Featured Articles & Media

Musical Instruments in Samāʿ Literature: al-Udfuwī’s Kitāb al-Imtāʿ bi-aḥkām as-samāʿ – Yaron Klein

Samāʿ literature reveals a tension in premodern Islamicate societies. While musical practices were ubiquitous and practiced in many contexts, Islamic legal tradition regarded them with suspicion. Musical instruments occupied a central place in these discussions, perhaps, because as physical objects associated with what is otherwise in the non-tangible domain of sound they were seen as […]


Abstract: “There is a well-known saying of’All ibn Abi ‘falib, the cousin and son-in­ law of the Prophet of Islam and representative par excellence of Islamic esoterism and metaphysics, according to which one should pay attention to what is said and not who has said it. This teaching has been close to my heart since […]

Commentary on Surat Yusuf (Q 12) (The Study Quran,)

Devil’s Advocate: ʿAyn al-Quḍāt’s Defence of Iblis in Context – Mohammed Rustom

Abstract: “The writings of ʿAyn al-Quḍāt Hamadānī (d. 525/1131) anticipate some of the major trends that characterize the post-Avicennan ḥikmat tradition. But modern scholarship has as of yet not completely come to grips with the far-reaching implications of ʿAyn al-Quḍāt’s teachings, many of which are framed in terms of the symbolic language and imagery of […]

Knowledge in Later Islamic Philosophy:Mullā Ṣadrā on Existence, Intellect, and Intuition –

Abstract: “This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Ansubstantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contents will be complete or accurate […]

Some Pointers and Reminders in Islamic Studies – Mohammed Rustom

Abstract: “Below are pointers and reminders (in no particular order) on how to go about navigating one’s way through the various stages of academiclife in Islamic Studies. This document is intended for those who are training to be in, or are already in, the profession. Although in my own words,many of the items listed below […]

Storytelling as Philosophical Pedagogy:The Case of Suhrawardī – Mohammed Rustom

Abstract: “Amongt the writings of Shihābal-Dīn Suhrawardī(d.587/1191),the founder of the School of Illumination and a key figure in post-Avicennan Islamic philosophy, are a series of visionary tales. In the context of each of these narratives, Suhrawardī employs numerous symbolic images in order to convey several key ideas that punctuate his philosophy. Given their concrete language, […]

On Listening: Hearing God’s Voice in the Face of Suffering – Mohammed Rustom

Abstract “Nearly a decade ago, I delivered a lecture which was part of a monthly philosophy colloquium series hosted by the philosophy department at my University. Unlike most of if not every other paper delivered in the series, my topic had to do with a non-European philosophical tradition—Islamic philosophy. The title of the lecture was […]