E-Lecture: “Who is Allah Revisited”

Duke University will host a Virtual Book Talk titled “Who is Allah Revisited” with Prof. Bruce Lawrence Tuesday on September 29 at 3:00 p.m. This event is sponsored by the Duke Middle East Studies Center, Duke Islamic Studies Center, and the UNC Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies.

dukemesasDescription: Over the course of his career, Bruce B. Lawrence has explored the central elements of Islamicate civilization and Muslim networks. The Bruce B. Lawrence Reader: Islam beyond Borders assembles over two dozen selections of Lawrence’s key writings, which range from analyses of premodern and modern Islamic discourses, practices, and institutions to methodological reflections on the contextual study of religion. Modeling what it means to study Islam beyond political and disciplinary borders, as well as a commitment to linking empathetic imagination with critical reflection, this Reader presents Lawrence’s prescient contributions to the study of Islam in its broadest arc.

This lecture will be moderated by Prof. Ali Mian (UF). Dr. Ali Altaf Mian is Assistant Professor of Religion and Izzat Hasan Sheikh Fellow in Islamic Studies at the University of Florida.

Interested readers can register for the talk here.

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2020. All rights reserved.

New Publication from Gorgias Press: ASH’ARISM ENCOUNTERS AVICENNISM: Sayf al-Dīn al-Āmidī on Creation

IIQSA is delighted to announce a new publication from its institutional partner, Gorgias Press titled Ash‘arism Encounters Avicennism: Sayf al-Dīn al-Āmidī on Creation by Laura Hassan. Readers can find details on the publication below and purchase a copy at this link!

Publication Date: Jul 28,2020
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 329
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0719-9

Summary: This study of Sayf al-Dīn al-Āmidī’s (d. 631/1233) teachings on creation offers close analysis of all of his extant works of falsafa and kalām. Some of these were not known to previous scholars, yet they bear witness to key facets of the interaction between the historically inimical traditions of Hellenic philosophy and rational theology at this important intellectual moment. Al-Āmidī is seen to grapple with the encounter of two paradigms for the discussion of creation. On the one hand, Ibn Sīnā’s metaphysical concept of necessity of existence is the basis of his doctrine of the world’s pre-eternal emanation. On the other, for the mutakallimūn, the physical theory of atomism bolsters the view that God created the world from nothing.

Though he begins with a posture of acceptance towards both the doctrines and methods of Ibn Sīnā, al-Āmidī gradually evolves to a position of hostility towards the entire philosophical tradition. Nevertheless, deep tensions are present in his thought; on the one hand, Ibn Sīnā’s notion of the sheer necessity of God’s existence is so compelling theologically that it becomes the mainstay of al-Āmidī’s understanding of the God-world relationship. Yet some of its more problematic implications are targets for al-Āmidī’s fierce opposition by the time of his mature works of kalām. Underlying all this is the often unstated, but all pervasive, influence of al-Āmidī’s highly successful peer, Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 606/1210).

This study is of interest to scholars of Ibn Sīnā and Ash‘arism alike, as it advances our understanding of the ongoing tradition of rational theology in the Islamic world, long past Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī’s (d. 505/1111) famous attack on the philosophers.

Praise for this Book:

“In a superb work of intellectual biography, Laura Hassan takes us on a fascinating journey through al-Āmidī’s unique and ever evolving appropriation of Avicennan ideas into an Ash‘ari theology of creation. This is an immensely important contribution to our understanding of how Ash‘ari theology in the 12th and 13th centuries navigated the treacherous path from its classical expression through the challenges posed by the philosophy of Ibn Sīnā.”
Jon Hoover, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Nottingham

