Arabic Literature, Context - Britannica

"The Arabic literary tradition began within the context of a tribal, nomadic culture. With the advent and spread of Islam, that tradition was carried far and wide during the course of the 7th to the 10th century. It initially sought to preserve the values of chivalry and hospitality while expressing a love of animals and describing the stark realities of nature, but it proceeded to absorb cultural influences from every region brought within the fold of “Dār al-Islām” (“Abode of Islam”). Early contacts with the Sasanian empire of Persia (present-day Iran) led to a noisy but fruitful exchange of cultural values. The foundation in 762 of Baghdad, built expressly as a caliphal capital, brought about further expansion to the east and contacts with the cultures of India and beyond; one of the results of such contact was the appearance in the Middle East of the world’s greatest collection of narrative, Alf laylah wa laylah(The Thousand and One Nights). In that same capital city was founded the great library Bayt al-Ḥikmah (“House of Wisdom”), which, until the sack of the city by the Mongols in 1258, served as a huge repository for the series of works from the Hellenistic tradition that were translated into Arabic. Al-Andalus became to the rest of Europe a model of a society in which the religions and cultures of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism could work together and create a system of scholarship and teaching that could transmit the heritage of older civilizations and the rich cultural admixture of Andalusian society. Western science, mathematics, philosophy, music, and literature were all beneficiaries of this fascinating era, of whose final stages the fabulous Alhambra palace complex in Granada, Spain, remains the most visible token".

To read further, Arabic Literature - Britannica

This post is part of our series of lecture reading excerpts from Sanad Foundation's 2018 course 'Islamic Scholarly Tradition' taught by Sidi Mohamed Acharki in Melbourne.

 

Arabic Literature, Definition - Britannica

"Arabic literature, the body of written works produced in the Arabic language.

The tradition of Arabic literature stretches back some 16 centuries to unrecorded beginnings in the Arabian Peninsula. At certain points in the development of European civilization, the literary cultureof Islam and its Arabic medium of expression came to be regarded not only as models for emulation but also, through vital conduits such as Moorish Spain and Norman Sicily, as direct sources of inspiration for the intellectual communities of Europe. The rapid spread of the Islamic faith brought the original literary tradition of the Arabian Peninsula into contact with many other cultural traditions—Byzantine, Persian, Indian, Amazigh (Berber), and Andalusian, to name just a few—transforming and being transformed by all of them. At the turn of the 21st century, the powerful influence of the West tended to give such contacts a more one-sided directionality, but Arab litterateurs were constantly striving to find ways of combining the generic models and critical approaches of the West with more indigenous sources of inspiration drawn from their own literary heritage".

To read further, Arabic Literature - Britannica

This post is part of our series of lecture reading excerpts from Sanad Foundation's 2018 course 'Islamic Scholarly Tradition' taught by Sidi Mohamed Acharki in Melbourne.

Islamic Sciences and Centrality of Spirituo-Ethics - Joseph E. B. Lumbard

The Ihsani Tradition

“As is evident from Sarraj, the Sufis saw themselves as that group among the scholars who were especially devoted to the science of doing beautiful or doing good (ihsan). To understand the central thrust of the Sufi movement, we must therefore examine the Qur'anic roots of ihsan. The verb "to make beautiful" (ahsana) and its derivatives occur over fifty times in the text and it is often found in the hadith. According to these sources, the first to make beautiful is God Himself, "Who made beautiful everything which He created" (32:6). It is God who "formed you, made your forms beautiful, and provided you with pleasant things" (40:64). "He created the heavens and the earth through truth, formed you and made your forms beautiful, and to Him is the homecoming" (64:3). God is thus the first to make beautiful (muhsin), and to do beautiful is to imitate the Creator as best a human can. This is fundamentally important for understanding the place of ihsan, for while Islam and iman are important Quranic concepts, neither pertains to nor can pertain directly to God. God cannot submit, He can only be submitted to, and God does not believe or have faith, He knows. Ihsan is thus the dimension of the religion wherein one draws closest to God by being as God-like as one can be: "Do what is beautiful as God has done what is beautiful to you" (28:77). In this vein, the Prophet Muhammad would pray, "Oh God, You have made beautiful my creation (khalq), make beautiful my character (khuluq)."46 From this perspective, doing beautiful is not only a way of performing specific actions, it is a way of being. Only when God has beautified one's character is the human servant then able to do beautiful, for only the like comes from the like. This in turn leads to the continued beautification of one's self”.

To read further, 2) Chapter 2: The Decline of Knowledge and the Rise of Ideology in the Muslim World, pps. 53-54

This post is part of our series of lecture reading excerpts from Sanad Foundation's 2018 course 'Islamic Scholarly Tradition' taught by Sidi Mohamed Acharki in Melbourne.

 

Islamic Sciences and Centrality of Spirituo-Ethics - A.A, Nadwi

Natural Disposition, Character of The Prophet

“The Prophet came of the noblest stock, yet he was very modest, exceedingly large-hearted and most sweet -tempered; he never kept aloof from his companions; cherished a kind and tender disposition towards children and often took them in his lap; accepted the invitation to take meals with slaves and maidservants, the poor and the indigent; visited the sick even if he had to go to the farthest corner of the city and always accepted the excuse offered for a misdeed." The Prophet was never seen stretching his legs whilest sitting with his companions lest anyone of them should feel inconvenience. His companions recited or listened poems, described some incident of the pagan past while the Prophet either sat silently or smiled with them at some amusing remark. The Prophet was extremely kindhearted and affectionate the finest human sentiments and www.abulhasanalinadwi.org virtues were discernible in his demeanour. Often he asked his daughter Fatima, "Send for my both sons (Hasan and Husain)." When the two came running, the Prophet used to kiss and embrace them. Once he happened to have in his lap one of his grandsons who was at the last gasp. His eyes started overflowing. S'ad asked, "What is this, 0 Messenger of God?" This is compassion," replied the Prophet, 'planted in the hearts of such servants of God whom He wills. Verily, God has mercy upon those who are compassionate".

To read further, 1) Character of the Prophet, A.A, Nadwi - Seyyed Nasr

This post is part of our series of lecture reading excerpts from Sanad Foundation's 2018 course 'Islamic Scholarly Tradition' taught by Sidi Mohamed Acharki in Melbourne.

Ch. 1, Authenticity of the Quran - ‘Ulum Al-Quran’, A.V, Denferr

"CHAPTER 1: The Qur'an and Revelation REVELATION AND SCRIPTURE BEFORE THE QUR'AN

God's Communication with Man God communicated with man:

This is the key concept of revelation upon which all religious belief if more than a mere philosophical attempt to explain man's relationship with the great 'unknown', the 'wholly other' is founded. There is no religious belief, however remote it may be in time or concept from the clear teachings of Islam, which can do without or has attempted to do without God's communication with man.

Man denies God:
God's communication with man has always accompanied him, from the earliest period of his appearance on this planet, and throughout the ages until today. Men have often denied the communication from God or attributed it to something other than its true source and origin. More recently some have begun to deny God altogether, or to explain away man's preoccupation with God and the communication from Him as a preoccupation with delusion and fantasy. Yet even such people do not doubt that the preoccupation of man with God's communication is as old as man himself. Their reasoning is, they claim, based on material evidence. Following this line of thought they feel that they should deny God's existence, but are at the same time compelled to concede the point for material evidence is abundant that man has ever been preoccupied with thinking about God and the concept of God's communication with man. Empiricism and Realism. Their general approach to emphasize material evidence in the search for reality and truth, is surely commendable. Not only empiricist philosophy but also commonsense tell us that one should accept as real and existent what can be grasped empirically, that is, by direct experience, by seeing, hearing, touching and so on. While there may be in other systems of thought, other criteria for the evaluation of reality, at present it is a materialistic philosophy that rules the day, and though many people (especially the 'religious' type) are saddened by this and wish back the 'old days of idealism and rule of the creed', I personally think that we have to accept the present state of affairs not as ideal and unchangeable, but as our point of departure and moreover that doing so is of some advantage to us".

To read further, Chapter 2: Transmission of the Quranic Revelation (first four pages), from ‘Ulum Al-Quran’, A.V, Denferr.

This post is part of our series of lecture reading excerpts from Sanad Foundation's 2018 course 'Islamic Scholarly Tradition' taught by Sidi Mohamed Acharki in Melbourne.

 

Authenticity of the Quran - ‘Ulum Al-Quran’, A.V, Denferr.

"The Qur'an contains the revelations of Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, to mankind. It is the message from God to man and therefore of utmost importance to us. To properly grasp a message, one needs first of all to understand its contents exactly, and for this purpose one must study the Qur'an deeply and in detail. In fact, some people do spend their whole lives studying the Qur'an, reading and reflecting upon it and, as they grow and develop, both physically and spiritually, they discover for themselves new meanings and implications. Secondly, some special knowledge of the circumstances that surround the message is also necessary for fuller understanding of its meaning and implications. Although some part of this special knowledge can be derived from the Qur'an itself, there remain other areas of knowledge that can only be discovered by wider study and research. Muslims have from earliest times, applied themselves not only to the message from Allah the Qur'an but also to its setting and framework, and the preoccupation with these ultimately developed into the 'sciences' of or 'knowledge' about the Qur'an, known as "ulum al-qur'an'."

To read further, Chapter 2: Transmission of the Quranic Revelation (first four pages), from ‘Ulum Al-Quran’, A.V, Denferr.

This post is part of our series of lecture reading excerpts from Sanad Foundation's 2018 course 'Islamic Scholarly Tradition' taught by Sidi Mohamed Acharki in Melbourne.

A Perennial Workshop of Humanity, Character of the Prophet, A.A, Nadwi

"The personal guidance provided by the holy Prophet came to an end with his departure from this fleeting world, but the Quran, ahadith and the glowing examples of the Prophet's life continued to show the right path. Way to purification of the self contained in the wisdom of prophetic teachings was a sure cure to all the ailments of the heart, self-conciet and the ruses -of satan".

To read further, Character of the Prophet, A.A, Nadwi

This post is part of our series of lecture reading excerpts from Sanad Foundation's 2018 course 'Islamic Scholarly Tradition' taught by Sidi Mohamed Acharki in Melbourne.

Wisdom, Character of the Prophet - A.A, Nadwi

"The mission of the Prophet assigns an important place to the cultivation of the moral virtues and self-purification. It is a familiar theme running through the whole of Quran which makes it abundantly clear that wisdom stands for exalted morality. In the Surah Isra the Quran expounds the bases of morality and civilized behaviour and goes on to call them as wisdom".

To read further, Character of the Prophet, A.A, Nadwi

This post is part of our series of lecture reading excerpts from Sanad Foundation's 2018 course 'Islamic Scholarly Tradition' taught by Sidi Mohamed Acharki in Melbourne.

 

First Revelations - Ibn Juzayy

"Sometimes an entire surah would be revealed to him, and sometimes separate ayat, so that he, peace be upon him, would join some of them to others until the surah became complete.
The first that was revealed to him of the Qur’an was the beginning of Surah al-Alaq,
then al-Muddaththir and al-Muzzammil. It has been said that the first to be revealed was al-Muddaththir, and it has been said the Fatihah of the Book. The former is the truth because of what has been narrated in the authentic hadith from A’ishah in the very long hadith on the beginning of the revelation in which she said: The angel came to him while he was in the cave of Hira, and said, “Recite!” He said, “I am not a reciter.” He said, “Then he took me and squeezed me until it distressed me, and then he released me and said, ‘Recite.’ I said, ‘I am not a reciter.’
Then he took me and squeezed me a second time until it distressed me, and then he released me and said, ‘Recite.’ I said, ‘I am not a reciter.’ Then he took me and squeezed me a third time until it distressed me, and then he released me and said, ‘Recite in the name of your Lord the One Who created. He created man from a blood clot. Recite and your Lord is the Most Generous the One Who taught man by the pen, taught man that which he did not know.’” The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, returned with his heart in turmoil, and said, “Wrap me up.” So they wrapped him up until the fear he experienced left him".

