27 results in English
The Radiances of Revelation and the Mysteries of Exegesis
Kitāb anwār al-tanzīl wa asrār al-ta’wīl (The radiances of revelation and the mysteries of exegesis) is the best-known work of the 13th century savant, ʻAbdallāh ibn ʻUmar al-Bayḍāwī (died circa 1286). As the title indicates, the subject of the work is Qur’anic exegesis. After an introduction in which al-Bayḍāwī praises the science of al-tafsīr (exegesis) as the principal religious science and the basis for sharia (Islamic law), the text of the Qur’an follows, with each ayah (verse) appearing in red ink accompanied by an explanatory passage in ...
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Book of Taxation
Kitāb al-kharāj (Book of taxation) is a classic text on fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), written by Abū Yusūf Yaʿqūb Ibrāhīm al-Anṣārī al-Kūfī (died 798; 182 A.H.) at the request of the Abbasid caliph Hārūn al-Rashīd (763 or 766-809). Abū Yusūf was the most famous student of Abū Ḥanīfa and along with his illustrious teacher is considered one of the founders of the Ḥanafī school of law. In the introduction to the book, Abū Yusūf describes how the caliph asked him to write a work treating the collection of al-kharāj (the ...
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Arabia: The Cradle of Islam
Samuel Zwemer (1867–1952) was an American Protestant missionary who lived for nine years in Bahrain and became a student of the Arab world and, especially, the Arabian Peninsula. Published in New York in 1900, Arabia: The Cradle of Islam contains detailed chapters on the geography of Arabia; the holy cities of Mecca and Medina; the Prophet Muhammad and the rise of Islam; the contemporary political scene on the Arabian Peninsula, including the rivalries among the British, Turks, and other powers; and the Arabic language and poetry. The book concludes ...
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Zigzag Journeys in the Camel Country: Arabia in Picture and Story
Samuel Zwemer (1867–1952) was an American missionary who became known as the “Apostle to Islam” for his strenuous, if not always successful, evangelization efforts in Islamic countries. He attended Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and the New Brunswick Seminary in New Jersey. In 1889 he and a classmate founded the American Arabian Mission, which later received sponsorship from the Reformed Church, and the next year he departed for the Arabian Peninsula. In 1896 he met and married Amy Wilkes (died 1937), an Australian fellow missionary and nurse. Together, the ...
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Topsy-Turvy Land: Arabia Pictured for Children
Samuel Zwemer (1867–1952) was an American missionary who became known as the “Apostle to Islam” for his strenuous if not always successful evangelization efforts in Islamic countries. He attended Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and the New Brunswick Seminary in New Jersey. In 1889 he and a classmate founded the American Arabian Mission, which later received sponsorship from the Reformed Church. The next year he departed for the Arabian Peninsula. In 1896 he met and married Amy Wilkes (died 1937), an Australian fellow missionary and nurse. The Zwemers spent ...
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Arabia: Comprising Its Geography, History, and Topography
Josiah Conder (1789–1855) was a British publisher and author who wrote or compiled 33 volumes of travel literature about nearly every region of the world, including the Middle East. Conder himself never traveled abroad and composed his works by drawing upon the writings of earlier scholars and explorers. As indicated in the subtitle, Conder organized his book on Arabia into sections. He begins by describing the topography of the different regions of Arabia and such climatic phenomena as the semoum (poison) winds that blow across the Syrian Desert in ...
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Mohammedan History
In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. Mohammedan History is Number 57 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published in 1920, after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. Part I of the book is an overview of the history of Islam from the time of ...
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Italian Libya
In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. Italian Libya is Number 127 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. The study covers physical and political geography, political history, social and political conditions, and economic conditions. It recounts how ...
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French West Africa
In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. French West Africa is Number 100 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. The study covers the Government-General of West Africa, which was formed in 1895 and reconstituted by a French ...
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Poems of Abundant Benefit with Chronograms by Sardār Ghulām Muḥammad Khān, Known as Ṭarzī Ṣāḥib Afghān, Together with his Chronograms
This work is a collection of poems in the qaṣīda (ode) form by Ghulām Muḥammad Khān (1830–1900), a prominent Pashto Afghan intellectual of the 19th century. Known by his pen name Ṭarzī (the Stylist), he was a member of the important Bārakzay tribe of Kandahār. In 1882 Ghulām Muḥammad Khān fell into disgrace with the Afghan ruler Amir ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān (reigned 1880−1901) and was expelled from Afghanistan along with his family. He spent three years in Karachi, before immigrating to Damascus, which was then part of the Ottoman Empire ...
