The Arab Nahdah: The Making of the Intellectual and Humanist Movement 9780748640690

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The Arab Nahdah: The Making of the Intellectual and Humanist Movement
 9780748640690

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Contents

Series Editor’s Foreword

vi

Acknowledgements

ix

Preface

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Introduction: Perspectives, Paradigms and Parameters

1

Contemporary Interpretations of the Nah∂ah: Tradition, Modernity and the Arab Intellectual

12

The Reintegration of Pre-modern Christians into the Mainstream of Arabic Literature and the Creation of an Inter-religious Cultural Space

36

Guardians of the Pre-modern Arab-Islamic Humanist Tradition: Legends without a Legacy, a Tradition without Heirs

75

Language Reform and Controversy: The al-Shartūnīs Respond in Defence of the Pre-modern Humanist Tradition

102

5

Arabism, Patriotism and Ottomanism as Means to Reform

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Arab Intellectuals and the West: Borrowing for the Sake of Progress

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Education, Reform and Enlightened Azharīs

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Enacting Reform: Local Agents, Statesmen, Missionaries and the Evolution of a Cultural Infrastructure

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Conclusion

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Bibliography Index

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Series Editor’s Foreword

he Edinburgh Studies in Modern Arabic Literature is a new and unique series which will, it is hoped, fill in a glaring gap in scholarship in the field of modern Arabic literature. Its dedication to Arabic literature in the modern period, that is, from the nineteenth century onwards, is what makes it unique among series undertaken by academic publishers in the Englishspeaking world. Individual books on modern Arabic literature in general or aspects of it have been and continue to be published sporadically. Series on Islamic studies and Arab/Islamic thought and civilisation are not in short supply either in the academic world, but these are far removed from the study of Arabic literature qua literature, that is, imaginative, creative literature as we understand the term when, for instance, we speak of English literature or French literature, etc. Even series labelled ‘Arabic/Middle Eastern Literature’ make no period distinction, extending their purview from the sixth century to the present, and often including non-Arabic literatures of the region. This series aims to redress the situation by focusing on the Arabic literature and criticism of today, stretching its interest to the earliest beginnings of Arab modernity in the nineteenth century. The need for such a dedicated series, and generally for the redoubling of scholarly endeavour in researching and introducing modern Arabic literature to the Western reader has never been stronger. The significant growth in the last decades of the translation of contemporary Arab authors from all genres, especially fiction, into English; the higher profile of Arabic literature internationally since the award of the Nobel Prize for Literature to Naguib Mahfouz in 1988; the growing number of Arab authors living in the Western diaspora and writing both in English and Arabic; the adoption of such authors and others by mainstream, high-circulation publishers, as opposed to the aca-

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demic publishers of the past; the establishment of prestigious prizes, such as the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (the Arabic Booker), run by the Man Booker Foundation, which brings huge publicity to the shortlist and winner every year, as well as translation contracts into English and other languages – all this and very recently the events of the Arab Spring have heightened public, let alone academic, interest in all things Arab, and not least Arabic literature. It is therefore part of the ambition of this series that it will increasingly address a wider reading public beyond its natural territory of students and researchers in Arabic and world literature. Nor indeed is the academic readership of the series expected to be confined to specialists in literature in the light of the growing trend for interdisciplinarity, which increasingly sees scholars crossing field boundaries in their research tools and coming up with findings that equally cross discipline borders in their appeal. Studies of the Arab nah∂a (awakening) or renaissance, as it is sometimes called to suggest comparability with the European Renaissance, its main figures, trends, influences, locations, etc. are not in short supply: the nah∂a, dating back to the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and generally associated with the beginnings of increasing contact between Europe and the Arab East, culminating in Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt in 1798, marks the region’s introduction to modern times. Almost every feature of the Arab social and intellectual life of today has its root in the nah∂a, whether by being a continuation of a trend of thought or social or political principle that had its germination in the nah∂a period, or by being one that is resisted today by traditional social forces as a product of the Westernisation process that also started with the nah∂a. But abundant as studies of the nah∂a may appear, we just cannot have enough of them: the nah∂a and its main figures and texts are constantly being revisited, revaluated and reinterpreted, and the present study is a new endeavour in this continuing fascination with the origins of Arab modernity. Abdulrazzak Patel argues that so much attention has been given by generations of scholars to the towering secularist figures of the nah∂a and to European influence in bringing about the Arab awakening, with the result that the more traditional, self-referential, but nonetheless rejuvenating, currents of

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the nah∂a and their exponents were largely neglected. This monograph is an attempt at redressing this situation. Rasheed El-Enany Emeritus Professor of Modern Arabic Literature University of Exeter

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Acknowledgements

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

bove all, I am thankful to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Universe, who despite numerous setbacks instilled in me the motivation to pursue my research and helped to fulfil my dreams. I wish to express my indebtedness and appreciation to all staff and colleagues in the Oriental Institute at the University of Oxford for their kindness and diligent efforts to provide a conducive atmosphere for research and learning. In particular, I would like to mention my two mentors Clive Holes and Nadia Jamil for their constant support and encouragement. The pursuit of my book would not have been possible without the generous financial support that I have received on fellowships at Oxford from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). To these institutions, and to the persons involved, I address my sincere thanks. I am also grateful to Rasheed El-Enany, the series editor, for his valuable assistance and guidance through the preparation of this book, and to the staff at EUP, especially Nicola Ramsey and Michelle Houston, for their care and help which lasted from first commissioning to final product. It has been a pleasure to work with EUP. To my family and friends, it would be impossible to give back the years of patience and solitude which allowed me to concentrate on my research. But I can and do express my gratitude and affection. The dedication of this study to you is but a small token of my appreciation for your devotion, sacrifices and infinite forbearance.

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Preface

his book is about one of the most important periods in the development of Arabic thought and culture. The later part of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the Arab world is generally associated with the nah∂ah: the ‘Renaissance or Awakening’ of Arabic literature and thought under Western influence. The actual origins and development of the nah∂ah movement remains a matter of controversy, but what is clear is that the broad use of the term implies an awareness of the dynamic process of social, cultural and political change that the Arab region underwent during the nineteenth century. One may also talk in broader terms about other modes of reform (i‚lāª) in the Arab and Muslim world in this period. There were parallel movements of resurgence (Wahhābīyah, Sanūsīyah, Mahdīyah) in the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa that operated within the Islamic historical tradition of non-modern renewal (tajdīd ) and revival (iªyā’), and vibrant reform movements in the Maghreb and elsewhere linked to Ottoman central power and its intellectuals. In contrast to movements of Islamic resurgence, however, the nah∂ah can be understood as a vast intellectual and cultural movement of renewal, involving both Christians and Muslims, secular and religious reformers. Geographically, moreover, the countries mainly associated with the nah∂ah, at least in its early phases (early to mid-1800s), are Egypt and Greater Syria, including Lebanon. Although there is no rigid date marking the end of the nah∂ah, sources generally concur that it had ended by the First World War or at the latest by 1920. Since then, any attempt at rejuvenating Arab-Islamic thought has become so inextricably tied to the nah∂ah that it continues to dominate much of the contemporary Arab-Islamic discourse on tradition and modernity.1 The story of the nah∂ah, however, remains to be written. Not only do

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we lack a comprehensive account in English of the nah∂ah, but the research to date has focused too exclusively on the contribution of external forces at the expense of important internal factors, which – together with an undue emphasis on certain thinkers – has painted a confused and incomplete picture of the rise and development of the whole movement. Established studies have approached the nah∂ah and its intellectuals from modernisation-influenced perspectives, and have focused almost exclusively on those thinkers and movements that accepted ideas coming from the West, while ignoring those who either did not or tried to incorporate them within a framework of their own cultural values. Consequently, modernisation theory has greatly influenced most subsequent studies, which have served largely to support these early findings. Moreover, the narrow focus on certain thinkers has meant that many of their close associates and contemporaries, who were equally concerned with the reform of their societies but pursued practical careers over philosophical ones, remain unknown. Such men, linguists, litterateurs and educationalists – whom I refer to as the humanists in this book because of their tendency to focus on the humanities – contributed significantly to the nah∂ah. They were the guardians of Arabic and Islamic tradition, the transmitters of culture, and promoters of learning in general. The uneven emphasis of research to date has therefore failed to capture the complexity and distinctiveness of the nah∂ah and its intellectuals. Based on an extensive study of original sources in Arabic, this book hopes to address a lacuna in an authoritative and comprehensive account of the nah∂ah, and contribute to a fuller more nuanced understanding of this important period in the development of Arabic thought and culture. Starting in the pre-modern period (c. 1700), this book explores the key factors, both internal and external, that contributed to the rise and development of the nah∂ah, and examines, for the first time, the humanist movement of the period which was the driving force behind much of the linguistic, literary and educational activity. Overall, this book highlights the complexity of the nah∂ah and offers a more pluralist history of the period. In so doing, it departs from a long-established genre of studies that approach the nah∂ah and its intellectuals from modernisation-influenced perspectives, and paves the way for understanding the period and its intellectuals within a much wider context than has hitherto been given to them. At the same time, the

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book deals with a number of important themes, from modern Arab intellectual history, literature and culture, to issues of modernity, language and identity, which will allow for significant engagement with the study of the intellectual life and discourse of the nah∂ah as a whole. Note 1. See N. Tomiche, ‘Nah∂a’, EI 2, vol. 7, p. 900; Philipp, Gurjī Zaidān, p. 7; Esposito and Voll, Makers of Contemporary Islam, pp. 18–19; Djait, Europe and Islam, pp. 137–8; and Salvatore, Islam, Chapters 4–5, 11 passim.

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Introduction: Perspectives, Paradigms and Parameters his book is an intellectual history dealing with an aspect of Arab-Islamic culture. The first question one must thus raise is with regard to the meaning and nature of intellectual history. What are its main characteristics and central disciplinary concerns? Intellectual history is interdisciplinary in nature and as such intellectual historians do not work on the assumptions of a shared specific method. According to Kelly, primary topics of inquiry include: philosophy, literature, language, art, science and other disciplines, and each has its own tradition of historical inquiry.1 Intellectual history thus lacks one overriding concern. In terms of hermeneutics it is not really a discipline, but rather a point of view within a discipline, which is history, and the intellectual historian is to ‘explore those areas of the human past in which decipherable traces, usually written or iconographic, have survived, and then to give contemporary meaning to these traces through the medium of language’.2 Modern Arab-Islamic intellectual history is similarly a multidisciplinary area of inquiry rather than an autonomous academic discipline, and as such it is not immediately clear with what conceptual tools it is best handled. In fact, traditions and blueprints of practice which suggest ways of proceeding are scarce. Abu-Rabi‘’s observation in 1996 remains true today: ‘methodological studies of modern Arab/Islamic thought are rare, and, in many instances, are only partially adequate’.3 Although intellectual history lacks one overriding concern, one of the central issues in debates on intellectual historiography is ‘contextualisation’ and the problematising of the selection of particular contexts within which to situate our discussions of specific texts.4 Moreover, one of the main goals of intellectual history is ‘understanding’, which can be applied to an author or a text, to the wider cultural environment or to the individual self.5 The two are

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interdependent since the selection of appropriate context is supposed to lead to improved understanding. One might, therefore, consider the question of context (method) and ‘correct’ interpretation by turning to some established studies on the nah∂ah and by asking smaller as well as larger questions. Interpretation is always conditioned by values and assumptions that influence the study. The period beginning with the Ottoman conquest of Syria and Egypt in 1516–17 until Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798 is arguably the most neglected in the study of the Arab-Islamic world. This scholarly neglect is symptomatic of a widespread assumption that the ArabIslamic world entered a period of perpetual decline after the thirteenth century. The period of decline is believed by many to have come to an end in 1798 with Napoleon’s invasion, when a more dynamic and vital Europe thrust itself upon the region and initiated the dawn of a new ‘modern’ era. The paradigm of decline is so deeply ingrained in previous scholarship that a brief survey of scholarly attitudes is appropriate. An early example is found in Gibb’s and Bowen’s influential book, Islamic Society and the West (1957). They deployed the eighteenth century as a model of traditional Islamic society in the Ottoman Empire just before the changes brought by Westernisation and depicted Arabic scholarly culture and institutions of the time as degenerate and exhausted, and typical for the entire period stretching from 1500 to 1800 which, not inadvertently, was regarded throughout the twentieth century as that of the Empire’s decline.6 In Arabic Thought, Hourani echoed Bernard Lewis’s grim conclusion that from the beginning of the seventeenth century the ‘decline of the Ottoman Empire was clearly noticeable’, and that by the middle of the eighteenth ‘the evidence of decline was too strong to be ignored’.7 Abu-Lughod endorsed Gibb’s and Bowen’s view in the Arab Rediscovery of Europe (1963) when he wrote: ‘Several centuries of isolation, staticism, and decay had brought Islamic society to a nadir by the eighteenth century . . . The decline was general, encompassing almost every area of human activity.’8 The idea that Arab-Islamic civilisation entered a period of ‘decline’ after the sixteenth century has remained highly influential in academic circles. In the 1992 Cambridge volume on modern Arabic literature, Badawi writes: ‘the Ottoman period marks the nadir of Arabic literature. Although historians of literature may have exaggerated the

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decline, the period is no doubt characterised by the absence of creativity and loss of vigour.’9 The consequences of the paradigm of decline for the study of Arabic thought and culture in the centuries preceding 1798 have been disastrous. It has led to the wholesale dismissal of the period’s literature and had an adverse effect on the quantity and quality of studies on the period.10 For the present study, the decline paradigm (the use of 1798 as a starting point for a modern period) considerably hampers any attempt to assess to what extent pre-modern internal cultural factors may have contributed to the emergence of the nah∂ah. For, while any attempt to assess the internal cultural forces requires one to locate ‘continuities’ and establish ‘linkages’ between an indigenous ‘pre-modern’ and ‘modern’, the received periodisation models that are an inevitable consequence of the decline paradigm produce irreconcilable divides that advocate a deliberate rupture with the immediate past and thus prevent any exploration of internal cultural factors.11 Not surprisingly, then, the rise and development of the nah∂ah has been almost exclusively equated with the concept of ‘modernity’, which has served as a framework for the construction of the West as the major factor, and often sole agent, of the nah∂ah. Leezenberg points out that Hourani’s Arabic Thought and other established ‘classics’12 all proceed from modernisation–theoretical assumptions of a progressive and irreversible process of secularisation towards a liberal modernity in both the political and economic sense. Moreover, they inadequately thematise the nation-state and nationalist ideology, assuming secular modern states and national languages, including distinct language-based cultural traditions, as the inevitable end-point, if not self-evident framework, of their analyses.13 Consequently, frameworks of modernisation theory have greatly influenced most subsequent studies. Hourani, for example, systematically elaborated a framework whose basic assumptions were already widely shared by others in the field. Reid highlights that, although not explicitly defined as a modernisation study, most of Hourani’s assumptions paralleled those of modernisation theorists. Studies in the tradition of Arabic Thought, in particular the specialised monographs, filled out Hourani’s framework with only minor modification.14 These studies focus on those thinkers thought to be representative of modernising, nationalist and secularist tendencies. As a result, the period is viewed

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predominantly in terms of one or more of the following intellectual currents among others: secularism, nationalism, modernism and socialism. Hence, the urge to conceive the intellectuals of the period in corresponding terms: secularist, nationalist, modernist and socialist; and to create the opposites to modernising and Westernising tendencies: traditionalists, conservatives and so forth. The nah∂ah thus becomes a direct and almost exclusive product of the West to the detriment of not only internal pre-modern cultural forces, but also of those other lesser known humanist intellectuals who do not conform to these frameworks. The interpretation of an historical period such as the nah∂ah may thus be conditioned by current modes of thought or inherited traditions, as well as by historians’ specialised concerns with one aspect of its culture. But how do we shift from this narrow focus on the role of the West to include within our purview internal cultural factors and those humanist intellectuals who slip through a historical net designed to catch ‘major thinkers’? So prevalent is the role of the West in the decline narrative and so apparently omnivalent are its organising principles that few indeed are the studies that attempt to look at the period under different terms of reference or even challenge the idea that the centuries before 1800 constituted a period of decline in the Arab-Islamic world. Hitherto, there appear to be three main lines of argument presented by historians dissatisfied with the idea of decline. The first, represented by scholars such as Marshall Hodgson (1974) and Ehsan Yarshater (1998), does not contest the idea that Arabic-speaking parts of the Islamic world entered into a long period of stagnation, but merely insists that it did not extend to Ottoman Turkey, Safavid Persia and Moghul India, all of which witnessed a period of intellectual and cultural florescence in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.15 The second typically argues that the Arab-Islamic world witnessed a ‘cultural revival’ or ‘Islamic Enlightenment’ in the eighteenth century before the onset of Westernisation in the nineteenth century owing to indigenous factors rather than European influences. This line of argument is best articulated by scholars like Peter Gran (1979), Nehemiah Levtzion and John Voll (1987) and Reinhardt Schulze (1990, 1996). Gran’s well-known work on Egyptian cultural life before Napoleon’s invasion, The Islamic Roots of Capitalism, portrays a picture of a thriving intellectual community in Egypt after 1760

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that was far from being in the moribund state suggested by advocates of the decline model. In recent articles, Schulze makes the case for a more general ‘Islamic enlightenment’ in the eighteenth century. Levtzion and Voll have made a related point in their work on renewal in eighteenth-century Islam, demonstrating that proto-modern movements of Islamic reform had begun well before Westerners arrived.16 In contrast to the second group, Khaled el-Rouayeb suggests a much earlier ‘intellectual’ revival in the Arab-Islamic world. In a series of recent articles, he draws attention to some hitherto neglected developments in the rational sciences, which he attributes to the influence of handbooks and scholars of Persian and Mahgribi origin. El-Rouayeb argues that the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries witnessed vigorous intellectual activity, a ‘revival’ of interest in logic, which debunks the idea that the intellectual climate of the seventeenth-century Arabic-Islamic world was moribund and dormant, passively awaiting a ‘revival’ in the eighteenth or nineteenth century. He thus suggests that the cultural and intellectual florescence that is often thought to have occurred in the Safavid and Moghul empires was a more general phenomenon in the Islamic world.17 The aforementioned studies are nearly all concerned with general intellectual and cultural developments in the centuries before 1800. A very small number of studies indeed have looked at literary developments. A few biobibliographical resources in Arabic and European languages and a handful of scattered articles is nearly all that is currently available.18 In English, the dearth of studies is even more alarming, with scholars of Arabic literature only very recently making any real attempt to question the assumption that the pre-modern period was lacking in literary achievements. The sixth and final volume (2006) of The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature on the so-called ‘post-classical period’ is one of the first attempts in a European language to treat the Arabic literary production of a vast seven-century period (1150–1850) ‘as a separate entity – indeed as an entity worthy of study at all within a literary–critical context’.19 The other is the very recent (2009) volume entitled Essays in Arabic Literary Biography, vol. II, a collection of thirty-eight biographical essays on Arabic literary figures who lived between 1350 and 1850.20 As both volumes are really compilations of articles by individual scholars attempting to treat various aspects of literary culture over vast

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periods, the contributions therein can only hope to serve as a series of introductory essays into the literary study of this much neglected period. Both works, however, represent significant attempts to go beyond the traditional periodisation models in order to incorporate cultural continuities that link the period concerned to what comes before and after. Despite the methodological and practical difficulties that militate against any assessment of the role played by internal forces, what does emerge from the few studies that have attempted to look at the pre-modern period under different terms of reference is that it is no longer viable to gloss over it as a major factor in the emergence of the nah∂ah.21 These studies, with their lonely allusions of continuity underscore that the pathways to modernity are multiple. They go beyond the traditional periodisation models in order to incorporate cultural continuities that link the pre-modern to what comes before and after, making any simplistic divide highly problematic. For the present study, this means focusing on certain pre-modern indigenous developments and ‘pioneers’ whose linguistic and literary activities had a sizeable influence on further development in the nah∂ah, with a view to establishing ‘continuities’ and ‘linkages’ between an indigenous ‘pre-modern’ and ‘modern’ that makes the nah∂ah in the nineteenth century more intelligible than just a direct and almost exclusive product of the West. Such an approach should also contribute to a more complete understanding of those lesser known humanist intellectuals of the nah∂ah whose interests lay primarily in the linguistic, literary and educational fields. The term ‘humanism’ has been given a wide range of possible meanings and contexts, and has come to mean many things to many people. The secondary literature, for example, has identified five kinds of Islamic humanism alone, namely, philosophical, literary (adab), religious, legal and intellectual humanism. The kind of humanism intended for this study is what the eminent scholar Paul Oskar Kristeller has specified in his enormously influential studies on the European Renaissance, namely, a specified programme of studies centred on the studia humanitatis.22 Since the case for this type of humanism in the context of the nah∂ah is being made for the first time, the recent scholarship on Islamic humanism that adds complexity to this perspective should be considered. In The Rise of Humanism in Classical Islam and the Christian West, Makdisi challenges the received wisdom that medieval Arab-Islamic scholar-

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ship was a mere middle link between classical antiquity and the early modern European Renaissance. He traces links between the medieval Arab-Islamic adab tradition and Renaissance humanism in Italy, and argues persuasively that what is most often taught as the indigenously European movements of scholasticism and humanism were actually borrowed from the Islamic tradition.23 In Humanism and Democratic Criticism, while arguing for a more democratic form of humanism – one that aims to incorporate, emancipate and enlighten – Edward Said states that too much is known about other traditions to believe that humanism is exclusively a Western practice. He points out that Makdisi’s work on humanism demonstrates amply that practices of humanism, celebrated as originating in Renaissance Italy by authorities such as Jacob Burckhardt, Paul Oskar Kristeller and nearly every academic historian after them, in fact began in the Muslim world at least two hundred years earlier. Said states ‘the habit of mind that occludes this wider, more complex history still persists’, since the same kind of Eurocentric exclusions are evident in Western humanistic neglect of the Indian, Chinese, African and Japanese traditions among others.24 He adds that we know so much about these others that we can ‘explode any simple, formulaic accounts of humanism, still being trotted out’. Said asks when will we stop allowing ourselves to think of humanism ‘as a form of smugness and not as an unsettling adventure in difference, in alternative traditions, in texts that need deciphering within a much wider context than has hitherto been given to them’. For Said ‘we must begin to rid ourselves . . . of the whole complex of attitudes associated not just with Eurocentrism but with identity itself, which can no longer be tolerated in humanism as easily as it was before and during the Cold War . . .’25 The main point to construe from the above is that adab humanism was a characteristic and pervasive intellectual current of medieval Arab-Islamic culture. Therefore, to be inclusive and avoid the ‘Eurocentrist’ approach, any attempt to shed light on Kristeller’s type of humanism in a nah∂ah context would need to consider both European Renaissance and adab humanism, or as Said would say, ‘the wider, more complex history’. Because of the fundamental work of Kristeller, Makdisi and others, it is now possible to construct a model by which to examine humanism in a manner that incorporates elements of both traditions. Kristeller has periodically restated a view

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of humanism that has by now gained general assent among scholars engaged in Renaissance studies in the West – it is also the definition of humanism Makdisi invokes in his studies.26 Kristeller states: I understand by humanists those scholars who by profession or vocation were concerned with the studia humanitatis, the humanities, and by humanism the body of literature, scholarship and thought represented by the writings of the humanists. The studia humanitatis, which we thus take as the basis for the definition of Renaissance humanism, comprised a well defined cycle of disciplines, as we may learn from a number of contemporary documents: grammar, rhetoric, poetry, history, and moral philosophy.27

Although the great merits of Kristeller’s concept of humanism have been generally acknowledged, his rather restrictive definition of humanists to merely the professional representatives (i.e., teachers and secretaries) of the studia humanitatis does not appear to have been widely applied. It excludes not only such important figures as Erasmus, More and Montaigne, but also Petrarch and Boccaccio, the two great leaders of European humanism who neither taught nor served as public officials, and the many private individuals after 1400 who never used their humanist training to earn a living.28 More recent scholarship has contributed to a fuller more nuanced understanding of the complex sociology of humanists. Margaret King explains that humanists most often held one of three positions: secretaries, teachers or amateurs. The humanist amateurs were those for whom humanist studies were a joy and commitment, but whose primary occupation was not as a secretary or teacher of humanist skills. The amateurs comprised two main groups: clerics, whose primary occupation was as priests, monks or bishops of the Church; and wealthy men, whose primary occupation was to engage in commerce or in public service as magistrates, ambassadors, generals or princes.29 The Renaissance humanists were therefore a diverse group of both professionals and amateurs concerned with the humanities, and included not only teachers and secretaries but also aristocrats, statesmen, merchants and, most importantly for our purposes, clerics. Likewise, in the Arabic context, Makdisi highlights that adab humanism attracted intellectuals from practically all fields of knowledge. He writes:

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As was later the case with humanists of the Italian Renaissance, adab humanists were either professionals making their living in specifically humanistic occupations as secretaries, tutors, and boon companions on the convivial side of courtly life (e.g. poets, orators, ambassadors), or were amateurs with livelihoods assured in other fields of knowledge and endeavour such as in the religious sciences, especially as lawyers and notaries, or in that of the sciences of the Ancients, as physicians, astronomers, astrologers, and translators.30

Furthermore, Makdisi points out that the major fields of humanism, known by the term studia humanitatis, come under the Classical Arabic term, adab, and may be referred to as the studia adabīya. These are grammar (naªw) and lexicography (lughah), poetry (shi‘r), rhetoric (kha†āba), history (ta’rīkh, akhbār) and moral philosophy (‘ilm al-akhlāq). Makdisi sees the main features of each field as follows: grammar and lexicography (philology), included grammars and lexicons and books on how to avoid solecisms (laªn), in order to preserve the purity of the classical language. Poetry pervaded all intellectual products of humanism and, indeed, all divisions of knowledge in the classical Islamic organisation of learning so much so that one categorisation of poetry was according to the various humanistic professions and specialisations. Rhetoric included the two branches of applied rhetoric: (a) epistolography (tarassul ), both official (sul†ānīyāt) and private (ikhwānīyāt); and (b) oratory (khi†āb, wa‘Õ), including religious preaching and sermon writing, academic sermons and public speeches. History comprised the diaries, annalistic histories, annalistic-biographical histories, biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, chronicles, akhbār-history and the historical novel. Moral philosophy embraced works written by adab humanists (e.g., Avicenna’s Kitāb al-birr wa-’l-ithm (Book of Piety and Sin), the majority are moral tracts.31 Kristeller, Makdisi and others identify certain essential elements of humanism which can serve as a useful structure for the study of humanism in the nah∂ah: the underlying motive must be preservation and purity of language from external influence; the concept of eloquence, seeking substance in the classical or distant past, derivative methodology, and eclecticism and many-sidedness. By starting in the pre-modern period (c. 1700) and bringing into focus

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the activities of those lesser-known intellectuals of the nah∂ah from a humanist perspective, this book hopes to contribute to a more complete understanding of this important period in the development of Arabic thought and culture. Thus, following an introductory chapter which examines contemporary interpretations of the nah∂ah in the light of the ongoing debate on tradition and modernity in Arab intellectual and literary circles, the book introduces two refreshing aspects: an examination of cultural developments in Syria before the arrival of foreign missionaries in the nineteenth century; and a discussion of cultural activities taking place in Egypt before Napoleon’s invasion, which has so often imposed itself as a historically convenient yet only partially useful cultural divide. The book then goes on to explore the other key factors that contributed to the rise and development of the nah∂ah. Notes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

Kelly, ‘Different Approaches’, p. 13. Ibid., p. 14. Abu-Rabi‘, ‘The Arab World’, vol. 1, p. 1125. Feener, ‘Contemporary Islam’, p. 24. Southgate, ‘Intellectual History’, p. 247. Gibb and Bowen, Islamic Society, vol. 1, pp. 159–64. Hourani, Arabic Thought, pp. 34, 41. Abu-Lughod, Arab Rediscovery, p. 3. Badawi, ‘Introduction’, p. 3. See Lowry and Stewart, ‘Introduction’, pp. 8–9. Allen, ‘The Post-Classical Period’, p. 16. For example: Niyazi Berkes, Development of Secularism in Turkey (1964); Bernard Lewis, Emergence of Modern Turkey (1961); Serif Mardin, Genesis of Young Ottoman Thought (1962). Also Bernard Lewis’s flawed but highly influential recent overview ‘What Went Wrong?’ (2002). 13. See Leezenberg, ‘Approaching Modern Muslim Thought’, p. 20. 14. See Reid, ‘Arabic Thought’, p. 550. The monographs include: Abu-Lughod, Arab Rediscovery (1963); Sharabi, Arab Intellectuals and the West (1970); Cleveland, The Making of an Arab Nationalist (1971) and Islam Against the West (1985); Alwan, ‘Ahmad Faris ash-Shidyaq and the West’ (1970); Reid, The Odyssey of Faraª An†ūn (1975), Le Gassick, Major Themes in Modern Arabic Thought (1979); Philipp, Gurjī Zaidān (1979). Hourani, however, was his own

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15. 16.

