Angels in Islam
Author: Stephen Burge
Angels are a basic tenet of belief in Islam, appearing in various types and genres of text, from eschatology to law and theology to devotional material. This book presents the first comprehensive study of angels in Islam, through an analysis of a collection of traditions (hadīth) compiled by the 15th century polymath Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūtī (d. 911/1505). With a focus on the principal angels in Islam, the author provides an analysis and critical translation of hadith included in al-Suyuti’s al-Haba’ik fi akhbar al-mala’ik (‘The Arrangement of the Traditions about Angels’) – many of which are translated into English for the first time. The book discusses the issues that the hadīth raise, exploring why angels are named in particular ways; how angels are described and portrayed in the hadīth; the ways in which angels interact with humans; and the theological controversies which feature angels. From this it is possible to place al-Suyūtī’s collection in its religious and historical milieu, building on the study of angels in Judaism and Christianity to explore aspects of comparative religious beliefs about angels as well as relating Muslim beliefs about angels to wider debates in Islamic Studies. Broadening the study of Islamic angelology and providing a significant amount of newly translated primary source material, this book will be of great interest to scholars of Islam, divinity, and comparative religion.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 447-487) and index.
This book explores how, through spirituality and the development of character, Islamic financial institutions and Muslim communities can integrate their businesses with contemporary social responsibility initiatives to produce positive social and environmental impact. From the looming environmental crisis to the divide between mainstream and extremist interpretations of Islam, the book addresses significant questions facing Muslim communities – and humanity – and demonstrates why Islam should sit ‘at the table’ with other faiths and ethical traditions discussing humanity’s great obstacles. Unlike existing literature, this work explores the intersections between classical Islamic ethics and spirituality, contemporary Islamic finance and economic markets, and select sustainability and impact initiatives (such as the Equator Principles and UN Principles of Responsible Investment) designed to make the worlds of business and finance responsible for the environments in which they operate and the communities that support them. Drawing on his years of experience in Islamic banking, Moghul addresses these applications in light of real-world practices and dilemmas, demonstrating how Islamic organizations and Muslim communities should embrace the broad range of stakeholders countenanced by the Shari’ah in conversations that affect them. By situating his exploration of Islamic finance in the light of the much larger critical issues of balance, justice, and moderation in Islamic praxis, Moghul creates an interdisciplinary book that will appeal to academics and researchers in economics, finance, business, government and policy, and law.
"Locating Hell in Islamic traditions" gathers research on the history of the Muslim hell from its beginnings in the Quran through its medieval and modern transformations.
This book follows the development of classical mathematics and the relation between work done in the Arab and Islamic worlds and that undertaken by the likes of Descartes and Fermat. ‘Early modern,’ mathematics is a term widely used to refer to the mathematics which developed in the West during the sixteenth and seventeenth century. For many historians and philosophers this is the watershed which marks a radical departure from ‘classical mathematics,’ to more modern mathematics; heralding the arrival of algebra, geometrical algebra, and the mathematics of the continuous. In this book, Roshdi Rashed demonstrates that ‘early modern,’ mathematics is actually far more composite than previously assumed, with each branch having different traceable origins which span the millennium. Going back to the beginning of these parts, the aim of this book is to identify the concepts and practices of key figures in their development, thereby presenting a fuller reality of these mathematics. This book will be of interest to students and scholars specialising in Islamic science and mathematics, as well as to those with an interest in the more general history of science and mathematics and the transmission of ideas and culture.
This book provides translated selections from the writings of Muhammad Ibn Othman al-Miknasi (d. 1799). The only writings by an Arab-Muslim in the pre-modern period that present a comparative perspective, his travelogues provide unique insight with in to Christendom and Islam. Translating excerpts from his three travelogues, this book tells the story of al-Miknasi’s travels from 1779-1788. As an ambassador, al-Miknasi was privy to court life, government offices and religious buildings, and he provides detailed accounts of cities, people, customs, ransom negotiations, historical events and political institutions. Including descriptions of Europeans, Arabs, Turks, Christians (both European and Eastern), Muslims, Jews, and (American) Indians in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, An Arab Ambassador in the Mediterranean World explores how the most travelled Muslim writer of the pre-modern period saw the world: from Spain to Arabia and from Morocco to Turkey, with second-hand information about the New World. Supplemented with extensive notes detailing the historic and political relevance of the translations, this book is of interest to researchers and scholars of Mediterranean History, Ottoman Studies and Muslim-Christian relations.
