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Ignatii Iulianovich Krachkovskii (1883–1951) was a prominent Russian and Soviet Orientalist (with Belarusian roots) and renowned Qurʾān translator, who played a pivotal role in shaping the Soviet school of Arabic studies. His career unfolded in the Russian Empire, and he was connected with the European Orientalist networks, actively engaging with their scholarly works. Contrary to the archetype of the “armchair” scholar, Krachkovskii was also well-connected with the Arab world. Even though he lived through tumultuous eras, from the First World War and the Russian Revolution to the Second World War and the Stalinist regime, Krachkovskii’s scholarly vigour left a lasting mark on the study of Arab poetry, modern Arabic literature, and Arab geography. Additionally, Krachkovskii was one of the contributors to Brill’s Encyclopaedia of Islam, further solidifying his place in the annals of European academic history.
in Encyclopaedia of the Qur'ān Online
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Abstract

This article focuses on the concept of karāmāt al-awliyāʾ in the contemporary Sufi manual Sea Without Shore by Nuh Ha Mim Keller (b. 1954), an American convert and a major representative of the neo-traditionalist camp. Through situating Sea Without Shore within the context of early Sufi manuals, this article analyses the specificities of Keller’s interpretation of karāmāt al-awliyāʾ. I argue that his approach represents an ethical turn, as his discussion aims to lessen anxiety about the metaphysical aspects of miracles and instead direct attention towards the ethical standards that make the awliyāʾ extraordinary. By emphasizing the ethical over the metaphysical, Keller’s handling of the subject of karāmāt al-awliyāʾ does not challenge modern “rational” sensitivities, but instead re-frames the idea of miracles for the modern age. In the wider context, this article contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the ways that neo-traditionalists are interpreting and adapting Muslim traditions to modernity.

In: Journal of Sufi Studies