17. 18. 19. 20. 21.

22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31.

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best critic, and retrospectively reflected later that his Arabic Thought looked too exclusively at those movements of thought which accepted ideas coming from Europe. See Hourani, ‘How Should We Write the History of the Middle East’, p. 134. Hodgson, The Venture of Islam, vol. 3; and Yarshater, ‘The Persian Presence in the Islamic World’, pp. 4–126. See Gran, Islamic Roots of Capitalism; Schulze, ‘Das islamische’, pp. 140–59 and ‘Was ist die islamische Aufklärung?’, pp. 276–325; and Levtzion and Voll (eds), Eighteenth-Century Renewal. For the articles see Bibliography under el-Rouayeb. See Kilpatrick, ‘Brockelmann, Kaªªâla & co’, pp. 31–51. Allen, ‘The Post-Classical Period’, p. 20. See Lowry and Stewart, Essays, p. 2. For example: Gran, Islamic Roots of Capitalism (1979); Levtzion and Voll, Eighteenth-Century Renewal (1987); Schulze, ‘Was ist die islamische Aufklärung?’ (1996); Allen and Richards, Cambridge History of Arabic Literature (2006); Lowry and Stewart, Essays (2009). See Kristeller, ‘The European Diffusion’, pp. 1–2; Kristeller, ‘Studies on Renaissance Humanism’, pp. 21–2. See Carter, ‘Humanism’, p. 28; and Makdisi, The Rise of Humanism. Said, Humanism and Democratic Criticism, p. 53. Ibid., pp. 54–5. Gouwens, ‘Perceiving the Past’, pp. 58–9; and Makdisi, The Rise of Humanism, pp. 297–8. Kristeller, ‘The European Diffusion’, pp. 1–2; for a similar definition, see also Kristeller, ‘Studies on Renaissance Humanism’, pp. 21–2. Witt, In the Footsteps of the Ancients, pp. 2–3. King, The Renaissance in Europe, p. 94. Makdisi, The Rise of Humanism, p. 232. Makdisi, ‘Inquiry’, pp. 18–19; Makdisi, The Rise of Humanism, pp. 120–1, 332. Makdisi points out that the following passage by Kristeller on the moral philosophy of Renaissance humanism could also be said of adab humanism: ‘Most of the philosophical treatises and dialogues of the humanists are really nothing but moral tracts’. Ibid., p. 339.

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1 Contemporary Interpretations of the Nahd·ah: Tradition, Modernity and the Arab Intellectual his chapter challenges some of the standard paradigms on the origins and development of the nah∂ah with particular reference to the position of Arab Christian intellectuals, who have traditionally been regarded as its pioneers and as constituting a transposable unified community different and alienated from their Muslim counterparts, but inherently attracted to the West. The chapter also examines contemporary interpretations of the nah∂ah in the light of the ongoing debate on tradition and modernity in Arab intellectual and literary circles. It critiques the views of a number of leading Arab intellectuals who, in viewing modernity as a magnificent homogeneous phenomenon that guarantees progress and success, and tradition as its opposite, attribute Arab ‘backwardness’ to the failure of nah∂ah intellectuals to make an epistemological break with tradition and internalise modernity. In so doing, this chapter prepares the ground for some of the main arguments developed in the book.

T

Nah∂ah The Arab world’s encounter with modern Europe in the nineteenth century would be the first of a long series of uneasy relationships with the West. It created a painful realisation among Arab intellectuals of the ‘decline’ (inªi†ā†) of their own societies as traditional ideas and ways of life were challenged in the name of modernity. Since then Arab thinkers have compared the decline of their societies with the accomplishments of Western civilisation, an agonising distinction when one considers that the Arab world was at the height of its cultural and political glory, and at the vanguard of science and 12

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philosophy, when Europe was steeped in medieval ignorance; not to mention the success of European nations in colonising the Arab world. The realisation that this gap existed led to what has been termed the nah∂ah1 the ‘Renaissance or Awakening’ of the Arabs. Jurjī Zaydān and others first used this term to designate the beneficial contribution of the West to the East, a contribution which Zaydān himself asserts began with Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798. Scholars such as Gibb, in contrast, take the view that the nah∂ah movement began only in the second half of the nineteenth century.2 In recent times, the nah∂ah has become the subject of intense scrutiny in Arab intellectual and literary circles, as many thinkers reflect on the formative phase of the Arab renaissance and wrestle with issues of tradition and modernity. For many of these intellectuals, the nah∂ah represents: A vast political and cultural movement that dominated the period of 1850 to 1914. Originating in Syria and flowering in Egypt, the nah∂ah sought, through translation and vulgarisation, to assimilate the great achievements of modern European civilisation, while reviving the classical Arab culture that antedates the centuries of decadence and foreign domination.3

This is a particularly apposite definition, since it accommodates some of the main traits of the nah∂ah. But the claim that the movement had its origins in Syria in the second half of the nineteenth century is uncertain and needs to be treated with a degree of caution.4 This claim is based on two equally unsustainable assumptions, which have unfortunately gained widespread currency and have painted a confused picture of the rise and development of the whole movement. The first is that foreign missionaries, especially American Protestants and Jesuits, through the establishment of schools and printing presses, were chiefly instrumental in the rise and development of the nah∂ah.5 The second, which de facto complements the first, is the claim that the nah∂ah was more pioneered by Lebanese Christians than by Muslims.6 Though external forces played an important role, much of the earlier development in education was indigenous.7 For example, native Christian schools such as Zagratā (1735), ‘Ayn Waraqa (1789) and ‘Ayn Trāz (1811) existed in Lebanon prior to the arrival of foreign missionaries, who for the best part of the nineteenth century only built on native foundations with native personnel.8 In addition, the influence of foreign missionaries was

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confined to the Christian minority as traditional Muslim schools (kuttāb) were inaccessible to them.9 More importantly, none of those dubbed ‘pioneers’ of the nah∂ah, such as the Lebanese intellectuals Nā‚īf al-Yāzijī, Aªmad Fāris al-Shidyāq and Bu†rus al-Bustānī, received their education at foreign institutions. Both al-Shidyāq and al-Bustānī studied at the Maronite seminary of ‘Ayn Waraqa. Equally, Lebanese Muslim literati such as Yūsuf al-Asīr and Ibrāhīm al-Aªdab, who made important contributions to the nah∂ah, received a traditional education at local indigenous schools and then at al-Azhar.10 As for printing presses, they were not first introduced by foreign missionaries. Native presses in Aleppo (est. 1706), Shuwayar (est. 1733) and Beirut (est. 1751) were already printing religious literature from the beginning of the eighteenth century. In the nineteenth century, Arabic classics and translated works were printed in Egypt at the Būlāq Press (est. 1820). Much of the printed material was sent to Syria (including Lebanon and Palestine) during the Egyptian rule of that country.11 Therefore, in the first half of the nineteenth century it was the native presses of Cairo and later those in Beirut and Syria that were printing classical works in Arabic. There is in fact no evidence that American and Jesuit presses made any significant contribution to the revival of Arabic language and literature at least until the last quarter of the nineteenth century. They instead focused on the translation of the Bible and the dissemination of religious literature and some elementary school textbooks.12 By this time, native Syrians such as Rizq Allāh Óassūn al-Óalabī and Khalīl al-Khurī had already introduced the secular printing press, and printed school books, trade and official circulars, literary works and newspapers.13 Moreover, such classics as Ibn al-Muqaffa’s Kalīlah wa-Dimnah (published by the Būlāq Press, 1833) and Alf laylah wa-laylah (Būlāq, 1835) had been favourites with editors and publishers for nearly half a century in Cairo and elsewhere.14 The Būlāq Press alone had printed and reprinted al-Ghazālī’s Iªyā’ (1852), Ibn Khaldūn’s Muqaddimah (1857), al-Maydānī’s Amthāl (1867), al-Óarīrī’s Maqāmāt (1850) and al-I‚fahānī’s Aghānī (1868/9) among others.15 In Beirut, meanwhile, al-Bustānī produced an edition of al-Mutanabbī’s Dīwān (1860) which was printed by Khalīl al-Khūrī’s press (est. 1857).16 There is no definite point in modern Arab history that marks the begin-

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ning of the nah∂ah. The claim that it began in the second half of the nineteenth century can therefore be dismissed. So too can the claim that Napoleon’s invasion was the event that marked its beginning. Some years before Napoleon’s invasion, renaissance or modernisation was already underway. Sheehi, for example, highlights that attempts to reorganise various Ottoman institutions as early as the reign of Sultan Selim III (1789–1807) demonstrate that the impetus to ‘modernise’ was internal, political and uneven, and predated intensified European intervention into the Ottoman’s domain.17 It would also be inaccurate to claim that 1798 somehow put an end to conservative tendencies, especially when ideas and thoughts remained firmly rooted in the past rather than the present or future. Even in Lebanon, where the nah∂ah allegedly began in the second half of the nineteenth century, the past continued to exercise a tenacious influence for many years in both its linguistic and literary dimensions. For example, the pre-modern period may have drawn to a close at the end of the eighteenth century, but the medieval view which regarded writing as both morally and spiritually useful or entertaining through a mastery of language lasted well into the nineteenth century. It was not until the twentieth century that this view gave way to the attitude that literature should indeed reflect social reality and writers then began to channel their reformist energies increasingly into intellectual, social and political matters.18 Just as the nah∂ah cannot be interpreted as a direct result of any one significant event, neither can it be reduced to the activities of a handful of Christian personalities in Lebanon to the exclusion of Muslims or vice versa. To do so would be to ignore the prior revival in Egypt, not to mention the contribution of distinguished Muslim literati inside and outside Syria who both preceded and were contemporaries of al-Yāzijī, al-Bustānī and al-Shidyāq. As part of an extensive modernising programme for Egypt (1805–48), Muªammad ‘Alī had already undertaken steps to promote Arabic in schools and government institutions. He also dispatched Arab student missions to Europe, established European-style schools and institutions, and encouraged translation activities. Egyptian students returning from Europe undertook translations of Western technical manuals, which along with several classics of Arabic literature were printed at the Būlāq Press founded by Muªammad ‘Alī in 1820. Although Muªammad ‘Alī’s modernising initiatives were eventually

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brought to a standstill by the restrictive policies of both ‘Abbās I and Sa‘īd, they contributed significantly towards the creation of a cultural infrastructure that would expand later.19 To assign leadership of the Arabic literary revival entirely to Syrian Christians would also ignore the contribution of such distinguished Egyptian literati and chroniclers as ‘Abd al-Raªmān al-Jabartī (d. 1825) and Óasan al-‘A††ār (d. 1835), and of Syrian Muslim figures such as Aªmad al-Barbīr (d. 1811), ‘Umar al-Bakrī al-Yāfī (d. 1818) and Amīn al-Jundī (d. 1841). The next generation of Lebanese Muslim scholars such as Yūsuf al-Asīr (d. 1889) and Ibrāhīm al-Aªdab (d. 1891) are equally neglected. Such men were the custodians of Arabic and Islamic tradition, the cultural producers of their time and promoters of learning in general. The nah∂ah was the product of a combination of native development and foreign assistance. Historically it was instigated internally, but later became a reaction to and product of external influences. The following contributing factors examined in this book should to be noted at this stage: (a) the activities of Christian and Muslim literati in the pre-modern period; (b) the substantial degree of linguistic controversy among nah∂ah intellectuals; (c) the liberal evolution of the Ottoman Empire in the period of reorganisation (TanÕīmāt, 1839–76); (d) Muªammad ‘Alī’s modernising initiatives and the official translation movement in Egypt up to 1850, and then the individual efforts of Lebanese translators thereafter; (e) the evolution of a cultural infrastructure of schools, presses, periodicals and literary societies; (f) the contribution of a pantheon of Arab intellectuals and humanists in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere; (g) the increasing European influence; and (h) the activities of foreign missionaries in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. All these factors and activities occur within the wider context of modernity and colonialism. Modernity One cannot understand the historical dynamics of the modern Muslim world, Abu-Rabi‘ argues, except in relation to Western modernity. He defines modernity as ‘an objective historical, social, and cultural movement and phenomenon, emerging mainly in Europe in the post-Industrial Revolution era and seeking to stamp the modern age with a new, rational, vital, and dynamic outlook and ideology’.20 Giddens defines modernity as ‘modes of social life or organisation which emerged in Europe from about the seventeenth cen-

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tury onwards and which subsequently became more or less worldwide in their influence’.21 He, however, warns that modernity is a ‘double-edged phenomenon’ bringing both positive and negative developments.22 He states that the development of modern social institutions has created vastly greater opportunities for human beings to enjoy a secure and rewarding existence than in any pre-modern system. But modernity also has a sombre side that became very important in the twentieth century, symbolised by the growth of totalitarianism and war.23 According to Sharabi, the reaction of Arab intellectuals to the challenge of Western modernity gave rise to two main outlooks: traditionalism and modernism. He states that traditionalism was a negative attitude towards all types of innovation and the West, and was essentially reactionary. Its most articulate protagonists were ‘conservative’ intellectuals, whose basic orientation of traditionalism was historical, and who derived their inspiration and strength from a historically evolved tradition, looking to the past as a source of inspiration.24 By contrast, Sharabi asserts that modernism was a positive attitude towards innovation, change and Western civilisation. It was forwardlooking, derived its central assumptions from European thought, and was fundamentally a Utopian outlook in that the Golden Age lay not in the past but in the future. Between conservatives and modernists was a middle ground occupied by the reformist position. Reformism, he argues, has often been referred to as Islamic modernism, but was modernising only in a special sense and to a limited degree. At heart, reformism was tradition-bound, its primary goal was to safeguard Islam, and as a revivalist movement was not much more than enlightened conservatism, equipped with a more rational awareness of its situation and needs, seeking to modernise traditional Islam.25 The notion of native failure and Western success, moreover, is a cornerstone of Sharabi’s thinking on the nah∂ah. He sees the cause of Arab backwardness in the failure to make an epistemological break with tradition and internalise modernity during the nah∂ah. He asserts: ‘The central shortcoming of the Arab Awakening was in its failure to confront Europe on its own terms (as did the Japanese), to recognise the terms of modernity, and to attempt an epistemological or paradigmatic break with its patriarchal past.’26 For Sharabi, then, traditionalism and modernism are defined by the Arab intellectual’s openness to innovation (technology), change and Western

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civilisation in general. Moreover, modernity and tradition are seen as bitter rivals that cannot coexist in the Arab mind, because the formula for Arab success in his view lies only in liberation from tradition. Sharabi thus employs Western modernity and modernisation as the criteria to examine the Arab intellectual response.27 This is convenient insofar as it enables us to understand an aspect of the Arab intellectual reaction. But it is also problematic since receptivity towards innovation and technology (modernisation) is often a deceiving indicator of modernity. On the one hand, there are people who use modern artefacts, technologies and transport systems, but retain characteristics of a closed mindset and resist facets of modernity such as democracy or pluralism. On the other hand, there are people who lack modern gadgets and live traditionally, but adopt modern attitudes. In this sense, Abu-Rabi‘ highlights that over the past century, modernisation (urbanisation) has affected a large segment of the Arab people; however, that does not mean that modernism has been as pervasive. Modernisation is the practical application of modernistic consciousness in a society. While it is possible to import modernisation from abroad, it would be extremely difficult to import modernism.28 In analysing the Arab intellectual reaction to the West, one would thus have to maintain the distinction between modernity and modernisation. But, more importantly, one would also have to take into consideration another more exploitative side of modernity which scholars like Sharabi disregard completely. Sharabi’s desire for modernity sees him espouse a romantic uncritical concept of modernity as an entirely magnificent phenomenon that guarantees progress and innovation, with tradition as its opposite. He ignores the fact that there exists another face of Western modernity, which nineteenth-century Arab intellectuals witnessed. In a recent work Abu-Rabi‘ provides a revised definition of modernity that allows for a more complex view of the phenomenon than his prior simplistic definition: Western capitalist civilisation, mushrooming around the world in the nineteenth century, has been double-edged: it has brought both exploitation and progress to the Arab world. This civilisation was a direct consequence of the Western modernity project that began after the European discovery . . . of the New World after 1492 [in reaction to Muslim dominance in

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North Africa and the East]. That is to say, modern world history is only around 500 years old: this is considered the age of modernity . . . From its beginning, modernity has been double-edged: it contained within it both creative, scientific, and exploitative dimensions. In addition to representing rationalism, discovery, and the systematisation of disciplines, modernity represents encounter, domination, and exploitation. Of course, modernity has gone through some major transformations in 500 years. Current globalisation is a direct consequence of double-edged modernity.29

Sharabi’s works serve as a pretext to highlight the limitations of some dominant paradigms of modernity available to the student of modern Arab history. Based on Frantz Fanon, Sheehi argues that the intellectual challenge is not only to facilitate the disappearance of colonialism, but also the disappearance of the colonised man and woman, subjects who find themselves, their failure, success, desires and future in the coloniser’s vision of progress and civilisation (i.e., modernity).30 Thus, the liberation of the modern Arab does not demand a break from tradition, nor does it entail release from the burdens of colonial modernity, but it requires instead finding a formula that enables him or her to treat both tradition and modernity in a critical fashion, as Abu-Rabi‘ points out:31 What is fascinating about the progress of thought in the modern Arab world is that both tradition and the ‘Other’ have become highly intertwined . . . It would be somewhat naive and historically inaccurate to assume that tradition in modern Arab thought was born in isolation or that modernity evolved away from the traditional domain. That is to say that the liberation of the modern Arab means to be open to the achievements of the past while not neglecting the prospects of progress inherent in modernity, however that concept is defined.32

The idea of modernities or local constructions of modernity is not unique to the Arab context. The importance of pluralism subject to local social realities and conditions is increasingly being realised. Aziz al-Azmeh, for example, has made a cogent case for the plurality of Islam, speaking not of Islam but Islams and not of modernity but Islamic modernities. Al-Azmeh thus rejects the essentialised concept of Islam current in Western scholarship,

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and contends: ‘there are as many Islams as there are situations that sustain it’.33 He explains that European Islam has been represented as ‘a cohesive, homogeneous, and invariant force’. Yet there is little that is generally Islamic about Islam, and any presumptions of Muslim homogeneity and continuity simply do not correspond to social reality. As an example, ‘Muslim reality’ in Britain is composed of many realities, ‘some structural, some organisational and institutional, but which are overall highly fragmentary’.34 Thus, he argues that ‘Islam is not a culture but a religion living amidst very diverse cultures and thus a multiform entity’.35 Al-Azmeh’s post-modernist critique of essentialist representations of Islam is also applicable to many modernist Arab accounts of their own societies. Arab secular intellectuals like Sharabi have generally overlooked the fact that modernity is a complex multifaceted phenomenon with both positive and negative aspects. Moreover, the process of becoming modern happens differently in different places, depending on the local social realities and the challenges posed by the Western ‘other’. As al-Azmeh would argue, there are as many modernities as there are situations that sustain them. Besides, essentialism not only permeates representations of Muslims but also of Arab Christians. Indeed, just as any presumptions of Muslim homogeneity do not correspond to social reality, any assumptions positing Christian homogeneity are not congruent with reality. Yet Arab Christians have been represented as a distinctive homogeneous entity. The Christian Contribution and Muslim Intellectuals It is generally asserted that Christian Arab intellectuals played a pioneering role in the nah∂ah and contributed significantly to the process of modernisation in the Arab world because, on the one hand, they were outsiders in Arab-Islamic society, while, on the other, they had an inherent attraction towards the West through sharing a common Christian cultural identity with European nations. For example, Sharabi claims that the decisive characteristic of all Christian intellectuals, which differentiated them from Muslim Arabs and bestowed upon them a special role in the nah∂ah, was the fact that they were in a real sense outsiders in Muslim society.36 Hourani asserts that Europe was not alien to the Arab Christians as it was to Muslims owing to contact through mission schools and trade. Thus, in accepting European

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ideas and ways they need have no uneasy feeling of being untrue to themselves, no need to justify themselves to their fellows or ancestors.37 Cachia for his part affirms that Christian Arabs were to make disproportionately large contributions to the nah∂ah in its early stages because they found it easier than did Muslims to accept ideas originating in Christian Europe.38 The assumption that underlies these views is that Arab Christians constituted a distinctive homogeneous entity who had an inherent affection for the West because they were cultural and political outsiders in Arab Muslim society. Sheehi highlights that there are many problems endemic to Middle Eastern studies in general regarding the position of Christians in nineteenthcentury Arab society. The standard unquestioned paradigm is that they are understood as a unified corporate entity with an intuitive attraction for all things Western, because as Christians they were perennial, social, political and cultural outsiders within Arab-Islamic society. He concludes that this assertion, despite its predominance, is problematic and has yet to be thoroughly scrutinised.39 This assertion clearly ignores the sociocultural and socioeconomic differences and tensions between Christian sects such as the Maronites, Protestants and Orthodox. It also ignores the discursive and ideological differences that divided Christian intellectuals. One only needs to consider the numerous heated linguistic debates that took place among the Christians themselves. For example, Rashīd al-Shartūnī (1864–1907) took issue with fellow Christian Ibrāhīm on the criteria with which he determined the correct language for the press.40 Conversely, Arab Christian intellectuals often had more in common with their Muslim counterparts than with their fellow Christians. Those like Nā‚īf al-Yāzijī, Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī and al-Shidyāq were more similar to the Muslim neo-classical poets than their fellow Christians. Moreover, Sheehi highlights that despite their shared belief in science and empiricism, the ˝aqlā brothers and Ya‘qūb Íarrūf, were diametrically opposed politically to Faraª An†ūn and Shiblī Shumayyil. However, they all agreed that the English occupation of Egypt was necessary for social, cultural and political reform. This view differs from their Syrian Christian counterparts, Adīb Isªāq, Yūªannā Íabūnjī and Salīm al-Naqqāsh, who were close to Jamāl al-Dīn al-Afghānī.41 These examples demonstrate the problem with viewing Arab Christian intellectuals as a transposable unified community inherently attracted to the

