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 Stolen Dream - A Biography of Sayed Musa al-Sadr
$44.00
Very few individuals have changed the course of their country’s history. Fewer still have done so with love and wisdom,...
Add to cart
Dictionary of Shi'a Islam (Paperback or Hardcover)
$60.00
Dictionary of Shi‘a Islam is a reference work, offering an overview of the beliefs, theological notions, practices, history and influential...
Ahl al-Bayt in the Quran- Shawāhid al-Tanzīl li Qawāʿid al-Tafḍīl
$55.00
The book Shawāhid al-Tanzīl li Qawāʿid al-Tafḍīl written by al-Ḥākim al-Ḥaskānī (d. 490 AH), is one of the most comprehensive...
Add to cart
Lessons on Knowing the Qur'an by Mohammad Ali Shomali
$40.00
Read by millions of Muslims every day and studied by scholars throughout history, the Qur'an still needs to be reintroduced...
Add to cart
Islamic Philosophy
$55.00
This book might serve as a textbook or handbook for students in the fields of philosophy and  Islamic studies. It...
Add to cart
Ziyarah | Significance, Function and Outcomes
$25.00
The act of visiting—known as 'ziyarah' in Islamic tradition—is more than a mere ritual or social engagement. It holds profound...
Add to cart
Love in Christianity and Islam | A contribution to religious ethics
$15.00
"The seedbed of hatred is ignorance of the other; the seedbed of love is the knowledge of the other. In...
Add to cart
Love: The Heart of Islamic Spirituality
$25.00
"In my view, it is possible to summarise the core of Islamic spirituality in two points: first to be attentive...
Add to cart
Fatimah is Ali -Short stories from life of Lady Fatimah (s) and Imam Ali (a)- Ali Qahramani
$22.00
 This book is a collection of short stories about the life of Imam Ali (a) and Lady Fatimah (s). It...
Add to cart
Yasser and Zahra Experience The Hajj
$19.00
Dear Reader,Are you ready for another adventure with Yasser and Zahra? This time, we are off to Makkah to experience...
Add to cart