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From a Father to his Son: Letters on Education, Schooling, and the Arts
Min wālid ilā waladihi: wa-hiyya rasā'il fī al-tarbiyya wa-al-ta‛līm wa-al-ādāb (From a father to his son: Letters on education, schooling, and the arts) is a collection of the letters that the author wrote to his son, Jamāl al-Dīn Aḥmad Ḥāfiz ‛Awwaḍ, during the latter's student years at the American University in Beirut. The book was published in Cairo in 1923. The first six letters are mostly devoted to the expression of the father's love for his son and to general themes of education and schooling. The ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Fragrant Blossom: A Work on Manners, Society, and Letters
Arij al-zahr: kitab akhlaqi, ijtima’i, adabi (The fragrant blossom: A work on manners, society, and letters) is a collection of essays by Shaykh Mustafa al-Ghalayini, a Lebanese Muslim teacher, writer, and authority on Islamic law. The essays cover a number of subjects presented in a readable style. Ghalayini discusses what it means to be an elegant speaker and writer in the “proper Arabic way,” avoiding the influences of what he calls a‘ujmah (non-Arabic) or afranj (European) style. In other essays, he treats the nature of mankind, the obligations ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Ideal Way to Shed Traditions and Embrace First Principles
This printed work by Nūr al-Ḥasan b. Ṣiddīq b. Ḥasan Khan (also seen as al-Qannawjī) deals with taqlid (adherence to Islamic tradition) and ijthad (flexible interpretation of religious principles), issues that have occupied Muslim thinkers for 1,400 years. Al-Ṭarīqah al-muthlá fī al-irshād ilá tark al-taqlīd wa-ittibāʻ mā huwa al-awlá (The ideal way to shed traditions and embrace first principles) is in itself less important than the context in which it was published. The author was from the Muslim court of Bhopal in India. He was the son of a ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Judges’ Assistant for Issues Raised by Adversaries at Law
Mu’in al-Hukam fi-ma Yataraddudu bayn Khusmin al-Ahkam  (The judges’ assistant for issues raised by adversaries at law) is a handbook of Islamic law procedure. It was written in the 15th century by ‘Ali ibn Khalil al-Tarabulsi, also known as ‘Ala’ al-Din ibn al-Hasan ‘Ali ibn Khalil al-Tarabulsi (or al-Tarabulusi), a Hanafi jurist in Jerusalem. After introducing his book with references to the singular importance of al-shari’ah (Islamic law) in the Qur’an and among the prophets, al-Tarabulsi proceeds to explain that he wrote in order to elucidate the ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Superabundance of the Commendable and the Reinforcement of the Yet-More Commendable: Poetry Collection
This diwan, Al-Faydh al- Muhammadi wa-al-Madad al-Ahmadi wa Huwa Diwan (The superabundance of the commendable and the reinforcement of the yet-more commendable: Poetry collection), is a book of poems, mostly in praise of the Prophet Muhammad or in supplication of his blessing and assistance. Some of the verses vary from this theme, for example, poetic prayers addressing Ahmad al-Rifa’i, founder of the famous Sufi order of which the author, Abū al-Hudá al-Ṣayyādī, was a prominent (and controversial) leader. Abu al-Huda was a prolific writer who rose from humble origins ...
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Illumination of the Virtues of the Family of the Most Favored Prophet
Nūr al-ibṣār fi manāqib Āl bayt al-Nabī al-mukhtār (Illumination of the virtues of the family of the Most Favored Prophet) is a collection of biographies of major personalities in Islamic history. It begins with narration of critical incidents in the life of the Prophet Muhammad, followed by biographies of Ahl al-Bayt (the Prophet’s family), the four earliest caliphs, and other significant figures of Islamic history, such as the founders of the four canonical legal traditions and the major Sufi orders. The author, Muʼmin ibn Ḥasan Muʼmin al-Shablanji (circa ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Defending the Qur'an Against Slander
Tanzīh al-Qurʼān ʻan al-maṭāʻin (Defending the Qur'an against slander) is a detailed commentary on the Qur’an from the viewpoint of the early philosophical wing of Islamic speculative theology known as Mu’tazilah, which emphasized the oneness of the Godhead (Allah) and the primacy of human reason in understanding his will. This view gave rise to intense debate, with alternate views expressed by the rationalist Asharites and mystical adepts (Sufis). In Islamic intellectual history, philosophical speculation of this sort is termed ‘ilm al-kalam (science of discourse). As with many ...