”Laura Hassan’s Ashʿarism Encounters Avicenna: Sayf al-Dīn al-Āmidī on Creation is the first extended study of the post-Avicennan philosopher and theologian Sayf al-Dīn al-Āmidī. The work truly fills a lacuna in the literature, and does so in a clear and philosophically engaging way. The issue of the world’s age, which is at the core of Hassan’s work, was unquestionably one of the most hotly debated topic in the medieval Islamic intellectual world. Hassan not only contextualizes that debate in order to explain al-Āmidī’s own evolving position and then complete turn-around, but also integrates discussions of possibility, necessity, atomism and even the nature of post-Avicennan physics into her narrative. This is a wonderful book, which I strongly recommend for anyone interested in Islamic philosophy and theology at the end of the classical period.”
– Jon McGinnis, Professor of Classical and Medieval Philosophy, University of Missouri, St Louis

laura_hassanAbout the Author: Laura Hassan is Faculty Associate of the Oriental Institute, University of Oxford, where she teaches Islamic philosophy and theology. Her research to date has focused on post-classical developments in Ash’arī kalām in the aftermath of Ibn Sīnā’s groundbreaking philosophy. More broadly, she is interested in theological issues that arise where competing world-views meet, whether at the intersection of theology and philosophy, at the boundaries of religions, or where the supposedly distinct realms of science and religion come face-to-face, both in our times and historically. She has studied Arabic in Oxford, Fes and Alexandria, and received her PhD from SOAS, University of London.

[Content courtesy of Gorgias Press]

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2020. All rights reserved.

IQSA Email Inquiries Update

IQSA members and affiliates—it has come to the attention of the Executive Office that the address listed for email inquiries, contact@iqsaweb.org, is currently undergoing technical difficulties and bouncing messages.

The IQSA team is currently working to get this error resolved and will update members and affiliates on its progress. In the meantime, please send all inquiries regarding membership, advertising, the Annual Meeting, etc directly to the IQSA Executive Assistant.

We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience!

Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 6 no. 7 (2020)

pageHeaderLogoImage_en_US In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 6, no.7), Michael E. Pregill (University of California, Los Angeles) reviews Stephen Shoemaker’s The Apocalypse of Empire: Imperial Eschatology in Late Antiquity and Early Islam (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018)

rqrV6n7In his review, Pregill writes “Stephen Shoemaker’s The Apocalypse of Empire builds upon the methodology, and some of the most provocative conclusions, of the author’s earlier monograph The Death of a Prophet.[1] In that book, Shoemaker subjects the extant evidence concerning Muḥammad’s death to close scrutiny, concluding that the Prophet died after the invasion of Palestine commenced in 634 CE and not before, as most accounts hold. Even more shockingly, Shoemaker asserts that Muḥammad preached a fervently eschatological message and led his followers in a campaign to conquer Jerusalem as the focal point of an imminent apocalyptic culmination of history. One of the most compelling features of The Death of a Prophet is Shoemaker’s deployment of a methodology and framework drawn from the study of early Christianity in order to show how the overtly eschatological message of the original movement that followed Muḥammad was radically rewritten in the course of just a few decades, forever altering the meaning and thrust of Islam in its formative period…”

Want to read more? For full access to the Review of Qur’anic Research (RQR), members can log in HERE. Not an IQSA member? Join today to enjoy RQR and additional member benefits!

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2020. All rights reserved.

Call for Articles for Brill’s Encyclopaedia of the Quran Online

Brill’s Encyclopaedia of the Quran Online (https://brill.com/view/db/eqo), edited by Johanna Pink (Universität Freiburg), is the world’s foremost digital historical-critical reference work on the Quran. We are seeking professional scholars with demonstrable expertise in a variety of disciplines for the expansion and updating of the Encyclopaedia.

Since the printed volumes of Brill’s Encyclopaedia of the Quran appeared in 2001-2006, the larger field of Quranic Studies has expanded considerably. To account for the explosion of new research related to the Quran, the Encyclopaedia of the Quran Online (EQO) will be adding new articles and updating older entries. If your field of study and expertise appears below, or you feel your research should be addressed by the EQO, please reach out to the relevant members of the editorial board.

For articles or updates on Quranic exegetes, exegetical works, the broader Quranic sciences as well as social and liturgical practices related to the Quran (for example, recitation) please contact Associate Editor Shuruq Naguib (Lancaster University, shuruqnaguib@lancaster.ac.uk).

For articles or updates on modern Quranic Studies scholars, the Quran’s early history, and individual verses/ayat or suras, please contact Associate Editor Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau (Université de Strasbourg, asboisliveau@gmail.com).

For articles or updates on notable Quranic manuscripts, printed editions, Quranic and other significant epigraphy, or Quranic linguistics, please contact Associate Editor Süleyman Dost (Brandeis University, dost@brandeis.edu).

