Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies

A muraqqa' by the Istanbul-born calligrapher Yedikuleli Seyid Abdullah (d. 1144/1731)

ISSN: 0806-198X

Editors: Lutz E. Edzard and Stephan Guth, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS), University of Oslo, Norway
Home > Archive: vol.14 (2014)

Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies

Volume 14 (2014)

Edited by L. E. Edzard and S. Guth


Ludmila Torlakova, Metaphors of the Arab Spring: Figurative Construals of the Uprisings and Revolutions (pdf 472 kB, pp. 1-25).

Abstract: This paper presents some preliminary results of a project concerned with identifying and analyzing a number of Arabic metaphors used in political discourse to conceptualize the “Arab Spring.” It investigates how Modern Standard Arabic deals with new political and social issues. The study also deals with how particular metaphors were created. This requires examination from two directions: first, what kinds of language resources were used to communicate and evaluate what was happening and, second, what type of knowledge and experience was utilized as a source for the metaphors employed in the texts. Many of the metaphors are strongly connected with specific traditions, the Islamic context, and general cultural experience, and some details concerning these areas are supplied.


Ariel M. Sheetrit, The Geography of Identity: 'Abd al-Rahmān Munīf’s Sīrat madīna: Ammān fī ’l-arba'īnāt (pdf 436 kB, pp. 27-45).

Abstract: This study treats the masterpiece Sīrat madīna: Ammān fī ’l-arba'īnāt (1994; translated into English as Story of a City: A Childhood in Amman, 1996) by 'Abd al-Rahmān Munīf. I read it through its unconventional and original formal and aesthetic choices in which the story of the city and the protagonist are narrat-ed relationally in terms of each other. The goal of the present study is to deconstruct its multifaceted relational strategies, pinpointing the formal choices and thematic proclivities which situate the autobiographical subject in a particular social, cultural, temporal and historic sphere, and in constant tension with these same elements. It also pinpoints the text’s paradoxically obverse tendency to dissociate and distance the autobiographical subject by way of formal narrative techniques and content, ostensibly favoring the city as the focus of the text over the “self” of the protagonist. Under the surface, the autobiographical subject is constantly present, and is discursively constituted through the historical, cultural and communal accounts of the city. Finally, this study reveals that in Sīrat madīna, both the porousness of geographical boundaries


Charlene Tan, Educative Tradition and Islamic Schools in Indonesia (.pdf 264 kB, pp. 47-52).

Abstract: An Islamic school that subscribes to an educative tradition is essentially one that sees compatibility between the inculcation of religious values and the acquisition of ‘modern’ knowledge and dispositions. This article argues that most Islamic schools in Indonesia reside in an educative tradition as evident in three main ways. First, most Islamic schools in Indonesia are keen to obtain knowledge from both religious subjects and modern ‘secular’ subjects. Secondly, an increasing number of Islamic schools have incorporated student-centred pedagogies so that their students do not simply learn by rote or memorisation. Thirdly, many Islamic schools provide a variety of student activities to develop the students’ life skills and leadership abilities so as to encourage their students to internalise and put into practice the principles and values they have learnt. Notwithstanding its promotion of an educative tradition, many Islamic schools in Indonesia face a perennial challenge in infusing Islamic principles and values into the teaching of modern ‘secular’ subjects.


Yehudit Dror, Die Wortstellung des Subjekts „Gott“ im Koran (.pdf 686 kB, pp. 63-86).

Abstract: In diesem Aufsatz wird ein Aspekt der Frage Wortstellung im Koran behandelt und zwar die Stellung des Subjekts ’allāh und rabb in den einfachen Verbalsätzen im Koran.1 Um die bestehenden Wortstellungs-typen darzustellen, werden die Sätze in drei Gruppen klassifiziert: Klassifikation nach Verb- und Aktions-art, Klassifikation nach der Satzart und Klassifikation nach Satzeinleitungspartikeln. Insgesamt konnten vier Ursachen erarbeitet werden, die zu den verschiedenen Wortstellungen führen: Tempus und Aspekt, unterschiedliche Funktionen der Partikeln und der Pronomina, sowie rhetorische Zwecke und Betonung.

This article examines one aspect of word order in the Qur'ān, which is the position of the subjects 'allāh and rabb in simple verbal sentences. To present the word order types existing in the Qur'ān, the sentences were classified in three groups: the verb’s type and its aspect (aktionsart), the sentence type, and the type of the particle preceding the sentence. Four factors affecting the word order were found: time and aspect, different functions of a specific particle, rhetorical purposes, and emphasis.


Muhammad al-Sharkawi, Urbanization and the Development of Gender in the Arabic Dialects (pdf 470 kB, pp. 87–120).

Abstract: This article makes the claim that the difference between Bedouin and urban dialects of Arabic in gender representation in the plural is a function of the urbanization process the urban dialects of Arabic went through in the 7th century in the conquered territories. Contact-induced linguistic processes of koineization and structural simplification in the newly established urban centers in the Middle East and North Africa helped enhance the gender development that was already in effect before the Arab conquests. By comparing Bedouin and urban dialects to Classical Arabic, the article establishes that the three varieties were in a process of development in gender. Classical Arabic stopped at a particular stage, and Bedouin and urban dialects continued. Comparing Central Asian dialects to urban dialects of Egypt we can see that at least to the 8th century gender was a common feature of Peninsular dialects. The article concludes by stating that the urban dialects developed further to lose all gender distinction in the plural because of the leveling and borrowing processes of the koineization in the urban centers in their formative period.


Olatunbosun Ishaq Tijani, Contemporary Emirati Literature: Its Historical Development and Forms (pdf 296 kB, pp. 121–136).

