Essays on Shi’ism- Hamid Algar

Essays on Shi’ism- Hamid Algar

Publisher: ICAS PRESS
$60.00

Description


Shi‘ism, Iran, and the Islamic Revolution are subjects fraught with political biases and ideological agendas; sometimes, even fiction is presented as fact. This lucid collection of writings demystifies these subjects. With some of these pieces written before the Revolution, they demonstrate the trajectory of Imam Khomeini from being an obscure scholar and mystic to appearing on the cover of Time magazine. They also show how the study of Shi‘ism in the academy evolved from being a niche subject to a discipline in its own right.

Author: Hamid Algar
A pioneer in the study of Shi‘ism and contemporary Iran, Hamid Algar’s work is marked by precise attention to detail, a near-unparalleled grasp of languages, and a forthright honesty. Thus he offers scholarship, a key to understanding Shi‘ism, Iran, and the Revolution as relevant today as it was when the essays were first written. Rather than projecting Shi‘ism as a historical monolith, this book takes the reader on a journey through the developments in Shi‘ism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, discussing the debates over religious authority and modern political technologies. Rooting the development of the Revolution in a broader historical context, it also offers biographies of key revolutionary figures and explores ideological challenges faced by the nascent Islamic Republic, such as matters of war and social justice. Throughout the book, mysticism and politics intertwine; not only does the characteristically Shi’i form of mysticism – ʿirfan – figure heavily in this work, but some sections are devoted to the relationship between the Shi’i Imams and the Sunni Sufi orders, as well as the place of Sufism in Shi‘ism. Lastly, Hamid Algar provides sound, thought-provoking analyses of contemporary scholarship in the study of Shi‘ism, including the works of Henry Corbin and Patricia Crone. This book contains something for anyone with an interest in history, Shi‘ism, Iran, or the Islamic Revolution.

Hamid Algar (1940-) is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, where he served on the faculty of Near Eastern Studies for 45 years. His degree from Cambridge in Oriental Languages (Arabic and Persian) led him on a fascinating journey through the Islamic heritage and lands, both physically and metaphorically, in an era where Islam was scarcely known in the West. A prolific author, he has written not only on Shi‘ism and Iran but also the Naqshbandi Sufi order; the contemporary history of Turkey, the Balkans, and Afghanistan; and Arabic, Persian, and Turkish literature. He has lent his pen and deep command of languages to numerous translations, including Islam and Revolution, an early collection of Imam Khomeini’s speeches. One of the few Westerners to meet Imam Khomeini, Algar was able to meet with Khomeini a number of times, first in Paris, then in Qum and Tehran, and became well acquainted with his mode of thought. Vignettes of his travels, acquaintances, and studies appear in the introduction to the book.

Book Title Essays on Shi’ism- Hamid Algar
Publisher ICAS PRESS
Type Print Books
Date Published Oct 22, 2021

Description


Shi‘ism, Iran, and the Islamic Revolution are subjects fraught with political biases and ideological agendas; sometimes, even fiction is presented as fact. This lucid collection of writings demystifies these subjects. With some of these pieces written before the Revolution, they demonstrate the trajectory of Imam Khomeini from being an obscure scholar and mystic to appearing on the cover of Time magazine. They also show how the study of Shi‘ism in the academy evolved from being a niche subject to a discipline in its own right.

Author: Hamid Algar
A pioneer in the study of Shi‘ism and contemporary Iran, Hamid Algar’s work is marked by precise attention to detail, a near-unparalleled grasp of languages, and a forthright honesty. Thus he offers scholarship, a key to understanding Shi‘ism, Iran, and the Revolution as relevant today as it was when the essays were first written. Rather than projecting Shi‘ism as a historical monolith, this book takes the reader on a journey through the developments in Shi‘ism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, discussing the debates over religious authority and modern political technologies. Rooting the development of the Revolution in a broader historical context, it also offers biographies of key revolutionary figures and explores ideological challenges faced by the nascent Islamic Republic, such as matters of war and social justice. Throughout the book, mysticism and politics intertwine; not only does the characteristically Shi’i form of mysticism – ʿirfan – figure heavily in this work, but some sections are devoted to the relationship between the Shi’i Imams and the Sunni Sufi orders, as well as the place of Sufism in Shi‘ism. Lastly, Hamid Algar provides sound, thought-provoking analyses of contemporary scholarship in the study of Shi‘ism, including the works of Henry Corbin and Patricia Crone. This book contains something for anyone with an interest in history, Shi‘ism, Iran, or the Islamic Revolution.