For articles or updates on biblical, para-biblical, or other pre-Islamic texts with noteworthy relationships to the Quran, please contact Associate Editor George Archer (Iowa State University, garcher@iastate.edu).

For general inquiries about the project, or to propose articles or updates not suggested above, please contact  General Editor, Johanna Pink (Universität Freiburg, johanna.pink@orient.uni-freiburg.de).

Authors are asked to send their CV, affiliation (if applicable), and the titles of the entry/entries they are proposing to update or create, along with a short statement clarifying why this is significant to the study of the Quran.

Recent Publication: A History of the Islamic World, 600-1800

Routledge has recently published a new survey of Islamic history by Jo Van Steenbergen, A History of the Islamic World, 600-1800: Empire, Dynastic Formation, and Heterogeneities in Pre-Modern Islamic West-Asia.

Publisher’s Overview: A History of the Islamic World, 600–1800 supplies a fresh and unique survey of the formation of the Islamic world and the key developments that characterize this broad region’s history from late antiquity up to the beginning of the modern era.

Containing two chronological parts and fourteen chapters, this impressive overview explains how different tides in Islamic history washed ashore diverse sets of leadership groups, multiple practices of power and authority, and dynamic imperial and dynastic discourses in a theocratic age. A text that transcends many of today’s popular stereotypes of the premodern Islamic past, the volume takes a holistically and theoretically informed approach for understanding, interpreting, and teaching premodern history of Islamic West-Asia. Jo Van Steenbergen identifies the Asian connectedness of the sociocultural landscapes between the Nile in the southwest to the Bosporus in the northwest, and the Oxus (Amu Darya) and Jaxartes (Syr Darya) in the northeast to the Indus in the southeast. This abundantly illustrated book also offers maps and dynastic tables, enabling students to gain an informed understanding of this broad region of the world. 

This book is an essential text for undergraduate classes on Islamic History, Medieval and Early Modern History, Middle East Studies, and Religious History.

Praise for the Book:

‘This engaging and lucid history of the Islamic world from its beginnings down to the advent of the modern age combines a clear theoretical framework with an up-to-date understanding of recent scholarship. The result is a readable history of pre-modern Islamic societies which avoids both excesses of names and dates and the conventional “golden age” and “decline” narratives in favour of more sophisticated explanations of historical change. It will be a very welcome addition to many university courses on Islam and Islamic History, and will also be genuinely useful to a wider general readership.’

Andrew Marsham, University of Cambridge, UK

Want to read more? Purchase the book at Routledge.

About the Author: Jo Van Steenbergen teaches Islamic history at Ghent University, Belgium. He has published extensively on medieval Islamic history, including Order Out of Chaos (2006), Caliphate and Kingship in a Fifteenth-Century Literary History (2016), and Trajectories of State Formation across Fifteenth-Century Islamic West-Asia (2020).

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2020. All rights reserved.

Recent Publication: Impostures, translated by Michael Cooperson (NYU Press)

NYU Press has recently published a “groundbreaking” translation of Al-Ḥarīrī entitled Impostures: Fifty Rogue’s Tales Translated Fifty Ways by Michael Cooperson. 

Publisher’s Overview: An itinerant con man. A gullible eyewitness narrator. Voices spanning continents and centuries. These elements come together in Impostures, a groundbreaking new translation of a celebrated work of Arabic literature.

ImposturesImpostures follows the roguish Abū Zayd al-Sarūjī in his adventures around the medieval Middle East—we encounter him impersonating a preacher, pretending to be blind, and lying to a judge. In every escapade he shows himself to be a brilliant and persuasive wordsmith, composing poetry, palindromes, and riddles on the spot. Award-winning translator Michael Cooperson transforms Arabic wordplay into English wordplay of his own, using fifty different registers of English, from the distinctive literary styles of authors such as Geoffrey Chaucer, Mark Twain, and Virginia Woolf, to global varieties of English including Cockney rhyming slang, Nigerian English, and Singaporean English.

Featuring picaresque adventures and linguistic acrobatics, Impostures brings the spirit of this masterpiece of Arabic literature into English in a dazzling display of translation.

