New Publication: The Making of the Mosque by Essam S. Ayyad (Gorgias Press, 2019)

Gorgias Press has recently published a new book, The Making of the Mosque: A Survey of Religious Imperative, by Essam Ayyad. The Making of the Mosque is available to IQSA blog readers at the special price of $87.50 (30% off, RRP $125) until September 30th with the coupon code MM30%. Please note, this discount  is only valid for orders placed through the Gorgias Press website and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers. If you have any queries, please email gemma@gorgiaspress.com.

About the book: In the absence of reliable archaeological evidence, the question of how the mosque was made represents a real challenge. Its origin remains moot despite many attempts to settle the question. While the structure built by the Prophet Muḥammad at Madina soon after the Hijra in 622 AD is believed by many to have later provided the prototype of the mosque, the dominant theory that it was only a private residence casts doubt on that belief. The current study provides fresh evidence based on the Qurʾān, ḥadīth and early poetry that this structure was indeed built to be a mosque.

ayadFor example, a key rationale for those who doubt the existence of a mosque in the Prophet’s time is the so-called “Qurʾān’s non-specific use of the term masjid.” The study presents a close survey of the usage of masjid (mosque) in the Qurʾān and concludes that the Qurʾānic use of the term to denote earlier God-worship sanctuaries does not mean that it, namely the term, had not been Islamized by early Islam; rather, it is the case that such sanctuaries were deemed Islamic. As such, the general use of ‘masjid’ to denote a variety of types of structure, or even specific devotional acts, does not necessarily exclude its denoting also an Islamic place of worship. ‘Masjid’ is used in the Qurʾān to mean place of worship generally and sometimes explicitly as an Islamic place of worship.

The study further investigates what conceiving the Prophet’s structure as a “private residence” or a “mosque” may have to say apropos a number of undecided issues such as the immediate origins of the mosque type and the kind of impulses and modalities that determined its design and character. In a broader sense, this study seeks to explore whether early Islam, within the framework of the Prophet’s teachings and practices, as well as the Qurʾān, might have provided the necessary prompts for the making of the mosque and the shaping of its essential functional and architectural features. It also investigates how such religious imperatives may have interacted with the political, cultural and socio-economic contexts in which the mosque type materialized.

In so doing, this book scrutinizes two dominant tendencies regarding the mosque type: the modern Western views on its non-Islamic origins and the Islamic legalistic views on what it should look like. This survey is positioned at the intersection between art, historiography, religious sciences and politics; it is not a typical monograph on architecture. As readers will see, it cuts across topics such as early Islam’s outlook on visual arts and aesthetics in general.

 

Dr Essam Ayyad received his PhD in the history of Islamic civilization from the University of Leeds, UK, in 2011. He is currently working as an assistant professor of Islamic history at Qatar University. Before joining Qatar, he was elected to Imam Tirmizi Visiting Research Fellowship at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, a recognized independent centre of the University of Oxford. He joined Oxford as a visiting research fellow during Trinity Term 2016. Earlier in 2015, Dr Ayyad joined the Centre of Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge as a visiting scholar. His main interest is to explore the array of prompts and modalities that shaped the various aspects of Islamic civilization, with most of his studies centring on the early period.

 

Content reproduced with the kind permission of the Essam Ayyad and Gorgias Press

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.

 

Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 5 no. 6 (2019)

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In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 5, no.6), Stephen R. Burge (Institute of Ismaili Studies) reviews Harald Motzki’s Reconstruction of a Source of Ibn Isḥāq’s Life of the Prophet and Early Qurʾān Exegesis: A Study of Early Ibn ʿAbbās Traditions (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2017).

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In his review, Burge writes “Harald Motzki, famous for his isnād-cum-matn method of analysing ḥadīth, provides a thorough examination of the way in which Ibn Isḥāq, the author of one of the more famous of the sīrahs (biographies) of Muḥammad, gathered his sources, particularly his use of one source named Muḥammad b. Abī Muḥammad, about whom little is known. In so doing, Motzki’s Reconstruction of a Source of Ibn Isḥāq’s Life of the Prophet and Early Qurʾān Exegesis takes the reader on a journey through a number of sources, along which the reader can learn much about how Ibn Isḥāq used his sources, about the final product subsequently produced by his student Ibn Hishām, and about this little-known transmitter Muḥammad b. Abī Muḥammad…”

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, 2019. All rights reserved.

