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Edited by Yossef Rapoport and Shahab Ahmed
ISBN # : 9780199402069
Publisher: Oxford University Press
(1 Reviews)
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Taqī al-Dīn Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328), one of the most controversial thinkers in Islamic religious history, was repeatedly imprisoned during his lifetime. Today, he is revered by what is called the Wahhabi movement and championed by Salafi groups who demand a return to the pristine golden age of the Prophet. His writings have also been used by radical groups, such as al-Qaeda, to justify acts of violence and armed struggle.
In order to understand the widespread present-day influence and prominence of this rather obscure medieval figure, the book, through a series of articles written by leading authorities in the field, attempts to study Ibn Taymiyya's original contributions to Islamic theology, law, Qur'anic exegesis, and political thought. The book is the first comprehensive academic treatment of Ibn Taymiyya to appear in a Western language in over half a century.

About the Author / Editor
Yossef Rapoport Yossef Rapoport (PhD, Princeton) has been a Fellow in Arabic at the Oriental Institute, Oxford, and is currently a Lecturer in the Department of History at the Queen Mary University of London. He has published on Islamic law, gender, cartography, and the economic history of medieval Islam.
Shahab Ahmed (PhD, Princeton) is Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at Harvard University. He has also been Assistant Professor of Classical Arabic Literature at the American University in Cairo, Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows, Visiting Scholar in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the Princeton University, and Visiting Scholar at the Islamic Research Institute, Islamabad.
Syed Nomanul Haq (PhD, University College London) is currently professor at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi. He was senior member of the faculty at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). Following his postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard University, he served on the standing faculty of Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania. He has held the position of Scholar-in-Residence at the American Institute of Pakistan Studies. He is trained broadly in medieval Islamic intellectual history.

What others are saying (1 Reviews)

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Ussaid Ishaq

Ibn Taymiyya and His Times - Highly Recommended ‘Ibn Taymiyya and His Times’ is a collection of essays that discuss the 13th-century Islamic thinker Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyya and is divided into 6 units that each touch open a different area of study; his biography, theology, hermeneutics, law, Shia and Christian polemics and finally, his legacy. Ibn Taymiyya is a very relevant personality in the 21st century – he is largely placed at the center of Islamic radical thought. The increasingly heated debate regarding the nature of Islam continues to rage all over the world in light of the rise of modern Islamic terrorism, and in such a time this book is invaluable at giving us a comprehensive picture of the Islamic thinker who has been credited with inspiring the extremist elements in the contemporary Islamic world. Ibn Taymiyya and His Times is not an easy read. It engages in heavy theological and philosophical material within the writings of Ibn Taymiyya and I found myself re-reading several passages to fully absorb the complex ideas that some essays dig into. That being said, it isn’t particularly difficult to grasp even if the reader isn’t well-read in these genres as the writing is largely simply and doesn’t unnecessarily complicate the material. The book’s focal point is the author Ibn Taymiyya and how the historical, cultural, economic and religious context in which he lived in shaped his writings and how his writings would shape (or not shape) Islamic thought, and it does well to remember that, restraining itself from extensive discussions regarding some more basic, background information. As such, many different sects and schools of thought in Islam are featured in their relevance to Ibn Taymiyya, and it can be difficult for a beginner in Islamic studies to keep track of them. Ibn Taymiyya’s work obviously mainly deals with very advanced subjects within Islam and as such if a person doesn’t have a foundational concept of the basic tenants of Islam, it can again be difficult of make sense of it. However that shouldn’t discourage someone who is new to Islam to not read this fascinating book, but I would highly recommend they first dive into something more basic and foundational like what is the Quran and the Hadith, the basic differences between the main sects Shia and Sunni, etc before picking this book up in order to maximize comprehension. This book does a great job at correcting and confirming many assumptions regarding Ibn Taymiyya among scholarly and mainstream circles and it backs it up with strong evidence based on historical sources. Generally, the earlier chapters explain his ideas and their basis as well as his life, while the later chapters attempt to map their impact and significance. I think it does a very good job at both these tasks, and my understanding of Taymiyya and the times in which he lives has extensively increased due to this book. It’s not particularly long and packs a lot of information. In conclusion, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand this particular Islamic thinker and say that it excels at the topic area it assigns for itself

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