By Nabil Matar

This booklet offers translated decisions from the writings of Muhammad Ibn Othman al-Miknasi (d. 1799). the one writings via an Arab-Muslim within the pre-modern interval that current a comparative viewpoint, his travelogues supply distinctive perception with in to Christendom and Islam.
Translating excerpts from his 3 travelogues, this publication tells the tale of al-Miknasi’s travels from 1779-1788. As an envoy, al-Miknasi used to be aware about court docket lifestyles, govt workplaces and spiritual structures, and he offers precise debts of towns, humans, customs, ransom negotiations, ancient occasions and political associations. together with descriptions of Europeans, Arabs, Turks, Christians (both eu and Eastern), Muslims, Jews, and (American) Indians within the final area of the eighteenth century, An Arab Ambassador within the Mediterranean international explores how the main travelled Muslim author of the pre-modern interval observed the area: from Spain to Arabia and from Morocco to Turkey, with second-hand information regarding the hot World.
Supplemented with wide notes detailing the historical and political relevance of the translations, this ebook is of curiosity to researchers and students of Mediterranean background, Ottoman experiences and Muslim-Christian kin.

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1 Spence points out that Confucian scholars began searching for certainty with the use of a new methodology (kaozheng) more than in the texts (like Usulis) and those who were inclined to studying the texts, focused on older works that were closer to the time of Confucius (similar to Akhbaris). No matter how innovative they might have been, Islamic and Confucian reform movements are hardly considered as “modern” by scholars who suggest that Europe or “the West” is the birthplace of all things modern.

Much to the dismay of the Ottomans, Usulis came to exert immense popular influence in southern Iraq, especially after the majority of Arab tribesmen converted to Shi‘ism from Sunnism as they settled near Karbala’ and Najaf. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 explore the emergence of Usulism at ground level by examining the thought and activism of the first generation of Usuli scholars. Chapter 4 focuses on the life of the “founder” of modern Usulism, Wahid Bihbihani, who is remembered in the Shi‘i tradition as the “reviver” (mujaddid) of the eighteenth century because he put an end to Akhbari dominance.

The Islamic world by reformers who attempted to breathe new life into their societies. These movements, therefore, are part and parcel of the modern experience. In addition to reviving Islamic traditions, they also initiated reforms in an attempt to adapt to the emerging modern world. ”27 One of the goals of this book, therefore, is to add Shi‘ism to the history of eighteenth-century Islamic reform. ‌CONTEMPORARY SHI‘ISM AND ITS ROOTS Since the late eighteenth century, Usuli Shi‘ism has been dominant in Iran and Iraq and throughout the Shi‘i world.

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