Academic Articles

The selection of articles presented in this section covers a wide range of topics related to the historical, cultural and intellectual traditions and developments within the Muslim contexts, both historical and contemporary.

As in all academic publications, the articles reflect the interests, research, and conclusions of individual authors on a subject matter and must not be seen as necessarily reflecting the Institute's thinking or perspectives.

From Slaves to Supporters: The role of the 'Slavs' in the Fatimid Mediterranean Empire in the Fourth/Tenth Century CE
The growing prominence of the Saqaliba, slaves of Slavic origin, across major areas of Fatimid administration and household affairs was among the distinctive features of the initial sixty-year phase of the Fatimid rule in North Africa. The military and administrative involvement of the Slavs...
Governance and Pluralism under the Fatimids (909-996 CE)
The medieval Mediterranean littoral was a region inhabited by people of diverse ethnic backgrounds and religious persuasions. This was evident in 10th century Egypt, the mainstay of Fatimid domains, a land in which lived Arabs, Turks, Greeks, Armenians, Berbers and Sudanese - among whom were...
حديث موسى مع الله (مناجاة موسى) في رسائل إخوان الصفاء
هذه نسخة محررة من مقالة نشرت بالأصل في ’الكتاب: قدسية النص في العالم الإسلامي. وقائع الندوة الدولية التي عقدت في لوفين ولوفان-لا-نوف بين 29 أيار و1 حزيران 2002‘، حررها دانييل دو سميت، غودفرويدا كالاتايا، و جان فان ريث، ونشرت من قبل أكتا أوريانتاليا بيلجيكا (Acta Orientalia Belgica)، الإصدار...
The Conversation between Moses and God (Munajat Musa) in the Epistles of the Pure Brethren (Rasa’il Ikhwan al-Safa’)
This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared in Al-Kitab: La Sacralité du Texte Dans Le Monde de l‘Islam. Actes du Symposium International Tenu à Leuven et Louvain-la-Neuve du 29 Mai au 1 Juin 2002, ed. Daniel De Smet, Godefroyde Callataÿ, and JanVan Reeth, published by...
Divine Law / Divine Command: The Ground of Ethics in the Western Tradition-Muslim Perspectives
The article posits that the ethical roots of the pre-modern Western tradition are not just based in biblical norms. The author delves into the origins and roots of Muslim ethics from revelation to the shaping of Muslim law, suggesting a strong connection between western and Muslim values based...
What is Shi'a Islam?
The historical formation of the worldwide Muslim community or Umma, as it is known in Arabic, has resulted in a great deal of diversity that reflects a rich intellectual, spiritual, and institutional pluralism. In seeking to express a response to the primal message of Islam, Muslims have...
Muslim, Jews and Christians - Relations and Interactions
Seen from the vantage of the late twentieth century, re­lations between Muslims, Jews, and Christians look both better and worse than at any time in the past. In many parts of the world, Muslims are engaged in dia­logue with Jews and Christians. Islam has become the fastest growing religion in...
The Ismaili Vocabulary of Creation
It has been noted by several authors that classical Greek philosophers operated under the fundamental assumption that the universe consisted of only two realms - the intelligible and the sensible.[i] Many of their philosophical speculations moreover were ultimately based on an attempt to...
The Metaphysics of Interfaith Dialogue: A Qur’anic Perspective
This article presents the Qur’an as a source of dialogue amongst different belief systems. Through deft exegesis of various Qur’anic verses, in Sufi tradition, the claim is made that the Qur’an not only supports, but also wholeheartedly encourages the pluralism of faiths in today’s world while...

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