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Reason and Inspiration in Islam. Theology, Philosophy and Mysticism in Muslim Thought. Essays in Honour of Hermann Landolt, (ed. by Todd Lawson),

Reason and Inspiration in Islam. Theology, Philosophy and Mysticism in (...)

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(Introduction of the book)

The contributions collected here, and the art work which serves as the basis for
the cover design, reflect the esteem, respect and affection in which Hermann
Landolt, as Professor Emeritus of Islamic Thought at the Institute of Islamic Studies of McGill University is held by his peers and students around the world (...) The essays and articles gathered here represent a significant contribution to our knowledge of Islamic thought.

(Introduction of the IIS)

This volume contributes to the broad theme of Islamic Thought. Most of the articles deal with theology, philosophy or mysticism – or the interaction of all three. There are also a few studies of purely historical or historiographical interest. Contemporary tastes are disinclined to see historical problems in the light — or the shade — of theological and spiritual concerns. But, history was hardly seen by the great representatives of the intellectual tradition treated here — beginning with the Qur’an itself — to be beyond the pale of religious or theological import and contemplation. Rather, in this tradition, what is thought of as ‘history’ had always been deemed of religio-philosophical concern.

The collection is divided chronologically into four sections: Classical, Medieval, Pre-Modern and Modern Islam, and its themes in these different sections are a reflection of Professor Landolt’s academic concerns and the influence that he has had both through his publications and his teaching on Islamic studies.

In the classical period, this volume includes studies of themes or topics of significance for an understanding of the conception, birth and early development of Islamic discourse. Thus there are articles on the possible confluence of Manichaean and Islamic belief; a study of a charming episode in the life of the Prophet and his beloved wife, ‘A’isha; a penetrating study of taqiyya; an innovative examination of walaya in the thought of Junayd; a suggestive survey of “proto-religious studies” in classical Islamic philosophy; a treatment of an Ismaili commentary on a celebrated poem by Avicenna; and a reading of the philosophical exegesis of the celebrated Light Verse from the Qur’an.

In the second part of the volume, scholars treat problems arising in the intellectual history of “medieval Islam” in the works of such seminal thinkers as Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, his brother Ahmad al-Ghazali, and Suhrawardi al-Maqtul; the broad theme of spiritual ascent (mi‘raj) in the writings of important mystics from Qushayri to Ibn ‘Arabi; contributions to Islamic thought by Shahrastani, Afdal al-Din Kashani, and Najm al-din Kubra; a comparison of Avicenna and Meister Eckhart; the epistemic value of the appearance of the Prophet in dreams; the spiritual journey in Kubrawi Sufism and a study of the role of Ibn ‘Arabi’s thought on the important Egyptian religious thinker, al-Sha‘rani.

In the section designated “pre-Modern Islam” there is an illuminating study of the crucial terra incognito of Ismaili history and the emergence out of such obscurity of Shah Tahir; a probing meditation on the mystical interpretation of Paradise by Sirhindi; the rise of the Naqshbandi through the eyes of “renewers of Islam” in Central Asia; a valuable discussion of Mulla Sadra’s Shi‘ism through a study of his devotional poem on Imam ‘Ali; and an analysis of walaya in the work of Fayd al-Kashani.

In the final section of the book, we are treated to a survey of the role of Pharaoh in Islamic theology, from the beginning to the early 19th century; an examination of the enduring role of Junayd’s spiritual discipline in modern Sufism; a learned essay on the Ismaili ginan tradition; a fresh critical assessment of the 19th century scholarly attitude towards “worldly government”; and a remarkably concise characterization of the role of ‘Irfan in the context of contemporary philosophy. This section and the volume closes with a meditation, through a rigorous historiographical approach, on the very rich question of the relationship between Modernization and Westernization.

The title of the volume sets the broad parameters for the book. Reason and Inspiration may of course be seen as antonyms or opposites. But as the title for this collection, this would be an error. Rather, these studies as a whole make it clear that such apparently faithful and reliable categories are really quite porous and malleable. The two modes frequently combine and cooperate in surprising ways. What is seen as the logic and reasoning process of one thinker or period becomes “poetic syllogism” and inspiration of another. The “logic of the birds” rules certain realms, while the passion of the logician comes to the fore elsewhere. Another Muslim notion, that of walaya – a mode, theme, and topic frequently present in Prof. Landolt’s distinctive scholarship and teaching, is frequently treated throughout.

These thirty-eight essays represent a significant contribution to contemporary knowledge of Islamic Thought. They are published in honour of Hermann Landolt, Professor Emeritus of Islamic Thought, McGill University. The selection process had less to do with conforming to some strict, and therefore exclusive, thematic guideline than with taking account of just who had worked under or with Prof. Landolt and those scholars whom he particularly esteems. Contributors were asked to conform to one stricture: their contribution should be made with a view as to how, in their own minds, they might best pay tribute to Prof. Landolt, hoping thus that the finished volume might reflect the rigorous openness of his own scholarly style and preoccupations. Thus, we have a cornucopia, rather than a thematic volume as such. Even so, most of the articles are concerned with philosophers and philosophical problems bearing the imprint of Shi‘i Islam – Ismaili as well as Ithna‘Ashari – and many are concerned with Sufism. The articles are arranged in chronological order, originally divided into four major periods according to the imprecise and sometimes misleading designations: Classical, Medieval, Pre-Modern and Modern.

