The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition

A Compendium of Knowledge from the Classical Islamic World

Author: Shihab al-Din al-Nuwayri

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698166760

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 3495

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For the first time in English, a catalog of the world through fourteenth-century Arab eyes—a kind of Schott’s Miscellany for the Islamic Golden Age An astonishing record of the knowledge of a civilization, The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition catalogs everything known to exist from the perspective of a fourteenth-century Egyptian scholar and litterateur. More than 9,000 pages and thirty volumes—here abridged to one volume, and translated into English for the first time—it contains entries on everything from medieval moon-worshipping cults, sexual aphrodisiacs, and the substance of clouds, to how to get the smell of alcohol off one’s breath, the deliciousness of cheese made from buffalo milk, and the nesting habits of flamingos. Similar works by Western authors, including Pliny’s Natural History, have been available in English for centuries. This groundbreaking translation of a remarkable Arabic text—expertly abridged and annotated—offers a look at the world through the highly literary and impressively knowledgeable societies of the classical Islamic world. Meticulously arranged and delightfully eclectic, it is a compendium to be treasured—a true monument of erudition. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition

A Compendium of Knowledge from the Classical Islamic World

Author: Aḥmad ibn ʻAbd al-Wahhāb Nuwayrī

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0143107488

Category: Civilization, Arab

Page: 318

View: 7730

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For the first time in English, a catalog of the world through fourteenth-century Arab eyes--a kind of Schott's Miscellany for the Islamic Golden Age An astonishing record of the knowledge of a civilization, The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition catalogs everything known to exist from the perspective of a fourteenth-century Egyptian scholar and litterateur. More than 9,000 pages and thirty volumes--here abridged to one volume, and translated into English for the first time--it contains entries on everything from medieval moon-worshipping cults, sexual aphrodisiacs, and the substance of clouds, to how to get the smell of alcohol off one's breath, the deliciousness of cheese made from buffalo milk, and the nesting habits of flamingos. Similar works by Western authors, including Pliny's Natural History, have been available in English for centuries. This groundbreaking translation of a remarkable Arabic text--expertly abridged and annotated--offers a look at the world through the highly literary and impressively knowledgeable societies of the classical Islamic world. Meticulously arranged and delightfully eclectic, it is a compendium to be treasured--a true monument of erudition. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

The World in a Book

Al-Nuwayri and the Islamic Encyclopedic Tradition

Author: Elias Muhanna

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400887852

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 232

View: 5986

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Shihab al-Din al-Nuwayri was a fourteenth-century Egyptian polymath and the author of one of the greatest encyclopedias of the medieval Islamic world—a thirty-one-volume work entitled The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition. A storehouse of knowledge, this enormous book brought together materials on nearly every conceivable subject, from cosmology, zoology, and botany to philosophy, poetry, ethics, statecraft, and history. Composed in Cairo during the golden age of Islamic encyclopedic activity, the Ultimate Ambition was one of hundreds of large-scale compendia, literary anthologies, dictionaries, and chronicles produced at this time—an effort that was instrumental in organizing the archive of medieval Islamic thought. In the first study of this landmark work in a European language, Elias Muhanna explores its structure and contents, sources and influences, and reception and impact in the Islamic world and Europe. He sheds new light on the rise of encyclopedic literature in the learned cities of the Mamluk Empire and situates this intellectual movement alongside other encyclopedic traditions in the ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and Enlightenment periods. He also uncovers al-Nuwayri’s world: a scene of bustling colleges, imperial chanceries, crowded libraries, and religious politics. Based on award-winning scholarship, The World in a Book opens up new areas in the comparative study of encyclopedic production and the transmission of knowledge.

Aspects of Islamic Civilization

As Depicted in the Original Texts

Author: A J Arberry

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134564430

Category: Reference

Page: 408

View: 8922

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Originally published in 1964, this volume gathers together extracts from many of Arberry’s best-known works and supplements them with a selection of previously unpublished translations. The material therefore presents a vivid picture of the richness and variety of Islamic civilization from its origins to the late twentieth century.

