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The religious movement known as Bābism profoundly affected Iranian society during the 1840s. After a lengthy hiatus, academic study of the sect has entered a new phase with the appearance of several important books, articles, and theses.
The present work surveys Persian and Arabic manuscripts relating to the history and doctrines of the sect. Part one examines the writings of the Bāb and his followers. Part two analyses primary and secondary sources for Bābī history, with a discussion of the controversial Kitāb-i Nuqṭat al-kāf. Discussion of each title is followed by a comprehensive listing of known MS copies. An appendix contains an index of first lines and titles for works of the Bāb.
This is the first study to examine the large corpus of Bābī writing and will help scholars identify texts and find manuscripts in Europe and the Middle East.

The Making of the Avicennan Tradition

The Transmission, Contents, and Structure of Ibn Sīnā's al-Mubāḥaṭāt (The Discussions)


David Colum Reisman

Presenting a detailed analysis of the manuscripts, contents, structure and historical transmission of The Discussions, this volume is a collection of correspondence written by eleventh-century philosoher Avicenna, his students and colleagues.
The first chapter contains a study of the extant manuscripts complete with palaeographical and codicological details. The second chapter traces the transmission of the texts that now constitute The Discussions and offers convincing arguments for their posthumous collection. The third chapter presents biographical studies of Avicenna's students Bahmanyar and Ibn Zayla, and his colleague Abū l-Qāsim al-Kirmānī, in order to develop the historical and intellectual contexts of these philosophical discussions. The fourth chapter develops theories for the dating and original sequence of the individual letters on the basis of textual evidence.

Islamic Sainthood in the Fullness of Time

Ibn al-‘Arabī's Book of the Fabulous Gryphon


Gerald Elmore

This volume presents the seminal treatise of the important Spanish Muslim mystic, Ibn al-‘Arabī, on Islamic sainthood The Book of the Fabulous Gryphon. In highly allusive, symbolic language, the Shaykh al-Akbar reveals his manifesto of the revolutionary significance of sainthood in the person of its timely epitome, the Seal of the saints.
The first part of the book consists of a critical introduction dealing with the biographical, historical and bibliographical background to the Fabulous Gryphon, along with a thorough examination of its concepts, themes and structure. The complete, annotated translation of the Gryphon is followed by further original translations of related texts by Ibn al-‘Arabī.
Apart from the Fusūs al-ḥikam, no comparable treatise by this leading figure of Islamic spirituality has ever been presented in its entirety in any western language.

Averroes and the Aristotelian Tradition

Sources, Constitution and Reception of the Philosophy of Ibn Rushd (1126-1198). Proceedings of the Fourth Symposium Averroicum (Cologne, 1996)


编者 Jan Aertsen and Gerhard Endress

Averroes the philosopher was the Commentator of Aristotle. In this, the project of his life coincided with the perception of his contemporary readers and with the esteem governing four centuries of European Aristotelianism. It has been the purpose of the 4th Symposium Averroicum to contribute to a better understanding of this philosophy: both on the basis of Averroes' works and in the light of his sources. The Symposium, held in conjunction with the 6th Editors Conference of the Averrois Opera, brought together eminent scholars and researchers on Averroes and adjacent areas. Their contributions are presented in four sections:
- The Project of Averroes
- Averroes and the Hellenistic Commentators
- Averroes, the Commentator
- Averroes and the Latin Tradition
A bibliography of editions and contributions to the text is appended (to date 1998).


Amos Bertolacci

This volume deals with the reception of Aristotle’s Metaphysics in the masterpiece on metaphysics by Avicenna (Ibn Sīnā, d. 1037 C.E.), one of the major exponents of Arabic philosophy: the Ilāhiyyāt (Science of Divine Things) of the Kitāb al-Šifā’ ( Book of the Cure), known in the Latin Middle Ages as Liber de Philosophia Prima sive Scientia Divina.
The first part of the book (on the Arabic translations of the Metaphysics, al-Kindī and al-Fārābī) introduces the discussion of Avicenna’s reshaping of the epistemological profile of the Metaphysics in Part II (his account of the subject-matter, structure, method and role of metaphysics in the system of sciences) and the recasting of its contents in Part III.
The present volume provides the first systematic comparison of the Ilāhiyyāt with the Metaphysics and a comprehensive account of this latter’s transmission in pre-Avicennian Greek and Arabic philosophy.



