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Theme Changer

 Topic: Random Islamic History Posts

 (Read 101155 times)
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  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #300 - January 18, 2017, 12:23 AM

    Kanishk Tharoor reviews Paul Cobb's translation of the writings of Usama ibn Munqidh (on the crusades)
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #301 - January 24, 2017, 12:15 AM

    Jeremy Walton - Beyond Convivencia and Conflict? Reflections on the History and Memory of Andalusian and Ottoman Religious Belonging
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #302 - January 24, 2017, 08:29 PM

    Michael Pregill on Shahab Ahmed's What is Islam?
    The thesis of What Is Islam?, stated as simply as possible, is the following. Despite many contemporary scholars’ aversion to definitions of Islam, to any attempt to reduce the beliefs, behaviors, and dispositions of the world’s billion Muslims to a single essence, Ahmed holds that Islam can be defined, indeed must be defined, for the experience of both historical and contemporary Muslims to be meaningful and comprehensible. In his view, there is surely something that all Muslims share that makes them Muslims and distinguishes them from other people; if there is no conceptual construct we can call Islam, then the idea of Muslim identity – which the author readily concedes is immensely diverse and variegated – becomes incoherent. For Ahmed, Islam is the thing that is indisputably there in the life and thoughts of every Muslim that makes them Muslim, that enables them to express themselves, understand themselves as subjects, and recognize each other as Muslim when they are – as he would put it – ‘speaking Islamically.’

    Ahmed draws attention to phenomena that, though indisputably significant aspects of the culture and history of Muslims, are typically seen as outside Islam ‘proper,’ the latter typically being defined as the theological-creedal and ritual-legal ‘core’ commonly held to define orthodox Islam as a religion, at least in juristic and institutional terms. But for him, discursive and expressive forms within the Islamic fold that appear anomalous, heterodox, or plainly un-Islamic must, at least for their practitioners and exponents, have constituted ‘real’ Islam just as much as orthodox piety and mainstream ritual practice. That is, the often heterodox claims of the philosophers and the Sufis, the rich visual art produced for courtly patrons, and the openly contrarian discourses of the affective, aesthetic, and erotic expressed in classical Persian (or “Persianate”) poetry that so often are relegated to the periphery were not “alternative” formations within the religion of Islam. For those who embraced them, they were simply Islam.

    To Ahmed, if scholars promote the view that ‘true’ Islam primarily or essentially consists of adherence to orthodox creed and maintenance of sharīʿah, with other imaginative enterprises necessarily judged as less Islamic or even un-Islamic – with poetry, art, Sufism, and philosophy being relegated to the sidelines – this is basically tantamount to Salafism. Indeed, it is scholars’ frequent reliance on and privileging of the ‘legal-supremacist’ discourse of the ʿulamāʾ that has led to the prevalence of such a view in academia.

    If Islam does not consist primarily or exclusively or essentially of the universally-mandated creedal and praxial elements commonly presented as the fundamentals of the faith, then – to return to the book’s eponymous question – what is Islam? For Ahmed, the answer (to which he devotes some 150 pages in the third and final section of the book) is that Islam consists of the interpretive processes through which Muslims apprehend their particular beliefs, practices, and values as Islam, as well as the language in which they express that claim to veracity. As Ahmed puts it, not everything Muslims do is Islam, but every Muslim expression of meaning must be recognized as constituting Islam in some way. That is, Islam is the sum of the dazzling array of reflections by Muslims on meaning, all of their expressions of meaning, despite the contradictory and incommensurable nature of those reflections and expressions.

  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #303 - January 24, 2017, 10:04 PM

    Michael Bonner - The naming of the frontier: ՙAwāim, Thughūr, and the Arab geographersՙAwāim_Thughūr_and_the_Arab_geographers
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #304 - January 26, 2017, 10:37 PM

    Arabian Epigraphic Notes Volume 1 (2015):

    Arabian Epigraphic Notes Volume 2 (2016):
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #305 - January 28, 2017, 11:33 PM