Signs in the Heavens

A Muslim Astronomer's Perspective on Religion and Science

Author: Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad

Publisher: Writers Inc. International

ISBN: 9780962785429

Category: Astronomy

Page: 174

View: 6667

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Many scientists have come to realize that science and religion can nurture each other. One example was the flowering of science in the first centuries of Islam. For Dr. Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, a Muslim and an astronomer, studying the universe is an expression of faith. Scientists and non-scientists should appreciate the insights in this passionate and lucid book. Dr. Ahmad's book has been widely acclaimed for its insights into the Islamic approach to science and the spiritual foundations of Western scientists such as Galileo, Newton and Einstein. A Palestinian trained at Harvard, he offers a unique perspective of the role of religion in science.

American Arabesque

Arabs and Islam in the Nineteenth Century Imaginary

Author: Jacob Rama Berman

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 0814745180

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 269

View: 7976

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Since 1964, the annual Socialist Register has brought together leading writers on the left to investigate aspects of a common theme. The theme of this issue is the new U.S.-led imperialist project which is currently transforming relations of global power. Contributors to this volume include: Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin, "The new imperialism: relations between the states of the USA and the advanced capitalist countries." Colin Leys and John S. Saul, "Development under the new imperialism." Greg Albo, "The economics of the new imperialism" David Harvey, "The geography of the new imperialism" Aijaz Ahmad, "Culture and the new imperialism." Saskia Sassen, "The imperial city, north and south." John Bellamy Foster, "Imperialism and the Ecosphere."

Sufis and Anti-Sufis

The Defence, Rethinking and Rejection of Sufism in the Modern World

Author: Elizabeth Sirriyeh

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136812768

Category: Religion

Page: 204

View: 5615

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Despite its continuing appeal in the Muslim world, Sufism has faced fierce challenges in the last 250 years. This volume assesses the evolution of anti-Sufism since the middle of the eighteenth century and Sufi strategies for survival. It also considers the efforts of a few significant Muslim intellectuals to contemplate a future for a mystical approach to Islam without traditional Sufism. Many studies of Islam in the modern period have focused on the attempts of Muslim 'modernists' or 'fundamentalists' to come to terms with western modernity, and Sufis have often been marginalised in the process. Elizabeth Sirriyeh redresses this neglect by assigning to Sufism a central place in the broader history of Islam in the modern world and by examining how changing understandings of Sufism's role in modern conditions have affected Muslims of all shades of opinion.

Preaching Islamic Renewal

Religious Authority and Media in Contemporary Egypt

Author: Jacquelene G. Brinton

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520963210

Category: Religion

Page: 280

View: 3954

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Preaching Islamic Renewal examines the life and work of Muhammad Mitwalli Sha‘rawi, one of Egypt's most beloved and successful Islamic preachers. His wildly popular TV program aired every Friday for years until his death in 1998. At the height of his career, it was estimated that up to 30 million people tuned in to his show each week. Yet despite his pervasive and continued influence in Egypt and the wider Muslim world, Sha‘rawi was for a long time neglected by academics. While much of the academic literature that focuses on Islam in modern Egypt repeats the claim that traditionally trained Muslim scholars suffered the loss of religious authority, Sha‘rawi is instead an example of a well-trained Sunni scholar who became a national media sensation. As an advisor to the rulers of Egypt as well as the first Arab television preacher, he was one of the most important and controversial religious figures in late-twentieth-century Egypt. Thanks to the repurposing of his videos on television and on the Internet, Sha‘rawi’s performances are still regularly viewed. Jacquelene Brinton uses Sha‘rawi and his work as a lens to explore how traditional Muslim authorities have used various media to put forth a unique vision of how Islam can be renewed and revived in the contemporary world. Through his weekly television appearances he popularized long held theological and ethical beliefs and became a scholar-celebrity who impacted social and political life in Egypt.

Educating the Muslims of America

Author: Yvonne Y Haddad,Farid Senzai,Jane I Smith

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0195375203

Category: Education

Page: 277

View: 6125

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"This volume of collected essays deals with a wide range of issues challenging Muslim Americans as they seek a well-rounded religious education from adolescence to adulthood. Also explored are college-level education; the kinds of training being offered by Muslim chaplains in universities, hospitals, and prisons; and the ways in which Muslims are educating the American public in the face of hostility and prejudice, This timely volume is the first dedicated entirely to the neglected topic of Islamic education in the United States."--BOOK JACKET.

