Living Islamic History

Living Islamic History: Studies in Honour of Professor Carole Hillenbrand

Edited by Yasir Suleiman
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 336
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  • Book Info
    Living Islamic History
    Book Description:

    This book gathers original research from a range of leading international scholars from the UK, Europe and the USA, throwing new light on a set of topics in medieval Islamic history, Islamic doctrine and practice, and the interaction between Islam and the modern world.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-4219-9
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vii-vii)
    Yasir Suleiman
  4. Professor Carole Hillenbrand: List of Publications
    (pp. viii-xii)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xviii)
  6. 1. The Origin of Key Shiʿite Thought Patterns in Islamic History
    (pp. 1-13)
    Adel S. al-Abdul Jader

    This chapter considers the origin of some concepts key to Shiʿite beliefs and subsequently important in the intellectual life of Shiʿite Muslims. It briefly recounts the political-religious division that arose after the killing of ʿAli b. Abi Talib, when ʿAbdullah b. Sabaʾ alleged that ʿAli would return to life to destroy his enemies. Due to the killing of al-Husayn, the Kufan Iraqi notables, who called themselves ‘al-Tawwabun’ (the Penitents), began to secretly organise a movement against the Umayyads. It was after the reverse of the Tawwabun in Ramadan 65/May 685, when al-Mukhtar b. Abi ʿUbayd al-Thaqafi led a revolt against...

  7. 2. Additions to The New Islamic Dynasties
    (pp. 14-31)
    C. Edmund Bosworth

    The New Islamic Dynasties. A Chronological and Genealogical Manual, itself a much-expanded updated version of a work which had appeared over thirty years previously, was published by Edinburgh University Press in 1996. During the intervening twelve years, there have inevitably been corrections and additions which could be made to this: new information from inscriptions, coins, freshly edited and printed texts, and so on, appears almost continuously. Until a revised and corrected version of The New Islamic Dynasties as a whole can appear at some future date, it seems useful to give here a new and revised version of an entry,...

  8. 3. Al-Thaʿalibi’s Adab al-muluk, a Local Mirror for Princes
    (pp. 32-46)
    Julia Bray

    Most Islamic mirrors for princes rest not on projected utopias but on examples from the past. They draw upon a fund of wisdom attributed to ancient Greek and Persian as well as Muslim sages, and for all their differences of format, their guiding precepts are often expressed in ‘strikingly similar terms’.¹ Yet, as Louise Marlow concludes, in the most recent and wide-ranging survey of Islamic advice literature:

    [Although] certain themes of advice literature have endured since antiquity in diverse cultural milieux . . . each example is strikingly individual, tailored to specific circumstances and specific writer-ruler relationships. The significance of...

  9. 4. Religious Identity, Dissimulation and Assimilation: the Ismaili Experience
    (pp. 47-61)
    Farhad Daftary

    The Shiʿa appeared on the historical stage in the formative period of Islam with their own distinct identity and ideas on religious authority and leadership revolving around the sanctity of the Prophet Muhammad’s family or the ahl al-bayt. Soon after the tragedy of Karbalaʾ where al-Husayn b. ʿAli, the Shiʿi imam and the Prophet’s grandson, and his small band of companions were massacred by an Umayyad army in 61/680, the Shiʿa themselves split into different groups, each one recognising a different line of ʿAlids, descendants of ʿAli b. Abi Talib (d. 40/661), the Prophet’s cousin, son-in-law and the first Shiʿi...

  10. 5. Saladin’s Pious Foundations in Damascus: Some New Hypotheses
    (pp. 62-76)
    Anne-Marie Eddé

    All his life, Saladin had a particular affection for Damascus. It was there that he spent much of his youth and embarked on his political career under the guidance of his father, his uncle and his master Nur al-Din. It was in that city that he liked to live between military campaigns and finally it was there that he died in 589/1193. As Bahaʾ al-Din Ibn Shaddad said of him, ‘He loved this city and preferred residence there over all other places’ (Ibn Shaddad 1964: 241, 2001: 237). The Syrian capital in its turn wished to pay tribute to Saladin...