Abstract: This article provides a general survey of Emirati literature—poetry, drama, the short story and novel—tracing the history of the development of these genres in the periods before and after the formation of the UAE federation in 1971. While the UAE has now become famous as the commercial and tourist hub of the contemporary Middle East, very little is known in the English speaking world about the country’s literary and cultural productions within the context of the wider modern Arabic literary tradition. The article constitutes a preliminary report of an on-going project on the topic in which I am arguing that, contrary to the general perception in academia (East and West), contemporary Emirati literature is not inferior to its counterparts in the Gulf and wider Arab region; and that Emirati women are as active as their male compatriots in literary production.


Ajhar A. Hakim, The Forgotten Rational Thinking in the Hanbalite Thought, With Special Reference to Ibn Taymiyya (pdf 444 kB, pp. 137–154).

Abstract: The reputation of Hanbalite thinkers among academicians is one of an aggressive opponent to other Islamic fields of thought. They refute the scholars of Muslim theology, philosophy and mysticism on the basis of pure Islamic faith, represented they believe by the pious ancestors (al-salaf al-sālih). According to the Hanbalites, true Islamic belief can only be derived from the Qurʾān, the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad and the first generation of companions. Ibn Taymiyya (d. 728 AH/1328 CE), the subject of this discussion, belonged to the Hanbalite school of thought in Islam and was regarded as their most prominent representative. He has indeed come to be known as the father of the salafī doctrine.


Silje S. Alvestad, Evaluative Language in Academic Discourse: Euphemisms vs. Dysphemisms in Andrews’ & Kalpaklı’s The Age of Beloveds (2005) as a case in point (pdf 511 kB, pp. 155–177).

Abstract: In this article, I am concerned with certain aspects of the language use in Andrews’ and Kalpaklı’s The Age of Beloveds: Love and the Beloved in Early-Modern Ottoman and European Culture and Society (2005). More specifically, I show how the authors tend to use distinct sets of words to describe a particular kind of practice depending on whether it occurs in the Ottoman Empire or in some western European city, even though they claim that the practices are equivalent. Typically, the practice in question involves an adult male, a young dependent boy, a sexual act between the two, and some kind of payment for the boy. This kind of practice is more often than not referred to in terms of activities of love when it occurs in the Ottoman Empire, but in terms of sexual debauchery involving boy prostitutes when it takes place in some western European city. Thus, in the article, in which I draw on certain insights from Critical Discourse Analysis (see, e.g., Reisigl and Wodak 2001), I show, by means of several quotations, that the vocabulary used to describe the practices is quite frequently euphemistic when the Ottoman Empire is concerned and correspondingly dysphemistic when cities in Western Europe are concerned. The sub-title of the work represents an exception to this pattern. I conclude the article by pointing out two issues that might shed some light on the authors’ choice of words.


Sara Nimis, Sainthood and the Law: The Influence of Mysticism in Eighteenth Century Pedagogy of the fuqahā' (pdf 2683 kB, pp. 179–211).

Abstract: Using certificates of scholarly achievement (ijāzāt), it is argued that ideas and practices usually associated with Islamic mysticism (tasawwuf) were widespread among the religious elite in eighteenth century Egypt. Writings about Sufism were a common part of the curriculum of scholars of the law and individuals revered as saints feature prominently in chains of transmission of authority in subjects such as hadīth and fiqh. Most importantly, pedagogical practices common to religious scholars of this period reflect epistemological elements that cut across philosophical works and ritual traditions that come out of Islam’s mystical tradition.


Pierre Larcher Liwāt : « agir comme le peuple de Loth… » Formation et interprétation lexicales en arabe classique (pdf 321 kB, pp.213–227).

Abstract: According to early Arab lexicographers, the Koranic personage of Lūt (the biblical Loth) is at the origin of a lexical family of Classical Arabic. The object of the present article is to reflect, as a linguist, on the formation and interpretation of each member of this rather large family, whose core is liwāt. Besides two nouns directly derived from Lūt, it includes several verbs formed thereon as well as a number of nominal forms associated with such verbs. The scope of this case study lies in calling into question the formal and semantic relations currently regarded as the best established in the field of lexical derivation in Classical Arabic.

Archive by volume:

Vol.17 (2017) eds. L.E.Edzard, S.Guth, M. Cassarino & A. Ghersetti

Vol.16 (2016) eds. L.E. Edzard & S. Guth

Vol.15 (2015) eds. L.E. Edzard & S. Guth

Vol.14 (2014) eds. L.E. Edzard & S. Guth

Vol.13 (2013) eds. Lutz Edzard & Stephan Guth

Vol.12 (2012) eds. Antonella Ghersetti & Alex Metcalfe

Vol.11 (2011) ed. Alex Metcalfe

Vol.10 (2010) ed. Alex Metcalfe

Vol.9 (2009) ed. Alex Metcalfe

Vol.8 (2008) ed. Alex Metcalfe with Joseph Norment Bell & Lutz Edzard

Vol.7 (2007) ed. Alex Metcalfe with Joseph Norment Bell

Vol.6 (2005-6) eds. Joseph Norment Bell, Walter Herman Bell & Lutz E. Edzard

Vol.5 (2003-4) ed. Joseph Norment Bell

Vol.4 (2001-2) ed. Joseph Norment Bell with Agostino Cilardo & Stefan Leder

Vol.3 (2000) ed. Joseph Norment Bell

Vol.2 (1998-9) ed. Joseph Norment Bell

Vol.1 (1996-7) ed. Joseph Norment Bell with Petr Zemánek

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