Law and Piety in Medieval Islam
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- Author: Megan H. Reid, University of Southern California
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The Ayyubid and Mamluk periods were some of the most intellectually fecund in Islamic history. Megan H. Reid's book, which traverses three centuries from 1170 to 1500, recovers the stories of medieval men and women who were renowned not only for their intellectual prowess but also for their devotional piety. Through these stories, the book examines trends in voluntary religious practice that have been largely overlooked in modern scholarship. This type of piety was distinguished by the pursuit of God's favor through additional rituals, which emphasized the body as an instrument of worship and the rejection of the temptation of worldly pleasures and even society itself. Using an array of sources including manuals of law, fatwa collections, chronicles and obituaries, the book shows what it meant to be a good Muslim in the medieval period and how Islamic law defined holy behavior. In its concentration on personal piety, ritual and religious practice the book offers an intimate perspective on early Islamic society.Read more
- An unusual and intimate portrayal of the devotional life of the medieval Muslim told through previously untapped sources
- Examines how Islamic law defined piety and charts changes in the law through the portal of history
- Brings to life a vibrant and intellectually fecund community that produced scholars such as Ibn Taymiyya
Reviews & endorsements
"This is a lovely book about what it meant to be a good Muslim in the later Middle Ages. As the title suggests, following Islamic law was not enough. The law acquired meaning through devotion, and true worship meant excess piety, less sleep, less food, and more ritual washing. This dialogue of the believer with his or her body is a dimension of Islamic spirituality which receives here its first major treatment."
Yossef Rapoport, Journal of Islamic Studies
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- Date Published: August 2013
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9781107069329
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
1. The persistence of asceticism
2. 'Devote yourself to deeds you can bear': voluntary fasting and bodily piety
3. Charity, food, and the right of refusal
4. The devil at the fountain: problems in ritual
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