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Al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī (d. 110H/728CE) and the Formation of His Legacy in Classical Islamic Scholarship
Author: Suleiman Mourad
This volume examines the process through which a historical character named al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī was transformed into a myth by several groups in medieval Islam. Al-Ḥasan lived in the city of Basra, southern Iraq, and was famed for his piety, which attracted to him a large number of disciples who went on to play important roles in the formation of several religious trends. The literary corpus (sayings, stories and letters) ascribed to him has been used as a window into early Islamic religious and intellectual thought. But as this study shows, this corpus was largely forged in different periods, in some cases even a thousand years after al-Ḥasan's death. It tells us more about the beliefs of those who forged the sayings, stories and letters rather than about al-Ḥasan's thought and time.
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.
Author: Joep Lameer
Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsī’s (d. 672/1274) Nasirean Ethics is the single most important work on philosophical ethics in the history of Islam. Translated from the original Persian into Arabic in 713/1313, the present text was primarily intended for the Arabic-speaking majority of the people in Iraq. A fine example of medieval Persian-to-Arabic translation technique, this first edition carefully reproduces Middle Arabic elements that can be found throughout the text.
A New Study of their History, Faith and Society (Second Edition)
Author: Abu-Izzeddin
When this book was first published in 1984, it was the first extensive study of the Druzes to appear for many years. A small community native only in Lebanon, Syria and Palestine, the Druzes have exercised an influence around them greater than their numerical strength. Living for the most part in mountainous territories they have maintained an independent existence for a thousand years.
This book places the beliefs of the Druzes in the context of the history of Shī‘ism in its Ismā‘īlī form, from which their faith developed. It also describes the role of the Druze community in the history of Lebanon and Syria. In the preparation of this book, the author, a Druze herself, has made use not only of the readily available Arabic and European sources but also of documents and manuscripts that are less easily accessible.
The Nusayrīs - also known as ʿAlawīs -have been in power in Syria for the past three decades. Little is known of their origins or their long history, while their religious creeds and thought are somewhat better known. The main reason for our fragmentary knowledge of the Nusayrī religion is that, since its beginnings, it has always been the secret faith of a self-conscious elite that zealously guarded its sectarian literature.
The Nusayrī-ʿAlawī faith is a clear example of a syncretistic religion. It combines and fuses elements of cults and creeds of very disparate, and remote, origins. Among these are various pagan beliefs (residues of ancient Mesopotamian and Syrian cults), as well as Persian, Christian, Gnostic, and Muslim - both Sunnī and Shīʿī - religious precepts and practices. All these components have been brought together in a syncretistic religious system that has assumed a heterodox Shīʿī garb.
The present volume presents a mosaic of fundamental aspects of Nusayrī theology and liturgy. It demonstrates the complexity of Nusayrī theology and the diversity of religious thought within the Nusayrī fold.
Author: Fauzan Saleh
Aiming to trace the development of Islamic theological discourse in Indonesia from the early 1900s to the end of the 20th century, the author focusses on how modernist Muslims have constructed their theological thought throughout the century, which, in turn, reflects their religious understanding in response to the particular demands of their age. The theological thought constructed so far signifies a continuum of progress, developing from one stage to the next. Implicitly, this progress also indicates the improvement of Indonesian Muslims’ understanding of their own religion, which may suggest the betterment of their commitment to doctrinal beliefs and religious practices. Therefore, this study will also examine the ways in which Indonesian Islam noticeably grows more orthodox through these forms of religious commitment. Drawing upon an Indonesian term, the growth of orthodox Islam is known as the santri cultural expansion, which has been characterized by the vertical and horizontal mobility of devout Muslims in political, cultural and economic enterprises. A discussion of the theological thought underlying that santri cultural expansion is also included.
For many Muslims, the textual sources of Islam provide the guiding principles on which they base their beliefs. These texts have also been studied by Western scholars of Islam for centuries. Most of their work has focussed on the historicity of the texts, often at the expense of the study of Muslims' highly diverse interpretation and application of these sources in everyday life. This volume provides new insights into the transmission of these sources (primarily the Qurʾān and the Ḥadīth) and combines this with the dynamics of these scriptures by paying close attention to how believers in the Muslim world as well as the West interpret and apply them. As such, this volume provides a fascinating overview of how the sources of Islam are dated, debated and negotiated.

Contributors include: Nicolet Boekhoff-van der Voort, Gregor Schoeler, Maribel Fierro, Fred Leemhuis, Claude Gilliot, Andreas Görke, Jens Scheiner, Michael Lecker, Maher Jarrar, Gerard Wiegers, Uri Rubin, Kees Versteegh, Joas Wagemakers, Herbert Berg, Abdulkader Tayob, Roel Meijer, Martijn de Koning, Carmen Becker and Ulrike Mitter.
This book presents the work and ideas of the Syrian writer Muhammad Shahrur to the English-speaking world. Shahrur is at the moment the most innovative intellectual thinker in the Arab Middle East. Often described as the ‘Martin Luther of Islam,’ he offers a liberal, progressive reading of Islam that aims to counter the influences of religious fundamentalism and radical politics. Shahrur’s innovative interpretation of the Qur’an offers groundbreaking new ideas, based on his conviction that centuries of historical Islam, including scholarship in the traditional Islamic religious sciences, have obscured or even obliterated the Qur’an’s progressive and revolutionary message. That message is one that has endured through each period of human history in which Islam has existed, encouraging Muslims to apply the most contemporary perspective available to interpret the Qur’an’s meaning.
Christianity, Judaism and Islam - the Children of Abraham - constitute the spiritual foundations of Western civilization. They affect the interactions of entire nations and individuals, though their history is often understood as one of conflict and controversy. The present volume documents past encounters and confrontations, though it also shows that the history of the three faiths is not merely one of conflict but also one of co-existence and dialogue. The rich shared theological traditions of the Abrahamic religions provide positive encouragement to present-day meetings between their followers. The book contains 16 contributions by scholars from various fields of religious studies. It should appeal to everyone interested in interreligious encounters.
Author: Omar Farahat

on his ethical, theological and political views. The chapter begins with an account of the tendency towards finality as a deciding feature of the modern project. This tendency either manifests in a belief in the immanent or inevitable end of time, or the drive to return to an ideal and glorious past

In: Journal of Islamic Ethics