The term shari’a often sparks strong emotions - either in favour, or against. While shari’a has become the subject of growing concern in Western societies over the past decades, crucial questions as to the conceptualization of this notion have remained largely unexplored.
Medieval Muslim scholars are famed for their contributions to astronomical knowledge, but it is less clear how new students first learned to approach complex expert works like the Almagest. Part of the story may be found in the Middle Books of astronomy.
The term “early Muslim conquests” brings to mind Arabs taking a place with violence, without any cooperation from the local population. No doubt that was sometimes the case. But did the early Muslim “conquests” of Sasanian Iran follow this pattern? How did the locals’ reactions affect the conquests?
Dabke is often framed as a village dance. The current popularity of dabke performances in the Netherlands shows how migration attributes new meaning to traditional practice. Diasporic dabke swings between reinvention of identity and creative cultural exchange.