Saturday, October 28, 2017

Rumi: Selected Poems

Saturday, October 21, 2017

New Editions: Mawārdi's Ethics of Worldly and Religious Affairs

The Ethics of Worldly and Religious Affairs (Adab al-dunyā wa al-dīn
by Abū al-Ḥasan ʿAlī b. Muḥammad al-Mawārdī / Alboacen (972-1058 CE) 
edited by Muḥammad Yāsir Muḥammad al-Ḥusayn
(Dār al-Nafāʾis)

Book Talk: Dan E. Stigall, The Santillana Codes: The Civil Codes of Tunisia, Morocco, and Mauritania (Library of Congress)


On Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 6:00 p.m., the Law Library of Congress, the Friends of the Law Library of Congress, the Embassy of Tunisia, and the Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Division will co-host an event celebrating the work of David Santillana, a Tunisian jurist and the intellectual father of the civil code of Tunisia – a legal work that influenced the civil codes of both Morocco and Mauritania.

The event will feature remarks by Ambassador Fayçal Gouia, the Ambassador of Tunisia to the United States; Jane Sánchez, Law Librarian of Congress; Mary Jane Deeb, Chief, African and Middle Eastern Division; Emily Rae, President, Friends of the Law Library of Congress; and Dan E. Stigall, author of a new book entitled The Santillana Codes: The Civil Codes of Tunisia, Morocco, and Mauritania. A display of rare law books will highlight the source materials used as inspiration for the Codes.

Please join us for an evening in celebration of Maghrebian and Sahelian legal culture.

Please request ADA accommodations at least five business days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or

This event was made possible through the generous support of Hise Explorations Partners, LLC, and the Friends of the Law Library of Congress.

Image credits: Dan E. Stigall (book cover)."

Thursday, October 12, 2017

ʿAbd al-Fattāh Qudaysh al-Yāfiʿī on Sectarianism

"No one group, sect, or school of thought speaks officially in the name of Islam or the sunna [to the exclusion of others]. No group, sect, or school of thought [can claim] all [their beliefs and practices] are correct and absolute truth [while] other [sects, schools, etc.] are in error and absolute falsehood."

"In every sect, there are extremists and there are moderates, between meagerness and excessiveness; so let us work toward increasing the moderates in every sect."

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Saudi Arabia Will Allow Women to Drive

The Self-Taught Philosopher: How a 900-year-old Arabic tale inspired the Enlightenment

"Our contemporary values and ideals are generally seen as the product of the Enlightenment. Individual rights, independent thinking, empiricism and rationalism are traced to the debates and discussions held by the great European thinkers of the 17th and 18th century: Locke, Rousseau, Voltaire, and Kant among others. But these thinkers owe a debt to a figure from 12th century Spain: a philosopher-physician named Ibn Tufayl who wrote a story called Hayy ibn Yaqzan -- which may be the most important story you've never heard." **This episode originally aired May 16, 2017.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Let There Be Page Numbers

"Print helped fuel the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, which in turn fueled major developments in the printing industry. As people were exhorted to read the Bible, new tools emerged to help them navigate its pages: page numbers, indexes, annotations--basically, all the features of the "apparatus of the book" that we take for granted today."

Rethinking Arabic Canons: Muhammad ʿAbduh as Glossator

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Critique of Religious Discourse - Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd

Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd; Translated by Jonathan Wright; Introduction by Carool Kersten

"An important work of contemporary Islamic thought argues against the programmatic use of Islamic religious texts to support fundamentalist beliefs"

"First published in Arabic in 1994, progressive Muslim scholar Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd’s controversial essay argued that conventional fundamentalist interpretations of the Quran and other Islamic religious texts are ahistorical and misleading. Conservative religious leaders accused him of apostasy. Marking the first time a work by Abu Zayd is available in its entirety in any Western language, this English edition makes his erudite interpretation of classical Islamic thought accessible to a wider audience at a critical historical moment. After his exile, Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd (1943–2010) became the Ibn Rushd Chair of Humanism and Islam at the University for Humanistics, Utrecht. Jonathan Wright is an award-winning translator. Carool Kersten is a scholar of Islam at King’s College London."

