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Ḥasan Kāfī al-Āqḥiṣārī

Edited by ʿAlī Akbar Ḍīyāʿī

Ḥasan Kāfī al-Āqḥiṣārī (951-1025/1544-1616) was born in Āqhiṣār, present-day Prusac in Bosnia, then part of the Ottoman empire. After his elementary training he went to Istanbul, studying under a number of established scholars there, focussing on law. After completing his studies he went back to Āqḥiṣār where he founded his own school in 983/1575. Eight years later he was appointed judge of Aqḥiṣār, and five years after that he transferred to the district of Srem to assume a judgeship there, writing and teaching on the side. At the outbreak of the rebellion of Moldavia and Wallachia against the Ottomans in 1004/1495 he quit his post as judge of Srem to return to Āqḥiṣār. It is there that he compiled the present collection of aphorisms, anecdotes and traditions on good governance, being the right balance between the four different ‘interest groups’ in any given society: military, administration, peasants, and traders/artisans.

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Sayyid Muḥammad Mahdī al-Ḥusaynī al-Ṭabāṭabāʾī

Edited by Sabine Schmidtke and Riḍā Pūrjavādī

In the history of Islam, Muslim-Jewish polemics have been documented from the earliest times and studies on this subject abound. The present work is a case in point. In the spring of the year 1211/1796, the famous Shīʿī scholar Sayyid Muḥammad Mahdī al-Ḥusaynī al-Ṭabāṭabāʾī (d. 1212/1797) was on his way from Mashhad to visit the holy shrine of Imam Ḥusayn in Karbala, accompanied by a flock of his senior students. When they reached the town of al-Kifl, less than 20 km north of Najaf and home to a community of over 3.000 Jews, a delegation of the latter came to see Ṭabāṭabāʾī in the caravanserai where was staying, wishing to engage in a debate with him. The text presented here is an account of Ṭabāṭabāʾī’s detailed listing of the contradictions and errors in Judaism as seen by him, a listing that remained largely unanswered. Arabic text, with a Persian translation from before 1238/1822-3.

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Najm al-Dīn al-Nasafī

Edited by Yūsuf al-Hādī

In the Arabic literary tradition, biographies form a class of their own and have always been widely used. Whether about a single person or about some group, their shared objective was to provide an authoritative account of someone’s lineage, social or literary career, academic or religious background or affiliation, or connection to some historic event. As examples one could mention Ibn Hishām’s (d. 218/834) Sīrat Muḥammad rasūli ʼllāh, Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa’s (d. 668/1270) Kitāb ʿuyūn al-anbāʾ fī ṭabaqāt al-aṭibbāʾ, or Nūr al-Dīn al-Ṭūkhī’s (d. ca 900/1494) Quḍāt Miṣr. The author of the present work, Najm al-Dīn al-Nasafī (d. 537/1142-43), was a long-time resident of Samarqand and widely known and respected as jurist. He wrote more than 30 works, in Persian and in Arabic. The present volume contains an inventory of ḥadīth scholars bearing some connection to Samarqand. Its importance lies mainly in the many names of people, places, and books which are otherwise entirely unknown.

Kitāb al-waḥshiyyāt

Nuskha bar gardān bih qaṭʿ-i aṣl-i nuskha-yi khaṭṭi-yi kitābkhāna-yi shakhṣi-yi Dr. Waḥīd Dhulfiqārī kitābat 550 H

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Abū Tammām

Edited by Muḥammad Riḍā Abūʿī Mihrīzī, Vaḥīd Ḍūlfaqārī, Aḥmad Mahdavī Dāmghānī and Muḥammad ʿAlī Āḏarshab

The Arab poet and anthologist Abū Tammām (d. 231/845) was born in Jāsim in Syria, between Damascus and Darʿā. After a first period as a weavers’ assistant in Damascus and as a water-seller in Cairo, studying poetry on the side, he had his breakthough as a poet after his return to Syria in the time of al-Muʿtaṣim billāh (r. 218-27/833-42). Considered as the greatest panegyrist of his time, he sang the praises of the caliph and many other public figures of his age. Besides Egypt, Abū Tammām also travelled to other regions, his most celebrated sojourn being in Hamadan where he compiled his famous poetic anthology the Kitāb al-ḥamāsa. The present work is a similar compilation by him, though smaller and much less known. Edited previously on the basis of one manuscript from Istanbul, the present facsimile edition is of a second manuscript, this time from Yazd. Some folios missing but good readings, interesting marginalia.

Kitāb al-Masālik wa l-mamālik by Abū Isḥāq al-Iṣṭakhrī

Viae regnorum: descriptio ditionis Moslemicae / auctore Abu Ishák al-Fárisí al-Istakhrí. M.J. De Goeje's Classic Edition (1870)

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Edited by M.J. de Goeje

Little is known about the life of Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm b. Muḥammad al-Iṣṭakhrī, the author of Kitāb al-Masālik wa l-mamālik, which was written towards the end of the first half of the 10th century CE. The work built on the earlier concept of the “atlas of Islam”, which it developed further. The climates ( iqlīm) it describes are no longer those of Ptolemean geography, but, reflecting the Iranian tradition, refer to geographical entities or “countries”. Also reflecting the author’s background—whose most common nisba is al-Fārisī—Iran holds a favoured position on this work. Published in 1870, the present edition by M.J. de Goeje was the first volume in the first series of the Bibliotheca Geographorum Arabicorum.

A Lexicon of al-Farrā’'s Terminology in his Qur’ān Commentary

With Full Definitions, English Summaries, and Extensive Citations

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Kinberg

Al-Farrā’'s philological commentary, Ma‘ānī l-Qur’ān, dating from the beginning of the 9th century, is a rich source for Qur’ān readings, Qur’ān codices, Qur’ān commentary, Arabic lexicography and grammar. This commentary is unique, being the only extant extensive work by a grammarian of the Kūfan school.
The Lexicon contains about 3,000 terms and compound terms of grammar, lexicography, commentary, hadith and other Islamic sciences. Each term is presented with an English definition, often followed by an English summary. After the English section, extensive quotations from the original text are adduced in Arabic. Thus, the reader is given easy access to the contexts in which the term occurs.

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Qāḍī Saʿīd Qumī

Edited by Najaf-Qulī Ḥabībī

In the history of Islamic literature, the ‘Forty Traditions’ genre goes back as far as the 3th/9th century at least and exists in all of Islam’s major and minor languages. It finds its origin in the tradition saying that whoever commits forty traditions to memory will be reckoned among the jurists on Resurrection Day. Collections vary, from a simple listing of the basic teachings of Islam to more dedicated works around some specific theme, in either case with or without a commentary. Qāḍī Saʿīd Qumī (d. after 1107/1696) is a Shīʿite philosopher, jurist, physician and mystic of the Safavid period. Having been trained by some of the foremost scholars of his time, he spent most of his active life in Qum, where he divided his time between his judgeship and teaching. The literary, mystical and philosophical explanations in the present, unfinished collection are all written from the viewpoint of the author’s own, ‘transcendent’ metaphysics.

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Jalāl al-Dīn Dawānī

Edited by Sayyid Aḥmad al-Tūysirkānī

The history of Islamic philosophy was shaped by many great thinkers over a long period of time. As is well known, the Persianate world played an important role in this, almost from the very beginning. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the city of Shiraz saw the rise of a number of thinkers who together came to represent the ‘School of Shiraz’ in philosophy. A major figure in this school was Jalāl al-Dīn Dawānī (d. 908/1502-03). A specialist in theology and philosophy, Dawānī’s fame reached much beyond the confines of Shiraz, from the Ottoman empire all the way to the Indian subcontinent. Dawānī’s religious proclivities have been subject of debate, the question being if he ever really was a Sunnī. It is therefore not without significance that the present volume should contain two works by him on Sunnī philosophical theology as well as three other texts of unmistakeably Shīʿī signature.

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Qāḍī Saʿīd Qumī

Edited by Najaf-Qulī Ḥabībī

In the history of Islamic literature, there is a genre called arbaʿūna ḥadīthan, in which 40 Prophetic traditions are jointly published, mostly with some kind of commentary. The genre finds its origin in the tradition saying that whoever commits forty traditions to memory will be reckoned among the jurists on Resurrection Day. Qāḍī Saʿīd Qumī (d. after 1107/1696) is a Shīʿite philosopher, jurist, physician and mystic of the Safavid period. Having been trained by some of the foremost scholars of his time, he spent most of his active life in Qum, where he divided his time between his judgeship and teaching. In imitation of the forty-traditions genre, Qāḍī Saʿīd wanted to publish a collection of fourty essays, mostly on philosophy and mysticism, as the fruit of his many years of study. In fact, he got no further than ten. Still, this does not detract from their quality, as may be judged from the present edition.

Dīwān Abū Bakr al-Khwārazmī

Maʿa dirāsa li-ʿaṣrihi wa-ḥayātihi wa-shiʿrihi

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Abū Bakr Khwārazmī

Edited by Ḥāmid Ṣadqī

Born and raised in Khwārazm, Abū Bakr Khwārazmī (d. 383/993) grew up to become an authority on the Arabic language, despite his foreign origin. He spent his adult life away from his homeland, at the courts of the powerful of his time. We thus find him in Aleppo enjoying the generosity of Sayf al-Dawla, in Bukhara living off the largesse of the vizier al-Balʿamī, or in Nishapur, earning his keep by singing the praises of Amīr Aḥmad al-Mīkālī. Abū Bakr’s life was not without conflict, which may partly explain his wanderings. He is mostly admired as a gifted writer of letters, which he composed in rhymed, ornate prose. It is said that he died soon after he lost a contest with upcoming talent Badīʿ al-Zamān al-Hamadhānī. His poetry was less well received and thusfar never published. Whether this was deservedly the case, we can now decide for ourselves by consulting the divan’s present, first edition.