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West and distinct from their Muslim counterparts. Before elaborating on this point, it is worth noting Sharabi’s polarisation of Arab-Islamic thought: Islamic Conservatism and Reformism (Tradition-based thought) Tendency to look backward Salaf Dogmatism Authority Reality-transcending doctrine Teleological orientation of thought Static views of social values Permanence of truth

Christian Westernism–Muslim Secularism (Modern-oriented thought) Tendency to look forward Progress Pragmatism Science ‘Scientific’ doctrine Materialistic orientation of thought Dynamic views of social values Relativism of truth42

Sharabi elaborates that Christian Westernisers and Muslim secularists together represented one type of mentality, while Islamic conservatives and reformists represented another. Both outlooks were diametrically opposed to the other and each held its own set of values, ideas and perspectives. Moreover, although Christian Westernisers and Muslim secularists together represented the modernist position and one type of mentality, they were essentially two different groups and the ultimate foundations of each were different.43 In this sense, Sharabi’s classification of ‘Christian intellectuals’ under that single rubric, as distinct from Muslim secularists and even more so from Islamic reformists, throughout his work is untenable since it ignores the common discursive ground between Christian and Muslim intellectuals, whether secularists or Islamic reformists. Abu-Rabi‘ quite rightly argues that Arab modernism was an intellectual movement united more by class background than religious affiliation. He instead distinguishes between ‘Arab modernism’ and ‘Muslim modernism’, and points out that while both responded to the same challenges of Western intrusion and shared a vision of total reformation of Arab society, they nevertheless disagreed over both the method and scope of reform. The Muslim reform movement, Abu-Rabi‘ adds, could not envisage reform without resuscitating the Muslim intellectual tradition, whereas Arab reform was content to forget this tradition. The Muslim reform movement reinvented

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a past in order to find its place in the present, whereas the Arab modernist movement focused on the future.44 Equally, for Sharabi to club together Islamic reformists and Islamic conservatives into one mindset is to do little justice to the former. The reformist ‘ulamā’ like al-Afghānī and ‘Abduh often found themselves at loggerheads with the conservatives at al-Azhar, distinguishing themselves as proponents of different and even irreconcilable discourses and ideological platforms. In fact, they often had more in common with their Christian counterparts than with Islamic conservatives. They shared a passionate concern for the purity of the Arabic language and emphasised the common ideals of tolerance, unity, social justice, reform, progress and civilisation.45 Thus, holding at least some of the attributes of modern thought Sharabi enumerates above. To avoid these pitfalls, Christian intellectuals can be compared on the basis of their scholarly interests. Christians such as Shiblī Shumayyil (1850– 1917), Faraª An†ūn (1874–1922), Ya‘qūb Íarrūf (1852–1917), Sulaymān al-Bustānī (1856–1925), Nicolā Óaddād (1878–1954), Salāmah Mūsā (1887–1958) and Amīn al-Rīªānī (1876–1940) were concerned with science and philosophy and major social and political problems facing Arab society. Christians like Aªmad Fāris al-Shidyāq (1804–87), Adīb Isªāq (1856–86), Nā‚īf al-Yāzijī (1800–71), Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī (1847–1906), Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī (1849–1912), Rashīd al-Shartūnī (1864–1907), Francīs Marrāsh (1836–73) and Rushayd al-Daªdāª (1813–89) all had a principal interest in language and literature. Bu†rus al-Bustānī (1819–93), Jurjī Zaydān (1861– 1914), Salīm al-Bustānī (1848–84), Shākir Shuqayr (1856–96) and later Lūwīs Shaykhū (1866–1947) were others whose interest lay not only in language and literature, but also in history, education, patriotism and modern knowledge. This classification is difficult to apply to Muslim intellectuals, who have generally been recognised for their intellectual diversity. In response to the challenge of modernity, Muslim scholars were proponents of three main positions. First, the conservative ‘ulamā’ (traditional thought), who responded to the challenge of modernity by retreating into defensive conservatism. Although their influence had declined by the twentieth century, they were still a formidable force against any ambitious plans for reform, especially in traditional institutions like al-Azhar. Badawi points out that the conservative

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reaction favoured the status quo of Muslims and abhorred change in whatever form. Central to their outlook was the view that modern civilisation is false and transient and will go away of its own accord so why tamper with the eternal message of Islam for the sake of an unreal and ephemeral civilisation.46 The (pre-salafīyah) Islamic reformists represented a middle-of-the-road position between the conservatives and Muslim secularists, creating what has been called Islamic (Muslim) modernism or salafīyah thought. These were figures like Rifā‘ah al-˝ah†āwī (1801–73), Khayr al-Dīn al-Tūnisī (1810– 1902), Jamāl al-Dīn al-Afghānī (1838–97), ‘Abd al-Raªmān al-Kawākibī (1854–1902) and Muªammad ‘Abduh (1849–1905), who all maintained a clear commitment to Islam but also recognised the positive aspects of the West. They sought a rapprochement between Islamic intellectual and modern Western traditions, and worked to create an Islamic approach to modernity that ‘could be both authentically Islamic and effectively modern’.47 They were at pains to emphasise the rational and liberal traditions of Islam and its dynamic character within the context of modern intellectual and scientific developments. In this sense, theirs was a struggle to reconcile differences between traditional religious dogma and secular scientific rationalism, between absolute faith and reasoned logic, and between the continuity of Islamic tradition and modern values.48 The Muslim secularist intellectuals believed in emulating Europe in nearly all aspects of life as a shortcut to modernity. They disputed the value of tradition in achieving intellectual Westernisation and industrial advancement. Many were the next generation of thinkers and disciples of ‘Abduh, such as Qāsim Amīn (1865–1908) and Aªmad Lu†fī al-Sayyid (1872–1963), who emerged in opposition to ‘Abduh’s other disciples like Rashīd Ri∂ā. Tamimi highlights that while the latter pursued a salafī (traditional Islamic) approach, the secularists, influenced by their Christian counterparts, began to work out the principles of a secular society in which Islam was honoured but was no longer the arbitrator of law and policy. Seeking to reconcile secularist ideas with Islam, he adds, they developed ‘Abduh’s ideas on the legitimacy of social change into a de facto division between the two realms of religion and society, each with it own norms.49 The above classification of Christian and Muslim intellectuals provides a general picture of the main intellectual currents that dominated the period

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under consideration. Badawi rightly points out that few, if any, hold the same views on all issues. and it is therefore possible for one and the same person to be a Westernising secularist with regard to a particular question while being almost a conservative in relation to another and still a reformist in connection with yet another question. He adds that this must be borne in mind when examining the views of the Islamic reformists in particular, for by the nature of their stand they seem the least consistent, as the middle course is the most elusive.50 Besides, reformist discourse in the nineteenth century was largely determined by the challenge of engaging with the West in a way that would preserve Muslim identity but not lead to alienation. Not only was this discourse burdened with many epistemological tensions, but its proponents struggled to find the desired solution for the many issues Muslims would face in the modern world. They did, however, pledge an unequivocal allegiance to both an Islamic identity and to the original principles of Islam. Although there have been some significant developments since then, the contemporary Islamic discourse on tradition and modernity has essentially continued to be defined by the same issues. This is partly because many of the intellectuals engaged in this debate see themselves as a continuation of the influential movements and trends of thought that emerged in the nah∂ah. The Ongoing Debate: Tradition (Turāth) Following the death of major nineteenth-century reformers, such as ‘Abduh and al-Afghānī, Islamic modernism assumed two different and contradictory directions, which would set the course for subsequent movements in the twentieth century. Those like Ri∂ā moved Islamic modernism in a traditionalist direction, whereas Qāsim Amīn and others steered it in a more secular one.51 Ri∂ā’s ideas influenced Óasan al-Bannā (1906–49), who, Brown points out, represents the more restrictive fundamentalist branch of thought and action growing out of the Salafīyah schools of ‘Abduh and Ri∂ā, just as secularising nationalism reflects the more liberal tendency.52 Al-Bannā established the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928, which became one of the most visible examples of modern-style renewal movements in the twentieth century. The other, of course, was the Jamā‘at-i-Islamī founded in 1941 by Abū A‘lā Mawdūdī (1906–79) in Pakistan.53 Al-Bannā, Mawdūdī and other leading figures in these movements like Sayyid Qu†b (1902–66) represented a new

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type of Islamic intellectual who was not content simply to provide intellectual formulations for people to read, but established organisations that people could join.54 Moreover, they were not traditional ‘ulamā’ but moderneducated and able to speak to the increasing numbers of Muslims who were similarly educated but not willing to become secularists.55 During the first half of the twentieth century, these Islamic intellectuals were overshadowed by secularist elites who spoke for nationalist aspirations. However, by the 1960s, there was a growing dissatisfaction with the lack of achievements of the secularists who were ‘unable to produce a new version of secular modernity that could cope with this crisis’.56 Moreover, the new social and political institutions and programmes that had been established by the secularists were not anchored in Islamic traditions, and thus remained in conflict with the religious values and ideals of educated Muslims whose numbers had swelled significantly in Arab-Islamic societies by the 1970s.57 From these educated classes, a new type of Muslim ‘activist’ intellectual emerged who wanted society to be modernised within the framework of ideologies and programmes that could be identified as authentically Islamic (a‚ālah). These activist intellectuals comprise three main groups. The first generation, such as Ismā‘īl al-Fārūqī (1921–86), Khūrshīd Aªmad (b. 1932) and Maryam Jamīlah (b. 1934), who articulated important foundations for Islamic resurgence after the 1950s. The second generation, such as Óasan Óanafī (b. 1935), Rāshid al-Ghannūshī (b. 1941) and Óasan al-Turābī (b. 1932), who became important for the Islamic resurgence in the 1970s and 1980s. Finally, a third group, whose work in the 1990s represents a significant push towards intellectual and political involvement in the Islamic resurgence as part of the established mainstream.58 Despite individual differences, these intellectuals may be seen as an advanced formulation of the Islamic reformist discourse that has roots stretching back to the mid-nineteenth century. The first generation of Islamic reformers such as al-Afghānī, ‘Abduh and Ri∂ā, accepted that to improve Muslim moral and material conditions, Islam would have to adapt. But they believed that Islam first had to be regenerated at its roots in order to find an authentic path that would link Islam’s traditions to the modern world. In other words, religious thought would first have to be liberated from the shackles of indiscriminate imitation (taqlīd ), and Islamic teachings and values

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would have to be retrieved in all their authenticity and richness by a ‘return to first principles’ using the keyword ijtihād (rational interpretation).59 The whole of the contemporary Islamist discourse revolves around this one essential theme. Today’s activist Muslim intellectuals aim to establish a form of thought which is both authentic and distinctive by a return to first principles. Through the use of the keyword authenticity (a‚ālah), they attempt to cream off the core ethical principles of Islam from what they see as various traditional adaptations that the conservatives have unduly consecrated. Rather than directly impose Western philosophical principles and concepts on the Islamic worldview, they employ them as part of a standard philosophical process to better understand conceptual problems and their relevance to Islam. To make Islam compatible with the demands of the modern world was one of the main aims of the first generation of reformers. By engaging with the major trends of contemporary thought, their presentday counterparts look for ways to articulate universal principles through the classical Arab-Islamic tradition (turāth). Ever since the Western advance into the Arab world in the nineteenth century, Arab intellectuals have used tradition (turāth) to understand and find solutions to the crisis of their age. After the 1967 Arab defeat, interest in turāth intensified as Arab intellectuals searched for explanations: ‘what are the reasons behind defeat and how can we achieve progress?’ is a complex question that continues to exercise the minds of contemporary Arab scholars.60 For the sake of simplicity, the debate can be reduced, as Lahoud does, to three dominant currents: Islamists, apologists and intellectuals. All these groups diverge fundamentally in their interpretation of turāth, and therefore disagree over which of its components (i.e., religious or philosophical) are relevant today.61 The growing monopoly of the Islamists’ discourse, which is almost exclusively preoccupied with the religious aspect of turāth, has prompted the ‘intellectuals’ to focus on its philosophical aspect. They contend that a modern philosophical method that sheds light on Arab-Islamic philosophy will counterbalance the seemingly rigid understanding of turāth that has resulted from an exclusive focus on its religious aspects. In addition, it ‘will allow turāth to be contemporaneous with the present, in such a way that its positive aspects may be put to use for the purposes of contemporary aspirations’.62

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What divides the Islamists and intellectuals is more than a difference of opinion over the interpretation of turāth. It underlines a deeper struggle between the proponents of authenticity (a‚ālah) and modernity (ªadāthah). The issue is: ‘how can Muslim Arabs, who wish their nations to be modernised, preserve their identity and keep from being alienated?’63 The personification of this struggle in contemporary discourse is seen in the controversy surrounding the revival of Ibn Rushd. One of the most important and controversial participants in this discourse is the Moroccan thinker Muªammad ‘Ābid al-Jābirī who, in contrast to intellectuals such as Sharabi and Abdallah Laroui, believes strongly that no one can address the current challenges facing the Arab world without taking into consideration the Arab past. He has written extensively on turāth, and made an invaluable contribution to the way it is epistemologically understood. Despite this, his diagnosis for native decline and formula for future success is akin to Sharabi’s hypothesis, just as his discourse on the success and failure of the nah∂ah is often subject to his very own vision of the Arab past and agenda for the Arab present and future. To al-Jābirī, turāth is ‘the contemporary articulation or re-articulation of Arab Rationalism, which has shaped the Arab world since the time of Jāhilīyah, and which was active in the formative phase of Islam in producing Arab-Islamic philosophy and scholasticism’.64 For al-Jābirī, irrationality permeates the present Arab intellectual awareness of tradition, and is an impediment to a viable Arab future (i.e., a true renaissance). The development of a new interpretation of turāth is then necessary by the deconstruction of the Arab past (i.e., using a method that deconstructs its text) and a revaluation of the most pressing issues facing post-colonial Arab thought.65 Unsurprisingly, the solution for al-Jābirī lies in Arab rationalism, or to be more precise, in the rational spirit of Ibn Rushd. According to al-Jābirī, Ibn Rushd ‘knew how to break with Avicenna’, and Arabs should ‘borrow this rupture from him’ by breaking with Ibn Sīnā’s Gnostic spirit and ‘launching a decisive battle against it’. Ibn Rushd ‘did not limit himself to this rupture’, but offered the possibility of a ‘carry-on spirit’ by ‘preaching a religious understanding of a religion that did not draw from beyond the very data of religion, and a philosophical understanding of a philosophy based exclusively on the principles and intents of the philosophy’.66 Though earlier

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Arabs and Muslims missed Ibn Rushd’s opportunity to counter the decline of Arab reason by creating an epistemological break with Ibn Sīnā and his school, it should not happen again since ‘the survival of our philosophical tradition, i.e. what is likely to contribute to our time, can only be Averroist’.67 Contemporary Arab thought should, therefore, follow the example of Ibn Rushd and ‘regain and reinvest the rationalist and the “liberal” gains from its own tradition’.68 Al-Jābirī reaches this conclusion by applying the concept of epistemological break – borrowed from Bachelard, Althusser, Foucault and others – in his comparison between the so-called Muslim Western (Ibn Rushd, Ibn Óazm, Ibn Bājja and Ibn Khaldūn) and Eastern schools of philosophy (Ibn Sīnā, al-Ghazālī). He argues that both schools are different in their origins: the former has science as its sole foundation, while the latter uses theology and theosophy.69 For al-Jābirī, Ibn Sīnā’s Eastern school failed to establish a healthy relationship with Aristotlelianism, because it fell into the problem of reconciling philosophy and religion. This resulted in Sunni dogmatism and Shia hermeticism and initiated the decline of Arab reason.70 Al-Jābirī thus presents Ibn Rushd as the embodiment of Arab rationalism and calls upon Arabs to make an epistemological break with the ‘decadent past’ and to recuperate Ibn Rushd’s rational spirit. In this sense, despite al-Jābirī’s apparent preoccupation with turāth, his diagnosis for native decline and formula for future success can hardly be differentiated from Sharabi’s hypothesis.71 Al-Jābirī’s epistemological-cum-secularist reading of the Arab past predictably leads him to the same conclusions. The main difference is that ‘Westernised’ Arab intellectuals like Sharabi try to modernise Arab thinking by directly applying Western concepts, while al-Jābirī, because of their failure and for political and ideological reasons, adopts a more subtle approach.72 He selectively employs attributes of ‘modernity’ from the indigenous tradition (turāth) that are essentially similar to Western culture, but as a means to the same desired end: modernity. He thus ends up constructing a picture of turāth that is subject to his own vision of the Arab past and conducive to the needs and solutions he believes are appropriate for the present. Al-Jābirī’s discourse on the success and failure of the nah∂ah is similar in nature. In his view, the encroachment of European powers in the nineteenth century offered the perfect opportunity to escape centuries of cultural decline

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by effecting an epistemological break with previous stagnant modes of thinking. However, ‘epistemological impregnation’ did not materialise, al-Jābirī argues, because the nineteenth century provided a ripe atmosphere for the assimilation of two incompatible systems of epistemology: the salafī system of reference and the European one. Each had a different view of the world and, of course, had been subject to its own historical growth and evolution.73 He thus attributes the failure to make the epistemological break, and hence overcome centuries of decline during the nah∂ah, to the presence of an incompatible salafīyah system of reference on the Arab side. That is, to the absence of the compatible paradigmatic form of rationalism as represented by Ibn Rushd and his school. In this context, Abu-Rabi‘ points out that al-Jābirī’s form of rationalism was absent in the midst of the huge political, economic and mental transformations of the Arab world in the nineteenth century, and so how is it possible to achieve modernity with an absence of this ideal? Furthermore, he states that nineteenth-century European rationalism, which together with individualism and secularism was the focus of the postEnlightenment European imperialist project, propagated certain humanistic values, but also possessed an ugly face of exploitation and Eurocentrism. Thus, if high rationalism was absent, ‘it was normal for the second best alternative, the salafīyah, to take a leading role in achieving modernity’.74 Conclusion This chapter reveals serious drawbacks in contemporary approaches to the nah∂ah and its intellectuals. Critical Arab thinkers such as Sharabi and al-Jābirī represent modernity as an objective, magnificent, homogeneous phenomenon that guarantees progress and success, and tradition as its opposite. They see the cause of Arab ‘backwardness’ in the failure of Arab intellectuals to make an epistemological break with tradition and internalise this modernity during the nah∂ah. Overall, their reading of the nah∂ah, its success and failure, is subject to their very own vision of the Arab past, and agenda for the Arab present and future. In the following chapters, it is argued that modernity and the Arab intellectual reaction to it was much more complex than a simple choice between a ‘decadent’ past and a ‘magnificent’ modernity. Nineteenthcentury intellectuals adopted at least some of the key attributes and notions of modernity like reform and progress which Sharabi and al-Jābirī exclude them

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from, but faced with double-edged modernity, the enlightened as well as the aggressive colonialist side, they also formulated alternative paradigms for reform. They adopted a formula that enabled them to treat both tradition and modernity in a critical fashion: to assimilate selected Western ideas without surrendering either to Western culture or imperialism and thus modernise on their own terms without losing their identity. This chapter also challenges some of the dominant assertions regarding the origins and development of the nah∂ah especially with regard to the position of Arab Christians who have traditionally been regarded as its pioneers, because as outsiders in Arab-Islamic society and through sharing a common Christian cultural identity with European nations they were inherently attracted to the West. There is in fact no definite point in modern Arab history that marks the beginning of the nah∂ah, and it cannot be reduced to the efforts of external forces and a handful of Christian personalities in Lebanon to the exclusion of many other internal forces and the Muslims of Egypt and elsewhere. Moreover, far from constituting a distinctive homogeneous entity different and alienated from their Muslim counterparts and inherently attracted to the West, Christian Arab intellectuals shared significant discursive ground with Muslim intellectuals that transcended the confines of specific religious convictions, and which included certain shared beliefs and values not only in relation to the Arabic language and its literature, but also on issues of sociocultural and political reform. This common discursive ground in the nah∂ah itself finds meaning in the significant inter-religious cultural space that was created in the pre-modern period through the activities of Christian scholars. Notes 1. From the root naha∂a: ‘to rise, to get up’. 2. In this sense, the term has come to designate a later period ‘the rebirth of Arabic literature and thought under Western influence since the second half of the nineteenth century’, see Tomiche, ‘Nah∂a’, EI 2, vol. 7, p. 900. 3. Laroui, The Crisis of the Arab Intellectual, p. vii. For a similar definition of the nah∂ah see also Abu-Rabi‘, Intellectual Origins of Islamic Resurgence, p. 6. 4. In this section and elsewhere in the book Syria is used to denote Greater Syria which included Lebanon in the late Ottoman period.

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5. The actual role of foreign missionaries in the nah∂ah has been critiqued by Tibawi, who points out that both the character and forces that contributed to the rise and development of the nah∂ah movement have been obscured by partisan or uncritical presentation: some writers ascribe its rise and development to American Protestant missionary efforts, others to Catholic missions, most to Christians to the exclusion of Muslims, but none to a combination of native development and foreign efforts. See Tibawi, Modern History of Syria, pp. 141–7. 6. These assumptions have underpinned nearly all works on the nah∂ah since Antonius’ The Arab Awakening (1938). He gave foremost credit to American missionaries and Lebanese intellectuals for the nah∂ah (pp. 43, 35–60 passim), and his partisan ideas have influenced many of the later works and gained widespread currency through frequent uncritical quoting. See Hourani, Arabic Thought, p. 56; Salibi, The Modern History of Lebanon, p. 146; Chejne, The Arabic Language, pp. 86–7, 135–6; Dāghir, Ma‚ādir al-dirāsāt al-adabīyah, vol. 2, pp. 471, 488. 7. An article republished by Diab and Wahlin dated 1883 sheds important light on the status of education in Syria during the nineteenth century. They point out that external impulses were important but much of the development was indigenous, and that Lebanon’s leadership was not as clear as is sometimes claimed. See Diab and Wahlin, ‘The Geography of Education in Syria’, pp. 105–28. 8. For a general listing of some the native schools that already existed in Syria, see Yāzijī, Ruwwād, pp. 113–14. 9. Mas‘ūd, Lubnān wa-al-nah∂ah, p. 17; and Fakhrī, al-Óarakāt al-fikrīyah, p. 42. 10. See Dāghir, Ma‚ādir al-dirāsāt al-adabīyah, vol. 2, pp. 84–5, 124, 472–3; Qāsim, Ittijāhāt, vol. 1, p. 311. 11. See Tibawi, Modern History of Syria, p. 141. Hsu’s comprehensive survey of Egyptian publications in the nineteenth century shows that eighty-six classical Arabic works (and 115 translations) were printed between 1822 and 1851 at government presses in Egypt, mainly at Būlāq. Fifty-seven were specifically classical works of Arabic language and literature. See Hsu, ‘A Survey of ArabicCharacter Publications’, p. 13. 12. Tibawi, Modern History of Syria, pp. 141–4. 13. ˝arrāzī, Tārīkh al-‚aªāfah, pp. 89, 312–3. 14. Nu‚ayr (comp.), Al-Kutub al-‘arabīyah, pp. 237, 219. 15. See Sarkīs, Mu‘jam al-ma†bū‘āt, vol. 2, p. 1825; Verdery, ‘Publications’, p. 132. 16. Sarkīs, Mu‘jam al-ma†bū‘āt, vol. 2, p. 1616.

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c ont e m pora ry i nterpreta ti ons o f th e nahd· ah 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27.

28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43.

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Sheehi, Foundations of Modern Arab Identity, p. 4. Badawi, A Short History of Modern Arabic Literature, p. 10. Abu-Lughod, Arab Rediscovery, p. 42. Abu-Rabi‘, Intellectual Origins of Islamic Resurgence, p. 47. Giddens, The Consequences of Modernity, p. 1. Ibid., p. 7. Ibid. Sharabi, Arab Intellectuals and the West, p. 6. Ibid., p. 7. Sharabi, ‘The Neo-Patriarchal Discourse’, pp. 154, 149–65 passim. Hopwood makes an important distinction between modernisation and modernity. He states: ‘Modernisation is the introduction into society of the artefacts of contemporary life: railways communications, industry (less often nowadays), technology and household equipment. Modernity (modernism) is a general term for the political and cultural processes set in motion by integrating new ideas, an economic system, or education in society. It is a way of thought, of living in the contemporary world and of accepting change.’ See Hopwood, ‘Foreword’, pp. 2–3. Abu-Rabi‘, Contemporary Arab Thought, p. xvii. Ibid., p. xv. Sheehi, Foundations of Modern Arab Identity, p. 197. Abu-Rabi‘, Contemporary Arab Thought, p. 13. Ibid., p. 13. Al-Azmeh, Islams and Modernities, p.1. Ibid., p. 4. Ibid., p. 41. Sharabi, Arab Intellectuals and the West, pp. 14–15. Sharabi makes a similar point in various ways throughout his work, see pp. 59–60. Hourani, Arabic Thought, p. 95. Hourani makes the same point in his book A History of the Arab Peoples, p. 307. Cachia, ‘Translation and Adaptations’, p. 26. Sheehi, ‘A Genealogy of Modern Arab Subjectivity’, pp. 25–6. See Gully, ‘Arabic Linguistic Issues’, pp. 77–8, 105–8. Sheehi, ‘A Genealogy of Modern Arab Subjectivity’, pp. 27–8. Ibid., p. 10. Sharabi is keen to differentiate Christian intellectuals from their Muslim counterparts, which he does in detail at the start of his book. See Sharabi, Arab

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44.