  11. 6. The Coming of Islam to Bukhara
    (pp. 77-91)
    Hugh Kennedy

    The Muslim invasions of Iran and Turkistan in the seventh century have been discussed several times in the modern literature (Gibb 1923; Bartold 1968; Daniel 1979; Kennedy 2007). The purpose of this chapter is to attempt to penetrate beyond the political narrative to examine the impact of the Muslim conquest on the topography and social structure of the city. It will consider the geography of Muslim occupation and settlement, the reactions of the local people to the invaders and the impact of the coming of Islam on the topography and built environment of the city.

    The course of the military...

  12. 7. A Barmecide Feast: the Downfall of the Barmakids in Popular Imagination
    (pp. 92-106)
    Remke Kruk

    The Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid and his entourage have always had a strong appeal to the imagination. Accordingly, they figure in a wide range of literature, ranging from scholarly history, such as Tabari’s Tarikh al-rusul wa’l-muluk, to popular storytelling. The caliph himself, his executioner Masrur, the poet Abu Nuwas and Jaʿfar al-Barmaki are the subject of many a tale in the Thousand and One Nights. Apart from that, a special genre of trickster-like anecdotes has sprung up featuring Abu Nuwas. The Barmakid family, too, has taken up a role in popular tales, where ample attention is usually paid to the...

  13. 8. The History of the Patriarchs of the Egyptian Church as a Source for the History of the Seljuks of Anatolia
    (pp. 107-128)
    Gary Leiser

    In 1968, C. Cahen, a Western pioneer in the study of the Seljuks of Anatolia or Rum, published Pre-Ottoman Turkey, a provisional history of that subject to which he appended an extensive bibliographical survey. In 1988, he published a somewhat revised and reorganised French version entitled La Turquie Pré-Ottomane, in which the bibliography was also revised and reorganised.¹ In the bibliography of the French book, but not in the original English, Cahen included Histoire des Patriarches d’Alexandrie (Paris/Alexandria, 1943–74) – or, as it is called in the combined Arabic edition and English translation, The History of the Patriarchs of the...

  14. 9. Genealogy and Exemplary Rulership in the Tarikh-i Chingiz Khan
    (pp. 129-150)
    Charles Melville

    A manuscript now entitled Tarikh-i Chingiz Khan may be found in the Saint Petersburg University Library, no. OP. 950 (B).¹ It was catalogued by A. T. Tagirdjanov (1962: 116–18), who correctly identified the work and the disorder of its contents and established the proper sequence of the text, which unfortunately has several lacunae and ends abruptly in mid-sentence.² The fragment, on folios 9–88, is bound together with two other texts, to which it has no relation, either in terms of subject matter, calligraphy or paper, in a small volume of 133 folios.³ The page size of the Tarikh...

  15. 10. Vikings and Rus in Arabic Sources
    (pp. 151-165)
    James E. Montgomery

    The title I have chosen is intentionally precise and imprecise, as a brief comparison with the titles of some recent treatments of this subject will reveal. Take, for example, the title of Wladyslaw Duczko’s recent book (2004), Viking Rus; or the title of chapter 9 of Pavel Dolukhanov’s The Early Slavs: ‘The Vikings and the Rus’, with its sub-headings, ‘The Vikings in Europe’, ‘The Scandinavians and the Slavs’ and ‘The Beginnings of Russian Statehood’ (1996: 173–7, 177–93 and 193–7 respectively). My title’s precision is both instructive in that it rules out of consideration the other terms found...

  16. 11. Qashani and Rashid al-Din on the Seljuqs of Iran
    (pp. 166-177)
    Alexander H. Morton

    In spite of its importance and interest the detailed examination and comparison of texts is not at present valued highly by academic review bodies and policy makers. It is a particular pleasure to submit a chapter belonging to this unfashionable category in honour of Carole Hillenbrand who is not only a friend of long standing but also a scholar in whose work, beginning with the doctoral thesis based on the History of Mayyafariqin, close and careful attention is given to textual matters. It is a revised version of a talk delivered under her chairmanship at a panel of the Conference...

