An Arab Ambassador in the Mediterranean World: The Travels by Nabil Matar

By Nabil Matar

This publication offers translated choices from the writings of Muhammad Ibn Othman al-Miknasi (d. 1799). the single writings via an Arab-Muslim within the pre-modern interval that current a comparative viewpoint, his travelogues offer precise perception with in to Christendom and Islam.
Translating excerpts from his 3 travelogues, this ebook tells the tale of al-Miknasi’s travels from 1779-1788. As an envoy, al-Miknasi was once aware about court docket lifestyles, executive workplaces and spiritual structures, and he presents distinctive debts of towns, humans, customs, ransom negotiations, ancient occasions and political associations. together with descriptions of Europeans, Arabs, Turks, Christians (both ecu and Eastern), Muslims, Jews, and (American) Indians within the final zone of the eighteenth century, An Arab Ambassador within the Mediterranean international explores how the main travelled Muslim author of the pre-modern interval observed the realm: from Spain to Arabia and from Morocco to Turkey, with second-hand information regarding the recent World.
Supplemented with vast notes detailing the historical and political relevance of the translations, this booklet is of curiosity to researchers and students of Mediterranean historical past, Ottoman stories and Muslim-Christian kinfolk.

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Said to have been agreed to by the Christians of Syria in acknowledgement of the Caliph Umar’s rule (634–44), the text includes numerous discriminatory provisions. The best known is the requirement to pay an annual poll tax (jizya), but the ahl al-dhimma also had to show deference to Muslims and wear distinctive clothes so they could be identified easily. In some versions, the Pact of Umar takes the form of a petition by the Christians of Syria, a forgery that could be used to claim that the ahl al-dhimma acquiesced in establishing their own subordinate status.

20–24. , pp. 221–7. my (accessed May 2013). 35 36 Why Is Freedom of Speech a Problem for So Many Muslims? 35 religion. Officially, they cannot change their religion without the approval of a Syariah (sharia) Court, but an application is likely to render an apostate liable for these penalties or for detention in a rehabilitation centre where he or she will be encouraged to return to Islam. 39 Their efforts, however, underscore rather than resolve the inherent tension as they patently employ Western-derived ideals to reinterpret the Islamic sources.

Democratisation movements in the Middle East have established some rights, but ambiguously have also had a corrosive effect through redefining rights in line with sharia. Tibi obviously digs deep into his personal experience of attempted censorship around his programmatically polemical advocacy of Islam as a civil – one is tempted to say ‘secularised’32 – religion divorced of major political ambitions. Katharina Völker’s chapter expands on the issue of academic autonomy by illuminating the entangling skeins of university policies, conservative religious agency and individual research endeavour in the case of confessional Islamic teaching at German universities.

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