Praise for Cooperson’s Translation: 

“To translate a work that has been called untranslatable for a thousand years requires more than just expertise in languages—it requires wit, creativity, and an ocean-deep reservoir of knowledge of history and literature and humanity. Michael Cooperson has all of that, plus the most essential, and rarest element: the courage to climb this Everest of world literature. The result isn’t just a translation—it’s a dazzling work of literary creation in its own right, with the linguistic gymnastics of Pale Fire, the genre-switching of Cloud Atlas, and the literary range of 2666.” ~Peter Sagal, Host of NPR’s Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me!

“Both engrossing and entertaining to read.” ~Asian Review of Books

“[An] astounding new adaptation of the Maqāmāt of al-Harīrī… The verbal profusion is ludicrous, joyfully so. Speaking to an interviewer, Mr. Cooperson remarked that the Maqāmāt is ‘a book that shows off everything that Arabic can do.’ Impostures shows off English in the same flattering light, demonstrating its dynamism, its endurance, its mutability and its glorious, weedy wildness. In this way, a translation that is so brazen in its liberties is faithful to the spirit of the original.” ~Wall Street Journal

About the Author: Michael Cooperson is Professor of Arabic in the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures at UCLA. His translations include The Life of Ibn Ḥanbal by Ibn al-Jawzī for the Library of Arabic Literature, and The Author and His Doubles by the eminent Moroccan literary critic Abdelfattah Kilito.

Interested readers may purchase the book here, or find it at your institutional library.


Content courtesy of NYU Press.


© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2020. All rights reserved.

Reminder: IQSA 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting

AM2020_BANNER_virtualWhile Covid-19 and health restrictions have changed the format of IQSA’s Annual Meeting in conjunction with SBL/AAR, the meeting itself is still scheduled for November in a new and exciting format expanding its reach to scholars worldwide!

Registration is open for the first ever virtual IQSA Annual Meeting held in conjunction with the SBL/AAR Annual Meetings. You can save on the registration fees by joining IQSA and registering for the Annual Meetings as an Affiliate Member HERE. To become an IQSA member click HERE.

For more information about the transition to a virtual program, please see the IQSA Policy Update and SBL Announcement. In addition, find FAQ’s about this year’s meeting below. We hope you’ll join us and meet us in virtually for a new and exciting program!


Q: How do I register for the IQSA Annual Meeting?
To register for this year’s meeting, visit the SBL Annual Meeting Page and choose Register for the Annual Meeting. Then, complete a New Registration under the Affiliate Members category, and choose International Qur’anic Studies Association when prompted.

Q: What are the dates of IQSA’s Annual Meeting?
*The virtual meeting schedule will be extended to avoid potential timing conflicts, time zone limitations, and religious and Thanksgiving holidays. The meeting will take place Monday – Thursday over two weeks. The new dates are November 30 – December 3 and December 7 – 10, from 9AM to 9PM EST / 1PM to 1AM ECT.

Q: Do I have to be an IQSA member to register for the Annual Meeting?
YES – current IQSA membership is required and verified by staff upon registration. However, SBL/AAR membership is not required to attend the IQSA Annual Meeting. You can renew your IQSA membership HERE.

Q: I already registered for the Annual Meeting as an SBL/AAR member. Do I have to register again as an affiliate to attend IQSA events?
No – duplicate registration is not required to attend IQSA events if one has already registered as an SBL/AAR member. However, you must register as an active IQSA member if you are presenting at an IQSA session.

Q: Where can I find a schedule of events for the Annual Meeting?
IQSA  and SBL/AAR’s Program Book will be distributed online as the meeting date draws closer. Members can chose to access the Program Book via mobile app or online  while completing the registration process.

Q: Does IQSA provide funding or reimbursement for its members to attend the meeting?
At this time, IQSA does not have the resources to provide financial assistance for Annual Meeting registration costs. However, IQSA encourages its members to seek financial aid through institutional grants and other funding.


Q: I’ve registered and I can’t attend the Annual Meeting, can I get a refund for my registration fee?
In order to receive 100% registration refund, all registration cancellations must be requested in writing (email) by October 21, 2020. After October 21, only cancellations for medical reasons, accompanied by documentation from a physician or medical facility, will be refunded.

