Man Versus Society in Medieval Islam
Franz Rosenthal, Dimitri Gutas
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In Man versus Society in Medieval Islam, Franz Rosenthal (1914-2003) investigates the tensions and conflicts that existed between individuals and society as the focus of his study of Muslim social history. The book brings together works spanning fifty years: the monographs The Muslim Concept of Freedom, The Herb. Hashish versus Medieval Muslim Society (Brill, 1971), Gambling in Islam (Brill, 1975), and Sweeter than Hope. Complaint and Hope in Medieval Islam (Brill,1983), along with all the articles on unsanctioned practices, sexuality, and institutional learning. Reprinted here together for the first time, they constitute the most extensive collection of source material on all these themes from all genres of Arabic writing, judiciously translated and analyzed. No other study to date presents the panorama of medieval Muslim societies in their manifold aspects in as detailed, comprehensive, and illuminating a manner.
Author: Franz Rosenthal. Edited by Dimitri Gutas.
The aspects of “hope” attested in the sources are manifold. Among other things they show a clash between the religious and secular points of view and a marked tension between Islam and the pre-lslamic Arabian heritage. Here, for once, our sources are comparatively plentiful as well as explicit, and I feel confident that the available material will eventually enable us to learn about and clarify attitudes that had a definite measure of historical import.5 Another relevant theme is that of the role
Views on Freedom 94  a. Freedom as an Ethical Concept 94  b. Freedom in Political Theory 110  c. Freedom in Metaphysical Speculation 117  VI. Concluding Remark 129  51  VII VIII Foreword Most authors who have something of importance to say are involved in the problem of freedom. Even if they are not expressly concerned with it, their attitude toward freedom can be reconstructed from their works. This applies also to authors writing within the boundaries of Muslim
practical situations and theoretical problems. The German writer, K. Jaspers, thus admits “on the sociological level, a distinction of personal, civil, and political freedom; the personal freedom of handling one’s own affairs which, given sufficient economic means, may exist side by side with a lack of civil and political | freedom (as, for instance, in czarist Russia); the civil freedom which can develop in the guise of security under law side by side with a lack of political freedom (as, for
scholarship and literature on to the present. The time of origin of a nickname cannot be accurately determined, and literary preservation effectively masks the true time of its falling out of use. In some cases, we may guess at the particular region where a given nickname was in use, but we cannot be certain whether it did not in fact spread from there to other places. The two substantial lists of nicknames which have come down to us (see below, pp. 34ff.) contain interesting specifications in
with ḥashīsh. The author of the poem quoted by al-Badrī, fol. 56b, was Burhān-ad-dīn al-Miʿmār (cf. below, p. 66, n. 2). It begins: “I repent my use of hashish as long as I live” (tāyib anā ʿan al-ḥashīsh—ṭūl mā aʿīsh), but much in the poem remains doubtful, including, in particular, the line referring to dubb hīsh. 144 6 The ms. seems to have an n, for t, in Ḥamātī, but Hama is clearly meant. Possibly, wa-lā should be supplied between the two words so that we would have here two brands of