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Al-Ġazālīā et la problématique du rapport entre les notions de ʿaql, de nafs, de rūḥ et de qalb.
Whether the terms : ‘aql, nafs, rûḥ and qalb are real synonyms designating the same entity while considering each one in a specific aspect or do they refer to distinct entities? Concerning this question, al-Ghazâlî shows in different works a variety of theories about the definition of Man : his organism’s structure, his spiritual dimension, as well as the contours of the connecting link between these four terms.
Indeed, according to Iḥyâ ‘ulûm al-dîn, they can be considered as synonyms that may have different meanings because of the various contexts they have been found in. Mîzân al-‘amal does not distinguish the Quranic rûḥ from the nafs (the neoplatonic soul), which among others encompasses the different capacities that qualify the ‘aql in Mi‘yâr al-‘ilm, that in the Aristotelian context means nothing but “intellect”.
As for Mi‘râj al-sâlikîn, it has a tripartite anthropological sense, referring only to the animal spirit, the soul and the body form of the human being. We have too, a dichotomic conception that either divides man into body and soul ; the same way like in Kîmiyâ’ al-sa‘âda, or just into body and heart, like in al-Munqidh min al-ḍalâl.
However, the coherence of al-Ġazālī’s anthropological conception can serve as an illustration when we take into account three elements : first of all, the synchronization between the evolution of al-Ghazâlî’s thinking and the succession of the events which marked the various stages of his intellectual life. For example, we can notice his switch to Sufism and his spiritual retirement which had paramount importance in his work. Hence, the interest to know the chronology of his bibliography ; secondly, the objective approach which allies didactic pedagogy and “contextualization”, of a thinker ; and finally, his integrative tendency which associates cultures with ideals from various sources.
Un traité politique du IIe / VIIIe siècle. L’Épītre de ʿUbayd Allāh b. al-Ḥasan al-ʿAnbarī au calife al-Mahdī.
The Al-Basra cadi ‘Ubayd Allâh b. al-Ḥasan al-‘Anbarî (d. 168/784-785) maintained relations with Al-Mahdî. His chronic disobedience, like his refusal to let the caliph intervene in the lawsuits of his district, find an echo in the letter that he addressed to him into 159/775. The following discussion proposes a possible translation. This epistle, the conceptual background of which confirms its seniority, diverts official Abbasid propaganda skillfully proposing another political model. By limiting the legal role of the sovereign, it rejects any absolutist vision of the caliphate and contributes to the emergence of an order where the ‘ulamâ’ seem the true heirs to prophecy.
Quṣayr ʿAmra, la peinture du personnage trônant sur l’eau: aspects pratiques de la fabrication d’une image.
In an attempt to identify a prevailing theme in the umayyad’s wall painting from Quṣayr ‘Amra (a bath house built in Jordan during the 8th century) depicting a prince seated on his throne above a nilotic landscape, scholars have devised elaborate and overly inventive interpretations. In this paper, we asked whether a set of material circumstances of production could be pertinent to our understanding of this painting. To answer this question, we used a new “ processual and formal approach ” by making a number of inferences drawn from the more obvious circumstances that suround the painting : the architectural context (function and shape), the framing devices, the craftmen’s method of work and the availibility of subjects in artistic traditions of the late antique period. We found that the architectural context defined as the curve of the alcove vault and a throne room determined the choice of subjects and their arrangement. The formal circumstances appear as decisive factors in the creative process in umayyad iconography. Our account also helps to clarify the painter’s way of handling an inherited form. By comparing the umayyad picture with its forerunners from Byzantine, Coptic, Sassanian and pre-islamic Arabian craft traditions, we have demonstrated that the formula used is no prescriptive model to which the artist must conform. Rather, it is an established formal scheme, open to variations in its combination of motifs. We conclude that this umayyad painting must be seen not as a copy of an ancient model, but as the outcome of particular circumstances of production and as a deliberate re-creation. At this point, one might suggest a close similarity between the crafmen’s method of work and the “formulaic technique” used in umayyad poetry.
Du rôle de la poésie dans les récits du Kitāb al-faraǧ baʿd al-šidda d’al-Tanūḫī.
This article deals with the situations in which verses of poetry occur and the functions that they fulfill within akhbâr texts in al-Tanûkhî’s (m. 384/994) Kitâb al-Faraj ba‘d al-shidda. In the first part, typical situations in which poetry is used are identified. As might be expected, poetic verses often occur when human interaction is taking place ; particularly when characters express their love and their anger. However, it not only occurs under such conditions but also when the writer seeks a pardon from the ruler. In some instances, poetry serves as solace and is even preferred to the Koran or to prayers in a mosque as the last refuge to which the protagonist resorts. Conversely, verses are rare in stories that have the Koran, the ḥadith, wild animals or illness as their main theme.
In the second part, this author identifies sixteen functions that poetry fulfills in Faraj (i.e. adab, inherent, personal, associative, structural, illustrative, analogical, summary, psychological, communicative, resumtive, poetic quiz function, explicative, nominative, corrective/ diversive and inter-/ intratextual). These sixteen functions comprise different levels of narrative/ literary analysis : surface level, plot level, intra- and intertextual level and generic level. A function may extend over several of these levels and a single poem may fulfill several functions at one time.