Please send meeting cancellation requests to information@annual-meetings.org.  Registrations or workshops cannot be switched to another person’s name. Proof of payment may be required.

Q: If I had already registered for the live Annual Meetings, what do I need to do to register for the online Annual Meetings?
In a word, nothing. Your registration will automatically be good for the virtual meeting. If you wish to cancel your registration, you may do so without any cancellation fee through 21 October.

Q: I booked a hotel room when I registered for the Annual Meetings. What do I need to do?
A: If you reserved a hotel room in during your conference registration, your hotel reservation has already been cancelled; there is nothing you need to do at this time. If you booked a hotel independently (i.e., not as a part of your conference registration), you will need to cancel on your own.

Q: What is included in my registration fee?
A: The registration fee for the conference will be the same as the early-bird rate ($225 for affiliates). The registration fee helps to cover the substantial costs that come with producing a conference of this size, even a virtual one.


© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2020. All rights reserved

Recent Publication: Qurʾān Quotations Preserved on Papyrus Documents, 7th-10th Centuries

Brill has recently published a collection of essays edited by Andreas Kaplony and Michael Marx, Qurʾān Quotations Preserved on Papyrus Documents, 7th-10th Centuries.

Picture1Publisher’s Overview: Qurʾān Quotations Preserved on Papyrus Documents, 7th-10th Centuries is the first book on the Qurʾān’s Sitz im Leben, i.e. on how the Qurʾān was quoted in Arabic original letters, legal deeds, and amulets. Qurʾān Quotations also serves as an in-depth exploration of the radiocarbon dating of documents and Qurʾānic manuscripts.

Contributors: Ursula Bsees; Tobias J. Jocham; Andreas Kaplony; Michael Josef Marx; Daniel Potthast; Leonora Sonego; Eva Mira Youssef-Grob.

Readers can purchase the book online here.

Content courtesy of Brill.


© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2020. All rights reserved.













Readers can purchase the book online here.


Content courtesy of Brill.



© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2020. All rights reserved.



New Publication: Structural Dividers in the Qur’an, ed. Marianna Klar

In October, Routledge will publish a new book of interest to IQSA members and affiliates: Structural Dividers in the Qur’an, edited by Marianna Klar. 

klarPublisher’s Overview:
This volume showcases a wide range of contemporary approaches to the identification of literary structures within Qur’anic surahs. Recent academic studies of the Qur’an have taken an increasing interest in the concept of the surah as a unity and, with it, the division of complete surahs into consecutive sections or parts.

Part One presents a series of case studies focussing on individual Qur’anic surahs. Nevin Reda analyzes the structure of Sūrat Āl ʿImrān (Q 3), Holger Zellentin looks at competing structures within Sūrat al-ʿAlaq (Q 96), and A.H. Mathias Zahniser provides an exploration of the ring structures that open Sūrat Maryam (Q 19). Part Two then focuses on three discrete aspects of the text. Nora K. Schmid assesses the changing structural function of oaths, Marianna Klar evaluates how rhythm, rhyme, and morphological parallelisms combine in order to produce texture and cohesion, while Salwa El-Awa considers the structural impact of connectives and other discourse markers with specific reference to Sūrat Ṭāhā (Q 20). The final section of the volume juxtaposes contrasting attitudes to the discernment of diachronic seams Devin Stewart examines surah-medial oracular oaths, Muhammad Abdel Haleem questions a range of instances where suggestions of disjointedness have historically been raised, and Nicolai Sinai. explores the presence of redactional layers within Sūrat al-Nisāʾ (Q 4) and Sūrat al-Māʾidah (Q 5).

Bringing a combination of different approaches to Qur’an structure into a single book, written by well-established and emerging voices in Qur’anic studies, the work will be an invaluable resource to academics researching Islam, religious studies, and languages and literatures in general.

Readers can purchase the book online here

klarphotoAbout the author:
Marianna Klar is currently Post-Doctoral Researcher at Oxford University, Senior Research Associate at Pembroke College, Oxford, and Research Associate at the Centre of Islamic Studies, SOAS, University of London. Her publications focus on the Qur’an’s structure, its narratives, and its literary context. She has also worked extensively on tales of the prophets within the medieval Islamic historiographical tradition and on Qur’anic exegesis.


© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2020. All rights reserved.