Supreme Court of India Judgment - Triple Talaq (Divorce)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Islamic Legal Studies: A Critical Historiography - Ayesha S. Chaudhry

Islamic Legal Studies: A Critical Historiography - Oxford Handbooks

"This article examines the politics of knowledge production in the field of Islamic Studies, including Islamic Legal Studies, in the context of the Qur’an and Islamic law. It thinks broadly and freshly about Islamic Studies, categorizing it anew, by considering the study of the Qur’an as it relates to three forms of Islamic Studies: White Supremacist Islamic Studies (WhiSIS), Patriarchal Islamic Legal Studies (PILS), and Intersectional Islamic Studies (IIS). The article examines the fundamental assumptions of WhiSIS and PILS, uncovering their operational logics, before discussing the theoretical framework that underlies IIS’ approach to Islamic Studies. It analyzes the critiques that WhiSIS and PILS level against IIS, and the challenges that IIS poses for both WhiSIS and PILS. It concludes by considering the role of IIS in the future of Islamic Studies."

Keywords: Islamic Studies, Islamic Legal Studies, Qur’an, Islamic law, White Supremacy Patriarchy, Intersectionality, Feminism, Muslims, Islam

Ayesha S. Chaudhry Ph.D.

Islamic Studies and Gender Studies, University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia

Monday, August 14, 2017

Ring of the Dove - Busaad Art Gallery (2012)

The Ring of the Dove
The Ring of the Dove is one of the most important books in the Arab literary heritage that talked about love and its meanings and attributes, and what lovers may experience, from abandonment and deprivation, to satisfaction and pleasure. And although Ibn Hazm was true to his commitment to the morals and noble values ; his poetry, however, had some direct indications perhaps due to his rebellious nature and the openness prevailing in that period of time. The title The Ring of the Dove signifies permanence and stability, the permanence and immortality of love. In addition to the aesthetic significance of the ring or collar, which has a distinguished beauty in itself, the dove also seen to be a messenger of love and passion.

Ibn Hazm
Is Ali bin Ahmed bin Saeed, was born in the year 384 AH/994 AD in Cordoba. He reached the rank of minister but finally rejected this path in favor of his passion for literature, science and languages. The boldness in his opinions and arguments brought indignation of many people and so some of his books were burned and ripped apart. He said: “to burn the book you are only burning paper because the book is in my heart”. Ibn Hazm died in 456 AH/1064 AD at the age of seventy.

The Technique
Due the high literary standing of The Ring of the Dove, a special harmony between text and the technique of painting was necessary. And so the formulation of the exhibition’s paintings was based on the legacy of the manuscripts in terms of a strict construction and configuration and flow of manuscripts, using natural materials in the preparation of the paper and colors of Islamic design and decoration. Representing the factor of time was paramount and thus the aged appearance of the paintings give a real sense of history. Calligraphy remained the master of the situation in this experiment, which took a lot of effort and time to reach a degree of convergence between the text and actual writing.

Tribute to the calligrapher Hashim Muhammad Al-Baghdadi
It is through his mentorship in the rules of Arabic calligraphy, that I have I got to know the secrets of calligraphy. A grand Salute to my teacher and mentor Hashem Baghdadi. And last but not least Love.. the permanent and sustainable; and longevity means humanity and morality. 

Ibrahim BuSaad (Artist) December 2011

Anthropomorphism in Islam: The Challenge of Traditionalism (700-1550) by Livnat Holtzman

Anthropomorphism in Islam

"Explores the problem of anthropomorphism: a major bone of contention in 8th to 14th-century Islamic theology"

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Women Judges in the Muslim World: A Comparative Study of Discourse and Practice

"Edited by Nadia Sonneveld, Radboud University, and Monika Lindbekk, University of Oslo

Women Judges in the Muslim World: A Comparative Study of Discourse and Practice fills a gap in academic scholarship by examining public debates and judicial practices surrounding the performance of women as judges in eight Muslim-majority countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Morocco). Gender, class, and ethnic biases are inscribed in laws, particularly in the domain of shariʿa-derived family law. Editors Nadia Sonneveld and Monika Lindbekk have carefully woven together the extensive fieldwork and expertise of each author. The result is a rich tapestry that brings out the various effects of women judges in the management of justice. In contrast to early scholarship, they convincingly prove that ‘the woman judge’ does not exist.

