Volume 3 (2000)
Edited by Joseph Norment Bell
James E. Montgomery, Ibn Fadlan and the Rusiyyah. (Adobe Acrobat 4.0 PDF file, 210 kB, pp. 1-25)
Abstract: Ibn Fadlan's account of the caliphal embassy from Baghdad to the King of the Volga Bulghars in the early fourth/tenth century is one of our principal, textual sources for the history, ethnogenesis and polity formation of a number of tribes and peoples who populated Inner Asia. Of especial significance is his description of a people whom he calls the Rusiyyah. Attempts to identify this people have been the stuff of controversy for almost two centuries and have largely focused on how this description can be made to contribute to the Normanist Controversy (the principal, but by no means the only, controversy concerns the extent of Viking involvement in the creation of Russia). This article provides a fresh, annotated translation of Ibn Fadlan's passage and considers a multiplicity of identities for the Rusiyyah.
Ronald A. Lukens-Bull, Teaching Morality: Javanese Islamic Education in a Globalizing Era (Adobe Acrobat 4.0 PDF file, 126 kB, pp. 26-47)
Abstract: As Indonesia strives to overcome its position as a periphery nation, its populations are faced with increasing challenges to traditional identity and morality. With economic development comes a great exposure to global consumer culture. This paper examines how traditionalist Muslims in Java, Indonesia, are facing the perceived impact of globalization through educational efforts and the re-invention of tradition. A key institution in this process is the Islamic boarding school called pesantren. Pesantren curriculum has become a focal point in the strategy of the traditionalist community to encounter globalization. By shaping curriculum, pesantren leaders are trying to mold future generations of Indonesian leaders and citizens. The goal is to create a society that is fully modern, fully globalized, fully Indonesian, and fully Islamic, one student at a time. In this process, both modernity and tradition are re-invented in such a way that one cannot exist without the other.
Lutz Edzard, Sibawayhi's Observations on Assimilatory Processes and Re-Syllabification in the Light of Optimality Theory (Adobe Acrobat 4.0 PDF file, 136 kB, pp. 48-65)
Abstract: The last seven chapters (chs. 565-71) of Sibawayhi's Kitab contain many phonetic and phonological observations that can be conveniently recast in terms of theories of linguistic preference and natural generative phonology (Hooper 1976), notably in terms of the approach of Vennemann (1983, 1988). Optimality Theory (Prince and Smolensky 1993) offers a formal means to capture the "constraint ranking" that is implicit in Sibawayhi's rejection of disallowed forms and evaluation of parallelly occurring and competing forms ("candidates"). The relevant phenomena under investigation in this paper are mainly assimilatory processes but also re-syllabification and haplological syllable ellipsis.
Ibrahim Taha, The Power of the Title: Why Have You Left the Horse Alone by Mahmud Darwish (Adobe Acrobat 4.0 PDF file, 103 kB, pp. 66-83)
Abstract: This article deals with various functions of the title of Darwish's collection Why Have You Left the Horse Alone in three different contexts: as an independent and separate text; in relation to the poem in which it originally appeared; and in relation to all the poems in the collection. Our case discussion shows that the interpretation of the title means in fact a discussion of the entire text, or rather of all these texts. It also shows that the question/title has equally informative, rhetorical, provocative, and communicative facets, and as such our discussion grants it great summarizing and representational power. When all this power is given to the title as pre-text, it in essence also makes the title a post-text.
Philip F. Kennedy, Reason and Revelation or a Philosopher's Squib (The Sixth Maqama of Ibn Naqiya) (Adobe Acrobat 4.0 PDF file, 212 kB, pp. 84-113)
Abstract: Ibn Naqiya (d. 1092) is far less well-known than Badi' al-Zaman al-Hamadhani (d. 1008), creator of the maqama genre and luminary of the Arabic literary canon. After al-Hamadhani our attention turns normally to al-Hariri (d. 1122), who refined certain (mainly linguistic) features of the genre and who has subsequently eclipsed the fame of other authors. Ibn Naqiya comes chronologically midway between al-Hamadhani and al-Hariri; he amplifies more the irreverent tone than the linguistic register of al-Hamadhani. The sixth maqama of Ibn Naqiya (one of ten surviving pieces) shows in the author a quite detailed knowledge of falsafa, and from it we sense the growing tension between falsafa and orthodox Sunni theology in the eleventh century C.E. This constitutes more than just the social and discursive backdrop to the text: the dichotomy structures the text whose statement of fatalism is as erudite (in an Aristotelian scheme) as it is facetious--and therefore ultimately incoherent. This article lays bare in a close reading the nature and tone of the parody in this burlesque piece.
Agostino Cilardo, Musulmani in Italia: La condizione giuridica delle comunità islamiche, a curo di Silvio Ferrari -- articolo recensione (Review article in Italian; Adobe Acrobat 4.0 PDF file, 114 kB, pp. 114-26)
Abstract: The Muslim presence in Italy, and in Europe generally, is steadily increasing. This encounter of two so different cultures is a source of mutual enrichment, but it also creates a new situation, making it necessary for Europe to discuss the position of such a presence in its borders. The legislation of Spain, Germany, Belgium, and France, in addition to that of Italy, is examined in the book edited by Ferrari. The system followed in Italy with regard to religious denominations is based on a legal agreement between the State and the religious group concerned, the agreement always safeguarding the supreme principle of a non-denominational State. However, a series of questions must first be resolved in the case of Islam. Since three proposals have been presented up to now, the first question is to determine the association that truly represents Muslims. Once this has been done, many of the requests made by Muslims will find an answer in existing legislation. Only a few will need to be the subject of special agreements.
Agostino Cilardo, Some Peculiarities of the Law of Inheritance: The Formation of Imami and Ismaili Law (Adobe Acrobat 5.0 PDF file, 114 kB, pp. 127-37)
Abstract: The question of the caliphate or imamate and similarly that of the mut'a marriage (Imamis) are generally seen as the deepest differences distinguishing Shi'i law systems from those of the remaining law schools. Inheritance law, however, reveals an additional range of Shi'i idiosyncrasies: the division of heirs by kin into classes, certain privileges of the eldest son, and certain disadvantages of wives with respect to some goods in their husband's estates. From a historical point of view, the analysis of these cases leads to some innovative conclusions about the origin and development of Imami and Isma'ili doctrine, the influence of political elements on the law system, the question of the authenticity of the Zaydi Majmu' al-fiqh, and the dominance of practical considerations over strict legal rules.