45.

46. 47. 48. 49.

50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63.

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Intellectuals and the West, pp. 7–8. The problem with Sharabi’s analysis here, as elsewhere, is that he makes this distinction based on the same assumption that Christians had an inherent attraction for all things Western because they were outsiders in Arab Muslim society. Abu-Rabi‘, Contemporary Arab Thought, p. 97. Pioneers and advocates of Arab modernism included ‘Alī ‘Abd al-Rāziq, Faraª An†ūn, Ya‘qūb Íarrūf, ˝āhā Óusayn and Salāmah Mūsā. Ibid., p. 94. This is not to deny that Muslim reformists believed in the historical value of Islam and in its universal potential, and thus Islam was vital in any revival programme of Muslim nations. See Tamimi, ‘The Origins of Arab Secularism’, p. 18. Badawi, The Reformers of Egypt, pp. 13–14. Esposito and Voll, Makers of Contemporary Islam, p. 17. Kurzman, Modernist Islam, p. 4. Other Muslim secularists of the period include figures such as Muªammad Kurd ‘Alī (1876–1953), Shakīb Arslān (1869–1945) and Ma‘rūf al-Rusāfī (1875–1945). See Tamimi, ‘The Origins of Arab Secularism’, p. 24. Badawi, The Reformers of Egypt, p. 17. Esposito and Voll, Makers of Contemporary Islam, p. 19. Brown, Religion and State, pp. 146–7, 160. For more on al-Mawdūdī and his movement, see ibid., pp. 148–53. Qu†b was the Muslim Brotherhood’s most influential theoretician of radical revival. For an informative account of Qu†b, see ibid., pp. 153–9. Esposito and Voll, Makers of Contemporary Islam, p. 20. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. pp. 21–2. Merad, A., ‘I‚lāª’, EI 2, vol. 4, p. 140. Abu-Rabi‘, Contemporary Arab Thought, p. 259. Lahoud, ‘Tradition (turāth)’, p. 313. Ibid., p. 316. See von Kugelgen, ‘A Call for Arab Rationalism’, p. 97. Kugelen labels the scholars engaged in this debate ‘Averroists’ and sees them as representing two main trends. The first, ‘Latin Averroism’, was used by intellectuals such as Muªammad ‘Ā†if al-‘Irāqī (b. 1935), Muªammad ‘Ābid al-Jābirī (1936–2010) and ˝ayyib Tīzīnī (b. 1938). The precursor to this trend in the nah∂ah was Faraª An†ūn (1874–1922), whose essay on Ibn Rushd led to a heated debate

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64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71.

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with ‘Abduh. The second category, ‘Islamic rationalism’ is the point of reference for several Egyptian Muslims, including Maªmūd Qāsim (1913–83), Muªammad Ammārah (b. 1931) and Óasan Óanafī (b. 1935). Ibid., pp. 98–9. Abu-Rabi‘, Contemporary Arab Thought, p. 259. Ibid., p. 265. Al-Jābirī, Arab-Islamic Philosophy, pp. 125–6 Ibid., p. 124. Ibid., p. 129. In other words, the Western school has Aristotelian origins and the Eastern has neo-Platonic, hermetic and dogmatic. Ibid., pp. 58, 69–70. Namely, the failure to make an epistemological break with inherited stagnant thought structures from the Arab past, and internalise the rational/scientific spirit. As in, for instance, the internal ‘struggle’ with the Islamists. Abu-Rabi‘, Contemporary Arab Thought, p. 279. Ibid., pp. 279–80.

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2 The Reintegration of Pre-modern Christians into the Mainstream of Arabic Literature and the Creation of an Inter-religious Cultural Space he period beginning with the Ottoman conquest of 1516–17 until Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798 is generally thought to be one of unrelenting intellectual and cultural decline in both Arabic and Western studies of Arabic literature. Our knowledge of this period is far from complete, but one of the most conspicuous developments of this period is clear: ‘the reintegration of Christian writers into the mainstream of Arabic literature’.1 This chapter focuses on the context and history of this period, and in particular on Christian writers like Is†ifān al-Duwayhī (1630–1704), Jirmānūs Farªāt (1670–1732) and Niqūlā al-Íā’igh (1692–1756), whose activities are essential to understanding the approach of nah∂ah Christians, many of whom emulated, edited and published their works throughout the nineteenth century. This chapter explains how through their activities as translators and assimilators into Arabic a significant inter-religious cultural space had been created where Christian scholars were eager and able to think of themselves as part of a cultural domain directly linked with Islam, the Arabic language and its literature. This cultural space, it is argued, expanded in such a way during the nah∂ah that it not only afforded Christian scholars the opportunity to appropriate elements of the Muslim Arabic literary heritage wholesale into their own works, but also a deep sense of loyalty to the Arabic language.

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Literary Revival and Proselytisation in Aleppo: Arabisation versus Latinisation Mārūn ‘Abbūd’s voice went largely unheard almost fifty years ago when he labelled the eighteenth-century writers ‘Abd al-Ghanī al-Nābulusī, Jirmānūs Farªāt, Niqūlā al-Íā’igh and ‘Abd al-Raªmān al-Naªlāwī ‘the old pioneers’ (al-ruwwād al-‘itāq) of the nah∂ah.2 ‘Abbūd considered Farªāt and al-Íā’igh to be among the ‘old pioneers’ because their activities as translators and assimilators into Arabic set in motion the reintegration of Christian writers into the mainstream of Arabic literature. ‘Abbūd saw this reintegration very much as a process of renewal (tajdīd ) because Syriac-speaking Christians had been part of the mainstream of Arabic literature in ‘Abbāsid times.3 In the heyday of Arab-Islamic civilisation (c. 750–1250), the Arab world was the scene of one of the most spectacular movements of translation and Arabisation. Arabic was the language of the new ‘Abbāsid rulers, and it was inevitable that it would become the common language of public life under the caliphate. During the first period of ‘Abbāsid rule (c. 754–833), the caliphs al-Man‚ūr and al-Ma’mūn, together with the intelligentsia, encouraged a vast movement of translation of Greek, Syriac and Persian works into Arabic, which contributed significantly to the intellectual efflorescence centred in ‘Abbāsid Baghdad and the Arabisation of Christians. Syriac-speaking Christians who had already for two centuries been translating Greek works into Syriac, were the chief mediators in this movement of translation and Arabisation that swept the ‘Abbāsid Empire.4 In the years after the founding of Baghdad (762), the major philosophical works of Aristotle and the neo-Platonic commentators, the chief medical writings of Hippocrates and Galen, the mathematical works of Euclid and Archimedes, and the geographical work of Ptolemy became available to readers of Arabic. The names associated with this movement include some of the most important Christian scholars of the ‘Abbāsid era, such as Thāwafīl bin Tūmā (695–785), Yūªannā ibn Māsawayh (777–857), Óunayn ibn Isªāq (808–73), Qus†ā ibn Lūqā (820–912), Theodore Abū Qurrah (755–830), Thābit ibn Qurrah (834–901), Yaªyā ibn ‘Adī (893–974) and al-Mu‘taman ibn al-‘Assāl (fl. 1230–60).5 At the same time, Christians, challenged in their faith, needed Arabic to

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defend their religion and to affirm the faith of wavering believers. Driven by this apologetic and polemical motive, they wrote numerous philosophical and theological texts of their own in Arabic, and, continuing a practice whenever Christians have come into new cultural circumstances, they translated their scriptures and ecclesiastical traditions into the new target language (Arabic) and proclaimed the Gospel message in the idiom and thought patterns of their new circumstances.6 But there was one big difference which ultimately resulted in many Christians losing interest in Arabic as a language of their faith. According to Griffith, this was the first time and, historically speaking, the only time when Christians have been faced with the necessity of translating, defending and commending their religion in a new language and in new cultural circumstances within the border of their own conquered homelands, where in due course most Christians either emigrated or converted to Islam. This historically unique set of circumstances, he adds, helps to explain why many Christians lost interest in renewing the Arabic expression of their faith, especially after the Crusades and Mongol invasions of the thirteenth century when Muslim anti-Christian policies became more pronounced and Christians began to decline precipitously in numbers in the Islamic world. They continued to use the Arabic language vernacularly and, to some extent, liturgically, such as to copy texts produced in earlier times. But after the thirteenth century the creative genius for borrowing the cultural and linguistic idiom of the Muslim Arab for the proclamation and defence of Christianity seems to have waned.7 Syriac-speaking Christians would have to wait nearly five centuries for another major movement of Arabisation. Driving this movement were two main factors: one was the arrival of Latin missionaries in Aleppo during the seventeenth century; and the other was the rise of a thriving local cultural movement among the Maronites that paralleled, cooperated with and at times competed with the Latin missionaries. The Christians of Syria and Lebanon had enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Rome since the sixteenth century, which was fortified by certain European influences among the Maronite and Greek Orthodox communities owing to the presence at Aleppo of a large colony of European merchants and the arrival of delegations from Rome. Around 1580, Pope Gregory XIII sent the Jesuit Fathers Giovanni Battista Eliano and Thomas Raggio as his legates

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to consolidate the union with Rome. One of the most important outcomes of this union was the establishment of the Maronite College in Rome in 1584 to educate the Maronite clergy.8 Another outcome was the printing of Maronite religious books after they had been revised, which involved a printing press brought from Europe to the monastery of Saint Anthony of Qozhaya in north Lebanon around 1584. This press was operational by 1610, but only one book was ever produced in its short life. It was an Arabic language psalter in a Karshūnī typeface with Syriac characters.9 By 1626, the Latin missionaries had established Aleppo as the headquarters of their Syrian mission and fervently began work to bring the Eastern Catholics into the fold of the Roman Catholic Church. The increased missionary presence and activity in Aleppo led to the deepening of a sometimes tense relationship between Rome and the Maronites. While the missionaries contributed to the establishment of various educational and social institutions and the spread of a Latin-based education, they were not in favour of the Arabisation of the Maronite liturgy or in preserving indigenous texts and traditions, but more interested in the translation of Western works and the Latinisation of Maronite doctrines and practices. In turn, the Maronites were not entirely convinced of Rome’s motives, and the Maronite Synod of 1644 forbade the activity of Latin missionaries in Maronite parishes without the permission of the patriarch.10 Against this backdrop, there emerged a vibrant indigenous cultural movement in Aleppo that sought to rejuvenate and Arabise Christianity (i.e., belief, piety, texts and liturgy) even as it Christianised Arabic culture. The roots of this movement go back to the sixteenth century. Aleppo was one of the few Arab towns that after the Ottoman conquest had retained and to a certain extent developed an Arabic literary tradition. Some literary activity flourished in all the Christian communities, and the Maronite bishop Jibrā’īl bin Bu†rus (aka. Ibn al-Qalā‘ī, 1450–1516), who excelled at Arabic poetry, is one example among the Maronites.11 In the seventeenth century, this movement was catalysed by the vigorous example and activities of Latin missionaries. It was financially supported by the rising fortunes of the Christian community in Aleppo, and peopled by graduates of the Maronite College in Rome and others who studied with the local Muslim ‘ulamā’. The individuals who formed this early movement includes, Is†ifān al-Duwayhī, Bu†rus al-Tūlāwī (1658–1746), Jirmānūs Farªāt, ‘Abd Allāh Zākhir (1680–1748)

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and Niqūlā al-Íā’igh. Hence, the involvement of these individuals in the translation and adaptation of Syriac and Latin texts into Arabic was both in spite of and owing to the growing European presence in the region. These two simultaneous processes of Latinisation and Arabisation would continue to compete with each other, both in spirit and in practice, until the definitive synod of 1736.12 The influence of the graduates of the Maronite College on the simultaneous processes of Latinisation and Arabisation cannot be underestimated. According to Cragg, the role of the college, and of earlier Maronite students in Rome, was much more than image-making in popular history. It produced eminent scholars who not only enriched the Maronite soul, but also contributed notably to Western learning.13 The need for such an institution had already been identified by Patriarch Mīkhā’īl al-Ruzzi (d. 1581), who had asked Pope Pius V in 1568 to establish in Rome a school for Maronite students to learn theology so that on their return they could better serve their community. Although the school was not immediately forthcoming, over the next two decades a trickle of Maronite students were sent to Italy and accommodated into the existing schools. This initiative, together with the urging of the Maronite clergy and financial support of Rome, however, led to the establishment of the Maronite College of Rome in 1584 by Pope Gregory XIII. At its foundation, the college took approximately six students a year. With the steady increase of students over the next few decades, Rome was in a position to learn more accurately about the customs and traditions of the Maronites, and reciprocally a great number of patriarchs and bishops of the succeeding centuries were graduates of the Maronite College, and therefore attuned to the mind of Rome.14 The Maronite graduates either returned home to serve the patriarch or stayed on in Europe. In this way, they pioneered a fruitful cultural exchange between Eastern and Western cultures. The more gifted graduates went to Western Europe and engaged in writing, teaching oriental languages and literature, and collecting manuscripts for leading European universities. They also translated works from Arabic into European languages and vice versa, which contributed concurrently to the processes of Latinisation and Arabisation. Some of them adopted Latinised names and gained distinction as scholars who helped lay the foundations of European Orientalism:15 (Sionita)

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Jibrā’īl al-Sahyūnī (1577–1648) became Professor of Semitic Languages at the Sorbonne, Paris (1614–48). He worked together with another graduate of the Maronite College (Johannes Hesronita) Yūªannā al-Óa‚rūnī (d. 1626), who later became Royal Interpreter and Professor of Syriac and Arabic at the Royal College. Between them they produced a Latin translation of the Arabic Psalter (1614), the first part of a projected five-part grammar of the Arabic language, Grammatica Arabica Maronitarum (Paris, 1616), a Latin translation of the Medicean Arabic geography of 1592 entitled Geographia Nubiensis (1619), and revised and prepared nearly all the Arabic and Syriac texts of the Polyglot Bible with their Latin translations (1620–45). At a later stage, they were joined and assisted by (Abraham Ecchellensis) Ibrāhīm al-Óaqlānī (1600–64) who came to Paris in 1640.16 Other alumni of the college returned to their homeland where they served as clerics and teachers, and devoted themselves to scholarly and cultural activities. In 1608, a graduate of the college, Yūªannā Makhlūf, was elected Maronite patriarch for the first time, and others followed. One of the most influential was Is†ifān al-Duwayhī, who served as patriarch of the Maronite Church from 1670 to 1704.17 Al-Duwayhī was born in Ihdin, the stronghold of Maronites, in north Lebanon, with a rich religious history and tradition. Aged five he entered the Parochial School of St Peter in north Ihdin, where he acquired the basics of arithmetic, Arabic and Syriac, plus a solid grounding in Christianity. In 1641, aged eleven, he was sent to study at the Maronite College in Rome where he remained for fourteen years. He came back to Lebanon in 1655, and was ordained as a priest in 1656 at the monastery of St Sarkis and Bacchus in Ihdin. Between 1657 and 1658, he went to Aleppo to work for the unity of Christians and to assist his friend, Bishop Andrew Akhījān (1622–77). Around 1662, he returned again to Aleppo and remained there until his election as bishop of Cyprus in 1668. In 1670, while on a brief visit to Lebanon, Jirjis al-Basba‘lī (1595–1670), the Maronite patriarch of Antioch, died. Al-Duwayhī was elected patriarch in his place, an office he held until his death in 1704. In his time, the first regular Maronite monastic order was established.18 Besides serving as patriarch, al-Duwayhī devoted his time to various scholarly activities for the benefit of his compatriots. Although Christians were involved in some translation of liturgical works from Syriac into Arabic

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from the early Ottoman period, in the Maronite Church this movement reached its peak with al-Duwayhī and his successors. As a trained polemicist and historian and conversant in several languages (Arabic, Syriac, Latin, Italian, Greek and Hebrew), al-Duwayhī produced around two dozen works in Arabic on church liturgy besides numerous commentaries and collections of correspondence. Moreover, he is generally considered one of the leading Arab historians of the seventeenth century, and his important contributions to Maronite history earned him the title ‘The Father of Maronite History’. He produced a general chronicle known as Tārīkh al-azminah (History of the Times), and a special study of Maronite origins entitled Tārīkh al-†ā’ifah al-Mārūnīyah (History of the Maronite Community). His other works include the Manārat al-aqdās (The Lamp of the Sanctuary) and the Kitāb al-muªāmāh ‘an al-Mawārinah wa-qiddīsihim (The Defence [of the Orthodoxy] of the Maronites and their Saints, 1899), which contains articles, correspondence and biographical histories on prominent Maronite figures. The value of al-Duwayhī’s works was recognised first and foremost by Christian authors of the nah∂ah. Rashīd al-Shartūnī, revised and published with commentary the Tārīkh al-†ā’ifah (Beirut, 1890) and the Manārat al-aqdās (Beirut, 1885), while his brother, Sā‘īd al-Shartūnī, produced an edition of the Kitāb al-muªāmāh (Beirut, 1899).19 Al-Duwayhī strongly believed in the social importance of education, and given his positive experience of the European system, he pursued a successful policy of sending as many Maronites to Rome as possible so that on their return they would be capable of raising the level of literacy among Maronite peasants. Concurrently, he focused on developing native educational capabilities, and around 1666 while serving as a priest in Aleppo he established the Maronite College on the model of the Maronite College in Rome. This institution would become an important preparatory school for several of the leading Christian literati of the period.20 Al-Duwayhī gathered at this college several graduates of the Maronite College in Rome, such as the theologian Bu†rus al-Tūlāwī, who had spent fourteen years (1668–82) there studying Syriac, Italian, Latin, Hebrew, Greek, as well as logic, rhetoric, philosophy, history, natural sciences, theology and canon law. In 1682, al-Tūlāwī returned to Lebanon where he was ordained as a priest by al-Duwayhī at the monastery of Qunubinne in the Holy Valley. He then went to Aleppo to assist al-Duwayhī

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in the running of the church and college there.21 Al-Duwayhī’s example was followed by a number of Rome-educated clerics in the eighteenth century, such as Father Bu†rus Mubārak al-Ghustāwī (1660–1747), Patriarch Yūsuf Is†ifān and others who were highly influential in their communities. In 1734, al-Ghustāwī, a graduate of the Maronite College in Rome, established the college of ‘Ayn ˝ūrā in Kisrawan, the first ‘modern’ school of its kind in the region which is still a flourishing educational institution today.22 In 1774, another graduate, the Patriarch Yūsuf Is†ifān, founded the college of ‘Ayn Waraqa, also in Kisrawan, on the model of the Maronite College in Rome. This college remained the leading institution in the region throughout the later part of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Sources describe it as the ‘mother of all (native) schools’ and the ‘Sorbonne of the East’. Among its graduates were many of the leading figures of the nah∂ah, such as Nā‚īf al-Yāzijī, Aªmad Fāris al-Shidyāq, Bu†rus al-Bustānī, Yūsuf al-Dibs and Rushayd al-Daªdāª.23 Almost simultaneously with the expansion of Latin-based education in the seventeenth century, there was a significant rise in Arabic learning among the Christians of Aleppo as a result of the indigenous cultural movement which had at its roots the growth of the classical Arabic poetic tradition among Christian upper classes. Brustad points out how educated Christians were both consumers and producers of poetry in the classical Arabic tradition, an activity that required intricate knowledge of the Arabic language and literary tradition, usually within an Islamic framework. Christians mostly acquired this learning in informal ways, such as private tutoring or reading and study groups that circulated books and poems and met to discuss them. Thus, this literary movement, Brustad highlights, had indigenous roots and branches, even if it is assumed to have been indirectly encouraged by the European presence, and apparently reflects the germination of a new, urban, upwardly mobile Christian identity that took Arabic letters as the core value.24 The Old Pioneers: Jirmānūs Farªat, Churchmen and Amateur Humanists This particular milieu afforded Christian writers unusual formative and educational opportunities, and around 1700 a major development took place

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with the emergence of a group of writers associated with Aleppo, who were willing and able to reflect on the Arabic language in terms of the indigenous tradition, and to incorporate elements of the Muslim Arabic literary heritage into their own works.25 A figure that deserves special attention in order to demonstrate the formation, career and impact of these and other intellectuals is the Maronite archbishop of Aleppo, Jirmānūs Farªāt, whose career is remarkable in more than one aspect. He is arguably the Maronites’ most important writer before the nineteenth century, and was an early leader who left a legacy that was strongly felt for generations. Jirmānūs Farªāt was born and raised in Aleppo. Remarkably gifted, he belonged to the first generation in his community to benefit from a very complete education in his native city without attending the Maronite College in Rome. According to sources, aged seven (1677) he joined the ‘Maronite school’ (al-kuttāb al-mārūnī) where he learnt elementary Arabic and Syriac. In 1682, at twelve, he began learning Latin and Italian with Bu†rus al-Tūlāwī who taught at the same institution.26 Thus, the ‘Maronite school’ is almost certainly the Maronite College of Aleppo established by Is†ifān al-Duwayhī a decade earlier, since 1682 is the year that al-Tūlāwī arrived from Rome and began teaching Latin and Italian at this institution.27 Although Farªāt did receive some teaching in Latin and Italian, it was Arabic that captured his imagination and became the vehicle and subject of his literary career. As a result of the revival of classical Arabic among the Christian community, Farªāt studied with two Arabic teachers, one of whom was a Muslim and the other a Maronite. In 1684, now fourteen, he continued his study of Arabic language and literature, this time with a renowned Muslim scholar of Aleppo, Sulaymān ibn Óālīd ibn ‘Abd al-Qādir, known as Shaykh Sulaymān the Grammarian (d. 1728), the son of a Kurdish prince.28 Although sources are unclear as to where in Aleppo this part of Farªāt’s studies took place, it is known that Shaykh Sulaymān was a teacher at the Madrasat al-Firdaws in Aleppo (est. 1235), the largest of the Ayyubid schools in Aleppo. Sources also indicate that Shaykh Sulaymān taught at the Maronite College of Aleppo, and it is therefore more likely that Farªāt’s studies with the shaykh took place there.29 In 1686, Farªāt began studying Arabic rhetoric and prosody at the college with his most influential teacher, the Maronite Ya‘qūb al-Dibsī (d. 1692), a great authority on rhetoric. In 1689, aged nineteen, Farªāt

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completed his higher studies in logic, philosophy, oratory, history, theology and something of natural sciences, again with Bu†rus al-Tūlāwī.30 In his youth Farªāt had showed a propensity towards asceticism, which culminated in his becoming a monk in 1693. Aspiring to the religious life, he went in 1694 to Lebanon with a small group of fellow monks, including ‘Abd Allāh Qarā‘alī (1672–1742) and Jibrā’īl Tūmā al-Hāwwā (1668–1752), who had received the blessing of Patriarch Is†ifān al-Duwayhī to establish a new Maronite monastic order at the monastery of St Mūrā in Ihdin. After tying up some loose ends in Aleppo, Farªāt rejoined his companions in Ihdin around 1695, where he became attached to the Monastery of St Mūrā which he soon headed. Ordained as a priest in 1697, he became abbot of the monastery in 1698. In 1700, as a result of internal quarrels in the newly founded monastic order, Farªāt left the monastery and went to Zgharta near Tripoli, where he became associated with the monastery of St Joseph run by the Jesuits. Besides serving as deacon, he taught children and assisted the missionaries in translating Latin texts into Arabic.31 According to Brustad, it is likely that the time Farªāt spent teaching the youth of Zgharta influenced the direction his writings would take, for when he returned to monastic life in 1705, as abbot of the monastery of St Eliseus the Prophet, he began to produce pedagogical materials on Arabic language and literature. The period between 1706 and 1709 was a prolific one for Farªāt, and he composed a large number of poems that ended up in his Dīwān.32 In the period between 1711 and 1712, he travelled to Rome and Malta, as well as to Spain and Sicily from where he is reported to have gathered precious Arabic manuscripts now in the Maronite Church Library he founded in Aleppo in 1731. He was to spend the next twelve years or so in Lebanon moving between Ihdin, Zgharta and the Qadisha Valley, serving as superior general for several terms, and all the while devoting himself to literary study and church affairs, before finally returning to Aleppo in 1725 where he settled and was ordained Maronite archbishop by Patriarch Yā‘qūb ‘Awwād.33 As archbishop of Aleppo from 1725, his unfaltering zeal worked wonders. He reorganised his Church, reformed the Maronite school where he was a student by introducing a meaningful curriculum, and established the Maronite Library, which he furnished with the Arabic manuscripts from Europe and with works written by his predecessors and contemporaries. In

