The present volume—the first of its kind—deals with takfīr: accusing one´s opponents of unbelief ( kufr).
Originating in the first decades of Islam, this practice has been applied intermittently ever since. The nineteen studies included here deal with cases, covering different periods and parts of the Muslim world, of individuals or groups that used the instrument of takfīr to brand their opponents—either persons, groups or even institutions—as unbelievers who should be condemned, anathematized or even persecuted. Each case presented is placed in its sociopolitical and religious context. Together the contributions show the multifariousness that has always characterized Islam and the various ways in which Muslims either sought to suppress or to come to terms with this diversity.
With contributions by: Roswitha Badry, Sonja Brentjes, Brian J. Didier, Michael Ebstein, Simeon Evstatiev, Ersilia Francesca, Robert Gleave, Steven Judd, István T. Kristó-Nagy, Göran Larsson, Amalia Levanoni, Orkhan Mir-Kasimov, Hossein Modarressi, Justyna Nedza, Intisar A. Rabb, Sajjad Rizvi, Daniel de Smet, Zoltan Szombathy, Joas Wagemakers.
About the Editors
Camilla Adang is Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Tel Aviv University. Her fields of specialization are interreligious contacts and classical Islamic thought. She has written extensively on Ibn Ḥazm and the Ẓāhirī school.
Hassan Ansari is a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He focuses on the study of Islamic theology, philosophy, law, and legal theory.
Maribel Fierro is Research Professor at the Centre of Human and Social Sciences at the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC – Spain). Her research focuses on the religious and intellectual history of al-Andalus and the Islamic West, and on Islamic law.
Sabine Schmidtke is Professor of Islamic Intellectual History at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. She has published extensively on Islamic and Jewish intellectual history. Her works include Theologie, Philosophie und Mystik im zwölferschiitischen Islam des 9./15. Jahrhunderts. Die Gedankenwelt des Ibn Abī Jumhūr al-Aḥsāʾī (um 838/1434-35 – nach 906/1501) (Leiden 2000), and, together with Reza Pourjavady, A Jewish Philosopher of Baghdad. ʿIzz al-Dawla Ibn Kammūna and his Writings (Leiden 2006).
Table of Contents
I. Takfīr Through Islamic History
1. The Early Period (First/Seventh-Fourth/Tenth Centuries)
Self-defining through Faith: The walāya and barāʾa Dynamics among the Early Ibāḍis
Were the Umayyad-Era Qadarites Kāfirs?
Denouncing the Damned Zindīq! Struggle and Interaction between Monotheism and Dualism
István T. Kristó-Nagy
Kufr et takfīr dans l’ismaélisme fatimide: Le Kitāb Tanbīh al-hādī de Ḥamīd al-Dīn al-Kirmānī
Daniel De Smet
2. The Classical and Post-Classical Period (Fifth/Eleventh-Eleventh/Eighteenth Centuries)
The Vocabulary of “Unbelief” in Three Biographical Dictionaries and Two Historical Chronicles of the 7th/13th and 8th/14th Centuries
Takfīr in Egypt and Syria during the Mamluk Period
Takfīr and Messianism: The Ḥurūfī Case
The Qāḍīzādeli Movement and the Revival of takfīr in the Ottoman Age
The takfīr of the Philosophers (and Sufis) in Safavid Iran
3. The Modern Period
The Cost of Condemnation: Heresy and takfīr in a South Indian Community
Brian J. Didier
The Sum of its Parts: The State as Apostate in Contemporary Saudi Militant Islamism
“The Kāfir Religion of the West”: Takfīr of Democracy and Democrats by Radical Islamists
On the takfīr of Arab Women Rights Advocates in Recent Times
Apostasy in the West: A Swedish Case Study
II. Discussing Takfīr:Different Perspectives
Essential Islam: The Minimum that a Muslim is Required to Acknowledge
Abandoning Prayer and the Declaration of Unbelief in Imāmī Jurisprudence
Society and Propriety: The Cultural Construction of Defamation and Blasphemy as Crimes in Islamic Law
Intisar A. Rabb
Literary Works as Evidence of Unbelief
“Religions, Opinions and Beliefs Are Nothing but Roads and Paths … While the Goal Is One”: Between Unity and Diversity in Islamic Mysticism
Title: A History of Islamic Legal Theories: An Introduction to Sunni Usul al-fiqh
Editors: Camilla Adang, Hassan Ansari, Maribel Fierro and Sabine Schmidtke
Pub. Date: October 28, 1999