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In: Adab and Modernity

Zusammenfassung

The famous Baghdadi scholar and mufti of the early 13th/19th century, Shihab al-Din Mahmud al-Alusi (1802–1854), was the author of some very sophisticated maqāmas with a strong autobiographical flavor. The last of these was “The Cooing of the Dove in the Quarter of the Qamariyya School” (Saǧʿ al-qumriyya fī-rabʿ madrasat al-ʿqamariyya), arranged as a lengthy and novel-like Ego narrative with strong fictional elements. It was sometimes labelled as the first Arabic novel. The central topic is a Sufi experiment of love and seduction: a young Madrasa teacher is induced by an old Sufi shaykh to share his own love for his young and beautiful companion, as a major step on the way to the love of God. Deep sentimental experiences end in calamity, with the sudden arrest, release and ensuing death of the old shaykh, and that of his young aggrieved disciple. The old narrator, having renounced both worldly life and mystical love for youthful beauty, tells this story to his younger self. The maqāma shares a striking number of features with the European Romantic novel. This raises the question of the preconditions for such a way of storytelling outside Europe, without any seizable contact with contemporary European literary trends.

In: Islam in der Moderne, Moderne im Islam

Zusammenfassung

The famous Baghdadi scholar and mufti of the early 13th/19th century, Shihab al-Din Mahmud al-Alusi (1802–1854), was the author of some very sophisticated maqāmas with a strong autobiographical flavor. The last of these was “The Cooing of the Dove in the Quarter of the Qamariyya School” (Saǧʿ al-qumriyya fī-rabʿ madrasat al-ʿqamariyya), arranged as a lengthy and novel-like Ego narrative with strong fictional elements. It was sometimes labelled as the first Arabic novel. The central topic is a Sufi experiment of love and seduction: a young Madrasa teacher is induced by an old Sufi shaykh to share his own love for his young and beautiful companion, as a major step on the way to the love of God. Deep sentimental experiences end in calamity, with the sudden arrest, release and ensuing death of the old shaykh, and that of his young aggrieved disciple. The old narrator, having renounced both worldly life and mystical love for youthful beauty, tells this story to his younger self. The maqāma shares a striking number of features with the European Romantic novel. This raises the question of the preconditions for such a way of storytelling outside Europe, without any seizable contact with contemporary European literary trends.

In: Islam in der Moderne, Moderne im Islam
In: The Presence of the Prophet in Early Modern and Contemporary Islam

Abstract

Whereas the Euro-American “Age of Revolutions” (ca. 1775–1850) has been widely studied for the far-reaching transformations and global repercussions brought about in that period, another striking series of Islamic movements of rebellion, reform, and state-building occurred in widely distant parts of the Muslim world over the same period. These have found the increasing attention of both Islamologists and global historians since the mid-1990s. It can be observed that many of these movements shared a strong commitment to the Prophet and his sunna as a model of action and as a source of mobilisation and political legitimation.

This “Prophetic factor” will be highlighted for Islamic movements and state founda-tions between West Africa, Arabia, North Africa, the Caucasus and Central Asia, Iran, South Asia, and South East Asia. A comparison will then be attempted with the Eu-ro-American revolutions of the same period. Comparative perspectives will include experiences of social upheaval, enslavement and economic transformation, a gen-eral crisis of state authority, the rise of mobile groups of scholars and intellectuals, and the changing role of individuality and personal learning. Both religious and secular patterns of eschatological expectation and innovation will be discussed for their common elements and their differences. By this the author hopes to arrive at some viable comparative perspectives for capturing a period whose impact contin-ues to shape historical memory and political realities in the Afro-Asian as much as in the Euro-American world.

Open Access
In: The Presence of the Prophet in Early Modern and Contemporary Islam