Contributors are: Monique C. Cardinal, Jessica Carlisle, Monika Lindbekk, Rubya Mehdi, Valentine M. Moghadam, Najibah Mohd Zin, Euis Nurlaelawati, Arskal Salim, Nadia Sonneveld, Ulrike Schultz and Maaike Voorhoeve."

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya on Divine Wisdom and the Problem of Evil Translated by: TALLAL M. ZENI

"Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya on Divine Wisdom and the Problem of Evil is a translation of selections from two of Ibn Qayyim’s books, Key to the Blissful Abode (Miftāḥ dār al-saʿāda) and Remedy for Those who Question on Matters Concerning Divine Decree, Predestination, Wisdom and Causality (Shifā’ al-ʿalīl fī masā’il al-qaḍā’ wa’l-qadar wa’l-ḥikma wa’l-taʿlīl). As with all his other writings, Ibn al-Qayyim’s foremost goal is to establish the wisdom of God, the primacy of the Qur’ān and Sunna, and the congruity between reason and revelation. In the present selections, Ibn al-Qayyim focuses on the application of the wisdom of God to the existence of evil. Ibn al-Qayyim first discusses twenty-six wise purposes behind God creating humanity and settling them on Earth. His perspective is that whatever exists in this world is either purely or preponderantly good, or indirectly leads to a greater good. Ibn Qayyim then explores how the presence of evil allows the manifestation of many of God’s Beautiful Names, glorious attributes and compassionate actions; while, for humanity, the existence of evil provides the righteous with opportunities to strive against it, for Paradise can only be reached by ‘traversing a bridge of hardships and tribulations’. The discussion of the existence of evil is followed by thirty wise purposes and secrets in God allowing people to sin. Prominent among them are that God loves repentance and loves to manifest His Attributes of forgiveness and mercy. Here, Ibn al-Qayyim also debates at length whether the punishment of Hellfire will be eternal or whether it will come to an end. He favours the latter position in accordance with the Qur’ānic verse 107 of the Chapter Hud and because of God’s mercy. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya was born in 1292 near Damascus where he obtained a classical Islamic education and specialised in jurisprudence. In 1312, he met the Hanbalite reformer Ibn Taymiyya and remained his disciple until the latter’s death in 1327. Ibn al-Qayyim died in 1350 in Damascus." 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Shi'i Doctrine, Mu'tazili Theology: al-Sharif al-Murtada and Imami Discourse by Hussein Ali Abdulsater

Shi'i Doctrine, Mu'tazili Theology: Examines the critical turn that shaped Imami Shi'ism in the 10th and 11th centuries

"God is not free to act; He is bound by human ethics. To be just, He must create an individual of perfect intellect and infallible morality. People are obligated to submit to this person; otherwise eternal damnation awaits them. While these claims may be interpreted as an affront to God’s power, an insult to human judgment and a justification for despotism, Shiʿi Muslims in the eleventh century eagerly adopted them in their attempts to forge a ‘rational’ religious discourse. They utilized everything from literary studies and political theory to natural philosophy and metaphysical speculation in support of this project. This book presents the contribution of al-Sharīf al-Murtaḍā (d. 1044) of Baghdad, the thinker most responsible for this irreversible change, which remains central to Imami identity. It analyzes his intellectual project and establishes the dynamic context which prompted him to pour the old wine of Shiʿi doctrine into the new wineskin of systematic Muʿtazili theology."