To read further, Chapter 3 from Introduction to At-Tasheel, Ibn Juzay pps.9-12

This post is part of our series of lecture reading excerpts from Sanad Foundation's 2018 course 'Islamic Scholarly Tradition' taught by Sidi Mohamed Acharki in Melbourne.

 

Tafseer Introduction - Ibn Juzayy

"He makes the people of the Qur’an the people of Allah and His choicest friends. He singles them out from among His slaves, and makes them inherit the Garden and a beautiful place of return. So glory be to our Generous Master Who singled us out with His Book, and honoured us with His address. What an abundant blessing, and far-reaching proof. May Allah the Generous help us to undertake the duty of showing gratitude for it, fulfilling its right, and recognising its rank. My success is only by Allah, He is my Lord, there is no god but Him, upon Him I depend and to Him I turn in repentance".

To read further, Chapter 3 from Introduction to At-Tasheel, Ibn Juzay pps.9-12

This post is part of our series of lecture reading excerpts from Sanad Foundation's 2018 course 'Islamic Scholarly Tradition' taught by Sidi Mohamed Acharki in Melbourne.

The Whole Intellectual Tradition - Seyyed Nasr

"Not every traditional scholar has been a master of all the traditional schools of thought nor accepted all their premises and teachings. Even in the traditional world, followers of one school of kalam opposed other schools of kalam, followers of kalam opposed philosophy, and philosophers of one school those of another. But all these oppositions were once again within the traditional universe. The traditionalists do not defend only one school at the expense of others but insist on the value of the whole intellectual tradition of Islam in all of its manifestations, every one of which has issued from the Islamic revelation. Moreover, the various traditional schools of Islamic theology, philosophy and science are evaluated in the light of the Islamic world-view. They are in fact seen as keys to the understanding of aspects of the intellectual universe of Islam, rather than as stages in the growth of this or that school of Western philosophy or science and hence seen to be of value by many scholars only because of the contribution they have made to modern Western thought".

To read further, Traditional Islam in the Modern World - Seyyed Nasr

This post is part of our series of lecture reading excerpts from Sanad Foundation's 2018 course 'Islamic Scholarly Tradition' taught by Sidi Mohamed Acharki in Melbourne.

What is Traditional Islam? - Seyyed Nasr

"What is Traditional Islam?

Two centuries ago, if a Westerner, or for that matter a Chinese Confucian or a Hindu from India, were to study Islam, he would have encountered but a single Islamic tradition. Such a person could have detected numerous schools of thought, juridical and theological interpretations and even sects which remained separated from the main body of the community. He would moreover have encountered both orthodoxy and heterodoxy in belief as well as in practice. But all that he could have observed, from the esoteric utterances of a Sufi saint to the juridical injunctions of an ?dim, from the strict theological views of a Hanbalite doctor from Damascus to the unbalanced assertions of some extreme form of Shi’ism, would have belonged in one degree or another to the Islamic tradition: that is, to that single tree of Divine Origin whose roots are the Quran and the Hadith, and whose trunk and branches constitute that body of tradition... that has grown from those roots over some fourteen centuries in nearly every inhabited quarter of the globe".

To read further, Traditional Islam in the Modern World - Seyyed Nasr

This post is part of our series of lecture reading excerpts from Sanad Foundation's 2018 course 'Islamic Scholarly Tradition' taught by Sidi Mohamed Acharki in Melbourne.

 

The Islamic Scholarly Tradition: Sunday Intensives with Br. Mohamed Acharki

Sanad_2018_SidiAcharki'sClasses_V8.jpg

Find the course readings below

Subject 1: Introduction to Islamic Scholarly Tradition

 

Lecture 1: Introduction, Defining the ‘Islamic Scholarly Tradition’
Prologue: What is Traditional Islam?, from ‘Traditional Islam in the Modern World’, S.H, Nasr. pps. 13-16

Lecture 2: Foundations: Quran
Chapter 3 from Introduction to At-Tasheel, Ibn Juzay pps.9-12

Lecture 3: Foundations: Sunnah
Character of the Prophet, A.A, Nadwi

Lecture 4: Authenticity of the Quran
Chapter 2: Transmission of the Quranic Revelation (first four pages), from ‘Ulum Al-Quran’, A.V, Denferr.

