad Q. Ahmed and Robert Gleave

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From Legal Theory to Erkenntnistheorie

Ibn Taymiyya on Tawātur as the Ultimate Guarantor of Human Cognition

Carl Sharif El-Tobgui

Abstract

This article presents and analyzes Ibn Taymiyya’s views on tawātur in uṣūl al-fiqh and as the basis of a generalized epistemological system. In legal theory, Ibn Taymiyya expands the umbrella of what is “functionally equivalent to the mutawātir,” extending epistemic certainty to a wide range of religious knowledge. More originally, he expands tawātur beyond the realm of transmitted knowledge altogether, making it the final guarantor of all human cognition. Tawātur in this theory reveals the nature of the uncorrupted human intellect, underwriting the integrity even of the basic axioms of reason and the native intuitions of the sound human fiṭra.