Friday, November 17, 2017

New Book by Faiz Ahmed: Afghanistan Rising Islamic Law and Statecraft between the Ottoman and British Empires

Debunking conventional narratives of Afghanistan as a perennial war zone and the rule of law as a secular-liberal monopoly, Faiz Ahmed presents a vibrant account of the first Muslim-majority country to gain independence, codify its own laws, and ratify a constitution after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. 
 Afghanistan Rising illustrates how turn-of-the-twentieth-century Kabul—far from being a landlocked wilderness or remote frontier—became a magnet for itinerant scholars and statesmen shuttling between Ottoman and British imperial domains. Tracing the country’s longstanding but often ignored scholarly and educational ties to Baghdad, Damascus, and Istanbul as well as greater Delhi and Lahore, Ahmed explains how the court of Kabul attracted thinkers eager to craft a modern state within the interpretive traditions of Islamic law and ethics, or shariʿa, and international norms of legality. From Turkish lawyers and Arab officers to Pashtun clerics and Indian bureaucrats, this rich narrative focuses on encounters between divergent streams of modern Muslim thought and politics, beginning with the Sublime Porte’s first mission to Afghanistan in 1877 and concluding with the collapse of Ottoman rule after World War I.  
By unearthing a lost history behind Afghanistan’s founding national charter, Ahmed shows how debates today on Islam, governance, and the rule of law have deep roots in a beleaguered land. Based on archival research in six countries and as many languages, Afghanistan Rising rediscovers a time when Kabul stood proudly as a center of constitutional politics, Muslim cosmopolitanism, and contested visions of reform in the greater Islamicate world.
Faiz Ahmed is Assistant Professor of History at Brown University.

http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674971943

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Islam and Islamism in Turkey: A Conversation with İsmail Kara

https://www.themaydan.com/2017/10/islam-islamism-turkey-conversation-ismail-kara/
Ismail Kara is arguably the foremost academic expert on Turkish Islamism. Although he is a prolific writer and a public intellectual, his work is little known among non-Turkish speaking audiences.The following interview with Kara aims to close this gap. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

aseity


nounMetaphysics.

1.
existence originating from and having no source other than itself.

Tim Winter's translation for al-wujūb al-dhātī 

 Winter, Tim, "Ibn Kemāl (d.940/1535) on Ibn 'Arabī's Hagiology" in Sufism and Theology. ed. Ayman Shihadeh, (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007), pg. 147.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

"God has been so good to us!

We were idolaters, and if the Messenger of God had come with this entire religion all at once, and with the Quran all at once, the responsibilities would have weighed heavily upon us, and we would not have entered Islam. Rather, he called us to a single word, and when we accepted it and tasted the sweetness of faith, we accepted what came after it, word upon word, in a gentle way, until the religion was completed and the law was perfected.
-Imām 'Alī, quoted in The Study Qur'an, p. 174, commentary on Q3:159.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

"What they strove to achieve

-->
was a continuous state of recollection (dawām al-dhikr) or, in another formulation, the transformation of the dhikr into a natural disposition (malaka) that even the reciter's heart would cease to sense, so as to become oblivious of anything that was not God, including the very act of remembrance.
-Dina Le Gall, A Culture of Sufism: Naqshbandīs in the Ottoman World, 1450-1700. (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005), p. 114.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Every trade's motive is the hope for gain

Every trade's motive is the hope for gain
Even if toil should make you suffer pain.

Going down to the store to sell each morning
Is always with the hope to make a living:

If there's no prospect, then why step outside?
Who can feel strong with fear they'll be denied?

How can fear you'll forever be without
Not make you hesitant to seek it out?

You say, 'Although I fear I'll be denied,
That fear gets worse if I've not even tried:

When I strive hard, my hope feels stronger, while
In idleness I face a harsher trial.'

Why then in spiritual works, you doubting twit,
Does fear of loss prevent you seeking it?

Have you not seen how in our marketplace
Prophets and saints gain profit and much grace?

Huge gold-mines opened when they reached this store,
And in this marketplace they've gained much more.

To Abraham the flames became obedient
And waves bore Noah safely like a servant.

Iron obeyed, melting in David's hand;
Wing turned to Solomon's slave at his command.

-Rumi, The Masnavi, Book Three, trans. by Jawid Mojaddedi, (Oxford: Oxford University Press/Oxford World's Classics, 2013), pgs. 188-9.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

513 titles available online from Islamic Studies Library from McGill

The Islamic Studies library was founded in 1952, along with the Institute of Islamic Studies by Prof. Wilfred Cantwell Smith. The library has grown from a modest departmental collection to a very well regarded library of over 150,000 volumes covering the whole of Islamic civilization in a number of languages including Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Urdu. This sizable and rich collection is unique in Canada with only the University of Toronto’s Robarts Library comparable in size and breadth. The physical collection is spread between the Islamic Studies Library in Morrice Hall and Rare Books and Special Collections in the Humanities and Social Sciences Library. More information at: mcgill.ca/library/branches/islamic/about 
https://archive.org/details/mcgilluniversityislamicstudies&tab=about 

Article by Akbar Ahmed on Abdal Hakim Murad