CLASSICAL FOUNDATIONS OF ISLAMIC EDUCATION THOUGHT

A COMPENDIUM OF PARA

Author: Bradley J. Cook,Fatḥī Ḥasan Malkāwī

Publisher: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

ISBN: 9780842527637

Category: Education

Page: 305

View: 9624

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Education has always been an important pursuit in Islam. The Prophet Muhammad enjoined his followers to “seek knowledge, even unto China.” Within the religion, educational theory and practice were founded on the work of itinerant teachers who taught the fundamental tenets of the faith in exchange for lodging and other services; Qur’anic schools where masters of the Qur’an tutored pupils; and centers of higher learning in Baghdad, Damascus, Alexandria and elsewhere, where Islamic theology and jurisprudence were developed and taught. In this volume, Bradley J. Cook, with assistance from Fathi H. Malkawi, has drawn together and introduced selections from the writings of eminent Islamic thinkers on the subject of Islamic educational efforts, presenting the original Arabic texts alongside their annotated English translations.

Islamic Civilization in Thirty Lives

The First 1,000 Years

Author: Chase F. Robinson

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520966279

Category: Religion

Page: N.A

View: 2147

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Religious thinkers, political leaders, lawmakers, writers, and philosophers have shaped the 1,400-year-long development of the world's second-largest religion. But who were these people? What do we know of their lives and the ways in which they influenced their societies? In Islamic Civilization in Thirty Lives, the distinguished historian of Islam Chase F. Robinson draws on the long tradition in Muslim scholarship of commemorating in writing the biographies of notable figures, but he weaves these ambitious lives together to create a rich narrative of Islamic civilization, from the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century to the era of the world conquerer Timur and the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II in the fifteenth. Beginning in Islam’s heartland, Mecca, and ranging from North Africa and Iberia in the west to Central and East Asia, Robinson not only traces the rise and fall of Islamic states through the biographies of political and military leaders who worked to secure peace or expand their power, but also discusses those who developed Islamic law, scientific thought, and literature. What emerges is a fascinating portrait of rich and diverse Islamic societies. Alongside the famous characters who colored this landscape—including Muhammad’s cousin ’Ali; the Crusader-era hero Saladin; and the poet Rumi—are less well-known figures, such as Ibn Fadlan, whose travels in Eurasia brought fascinating first-hand accounts of the Volga Vikings to the Abbasid Caliph; the eleventh-century Karima al-Marwaziyya, a woman scholar of Prophetic traditions; and Abu al-Qasim Ramisht, a twelfth-century merchant millionaire. An illuminating read for anyone interested in learning more about this often-misunderstood civilization, this book creates a vivid picture of life in all arenas of the pre-modern Muslim world.

Mirror For the Muslim Prince

Islam and the Theory of Statecraft

Author: Mehrzad Boroujerdi

Publisher: Syracuse University Press

ISBN: 081565085X

Category: History

Page: 490

View: 3075

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In this volume, a group of distinguished scholars reinterpret concepts and canons of Islamic thought in Arab, Persian, South Asian, and Turkish traditions. They demonstrate that there is no unitary "Islamic" position on important issues of statecraft and governance. They recognize that Islam is a discursive site marked by silences, agreements, and animated controversies. Rigorous debates and profound disagreements among Muslim theologians, philosophers, and literati have taken place over such questions as: What is an Islamic state? Was the state ever viewed as an independent political institution in the Islamic tradition of political thought? Is it possible that a religion that places an inordinate emphasis upon the importance of good deeds does not indeed have a vigorous notion of "public interest" or a systematic theory of government? Does Islam provide an edifice, a common idiom, and an ideological mooring for premodern and modern Muslim rulers alike? The nuanced reading of the Islamic traditions provided in this book will help future generations of Muslims contemplate a more humane style of statecraft.