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1731, the library held a selection of well over 700 rare works in Arabic and Syriac mostly of a religious and liturgical nature, but also some on language, literature and history. The library, which survives to this day, has since acquired an international reputation. After seven years of fruitful ecclesiastical endeavours and literary works, Farªāt died in 1732 aged sixty-two, unanimously praised.34 Farªāt’s legacy continued through his writings and disciples. He is credited with more than a hundred works of a religious and literary nature. This number includes works by other authors, which Farªāt either translated, revised, annotated or abridged, and around forty of his own original works on grammar, lexicography, rhetoric, belles-lettres and prosody.35 In particular, his fame rests on his service to the Arabic language. He showed deep concern for the deteriorating state of Arabic and attempted to correct the situation through his network of associations and numerous works of language which were made accessible to a large audience. Although Syriac was the liturgical language of the Maronite Church, Farªāt played an important role in establishing an increasingly Arabised liturgy during the final phase of his life and career. At some point just before his election as archbishop of Aleppo (1725), he formed a ‘learned society’ (majma‘ ‘ilmī) of the scholars and friends who had gathered around him, including the poet Ni‘mat Allāh al-Óalabī (d. 1700), his teacher Bu†rus al-Tūlawī (d. 1746), ‘Abd Allāh Zākhir (d. 1748), who applied himself with enthusiasm and success to printing, and Niqūlā al-Íā’igh (d. 1756) and Mikirdīj al-Kasīª (b. 1666), who share with Farªāt the glory of being the most popular Christian poets. With Farªāt as president, one of the main goals of this society was the Arabisation of Maronite liturgy and texts, a process which involved a range of activities, including translation and transliteration from Syriac script, the ‘correcting’ of grammatically incorrect Arabic, ‘purging’ of colloquialisms in accordance with the requirements of the classical language, and the ‘arrangement’, ‘classification’ and ‘restoration’ of texts. Although little else is known about this society, it is generally considered the first ‘learned society’ of its kind in the region. The combined output of its members includes a complete collection of Maronite liturgical works in Arabic. Farªāt himself brought to completion the translation of the New Testament from Syriac into Arabic, and wrote an eighteen-volume commentary on the

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Gospels and several prayer books.36 This work contributed significantly to the Arabisation of the Church and the members of his congregation, who had until then been inclined to adhere to the Syriac language. In 1724, Farªāt completed writing a major and original contribution to the Arabisation of the Church, entitled Fa‚l al-khi†āb fī al-wa‘Õ (The Decisive Speech: On Homily, 1896), a pedagogical manual on oratory, which he says he wrote ‘because of the absence among Arabs of oratory and preaching as an art form with definitive rules’.37 Accordingly, the significance of this work lies in being the first of its kind in the Arabic language to treat oratory as an independent discipline, indeed, as an art form worthy of study in its own right.38 The work shows strong influences of the Western art of preaching (ars praedicandi), displaying many of the hallmarks of the Christian tradition and its concern for the spiritual welfare of the listener. In addition, many of the citations and examples are drawn from the New Testament. The work was subject to several editions in the nah∂ah (1842, 1867, 1873, 1896, 1899). The most popular being Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī’s critical edition first published in 1896 ‘with the aim of rejuvenating (tajdīd ) the art of oratory in the nah∂ah’.39 Sources indicate that members of this society also tried to start up a printing press to publish the liturgical works in Arabic, but could not keep it going.40 Meanwhile, in 1706, a known associate of this group of scholars, Athanāsiyūs III al-Dabbās (1647–1724), the Orthodox patriarch of Antioch (1685–1724), established in Aleppo the first printing press in the Arab world with Arabic moveable type. In 1698, al-Dabbās went to Bucharest where he was introduced to the press of Constantine Brancoveanul of Valachia at the Melkite monastery in Snagavo. Here Constantine granted his request to use the press to print liturgical works in Arabic and Greek and appointed an artisan to cast the Arabic typeface for him. In 1701, the first book, a liturgy in Greek and Arabic, was published. A ‘book of hours’ followed in 1702. After his return to Aleppo in 1704, al-Dabbās set up a press, perhaps using the same Arabic typeface cast in Bucharest. The first publication was an Arabic Psalms (1706), followed in the same year by the Gospels. In total, some eleven works were issued until 1711, but nothing thereafter. The fate of the press after this date remains unknown, and Aleppo would have to wait for over 140 years for the next one.41 However, one of the employees of al-Dabbās’ press, the Deacon ‘Abd

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Allāh Zākhir (1680–1748), who was also a key member of Farªāt’s ‘learned society’, went on to establish the first printing press that would really advance the cause of book production in the Arab world. In fact, Zākhir can be considered the true founder of the first Arabic press in the Middle East, having designed and cast the typefaces and fabricated much of the equipment himself. Zākhir, a skilled artisan and intellectual, was born around 1684 in Hama where he received his early education from his father, a goldsmith by trade, who taught him the basics of reading and writing, and then initiated him into goldsmithing at age eleven. After turning seventeen, he went to Aleppo and like Farªāt completed his Arabic studies under the guidance of Shaykh Sulaymān the Grammarian. He also studied philosophy, theology, Greek and Latin. In Aleppo, Zākhir worked for al-Dabbās, but came to Lebanon following a schism within the Antiochian Orthodox Church (c. 1724) and his becoming a supporter of Greek Catholicism. Here Zākhir spent time in Zūk Mīkā’īl and ‘Ayn ˝ūrā, making several failed attempts to build a press, before finally moving to the Melkite monastery of St John the Baptist, in the mountainous town of Shuwayr, to join his cousin Niqūlā al-Íā’igh who was then Abbott of the monastery. This therefore must have been at some point before 1727 when al-Íā’igh became the Superior General. With al-Íā’igh’s encouragement and assistance, he finally established his own press in 1733, and in so doing opened up new possibilities for the book in the Arab world. Zākhir designed and crafted two new typefaces in clear and beautiful Arabic fonts, both more elegant and closer to the rounder and lighter naskhi style of writing. His efforts were crowned with success when he published the Kitāb mizān al zamān (Book of the Balance of Time) in February 1734, a book of prayers of which some 800 copies were printed and circulated, followed by King David’s Psalms (1735), which was subsequently reprinted six times by the press. Other books on theology and religious rites followed, such as Murshid al-Masīª (Guide to Christ, 1738), Al-Iqtidā’ bi-al-Masīª (Imitation of Christ, 1739), and Murshid al-khā†i’ (Guide of the Sinner, 1747). Zākhir died in 1748 and left the press to the monastery, but with the stipulation that his disciple Sulaymān al-Qa††ān should direct it. After al-Qa††ān, the monks of the monastery continued to use the press until 1899 when, no longer able to compete with the modern presses, it closed. In total, the press in Shuwayr issued some thirty-two separate titles and thirty-six editions. The Psalter, first

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printed in 1735, alone went through fifteen editions.42 Zākhir’s press became a model for the St George Orthodox Press, established in Beirut in 1751 by Yūnūs Niqūlā al-Jubaylī, known as Abū ‘Askar, for the benefit of the Melkite sect. The first publication, a book of Psalms, was issued in 1751. After Abū ‘Askar’s death (1787), the press ceased publishing until 1881 when new equipment was acquired. Strong competition, however, forced it to close.43 Although the intellectual content of the books produced by all these pioneering presses was mainly of a devotional nature, the setting up of these presses met the needs of a growing number of Christians who began replacing the Syriac language used in their speech, liturgy and writing with Arabic. The fact that the Psalms were printed fifteen times between 1610 and 1776 was a sign of the growing interest of the Christian population of Lebanon in the Arabic language. Moreover, the fact that all these early presses were established and run by local intellectuals shows that printing was brought to the Arab world not by the foreign missionaries, but through native endeavours. The American and Catholic missions first established their presses only much later in 1834 and 1848, respectively, in Beirut.44 Reappropriating and Christianising the ‘Muslim’ Humanist Heritage Building on the work of al-Duwayhī, the Arabisation activities of Farªāt and his contemporaries were no doubt significant in establishing an increasingly Arabised liturgy, which was of the greatest importance to the Maronite Church. Farªāt, however, must be remembered in the history of Arabic literature as someone who helped to popularise the Arabic language among Christians and who, along with his contemporaries, paved the way for their reintegration into the mainstream of Arabic literature. Farªāt understood in particular the need to make accessible to the Christians of Mount Lebanon textbooks on lexicography, grammar, rhetoric and poetry which would aid them in the study of Arabic. His most important work on grammar was the Kitāb baªth al-ma†ālib fī ‘ilm al-‘arabīyah (Book of Searching Answers on the Science of Arabic), which Farªāt produced in two versions. He wrote the original version with explanations in 1705, which he then abridged in 1707. It was this abridged version that was edited and annotated several times in the nah∂ah. In the preface, Farªāt explains his aims and motivations behind the work. He states that

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Christian students were eager to learn Arabic, but lacked access to the tradition of Arabic grammar maintained in the Islamic centres of Syria, and the available works, rooted in the Muslim tradition, were unsuited to the needs of Christians. Moreover, the complex analysis, extraneous explanations and disputation-style arguments that had accumulated in available works were outmoded and excessive, making grammar into an unintelligible science and taxing students to the point of making them averse to the language.45 Furthermore, he writes: When I saw that Ibn al-Óājib had confused the minds with his narrations, and that Ibn Hishām had destroyed the imagination with his intentions, and that Ibn Mālik had overwhelmed the minds with his excessive explanations, [I realised that] they have an aim that does not concern us, and obligations that do not obligate us, for they are in one valley and we are in another.46

He therefore set out to write a grammar that would serve the needs of Christians in particular. In so doing, his aims were threefold: to make the explanations accessible and relevant by eliminating obscure expressions and unnecessary prolixity; to provide all the necessary information in compact form in one volume; and to replace difficult illustrations from the Arabic grammatical tradition with examples from the Christian Holy Scriptures wherever possible. Finally, it is revealing that his overall aim behind the grammar was to stop Christian students falling prey to foreign languages and their harmful effects, or as he puts it more succinctly: ‘to stop the “foreignisation” of the Christian, mainly Maronite, youth’.47 Accordingly, Farªāt succeeded in producing one of the most simplified and well-organised Arabic grammars of its kind, limited to the ‘bare essentials’ and stripped of the commentaries which had until then nearly always accompanied them. Moreover, far from being a flowery imitation of previous works, Farªāt appropriates the Arabic linguistic tradition to put it at the service of his Christian audience. With this in mind, Farªāt does not adhere to the standard practice in canonical Arabic grammars of selecting the typical materials from Islam, but instead picks the themes, examples and cast for his grammar from Christianity. Thus, while assimilating material from the works of the Muslim medieval grammarians (Ibn Mālik, Ibn al-Óājib and Ibn

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Hishām) Farªāt draws on the Holy Scripture for illustrations, substituting the Bible for the Qur’ān and pre-Islamic poetry, and replacing the famous Muslim names Zayd and ‘Amr with Christian ones like Bu†rus (Peter), Būlus (Paul) and Maryam (Mary). Kilpatrick points out that only a systematic comparison can show how Farªāt’s grammar differs from that of the predecessors he mentions, but his approach here is clearly an innovation.48 According to Brustad, although the Maronite Gabriel Sionita wrote a Latin grammar of Arabic in the 1580s, Farªāt was the first Christian to write a grammar of Arabic within the Arabic tradition, in Arabic, for Arabic speakers – and it was the most widely used such grammar by a Christian author well into the modern period.49 Farªāt’s grammar was reissued up to a dozen times in the nineteenth century and was used as a standard text in Lebanese schools. It was subject to many critical editions and published with commentary at least five times with varying titles by leading nah∂ah figures, such as al-Shidyāq (Malta, 1836), Bu†rus al-Bustānī (Beirut, 1854), Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī (Beirut, 1883), ‘Abd Allāh al-Bustānī (Ba‘abdā, 1900) and Salīm Íādir (Beirut, 1914).50 Moreover, Farªāt’s grammar served as a model par excellence for a number of nah∂ah authors who following Farªāt sought to simplify the traditional presentation of Arabic grammar. Those who directly borrowed, reworked the material or adopted the same methods of presentation, include Bu†rus al-Bustānī in Kitāb miftāª al-mi‚bāª (Beirut, 1862) and al-Shidyāq in Ghunyat al-†ālib (1872).51 Farªāt’s pioneering attempt to simplify did, however, create its own set of problems. There were a number of flaws, for instance, in the original version that were rectified by nah∂ah scholars in their critical editions, while al-Shidyāq’s Ghunyat, which was modelled on Farªāt’s grammar, became one of the most controversial works in the nah∂ah.52 However, whatever the merits and shortcomings of Farªāt’s grammar, there is little doubt that it represented a major milestone in the history of the Arabic language that would influence the course of Arabic grammar well into the twentieth century. The fact that the work was studied, abridged, explicated, reworked, emulated, printed and widely circulated for the following two centuries confirms Farªāt’s place as one of the leading Christian figures of the modern Arabic linguistic renaissance.53 As a Christian, Farªāt not only led the way in grammar, but also in lexicography. In 1718, he completed his most ambitious work, the Iªkām bāb

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al-i‘rāb ‘an lughat al-A‘rāb (Precision of Clear Expression in the Language of the Arabs), a lexicon which was meant to be a simplified version of al-Fīrūzābādī’s (d. 1414) famous dictionary, Al-Qāmūs al-muªī† (The Encompassing Ocean). In the preface, in rather flamboyant rhymed prose, Farªāt explains how he would become vexed when, during his study of the Arabic literary heritage, he encountered rare words unknown to him and was unable to look them up until he discovered al-Fīrūzābādī’s dictionary, ‘the gem that exhilarates the souls . . . and [the Ocean] that engulfs all lexicons both earlier and later . . .’54 Despites its merits, Farªāt believed that the Qāmūs was too difficult to use, especially for the Christian students he had in mind. Owing to the bare minimum of explanations, the sophisticated system of abbreviations used by al-Fīrūzābādī, obscure terms and definitions, the Qāmūs was a highly compact though extremely rich dictionary. However, these very same qualities made it suitable only for the most advanced reader of Arabic and rather unintelligible to those less familiar with the rich Arabic linguistic tradition, as Farªāt explains: ‘its elaborate terms and subtle expressions are like treasures of symbols or symbols of treasures . . . which frustrate the reader to the point of utter despair’.55 Besides the lack of clarity, the Qāmūs was far from systematic in the presentation of material, as Farªāt points out: ‘It treats root entries under [derived] stems and stems under roots and neglects much of what is required by the mind of the reader, preventing its lover from reunion, for not all who come to it are able to enjoy it and unravel its love . . .’56 Al-Fīrūzābādī had already produced one of the most compact dictionaries in the Arabic lexicographical tradition by eliminating superfluous information from his lexicon. In reworking the dictionary, Farªāt had similar ideas, but whereas the Qāmūs sacrificed clarity for the sake of brevity, Farªāt sought to present a work that was both clearer and easier by reducing even further the profuse explanations, quotations, obscure names and references, and mentions of regional variants that characterise al-Firūzābādī’s lexicon. By contrast, he added contemporary terminology absent in the Qāmūs, typically words relating to Christian Catholicism which, together with its one-volume size, must be the reason it remained a fundamental source among Christians. In its edited and printed form, the Iªkām is a single volume of 723 pages while the standard editions of the Qāmūs run to several volumes.57 It is revealing that the only other significant achievement in Arabic lexi-

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cography in the eighteenth century was al-Zabīdī’s (1732–91) Tāj al-‘arūs, which is the largest surviving Arabic dictionary, written as a commentary on al-Fīrūzābādī’s Al-Qāmūs.58 These two very different receptions of the Qāmūs is perhaps better explained by the differing aims and audiences of their works. Whereas al-Zabīdī strove for thoroughness in order to preserve the vast accumulated knowledge of the Arabic linguistic heritage needed by Muslims for a proper understanding of Islam’s sacred texts, Farªāt sought brevity and simplicity to popularise the Arabic language among Christians, and that he achieved by eliminating all material surplus to their requirements. A revised edition of Farªāt’s Iªkām was published in the nah∂ah by Rushayd al-Daªdāª (1813–89), who collated five manuscripts of it with the Qāmūs and printed the resulting dictionary under the title Bāb al-i‘rāb ‘an lughat al-A‘rāb (Marseilles, 1849), together with a portrait of Farªāt.59 The idea to update al-Fīrūzābādī’s dictionary was later adopted by a number of nah∂ah luminaries, most notably by Bu†rus al-Bustānī who reworked the material into the well-known modern dictionary Muªī† al-muªī† (Encompasser of the Ocean, 1870). Farªāt’s most important contribution to poetry was his own Dīwān (Collected Poetry), which he compiled in 1720 and published together with a supplement that he named Al-Tadhkirah (Memento), a short pedagogical treatise on the science of rhyme, which shows that he wanted his Dīwān to fulfil a dual literary and didactic purpose.60 His actual Dīwān comprises several hundred poems based on traditional Arabic genres (aghrā∂), including panegyric (madīª), elegy (rithā’), satire (hijā’), love poetry (ghazal ) and description (wa‚f ), which he adapts thematically to a range of Christian religious subjects.61 His poetry also shows strong influences of such classical luminaries as Ibn al-Rūmī (d. 896), Ibn Fāris (d. 1004), Ibn Sīnā (d. 1037) and al-Suhrawardī (d. 1191), which, taken together, shows that he had a fairly deep knowledge of Arabic poetry in general and that he was very much at home in the classical Arabic poetic tradition to which he would bring his own Christian lore.62 Thus, a distinctive aspect of Farªāt’s Dīwān is that he casts it in a strictly Christian form of expression. He locates the work in the Arabic literary tradition from the start by moulding its preface in the conventional mode with a basmala and ªamdala but substitutes the traditional Islamic expression ‘In

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the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful’ with the Christian equivalent ‘In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit’ and the ªamdala where praise and blessings for God and the Prophet Muªammad are normally invoked with extended prayers for the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, mother of the Eternal Word, and the Apostle Peter, ‘the rock of faith’.63 Moreover, Farªāt takes the traditional Arabic genres and applies them to specifically Christian themes and topics, as in, for instance, the panegyric (madīª) to Jesus and his Disciples, love poetry (ghazal ) to the Virgin Mary, Jesus, the apostles and saints, and the descriptive poem (wa‚f ) to depict the Holy Spirit, John the Apostle, the baptism of Christ, the birth of the Virgin Mary, monasticism and monks.64 Farªāt was, of course, not the first to do this. The ‘Abbāsid era boasts many outstanding Christian poets operating within the established poetic traditions. Brustad, however, points out that their number had gradually dwindled and studies of Arab poets from 1300–1800 include only a handful of Christian poets willing and able to compose in the classical Arabic diction.65 By choosing to engage with the Arabic poetic tradition as a Maronite in the eighteenth century, Farªāt can therefore be considered the first of the ‘Arabised’ Christian poets of the Ottoman era whose range and production matched those of the Muslims. Farªāt thus helped to instigate a significant reconciliation between Christians and Arabic, and to recover a key place for Christians in Arabic letters. The fact that Farªāt’s Dīwān was published no fewer than four times in the nineteenth century (Beirut, 1835, 1850, 1866, 1894) bears testimony to its importance and popularity in the nah∂ah. The first critical edition with commentary was published by Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī in 1894 under the title Dīwān Jirmānūs Farªāt based on three earlier manuscripts.66 If Farªat’s name is to be singled out in the history of the Arab world, it is because he is inseparable from the revival of the Arabic language and its literature among Christians, of which he was the principal pioneer. Farªāt, a gifted Arabiser from his youth, made its study more accessible to his compatriots, the Maronites of Mount Lebanon, by composing the first modern Arabic grammar, which is still in use today, as well as other important works on lexicography, poetry and rhetoric, some of which have remained until recently in common use among Syrian Christians. Although his works are

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based largely on Arabic tradition, his vision and ability to rework, synthesise and adapt this tradition to address specific and real needs enabled him to produce works that served as both a basis and model for the nah∂ah in the nineteenth century. The best measure of their success is their survival for over two centuries through copying, printing, editing and re-editing. Recent reprintings of his grammar (1995), lexicon (1996) and oratory manual (2004) point towards renewed interest in his works. Moreover, while scholarship in the twentieth century has been almost oblivious to Farªāt, his significance and achievements were nevertheless acknowledged by Christian nah∂ah figures, for whom he served as a kind of model, and by the Maronite Church, for whom his contribution as a translator was of prime importance. On the one hand, Farªāt’s accomplishments represent a remarkable production that outstripped the influence of missionary work in promoting a Christian consciousness and discourse. That he did so in the Arabic language only increased their legitimacy as a counterpoint to the Latinisation efforts of missionaries. On the other hand, while Arabic seemed inextricably linked to Islam and the Qur’ān, he Christianised it, so to speak, by using it in his writings. In the history of the Arabic language, and more particularly in the context of the period, this was a truly revolutionary approach, since it sought to challenge a deep-rooted assumption that linked Arabic exclusively to Islam. It is perhaps for all these reasons that those searching for proof of the Arab renaissance as an indigenous phenomenon, not a reproduction of Europe, see in Jirmānūs Farªāt a far-sighted, progressive Christian who was an Arab intellectual ahead of his time, and whose approach, as Brustad points out, symbolised his commitment to the values of cultural and national unity across sectarian lines, and whose project of Arabisation heralded the emergence of Arabic from centuries of decline among Christians.67 Whatever the implications of Farªāt’s activities, he was undoubtedly one of the earliest champions of Arabic whose interest and approach in the language paved the way for the reintegration of Christians into the mainstream of Arabic literature, which ultimately led to the evolution of a significant inter-religious cultural space that had a far-reaching influence during his lifetime and for generations after his death in the nah∂ah. Farªāt’s approach directly influenced a number of his contemporaries and disciples, such as Mikirdīj al-Kasīª (b. 1666) and Niqūlā al-Íā’igh

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(d. 1756). Al-Kasīª was born in Killis, but spent most of his life in Aleppo where he served as a deacon. His date of death is unknown, but he was still alive in 1732. He was part of the ‘learned society’ of scholars and friends who had gathered around Farªāt. Besides his various devotional and polemical writings in Arabic, which contributed to the Arabisation of the church, he also produced a lexicon and a work entitled Rayªānat al-arwāª wa-sullam al-adab wa-al-‚alah (The Souls Fragrant Flower and the Scale of Right Conduct and Culture), which, Kilpatrick highlights, is a rare example of an expressedly Christian adab compilation of poetry and prose of the ascetic kind.68 The Rayªānat comprises twelve chapters which are organised into two parts, prose then poetry, on the standard pattern of earlier Arabic compilations. Like Farªāt, al-Kasīª locates this work in the Arabic literary tradition at the outset by casting the preface in the conventional mould with a basmala and ªamdala, and substituting the standard Islamic formulae and prayers with Christian ones. The contrast between al-Kasīª’s sources for prose and poetry in this compilation, however, is remarkable. Whereas the prose quotations are drawn almost entirely from Christian traditions (the Old and New Testaments), the poetry is exclusively Arabic and the author is happy to include any Arabic poem whether composed by a Muslim or Christian (e.g., al-Rāzī (d. 925), Ibn Sīnā (d. 1037), Abū al-‘Alā’ al-Ma‘arrī (d. 1058), Jirmānūs Farªāt, Niqūlā al-Sā’igh) provided that it captures the imagination.69 Al-Kasīª’s choice of poetry shows that already by the early part of the eighteenth century Christian writers were thinking of themselves as part of the mainstream of Arabic literature, and apparently heralds an inter-religious approach that would become more pronounced in the works of Christian scholars over the course of the next two centuries. Whereas Farªāt had used traditional Arabic genres to express Christian themes and al-Kasīª had synthesised Christian and Muslim sources in his compilation, it was another prominent member of this group of scholars, the poet Niqūlā al-Íā’igh, who carried the process to its logical conclusion. Al-Íā’igh was born in Aleppo in 1692 into a Greek Orthodox family. There he received a similar education to Farªāt at the hands of prominent Maronite and Muslim scholars, such as Shaykh Sulaymān the Grammarian, and like him benefited from a very complete education in his native town without attending the Maronite College in Rome. Aspiring to the religious, he left

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for Lebanon around 1716 to become a monk where he joined the Melkite monastery of St John the Baptist at al-Shuwayr. After occupying several positions of responsibility there as priest and abbot, he was elected Superior of the Basilian Congregation of al-Shuwayr in 1727, a position he held until his death in 1756.70 But, we are not concerned here with his activities as an organiser, nor with the majority of his devotional writings, which were of the greatest importance to the church. He must, however, be mentioned in the history of Arabic literature as a poet, who, along with Farªāt, al-Kasīª and others, contributed to the reintegration of Christian writers into the mainstream of Arabic literature. Al-Íā’igh composed many poems in Arabic on mainly religious themes, the majority of which were collected in his work entitled Dīwān al-Khurī, which, judging by the large number of manuscripts and printed editions that subsequently became available, was tremendously popular in Christian circles in Lebanon throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. No less than six editions of the Dīwān were published by the Jesuit Press alone in the period up to 1890. Like Farªāt, al-Íā’igh opens his Dīwān with the customary Christian expression: ‘In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit’.71 He also treats the same themes of traditional Arabic poetry, but he is much more at home in the classical poetic tradition than Farªāt, and the scope of his poetry is wider. For instance, whereas Farªāt composed panegyrics on specifically Christian subjects (e.g., Christ, the Virgin Mary, the apostles and saints), al-Íā’igh eulogised not only Christian figures, but also the Sunni Haydar Shihāb and emirs of the Druze Abī l-Lām‘ family. In so doing, he is implicitly measuring himself against the Muslim panegyricists of these notables. More importantly, whereas Farªāt had used traditional Arabic genres to express Christian themes, al-Íā’igh carried the process to its logical conclusion. He composed a badī‘īyah (a poem praising the Prophet Muªammad), apparently the first Christian to do so, and appropriated it to his own Christian beliefs, not only substituting the Prophet Muªammad and his companions with Christ, the Virgin Mary, the apostles and saints, but also using Christian material for tropes and theological concepts.72 Kilpatrick points out that for a Christian to appropriate this form and adapt it to his own beliefs was tantamount to proclaiming that some