  17. 12. Exile and Return: Diasporas of the Secular and Sacred Mind
    (pp. 178-191)
    Ian Richard Netton

    Down the ages diverse thinkers and scholars, from the Neoplatonist Plotinus (AD 204/5–70) to the Victorian Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–89), have identified a flow of procession and return, working, as it were, like a kind of natural law within the universe (McGinn 2007: 46–7ff.). Bernard McGinn, in a succinct recapitulation, put it like this:

    The master paradigm of exitus and reditus, the procession out and return to God, is perhaps natural to the religious mind as it reflects upon the nature of the universe. In Western thought the evolution of this dynamic paradigm was shaped...

  18. 13. Clerical Perceptions of Sufi Practices in Late Seventeenth-Century Persia, II: Al-Hurr al-ʿAmili (d. 1693) and the Debate on the Permissibility of Ghina
    (pp. 192-208)
    Andrew J. Newman

    The anti-Sufi polemic that marked Iran’s spiritual discourse during the seventeenth century was no mere esoteric discussion. While visible during the century following the 1501 establishment of Twelver Shiʿism by the Safavid dynasty as the realm’s official faith, beginning in the seventeenth century attacks on Sufism and, increasingly, on such alleged Sufi practices as singing (ghina), were a marked feature of the religious landscape. Indeed, scholars who arrived in Iran beginning in the middle years of the second Safavid century faced a well-developed anti-Sufi discourse that had already erupted out of the mosque/madrasa, as it were, into the street.¹ Shaykh...

  19. 14. On Sunni Sectarianism
    (pp. 209-225)
    A. Kevin Reinhart

    Forty years after Hodgson wrote these words, Islamic studies scholars still use the term Sunni often (1) to mean whatever is not Shiʿi (or worse, whatever is not ʿAlid); and (2) to mean something like ‘orthodoxy’, that is, ‘mainstream’ Islam.

    Other forms of Islam are hyphenated Islams – Shiʿi-Islam, Sufi-Islam, and so on. Aside from the unscholarly taking sides that this usage represents, using Sunnism as a default term for Islam, and Islam to mean Sunnism, not only hides the diversity of Islam but it obscures the fact that Sunnism too has a history that does not merely coincide with the...

  20. 15. The Violence of the Abbasid Revolution
    (pp. 226-251)
    Chase F. Robinson

    ‘It was not to shed blood and act unjustly that we followed the Family of Muhammadʿ’ – so proclaimed Sharik b. Shaykh when he rebelled against Abu Muslim in 133/750. Or at least that is what al-Tabari reports that he said, since here he follows the historiographic convention of ascribing motivation through the direct speech of the figure in question. Al-Yaʿqubi has a variant: ‘It was not to shed blood and act unjustly that we gave the oath of allegiance to the Family of the Prophet.’ Precisely what Sharik b. Shaykh actually said or thought, we shall never know; nor, for...

  21. 16. Nationalist Poetry, Conflict and Meta-linguistic Discourse
    (pp. 252-278)
    Yasir Suleiman

    Over the past three to four decades the study of the nation and nationalism has become the preserve of the historian, the political scientist and the sociologist. Witness the dominance of historical, political and sociological perspectives in the two popular Oxford readers on the topic by John Hutchinson and Anthony D. Smith: Nationalism (1994) and Ethnicity (1996). In constructing general theories about the historical rise and course of nationalism scholars from these backgrounds have focused on the political and socio-economic processes at work in nation formation and state building. References to culture in this work acknowledge the role of language...

  22. Bibliography
    (pp. 279-308)
  23. List of Contributors
    (pp. 309-312)
  24. Index
    (pp. 313-318)