Key Features

  • Comprehensive coverage of al-Murtaḍā’s enormous oeuvre (running to several thousand pages) and diversity (spanning virtually all contemporary fields of knowledge)
  • A meticulous engagement with long and dense theoretical texts that are either in manuscript form or poorly edited
  • An orderly presentation that equips readers with an overall understanding of Shiʿi theology in its main phases while preserving the profundity of analysis
  • The study of a little-known author whose views, nonetheless, are still a major influence for Shiʿi Muslims

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Mahmud Sami al-Barudi: Reconfiguring Society and the Self by Terri DeYoung

"To explore the life of Mahmud Sami al-Barudi is to gain a nuanced perspective on the many facets—the perils and promises—of change in the rapidly modernizing Egypt of the nineteenth century. Al-Barudi, sole scion of a Turko-Circassian elite family that clung precariously to a legacy of position and power, turned his military education into a government career that ended with his elevation to the office of prime minister. He served briefly before the British invasion in 1882 put an end to Egypt’s independence for seventy years. 

As prime minister, al-Barudi focused on drafting and passing into law Egypt’s first constitution, an achievement that was summarily swept aside by the British occupation. Similarly, the prime minister’s efforts to modernize and improve the educational system were systematically undermined by the policies of colonial rule in the 1880s and 1890s. Although his reforms ultimately failed, al-Barudi was recognized among his contemporaries as the most consistent supporter of liberalism and eventually democratic representation and constitutionalism. For his boldness, he paid a price. He was exiled by the British to Ceylon for seventeen years and returned to Egypt in 1901 as a blind, prematurely aged, and broken man. 

Even before he made an impact as a political leader, al-Barudi had made a name for himself as the most original and adventurous poet of his generation. DeYoung charts the development of al-Barudi’s poetry through his youth, his career in government, his philosophical and elegiac reflections while in exile, and his return to Egypt at the beginning of a new century. Connecting the themes found in his more influential poems—among the more than 400 lyrics he composed—to the turbulent events of his political life and to his equally fierce desire to innovate artistically throughout his literary career, DeYoung offers a vivid portrait of one of the most influential pioneers of Arabic poetry."

The Anatomy of an Egyptian Intellectual: Yahya Haqqi by Miriam Cooke

"Several Egyptian writers are known to the English-speaking world: Tuha Husain, Taufiq al-Hakim, Najib Mahfuz, and Yusuf Idris enjoy a popularity that extends beyond Cairo or Beirut to the international book markets of London, New York, and Los Angeles. Yet the present study marks the first time that the contemporary writer, Yahya Haqqi, whose literary reputation among his countrymen is second to none, has been analyzed in a full-length monograph available to English readers who are not specialists in contemporary Arabic literature, yet are eager to learn more about it.

Haqqi’s oeuvre is eclectic, encompassing short stories, essays, literary criticism, and a novel. All facets of his literary output are systematically studied, with careful attention to the biographical aspects of his varied career which illumine the shape of particular writings as well as the overall tone of his production. What emerges is the Weltanschauung of an Egyptian intellectual struggling to come to terms with a society in transition. Haqqi’s hopes, anxieties, and prescriptions coalesce in an exquisite prose which sets him apart from his contemporaries. Beyond exploring the thematic issues raised by Haqqi, both directly and implicitly, the present study analyzes the quality of craftsmanship that is at once the most elusive and most satisfactory dimension of Haqqi’s work. The intellectual and the adlib, the Egyptian patriot and the sensitive universalist merge and reinforce one another in the fascinating complexity of this major yet comparatively unknown Arab writer."

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Women-Led Prayer in Islam

Ahmed Elewa and Laury Silvers, "‘I Am One of the People’: A Survey and Analysis of Legal Arguments on Woman-Led Prayer in Islam," Journal of Law and Religion 26, no. 1 (January 01, 2010): 141-71.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Manuscript Collections and Scholar-Editors of the Twentieth Century (Salah al-Din al-Munajjid)

Salah al-Din al-Munajjed (1920-2010)

Some edited works:

The History of Damascus (Volume I) by Ibn ʿAsākir

Promoting Virtue and Forbidding Vice by Ibn Taymiyyah

The Literature of Foreigners by Abū al-Farāj al-Asbahānī

The Qur'an Schools In Damascus by al-Nuʿaymī

Letters and Poems by al-Jāhiẓ

The Fatwas of Imām Muḥammad Rashīd Riḍā

In Addition To:

