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Edited by Robert McChesney and Mohammad Mehdi Khorrami

This book comprises English translations of Nizhādnāmah-i Afghān (Afghan Genealogy) and Tazakkur al-Inqilāb (Memoir of the Revolution), the culminating works of Fayż Muḥammad Kātib Hazārah’s monumental history of Afghanistan, Sirāj al-tawārīkh (The History of Afghanistan). Nizhādnāmah-i Afghān, a detailed guide to all the ethnic and religious communities in Afghanistan in the first third of the 20th century, is the first locally-produced ethnography by a modern Afghan scholar. The Tazakkur al-Inqilāb is Fayz Muhammad’s journalistic record of seven of the nine months of Amīr Ḥabīb Allāh Kalakānī’s reign in 1929. Together with the History of Afghanistan these works offer an incomparable resource for the history of Afghanistan from the mid-18th to the mid-20th centuries.
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Edited by Anthony Axon and Susan Hewitt

The first of a new series, the Contemporary Archive of the Islamic World, this title draws on the resources of World of Information, a British publisher that since 1975 has published analyses of the politics and economics of all the Middle East countries.

For decades Syria lay at the heart of Middle Eastern affairs. Under Assad rulers, and sharing a border with Israel, Syria’s fortunes have been complex. Strategic alliances were formed and fell apart. Domestic rebellions were quelled, often violently. Since 2011, Syria has been in the world’s headlines every day, riven by a civil war that has risked bringing the world’s major powers into open conflict.

The CAIW provides an essential background to a complex international problem.
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Edited by Gregor Schwarb, Heather Bleaney and Pablo García Suárez

A bibliography of books, articles and reviews on Islam and the Muslim world which were published in the year 2017 with additions from 2001-2016. This annual volume is published as part of the 2018 subscription. It supersedes the advance issues published in 2018, as well as containing much data not previously published in Index Islamicus.

Index Islamicus is the most important international classified bibliography of publications in European languages on all aspects of Islam and the Muslim world from 1906 onwards until present day. Material cited in the Index Islamicus includes not only work written about the Middle East, but also about the other main Muslim areas of Asia and Africa, plus Muslim minorities elsewhere. The Index Islamicus is edited by Gregor Schwarb, Heather Bleaney, Pablo García Suarez and others.
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Edited by Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas and Everett Rowson

The Third Edition of Brill’s Encyclopaedia of Islam appears in substantial segments each year, both online and in print. The new scope includes comprehensive coverage of Islam in the twentieth century and of Muslim minorities all over the world.
This Part 2018-6 of the Third Edition of Brill’s Encyclopaedia of Islam will contain 63 new articles, reflecting the great diversity of current scholarship in the fields of Islamic Studies.
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Unusual Readers in Early Modern Istanbul

Manuscript Notes of Janissaries and Other Riff-Raff on Popular Heroic Narratives

Elif Sezer Aydınlı

Abstract

New social groups such as janissaries, artisans, madrasa students, and ‘middle-class’ bureaucrats have gradually increased their visibility in the social, cultural, and literary landscape of early modern Ottoman Istanbul. Scholars have discussed this new visibility, among others, by observing official regulations, contemporary Ottoman chronicles and travel accounts, artistic and architectural transformation, diversification of literary genres, and the socio-economic background of their writers. In this article, I offer another modest and intimate first-hand source for elucidating the habitus of these new urban agents: visual and written notes on the manuscripts of popular storybooks dating from the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Thanks to these notes on hundreds of manuscripts, we learn about political standings, literary tastes, codes of identity formation, the ways of self-depiction, social networks, and emotions of Ottoman individuals. By focusing in particular on the notes and doodles of Janissaries on popular heroic narratives, I argue that the gesture of taking notes and drawing symbols on a manuscript is a way of taking a stance against the political, religious, and literary authorities.

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Torsten Wollina

Abstract

Muḥammad Ibn Ṭūlūn is today fairly well known as a historian of Damascus. Yet, his numerous writings cover many more areas of contemporaneous knowledge production and some of those might have been more impactful for his reputation as a scholar. One area that has so far not received much attention is the scrutiny Ibn Ṭūlūn put into the organisation of knowledge within his library, his corpus, and even individual manuscripts. This article attempts one step at closing this lacuna by addressing the contents statements with which Ibn Ṭūlūn prefaced all his autograph manuscripts. It also proposes a methodology for utilising them as sources for manuscript history. Based on four primary case studies, the chapter uses a triad of extraction, recompilation, and reconstruction of manuscripts to assess the current state of multiple-text manuscripts vis-a-vis their original compilations. All four manuscripts ended up in the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin by the 1930s. The chapter makes use of a wide array of sources within and without these manuscripts to elucidate their historical trajectories from Ibn Ṭūlūn’s endowed library until their acquisition by Chester Beatty. Specific attention will be paid to their peregrinations in the 19th and early-20th centuries. In particular, early 20th-century photographic reproductions of those manuscripts can shed light on the most recent recompilations and reconstructions of these manuscripts. No survey on the emergence of contents statements in the Arabic manuscript tradition has yet been made. A focus on one author’s autograph corpus thus seems a more promising approach which generates verifiable results. Thus, it appears that Ibn Ṭūlūn’s contents statements were already standardised and would even be expanded by at least one (near-)contemporary.

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Scattered Manuscripts

Some Notes on Muḥammad Pārsā’s (d. 822/1420) Library

Akram Khabibullaev

Abstract

This article examines notes left by readers, endowers, owners, or borrowers of manuscripts on their fly-leaves, title pages, colophons, etc. The notes under review were found on pages of different manuscripts belonging to the medieval library associated with the name of shaykh Khwājah Muḥammad Pārsā (d. 822/1420). The findings add to our knowledge of the intellectual history of medieval Bukhārā. They also shed some light on the history of Muḥammad Pārsā’s library and its physical location.

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Jawdath Jabbour

Abstract

Muḥammad al-Hindī’s Ǧumal al-falsafa is a philosophical summa from the 12th century CE. The text is preserved in two manuscripts: an autograph (Esad Efendi 1918) and a copy thereof. Various notes and annotations pervade MS Esad Efendi 1918’s fly-leaves and title-page. An examination of these, to date, understudied elements provides us with the only information that links this author to Yemen. It also reveals the steps taken on its journey, from 12th-century Yemen to Mamluk Egypt and Syria, and eventually Safavid Iran and Ottoman Istanbul.

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Boris Liebrenz

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Daniel Varisco

Varisco’s Culture Still Matters: Notes from the Field is on the relationship between ethnographic fieldwork and the culture concept in the ongoing debate over the future of anthropology, drawing on the history of both concepts. Despite being the major social science that offers a methodology and tools to understand diverse cultures worldwide, scholars within and outside anthropology have attacked this field for all manner of sins, including fostering colonialism and essentializing others. This book revitalizes constructive debate of this vibrant field’s history, methods and contributions, drawing on the author’s ethnographic experience in Yemen. It covers complicated theoretical concepts about culture and their critiques in readable prose, accessible to students and interested social scientists in other fields.

With forewords from Bryan S. Turner and Anouar Majid.