This first volume of a two-volume Handbook treats a challenging, largely neglected subject at the crossroads of several academic fields: biblical studies, reception history of the Bible, and folklore studies or folkloristics. The Handbook examines the reception of the Bible in verbal folklores of different cultures around the globe. This first volume, complete with a general Introduction, focuses on biblically-derived characters, tales, motifs, and other elements in Jewish (Mizrahi, Sephardi, Ashkenazi), Romance (French, Romanian), German, Nordic/Scandinavian, British, Irish, Slavic (East, West, South), and Islamic folkloric traditions. The volume contributes to the understanding of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the New Testament, and various pseudepigraphic and apocryphal scriptures, and to their interpretation and elaboration by folk commentators of different faiths. The book also illuminates the development, artistry, and “migration” of folktales; opens new areas for investigation in the reception history of the Bible; and offers insights into the popular dimensions of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities around the globe, especially regarding how the holy scriptures have informed those communities’ popular imaginations.
Imam Abü Hamid al-Ghazalı is perhaps the most celebrated Muslim theologian of medieval Islam yet little attention has been paid to his personal theology. This book sets out to investigate the relationship between law and politics in the writings of Ghazalı and aims to establish the extent to which this relationship explains Ghazalı’s political theology. Articles concerned with Ghazalı’s political thought have invariably paid little attention to his theology and his thinking about God, neglecting to ask what role these have contributed to his definition of politics and political ethics. Here, the question of Ghazalı’s politics takes into account his thinking on God, knowledge, law, and the Koran, in addition to political systems and ethics. Yazeed Said puts forward the convincing argument that if Ghazalı’s legal and political epistemology provide a polemic analogous to his writings on philosophy, for which he is more famed, they would reveal to us a manifesto for an alternative order, concerned with a coherent definition of the community, or Ummah. This book will be an invaluable resource for students and scholars of the Middle East, political theology and Islamic studies.
The emergence of Islam in the seventh century AD still polarises scholars who seek to separate religious truth from the historical reality with which it is associated. However, history and prophecy are not solely defined by positive evidence or apocalyptic truth, but by human subjects, who consider them to convey distinct messages and in turn make these messages meaningful to others. These messages are mutually interdependent, and analysed together provide new insights into history. It is by way of this concept that Olof Heilo presents the decline of the Eastern Roman Empire as a key to understanding the rise of Islam; two historical processes often perceived as distinct from one another. Eastern Rome and the Rise of Islam highlights significant convergences between Early Islam and the Late Ancient world. It suggests that Islam’s rise is a feature of a common process during which tensions between imperial ambitions and apocalyptic beliefs in Europe and the Middle East cut straight across today’s theological and political definitions. The conquests of Islam, the emergence of the caliphate, and the transformation of the Roman and Christian world are approached from both prophetic anticipations in the Ancient and Late Ancient world, and from the Medieval and Modern receptions of history. In the shadow of their narratives it becomes possible to trace the outline of a shared history of Christianity and Islam. The "Dark Ages" thus emerge not merely as a tale of sound and fury, but as an era of openness, diversity and unexpected possibilities. Approaching the rise of Islam as a historical phenomenon, this book opens new perspectives in the study of early religion and philosophy, as well as providing a valuable resource for students and scholars of Islamic Studies.
Through analysing ancient and classical Arabic literature, including the Qur'an, from within the Arabic literary tradition, this book provides an original interpretation of poetics, and of other important aspects of Arab culture. Ancient Arabic literature is a realm of poetry; prose literary forms emerged rather late, and even then remained in the shadow of poetic creative efforts. Traditionally, this literature has been viewed through a philologist’s lens and has often been represented as ‘materialistic’ in the sense that its poetry lacked imagination. As a result, Arabic poetry was often evaluated negatively in relation to other poetic traditions. The Poetics of Ancient and Classical Arabic Literature argues that old Arabic literature is remarkably coherent in poetical terms and has its own individuality, and that claims of its materialism arise from a failure to grasp the poetic principles of the Arabic tradition. Analysing the Qur’an, which is known for confronting the poetry of the time, this book reveals that "post Qur’anic" literature came to be defined against it. Thus, the constitution and interpretation of Arabic literature imposed itself as a particular exegesis of the sacred Text. Disputing traditional interpretations by arguing that Arabic literature can only be assessed from within, and not through comparison with other literary traditions, this book is of interest to students and scholars of Islamic Studies, Arabic Studies and Literary Studies.
