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While the word ʿAjamī traditionally refers to texts in many languages written with the modified Arabic script, the meaning has been expanded in the concept of ʿAjamization used in this volume. ʿAjamization is construed in this article, as it is operationalized in the volume, to refer to the various tangible and subtle enrichments of Islam, its culture, and its written and artistic traditions in Africa. In this sense, it is not only the modification (enrichment) of the Arabic script that defines ʿAjamization, but also other features such as the content and the aesthetics of the texts. This paper focuses on the cultural dimension of ʿAjamization in two collections of Ethiopian Islamic texts written in Arabic. These texts encompass magic-related materials, including theurgic texts and invocations to jinn. I will examine these texts to ascertain whether they reflect a local cosmology, even if they are not written in ʿAjamī but in Arabic.

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In: Islamic Africa


The Andalusī ʿulamāʾ enjoyed a great power. At times, they constituted a threat for the rulers who, on the other hand, needed their support. Judges were a fundamental piece in this tug of war; they were ʿulamāʾ, but they were appointed by the ruler and, in consequence, they were closer to the political power. In this contribution I aim to examine the way in which the consecutive Andalusī rulers employed different types of professional mobility (vertical/social, horizontal, i.e. movements between legal/religious and administrative posts- and spatial mobility) as a political strategy to keep the ʿulamāʾ controlled. Were specific policies applied particularly successful? Professional mobility was a crucial aspect in the political and intellectual life of all the medieval Islamic societies but, oblivious to the Eastern madrasa system, al-Andalus followed its own conservative institutional development. The study of the particular process of scholarly professionalization in al-Andalus will help us improving our knowledge on the social dynamics in the premodern Islamic West. A recently created digital resource, the PUA database (see details below), has been essential for the completion of this study, since it allowed the performance of diverse searches that have shed light on specific aspects, such as the inclusion of commoners in the judicature or the increase of spatial mobility in concrete periods among other issues.

In: Professional Mobility in Islamic Societies (700-1750)
Following the traces first left by The Arabic Literature of Africa volume 3A published in 2003, this widely enlarged and precisely updated edition of that pioneering work aims at providing a full-fledged and meticulously detailed reference book on the literature produced and circulated by the Muslim communities of the Horn of Africa. This entirely revised version of ALA3A makes use of the absolutely fresh data discovered and collected by the editors from 2013 to 2018 the framework of the ERC-funded project Islam in the Horn of Africa: A Comparative Literary Approach and draws a new comprehensive picture of the textual production of the Islamic scholars of the Horn of Africa since its first attestations until the present time.

Sara Fani, Alessandro Gori, Adday Hernández, John M. Larsen, Irmeli Perho and Michele Petrone.