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Christians felt they could compete with their fellow Arabic speakers in the cultural domain most closely associated with Islam, the Arabic language, and in a genre which conveyed profound religious feeling. This was a sign of a new, or renewed, cultural self-confidence which did not end with al-Íā’igh. He set an example with his badī‘īyah which others followed in the nah∂ah. According to Kilpatrick, quoting Bauer, Nā‚īf al-Yāzijī’s badī‘īyah is a memorable example of this genre. It is markedly inter-religious, or perhaps better supra-religious, since it avoids praising any revered religious figures, either Muslim or Christian, developing instead the theme of love and of contempt for the world.73 Hence, through the activities of Farªāt and his contemporaries a significant inter-religious cultural space had been created in the pre-modern period. This cultural space expanded in such a way during the nah∂ah that it not only afforded Christian scholars the opportunity to appropriate elements of the Muslim Arabic literary heritage into their own works, but to do so without feeling the need to alter the cast and themes in any significant way. Where Farªāt and his contemporaries had substituted the traditional Islamic invocation in his dīwān with the Christian equivalent ‘In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit’, the Christian poet Bu†rūs Karāmah (1774–1851) used patterns of expression which differed very little from the standard Islamic. For example, his maqāma begins: ‘In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful’ and ‘Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds: Ruler of the Day of Judgement . . .’74 Moreover, where Farªāt and his contemporaries had substituted Christian Scriptures for Muslim ones, the Prophet Muªammad with Christ, and Zayd with Bu†rus, Christian nah∂ah intellectuals would be quite happy not only to retain the same cast and themes, but also to cite the Qur’ān, ªadīth and other Islamic authorities unreservedly for their definitions and illustrations. Nahḍah Christians: Gestures of Unprecedented Cultural Self-confidence A figure that deserves special attention to demonstrate the evolution of this inter-religious cultural space in the nah∂ah is Nā‚īf al-Yāzijī. He was born at Kafr Shīmā, a small village south of Beirut in Lebanon, into a prominent Maronite family. His father was a famous physician, who also took great

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interest in literature and sent Nā‚īf to the local church school where he received his early education from a monk known as Alex Mata. From an early age, he was passionate about the Arabic language and studied books on grammar, lexicography and poetry. He must have mastered the language early in his youth, since he was already serving as secretary to the Greek Catholic Patriarch Aghnā†iyūs (1816–18) when he was just sixteen. His literary career really took off with poetry when one of his panegyrics to the ruler of Lebanon, Amīr Bashīr Shihāb II (d. 1850), won favour with the Amīr who appointed him as secretary and court poet in 1828, a position he held until Bashīr was deposed in 1840. With the onset of the first civil war between the Druze and Christians in 1841, Nā‚īf then moved with his family to Beirut, where he came into close contact with American Protestant missionaries such as Eli Smith (1801–57) and eminent literary figures like Bu†rus al-Bustānī. In Beirut, he taught Arabic at various missionary schools, edited Protestant publications and helped to revise the Arabic translation of the Bible. In 1847, he assisted Eli Smith in setting up the Al-Jam‘īyah al-Sūrīyah, a literary and scientific society which aimed to raise cultural awareness. Over the next two decades, he continued his scholarly activities while teaching at various important educational institutions of the period, including al-Bustānī’s National School (Al-Madrasah al-Wa†anīyah) and the Patriarchate School (Al-Madrasah al-Batrīkīyah), which were established in 1863 and 1865, respectively, and the Syrian Protestant College (later the American University of Beirut) where he taught some of the leading figures of the nah∂ah, including Ya‘qūb Sarrūf and Fāris Nimr. Although a Christian, sources concur that he had memorised the whole of the Qur’ān at some stage in his life, a fact that would manifest itself in his writings.75 He produced over two dozen works mainly on syntax, morphology, rhetoric and poetry, but also some on logic, medicine, jurisprudence and music. In all these works, he fell within the Arabic classical tradition and was very much driven by conservative and pedagogical aims. He is probably best known for his works on poetry and prose. He wrote the commentary, Al-‘Arf al-†ayyib, on the dīwān of his favourite poet al-Mutanabbī. He also composed poems on traditional Arabic genres a number of which, like Farªāt, he used as a vehicle for specifically Christian themes, as can be seen by his seven-page poem (qa‚īdah) titled Al-Burhān al-‚arīª fī lāhūt al-masīª (The Clear Proof of

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Christ’s Divinity, 1867) in which he sets out to demonstrate the divinity of Christ.76 The main bulk of al-Yāzijī’s poetry output, however, is of an interreligious nature. He produced three dīwāns: the Nubdhah (1853); Nafªat al-rayªān (Scent of Basil, 1864); and Thālith al-qamarayn (The Third of the Two Moons, 1883), which were reprinted throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in Beirut and elsewhere. The tendency to go beyond exclusively Christian subjects that was already discernable in al-Íā’igh’s poetry becomes far more evident in al-Yāzijī’s dīwāns. In the Nubdhah, al-Yāzijī eulogises not only Christian figures, but also Muslims such as Bashīr Shihāb II, Shaykh Muªammad, a muftī of Tripoli who became a Beirut judge, Shaykh Aªmad al-Gharr, a governor of Beirut, Shaykh Muªammad al-Halwātī, the muftī of Beirut, as well as Muslim literary figures like Yūsuf al-Asīr and Ottoman statesman like Ibrāhīm Pasha.77 The ability to transcend specific religious convictions is even more striking in al-Yāzijī’s prose and pedagogical writings. His prose is best exemplified by his famous collection of sixty maqāmāt, the Majma‘ al-baªrayn (Confluence of the Two Seas, 1856), a literary work in flowery, rhymed prose, interposed with poetry, which to all intents and purposes is a conscious attempt to emulate the classical style and generic purpose of al-Óarīrī’s famous maqāmāt. His approach in this work represents a significant departure from both earlier Muslim and Christian writers. Al-Yāzijī situates this work in the Arabic literary tradition at the outset by casting the preface in the conventional mould with basmala and ªamdala. There is, however, one striking feature in al-Yāzijī’s opening invocation. Instead of the Islamic expression bismillāh al-Raªmān al-Raªīm (‘In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful’), or the Christian equivalent ‘In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the One God’, al-Yāzijī uses bismillāh al-Fattāª (‘In the name of Allah, the Conqueror’) in the introduction to his Majma‘ and bismillāh al-Óayy al-Azalī (‘In the name of Allah, the Everliving, the Eternal’) in his Nubdhah.78 Although al-Fattāª (34:26) and al-Óayy (2:255, 3:2, 25:58, 40:65) are among the ninety-nine most beautiful names of God (al-asmā’ al-ªusnā) mentioned in the Qur’ān and Sunnah, al-Yāzijī’s usage here is rather unconventional, but perhaps not by coincidence. It might be that he wants to surpass specific religious convictions by identifying himself as believer in God, but not with a particular faith. It is clear, however, that

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his substituting the traditional Islamic and Christian formulae with a completely different version is an innovation. Moreover, whereas Farªāt and his contemporaries used traditional Arabic genres to express Christian themes and beliefs, substituting Christian Scriptures for Muslim ones, al-Yāzijī unashamedly embellishes his maqāmāt with verses and phrases from the Qur’ān. For example, in the first maqāmah known as al-badawīyah he quotes verses from Sūrat Yāsīn, as follows: qāla yā qawmī ittabi‘ū man lā-yas’alukum ajran (He said: ‘[O my people!] Obey those who ask no reward of you . . .’) (Yāsīn 36:20–1).79 He interposes the third maqāmah (al-‘aqīqīyah) with verses from various chapters of the Qur’ān, such as: alastu rabbakum qālū balā (‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said: ‘Yes!’) (al-A‘rāf 7:172); kullu man ‘alyhā fānin; wa-yabqā wajhu rabbika dhū al-jalāli wa-al-ikrām. (‘Whatsoever is on it [the earth] will perish and the Face of your Lord full of Majesty and Honour will abide forever’) (al-Raªmān 55:26–7).80 In so doing, he is implicitly measuring himself against, if not seeking to surpass, the medieval Muslim belletrists Badī‘ al-Zamān al-Hamadhānī and al-Óarīrī (d. 1122), the creators and acknowledged masters of the maqāmāt genre. In fact, he quotes the Qur’ān so often that even though he was a Christian his profound knowledge of sacred writings exceeded that of his Muslim predecessors. The same inter-religious or one could say supra-religious approach, given al-Yāzijī’s willingness and ability to rise above particular religious conventions and convictions both in his preface and choice of sources, permeates his pedagogical writings. Only now the range of his sources expands to include not just the Qur’ān, but also other Islamic texts and authorities as well as a Muslim cast. His Kitāb †irāz al-mu‘allim fī ‘ilm al-bayān (Book of the Classes of Teachers on Rhetoric, 1883 edn), is an elementary textbook on rhetoric, which at no more than three dozen pages is restricted to its ‘most important principles’ and is presented as an abridged linguistic versification with an accompanying commentary for the benefit of students.81 As with his earlier works, al-Yāzijī casts the preface in the conventional mould with basmala and ªamdala, but opens with another version of God’s names, that is, bismillāh al-‘Alīy al-‘AÕīm (‘In the name of Allah, the Sublime, the Magnificent’) and reduces the ªamdala where extended praises and blessings for God, his Prophets and other revered religious figures are normally invoked to merely ‘Praise be to God, the One who opened the heart for the

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acceptance of meanings (al-ma‘ānī) and made rhetoric (bayān) magical’.82 In this work, al-Yāzijī illustrates the various points of rhetoric with extensive examples from the Qur’ān, as in, for instance: māliki yawmi al-dīn iyyāka na‘budu wa-iyyāka nasta‘īn (‘The Only Owner of the Day of Resurrection. You [Alone] we worship, and You [Alone] we ask for help’) (Al-Fātiªah 1:4–5).83 In addition, there are references to other Islamic texts and authorities. For example, he quotes the first part of the Muslim confession of faith, lā ilāha illā Allāh (‘There is no God but Allah’), makes reference to Imām Abū Óanīfah, and uses Muslim names such as ‘Azīz and ‘Uthmān over and above the perennial Muslim names Zayd and ‘Amr extant in earlier Islamic works.84 Nā‚īf al-Yāzijī was not the only one to incorporate elements of the Muslim literary heritage into his own works. The same approach is very much evident in the works of the later generation of nah∂ah Christian scholars like Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī. He was born in the town of Shartūn near the Lebanese city of ‘Ālayah into a Maronite family. His early education began at the American missionary seminary at ‘Abiyah in 1862. He studied there for two years before moving to the Sūq al-Gharb school near Beirut around 1864, where he completed his education in Arabic sciences, arithmetic, geography and most likely received his training as a teacher. Al-Shartūnī devoted himself to a lifetime of humanistic activities while teaching in Damascus and the Jesuit schools of Beirut and Cairo. His first appointment as a vocational scholar came at the Greek Catholic school for higher education at ‘Ayn Trāz in the Mount Lebanon region (est. 1790s), where he stayed for five years teaching Arabic before moving to teach in Damascus for a period until 1875. Here he gained the respect of the Jesuit priests, who then sent him to Beirut where he would spend the next decades of his life working at some of the leading schools and institutions of the time while pursuing his intellectual activities. When the Jesuit seminary at Ghazir near Jūniyah was moved to Beirut in 1875 as the Jesuit College, today known as the Université Saint-Joseph, al-Shartūnī was called upon to teach Arabic and to work as a proofreader of Jesuit publications most likely to develop their capacity in the Arabic language. As a teacher and proofreader, he spent almost twenty-two years at the college.85 At the same time, he taught at the Patriarchate School and the School of Wisdom (Madrasat al-Óikmah), established in 1874, where one of his most famous pupils was the influential writer and politician Shakīb

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Arslān (1869–1947). Al-Shartūnī, however, was not only a teacher to Arslān, but also a friend and mentor. In fact, al-Shartūnī is one of the figures who in al-Sharabā‚ī’s words was ‘a major influence on Arslān’.86 The junior Arslān therefore figures prominently among al-Shartūnī’s network of close associates as do other leading intellectuals of the day such as Bu†rus al-Bustānī and the Egyptian reformer Muªammad ‘Abduh. The strong friendship between al-Bustānī and al-Shartūnī manifested itself in the various heated linguistic disputes that erupted between scholars of the period, including al-Shartūnī, al-Bustānī, Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī and al-Shidyāq.87 Early in his career (in his early twenties), al-Shartūnī came into contact with ‘Abduh, who appears to have been his mentor as well as close friend throughout his life. During the latter’s exile in Beirut in the 1880s, al-Shartūnī and Arslān were foremost among the scholars and students who gathered around ‘Abduh and met regularly with him for discussions on the Arabic language, cultural and religious matters. When ‘Abduh returned to Egypt in 1888, al-Shartūnī continued to collaborate with him on linguistic, literary and educational matters mainly through correspondence until the former’s demise in 1905.88 Although there is some speculation surrounding the years of al-Shartūnī’s birth and death, most sources concur that he was born in 1849 and died in 1912 after establishing for himself a reputation among the leading linguists and literary figures of the nah∂ah.89 He left behind a legacy of over forty works, embracing lexicography, grammar, rhetoric, poetry and more, and including his own writings, works by other authors which he revised and edited, and articles of a linguistic and literary nature that appeared in prestigious journals of the time. In the twenty or so articles he wrote in Al-Muqta†af (1900–10), for instance, he sought to demonstrate the purity of the Arabic language and clarify the fundamentals of good style, which he felt had declined among his contemporaries owing to the influence of foreign languages.90 While al-Shartūnī made important scholarly contributions through all these works, it is his role as an editor and commentator on pre-modern authors such as Jirmānūs Farªat and his contribution to an evolving interreligious cultural space in the nah∂ah that needs to be highlighted here. Al-Shartūnī published an edition of Shihāb al-Dīn al-Mūsawī’s (d. 1676) pre-modern collection of poems entitled Dīwān †irāz al-bulaghā’ wa-khātimat

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al-fu‚aªā’ (Register of the Classes of Eloquent Ones and of the Last of the Fluent Ones, 1885).91 This edition was republished three times (1960, 1968 and 1990) by Dār ‚ādir in Beirut. He also revised and published a number of works on Maronite history, such as the Kitāb al-muªāmāh, the collection of important correspondence, memoirs and articles exchanged between prominent Maronite clergy originally compiled by Is†ifān al-Duwayhī.92 But, it was the pre-modern author Jirmānūs Farªāt who seems to have particularly captured al-Shartūnī’s imagination. His commentaries on Farªāt’s works show that while the twentieth century largely ignored him, his importance was nevertheless recognised by Christian intellectuals of the nah∂ah for whom he served as a kind of role model. Al-Shartūnī wrote a commentary on Farªāt’s grammar, Baªth al-ma†ālib (1883), which was also annotated by al-Shidyāq, al-Bustānī and others, though it is al-Shartūnī’s critical edition that appears to have been particularly popular.93 Since its first publication in 1883, al-Shartūnī’s edition was reprinted five times by the Jesuit Press (Beirut, 1891, 1899, 1911, 1913, 1929), and is still in print until today (Beirut, 1995). Al-Shartūnī’s interest in Farªāt’s works did not end with his grammar. He also published the edition of Farªāt’s work on oratory and sermons entitled Fa‚l al-khi†āb fī al-wa‘Õ (1896), together with Fénelon’s sermons which he had translated into Arabic. In this work, he states that he wished to bring together the sermons of two great orators and scholars of their time: ‘One of the East (Jirmānūs) and the other of the West (Fénelon).’94 Al-Shartūnī’s edition has recently been republished by Dār waMaktabah Babylon (Qum, 2004), which points towards renewed interest in Farªāt’s work on rhetoric. His other works include the revised edition of Farªāt’s large collection of poems known as Dīwān Jirmānūs Farªāt (1894). In the preface he states that he collated three manuscripts and published the resulting work together with a commentary and portrait of Farªāt ‘out of a burning desire to honour the pride and glory of his times, the crowning achievement of his peers, whose legacy continues to be a source of inspiration to people in more ways than he could have ever wished . . .’95 Al-Shartūnī situates this work at the outset in the Arabic literary tradition by casting the preface in the conventional mould with basmala and ªamdala. Al-Shartūnī, however, substitutes the standard Islamic formulae bismillāh al-Raªmān al-Raªīm with a different version of

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Allah’s names, that is, bismillāh al-Mubdi’ al-Mu‘īd (‘In the name of Allah, the Originator, the Restorer’). Both al-Mubdi’ (10:34, 27:64, 29:19, 85:13) and al-Mu‘īd (10:34, 27:64, 29:19, 85:13) are also among the ninety-nine most beautiful names of God (al-asmā’ al-ªusnā) recurrent in the Qur’ān and Sunnah, but to be seen used in this context is very unusual. This unconventional use already seen in al-Yāzijī’s writings and now in al-Shartūnī’s commentary therefore clearly represents a new development in the works of nah∂ah scholars. Al-Shartūnī’s other major work, Kitāb al-mu‘īn fī ‚inā‘at al-inshā’ (Book of the Helper on the Art of Literary Composition, 1899) is a manual on general style and composition designed to enhance the student’s writing skills through the provision of exercises and suggestions of a practical and moral nature. With over 200 topics listed – some relevant to modern society and some less so – the student is asked, for instance, to discuss the causes of the 1870 FrancoPrussian War, to describe some of the major Arab schools of the nineteenth century, to write letters to family members.96 Particularly revealing are some of the following examples wherein literature appears to serve as a vehicle not only for moralising, but also for promoting an inter-religious consciousness: for instance: ‘respect for the (Muslim) Shaykh who has dropped his book – how should the (Christian) student react?’; ‘the faults of a boy name Zayd who has become a menace to society’; and ‘the walnut tree of a boy named ‘Amr and his dispute with his neighbour Paul’.97 These examples bear witness to the same concern for moral and social reform that dominated the thinking of nah∂ah reformers, such as Bu†rus al-Bustānī and Muªammad ‘Abduh. The use of Muslim names in these examples is already evident in al-Shartūnī’s other works, but the scenario about the Muslim ‘Amr and his dispute with his Christian neighbour Paul and the juxtaposition of the two names together is significant.98 The scenario – quoted in full below – reflects a conscious attempt to translate and promote the inter-religious cultural space that had been created in the literature into the wider society as a whole by advancing the same themes of mutual tolerance, cooperation and unity among religious communities that permeate the writings of nah∂ah reformers: (1) ‘Amr had a huge walnut tree in his garden near the wall of his neighbour Paul;

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(2) the branches stretched into Paul’s garden; (3) Paul requested ‘Amr to cut the branches which were coming into his garden; (4) ‘Amr angrily rejected the request; (5) Paul sent one of his friends to ‘Amr; (6) The friend in a kind and sensitive manner reminded ‘Amr of the legal ruling on this matter; (7) ‘Amr was extremely touched and sought reconciliation with Paul; (8) Paul accepted and subsequently presented ‘Amr with a bunch of roses.99 Likewise, the inter-religious, or perhaps rather supra-religious, approach that was distinguishable in al-Yāzijī’s works is more pronounced in al-Shartūnī’s pedagogical manual on the art of oratory entitled Kitāb al-ghu‚n al-ra†īb fī fann al-kha†īb (Book of the Succulent Branch on the Art of the Orator, 1908). Thus, after another atypical opening invocation with bismillāh al-‘Azīz al-Óakīm (‘In the name of Allah, the Almighty, the Wise’) and unusually brief praise for God, ‘the One who raised orators above the heavenly bodies on the pulpits of his grandeur’,100 Al-Shartūnī uses examples from ArabIslamic sources to illustrate the principles of Greco-Roman rhetoric, as delineated by its greatest figures, Aristotle and Cicero. The majority of examples are drawn from Islamic authorities and texts, others from the classics of Arabic literature, and others still from Christian sources and authorities like Jesus. For instance, al-Shartūnī uses speeches of the Prophet Muªammad (pbuh) and Islamic caliphs as illustrations of particular kinds of arguments and refutations used by orators.101 Thus, he quotes the opening lines of the Prophet’s speech to the inhabitants of Mecca on his return from Medina to demonstrate how a speaker should refute an opponent in the introduction of a speech. He states: ‘The Meccans had subjected the Prophet to years of persecution. Despite this, he addressed them as follows: “I say like my brother Yūsuf said that you are not blamed today . . . God forgives and He is the most Merciful” ’.102 Al-Shartūnī explains that the Prophet opened this speech with words of forgiveness for the Meccans in order to allay their fear of revenge. Similarly, al-Shartūnī uses illustrations from ‘Alī’s Nahj al-balāghah and al-Óarīrī’s Maqāmāt in order to convey the subject of topics based on Cicero’s Topica to an Arab audience. Just as he deploys an incident between

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Imām Abū Óanīfah and an atheist at the court of Calīph Hārūn Rashīd to illustrate the use of Aristotle’s logical arguments in a religious dialectical sermon.103Al-Shartūnī’s overall approach in his works, as with al-Yāzijī’s, reflects the development of a supra-religious perception of the Islamic literary heritage among Christian writers as part of a new cultural identity that took Arabic letters, not religion, as the core value. The last writer whose contribution needs to be highlighted to get a fuller picture of the inter-religious cultural space that had evolved in the nah∂ah is the Jesuit scholar and polygraph, Luwīs Shaykhū (1859–1927). Born in Turkey, he came to Beirut aged nine for his secondary education. He entered the Jesuit order in 1874, studied for four years in France, before returning to Lebanon for further studies at the Université de Saint-Joseph. He then went to Europe where he spent time in England, Austria and Paris, before settling in Beirut in 1894 where he spent the rest of his life in pursuit of his scholarly interests. According to Pouzet, a life-long concern of Shaykhū was to highlight the contribution of Arab Christians to the Arabic language and literature, a topic little noticed until his time. He is credited with some 2,750 writings in this area. The majority of these were articles and reviews, which he published in his own prestigious journal Al-Mashriq (est. 1898).104 Shaykhū’s main works on literature include a six-volume anthology of Arabic literature, the Majānī al-adab fī ªadā’iq al-‘arab (Harvests of Literature in the Gardens of Arabs, 1882–3), and a three-volume commentary on this work, which was tremendously successful with several editions printed during the nah∂ah. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, he completed the Kitāb ‘ilm al-adab (The Study of Literature, 1886–90), a two-volume pedagogical work which uses the question-and-answer technique to teach students the arts of composition, prosody and oratory. This work was complemented by Kitāb ‘ilm al-adab: maqālāt li-mashāhīr al-‘arab (The Study of Literature: Writings of Famous Arabs, 1887–9), an anthology of fully vocalised texts on poetry and prose which, besides the works of earlier luminaries such as Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih (d. 940), al-‘Askarī (d. 1005), al-Zamakhsharī (d. 1144) and Ibn al-Athīr (d. 1239), draws extensively on the works of pre-modern authors, including al-Qalqashandī (d. 1418), Ibn Khaldūn (d. 1406), al-Suyū†ī (d. 1505) and Hājī Khalīfah (d. 1657).105 Farªāt’s typically flowery, rhymed prose introduction to the work

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describes how he was inundated with requests to compile a book on the principles and techniques of writing for school students. When he commenced the task, he was inclined to translate one of the many available foreign works, but found it ‘loathsome to move from the camp of the great masters of the Arabic language and literature’. He therefore turned to the works of the great masters and ‘gathered the fruits of their efforts in a concise but comprehensive work’.106 Moreover, it is intriguing that although a Christian, unlike the earlier authors, Shaykhū makes no specific reference either to Christian or Muslim invocations in his preface. He starts with basmala (‘In the name of Allah’) and ªamdala (‘Praise be to Allah’) and stops there. Thus, perhaps signalling at the outset his intention to transcend specific religious convictions and the supra-religious nature of his work.107 Accordingly, the eclectic nature of Shaykhū’s sources in the didactic volumes is striking. Any source, Christian or Muslim, religious or secular, classical or modern, is included as long as it expresses the right sentiment. Thus, in the sections on composition (inshā’ ) and rhetoric (bayān), he illustrates the principles of good style with quotes from the Qur’ān and the Bible, using, for instance, verses from surat al-Nahl to illustrate the proper use of prolixity (i†nāb), and verses from the Old Testament (Genesis) and the New Testament to demonstrate the use of metaphors (isti‘ārah).108 The same approach is prevalent throughout with texts of both Muslim and Christian figures quoted side by side, as in, for instance, the maqāmāt of Badī al-Zammān al-Óamadhānī, together with Niqūlā al-Turk’s and the epistle of St Paul to Philemon as quoted in the New Testament with letters exchanged between ‘Alī and Mu‘āwīyah.109 There are also extensive references to the poetry of earlier literary figures such as al-Mutannabī, Abū al-‘Alā’ al-Ma‘arrī, Abū Tammām and Ibn Sīnā in the section on prosody. In the volume on oratory, the speeches of the Prophet’s companions, Abū Bakr and ‘Alī and others, are used as examples of an eloquent opening (al-iftitāª), while the speeches of nah∂ah figures, such as Jamāl al-Dīn al-Afghānī, serve as examples of its conclusion. He also juxtaposes the speeches of Jesus’ disciples on the same page as those of the Prophet’s companions (e.g., St Paul’s speech with ‘Alī’s), and uses Christian and Muslim names interchangeably in his numerous examples like Bu†rus with the perennial Zayd.110

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Conclusion This chapter has shown how the activities of Farªāt and his contemporaries paved the way for the reintegration of Christian writers into the mainstream of Arabic literature, and led to the creation of a significant inter-religious cultural space where Christian scholars were eager and able to think of themselves as part of a cultural domain directly linked with Islam, the Arabic language and its literature, albeit in a Christian religious context. In the classical period the religious perception had prevailed and connected Arabic language and culture solely with Islam and with Muslims. In the pre-modern period, Farªāt and his contemporaries sought to Christianise the Arabic language and culture, and thus dislodged the deep-rooted assumption that linked Arabic exclusively to Islam. Although the religious perception still prevailed, an inter-religious cultural space had been created which would expand significantly in the subsequent centuries. By the nah∂ah the reintegration of Christian writers into the mainstream of Arabic literature was complete and an inter-religious, almost supra-religious, space had evolved where Christian writers were no longer hampered by specific religious or theological considerations. Whereas for Farªāt and his contemporaries the most important marker of identity remained religion not language, nah∂ah Christians had developed an identity based on the Arabic language and culture that transcended the confines of specific religious convictions. By virtue of championing the Arabic language and culture as the bond of identity, over religion, they were able to think of Arabic as their native language and as the most important marker of their group identity. In contrast to the pre-modern period, the new supra-religious outlook and approach of Christian nah∂ah intellectuals referred to the cultural role of the Arabic language, and their writings reflected a modern, secular, linguistic perception of Arab-Islamic culture as part of a new identity that took Arabic letters, not religion, as the core value. This supra-religious perception not only afforded Christian scholars the opportunity to appropriate elements of the Muslim Arabic literary heritage wholesale into their own works, but also a deep sense of loyalty to the Arabic language which would manifest itself in the notorious linguistic controversies of the nah∂ah.