    Michael R J Bonner - An historiographical study of Abū Ḥanīfa Aḥmad ibn Dāwūd ibn Wanand Dīnawarī’s Kitāb al-Aḫbār al-ṬiwālŪ_ḤANĪFA_AḤMAD_IBN_DĀWŪD_IBN_WANAND_AL-DĪNAWARĪ_S_Kitāb_al-Aḫbār_al-Ṭiwāl
    This thesis is a study of the pre-Islamic passages of Abū Ḥanīfa Aḥmad ibn Dāwūd ibn Wanand Dīnawarī’s Kitāb al-Aḫbār al-Ṭiwāl. This is to say that it stops at the beginning of the Arab conquest of Iran. It is intended for scholars of Late Antiquity. Special emphasis is placed on Dīnawarī’s exposition of the rule of the Sasanian dynasty and questions relating to the mysterious Ḫudāynāma tradition which are intimately connected with it. Beginning with a discussion of Dīnawarī and his work, the thesis moves into a discussion of indigenous Iranian historiography. Speculation on the sources of Kitāb al-Aḫbār al-Ṭiwāl follows, and the historiographical investigation of the most substantial portion of Kitāb al-Aḫbār al-Ṭiwāl’s notices on the Sasanian dynasty comes next. The conclusion summarises the findings of the thesis. The final section (an appendix) is a translation of the relevant part of Kitāb al-Aḫbār al-Ṭiwāl running from the beginning of that text to the reign of Šīrūya.

    This thesis was written with one main question in mind: what does Dīnawarī’s Kitāb al- Aḫbār al-Ṭiwāl have to say about pre-Islamic Iranian history? A host of other questions arose immediately: who was Dīnawarī; when did he live; what did he do; how was his work perceived by others; where did Dīnawarī get his information and how did he present it; is Dīnawarī’s information reliable? These questions are addressed one by one in my thesis.

  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #306 - January 29, 2017, 01:32 AM

    Couple of points: This Michael Bonner is not the more-famous Michael Bonner who wrote Jihad in Islamic History. This is Michael Richard Jackson Bonner.

    Also, that thesis stands a good chance of turning that around for the two. I don't know that I've ever read so many commonly-accepted Orientalist factoids demolished in so short a space since Crone was at her feistiest. Pourshariati on the "Sasanian Confederation"? Done. Noeldeke on the Khoday Nameh? Gone. Crone herself on whether Mazdakism was ever a thing? Bye now.

    Deutero-Bonner is basically saying that the Persian court historians were all stinkin' liars, even by court history standards, and as a result studying Sasanian-era texts is an exercise in figuring out who is lying about what and why.
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #307 - January 29, 2017, 09:48 AM

    Thanks Zimriel - I've altered that last link to say 'Michael R J Bonner'.

    I've been meaning to read Pourshariati. How much of her arguments does this change?
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #308 - January 29, 2017, 11:23 AM

    Michael RJ Bonner's critique starts at page 288. This is his summary of Pourshariati's thesis:
    Pourshariati’s thesis offers an ingenious answer to a seemingly hard question: if the
    Sasanian empire really was as solid and centralised as has been traditionally believed, why was its
    demise so sudden and so permanent? Her answer is that Arab success was a direct consequence
    of the fractious political state of the Sasanian empire and that the loyalty of Parthian aristocrats
    had been too thoroughly undermined by successive attempts at centralisation for them to prop
    up a failing monarchy and military apparatus. Parthian noble families thus become the impressarios
    of the Arab conquest. There may well be some truth to this thesis, but it seems to assume
    that the Sasanian empire must have enjoyed some measure of centralisation to begin with.

    Others have wondered about this too, like Touraj Daryaee, but MRJB takes it to a new level. He sees that the Sasanians make "colossal" investments in their military, for instance, which is hard to do in a confederacy. (Just ask the American Civil War buffs about how Jefferson Davis failed to do it.)
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #309 - January 29, 2017, 11:34 AM

    Michael RJ Bonner's critique starts at page 288. This is his summary of Pourshariati's thesis:
    Others have wondered about this too, like Touraj Daryaee, but MRJB takes it to a new level. He sees that the Sasanians make "colossal" investments in their military, for instance, which is hard to do in a confederacy. (Just ask the American Civil War buffs about how Jefferson Davis failed to do it.)

    Zimriel you guys are absolutely right  in  exploring the history of  Iran between 5th century and 9th century  and how it became Islamic nation., Important  clues are hidden in the old libraries of Persia ...

    Persian Islam is clearly way different from Islam of Arabia ... Mullah Vs Imam

    Do not let silence become your legacy.. Question everything   
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #310 - January 31, 2017, 10:26 PM

    Umayyad art - photos from Qasr Amra:
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #311 - February 03, 2017, 06:04 PM

    Abbas Barzegar - Remembering Community: Historical Narrative in the Formation of Sunni Islam (PhD thesis)
    As a study in the formation of Islamic sectarianism, this project focuses on the relationship between historical discourse and collective identity in the development of Sunni Islam as an imagined community. By analyzing the construction of conventional Sunni narratives surrounding the early history of the Muslim community, particularly its discord in the first civil (656-661) war and its reconstitution under the Umayyad dynasty (661-750), this project argues that these seemingly inconsequential narratives—often taken as neutral versions of factual events from which other versions deviate—in fact provide a considerable amount of ideological support to the construction and maintenance of authority, authenticity, and orthodoxy in Sunni Islam. In order to make this argument, this study approaches Islamic historical discourse whether represented in the recorded sayings of Muḥammad (ḥadīth), historical chronicles (akhbār), or apologetic literature, through narrative analysis. In doing so, the development of putative Sunni historical categories such as the Community (al-Jamāʿa), the Prophet’s Companions (al- Ṣaḥāba), and the Rightly Guided Caliphs (al-Khulafāʾ al-Rāshidūn) is shown to have taken place along the political backdrop of the early Abbasid Dynasty’s (750-945) attempts to mitigate competing religious ideological forces in its realm, namely the ongoing strife between Shiite and Umayyad parties. In this context, the political implications embedded in the hagiographic representations of ʿAlī b. Abū Ṭālib, Sunni Islam’s fourth Caliph and Shiite Islam’s first Imām, and Muʿāwiya b. Abū Sufyan, the founding father of the Umayyad Dynasty, are also revealed. In conclusion, this study calls for a reexamination of the dynamics of authority in the study of Islam that prioritizes the discourses of collective identity and historical memory over those of law (sharīʿa) and theology (kalam).

    The aim of this study, then, is to explore the question of Sunni collective identity as a distinct sectarian formation. Unlike the many impressive studies that explore the roots and developments of Sunni theology and jurisprudence, the present work simply explores how Sunni Islam functions in terms of a community. It should be remembered that Sunni Islam describes itself as a distinct group (e.g. ahl = people), and operates as an imagined political community. It is therefore constituted, like all imagined communities, by a mytho-historical narrative of itself and its adversaries. The formation of the various dimensions of that grand narrative, or myth, is the immediate subject of this study.

  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #312 - February 08, 2017, 12:07 AM
    Remarkable papyrus, Latin and *Arabic in Latin script*, 7th/8th C., will be published by researchers Arianna D’Ottone and Dario Internullo.

    Their findings are in Italian though.

  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #313 - February 08, 2017, 01:08 AM

    Remarkable papyrus, Latin and *Arabic in Latin script*,

    North Africa I presume. Tunisia? I can't really see anything being found in Libya in the near future unfortunately.

    The Kairawan / Carthage coinage had "non est Ds nisipsesol, Ci.S.N. (=cui socius non est)". I like to think "nis'ipse sol'" and even "c'i" are North African Romance rather than abbreviated Latin nisi ipse solus and cui, but I'm funny that way. At any rate this is all but a translation of 'Abd al-Malik's "la ilah illa [Allah] wahdahu la sharik lahu".

    Addition: Dario Internullo does have the English abstract in a tab, now:
    The article provides an illustration of the circumstances of the discovery, as well as the first introduction, of a papyrus sheet preserved at the British Library, so far unpublished. The papyrus bears an epistolary text of a private nature, drawn up in a Latin script attributable to the period of the so-called « graphic particularism », most likely to the eight century. The script is only one, but the languages used are two, Latin and Arabic: this is the matter for which this manuscript is very valuable and one of a kind, and furnishes particular evidence for the interaction between Latin culture and Arabic culture in the early medieval Mediterranean.