This book examines a widespread, and often misunderstood, doctrine within the medieval Aristotelian tradition, namely the inclusion of Aristotle's Rhetoric and Poetics within the scope of the Organon. It studies this doctrine, as presented by the Islamic philosophers Al- Fārābī, Avicenna, and Averroes, from a purely philosophical perspective, and argues that the logical construal of the arts of rhetoric and poetics is both interesting and illuminating.
The book begins by examining some prevalent misconceptions regarding the logical interpretation of the Rhetoric and Poetics. Chapter two considers the Greek background of the doctrine, first through an examination of the Aristotelian divisions of the sciences, and then through an examination of the beginnings of the logical classification of the Rhetoric and Poetics among the Greek commentators from the school of Alexandria. The remainder of the work is devoted to a detailed consideration of the Arabic philosophers' development of the doctrine, both their understanding of its general epistemological and logical underpinnings, and their elaboration of the specific logical structures upon which poetical and rhetorical discourse is based. Consideration is also given to the relationship between contemporary philosophical views of rhetoric and poetics, and the views of these medieval authors.


Meir M. Bar-Asher

Since the publication in 1921 of Ignaz Goldziher's Die Richtungen der islamischen Koransauslegung, which includes a discussion of Imāmī exegesis, no comprehensive work on this topic has appeared. In the intervening years, important Imāmī commentaries on the Qur’ān have become available, making possible a reappraisal of the subject. The present study aims to contribute to this task, primarily by examining the features and methods of Imāmī exegesis. Principally, it offers a description and analysis of the major tenets of Imāmī doctrine, as reflected in the earliest Imāmī works of exegesis and related sources, up to the Major Occultation of the twelfth Imam in 329/941. These include, among others, the belief in a primordial covenant between God and the Shī‘a, and the superhuman and mystical qualities with which the Imams were graced, such as their God-given, infinite knowledge, their intercession on behalf of their community, their immunity from sin and error, etc. Other tenets relate to the attitude of Imāmī Shī‘ism to its enemies, e.g. the duty to denigrate and dissociate from them. These and similar ideas are constant motifs in Imāmī exegesis, and are linked time and again with various Qur’ānic verses.
Relying on classical and modern Arabic sources, Sunnī and Shī‘ī alike, as well as on a wide range of western research, Meir Bar-Asher sheds new light on the Imāmī methods of exegesis and on the principal Imāmī doctrines as reflected in the early Imāmī exegetical corpus.

Mathematical Instrumentation in Fourteenth-Century Egypt and Syria

The Illustrated Treatise of Najm al-Dīn al-Miṣrī


François Charette

This volume contains the critical edition with English translation of a richly-illustrated Arabic treatise on the construction of over one hundred various astronomical instruments, many of which are otherwise unknown to specialists. It was composed by Najm al-Dīn al-Misrī, a rather shadowy figure, in Cairo ca. 1330. The edition is accompanied by a detailed technical and historical commentary, which is framed as a self-standing essay on Islamic mathematical instrumentation. While this essay/commentary is mainly based on Najm al-Dīn's treatise, it also benefits from the consultation of a large number of previously unstudied manuscripts, and includes a discussion of all relevant sources from the period 800–1500.

The Conclusive Argument from God

Shāh Walī Allāh of Delhi's ḥujjat Allāh al-Bāligha



The Conclusive Argument of God is the master work of Shāh Walī Allāh of Delhi (1762), considered to be the most important Muslim thinker of pre-modern South Asia. This work, originally written in Arabic, represents a synthesis of the Islamic intellectual disciplines authoritative in the 18th century.
In order to argue for the rational, ethical, and spiritual basis for the implementation of the hadith injunctions of the Prophet Muhammad, Shāh Walī Allāh develops a cohesive schema of the metaphysical, psychological, and social knowledge of his time.
This work provides an extensive and detailed picture of Muslim theology and interpretive strategies on the eve of the modern period and is still evoked by numerous contemporary Islamic movements.