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Notes 1. 2. 3. 4.

5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19.

20. 21. 22. 23.

24.

Kilpatrick, ‘From literatur to adab’, p. 200. ‘Abbūd, Ruwwād al-nah∂ah, pp. 31–45. Ibid., p. 34. Rosenthal points out that almost all of the translators (from Greek into Syriac or Hebrew, or from Greek, Syriac or Hebrew into Arabic) were Christians. See Rosenthal, The Classical Heritage, p. 6. Ibid., pp. 5–12. Griffith, The Church in the Shadow of the Mosque, p. 1. Ibid., pp. 20–1. See Moosa, The Maronites in History, pp. 245–55. Mu‘āliqī, Ma‘ālim al-nah∂ah, p. 92. See Moosa, The Maronites in History, pp. 267–78; and Brustad, ‘JIRMĀNŪS Jibrīl Farªāt’, p. 243. ‘Abbūd, Saqr Lubnān, pp. 47–8. See Brustad, ‘JIRMĀNŪS Jibrīl Farªāt’, p. 243; Moosa, The Maronites in History, pp. 270, 274. Cragg, The Arab Christian, p. 216. Dib, The History of the Maronite Church, pp. 101–2. Cragg, The Arab Christian, p. 216. See Toomer, Eastern Wisedome, pp. 25–35; ‘Abbūd, Saqr Lubnān, pp. 47–8. Salibi, A House of Many Mansions, p. 81. Shiblī, Tarjamat, pp. 12–49. See ibid., pp. 106–208; Salibi, A House of Many Mansions, p. 81; Rashīd al-Shartūnī, Tārīkh al-†ā’ifah and Manārat al-aqdās; and Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī, Kitāb al-muªāmāh. Shiblī, Tarjamat, pp. 146–8, 204–5, 212; and Brustad, ‘JIRMĀNŪS Jibrīl Farªāt’, p. 244. Razzūq, Jirmānūs Farªāt, p. 29. Mas‘ūd, Lubnān wa-al-nah∂ah, p. 39. See ibid., p. 41; ‘Anūtī, al-Óarakah al-adabīyah, p. 38; Mu‘āliqī, Ma‘ālim al-nah∂ah, pp. 115–16. Like the ‘Ayn ˝ūrā, the ‘Ayn Waraqa began as a religious seminary, but gradually introduced a secular curriculum which in time became the more important, and which combined traditional Arabic learning with an education of the European type. Brustad, ‘JIRMĀNŪS Jibrīl Farªāt’, p. 244.

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25. Kilpatrick, ‘From literatur to adab’, p. 206. 26. Razzūq, Jirmānūs Farªāt, p. 29. 27. Al-Tūlāwī arrived in 1682 and not in 1685 as Brustad claims, see ‘JIRMĀNŪS Jibrīl Farªāt’, p. 244. 28. Razzūq, Jirmānūs Farªāt, pp. 29–30; Shaykh Sulaymān was also the Arabic teacher of Niqūlā al-Íā’igh and ‘Abd Allāh Zākhir, see ‘Abbūd, Saqr Lubnān, p. 49. 29. ‘Anūtī, Al-Óarakah al-adabīyah, pp. 31, 116. 30. Razzūq, Jirmānūs Farªāt, p. 30. 31. Ibid., pp. 33–6. 32. Brustad, ‘JIRMĀNŪS Jibrīl Farªāt’, p. 246. 33. Razzūq, Jirmānūs Farªāt, pp. 37, 40. 34. Ibid., pp. 44–5, 53. 35. Al-Óalabī, ‘Tarkat al-Sayyid Jirmānūs Farªāt’, pp. 255–61. 36. Abbūd, Ruwwād al-nah∂ah, pp. 34–5; Razzūq, Jirmānūs Farªāt, pp. 44–5. 37. Al-Shartūnī, Fa‚l al-khi†āb, p. 3. 38. For more on the significance of this work and oratory in the nah∂ah, see my article: Patel, ‘Nah∂ah Oratory’, esp. pp. 241, 261. 39. See al-Shartūnī, Fa‚l al-khi†āb, pp. 4–5; al-Óalabī, ‘Tarkat al-Sayyid Jirmānūs Farªāt’, p. 356. 40. Brustad, ‘JIRMĀNŪS Jibrīl Farªāt’, p. 249. Farªāt addressed a panegyric to al-Dabbās while Zākhir worked with him in printing, which clearly shows that these scholars knew each other (see Kilpatrick, ‘From literatur to adab’, p. 219). It is therefore quite feasible that al-Dabbās was a member of Farªāt’s ‘learned society’ and the press in question was actually al-Dabbās’ press. 41. See ‘Anūtī, Al-Óarakah al-adabīyah, pp. 45–6; Mu‘āliqī, Ma‘ālim al-nah∂ah, p. 97. 42. Al-Bustānī, ‘Abd Allāh Zākhir’, pp. 241–9; Kahale, ‘Abd Allāh Zākhir, pp. 73–9. 43. ‘Anūtī, Al-Óarakah al-adabīyah, p. 47. 44. See Fakhrī, Al-Óarakāt al-fikrīyah, p. 17. 45. Al-Shartūnī, Baªth al-ma†ālib, p. 5. 46. Ibid., p. 6. 47. Ibid., p. 6. 48. Ibid., pp. 5–6; Kilpatrick, ‘From literatur to adab’, p. 208. 49. Brustad, ‘JIRMĀNŪS Jibrīl Farªāt’, p. 246.

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50. Al-Óalabī, ‘Tarkat al-Sayyid Jirmānūs Farªāt’, p. 356; Razzūq, Jirmānūs Farªāt, pp. 60–2. 51. Ibid., pp. 135–52. 52. See, e.g., al-Shartūnī’s critical edition of Baªth al-ma†ālib, pp. 3–4; and Chapter 4. 53. Razzūq, Jirmānūs Farªāt, pp. 130, 134. 54. Al-Daªdāª, Bāb al-i‘rāb, p. 3. 55. Ibid., p. 3. 56. Ibid., p. 3. 57. See al-Daªdāª’s introduction to Bāb al-i‘rāb; Kilpatrick, ‘From literatur to adab’, pp. 208–9. 58. For more on al-Zabīdī’s Tāj al-‘arūs, see Chapter 3. 59. See al-Daªdāª’s introduction to Bāb al-i‘rāb. 60. For the supplement see al-Shartūnī, Dīwān Jirmānūs Farªāt, pp. 13–22. 61. Ibid., pp. 1–517. 62. I. Kratschkowsky, ‘Farªāt D-jarmānūs’, EI 2, vol. 2, p. 796. 63. Al-Shartūnī, Dīwān Jirmānūs Farªāt, p. 23. 64. There are also poems of praise and thanks addressed to Christian friends and colleagues such as Mikirdīj al-Kasīª and ‘Abd Allāh Zākhir, and the Melikite Catholics. See Razzūq, Jirmānūs Farªāt, pp. 189–226. 65. Brustad, ‘JIRMĀNŪS Jibrīl Farªāt’, p. 248. 66. Al-Óalabī, ‘Tarkat al-Sayyid Jirmānūs Farªāt’, p. 355; al-Shartūnī, Dīwān Jirmānūs Farªāt, p. 5. 67. Brustad, ‘JIRMĀNŪS Jibrīl Farªāt’, p. 250. 68. Kilpatrick, ‘From literatur to adab’, pp. 209–11. 69. Ibid., pp. 211–12. 70. Ibid., p. 213; ‘Abbūd, Saqr Lubnān, p. 49. 71. Al-Íā’igh, Dīwān, p. 3. 72. Kilpatrick, ‘From literatur to adab’, pp. 213–15. The growing popularity of the branch of Arabic rhetoric concerned with embellishments (badī‘) gave rise to a new genre of poems in praise of the Prophet Muªammad known as badī‘īyah. The genre can be traced back to the Mamlūk poet Íafī al-Dīn al-Óillī (1278– 1349), the creator of the first badī‘īyah. Here, al-Íā’igh models his poem on a badī‘īyah by the Mamlūk poet Ibn Óijja al-Óamawī (1366–1434) following the same meter and rhyme, but substituting the Prophet Muªammad for Jesus. See ‘Abbūd, Ruwwād al-nah∂ah, p. 42. 73. Kilpatrick, ‘From literatur to adab’, p. 217.

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74. Bu†rus Karāmah, a Syrian Greek Catholic Arab official, man of letters and one of the best poets of his age. He first worked for Amīr Bashīr al-Shihābī as a tutor to his sons and head of his chancellery before moving to Istanbul where he became a secretary to the sultan and court interpreter. He left a large number of poems which were collected in his dīwān called Saj‘ al-ªamāma. Ebeid points out that when one of his Arabic compositions was attacked by a Muslim critic, he replied with a spirited maqāma in which he argued that excellence in Arabic letters was not dependent on being a Muslim. Besides this point of contention, Ebied adds that Karāmah conducted the poem along thoroughly Islamic lines and used forms of expression which differ very little from standard Islamic formulae. See R. Y. Ebied, ‘Bu†rus Karāma’, EI 2, vol, 12, p. 162. 75. Íabā, Al-Shaykh Nā‚īf al-Yāzijī, pp. 10–12, 16. 76. Ibid., pp. 19–22. 77. See al-Yāzijī, Nubdhah, pp. 1–8. 78. Al-Yāzijī, Majma‘ al-baªrayn, preface; al-Yāzijī, Nubdhah, p. 9. 79. Al-Yāzijī, Majma‘ al-baªrayn, p. 7. 80. Ibid., p. 15. See also pp. 18, 25 and 77 for other quotes from the Qur’ān. 81. Al-Yāzijī, Kitāb †irāz al-mu‘allim, p. 1. Al-Yāzijī completed this work with commentary in 1861. The first known edition was published in 1867 in Beirut. 82. Ibid., p. 2. 83. Ibid., p. 28. For the many quotes from the Qur’ān, see pp. 3–29. 84. Ibid., pp. 8, 14–15. 85. See ‘A†īyah, ‘al-Shaykh Sa‘īd’, pp. 425–6; ‘Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī’, entry in Al-Hilāl pp. 187–9; Dāghir, Ma‚ādir al-dirāsāt al-adabīyah, vol. 2, p. 482; Shaykhū, Tārīkh al-adāb, p. 86; Sarkīs, Mu‘jam al-ma†bū‘āt, vol. 1, p. 1112. 86. Al-Sharabā‚ī, Amir al-bayān, 1: 14, 412–13; Cleveland, Islam Against the West, p. 6. 87. Gully, ‘Arabic Linguistic Issues’, pp. 113–15. 88. See al-Sharabā‚ī, ‘Bayna Muªammad ‘Abduh wa Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī’, p. 3. This is a collection of five letters sent from al-Shartūnī to ‘Abduh that al-Sharabā‚ī had in his possession and later published in the journal al-Adīb. For more on the link between al-Shartūnī and ‘Abduh, see Ri∂ā, Tārīkh, vol. 1, pp. 400–3, 781,789–91. 89. Gully gives various dates for his birth and death, see A. J. Gully,, ‘Al-SHartūnī, Sa‘īd’, EI2, vol. 7, p. 724. However, most Arabic sources agree that he was born in 1849 and died in 1912, see ‘A†īyah, ‘Al-Shaykh Sa‘īd’, pp. 425–30, Dāghir,

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90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 100. 101. 102. 103.

104. 105. 106. 107. 108.

109. 110.

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Ma‚ādir al-dirāsāt al-adabīyah, vol. 2, p. 482, Sarkīs, Mu‘jam al-ma†bū‘āt, p. 1112. For more on his life and works, see Patel, ‘Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī’, esp. pp. 321–2. See al-Shartūnī, Dīwān †irāz al-bulaghā’. See section on al-Duwayhī, above. Al-Shartūnī, Baªth al-ma†ālib, pp. 3–4. Al-Shartūnī, Fa‚l al-khi†āb, p. 5. Al-Shartūnī, Dīwān Jirmānūs Farªāt, pp. 5–6. See al-Shartūnī, Kitāb al-mu‘īn, vol. 1, pp. 24–5, 30–6. Ibid., p. 16. For further examples, see pp. 4–24 passim. Al-Shartūnī uses the Muslim names, Zayd, Bakr and ‘Amr in his manual on oratory, see Kitāb al-ghu‚n, pp. 7–8. Kitāb al-mu‘ īn, vol. 1, pp. 77–8. See preface in al-Shartūnī, Kitāb al-ghu‚n. Ibid., pp. 7–8, 31–8. Ibid., pp. 34–5. See Ibid., pp. 5, 76. This is a well-known debate that took place between Imām Abū Óanīfah and an atheist where the former successfully used logical arguments against the latter to prove the existence of God, see ibid., p. 76. L. Pouzet, ‘SHaykhū, Luwīs’, EI 2, vol. 9, p. 405; Dāghir, Ma‚ādir, 2: 515–24. The Kitāb ‘ilm al-adab was published together with the anthology as two volumes in four parts. For the texts see Part 2 of vol.1 and Part 2 of vol. 2. Shaykhū, Kitāb ‘ilm al-adab, vol. 1, pp. 3–4. Ibid., pp. 3–4. Quote from Qur’ān: inna Allāh ya’muru bil-‘adli wa-al-iªsānī wa-itā’i dhi al-qurbā wa-yanhā ‘an al-faªshā’ wa-al-munkar (Al-Naªl 16:90), see Shaykhū, Kitāb ‘ilm al-adab, vol. 1, p. 76. For quotes from Christian scriptures, see ibid., vol. 1, pp. 32, 86–7. Ibid., vol. 1, pp. 189–93, 253, 216–25. See ibid., vol. 2, pp. 82, 84, 126. For further examples of names, see ibid., vol. 2, pp. 19, 33, 53, 85, 113, 125.

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3 Guardians of the Pre-modern Arab-Islamic Humanist Tradition: Legends without a Legacy, a Tradition without Heirs hile it was the Christian clerics of the Syrian monasteries who prepared the ground for the nah∂ah in Lebanon, it was the Muslim shaykhs of perhaps the greatest institution of Muslim learning, the al-Azhar in Cairo, who led the way in Egypt. An inevitable consequence of the paradigm of decline for the study of Arabic thought and culture in the centuries preceding 1798, however, has been the almost total neglect in modern scholarship of this important institution, its scholars, their vast output and activities. This chapter begins by considering the role of al-Azhar and reveals a picture of an intellectual community that was far from being in the moribund state suggested by proponents of the decline thesis. Al-Azhar not only continued to function as a beacon of Islamic learning during a period widely regarded as one of decline, but also produced a number of outstanding authors who flourished in the fields of philology, poetry and historiography, and had a far-reaching influence on the nah∂ah. This chapter then focuses on the humanistic activities of some leading Azharī figures in the eighteenth century such as al-Íabbān, al-Zabīdī, al-Jabartī and al-‘A††ār. It is argued that these scholars along with others had laid the cultural foundations for the nah∂ah in the nineteenth century, and despite the originally religious orientation of their work and activities they made significant contributions to the nah∂ah.

W

The Unexplained Fate of al-Azhar’s Turbaned Shaykhs and Polymaths When the Fatimids conquered Egypt in 970, they built a new capital city for the caliphate which they called ‘The Victorious’ (al-Qāhirah or Cairo). At the heart of the new capital they built a great mosque which they named 75

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al-Azhar, in honour of the daughter of the Prophet Muªammad (pbuh), Fā†imah al-Zahrā’ (the brilliant). This mosque would eventually develop into the oldest religious university and help establish Cairo as the intellectual centre of the Muslim world. Being Ismaili Shias who ruled Sunni Egypt, the Fatimids used al-Azhar as an institution to teach Shia doctrines and to promote their missionary activities. When the Fatimid dynasty was overthrown in 1171 by the Ayyubids, under Sultan Salahuddin, al-Azhar nearly closed before it was converted into a Sunni institution of learning. In 1250, the Mamlūks seized Egypt and, continuing a practice started by the Fatimids, established Cairo as the capital of their new dynasty and the hub of the region’s cultural life. Already rich in tradition and knowledge, al-Azhar attained its dominant status in the Muslim world during Mamlūk rule (c. 1250–1517). It flourished as the greatest centre of Islamic learning, with studies in Arabic language and literature, theology, Islamic law, medicine, astronomy, logic, mathematics, philosophy, geography and history, and attracted the best students and scholars from all over the Muslim world as well as producing brilliant native scholars. As a result of a combination of factors in each period, a large number of prominent Muslim scholars came to Cairo for teaching and further studies and became influential members of the academic and religious milieu there. Owing to the Mongol (1206–1369) attacks on central Asia, the shrinkage of Muslim rule in Andalusia, and the collapse of the great Sunni universities of Baghdad, Fez and Andalusia, for instance, al-Azhar became the only shelter for scholars forced out of their homeland. In the thirteenth century, the famous physician ‘Abd al-La†īf al-Baghdādī (1162–1231) from Cordoba taught medicine at al-Azhar. In the fourteenth century, Ibn Khaldūn (d. 1406), now regarded as a forefather of the social sciences, lectured at the university. Other well-known scholars who either attended or taught at al-Azhar include al-Qalqashandī (d. 1418), Taqī al-Dīn Aªmad Maqrīzī (d. 1442), Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalānī (d. 1448) and Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyu†ī (d. 1505). With thousands of others, these giants of Islamic knowledge became the symbol of al-Azhar’s supreme position among Muslims. They helped al-Azhar reach the apex of its glory in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and played an important role in the development of Arabic sciences and culture at a time widely regarded as one of intellectual decline in Egypt. It

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would therefore be erroneous to assume that the cultivation of sciences and culture came to a complete standstill in pre-modern Egypt. During the socalled ‘period of decline’, these scholars made noteworthy contributions in the field of compilations, encyclopaedias and commentaries without which our knowledge of Arabic lore would be very limited. In fact, some works of the early pre-modern period are still invaluable reference works. One would be lost without the adab works of al-Nuwayrī (d. 1332), author of the monumental encyclopaedia Nihāyat al-‘arab fī funūn al-adab (The Aim of the Intelligent in the Arts of Literature), which at 9,000 pages and thirty-one volumes is a considerable feat. Equally, there is al-Qalqashandī (d. 1418), whose stupendous Íubª al-a‘shā fī ‚inā‘at al-inshā’ (Daybreak for the Night-blind on the Art of Composition) marks the culmination of the secretarial manuals of the Mamlūk period and indeed of the whole Arabic adab al-kātib literature; and al-Ibshīhī (d. 1446) who compiled Al-Musta†raf fī kull fann mustaÕraf (The Exquisite Elements from Every Elegant Art), one of the most famous anthologies of Arabic literature. Nor can one do without the numerous works of al-Íafadī (d. 1363), whose output of around 300 volumes provides a vast amount of varied and invaluable information, or the many works of the polymath Jālāl al-Dīn al-Suyū†ī (1445–1505) who wrote close to a thousand works. In history there are important works by Ibn Khaldūn (d. 1406), one of the most resourceful and creative thinkers in the intellectual history of Islam. The most important Arabic dictionaries ever written were compiled by Ibn ManÕūr (d. 1311) and al-Zabīdī (d. 1790). The grammatical works by the ‘great masters’, such as the Egyptian Ibn Hishām (d. 1361) and Ibn ‘Aqīl (d. 1367), have continued to greatly influence grammatical theory right up to the present day, while the works of Khālid al-Azharī (d. 1499) are still widely used textbooks and commentaries in the field of grammar. All these men kept alive the legacy of the past. Likewise, the later pre-modern period saw the emergence of an elite group of scholars whose influence lasted well into the nineteenth century. A partial list would include: the Cairo-born historian Aªmad Muªammad al-Maqqarī (1578–1632), whose historical and biographical compilations on Muslim Spain felicitously preserve for us a host of invaluable texts otherwise lost; the Cairene Azharī scholar Shihāb al-Dīn al-Khafājī (1571–1659), whose

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extant works remain an important source for our knowledge of the literary culture of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; and his protégé at al-Azhar ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Baghdādī (1621–82), who was one of the seventeenth-century’s leading experts on Arabic language and literature and the compiler of a number of important literary anthologies. The most influential scholars in the eighteenth century were also Azharī scholars, such as ‘Abd Allāh al-Shubrāwī (1681–1758), Aªmad al-Damanhūrī (d. 1778), Muªammad al-Amīr, Muªammad al-Íabbān (d. 1791), Muªammad Murta∂ā al-Zabīdī (1732–91), ‘Abd al-Raªmān al-Jabartī (1753–1825) and Óasan al-‘A††ār (1766–1835). But like so many pre-modern figures, these authors and their works, so esteemed for their erudition in their own lifetime and in the nah∂ah, have had a strange trajectory in the modern period. Al-Shubrāwī, for example, was a major author and intellectual who achieved social prominence, became rector of al-Azhar university, and produced significant scientific and literary works which may be linked to the rise of a new private literary culture in eighteenthcentury Egypt.1 According to Hanna, the popularity of al-Shubrāwī’s works reached a particularly high point in the nineteenth century if judged by the number of times they were printed. For instance, no less than thirteen editions of his prose work, ‘Unwān al-bayān wa-bustān al-adhhān (The Model of Clarity and Garden of Minds), alone were published by government and commercial presses in the period between 1835 and 1899. His Dīwān and other works also enjoyed tremendous popularity and were published repeatedly in the nineteenth century. Since their printing, however, al-Shubrāwī’s works have faded into oblivion. Hanna points out that few in scholarly circles today remember his scientific works which were so esteemed in his lifetime, while scholars and literary historians rarely even recognise his name.2 Other prominent figures have suffered a similar unexplained fate. For example, Óasan al-‘A††ār was a major influence on a number of leading nah∂ah figures associated with modernism. But Gran points out that his name, like others with eighteenth-century roots, disappears in Egyptian culture as the nineteenth century progressed even though his texts lingered on for another century in the school curriculum, while the author and his contemporaries have been almost erased from memory. Gran adds that whatever the reasons may be (and for him they may be linked with adherence to the oriental despotism

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model), it makes the study of Egypt appear eccentric for a historian: a country entering the modern world without a pre-modern period of gestation.3 One of the main reasons why modern scholarship has been so dismissive of pre-modern figures is because much of their output took the traditional form of compositions (manÕūmah), commentaries (sharª), glosses (ªāshiyah), poetry collections (dīwān) and compilations. In seventeenth-century Egypt, for instance, most works were produced as commentaries on earlier texts, and in the eighteenth century much of the output took the form of glosses on these commentaries. Many scholars also composed texts for students in verse to facilitate learning and memorisation based on an earlier longer text. Modern critics have considered such techniques signs of decline because they essentially involve the rehabilitation of old texts or because of the emphasis that they place on linguistic manipulation rather than on content or meaning. These techniques are, of course, not confined to countries such as Egypt, but are also representative of European countries such as Renaissance Italy. However, Gran explains that Western scholarship has not yet fully accepted the legitimacy of this type of enterprise and so it is still common for such work to be dismissed as unoriginal.4 In fact, Western scholarship has yet to fully appreciate the broader literary structures underlying reading, writing and interpretation in pre-modern Islamic societies. The view that is ‘creative’ knowledge, for example, is essentially characteristic of modern theories of knowledge. Rahman highlights that with the habit of writing commentaries for their own sake and the steady dwindling of original thought, the Muslim world witnessed the rise of a type of scholar who was truly encyclopaedic in the scope of learning, but had little new to say on anything. He distinguishes this category of scholarcum-commentator from a very different type of comprehensive thinker like Aristotle or even Ibn Sinā, who welded a variety of fields of inquiry into a unified system and coherent world view, and from the modern type of specialist whose knowledge has extremely narrow confines, and explains: The latter-day medieval Muslim scholar studied all the fields of knowledge available, but he did this mainly through commentaries and was himself a commentator-compiler. This type of scholar is, of course, not confined to the Muslim world but is also representative of many European savants.