The names of the scholars who so generously contributed to this tribute volume are well known to the growing world of Islamic Studies. They include, in alphabetical order: Alexandrin, Alvi, Amir-Moezzi, Anwar, Chittick, Chodkiewicz, Clarke, Crow, Daftary, DeWeese, Fragner, Hajjaji-Jarrah, Heath, Hunzai, Kamada, Karamustafa, Kazemi-Moussavi, Lawson, Lewisohn, Little, Lory, Madelung, Marcotte, McGregor, Mohaghegh, Morris, Nomoto, Ormsby, Pironet, Pourjavady, Radtke, Shah, Steigerwald, Walbridge, Walker, Vakily and Virani.


Note on the Transliteration and Abbreviations
List of Contributors

1 Introduction
Todd Lawson
2 Bibliography of the Works of Hermann Landolt
Todd Lawson

Part one: Classical Islam

3 The ‘Five Limbs’ of the Soul: A Manichaean Motif in Muslim Garb?
Karim Douglas Crow
4 Narrative Themes and Devices in al-Wāqidī’s Kitāb al-maghāzī
Donald P. Little
5 The Rise and Decline of Taqiyya in Twelver Shiʿism
L. Clarke
6 Walāya According to al-Junayd (d. 298/910)
Ahmet T. Karamustafa
7 L’importance du Traité de l’harmonie d’al-Fārābī: ses visées politiques
Fabienne Pironet
8 Philosophy of Religion in al-Fārābī, Ibn Sīnā and Ibn Ṭufayl
Paul E. Walker
9 Revisiting Religious Shiʿism and Early Sufism: The Fourth/Tenth-
Century Dialogue of ‘The Sage and the Young Disciple’
James Winston Morris
10 Al-Qāḍī al-Nuʿmān and the Concept of Bāṭin
Bulbul Shah
11 The Concept of Knowledge According to al-Kirmānī
(d. after 411/1021)
Faquīr Muḥammad Hunzai
12 An Early Ismaili View of Other Religions: A Chapter from the
Kitāb al-Iṣlāḥ by Abū Ḥātim al-Rāzī (d. ca. 322/934)
Shin Nomoto
13 An Ismaili interpretation of Ibn Sīnā’s Qaṣīdat al-Nafs
Wilferd Madelung
14  yat al-Nūr: A Metaphor for Where We Come From, What
We Are and Where We Are Going
Soraya Mahdi Hajjaji-Jarrah
part two: Medieval Islam
15 Reading al-Ghazālī: The Case of Psychology
Peter Heath
16 Stories of Aḥmad al-Ghazālī ‘Playing the Witness’ in Tabrīz
(Shams-i Tabrīzī’s interest in shāhid-bāzī)
Nasrollah Pourjavady
17 Reason (ʿaql) and Direct Intuition (mushāhada) in the Works of
Shihāb al-Dīn al-Suhrawardī (d. 587/1191)
Roxanne D. Marcotte
18 Al-Suhrawardī on Body as Extension:
An Alternative to Hylomorphism from Plato to Leibniz
John Walbridge
19 Miʿrāj al-kalima: de la Risāla Qushayriyya aux Futūḥāt Makkiyya
Michel Chodkiewicz
20 Al-Shahrastānī’s Contribution to Medieval Islamic Thought
Diana Steigerwald
21 The Pertinence of Islamic Cosmology:
Reflections on the Philosophy of Afḍal al-Dīn Kāshānī
William C. Chittick
22 The Sciences of Intuition and the Riches of Inspiration:
Najm al-Dīn Kubrā in Jāmī’s Nafaḥāt al-uns
Elizabeth Ross Alexandrin
23 Two Narratives on Najm al-Dīn Kubrā and Raḍī al-Dīn ʿAlī Lālā
from a Thirteenth-Century Source: Notes on a Manuscript in the
Raza Library, Rampur
Devin DeWeese
24 Ibn Sīnā and Meister Eckhart on Being
Etin Anwar
25 La Vision de Dieu dans l’Onirocritique Musulmane Médiévale
Pierre Lory
26 The Spiritual Journey in Kubrawī Sufism
Leonard Lewisohn
27 Notes on the Transmission of Mystical Philosophy:
Ibn ʿArabī according to ʿAbd al-Wahhāb al-Shaʿrānī
Richard J. A. McGregor
part three: Pre-Modern Islam
28 Shāh Ṭāhir and Nizārī Ismaili Disguises
Farhad Daftary
29 Some Notes on Shaykh Aḥmad Sirhindī and the Problem of the
Mystical Significance of Paradise
Abdollah Vakily
30 The Naqshbandī Mujaddidī Sufi Order’s Ascendancy in
Central Asia Through the Eyes of its Masters and Disciples
Sajida S. Alvi
31 ‘Le combattant du taʾwīl’. Un poème de Mollā Ṣadrā sur ʿAlī
(Aspects de l’imamologie duodécimane IX)
Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi
32 Fayḍ al-Kāshānī’s Walāya:
The Confluence of Shiʿi Imamology and Mysticism
Shigeru Kamada
part four: Modern Islam
33 The Faith of Pharaoh: A Disputed Question in Islamic Theology
Eric Ormsby
34 The Eight Rules of Junayd: A General Overview of the Genesis
and Development of Islamic Dervish Orders
Bernd Radtke
35 Symphony of Gnosis: A Self-Definition of the Ismaili
Ginān Tradition
Shafique N. Virani
36 The Attitude of the ʿUlamāʾ towards the Government in
Nineteenth-Century Iran
Ahmad Kazemi Moussavi
37 Traditional Philosophy in Iran with Reference to Modern Trends
Mehdi Mohaghegh
38 Traces of Modernisation and Westernisation? Some Comparative
Considerations concerning Late Bukhāran Chronicles
Bert G. Fragner

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