One of the most important functions for the Faraj in particular, is the structural function. It is divided into five subfunctions (on the plot level : conclusive or “de dénouement”, proleptic and analeptic ; on the surface level : initial and final). The conclusive subfunction is the most characteristic of the Faraj stories because the verses mark the point where the dramatic climax of the story is reached and the plot is brought to a conclusion.
The author holds that some of the functions identified in this work can be applied to a larger set of similar adab works. It has to be borne in mind, however, that al-Tanûkhî’s Faraj is a particular type of adab and that larger differences in the use of poems exist as far as other subgenres of adab are concerned.
ʿUmar b. al-Ḫaṭṭāb et la poésie.
Such ambivalence of Islam towards the status of poets and poetry engendered one of the themes continually treated within Arabic poetics during the medieval era, namely to show, on the basis of explicitly chosen traditions and anecdotes, that the Prophet and Islam were not hostile to poetry. To prove the legitimacy of this literary genre, the majority of authors selected ḥadîth-s which demonstrated that the Prophet was indeed, in favour of poetry, liked to listen it and rewarded poets who composed poetic verses in his glory.
Since the status of poetry has already been studied regarding these two main sources, the present article concentrates on one of the most emblematic personalities in Islam and its civilisation : the caliph ‘Umar b. al-Khaṭṭâb.
Que nous apprend vraiment Muqaddasī de la situation de l’arabe au IV e/Xe siècle?
The geographer Muqaddasî is reputed to have provided in his Aḥsan al-taqâsîm fî ma‘rifat al-aqâlîm a considerable amount of information on the linguistic situation of the Muslim world during the 4th/10th century. A meticulous analysis of the data concerning the Arabic language leads us to a double conclusion :
1. Muqaddasî distinguishes between two levels of Arabic, which can be assimilated to two main varieties : on the one hand, Arabic as a vehicular language, to which he gives the same name of ‘arabiyya ; and on the other hand, Arabic as a vernacular language, which he calls lisân al-qawm (“ language of the people ”) which he considers as being made up of lughât mukhtalifa (“ different ways of speech ”). As a vehicle of the learned culture, the ‘arabiyya is better mastered by those whose native language is not Arabic and for whom Arabic does not constitute a vernacular language. A remarkable example is represented by the educated men of letters of Nishapur, capital of the Iranian state of the Samanids. On the contrary Muqaddasî deplores the mistakes (especially as far as declension endings are concerned) of the Great Qadi of Baghdad in his majlis.
2. The information given by Muqaddasî is more of an epilinguistic than of a linguistic nature. As a matter of fact, he mentions but two features, a phonological and a morphological one, of the same Arabic speech (that of Aden). However, it is extremely important to recognise, in his representations, the direct echo of the different theses concerning the Arabic language at that time, namely the “ theological ” and the “ philosophical ” one.
Le plus ancien traité critique sur les grammairiens d’Abū Ḥāmid al-Tirmiḏī (IIIe / IXe siècle). Une lecture de la circulation de quelques exemples qui illustrent les fondements de la tradition grammaticale arabe.
Abû Ḥâmid al-Tirmidhî is the author of a small treatise which might actually be the oldest critical Arabic source dealing with the earliest grammarians in Iraq. Unknown until recently, Abû Ḥâmid al-Tirmidhî must have lived during the 3rd/9th century. Among his masters were Abû ʿUbayda, al-Aṣma‘î and Ibn al-A‘râbî. He belonged to a group of scholars associated with the governor ‘Abd Allâh b. Ṭâhir in Khurasân.
This article includes a French translation from the Arabic, of Abû Ḥâmid’s treatise, based on Hâshim al-Ṭa‘‘ân’s edition (in al-Mawrid, Bagdad, 1974) from the Arabic manuscript. In addition, two indices or glossaries explain technical Arabic terminology and the proper names mentioned in the treatise.
As for our reading of Abû Ḥâmid’s treatise, it goes through a comparative analysis of several akhbâr depicting the foundation of the grammatical Arabic tradition, which are also to be found in most of the Arabic sources.
The author contends that this analysis proves that Abû Ḥâmid’s approach to the Kufan and Basrian scholars is singular as far as it gives us new or non-similar data from what is usually exposed in primary Arabic sources.
MUṢṬAFĀ ḤUSAYN RAMAḌĀN (Ḥusayn)
ملاحظات على الكتابات الكوفية الجصية بمدرسة السلطان حسنMulāḥaẓāt ʿalā al-kitābāt al- kūfiyya al-ǧissiyya bi-madrasit al-sulṭān Ḥasan.
ʿABD AL-RIḤĪM IBRĀHĪM (Ǧamal)
دينار طولونى نادر ضرب مصر سنة ٢٦٥ هـ.Dīnār ṭūlūnī nādir ḍarb Miṣr sanat 265 H.
AḤMAD IBRĀHĪM (Īhāb)
مهندس مقياس النيل معلومات جديدة في ضوء النقوش الكتابية للمقياسMuhandis Miqyās al-Nīl. Maʿlūmāt ǧadīda fī ḍū’ al-nuqūš al-kitābiyya li-l-miqyās.