(c) Jibreel Delgado. From the personal library of Muhammad Hamidullah

Some original works:

Proverbs About Arabian Women

The Arab Canons of Women's Beauty

Sexual Life of the Arabs

The Rules of Editing Manuscripts

The Rules of Cataloguing Manuscripts

The Bolshevization of Islam

The Socialist Delusion

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Manuscript Collections and Scholar-Editors of the Twentieth Century Ihsan Abbas

IHSAN ABBAS (1920-2003)

Some Works Edited by Abbas:

The Biographical Dictionary of Ibn Khallikān (1211/608-1282/681) - 8 volumes (1968-72)

Supplement to Ibn Khallikan by al-Kutubī - 4 volumes (1973-74)

The Biographical Dictionary of Yāqūt (1179-1229) - 7 volumes (1993)

The Cultural Encyclopedia of Ibn Ḥamdūn (c. 12th century) - 10 volumes (1996)

The Letters of Al-Maʿārrī (973-1057) - 1 volume (1982)

Essay Fragments of Umayyad Secretary ʿAbd al-Ḥamīd b. Yaḥyā (d. 750) - 1 volume (1988)

The History of Andalusian Poetry by Ibn al-Khāṭīb (1313-1374) - 1 volume (1963)

The History of Andalusian Poetry by Ibn al-Kattānī (951/342-1029/420) - 1 volume (1966)

The History of Andalusian Poetry by Ibn al-Abbār (1199-1260) - 1 volume (1986)

Encyclopedia of Andalusian-North African Culture by al-Maqqarī (1578/986-1632/1041) - 8 volumes (1968)

"The Merits of the Iberians" by Ibn Bassam al-Shantarīnī (1058-1147) - 8 volumes (1975-79)

Extracts from the Muʿjam al-Safar of al-Silafi (d. 1180) - 1 volume (1979)

The Essays of Ibn Hazm (994/384-1064/456) - 4 volumes (1959-60, 1980, 1990-93)

In Addition To:

Al-Baladhuri (d. 297/892), Ansab al-Ashraf (Genealogies of the Nobles). Wiesbaden: 1979.

Ibn Hazm, al-Ihkam fi usul al-ahkam (Introduction; On Principles of Legal Theory). Beirut: Dar al-Afaq al-Jadida, 1980.

Ibn Hazm, Al-Taqrib li Hadd al-Mantiq bi al-Alfaz al-ʿAmmiyya (On Logic). Beirut: 1959.

Ibn Hazm, Ṭawq al-Ḥamāmah (On Love). Cairo: Dar al-huda lil-thaqafah wal-nashr, 2002.

Abd al-Hayy b. Abd al-Kabir al-Kattani (1884/1302-1962/1382), Fihris al-faharis wa'l-athbat wa-muʿjam al-maʿajim wa'l-mashyakhat wa'l-musalsalat. Beirut: 1986.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

(UNESCO) The Different Aspects of Islamic Culture

A unique contribution to a better knowledge of Islamic civilization

"Since its creation, UNESCO has been highlighting the intellectual solidarity of humankind, the importance of knowledge and the value of diversity to build mutual understanding and intercultural dialogue.

Launched by UNESCO in 1977, this collection is the result of work undertaken over 40 years under the supervision of a scientific committee and the guidance of the pluralistic perspective defined for UNESCO’s General and Regional Histories (History of Humanity, General History of Africa, General History of the Caribbean, General History of Latin America and History of Civilizations of Central Asia).

It provides unique knowledge of the creative diversity and complexity of Islamic culture and highlights its fundamental contribution to the progress of humanity. As such, it constitutes a relevant tool to encourage and facilitate intercultural and interreligious dialogue. By bringing together diverse academic views on Islamic culture, it strongly contributes to the global debate on Islam and challenges many of the prejudices and misinterpretations."

The Independent Authoritative Jurists (Series)

Select Episodes Subtitled in English: