A photo of Islamic architecture on the white cover


Islam, Chi no Isan (The Intellectual Legacy of Islam)


368 pages, A5 format




February 25, 2014



Published by

University of Tokyo Press

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Islam, Chi no Isan

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The purpose of this book is to introduce important, but not necessarily famous, Islamic classic works. These works range over various fields; Hadith (oral tradition concerning Prophet Muhammad, Chapter 1, 3), Law (Chapter 4, 6, 7), On learning (Chapter 2), Dictionary (Chapter 5), Contemporary thought (Chapter 10), Literature (Chapter 5, 8), and On education (Chapter 9). They were written in wide-ranging areas including, Central Asia (Chapter 2, 5), Iran (Chapter 3, 4, 9), Iraq (Chapter 1, 3), Syria (Chapter 3), Egypt (Chapter 6, 7), Turkey (Chapter 8), Morocco (Chapter 10), and al-Andalus (Chapter 3, 6). Note that some chapters refer to more than two works, and therefore, a particular subject matter, or region may appear in more than two chapters. The year of writing is said to be between the 10th - 15th centuries and the 19th- 20th centuries.
Chapter One covers the collection of Hadith of the Twelver Shiʿites compiled in the 10th century and presents its details. It also examines the view of Hadith of the same sect and the circumstances of writing the work and the impact that the work had on the Twelver Shiʿites. Chapter Two introduces an attempt made by Islamic intellectuals to categorize academic studies. Chapter Three deals with local history mostly concerning directories complied in various regions in the Islamic world between the 10th and the 13th century and examines its style and purpose. Chapter Four analyzes the ways in which Shafiʿi theory, one of the Sunni Islamic laws, was developed in line with several topics by using nomography as reference written in the 11th century. Chapter Five takes a general view of two items of literature in the Turkic language which were written soon after Islam was accepted by Turc inhabitants of Central Asia and examines the details of Islamization. Chapter Six focuses on one genre of law with the main topic of theoretical divergence within Sunni Islamic law and explores the development of its style and details. Chapter Seven looks into descriptions in Murshid, which was created in an initial attempt to codify Sharia and is also regarded as a draft for Egyptian civil code along with the civil code of the Ottoman Empire, Majalla. It then argues for its significance in legislative history of the modern Arab world. Chapter Eight discusses a drama written in the late Ottoman Empire, expressing love of one’s country and examines its significance in the midst of political turmoil after the fall of the Ottoman Empire until the development of the Republic of Turkey. Chapter Nine depicts the life of Iranian activists for women’s education and their activities and thoughts in the 20th century from the context of Iranian political history in the same era. Chapter Ten examines the state of two major thoughts, Salafism and Sufism, in the modern time by introducing works by SUSI who showed an understanding of Sufism despite being a leading Moroccan religious intellect in the 20th century.
The works introduced in this book are generally little known. However, it makes a well-balanced coverage of the literature on the history of Islamic studies and literature. I believe this book is best suited as an advanced introductory book on Islamic culture.

(Written by YANAGIHASHI Hiroyuki, Professor, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology / 2017)

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