The manuscript of the
Aqwāl Qatāda has repeatedly attracted particular interest among modern scholars, as it raises questions concerning the early development of the
Ibāḍī Basran community and the emergence of Islamic jurisprudence in Iraq. It is a unique document because it attests to the existence of a scholarly link between
Ibāḍīs during the early development of Islamic law. The fact that the legal responsa and traditions of Qatāda b. Diʿāma al-Sadūsī (60/680-117/735) are part of an
Ibāḍī collection, in which the traditions of Ibāḍī Imam Jābir b. Zayd (d. 93/ 711) have been transmitted through ʿAmr b. Harim and ʿAmr b. Dīnār, proves that the
Ibāḍī lawyers of the first generations considered Qatāda to be a faithful upholder of Jābir's doctrine. Given the lack of material available for
Jābir, instructions must have been given to collect whatever was transmitted through Qatāda. Qatāda's legal responsa must have corresponded to those of the first
Ibāḍī authorities, which explains why the collator of the
Aqwāl Qatāda (probably Abū Ghānim al-Khurāsānī) included them in an
Ibāḍī manuscript. The present volume sheds light on the relationship between the
Aqwāl Qatāda and
Ibāḍī authorities such as al-Rabī, Abū Ubayda, and Jābir.
Why did premodern authors in the Arabic-Islamic culture compile literary anthologies, and why were these works remarkably popular? How can an anthology that consists of reproduced material be original and creative, and serve various literary and political ends? How did anthologists select their material, then record and arrange it?
This book examines the life and works of Abū Manṣūr al-Thaʿālibī (350–429/961–1039), an eminent anthologist from Nīshāpūr, paying special attention to his magnum opus,
Yatīmat al-dahr (
The Unique Pearl), and its sequel,
Tatimmat al-Yatīma (
The Completion of the Yatīma). This book is a direct window on to an anthologist’s workshop in the second half of the fourth/tenth century. It examines the methodological consciousness expressed in Thaʿālibī’s selection and arrangement, and his sophisticated system of internal references and cross-references to other works; how he selected from his contemporaries’ oeuvres; how he sought, recorded, memorized, misplaced, and sometimes lost or forgot his selections; how he scrutinized the authenticity of material, accepting, questioning, or rejecting its attribution; and the errors and inconsistencies that resulted from this process.