    Main text: Seems to be associated with Oxyrhynchus, so it at least passed through Egypt. They say.

    More: "betrays a lack of awareness of the [Latin] case system and is peppered with vulgarisms". So this letter too is in vulgar-Latin / proto-Romance. "como and comodo for quomodo; iscribimus for scribimus". This sucker is almost SPANISH!
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #314 - February 09, 2017, 04:40 PM

    Joobin Bekhrad - What exactly is the 'Islamic' world?
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #315 - February 09, 2017, 11:18 PM

    Averil Cameron reviews Motions of Late Antiquity: Essays on Religion, Politics, and Society in Honour of Peter Brown
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #316 - February 10, 2017, 06:27 PM

    Stephen Burge - Angels in Islam (PhD thesis)

    This thesis presents a commentary with selected translations of Jalāl al-Dīn cAbd al- Raḥmān al-Suyūṭī’s Al-Ḥabā’ik fī akhbār al-malā’ik (The Arrangement of the Traditions about Angels). The work is a collection of around 750 ḥadīth about angels, followed by a postscript (khātima) that discusses theological questions regarding their status in Islam.

    The first section of this thesis looks at the state of the study of angels in Islam, which has tended to focus on specific issues or narratives. However, there has been little study of the angels in Islamic tradition outside studies of angels in the Qur’an and eschatological literature. This thesis hopes to present some of this more general material about angels.

    The following two sections of the thesis present an analysis of the whole work. The first of these two sections looks at the origin of Muslim beliefs about angels, focusing on angelic nomenclature and angelic iconography. The second attempts to understand the message of al-Suyūṭī’s collection and the work’s purpose, through a consideration of the roles of angels in everyday life and ritual. The translation and annotated commentary that follow focus on angels mentioned in the Qur’ān itself: Gabriel, Michael, Isrāfīl, the Angel of Death, the Bearers of the Throne, the Spirit, Riḍwān, Mālik, the Guardians of Heaven and Hell, al-Sijill, Hārūt, Mārūt and the Sakīna.

    The aim of the thesis is to open up the study of the angelic world of the ḥadīth, beyond the eschatological material and to show the vitality of Muslim beliefs about angels in Islamic tradition.

  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #317 - February 12, 2017, 04:34 PM

    From Google books search, so with pages missing...

    Patricia Crone - Buddhism as Ancient Iranian Paganism
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #318 - February 12, 2017, 04:40 PM

    Patricia Crone and Luke Treadwell - A new text on Ismailism at the Samanid court
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #319 - February 13, 2017, 01:08 AM

    Jonathan Curiel - The life of Omar Ibn Said
    At a case titled “Cultural Gifts From Africa,” the mood changes to upbeat. Among the objects it displays is a small, yellowed, 15-page manuscript written in Arabic. Its owner, Derrick Beard, tells passersby that it was written in 1831 by a Muslim scholar, a slave from West Africa, named Omar ibn Said, who was more literate than many of the slave masters he encountered in the Carolinas. Listeners tend to repeat the same interjection: “Really?”

    He offers a window into the antebellum world of slavery that is quite different from our view of slavery.”Beard is used to it. Said’s brief autobiography, The Life of Omar ben Saeed, is the only one known to have been penned in Arabic by an American slave.

  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #320 - February 16, 2017, 02:11 PM

    In Our Time - Maths in the early Islamic world
    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the flourishing of maths in the early Islamic world, as thinkers from across the region developed ideas in places such as Baghdad's House of Wisdom. Among them were the Persians Omar Khayyam, who worked on equations, and Al-Khwarizmi, latinised as Algoritmi and pictured above, who is credited as one of the fathers of algebra, and the Jewish scholar Al-Samawal, who converted to Islam and worked on mathematical induction. As well as the new ideas, there were many advances drawing on Indian, Babylonian and Greek work and, thanks to the recording or reworking by mathematicians in the Islamic world, that broad range of earlier maths was passed on to western Europe for further study. With

    Colva Roney-Dougal
    Reader in Pure Mathematics at the University of St Andrews

    Peter Pormann
    Professor of Classics & Graeco-Arabic Studies at the University of Manchester

    Jim Al-Khalili
    Professor of Physics at the University of Surrey

    Listen on iplayer:
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #321 - February 16, 2017, 05:12 PM

