The Muslim afterworld, with its imagery rich in sensual promises, has shaped Western perceptions of Islam for centuries. However, to date, no single study has done justice to the full spectrum of traditions of thinking about the topic in Islamic history. The Muslim hell, in particular, remains a little studied subject. This book, which is based on a wide array of carefully selected Arabic and Persian texts, covers not only the theological and exegetical but also the philosophical, mystical, topographical, architectural and ritual aspects of the Muslim belief in paradise and hell, in both the Sunni and the Shiʿi world. By examining a broad range of sources related to the afterlife, Christian Lange shows that Muslim religious literature, against transcendentalist assumptions to the contrary, often pictures the boundary between this world and the otherworld as being remarkably thin, or even permeable.
This exploration of the role of violence in the history of Islamic societies considers the subject particularly in the context of its implementation as a political strategy to claim power over the public sphere. Violence, both among Muslims and between Muslims and non-Muslims, has been the object of research in the past, as in the case of jihad, martyrdom, rebellion or criminal law. This book goes beyond these concerns in addressing, in a comprehensive and cross-disciplinary fashion, how violence has functioned as a basic principle of Islamic social and political organization in a variety of historical and geographical contexts.Contributions trace the use of violence by governments in the history of Islam, shed light on legal views of violence, and discuss artistic and religious responses. Authors lay out a spectrum of attitudes rather than trying to define an Islamic doctrine of violence. Bringing together some of the most substantive and innovative scholarship on this important topic to date, this volume contributes to the growing interest, both scholarly and general, in the question of Muslim attitudes toward violence
Despite the many important developments and innovations traceable to the Seljuq period (5th-7th/11th-13th centuries), the Seljuqs remain one of the understudied Muslim dynasties. This unique collaborative exploration of the Seljuqs' achievement contributes to the growing interest in this pivotal dynasty. The various chapters in this volume cover a representative geographical spectrum, from Central Asia and Persia to Iraq, Syria and Anatolia, and address novel questions such as the ideological foundations and ritual expressions of Seljuq power, the mutual attitudes of the learned classes and the Seljuq state, the organization of space, and the relationship between nomads and the settled peoples.The book is divided into three parts: the origins of the Seljuqs, their gradual transformation into a powerful dynasty, and their concepts of political legitimization (part one); the social history of the Seljuq period, particularly with regard to the 'ulama' and the urban populations (part two); developments in religious thought, jurisprudence, belles-lettres and architecture under the Seljuqs (part three).Key Features*Brings together the work of leading international experts in Seljuq studies including C. E. Bosworth, Massimo Campanini, Carole Hillenbrand, Robert Hillenbrand, Jurgen Paul, Andrew C. S. Peacock and Scott Redford*Critically engages with previous scholarly work on the Seljuqs*Addresses novel questions and challenges in the historiography of the Seljuq period*Pays particular attention to the Seljuqs' formative influence on later socio-political orders