Volume 9 (2009)
Edited by Alex Metcalfe
Simon O'Meara, A Legal Aesthetic of Medieval and Pre-Modern Arab-Muslim Architectural Space (pdf file, 232 kB, pp. 1-17)
Abstract: Despite growing scholarly awareness of an historical element of Islamic law concerning the regulation of the medieval and pre-modern Arab-Muslim medina's architectural environment, a clear statement regarding the history, genealogy, nature, and reach of this element has yet to be made. The present article provides such a report and proposes that this element of Islamic law (fiqh al-bunyan) be considered a discourse that established a legal aesthetic of architectural space and contributed towards the replication of the medina environment.
Oddbjørn Leirvik, Conscience in Arabic and the Semantic History of Damir (pdf file, 205 kB, pp. 18-36)
Abstract: With regard to the notion of damir in religious and philosophical works of some modern Muslim writers in Egypt, this article investigates the semantic history of the term. Classical Islamic usages are examined, as well as those of medieval and modern Bible Arabic. The article argues that, in the coining of damir as the preferred word for conscience in modern Arabic, Islamic and Christian impulses have interacted - with developments in Christian Arabic in the nineteenth century as a major influence.
Abdulrazzak Patel, Nahda Epistolography: Al-Shartuni's al-Shihab and the Western Art of Letter-Writing (pdf file, 324 kB, pp. 37-81)
Abstract: Letter-writing represents one of the most important modes of communication in Islamic and Western societies. Arabic manuals on epistolography and collections of model letters abound throughout the medieval period and continued to be written right up to modern times. The research to date, however, has tended to focus on works of the pre-modern periods which rooted in the Islamic tradition cater primarily for a Muslim audience. Little is known about manuals produced in the Arab 'renaissance' or nahda and it is not clear what factors might have influenced them. Moving into the largely uncharted territory of nahda letter-writing manuals, this article takes a detailed look at al-Shartuni's manual on epistolary theory and model letters, al-Shihab al-thaqib. An analysis of this work reveals it as a significant attempt by al-Shartuni to appropriate elements of the Western ars dictaminis (the art of letter-writing) into his manual for the benefit of an Arab-Christian audience in the nahda.
Samira Farwaneh, Towards a Typology of Arabic Dialects: The Role of Final Consonantality (pdf file, 255 kB, pp. 82-109).
Abstract: The salient constraint on Arabic stems is final consonantality which stipulates that the right edge of a stem must be marked by a consonant. In this paper, I examine the role of final consonantality as an extended prosodic constraint operating on syllables and moras, functioning as a parameter differentiating the main two dialectal types, onset and coda dialects. The effect of final consonantality is observed not only in specifying the site of epenthesis, but also in determining the distribution of prosodic rules such as gemination, degemination, and syncope as well as predicting the quality of the epenthetic vowel. The hypothesis is that extending final consonantality to the phonological component of the grammar in coda dialects is motivated by the desire to ensure uniformity between edges of prosodic and morphological constituents.
Juan A. Macias Amoretti, Islam and Democracy in Contemporary Moroccan Thought: The Political Readings of 'Abd al-Salam Yasin and Muhammad 'Abid al-Jabri (pdf file, 229 kB, pp. 110-125).
Abstract: This article offers a new approach to contemporary Moroccan political thought through a descriptive analysis of the role of some important concepts as 'Islam' and 'democracy' within the political theories of the most representative ideological trends in Morocco: political Islam as conceived by the Islamist leader 'Abd al-Salam Yasin (b. 1928) and Arab nationalism by the rationalist philosopher, Muhammad 'Abid al-Jabri (b. 1935).