Author: Hamid Algar
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Shi‘ism, Iran, and the Islamic Revolution are subjects fraught with political biases and ideological agendas; sometimes, even fiction is presented as fact. This lucid collection of writings demystifies these subjects. With some of these pieces written before the Revolution, they demonstrate the trajectory of Imam Khomeini from being an obscure scholar and mystic to appearing on the cover of Time magazine. They also show how the study of Shi‘ism in the academy evolved from being a niche subject to a discipline in its own right.
A pioneer in the study of Shi‘ism and contemporary Iran, Hamid Algar’s work is marked by precise attention to detail, a near-unparalleled grasp of languages, and a forthright honesty. Thus he offers scholarship, a key to understanding Shi‘ism, Iran, and the Revolution as relevant today as it was when the essays were first written. Rather than projecting Shi‘ism as a historical monolith, this book takes the reader on a journey through the developments in Shi‘ism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, discussing the debates over religious authority and modern political technologies. Rooting the development of the Revolution in a broader historical context, it also offers biographies of key revolutionary figures and explores ideological challenges faced by the nascent Islamic Republic, such as matters of war and social justice. Throughout the book, mysticism and politics intertwine; not only does the characteristically Shi’i form of mysticism – ʿirfan – figure heavily in this work, but some sections are devoted to the relationship between the Shi’i Imams and the Sunni Sufi orders, as well as the place of Sufism in Shi‘ism. Lastly, Hamid Algar provides sound, thought-provoking analyses of contemporary scholarship in the study of Shi‘ism, including the works of Henry Corbin and Patricia Crone. This book contains something for anyone with an interest in history, Shi‘ism, Iran, or the Islamic Revolution.
Hamid Algar (1940-) is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, where he served on the faculty of Near Eastern Studies for 45 years. His degree from Cambridge in Oriental Languages (Arabic and Persian) led him on a fascinating journey through the Islamic heritage and lands, both physically and metaphorically, in an era where Islam was scarcely known in the West. A prolific author, he has written not only on Shi‘ism and Iran but also the Naqshbandi Sufi order; the contemporary history of Turkey, the Balkans, and Afghanistan; and Arabic, Persian, and Turkish literature. He has lent his pen and deep command of languages to numerous translations, including Islam and Revolution, an early collection of Imam Khomeini’s speeches. One of the few Westerners to meet Imam Khomeini, Algar was able to meet with Khomeini a number of times, first in Paris, then in Qum and Tehran, and became well acquainted with his mode of thought. Vignettes of his travels, acquaintances, and studies appear in the introduction to the book.
Author: Hamid Algar
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Arabic Morphology Made Simple is a comprehensive textbook on Arabic morphology aimed at intermediate and advanced students of Arabic grammar.
The work is a masterful translation of Sayyid Muhammad Rida Tabataba’i’s Sarf-i Sadih, a textbook popular with students and instructors in Iran for over four decades. In compiling this work, the author has relied on more than twenty traditional and contemporary textbooks on Arabic grammar. The book is often studied after Arabic Morphology: An Introduction, also by the author and published by ICAS Press.
Author: Sayyid Muhammad Rida Tabataba’i
Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence for Beginners is an English translation of al-Mujaz fi Usul al-Fiqh. The science of usul al-fiqh (principles of jurisprudence) discusses the fundamental rules for deriving Islamic laws from reliable sources. This primer on the subject deals with the most important topics of usul al-fiqh in a succinct and clear manner.
Building on classical works of past scholars, the author provides students with insights into the development of the subject and demystifies the complex, jargon-laden subject of the derivation of Islamic law. This succinct, clear manual explains the fundamentals of this subject and is suitable for academic research, as an introductory course in the traditional Islamic seminary system, or as a companion work to more complex texts. The use of practical examples enables the reader to better understand the issues discussed and opens up avenues for further research. Helpful annotations from the translator make the work even more accessible to the English-language reader.
Ayatollah Ja‘far Subhani (b. 1929) is a high-ranking Shi‘i scholar (marja‘), theologian, jurisprudent, Qur’anic exegete, and a distinguished teacher at the Hawzah of Qum. His thematic approach to the exegesis of the Qur’an is reflected in his Manshur-i Jawid (The Eternal Charter, 14 vols.) and Mafahim al-Qur’an (The Concepts of the Qur’an, 7 vols.), among others. A prolific author, he has written many books on a wide array of subjects, including theology, Islamic sects, heresiography (al-milal wa al-nihal), hadith transmission authorities, contextual analytical study of hadith (dirayah), principles of hadith, philosophy, principles of jurisprudence, jurisprudence, history, fundamentals of belief (‘aqa’id), and biographies of Shi‘i luminaries. He has edited 12 classical sources written before the thirteenth century AD.
Author: Ayatollah Ja‘far Subhani
‘An interesting and wide-ranging text, displaying the clarity of a major modern Islamic thinker and his approach to Islamic sciences.’ Oliver Leaman, Professor of Philosophy, University of Kentucky
Understanding Islamic Sciences provides an informative introduction to six major disciplines in Islamic studies: theology, mysticism, principles of jurisprudence, jurisprudence, philosophy, and logic. It is a user-friendly guide for readers wishing to know more about Islam’s intellectual heritage but who are averse to the scholastic language and style of technical books on the subject. The work is also an ideal textbook for introductory courses in Islamic Studies.
Each chapter is dedicated to one of the aforementioned Islamic sciences and includes a survey of the historical development of the discipline, biographies of scholars who have made significant contributions to the subject, and explanations of the most important concepts and issues discussed in each discipline. This second edition has been extensively revised and contains a new chapter on logic, a glossary of technical terms, and four indices.
Ayatollah Murtada Mutahhari (1920-1979) was an accomplished scholar of Islamic sciences and is credited with nearly ninety works on a broad range of subjects. He is considered to be one of the leading thinkers of the global Islamic movement in the twentieth century. As a disciple of Ayatollah Khomeini, his ideas played a pivotal role in forming the modern Islamic discourse which served as the foundation of the 1979 Islamic revolution. His views also helped develop an intellectual approach to Islamic teaching and learning in which values such as critical and rational thinking, moral integrity, and freedom of thought and expression are given the utmost prominence.
Author: Ayatollah Murtada Mutahhri
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 G 7:00 – 8:30 PM
Join us this Wednesday for a spiritually uplifting evening as we take you on a journey through the Islamic mystical tradition. Read more…
The classical Islamic scholarly tradition is characterised by an emphasis on the teacher-student relationship. Learning is not simply seen as a material acquisition of knowledge, but rather as a means of induction into a living tradition. This classical work expounds upon the ideals for teachers and students. It is a translation of Munyat al-Murīd fī Adab al-Mufīd wa al-Mustafīd by the renowned scholar al-Shahid al-Thani. Read more…
This book is an English translation of Sayyid Ali Murtada’s’ Ilm al-Mantiq published in 2014. The Arabic original is based on Muhammad Rida al-Muzaffar’s (1904–1963) al-Mantiq, a textbook on logic used in Islamic seminaries. The present work is an introduction to logic and deals with topics ranging from conception, judgment, and signification to the four relations, the five universals, and the definition of propositions, contradiction, and syllogisms.
The price of the book is £18.00 and the usual 30% discount for students applies. The book is now available for sale on our bookshop