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Edited by Ebru Boyar and Kate Fleet

Using a wealth of primary sources and covering the entire Ottoman period, Ottoman Women in Public Space challenges the traditional view that sees Ottoman women as a largely silent element of society, restricted to the home and not seen beyond the walls of the house or the public bath. Instead, taking women in a variety of roles, as economic and political actors, prostitutes, flirts and slaves, the book argues that women were active participants in the public space, visible, present and an essential element in the everyday, public life of the empire. Ottoman Women in Public Space thus offers a vibrant and dynamic understanding of Ottoman history.

Contributors are: Edith Gülçin Ambros, Ebru Boyar, Palmira Brummett, Kate Fleet and Svetla Ianeva.

Dynamism in the Urban Society of Damascus

The Ṣāliḥiyya Quarter from the Twelfth to the Twentieth Centuries

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Toru Miura

This book presents a new perspective on Islamic urban society: a dynamism of social networking and justice which caused both rapid development and sudden decay in the Ṣāliḥiyya quarter. Founded in the northern suburbs of Damascus by Hanbali ulama who migrated from Palestine to Syria in the mid-12th century, the quarter developed into a city through waqf endowments. It has attracted the attention of historians and travelers for its unique location, popular movements and religious features. Through the study of local chronicles, topographies and archival sources and through modern field research, Toru Miura explores the history of the Ṣāliḥiyya quarter from its foundation to the early 20th century, comparing it to European, Chinese and Japanese cities.

Identity, Nationalism, and Cultural Heritage under Siege

Five Narratives of Pomak Heritage — From Forced Renaming to Weddings

Series:

Fatme Myuhtar-May

In Identity, Nationalism, and Cultural Heritage under Siege, Fatme Myuhtar-May makes a case for the recognition of Pomak heritage by presenting five stories from the past and present of the Rhodope Muslims in Bulgaria as examples of a distinct Pomak culture. The stories range from the Christianisation during the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 and the forced communist renaming of the Pomaks in the 1970s, to their fascinating wedding rituals and historic figures. Each of the five narratives contains its own storyline and serves as a prominent example of Pomak heritage, from the author’s perspective. The stories take place in the context of fervent nationalism and the ongoing censorship of Pomakness based on the claim that it is an “ethnic Bulgarian,” not “Pomak” heritage.

The History of Afghanistan Online

Fayż Muḥammad Kātib Hazārah's Sirāj al-tawārīkh

The Sirāj al-tawārīkh is the essential text for any scholar wishing to understand Afghanistan’s history. It forms the core text of historical writings from within Afghanistan for the period, 1747-1919. Mystery surrounded the work for decades to how many volumes existed. After the discovery of suppressed parts of the third and missing fourth volumes, Brill can now offer this extended resource, as it was originally envisaged by its author, in an accessible English language translation.

The Sirāj al-tawārīkh is the most important history of Afghanistan ever written. For many decades, Afghanistan’s history had been recounted through records of the experiences and policies of the British in India. And yet the country has a rich historiographic tradition of its own; the work we present here is the pinnacle of Afghanistan’s own writings.

The Sirāj al-tawārīkh was commissioned as an official national history by the Afghan prince, and later amir, Habib Allah Khan (reign 1901-1919). Its author, Fayz Muhammad Khan, better known as “Katib” (The Writer), was a Shiʿi Hazarah of the Muhammad Khwajah clan and scribe at the royal court. For more than twenty years he had full access to government archives and oral sources. His seminal work, the Sirāj al-tawārīkh, offers us an unparalleled picture of the country through his eyes.

The roots of much of the fabric of Afghanistan’s society today— tribe and state relations, the rule of law, gender issues, and the economy—are elegantly and minutely detailed in this preeminent text.

The work is of unparalleled significance to anyone studying the social, political, and economic history of Afghanistan as well as its relations with British India, Qajar Iran, Tsarist Central Asia, and the emirate of Bukhara. The extraordinary level of detail make it a fundamental resource for all scholarship on Afghanistan.

The History of Afghanistan Online is annotated, fully indexed, and includes introductions, twelve appendices, Persian-English and English-Persian glossaries, and a bibliography.

The History of Afghanistan is also available as a set of 11 volumes in print, covering all four volumes of this unique resource on Afghanistan.

Faith and the State

A History of Islamic Philanthropy in Indonesia

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Amelia Fauzia

Faith and the State offers a comprehensive historical development of Islamic philanthropy-- zakat (almsgiving), sedekah (donation) and waqf (religious endowment)-- from the time of the Islamic monarchs, through the period of Dutch colonialism and up to contemporary Indonesia. It shows a rivalry between faith and the state: between efforts to involve the state in managing philanthropic activities and efforts to keep them under control of Muslim civil society.
Philanthropy is an indication of the strength of civil society. When the state was weak, philanthropy developed powerfully and was used to challenge the state. When the state was strong, Muslim civil society tended to weaken but still found ways to use philanthropic practices in the public sphere to promote social change.