Aspects of Islamic Cultures

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Culture and Learning in Islam

Chief Editor
Prof. Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu

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This volume embraces four fields : creativity - art, human sciences, science, philosophy and mysticism, language, literature, historiography, geography and architecture - and introduces the reader to the thinkers who have made valuable contributions in these areas. The unique position of the Arabic language in the world of Islam is explored (the Arabic word for literature, adab, once referred to disciplines whose goal was the realisation of the promises of the Revelation), as is the role of other major Islamic languages. The great names and major teachings of Sufism and its significance in the history of Islamic civilization are considered. The relationship between faith and reason is examined in the section on philosophy, and the different lines of thought pursued by philosophers such as Muhammad Iqbal and Ibn Sina are discussed. The volume describes the contribution of Muslim culture to the social sciences and the arts in both the Arab and non-Arab world, for example in the fields of linguistics, geography, architecture, music and crafts.

Table of Contents

Ekmeleddin  Ihsanoglu


Chapter 1: The Arabic Language, its Linguistics and Philology
Abdelkader Mehiri

Chapter 2: The Persian Language
Ali Ashraf Sadeghi

Chapter 3: The Turkish Language
Nuri Yüce

Chapter 4: The Languages of the Indian Muslims
Anne-Marie Schimmel

Chapter 5: Malay
Mohamed Taib Bin Osman

Chapter 6: African Languages
Jan Knappert

Chapter 7: The Languages of the European Muslims
Nimetullah Hafiz

Chapter 8: Cross-fertilisation between Arabic and the other Languages of Islam
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu


Chapter 1: Arabic Literature from its Origins to 132/750
Mohamed Abdesselem

Chapter 2: The Great Classical Period

Poetry of the East
Jamel Eddine Bencheikh

Adab Literature in the Classical Period
Abdallah Cheikh-Moussa

Poetry in the Muslim West – 2nd to 5th centuries AH/8th to 11th centuries AD
Brahim Najar

Chapter 3: Arabic Literature in the Post Classical Period from 6th to 12th centuries AH/12th to 18th centuries AD
Leila Sabbagh

Chapter 4: The Modern and Contemporary Period of Arabic Literature
Mustapha Badawi

Chapter 5: Persian Literature
Jalal Matini

Chapter 6: Turkish Literature
Günay Kut

Chapter 7: Literature of the Muslims in the Indo-Pakistani Subcontinent
Annemarie Schimmel

Chapter 8: Malay Literature
Mohamed Taib Bin Osman

Chapter 9: Literature in African Languages
Jan Knuppert

Chapter 10: The Literature of Muslim People in Europe
Nimetullah Hafiz


Chapter 1: Revealed Text and the Manifestations of Reason
Fehmi Jadaane

Chapter 2: Philosophy in Islam : The Royal Road
Fehmi Jadaane

Chapter 3: The Way of Hellenizers : The Transmission of Greek Philosophy to Islamic Civilization
Mustapha Badawi

Chapter 4: Philosophy in Islam
Muhsin S. Mahdi


Chapter 1: The Early Period of Sufism
Annemarie Schimmel

Chapter 2: The Significance of Sufism in the History of Islamic Civilization : Its Place and Value in the Universal and Perennial Process of Spiritual Inquiry
Enes Karic


Chapter 1: Geography and Geographers – Geographical Investigations under the Guidance of Islam
Anton M. Heinen

Chapter 2: Arabic Historiography
Abdul-Aziz Duri

Chapter 3: Persian Historiography from the Ilkhanid Period to the Vigilance and Renaissance Era
Iraj Afshar

Chapter 4: Ottoman Historiography
Mehmet Ipsirli

Chapter 5: The Indian School
Khaliq Ahmad Nizami


Introduction : Aesthetic Creativity
Afif Bahnassi

Chapter 1: The Art of the Book
The Art of Calligraphy in Islam
Mustafa Ugur Derman

Islamic Miniatures
Nurhan Atasoy

Decoration and Illumination
David James

Book Binding
Hasip Oktay Aslanapa

Ebru (Marbling)
Mustafa Ugur Derman

Chapter 2: Architecture and the Islamic Cities
S. Gulzar Haider

Chapter 3: Music, Song and the Performing Arts (Tradition : Past and Present Developments)
Metin And

Chapter 4: Music in Islamic Culture
Salah Mahdi

Chapter 5: Traditional Artistic Expressions

Islamic Carpets
Serare Yetkin

Ceramics in Islamic World
Oliver Watson

Islamic Metalwork
Esin Atil

Islamic Handicrafts
Jean-Louis Michon

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu


The authors