Lecture 5: Integrity of the Sunnah
Introduction, pps.6-10, from ‘A Textbook of Hadith Studies’, M.H, Kamali

Lecture 6: Islamic Sciences and Centrality of Spirituo-Ethics
1) Character of the Prophet, A.A, Nadwi
2) Chapter 2: The Decline of Knowledge and the Rise of Ideology in the Muslim World, pps. 53-54

Lecture 7: Arabic, the Vibrant and Universal Language of the Islamic Scholarly Tradition
Arabic Literature

Lecture 8: Establishment and Development of Islamic Sciences
1) Chapter 2: The Basis of the Teaching System and the Educational Institutions (The Classification of the Sciences) pps. 59-64 from ‘Science and Civilization in Islam’, S.H, Nasr.

2) Fourth section: Translation as a Source of Knowledge

Lecture 9: Continuity and Change
Chapter 6: The Various Kinds of Sciences, sections 34-38 from the Muqaddimah, Ibn Khaldun

Lecture 10: Islamic Scholarship and Modernity
1) Islam and Modernity pps.32-45 from ‘Winning the Modern World for Islam’, A, Yassine

 

Subject 2: Introduction to the Proofs of Islamic Law (Usuul Al-Fiqh)

Lecture 1: Introduction
Source Methodology in Islamic Jurisprudence (Chapter 1), Taha Jabir Alwani

Lecture 2: Legal Ruling (Al-Hukm As-Shar’i)
Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, M.H.Kamali
Chapter 17, Hukm Shar’I Law or Value of Shariah pps. 279-293 (Last paragraph of page 279 beginning “Hukm Shar’i is divided into the…”)

Lecture 3: The Quran and Sunnah & Part One of ‘Significations of Utterances’ (Dilaalaat Al-Alfaadh)
The Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, M.H. Kamali
Chapter 4, Rules of Interpretation 1: Deducing the Law From its Sources pps. 84-892) Chapter 5, Rules of Interpretation 2: Ad-Dilaalaat (Textual Implications) pps. 118 & 124-130

Lecture 4: Part Two of ‘Significations of Utterances’
The Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, M.H, Kamali
1) Chapter 4, Classification 2: The ‘Aam (General) and the Khass (Specific), pps. 101-110
2) Chapter 4, Classification 3: The Absolute (Mutlaq) and the Qualified (Muqayyad) pps. 110-112

Lecture 5: Scholarly Consensus (Ijmaa’) and the Practice of the People of Madeena (‘Amal of Ahlul-Madeena)
Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, M.H, Kamali
Chapter 8, Ijma’ or Consensus of Opinion, pps. 155-158


Lecture 6: Analogical Reasoning (Qiyaas) and Juridical Preference (Istihsaan)
Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, M.H, Kamali
Chapter 9, Qiyas (Analogical Deduction), pps. 180-183
Chapter 12, Istihsan, or Equity in Islamic Law, pps. 217-222

Lecture 7:  Custom (‘Urf) and Interest (Masaalih Al-Mursala)
Chapter 13, Maslaha Mursala (Considerations of Public Interest) pps. 235-238
Chapter 14, ‘Urf (Custom), pps. 248-253


Lecture 8: Conflict (i.e. between evidences) and Preference (Ta’arud Wat-Tarjeeh)
Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, M.H, Kamali
Chapter 18, Conflict of Evidences, pps. 307-314


Lecture 9: Higher Objectives of the Shari’ah (Maqaasid)
1) Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, M.H, Kamali
Chapter 13, Maslaha Mursala (Considerations of Public Interest) pps. 238-241 & 243-247

2) The Legal Maxims of Islamic Law (Excluding Five Leading Legal Maxims) and Their Applications in Islamic Finance

Lecture 10: Independent Legal Reasoning (Ijtihad)
Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, M.H, Kamali
Chapter 19, Ijtihad or Personal Reasoning, pps. 315-318