Court and Cosmos

The Great Age of the Seljuqs

Author: Sheila R. Canby,Deniz Beyazit,Martina Rugiadi,A. C. S. Peacock

Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art

ISBN: 1588395898

Category: Religion

Page: 380

View: 7538

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Rising from humble origins as Turkish tribesmen, the powerful and culturally prolific Seljuqs—an empire whose reach extended from Central Asia to the eastern Mediterranean—dominated the Islamic world from the eleventh to the fourteenth century. Court and Cosmos: The Great Age of the Seljuqs examines the roots and impact of this formidable dynasty, featuring some 250 objects as evidence of the artistic and cultural flowering that occurred under Seljuq rule. Beginning with an historical overview of the empire, from its early advances into Iran and northern Iraq to the spread of its dominion into Anatolia and northern Syria, Court and Cosmos illuminates the splendor of Seljuq court life. This aura of luxury extended to a sophisticated new elite, as both sultans and city dwellers acquired dazzling glazed ceramics and metalwork lavishly inlaid with silver, copper, and gold. Advances in science and technology found parallels in a flourishing interest in the arts of the book, underscoring the importance the Seljuqs placed on the scholarly and literary life. At the same time, the unrest that accompanied warfare between the Seljuqs and their enemies as well as natural disasters and unexplainable celestial phenomena led people to seek solace in magic and astrology, which found expression in objects adorned with zodiacal and talismanic imagery. These popular beliefs existed alongside devout adherence to Islam, as exemplified by exquisitely calligraphed Qur’ans and an array of building inscriptions and tombstones bearing verses from the holy book. The great age of the Seljuqs was one that celebrated magnificence, be it of this world or in the celestial realm. By revealing the full breadth of their artistic achievement, Court and Cosmos provides an invaluable record of the Seljuqs’ contribution to the cultural heritage of the Islamic world.

Mob Town

A History of Crime and Disorder in the East End

Author: John Bennett

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300231202

Category: History

Page: 360

View: 5073

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A captivating history of a notorious neighborhood and the first book to reveal why London’s East End became synonymous with lawlessness and crime Even before Jack the Ripper haunted its streets for prey, London’s East End had earned a reputation for immorality, filth, and vice. John Bennett, a writer and tour guide who has walked and researched the area for more than thirty years, delves into four centuries of history to chronicle the crimes, their perpetrators, and the circumstances that made the East End an ideal breeding ground for illegal activity. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Britain’s industrial boom drew thousands of workers to the area, leading to overcrowding and squalor. But crime in the area flourished long past the Victorian period. Drawing on original archival history and featuring a fascinating cast of characters including the infamous Ripper, highwayman Dick Turpin, the Kray brothers, and a host of ordinary evildoers, this gripping and deliciously unsavory volume will fascinate Londonphiles and true crime lovers alike.

The Medieval Islamic Republic of Letters

Arabic Knowledge Construction

Author: Muhsin J. al-Musawi

Publisher: University of Notre Dame Pess

ISBN: 0268158010

Category: History

Page: 480

View: 2321

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In The Medieval Islamic Republic of Letters: Arabic Knowledge Construction, Muhsin J. al-Musawi offers a groundbreaking study of literary heritage in the medieval and premodern Islamic period. Al-Musawi challenges the paradigm that considers the period from the fall of Baghdad in 1258 to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1919 as an "Age of Decay" followed by an "Awakening" (al-nahdah). His sweeping synthesis debunks this view by carefully documenting a "republic of letters" in the Islamic Near East and South Asia that was vibrant and dynamic, one varying considerably from the generally accepted image of a centuries-long period of intellectual and literary stagnation. Al-Musawi argues that the massive cultural production of the period was not a random enterprise: instead, it arose due to an emerging and growing body of readers across Islamic lands who needed compendiums, lexicons, and commentaries to engage with scholars and writers. Scholars, too, developed their own networks to respond to each other and to their readers. Rather than addressing only the elite, this culture industry supported a common readership that enlarged the creative space and audience for prose and poetry in standard and colloquial Arabic. Works by craftsmen, artisans, and women appeared side by side with those by distinguished scholars and poets. Through careful exploration of these networks, The Medieval Islamic Republic of Letters makes use of relevant theoretical frameworks to situate this culture in the ongoing discussion of non-Islamic and European efforts. Thorough, theoretically rigorous, and nuanced, al-Musawi's book is an original contribution to a range of fields in Arabic and Islamic cultural history of the twelfth to eighteenth centuries.

