Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi: Islam and the Enlightenment by Samer Akkach

By Samer Akkach

During this specific examine a key determine within the Islamic enlightenment, Samer Akkach examines the lifestyles and works of 'Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi (1641-1731) of Damascus: a modern of many significant thinkers, scientists, poets, and philosophers of the eu Enlightenment. frequently characterised completely as a Sufi saint, his idea and teachings have been of a wider remit. via a clean examining of his unpublished biographical assets and big physique of regularly unpublished works, Akkach examines early expressions of rationalism between Arab and Turkish students, and argues that 'Abd al-Ghani helped bring in the start of modernity within the Arab international.

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In response to the rising fundamentalist and antiSufi sentiment, he wrote in defence of Sufism and Sufi practices, such as tomb visitation and use of musical instruments, as well as of controversial Sufi personalities, such as Ibn ‘Arabi and al-Shushtari (d. 1269). At the same time, he interpreted some key Sufi poems and texts, in an attempt to sustain the popular interest in Sufi knowledge and wisdom. 095 07/12/2006 3:17 PM Page 36 36 ‘ABD AL-GHANI AL-NABULUSI Noticeable Absence During this period, ‘Abd al-Ghani met with the renowned Hijazi scholar and Head Preacher of the Medina,‘Abd al-Rahman al-Khiyari (d.

644). ” The family name al-Nabulusi, “the one from Nablus,” however, identifies the family with the Palestinian city of Nablus, a historic town of Roman origin located about sixty-three kilometres north of Jerusalem. The Jama‘a family is known to have originated from the Syrian town of Hama,which is located about 200 kilometres north of Damascus. In the twelfth century, an eminent member of the family moved to Damascus for study and toward the end of his life, he moved again to Jerusalem, where he wished to die and be buried.

095 07/12/2006 3:16 PM Page 14 14 ‘ABD AL-GHANI AL-NABULUSI after Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem. Qur’anic and prophetic references formed the basis of many texts written on its sacred history and religious merits. It was the first Islamic Capital established by the first Muslims outside the Arabian Peninsula in the mid-seventh century, and had remained the seat of government for over ninety years until the centre of power shifted to Baghdad in 750. During the reigns of successive Muslim dynasties, including the Ottomans, Damascus remained an important centre of religious and scientific learning.

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