Does the famous animal fable, as narrated by the Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ in Epistle 22 of their Rasāʾil, possess an inner meaning? The issue is not new, but it may be useful to address it again today, considering the recent, significant re-evaluation of the Epistles of the Brethren of Purity in the overall history of medieval thinking. It is also important to return to this issue since it was largely left aside by the editors of Epistle 22 who are part of (...) the ongoing project by Oxford University and the Ismaili Institute to critically edit the entire collection of the Rasāʾil Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ. In the present article, I argue that the Ikhwān’s animal fable does indeed contain an esoteric level of reading and that it must be understood in line with the Brethren’s Ismaʿili or Ismaʿili-like aspirations but also, and more importantly, with their wish to take an approach as universal and syncretic as possible. The following motifs are discussed in detail: a) God’s Intimates; b) Seventy / Seventy-Two; c) Seven; d) Yaʿsūb, Commander of the Bees; e) the Return of the Conjunction; f) Equator. (shrink)
This article investigates the role of magic in the confessional identity of the Ikhwān al-Ṣafā as it is articulated in the 52nd epistle on magic, and informed by the rest of their Rasāʾil. To achieve this, the author revisits the long scholarly tradition of speculation about their denominational commitment that has seen them affiliated one way or the other to Ismailism, seeing its esoteric foundations as the platform onto which their magic and astrology were cultivated. Rather this article argues that (...) the Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ aimed with their Rasāʾil to establish an anti-sectarian religio-political reform that they refer to as the Third Way. Its strategy comprises: reconciling revelation and philosophy; valuing the message of religions other than Islam ; and addressing some Shiʿa specific practices and doctrines which it scrutinizes. The Ikhwān mitigate the doctrinal boundaries between Shiʿism and other denominations by adopting a more equable position which is consonant with Zaydi and Ibadi attitudes toward the contentious issues of imamate, caliphate, and wilāya / walāya. So, the Ikhwān see magic as the conceptual and practical pivot of the Third Way, since it is the culmination of philosophy and revelation, becoming a suitable concept to signify the self-enlightenment of the accountable imam achieved through knowledge of the Divine and Nature and the abandonment of physical attachment, and constituting the only conditions of legitimacy. It is also an appropriate tool for regulating state guardianship and sublimating the temporal state itself into a sacred city instead of investing sacral power into a single person. (shrink)
Hadith scholars are individuals who play an important role in the spread of the Prophetic traditions. in the midst of his people, as an authoritative source after the Qur'an for the complete Islamic legal construct, which was previously discovered and compiled by the Imam of Hadith in their canonical books, like Imam Muḥammad ibn Ismā’īl al-Bukhārī in “Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī” and Muslim Imam ibn al-Ḥajjāj al-Naysābūrī in “Muslim Ṣaḥīḥ”, through long tracing from one country to another in order to obtain directly (...) one history from the source. The position of the Hadith scholars in this regard, who are at the spearhead of the spread of the Hadiths after their collection by the Imam of the Hadith, as well as their existence and consistency in guarding the Hadith from various forms of deviation of understanding of the people, become an integral part of an integral circle named Hadith, as a saying of the Prophet, the Rabbis and the Imams. (shrink)
The past two decades has witnessed the mushrooming of Islamic schools in Europe, the United States and South Africa. Initially these schools were concerned essentially with providing an Islamic ethos for learners. More recently, however, they have begun to focus on the process of Islamization. The Islamization project was initiated in the United States by Muslim academics including Isma’il al‐Faruqi, Syed Husain Nasr and Fazlur Rahman as a response to the secularisation of Muslim society, including its educational insitutions. In essence (...) Islamization means including Islamic disciplines in the curriculum, providing an Islamic perspective on issues in the syllabi and locating, where possible, secularized disciplines within the Islamic weltanschauung. Six international conferences have been held to date at different locations in the Muslim World. The first five generated conceptual papers on the Islamic approach to knowledge and education and inspired academics to write research papers on their disciplines from an Islamic perspective. Most of these have been published in the American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences. The three universities which were established to drive the process have had varying degrees of success. The sixth conference which was held in South Africa took the form of workshops where South African teachers and international academics were brought together to generate Islamised syllabi for the major school disciplines. This article attempts to explain the rationale for Islamic schools and their attempts at Islamization of disciplines. In my view, this is an important development in the context of demands for the revival of indigenous knowledge systems. (shrink)
El manuscrito anónimo n.° XVIII de la colección Gayangos es una compilación que consiste en partes de dos obras: Futuh al-Sam de (ps.) al-Waqidi y una obra sin título de Abu `Umar al-Talamanki. Un análisis del texto revela que la "compilación" de Talamanki no es una obra original suya, sino una transmisión del controvertido texto de Abu Isma`il al-Azdi, también titulado Futuh al-Sam. La obra de al-Azdi fue considerada por muchos estudiosos como un fraude de la época de las Cruzadas. (...) La transmisión de al-Talamanki, que murió décadas antes de la Primera Cruzada, demuestra que la obra de al-Azdi es más temprana, dando de ese modo fin a la controversia. Otras citas de al-Azdi recién descubiertas también apoyan esta conclusión. También se investigan los isnads del manuscrito anónimo cuyos eslabones más antiguos coinciden con los de la obra de al-Azdi, algunos de los cuales, hasta ahora desconocidos, identificamos. El texto manuscrito es cotejado con las versiones publicadas de Futuh al-Sam de al-Azdi y las innumerables variantes prueban que esta obra se transmitió en varias versiones (riwaya). El análisis del manuscrito y el cotejo desvelan algunos de los procesos que intervienen el la construcción de los textos . (shrink)
While it seems clear that the shari’ah had a formative influence on property rights, public space and land use, the primary aim of this book is to study what implications the practice of the Maliki school of Islamic law have for the inhabitants of the Islamic city.