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A Semantic Study of the Roots n-z-l and w-ḥ-y
Author: Simon P. Loynes
In Revelation in the Qur’an Simon P. Loynes presents a semantic study of the Arabic roots n-z-l and w-ḥ-y in order to shed light on the modalities of revelation in the Qur’an. Through an exhaustive analysis of their occurrences in the Qur’an as well as pre-Islamic poetry, Loynes argues that the two roots represent distinct occurrences, with the former concerned with spatial events and the latter with communicative. This has significant consequences for understanding the Qur’an’s unique concept of revelation and how this is both in concord and at variance with earlier revelations.
Volume I: Graeco-Syriaca and Arabica / Volume II: Islamic Philosophy / Volume III: From God´s Wisdom to Science: A. Islamic Theology and Sufism, B. History of Science / Volume IV: Islam, Europe and Beyond: A. Islam and the Middle Ages. B. Manuscripts, a B
Author: Hans Daiber
From the Greeks to the Arabs and Beyond written by Hans Daiber, is a six volume collection of Daiber’s scattered writings, journal articles, essays and encyclopaedia entries on Greek-Syriac-Arabic translations, Islamic theology and Sufism, the history of science, Islam in Europe, manuscripts and the history of oriental studies. The collection contains published (since 1967) and unpublished works in English, German, Arabic, Persian and Turkish, including editions of Arabic and Syriac texts. The publication mirrors the intercultural character of Islamic thought and sheds new light on many aspects ranging from the Greek pre-Socratics to the Malaysian philosopher Naquib al-Attas. A main concern is the interpretation of texts in print or in manuscripts, culminating in two catalogues (Vol. V and VI), which contain descriptions of newly discovered, mainly Arabic, manuscripts in all fields.
Vol. I: Graeco-Syriaca and Arabica.
Vol. II: Islamic Philosophy.
Vol. III: From God’s Wisdom to Science: A. Islamic Theology and Sufism; B. History of Science.
Vol. IV: Islam, Europe and Beyond: A. Islam and Middle Ages; B. Manuscripts – a Basis of Knowledge and Science; C. History of the Discipline; D. Obituaries; E. Indexes.
Vol. V: Unknown Arabic Manuscripts from Eight Centuries – Including one Hebrew and Two Ethiopian Manuscripts: Daiber Collection III.
Vol. VI: Arabic, Syriac, Persian and Latin Manuscripts on Philosophy, Theology, Science and Literature. Films and Offprints: Daiber Collection IV.
Learning, Religion and Rulership at the Mamluk Court of Qāniṣawh al-Ghawrī (r. 1501–1516)
Christian Mauder’s In the Sultan’s Salon builds on his award-winning research and constitutes the first detailed study of the Egyptian court culture of the Mamluk Sultanate (1250–1517), one of the most important polities in Islamic history. Based mainly on understudied Arabic manuscript sources describing the learned salons convened by the penultimate Mamluk Sultan al-Ghawrī, In the Sultan’s Salon presents the first theoretical conceptualization of the term “court” which can be fruitfully applied to premodern Islamic societies, thereby facilitating comparative and interdisciplinary research. It uses this conceptualization to demonstrate that al-Ghawrī’s court functioned as a transregionally interconnected center of dynamic intellectual exchange, theological debate, and performance of rule that triggered novel developments in Islamic scholarly, religious and political culture.
Islamicate Occult Sciences in Theory and Practice brings together the latest research on Islamic occult sciences from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, namely intellectual history, manuscript studies and material culture. Its aim is not only to showcase the range of pioneering work that is currently being done in these areas, but also to provide a model for closer interaction amongst the disciplines constituting this burgeoning field of study. Furthermore, the book provides the rare opportunity to bridge the gap on an institutional level by bringing the academic and curatorial spheres into dialogue.

Contributors include: Charles Burnett, Jean-Charles Coulon, Maryam Ekhtiar, Noah Gardiner, Christiane Gruber, Bink Hallum, Francesca Leoni, Matthew Melvin-Koushki, Michael Noble, Rachel Parikh, Liana Saif, Maria Subtelny, Farouk Yahya, and Travis Zadeh.
Editor / Translator: Oliver Kahl
The Arabic treatise edited and translated here was written in the middle of the 9th century CE by ʿAlī ibn Sahl Rabban aṭ-Ṭabarī, a Christian convert to Islam and one of the most remarkable thinkers of his time. The text can be described as a manual towards the preservation of health, addressed directly to the ʿAbbāsid caliph al-Mutawakkil and his household. It represents not only the oldest extant specimen of its kind, but is also distinguished by its largely non-technical language, as well as by a narrative style that creates an unusual interface with classical Arabic prose literature. The Greek and Indian sources upon which aṭ-Ṭabarī relied testify to the synthetic and inclusive character of early Islamic medicine.
الأخلاق الإسلامية ونسق الائتمانية: مقاربات في فلسفة طه عبد الرحمن
Volume Editors: Mohammed Hashas and Mutaz al-Khatib
Islamic Ethics and the Trusteeship Paradigm explores the emerging ethical theory of the trusteeship paradigm as developed by the Moroccan philosopher Taha Abderrahmane (b. 1944). The volume, with contributions in English and Arabic, examines the development of this modern Islamic theory of ethics and how it permeates various disciplines: philosophy, theology, legal theory, Sufism, moral theory, sociology and anthropology, communication, environment and biomedical ethics. The trusteeship paradigm aims to make ethics the compass of human thinking and action in order to overcome the predicaments humanity faces and realize a more just and balanced world. This makes of it one of the principal and profound ethical theories in Islamic scholarship that engages both classical and modern thought.

Contributors: Mutaz al-Khatib, Mostafa Amakdouf, Mohamed Amine Brahimi, Assia Chekireb, Abdelmounim Choqairi, Issam Eido, Hicham El Makki, Amin El-Yousfi, Adil Et-Tahiri, Ramon Harvey, Mohammed Hashas, Eva Kepplinger, Mohamed Ourya, Harald Viersen.

يدرس كتاب الأخلاق الإسلامية ونسق الائتمانية الفلسفة الأخلاقية للفيلسوف المغربي طه عبد الرحمن (و. 1944م)، والتي بدأ الاشتغال عليها منذ أواخر سبعينيات القرن الماضي. يضم الكتاب مساهمات باللغتين العربية والإنجليزية تعالج تطور النظرية وتطبيقاتها وحدودها في المجالات الآتية: الفلسفة وتاريخ الأفكار، وفلسفة الدين وعلم اللاهوت، والتشريع والفقه، والتصوف، والأخلاق، والسوسيولوجيا والأنثروبولوجيا، وعلم التواصل والبيئة، والأخلاق الطبية. يحاول نسق الائتمانية جعل الأخلاق روح الفعل والقول الإنساني بدلاً من الاكتفاء بالعقل المجرد الذي يُفقد الوجود الإنساني جوهره الأخلاقي. وبهذا يُعتبر نسق الائتمانية واحدا من أهم المدارس الفكرية التي تساهم في فتح أفق فكري إنساني أرحب انطلاقًا من الأخلاقية الإسلامية وروحها العقلانية النقدية.

المساهمون: مصطفى أمقدوف، محمد أوريا، محمد أمين البراهمي، محمد حصحاص، معتز الخطيب، عبد المنعم الشقيري، آسيا شكيرب، عادل الطاهري، عصام عيدو، هارالد فيرسن، إيفا كابلينغر، هشام المكي، رامون هارفي، أمين اليوسفي.
The Indigenous ‘Injīliyyūn’ in the Arab-Muslim Context of Syria-Lebanon
After-Mission touches on on three questions.The first question is about self-perception and identity-formation strategies, and the various views that we have on the Protestants’ relation to their Arab Muslim Middle Eastern context. This will furnish the basis for the ensuing parts, as it will provide the study with coherent and analytical readings of the cultural situation and intellectual views of the Arab Eastern Protestants in their Sitz im Leben from the perspective of the hermeneutic tripod of ‘identity–othering–relationality’.

The second question, about the theological dimension, asks what kind of a theological discourse do the Protestants need to develop, and how do they need to re-form their own theological heritage, in such a manner that will allow them to heal the historical enmity and suspicion towards them from the Eastern Orthodox Christian community in the region? How should they re-think their traditional view on theological subjects common to them and the Eastern Christian tradition? Traditional Protestant attitudes towards Eastern Christianity, which have been viewed through the lens of evangelicalism and mission, have failed to grant the Protestants an influential and truly indigenous presence in the region and have led to them being constantly accused of being a foreign transplant and alien entity. In the light of this, it is clear that going beyond missiology and traditional evangelicalism demands re-thinking certain mutually shared but contentious theological subjects from a new perspective with the focus on more constructive attempts to build fellowship through dialogue.

Finally, the third question touches on the Protestants’ future in the Arab Muslim Middle East by viewing this inquiry from a broader perspective that is related to all the Middle Eastern Christian communities’ presence and role in the Muslim-majority context. It will discuss questions about the kind of presence and role that Christians, Protestants included, should hope to play in order to guarantee survival and a continuing presence in the region. The question of identity formation, and the managing of difference without trapping it in the mud of ‘otherizing and self-otherizing’, will also be tackled, so that the theological dimension is integrated with the broader, multifaceted contextual one.
Editor / Translator: Oliver Kahl
In: ʿAlī ibn Sahl Rabban aṭ-Ṭabarī’s Health Regimen or “Book of the Pearl”
In: ʿAlī ibn Sahl Rabban aṭ-Ṭabarī’s Health Regimen or “Book of the Pearl”

Abstract

Shops selling devotional goods surround Islamic shrines and mosques, catering to pilgrims and visitors who wish to purchase religious wares and souvenirs. Commodities offered for sale often include prayer garb and rugs, rosaries, and other objects enabling the fulfilment of religious rites. In contemporary Turkey, “hajj-goods” stores located close to Islamic devotional sites, most especially the tomb complex of Eyüp in Istanbul, also offer their customers a range of Islamic amulets and talismans in the form of stickers, magnets, posters, pendants, and garments. Most important are “blessing cards” (bereket kartelası), depictions of the Prophet Muḥammad’s relics, and evil-averting “eye beads” (nazar boncuğu), the latter increasingly Islamized by the inscription of Qurʾanic verses and the names of God and Muḥammad. Taken together, these contemporary Islamic amulets highlight the fertile intersections between Islamic devotional life, folk beliefs and occult practices, homeopathic and religious medicine, and the forces of mass production and consumer capitalism in today’s “New Turkey” (Yeni Türkiye).

In: Islamicate Occult Sciences in Theory and Practice
Author: Farouk Yahya

Abstract

Since the ninth/fifteenth century, images of lions in the form of calligrams—texts shaped into images—have been found throughout the Islamicate world. They are usually associated with the prophet Muḥammad’s cousin and son-in-law ʿAlī and thus commonly referred to as the “Lion of ʿAlī.” In Southeast Asia in particular, such calligrams seem to have functioned as talismanic objects in various media such as manuscripts, woodwork, and textiles. As the lion is not a species native to the region, this calligram is often referred to as the “Tiger of ʿAlī,” after the dominant predator of the region. So far, two Southeast Asian types of this calligram have been identified. One is composed of the shahāda and is associated with the sultanate of Cirebon in Java; the other, more widespread, is composed of a verse from the Qurʾan (61:13). This article investigates and compares these two traditions and discusses the significance of this calligram in the larger Southeast Asian context.

In: Islamicate Occult Sciences in Theory and Practice
In: Islamicate Occult Sciences in Theory and Practice
Author: Maria Subtelny

Abstract

This article examines a short Persian work on the occult sciences of illusionism and conjuring (sīmiyā, rīmiyā) by the renowned late Timurid-era polymath Ḥusayn Vāʿiẓ Kāshifī (d. 910/1504–1505), titled Asrār-i qāsimī, which came to serve as the core of a greatly expanded interpolation, composed during the high Safavid period, that covered the remaining occult sciences of talismanic lettrism (līmiyā), astral magic (hīmiyā), and alchemy (kīmiyā). Although Kāshifī himself was not a Shiʿi, he was adopted by Safavid Shiʿi culture on account of his imamophilism, Sufism, and esotericism that transcended confessional boundaries. His Asrār-i qāsimī was by his own account inspired by the early ninth/fifteenth-century Sufi master, Persian poet, and occultist Qāsim-i Anvār. The bulk of the interpolation is devoted to the talismanic arts and is supposedly based on a work called Ḥall al-mushkilāt. The anonymous interpolator, whose identity has long been a mystery (as scholars assumed incorrectly that Kāshifī was the author of the interpolation, which retained the title Asrār-i qāsimī), appears to have been Jalāl al-Dīn Munajjim (d. 1028/1619), the court astrologer of the Safavid shah ʿAbbās I (r. 995–1038/1587–1629). He describes in detail the talismans fashioned for various purposes, often for well-known political figures, by such eminent Shiʿi religious scholars and Sufis as Shaykh Bahāʾ al-Dīn Muḥammad ʿĀmilī (d. 1030/1621), who allegedly based many of his operations on those of the legendary Indian master known as Ṭumṭum-i Hindī. Kāshifī’s Asrār-i qāsimī offers a fascinating glimpse into the arcane and secretive arts of illusionism and conjuring, while the Safavid interpolation of his work provides a rarely documented perspective on the exercise of political power in Iran and demonstrates the great esteem in which the occult sciences were held at the highest levels of Safavid society.

In: Islamicate Occult Sciences in Theory and Practice