Arabs and Iranians in the Islamic Conquest Narrative analyzes how early Muslim historians merged the pre-Islamic histories of the Arab and Iranian peoples into a didactic narrative culminating with the Arab conquest of Iran.? This book provides an in-depth examination of Islamic historical accounts of the encounters between representatives of these two peoples that took place in the centuries prior to the coming of Islam. By doing this, it uncovers anachronistic projections of dynamic identity and political discourses within the contemporaneous Islamic world.? It shows how the formulaic placement of such embellishment within the context of the narrative served to justify the Arabs’ rise to power, whilst also explaining the fall of the Iranian Sasanian empire.?The objective of this book is not simply to mine Islamic historical chronicles for the factual data they contain about the pre-Islamic period, but rather to understand how the authors of these works thought about this era.? By investigating the intersection between early Islamic memory, identity construction, and power discourses, this book will benefit researchers and students of Islamic history and literature and Middle Eastern Studies.??
Presenting a critical, yet innovative, perspective on the cultural interactions between the "East" and the "West", this book questions the role of travel in the production of knowledge and in the construction of the idea of the "Islamic city". This volume brings together authors from various disciplines, questioning the role of Western travel writing in the production of knowledge about the East, particularly focusing on the cities of the Muslim world. Instead of concentrating on a specific era, chapters span the Medieval and Modern eras in order to present the transformation of both the idea of the "Islamic city" and also the act of traveling and travel writing. Missions to the East, whether initiated by military, religious, economic, scientific, diplomatic or touristic purposes, resulted in a continuous construction, de-construction and re-construction of the "self" and the "other". Including travel accounts, which depicted cities, extending from Europe to Asia and from Africa to Arabia, chapters epitomize the construction of the "Orient" via textual or visual representations. By examining various tools of representation such as drawings, paintings, cartography, and photography in depicting the urban landscape in constant flux, the book emphasizes the role of the mobile individual in defining city space and producing urban culture. Scrutinising the role of travellers in producing the image of the world we know today, this book is recommended for researchers, scholars and students of Middle Eastern Studies, Cultural Studies, Architecture and Urbanism.
New Horizons in Qur'anic Linguistics provides a panoramic insight into the Qur'anic landscape fenced by innate syntactic, semantic and stylistic landmarks where context and meaning have closed ranks to impact morphological form in order to achieve variegated illocutionary forces. It provides a comprehensive account of the recurrent syntactic, stylistic, morphological, lexical, cultural, and phonological voids that are an iceberg looming in the horizon of Qur'anic genre. It is an invaluable resource for contrastive linguistics, translation studies, and corpus linguistics. Among the linguistic topics are: syntactic structures, ellipsis, synonymy, polysemy, semantic redundancy, incongruity, and contrastiveness, selection restriction rule, componential features, collocation, cyclical modification, foregrounding, backgrounding, pragmatic functions and categories of shift, pragmatic distinction between verbal and nominal sentences, morpho-semantic features of lexical items, context-sensitive word and phrase order, vowel points and phonetic variation. The value of European theoretical linguistics to the analysis of the Qur’anic text at a macro level has been overlooked in the academic literature to date and this book addresses this research gap, providing a key resource for students and scholars of linguistics and specifically working in Arabic or Qur’anic Studies.
The subject of "human free-will" versus "divine predestination" is one of the most contentious topics in classical Islamic thought. By focusing on a theme of central importance to any philosophy of religion, and to Islam in particular, this book offers a critical study of the intellectual contributions offered to this discourse by three key medieval Islamic thinkers: Avicenna, al-Ghāzālī and Ibn ʿArabī. Through investigation of primary sources, Free Will and Predestination in Islamic Thought establishes the historical, political and intellectual circumstances which prompted Avicenna, al-Ghāzālī and Ibn ʿArabī’s attempts at harmonization. By analysing the theoretical and linguistic ‘techniques’ which were employed to convey these endeavours, this book demonstrates that the three individuals were committed to compromise between philosophical, theological and mystical outlooks. Arguing that the three scholars’ treatments of the so-called qaḍā wa’l-qadar (decree and destiny) and ikhtiyār (free-will) issues were innovative, influential and fundamentally more complex than hitherto recognized, this book contributes to a fuller understanding of Islamic intellectual history and culture and will be useful to researchers interested in Islamic Studies, Religion and Islamic Mysticism.