Medieval Damascus

Plurality and Diversity in an Arabic Library

Author: Konrad Hirschler

Publisher: Edinburgh University Press

ISBN: 1474408788

Category: Philosophy

Page: 512

View: 2654

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The written text was a pervasive feature of cultural practices in the medieval Middle East. At the heart of book circulation stood libraries that experienced a rapid expansion from the twelfth century onwards. While the existence of these libraries is well known our knowledge of their content and structure has been very limited as hardly any medieval Arabic catalogues have been preserved. This book discusses the largest and earliest medieval library of the Middle East for which we have documentation "e; the Ashrafiya library in the very centre of Damascus "e; and edits its catalogue. This catalogue shows that even book collections attached to Sunni religious institutions could hold rather unexpected titles, such as stories from the 1001 Nights, manuals for traders, medical handbooks, Shiite prayers, love poetry and texts extolling wine consumption. At the same time this library catalogue decisively expands our knowledge of how the books were spatially organised on the bookshelves of such a large medieval library. With over 2,000 entries this catalogue is essential reading for anybody interested in the cultural and intellectual history of Arabic societies. Setting the Ashrafiya catalogue into a comparative perspective with contemporaneous libraries on the British Isles this book opens new perspectives for the study of medieval libraries.

Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness

Arab Travellers in the Far North

Author: Ibn Fadlan

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141975040

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 2400

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In 922 AD, an Arab envoy from Baghdad named Ibn Fadlan encountered a party of Viking traders on the upper reaches of the Volga River. In his subsequent report on his mission he gave a meticulous and astonishingly objective description of Viking customs, dress, table manners, religion and sexual practices, as well as the only eyewitness account ever written of a Viking ship cremation. Between the ninth and fourteenth centuries, Arab travellers such as Ibn Fadlan journeyed widely and frequently into the far north, crossing territories that now include Russia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Their fascinating accounts describe how the numerous tribes and peoples they encountered traded furs, paid tribute and waged wars. This accessible new translation offers an illuminating insight into the world of the Arab geographers, and the medieval lands of the far north.

The Idea of the Muslim World

A Global Intellectual History

Author: Cemil Aydin

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674050371

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 3875

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As Cemil Aydin explains in this provocative history, it is a misconception to think that the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims constitute a single religio-political entity. How did this mistaken belief arise, why is it so widespread, and how can its grip be loosened so that a more fruitful discussion about politics in Muslim societies can begin?

The Beach Beneath the Street

The Everyday Life and Glorious Times of the Situationist International

Author: Mckenzie Wark

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1781689407

Category: Philosophy

Page: 208

View: 8053

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Over fifty years after the Situationist International appeared, its legacy continues to inspire activists, artists and theorists around the world. Such a legend has accrued to this movement that the story of the SI now demands to be told in a contemporary voice capable of putting it into the context of twenty-first-century struggles. McKenzie Wark delves into the Situationists’ unacknowledged diversity, revealing a world as rich in practice as it is in theory. Tracing the group’s development from the bohemian Paris of the ’50s to the explosive days of May ’68, Wark’s take on the Situationists is biographically and historically rich, presenting the group as an ensemble creation, rather than the brainchild and dominion of its most famous member, Guy Debord. Roaming through Europe and the lives of those who made up the movement – including Constant, Asger Jorn, Michèle Bernstein, Alex Trocchi and Jacqueline De Jong – Wark uncovers an international movement riven with conflicting passions. Accessible to those who have only just discovered the Situationists and filled with new insights, The Beach Beneath the Street rereads the group’s history in the light of our contemporary experience of communications, architecture, and everyday life. The Situationists tried to escape the world of twentieth-century spectacle and failed in the attempt. Wark argues that they may still help us to escape the twenty-first century, while we still can. From the Trade Paperback edition.