    Peter Pormann - Case notes and clinicians: Galen's Commentary on the Hippocratic Epidemics in the Arabic tradition
    Abstract: Galen’s Commentaries on the Hippocratic Epidemics constitute one of the most detailed studies of Hippocratic medicine from Antiquity. The Arabic translation of the Commentaries by H*unayn ibn Ish*a ̄q (d. c. 873) is of crucial importance because it preserves large sections now lost in Greek, and because it helped to establish an Arabic clinical literature. The present contribution investigate the translation of this seminal work into Syriac and Arabic. It provides a first survey of the manuscript tradition, and explores how physicians in the medieval Muslim world drew on it both to teach medicine to students, and to develop a framework for their own clinical research.

    Review of Peter Pormann and Emilie Savage-Smith's Medieval Islamic Medicine
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #322 - February 17, 2017, 12:34 PM

    Mattia Guidetti - The contiguity between churches and mosques in early Islamic Bilad al-Sham
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #323 - February 17, 2017, 08:40 PM

    Corisande Fenwick - From Africa to Ifrīqiya: Settlement and Society in Early Medieval North Africa (650–800)īqiya_Settlement_and_Society_in_Early_Medieval_North_Africa_650_800_2013_
    North Africa is rarely mentioned in scholarship on the medieval Mediterranean. This paper demonstrates the potential of archaeology for understanding the impact of the Arab conquests on settlement and society in seventh- and eighth- century North Africa. Despite difficulties in dating early medieval occupation, synthesis of the available evidence reveals that the Arab conquest was not catastrophic for settled life. Mapping the distribution of urban sites across North Africa shows that the majority of Byzantine towns were not abandoned but remained significant centres. The rural evidence is less clear, but suggests a relatively busy countryside of estates, farms and fortified villages. The paper then presents three detailed case-studies of the towns of Tocra, Sbeïtla and Volubilis in the early medieval period, before considering more broadly the evidence for fortifications, religious buildings (churches and mosques), housing and production in towns. It concludes with some preliminary observations on the nature of Arab rule in North Africa from the perspective of the archaeological evidence.

  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #324 - February 18, 2017, 04:59 PM

    Morocco is fascinating. I think a Berber Islam is asserting itself, maybe other ethnic islams are around the world?

    If Islam is worldwide it doesn't have to be Arab based.


    Casablanca – Morocco’s High Religious  Committee has retracted its Islamic ruling stating that apostasy is punishable by death and has decided to permit Muslims to change their religion.

    When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.

    A.A. Milne,

    "We cannot slaughter each other out of the human impasse"
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #325 - February 18, 2017, 09:54 PM

    moi, my full thoughts on that will have to go to another topic here, but I notice that Sufyan al-Thawri is involved in this ruling. He was an Umayyad loyalist like Awzai I believe. When the 'Abbasids (brutally) took over Iraq and Syria, this left the old pro-Umayyad elite vulnerable to being declared apostates and killed.

    A fatwa that apostasy shouldn't be a crime in the first place would have torn away that justification for Saffah's and Mansur's rampages.
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #326 - February 19, 2017, 11:57 AM

    Aurélien Girard - Teaching and Learning Arabic in Early Modern Rome: Shaping a Missionary Language

    From here:

    The Teaching and Learning of Arabic in Early Modern Europe
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #327 - February 19, 2017, 05:25 PM

    Not Islamic history but interesting for comparison with what was happening at the opposite end of the Roman Empire...

    Guy Halsall - Rethinking Warfare and Politics in Britain 400-600


    Guy Halsall - Introduction to Myths of the Migrations: Facts and Fictions of the Barbarians.

    James Harland - "Race” In The Trenches: Anglo-Saxons, Ethnicity, And The Misuse Of The Medieval Past
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #328 - February 23, 2017, 06:43 PM

    Twitter thread:
    Quote from: Ian David Morris
    I was struck by the claim here that a Senegalese king “abolished slavery” in the 1780s. So I did some digging.

    It's Jonathan Brown making the claim.
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #329 - February 23, 2017, 10:04 PM

    Ma'mun, the Christian and the Zoroastrian - thread:
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