Hamid Algar (1940-) is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, where he served on the faculty of Near Eastern Studies for 45 years. His degree from Cambridge in Oriental Languages (Arabic and Persian) led him on a fascinating journey through the Islamic heritage and lands, both physically and metaphorically, in an era where Islam was scarcely known in the West. A prolific author, he has written not only on Shi‘ism and Iran but also the Naqshbandi Sufi order; the contemporary history of Turkey, the Balkans, and Afghanistan; and Arabic, Persian, and Turkish literature. He has lent his pen and deep command of languages to numerous translations, including Islam and Revolution, an early collection of Imam Khomeini’s speeches. One of the few Westerners to meet Imam Khomeini, Algar was able to meet with Khomeini a number of times, first in Paris, then in Qum and Tehran, and became well acquainted with his mode of thought. Vignettes of his travels, acquaintances, and studies appear in the introduction to the book.

 

Review

"Hamid Algar’s travel to, and residence across, the region from an early age combined with his command of its languages and in-depth study have made him a unique observer and commentator across a broad range of Middle Eastern Studies’ disciplines and discourses… This collection of his essays affords the reader an excellent glimpse into the breadth and depth of Algar’s oeuvres…. Most scholars of Islam and Iran writing before the 1979 Revolution embraced the paradigm of ‘modernisation’ and the trajectory of secularisation that ‘modernisation’ postulated. Some few held out. Hamid Algar was one of these.”

– Professor Andrew J Newman, The University of Edinburgh

Want to know more?

The Holy Qur'an, Translation and Commentary - Translated by SV MIR AHMAD ALI and Commentary by Ayatollah Pooya Yazdi
$58.99
According to many believers, the Holy Qur’an has been preserved in its exact form for 1,400 years, just as God...
With His Head Held High - The Story of Shaheed Mohsen Hojaji
$28.00
This book is a compilation of memories and stories, re-told by family and friends, from the life of the iconic...
Add to cart
These are my Twelve Imams Colouring Book
$9.00
Now you can colour, read and sing along to These are my Twelve Imams! Click here to listen to the Nasheed...
Add to cart
Understanding Surah al-Baqarah – A Modern Interpretation of the Qur’an in the Light of the Qur’an
$33.00
Surah al-Baqarah is the longest chapter in the Quran. The 286 verses cover a vast range of topics: from legislative...
Add to cart
Islamic Laws of Fasting- Sayyid Ali Sistani
$15.00
God created humankind for worship even though He does not need the adoration or devotion of His creation. As such,...
Add to cart
The Prophet’s Heir: The Life of Ali ibn Abi Talib- Hard Cover
$40.00
The life and legacy of one of Mohammad’s closest confidants and Islam’s patron saint: Ali ibn Abi Talib “The best biography...
Add to cart
Prayers of the Final Prophet- Ayt. Tabatabai
$25.00 $22.00
The most comprehensive book of prayers and supplications which were read on a frequent basis by Prophet Muhammad in all...
Add to cart
The Miracle of Ramadan- Wassim Hijazi
$15.00
Available now! Karim is a cold, greedy man. Even the coming of the month of Ramadan doesn’t wake in him...
The Pure Life- Hayatun Tayyiba - Ayt. Mohamedtaqi Al-Modarresi
$25.00
Available now!   As a holistic tradition that speaks to all facets of human life, Islam provides detailed instructions on...
Add to cart
101 Tips for a Happy Marriage- Ayt Khamenei
$28.00
101 Tips for a Happy Marriage is the fruit of all the speeches made by the Guardian of the Muslims, Sayyid...
Add to cart