 

New Book Project from Gorgias Press: Library of Arabic and Islamic Heritage

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Classical Islamic Texts Series

Call For Book Submissions

Gorgias Press and The King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies (KFCRIS) are delighted to announce the launch of an important new academic book project: the Library of Arabic and Islamic Heritage مكتبة التراث العربي والاسلامي. The project will make available to academics, independent scholars and research institutes a diverse range of classical Arabic texts that continue to play a central role in the rich and vast development of Islamic thought and culture.

The first series of publications to emerge from the Library of Arabic and Islamic Heritage will be ten Arabic-English translations housed in the new Classical Islamic Texts Series (CITS). The series will make available the single-volume translations of renowned classical Arabic works, showcasing texts that are of central importance to the fields of Qurʾānic studies, Islamic law, Ḥadīth, Theology, History, and Philosophy. Proposed texts can be important short treatises, a compilation of several thematically-related treatises or a key section from a larger compendium. Each proposal should be for a text that is or will be used as an important reference work.

Series Editorial Board

  • Michael Cook, Princeton University
  • Alba Fedeli, Universität Hamburg
  • Robert Gleave. University of Exeter
  • Linda Jones, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona
  • Marcus Milwright, University of Victoria
  • Christian Robin, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
  • Saud al-Sarhan, King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies
  • Isabel Toral-Niehoff, Freie Universität Berlin  

Submit a Proposal

Interested specialists are invited to send their submissions via email to the series manager, Adam Walker (adam@gorgiaspress.com). The following information should be included:

  • Description of the book, including: (1) title and author, (2) broad description of the text, (3) the manuscript(s)/edition(s) that will form the basis of the translation, (4) why the book is important, and (5) a timetable for the translation’s completion
  • Updated CV
  • Sample of previous translation work

The series is interested in important single-volume classical works that would serve as essential reading and reference texts for specialists in the field. The Arabic text will sit side-by-side with the English translation and be typeset in the Amīrī Font, a classical Arabic typeface in the Naskh style. The English text will be typeset in Gorgias Press’ bespoke font, Gorgias Garamond.

Project Support

  • Substantial grant for each translator
  • Subvention grant to reduce retail price of books
  • Free professional copyediting

Statements from Gorgias Press & KFCRIS

Dr Saud al-Sarhan, Secretary General of KFCRIS, said:

“We are very proud to be able to launch the Library of Islamic and Arabic Heritage in partnership with Gorgias Press. I see a great deal of potential in this project, which I hope can further help us in serving our role of providing a platform for researchers and academics to gain valuable insight on Islamic thought and culture.”

“Our partnership with Gorgias Press will help us grant access to a wide range of classical Arabic texts to academics and researchers across the world, further enriching scholarly discussions on the role of the classical Islamic world.”

Dr George Kiraz, Editor-in-Chief of Gorgias Press, said:

‘‘It gives us great pleasure to launch the Library of Islamic and Arabic Heritage in partnership with the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies. This is an exciting project and will help us to further our commitment to the field of Islamic studies and realise our core motto of ‘Publishing for the Sake of Knowledge’.

‘‘With the expertise and support of KFCRIS, these books will not only showcase a phenomenal range of texts, but also make them easily accessible to students and lecturers alike. I am certain that these books, once published, will enrich the field of Islamic studies. Now the hard work begins!’’

Text and image accessed and reproduced with kind permission of Gorgias Press: https://www.gorgiaspress.com/library-of-arabic-and-islamic-heritage

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.

Reconstruction of a Source of Ibn Isḥāq’s Life of the Prophet and Early Qur’ān Exegesis: A Study of Early Ibn ‘Abbās Traditions

This important work is a source-critical study of a group of traditions (aḥādīth) found in Ibn Isḥāq’s Biography (Sīra) of the prophet Muḥammad, widely considered one of the most important early historical texts on the Prophet’s life. Through a meticulous isnād-cum-matn analysis, the author reveals that Ibn Isḥāq relied on Muḥammad b. Abī Muḥammad, a hitherto undocumented source of his. Important new light is also shed on problems with Ibn Hishām’s recension of Ibn Isḥāq’s Sīra.*

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Author: Harold Motzki (retired), is one of the world’s foremost specialists in the field of early and medieval Islamic history and law, on which he has authored multiple groundbreaking books and articles. Together with Professor Gregor Schoeler, Motzki is credited with establishing the isnād-cum-matn methodology, which seeks to reconstruct and date historical texts from the early Islamic period.

Series: Islamic History and Thought 3
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0659-8
Publication Date: May, 2017

*Content courtesy of Gorgias Press

 

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2018. All rights reserved.