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Discerning and Specifying the Circumstances of Revelation of the Noble Hadiīth
Al-Bayān wa-al-taʻrīf fī asbāb wurūd al-ḥadīth al-sharīf (Discerning and specifying the circumstances of revelation of the noble hadith) is a textual and contextual interpretation of the hadith (the statements and actions of the Prophet Muhammad), written by Ibrahim ibn Muhammad Kamal al-Din al-Husayni al-Dimashqi (1644 or 1645−1708). Hadith plays an important part in Islam, and the Prophet’s utterances and activities are integral to its scriptural tradition. In the introduction to the work, the author states that in some cases the circumstances of a hadith are clear from the ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Creation and History
Al-Badʼ wa-al-tārīkh (Creation and history) is a universal history from the Creation until the end of the reign of Abbasid caliph al-Muti in 974. It is not a particularly good example of historical scholarship. It is in large part a list of prophets and kings, leavened with stories derived from written sources, myths, scripture, and the personal thoughts of the author, as, for example, his reflection on the many religious traditions and practices of mankind. With the exception of a strongly worded introductory warning to the reader about those who ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Pilgrimage to the Caaba and Charing Cross
Hafiz Ahmed Hassan was an Indian Muslim, treasurer and advisor to the nawab of Tonk, Muhammad ‘Ali Khan (died 1895). Tonk was a principality in northwest India and is today part of the state of Rajasthan. When the nawab was deposed in 1867, the author accompanied him into exile, going first to Benares and then, in 1870, to the Muslim holy cities on pilgrimage. After completing the hajj, Hafiz proceeded to England where he spent a short time before returning to India. The focus of the book is his travel ...
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Leaves from an Afghan Scrapbook: The Experiences of an English Official and his Wife in Kabul
Ernest Thornton was an English official and industrial manager who in 1892 was engaged by the ruler of Afghanistan, Amir ʻAbd al-Rahman Khān (reigned 1880−1901), to establish a tannery and leather factory in Kabul. After encountering all manner of difficulties with the enterprise, Thornton resigned his post and left Afghanistan the following year. In late 1902, he received an offer from the Afghan government to return to Kabul to make another attempt at establishing a factory. Accompanied by his wife Annie, Thornton lived in Afghanistan in 1903−9, where ...
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The Uganda Journal, Volume I, Number 1, January 1934
The Uganda Literary and Scientific Society was established at Entebbe, Uganda Protectorate, in 1923. Its main activity consisted of the reading of papers and the delivery of lectures on topics relating to Uganda. In 1933 the society moved its headquarters to Kampala and decided to issue a regular publication, The Uganda Journal. The journal’s declared aim was “to collect and publish information which may add to our knowledge of Uganda and to record that which in the course of time might be lost.” Four issues per year were published ...
A Guide for the Good
This Muslim prayer book is a 1785 copy of an original 15th-century manuscript. The work includes a panorama of Mecca and Medina, the holy cities of Islam in Saudi Arabia. Mecca, where the Prophet Muhammad was born and lived for the first 50 years of his life, is the most sacred city in Islam. It is also where the Ka`bah is found, the holiest sanctuary in Islam and called the "house of God" (Bayt Allah). Muslims throughout the world pray facing in the direction of Mecca and the Ka ...
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Arab Hajji, Probably in Batavia
This carte-de-visite photograph depicts an Arab in the Dutch colonial capital of Batavia (present-day Jakarta) preparing for the hajj. The Arabs in Southeast Asia generally were from the area of Hadramaut in the southern part of Arabia. During the 19th century, the number of Arabs immigrating to Asia increased, but they remained tied to their homeland and often used the wealth acquired in their new homes to finance projects in Arabia. Despite sharing their Muslim faith with native Indonesians, Arabs maintained separate communities, particularly during the colonial period. The photograph ...
British Propaganda Poster Intended for Chinese Muslim Audience
This rare World War I poster, issued by the British in China, was intended to discredit Germany among Chinese Muslims. It shows a portrait of German Imperial Governor Heinrich Schnee and a copy of a letter by him, written in German, directing the suppression of Islam in Africa. The poster also shows two photographs of Fort Moshi (in present-day Tanzania; at that time, German East Africa) where the letter was said to have been found by the British. The Chinese text of the poster explains the anti-Islamic activities of the ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
A Sketch of the Islamic Law
This manuscript work in two volumes was translated and edited by Ma Boliang (1640–1711), an influential Islamic scholar from Jining, Shandong Province. It deals with the basics of Islam and instructs readers on how to identify unorthodox ideas and deeds. To accommodate some readers, Ma also provided Arabic letters for a few of the most important expressions and terms as well as Chinese characters. The work became very popular in the Muslim community, which constituted a large minority population in China. It has a preface and a postscript, but ...
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Selected Treatises by Jabir ibn Hayyan
Jabir ibn Hayyan (also known by his Latinized name Geber, circa 721–815 AD) was a Muslim polymath, natural philosopher, and alchemist. He was probably born in Tus, Khorasan, in present-day Iran, although some sources give his birthplace as Kufa, Iraq. Some aspects of the life of Jabir ibn Hayyan, as well as the authenticity of tens, if not hundreds, of the titles of his extremely large body of work have been questioned. More than 3,000 treatises or books are attributed to him in one way or another, with ...
Contributed by Bibliotheca Alexandrina