AKU-ISMC's Individual Volumes include monographs, festschrifts, and other academic works
that illustrate the dynamism of scholarship taking place in and about Muslim
What is the Sharia?
Author: Baudouin Dupret
Translated by David Bond
Publication Date: March 2018
Published in association with Hurst Publishers
Available for purchase here
In the West, ‘sharia’ often calls to mind antiquated laws founded upon gender discrimination and barbaric punishments. In the East, for some it means the ideal standards by which Muslims strive to live; for others, it is the greatest obstacle to modernisation of their societies. These clashing views sometimes lead to violence. Clarification of the term has therefore become an urgent necessity.
Sharia is all of these things and much more. It is the legal system of Islam, a series of guidelines and prohibitions. But it is also a concept invested with a whole range of meanings, from the virtuous attributes of an ‘ideal’ society, to the confinement of particular elements to otherness and adversity.
Moving through history, society and Islamic thought to explore the sources of sharia law, Baudouin Dupret gets to the heart of its uses and abuses in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This short, accessible book provides an invaluable guide for those seeking to understand a matter more complex and pressing today than ever before.
The Political Aesthetics of Global Protest: The Arab Spring and Beyond
Edited by Pnina Werbner, Kathryn Spellman Poots & Martin Webb
ISBN: 9780748693351 (PB) ISBN: 9780748693344 (HB)
Publication date: 2014
Published in association with Edinburgh University Press
A remarkable feature of the Arab Spring and
other protests that followed in Egypt, India, Botswana and the UK, among
other places, has been the salience of images, songs, videos, humour,
satire and dramatic performances.
This book explores the central role the
aesthetic played in energising the mass mobilisations of young people,
the disaffected, the middle classes, the apolitical silent majority, as
well as enabling solidarities and alliances among democrats, workers,
trade unions, civil rights activists and opposition parties.
Comparing the North African and Middle
Eastern uprisings with protest movements such as Occupy, the authors
bring to bear an anthropological and sociological approach from a
variety of perspectives, illuminating the debate by drawing on a wide
array of disciplinary expertise.
Pnina Werbner is Professor Emerita of
Social Anthropology at Keele University; Martin Webb is Lecturer in
Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London; Kathryn Spellman-Poots
is Associate Professor at ISMC.
Understanding the Qur’an Today
Author: Mahmoud Hussein
Translated by David Bond
ISBN: 978 0 86356 849 7 (PB)
Publication date: 2013
Published in association with Saqi
In Islam, there is a long tradition of
interpretation regarding the meaning and significance of Divine
revelation, reflecting a plurality of views.
This book argues that whereas God transcends
time, His Word is inscribed within time. It is not a monologue, but a
living exchange, through which God reveals to His Prophet different
orders of truth, weaving together the absolute and the relative, the
general and the particular, the eternal and the contingent.
An international bestseller, Understanding
the Qur’an Today offers a contemporary perspective on one of the world’s
most influential texts and adds an invaluable contribution to the
debate on Islam and modernity.
Mahmoud Hussein is the pseudonym of Bahgat Elnadi and Adel Rifaat, French political writers of Egyptian origin.
The Construction of Belief: Reflections on the Thought of Mohammed Arkoun
Edited by Abdou Filali-Ansary and Aziz Esmail
ISBN: 978 0 86356 424 6 (PB)
Publication date: 2012
Published in association with Saqi
Mohammed Arkoun was one of the most prominent
and influential Arab intellectuals of his day. During a career spanning
more than thirty years, he was revered as an outstanding research
scholar, a bold critic of the theoretical tensions embedded within
Islamic studies and an outspoken public figure, upholding political,
social and cultural modernism.
This festschrift honours Mohammed Arkoun’s
scholarship, bringing together the contributions of eleven distinguished
scholars of history, religious studies and philosophy. It offers a
comprehensive selection of critical engagements with Arkoun’s work,
reflecting on his considerable influence on contemporary thinking about
Islam and its ideological, philosophical and theological dimensions.
The authoritative reference study on the work
of Mohammed Arkoun, the volume is essential reading for students and
scholars of Islam, Muslim societies and cultures, modernity, religious
studies, philosophy and semantics.
Abdou Filali-Ansary is the founding
Director of AKU-ISMC; Aziz Esmail is a governor of The Institute of
Ismaili Studies, London, where he was the Dean from 1988-98
Organizing Knowledge: Encyclopaedic Activities in the Pre-Eighteenth Century Islamic World
The contributions in this volume offer the
first comprehensive effort to describe and analyse the collection,
classification, presentation and methodology of information in the
knowledge society of medieval Islam in the disciplines of religious and
legal learning, as well as the rational sciences of Hellenistic origin –
philosophy, mathematical and medical sciences.
The volume begins with a general discussion
of the concept of encyclopaedia. Successive chapters explore the bases
of authority in the institutions of religion and law; bibliographical
literature and handbooks of law; compendia of scientific and
philosophical learning based on Iranian and Greek sources; and the more
specialised expositions of mathematics and philosophy. The special
character of Muslim institutions, their teaching traditions and syllabi
is also put into perspective.
This is a reference work for the principle
genres of ‘encyclopaedic’ outlines and manuals – biography, legal
handbooks, historiography of knowledge transmission, cosmography, and
the philosophical sciences – and a major contribution to the literary
and intellectual history of scholarly writing in the pre-modern Islamic
Gerhard Endress is Professor Emeritus of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany.