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Home Page > Research > Publications > Journal of Contemporary Islamic Thought Studies >  No. 1 Spring and summer 2016 
No. 1 Spring and summer 2016



Cultural Studies in the Travelogue of Ibn Baūah in the Eighth Century


Sayyid Muammad Thaqafī[1]


Travelogues are historically oriented texts that record the observations of their authors in regards to geographical and cultural issues. In many cases these texts, which are also accompanied by analyses and can provide researchers with a plethora of historical information for their sociological studies, are in the present era largely overlooked. The paper at hand applies itself to the study of the culture of Muslim societies from the perspective of Ibn Baūah.  He writes not only about cities, sacred places, and schools, but also provides descriptions and analyses of the culture of various people. Some of these treatises pertain to things such as the way of life of the mystics, a critique of Ibn Taymiyyah, an accurate analysis of the interactions of the blacks of Tanzania, and the custom of burning widows in India.

Keywords: Travelogue, Rilah, Ibn Baūah, social thought, social history.


A Typology of Social Mysticism with an Emphasis on the Perspective of Imam Khumayni (r)


amzah Khādim ʿAlī[2]


The production of Islamic human sciences is tied to a reinterpretation of the intellectual inheritance of Islam and the recognition of the great potential that such an endeavour holds. Islamic mysticism (ʿirfān), with its rich history and outstanding figures, is an important part of this inheritance. The event of the Islamic Revolution in Iran at the hands of the people and under the leadership of Imam Khumanyni (r), and the crucial role that mysticism played in it, makes a more profound treatment of this science all the more necessary. The article in hand compares the positions and practices of great mystics and attempts to derive from this a typology of mystical schools of thought and their relation with social issues. In so doing the study expounds on the different levels of activity of the mystics, such as, reclusive mysticism, personal mysticism with social applications, and personal mysticism with social wayfaring. It continues by presenting a new definition of social mysticism using the words of Imam Khumayni (r) and his great teacher and delineating some of the particularities of this mystical school of thought.

Keywords:  Social mysticism, social application, social wayfaring, the affair of the People of the House, Imam Khumayni, Ayatullah Shahabadi, religion with the people.



Chivalry and its Relation to Social Mysticism


Mohammadhosein Maghare’ie[3]


Mysticism (ʿirfān), as an invaluable inheritance left by posterity, has continued its social existence in various ways amongst the different schools of thought in Islam. One of the deviations and problems that has unfortunately appeared amongst the mystics is the tendency to retreat from society. To resolve this problem chivalric movements, called futuwwat, were formed so as to counteract the tendency towards a personal or individual mysticism. Such movements can be seen to be a type of ‘social mysticism.’ The latter is a type of mysticism in which in addition to personal wayfaring, social wayfaring plays an important part. The wayfarer in this case tries to purify his soul and then, in the manner of prophets, goes on to usher society towards divine perfection. Social mysticism can be divided into different levels and in one estimation it can be divided into the two levels or types of minimalist and maximalist. The present article purviews chivalric manuals and treatises and attempts to show the differences between personal and social mysticism on the one hand, and between minimalist and maximalist social mysticism on the other.

Keywords: Futuwwat, chivalry, practical mysticism, social mysticism, ʿAbd al-Razzāq Kāshānī.



An Introductory to Social Jurisprudence and its Relation to Islamic Social Sciences


Muammad Taqī Muqaddamī[4]


Social jurisprudence, as a field of general jurisprudence, studies social phenomena from the perspective of the rights and duties of believers and has profound methodological and cognitive links with the social thought of Muslims. Social jurisprudence can provide the platform on which issues are tabled and new theories are formed, and can in general be effectual in the process of producing social science. Towards this end, the study in hand uses a comparative methodology to delineate common grounds and relations between the two sciences in question, determining in the process their points of convergence and divergence, as well as the influence that they have on one another. The two sciences are common in putting forth behavioral and normative models. So while social jurisprudence facilitates the internalization of religious norms and beliefs via the mechanism of sociability, social science reciprocates by correcting the understanding and deepening the perception of the jurisconsult on social subjects and issues, thereby improving the integrity of the process of Ijtihad and helping him to reach a ruling in consonance with reality.

Keywords: Socio-political jurisprudence, social science, Islamic social science, fixed and variable rulings.



Epistemology of the Takfiris: An Appraisal of the Validity of the Sources of Knowledge of the Takfiris


Muṣṭafā Sharīfīpūr[5]


The epistemology of the Takfiris is contingent upon understanding the sources of knowledge of the Salafi-Takfiri movement. In denying that the intellect is on par with tradition, the Salafis effectively have no access to the former and see it as nothing but supporting evidence for tradition or textual authority. Hence it can be said that this current or school of thought sees the intellect to be under tradition in a hierarchal relationship and does not believe that it has any independent authority.

Hence tradition or textual authority, composed of the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and consensus, is the most important source of knowledge for the Salafis. Consequent to this is their acceptance of traditions that have only a single chain of narrators and that are weak, which is the most controversial aspect of their epistemology. While they do not reject outright intuition or inspiration as a source of knowledge, they do strongly oppose these being put on par with or taking precedence over textual authority. The arguments and debates between Salafis and Sufis underscores the truth of this claim.

Keywords: Epistemology, Takfiri, intellect, tradition, experiment, intuition.



A Methodological Study of Akhbarism: The Thought of Muhammad Amin al-Astarabadi


Qāsim Jaʿfarzādeh[6]


Every intellectual school of thought needs to be fluid and responsive. Throughout history those schools or paradigms of thought that could not keep pace with the advance of time and were unable to respond to the issues of the day were slowly forgotten and eventually died. Intellectual methods for understanding Islam-which is the final religion-need to be revisited and subjected to a serious pathology. This is because the teachings of Islam are universal, for all times and all places. Akhbarism was the method of choice for understanding religious text in a certain period of the history of Shīʿi thought. In this age as well it is presenting itself as a living and responsive method. The study at hand will investigate the origin of Akhbarism and its formative influences and intellectual underpinnings. From its beginnings as a purely traditional method, using only textual authority to expound the rulings of Islamic law, to a more elaborate system with a bearing on other fields, it will trace the repercussions, both intellectual and social, of this school of thought in Shīʿi history.

Keywords: Akhbarism, Astarābādī, intellect (reason), tradition (textual authority), methodology, cognitive concomitants.





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[1].  Assistant Professor of Sociology of Religion; Islamic Azad University- Central Tehran Branch.

[2]. M.A. Student of Philosophy of Social Sciences; Baqir-al-Ulum University.

[3]. M.A. Student of Philosophy of Social Sciences; Baqir-al-Ulum University.

[4]. Graduated from Seminary, M.A. in Imam Khomeini Educational Research Institute.

[5]. Ph.D. Student of Social Science in Muslim World; Seminary Graduate Institute of Imam Reza

[6].  Ph.D. Student of Philosophy of Social Sciences; Baqir-al-Ulum University.






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