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One important but implicit assumption of this type is that scholarship is not ‘regarded as an active pursuit’, a creative ‘reaching out’ of the mind to the unknown – as is the case today – but rather as the more or less passive acquisition of already established knowledge. This attitude naturally is not conducive to original inquiry and thought, since it assumes that all that can be known about reality is already known except for a few ‘gaps’ to be filled by interpretation and extension or some angularities to be smoothed out.5

There is, therefore, a real need to develop and adopt different criteria in assessing the texts involved. Before this can happen much needs to be considered and reconsidered. Views such as Rahman’s are a beginning, but they concede too much, since they typically do not contest the idea that these techniques constitute signs of decline. In my opinion, we simply lack enough knowledge and understanding about the hundreds of commentaries, glosses and compilations that were produced in the pre-modern period to dismiss them as degenerate. So prevalent is the view, however, that few indeed are the studies that have attempted to look at such techniques under different terms of reference.6 Put the other way around, we first need to find a place for the highly revered practice within Arab-Islamic culture by which learning, considered a treasured inheritance, is handed down from one generation of scholars to another. It seems illogical to apply our modern concept of ‘creative’ knowledge to a premodern Arabic Islamic culture where learning was so inextricably tied to the study of religion that it was the scholar’s ability to engage with existing traditions that was valued and ensured the legitimacy and continuity of his text rather than his ‘originality’, which would have almost certainly been loathed and dismissed into oblivion as ‘innovation’ (bid‘ah). Accordingly, what frequently transpires from the many commentaries, glosses, collections and compilations of the period is that a writer’s own ‘creative’ input is often expressed as a critique, interpretation, simplification or exposition of an earlier text or texts. This needs to be studied in detail to be known. The Grammarian al-Íabbān In Egypt the most substantial works on Arabic grammar during the eighteenth century continued to be commentaries and glosses on works of the Mamlūk period, which were themselves versifications or commentaries

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on the rules of Arabic grammar delineated by earlier grammarians such as Sībawayhi and al-Kisā’ī. According to al-‘Azbāwī, ninety-seven works on grammar were written in total in Egypt during the eighteenth century. This figure includes sixty-five commentaries and glosses, twenty-two short grammatical treatises, nine linguistic versifications (manÕūmāt) and one abridged grammar.7 The most popular work studied throughout the entire Ottoman era was the Alfīyah (The 1,000 Verses) of the Andalusian scholar Ibn Mālik (d. 1274), a linguistic versification of 1,000 rhymed verses, embracing syntax, morphology and phonology, which Ibn Mālik based on his longer treatise in verse known as Al-Kāfīyah al-shāfīyah (The Adequate and the Satisfier). With its complex rhyming format, bare minimum of grammatical definitions and explanations, the Alfīyah was a fairly difficult textbook used mainly by advanced learners to memorise the essentials of Arabic grammar. These very same qualities, however, made it rather difficult to follow, and incomprehensible to those who were less familiar with the Arabic grammatical tradition and needed more than one-line verses to understand complex grammatical phenomena. The Alfīyah thus attracted a large number of commentaries. The most famous being those of the medieval grammarians Ibn ‘Aqīl (d. 1367) and Nūr al-Dīn al-Ashmūnī (d. 1494).8 Although some commentaries and glosses were an exercise in repeating old ideas, the most popular were those that, being based on texts by the ‘great masters’ like Ibn Mālik, served as an arena for debate and controversy and helped to emphasise and remember differences of opinion among a large number of previous commentators of the text.9 The other type of commentary was valued for its pedagogical utility, and was much sought after because of its clarity and comprehensibility and studied by beginners in grammar.10 Both types of commentaries for their apparent success would have already been subject to several glosses and super-glosses. In the first type, the author’s aim was not so much to explicate and facilitate the student’s acquisition of material as to critically evaluate the text, and hence it was not unusual for a commentator to refute specific points made by other commentators, including the author of the original text on which the commentary was based. Although such refutational commentaries and glosses were not uncommon in the medieval period, it appears that their number had declined significantly by the eighteenth century.

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Al-Ashmūnī’s commentary in particular was subject to several glosses and super-glosses by scholars well into the eighteenth century. The most popular was a gloss by Abū al-‘Arfān Muªammad al-Íabbān (d. 1791), who was arguably Egypt’s most outstanding eighteenth-century grammarian. Al-Íabbān was born in Cairo, but spent most of his life between Egypt and Syria before finally returning to settle in Cairo where he remained until his death. Although his interests included the Islamic sciences as well as lexicography, rhetoric and logic, his reputation and influence primarily rests on his work on grammar.11 His most important contribution was a gloss on al-Ashmūnī’s commentary on the Alfīyah titled Óāshiyat al-Íabbān ‘alā sharª al-Ashmūnī ‘alā Alfīyat Ibn Mālik. While conceived in the traditional mode of a gloss, al-Íabbān does not simply elaborate on al-Ashmūnī’s commentary. In the preface, al-Íabbān makes it clear that his aim is to provide a thorough scholarly critique of al-Ashmūnī’s commentary and previous glosses on al-Ashmūnī’s work while adding his own substantial input. He states: With these virtuous notes, invaluable reports, exquisite investigations, and huge painstaking examinations, I wish to render full service to al-Ashmūnī’s commentary on the Alfīyah of Ibn Mālik. For I am extremely keen to refine its explanations and to rectify its ideas, while summarising the main points of previous glosses [on al-Ashmūnī’s commentary], pointing out numerous instances where they have been lean in understanding and subject to delusions of the mind in their approach to grammar by quoting from the precious writings that which delights the mind and cools the eyes. Where I have said ‘Shaykhunā’, I intend thereby our Shaykh al-Madābaghī, and by ‘Shaykhunā al-Sayyid ’, I mean our Shaykh the Master al-Balīdī, and by ‘alba‘∂ ’, I am referring to my teacher Yūsuf al-Óifnī.12

Some of the comments in this passage are commonplaces of composition in the medieval milieu where it was quite standard, for instance, to cite the obscurity, prolixity, the perceived ‘misinterpretations’ or ‘shortcomings’ of an earlier work as a motivation for writing another ‘correct’ commentary, gloss or super-gloss. The reference to al-Ashmūnī and other eighteenth-century commentators in the foreword, however, seems to be particularly interesting because al-Íabbān announces thereby that he will not simply elaborate on al-Ashmūnī’s commentary and previous glosses, but will do so in a highly

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critical fashion. In this way he signals at the outset a potential conflict, an antagonistic relationship, between the text, commentary and previous glosses. Al-Íabbān therefore recounts ‘the main points’ of previous glosses on al-Ashmūnī’s work, and then refutes those points he feels his contemporaries had misunderstood. The main target of al-Íabbān’s criticisms is a gloss on al-Ashmūnī’s commentary written by his own teacher Yūsuf al-Óīfnī (or al-Óifnāwī) to whom he refers throughout his commentary as ba‘∂ (some).13 The main characteristic of his approach is a careful analysis of each word of the text in an attempt to amend, correct or refute what the original commentator had said, while bringing together numerous passages from early canonical grammars and commentaries to support his own ‘correct’ interpretations and polemical arguments. In fact, by citing approximately 200 sources from all periods, critically discussing al-Ashmūnī’s views, engaging a huge number of controversial issues, and incorporating extensive differences among grammarians, their arguments and counterarguments, al-Íabbān’s gloss becomes a melting pot for the rich Arabic grammatical tradition, an exhaustive compendium of morphology and syntax, one that greatly influenced the linguistic debates in the nah∂ah and grammatical theory in the following centuries. In this sense, al-Íabbān’s approach prefigures modern critical scholarship, while the exegetic-cum-refutational nature of his gloss shows that the pre-modern period in which it was written was not as lifeless as is generally thought. The fact that such commentaries and glosses permit differences of opinion in itself reflects a healthy intellectual aspect of the Arabic grammatical tradition which, as we shall see, would serve to keep the linguistic debate alive among nah∂ah scholars. The huge popularity of al-Íabbān’s gloss in the nah∂ah and beyond can be gauged by the fact that it was repeatedly printed and used in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and that it is still used, or at least well known, in Egypt today. In Egypt alone, the gloss went through no less than eleven editions between 1857 and 1887.14 The Master and Lexicographer al-Zabīdī It was also during the pre-modern period that the most significant achievements in Arabic lexicography were made. In fact, three of the most popular Arabic dictionaries ever written were produced during this period. In the fourteenth century, the North African lexicographer Ibn ManÕūr (d. 1311)

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compiled the Lisān al-‘arab (Language of the Arabs), which would supersede all previous dictionaries and become one of the most comprehensive and authoritative works on Arabic lexicography of all times. Unlike his predecessors, who had been biased towards rare and interesting words, Ibn Manzūr aimed at the inclusion of the entire lexicon. Thus, based on earlier lexicons, such as al-Jawharī’s Íiªāª (d. 1001/2), Ibn Sīdah’s Muªkam (d. 1066), and supplemented with data from other collections and his own personal observations, Ibn Manzūr packed a colossal 80,000 root entries in his Lisān, each of which is profusely explained on the basis of quotations from the Qur’ān, the prophetic traditions, and early poetry and prose. Following the pattern of early lexicons such as al-Jawharī’s Íiªāª, the entries are arranged alphabetically in a rhyme (qāfiyah) order according to the last radical of a word rather than first.15 This method of arranging dictionaries would remain largely unchanged until the nineteenth century. Ibn ManÕūr’s Lisān was first published only in 1882 by the Būlāq Press before which time the dictionaries of his successors had already been printed and reprinted.16 In the fifteenth century, the Persian lexicographer al-Fīrūzābādī (d. 1414) had initially conceived his Al-Qāmūs al-muªī† (The Encompassing Ocean) to be an even grander dictionary of sixty volumes in which the entire language was to be recorded based on earlier lexicons such as Ibn Sīdah’s Muªkam, al-Jawharī’s Íiªāª, al-Saghānī’s ‘Ubāb (d. 1252) and above all Ibn ManÕūr’s Lisān. Al-Fīruzābādī, however, settled for two volumes when he realised that the work would be inaccessible to students. By means of brief definitions and an ingenious system of abbreviations, he was nevertheless able to cram a substantial 60,000 entries in two volumes to produce a highly compact yet extremely rich dictionary in the Arabic lexicographical tradition.17 In the process he had consulted 1,000 books, but where the Lisān aimed at thoroughness, because of the inter-dependency of the Qur’ān and the Arabic language, Al-Qāmūs sought brevity and to save space omitted the profuse quotations, illustrative examples and references to previous works that characterise Ibn ManÕūr’s lexicon. Due to the huge popularity of al-Fīrūzābādī’s dictionary, the title of his work ‘Al-Qāmūs’ became the standard word for dictionary.18 The success of the book shows how well it satisfied a need. As early as 1817, the first printed edition appeared in Calcutta, followed by a Turkish translation in the same year. Printed copies multiplied as subsequent editions

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appeared in India and Tehran. Although it was the printing of Al-Qāmūs in Cairo from 1856 onwards which made it widely available to the Arabs themselves, several thousand manuscript copies already existed all over the Islamic world before 1800.19 It was on these manuscripts that many abridgements and commentaries were produced. The most significant commentary of the eighteenth century, if not the single most important lexicographical work of the entire Ottoman period, was the Tāj al-‘arūs min jawāhir al-Qāmūs (The Bride’s Crown Inlaid with the Jewels of the Qāmūs) by Muªammad Murta∂ā al-Zabīdī, which is the largest surviving dictionary in the Arabic classical tradition. Bernards describes it as ‘the most elaborate lexicographical work imaginable in the Arabic linguistic tradition, a gigantic achievement indeed’.20 Its author, al-Zabīdī, was one of the most outstanding Islamic scholars of the eighteenth century. An Indian by origin, he began his career studying ªadīth in Delhi under the renowned scholar of Islamic sciences Shāh Walī Allāh. He continued with further study in Yemen, and ended his career in Egypt as a teacher at al-Azhar and the best-known scholar in Cairo. According to Gran, he was the man responsible for the development of a scientific outlook in the thought of leading nah∂ah scholars, such as Óasan al-A††ār and Rifā‘ah al-˝ah†āwī. His arrival in Cairo in l754 is portrayed by the historian ‘Abd al-Raªmān al-Jabartī as one of the great moments in the intellectual life of the eighteenth century.21 According to Reichmuth, there are very few Islamic scholars of the eighteenth century who made a more lasting impact on Arabic and Islamic learning than al-Zabīdī.22 Lexicography was al-Zabīdī’s great passion and his fame principally rests on his commentary on al-Fīrūzābādī’s Al-Qāmūs, which took him fourteen years to complete between 1760 and 1774. Al-Zabīdī was well aware of the importance of the Arabic language as the basis for the culture of Islam and the Islamic religious sciences, and his dictionary was conceived very much within this framework. In the preface, he states that he wrote the Tāj in response to a pressing need among his contemporaries for a dictionary to aid them in the study of the religious sciences and in the learning of the science of ªadīth in particular.23 He declares his sole aim as being ‘to preserve the sacred Arabic language – the pivot on which the commandments of the Qur’ān and Sunnah revolve . . .’24 This shows that although the interest in language

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sciences among Muslim scholars like al-Zabīdī was adjunct to religious sciences, for them the language of the Qur’ān was almost as inviolable as the revelation itself. Al-Zabīdī was more than familiar with the rich Arabic lexicographical tradition and had studied the famous language works of al-Jawharī, Ibn Sīdah, al-Íaghānī, Ibn ManÕūr and others. It was, however, al-Fīrūzābādī’s Al-Qāmūs that inspired al-Zabīdī as no other would. Al-Zabīdī’s main criticism was that Al-Qāmūs, with its bare minimum of definitions, illustrative examples and references, sacrificed clarity for the sake of brevity.25 This together with the complex system of abbreviations used by al-Fīrūzābādī made it an extremely concise though rich dictionary suitable only for the adept reader well versed in the Arabic literary tradition, but rather inaccessible to the layman requiring more than the citation of a line of a poem or ªadīth to understand a given reference. Thus, it fell upon al-Zabīdī to undertake the major task of explaining the obscurities by writing the Tāj al-‘arūs. In the preface, al-Zabīdī lists more than 100 works that served as sources for his Tāj. Al-Zabīdī’s Tāj, with the text of Al-Qāmūs inserted in brackets, incorporates the complete contents of the Lisān and much invaluable material from the vast literary heritage at his disposal. Some of the major works he mentions include al-Jawharī’s Íiªāª, al-Azharī’s Tahdhīb, Ibn Sīdah’s Muªkam, al-Íaghānī’s ‘Ubāb, Ibn al-Athīr’s Nihāyah, al-Zamakhsharī’s Asās al-balāghah and Ibn Fāris’ Mujmal.26 Al-Zabīdī included root combinations which al-Fīrūzābādī had omitted and in order to overcome the problem of the genuine existence of a word was the last lexicographer to quote his sources (shawāhid ) and authorities (ruwāh) for every piece of information that he records.27 Gran points out that many of these references were to previous lexicographical works, some fifty in all, and that al-Zabīdī’s concern with the criteria of an acceptable entry led him to list even the chain of transmitters from himself back to Ibn Hajar, who took it orally from al-Fīrūzābādī.28 This encyclopaedic approach made the Tāj about five times the size of Al-Qāmūs; it was a vast compilation, which accumulated rich material from almost all the other classical lexicons, books and traditions rather than just a mere commentary on Al-Qāmūs. At least in the total number of root entries, 120,000 as against 80,000 in Lisān and 60,000 in Al-Qāmūs, the Tāj has remained the largest Arabic lexicon in the classical tradition. The fact that it has been in

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continuous use among students and scholars in the Arab world and beyond up to the present day is a measure of its enduring success and legacy. Despite Western influence, the great lexicographical achievements of the pre-modern period continued to inspire authors well into the twentieth century. Together with Ibn ManÕūr’s Lisān and al-Fīrūzābādī’s Al-Qāmūs, al-Zabīdī’s Tāj constituted the main source for scholars in the nah∂ah who wished to find in the Arabic linguistic heritage the word or phrase that would convey a modern meaning.29 Its huge popularity with authors ensured that it was repeatedly edited and printed, with no less than four editions appearing in Cairo alone between 1867 and 1888.30 Although the nah∂ah produced no figures comparable to al-Zabīdī in lexicography, nor dictionaries to match the size and scope of Tāj, a number of scholars, desiring to organise the language to fit modern needs, produced more polished versions reflecting the needs of new users. Following al-Zabīdī, nah∂ah scholars took al-Fīrūzābādī’s Al-Qāmūs as a starting point, echoing the same pretext to restore its deficiency. However, whereas al-Zabīdī had aimed at thoroughness and adhered to traditional criteria for content and arrangement because of the interdependency of the Qur’ān and the Arabic language, by the nineteenth century the pressures and needs which society imposed on the lexicographer were different. As the conception of language became less linked to the study of Islam and more to its larger historical development, there was a renewed interest in the structure and organisation of existing dictionaries. Scholars rejected the prevalent rhyme (qāfiyah) order in previous dictionaries like the Lisān, Al-Qāmūs and Tāj in favour of a European alphabetical order according to the first, second and third radicals. While this method of arrangement was not new and had been used by classical authors such as al-Zamakhsharī in Asās al-balāghah, it was discarded in the pre-modern period for the qāfīyah order until it was again adopted by nah∂ah lexicographers such as Bu†rus al-Bustānī, al-Shidyāq and Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī. Al-Bustānī’s famous dictionary, which he named Muªī† al-muªī† (The Encompasser of the Ocean, 1870) after al-Fīrūzābādī’s Al-Qāmūs al-muªī†, was very much conceived within this framework. The Muªī† was a pioneering effort with respect to its modern alphabetical arrangement, the inclusion of many new definitions and explanations of technical terms pertaining to the arts and sciences, and useful observations and notices. In the introduction,

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al-Bustānī states that the Arab world needed a dictionary so arranged, and that al-Fīrūzābādī’s Al-Qāmūs, for all its popularity, was hard to use because of its rhyme arrangement. He therefore took all the material of Al-Qāmūs and supplemented it with material from other lexicographers, using premodern authors for some of his examples. He furthermore asserts that it is a duty incumbent upon every Arabic speaker to revive the Arabic language as a matter of patriotic zeal.31 This dictionary was highly praised by Arab scholars, and its fame eclipsed that of two other dictionaries of the same period. Al-Shidyāq’s Al-Jāsūs ‘alā al-Qāmūs (Istanbul, 1881) was intended to be an updated version of al-Fīrūzābādī’s Al-Qāmūs, which he criticised for its many deficiencies. In the introduction, he states that his purpose is to produce a lexicon that follows a logical arrangement and provides clear explanations of all basic expressions in the manner of Western dictionaries. He also wanted to convince those who were unfamiliar with the language and claimed that it was antiquated that Arabic had the potential for success. He was ‘urging the Arab people to love their language’.32 The other dictionary was Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī’s Aqrab al-mawārid fī al-fu‚uª al-‘arabīyah wa-al-shawārid (The Closest Sources to the Pure Arabic Language and its Anomalies, 1889–93), in which the author’s stated aim was ‘to gather in one work a body of pure classical Arabic terms and expressions based on the works of the “leading authorities” (al-a’immah al-thiqāt) of the Arabic language’.33 In so doing, he hoped to demonstrate the ‘purity’ of the Arabic language, which he argued was being tainted by the mass influx of colloquialisms and the growing influence of foreign languages. Besides classical lexicographers like al-Zamakhsharī (Mi‚baª al-balāghah) and al-Jawharī (Al-Siªāª), the pre-modern authorities he mentions as his main sources are Ibn ManÕūr (Lisān) and al-Zabīdī (Tāj).34 Like al-Bustānī’s Muªī†, al-Shartūnī arranges Arabic words by their roots in a European alphabetical order. Al-Shartūnī, however, improves on al-Bustānī’s presentation by placing all root entries in asterisks and each word of the same root and derived stem in brackets below the entry in a logical order, beginning with simple forms, and passing on to derived forms according to the letters of increase which they contain. From the extensive use of abbreviations to represent verb-vowelling and certain model verbs, and the omission of references from the main body of

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the dictionary, it also appears that al-Shartūnī aimed at producing a more compact work like al-Jawharī and al-Fīrūzābādī. Since the dictionary’s first publication in 1889, numerous reprint editions (Beirut, 1900, 1992; Tehran, 1960, 1995; Qum, 1983) have appeared, which shows that the work is still in widespread use. The Disciple al-Jabartī One of al-Zabīdī’s pupils who deserves special attention to demonstrate the intellectual and cultural activity that flourished in late eighteenth-century Egypt was the great historian ‘Abd al-Raªmān al-Jabartī. Al-Jabartī was born into a prominent ‘ulamā’ family of wealthy landowners in Cairo where he grew up, and like many of his contemporaries trained as a scholar at alAzhar from where he graduated in 1776. The persons and events that had the greatest share in moulding al-Jabartī’s character and outlook were his father, the shaykhs at al-Azhar and the encounter with the French who had arrived in Egypt in 1798. His father was the eminent scholar-official Óasan al-Jabartī (1697–1774), who as a man of learning was well connected with the ‘ulamā’ and ruling elite (Mamlūks and Ottomans) of the period which placed al-Jabartī in an excellent position to acquire first-hand information on events that occurred in Egypt.35 His contact with the French and his visit to their Scientific Society (Al-Majma‘ al-‘ilmī al-Faransī) also left a deep impression on his thinking, as he mentions in his ‘Ajā’ib al-āthār.36 But the greatest influence on al-Jabartī was his teacher at al-Azhar, al-Zabīdī, who had inspired him from early on in his career to pursue historical writing. At some point in the 1770s, al-Zabīdī became involved in a ‘transprovincial biographical project’ in collaboration with the muftī of Damascus, Khalīl al-Murādī, who had embarked on a programme to collect biographies of prominent figures of the Islamic twelfth century (c. 1689–1786). Al-Zabīdī invited al-Jabartī to assist him on the project and al-Jabartī diligently applied himself to this task. It was out of this experience that al-Jabartī became deeply interested in chronicles and history, and began the great task of his life. Unexpectedly, both al-Murādī and al-Zabīdī died in the plague of 1791, and al-Zabīdī’s unpublished biographies ended up in al-Jabartī’s hands. Al-Jabartī, however, did not rush to publish these biographies, but apparently kept them to himself until 1805, by which time he had already written

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two strikingly different accounts of the French occupation of Egypt as local histories for his elite circle of friends and colleagues.37 These were the Tā’rīkh muddat al-Faransīs bi-Mi‚r (History of the French in Egypt, 1798), a graphic description of the first seven months of the French occupation, and the MaÕhar al-taqdīs bi-zawāl dawlat al-Faransīs (The Demonstration of Piety in the Demise of the French State, 1801), an account of the French evacuation of Egypt. The Tā’rīkh muddat presents in a passionate tone al-Jabartī’s first impressions of the early days of the French occupation. It expresses his mistrust of French rule, especially Napoleon’s claims of sympathy to Islam, and at the same time reveals much admiration for French learning. Although it deals with just over six months of the French occupation, it covers all the most important events, including the military battle with the Mamlūks, the anti-French uprising in Cairo and French efforts to establish a collaborative administration to govern Egypt.38 As part of this administration, Napoleon set up local councils (dīwāns) comprising merchants, ‘ulamā’ and notables, and al-Jabartī was made a member of the third dīwān. However, with the eventual withdrawal of the French in September 1801, al-Jabartī was faced with accusations of collaboration with the French. He thus wrote Mazhar al-taqdīs to clear himself of any charge and to regain favour with the ̇ Ottomans. He dedicated the work to the Grand Vizier and commander of the Ottoman armies which helped to expel the French from Egypt, Yūsuf ¤iyā’ al-Dīn Pasha, with lavished praise on the vizier and the Ottoman sultan, and contained numerous diatribes against the French and Napoleon. Although the work is coloured by al-Jabartī’s own motives and apparent bias against the French, this does not diminish the importance of the work as an invaluable source of the French occupation. Al-Jabartī succeeds in placing before the reader a vivid account of the occupation together with a large appendix in which he gathers important official documents and edicts issued by the French.39 As for al-Zabīdī’s biographies, they provided much of the material included in the first two volumes of his most important work, the chronicle ‘Ajā’ib al-āthār fī tarājim wa-al-akhbār (Remarkable Remnants of Lives and Events, 1805/6-21). Al-Jabartī’s approach in this book was both unique and extremely significant from the point of view of Muslim historiography of

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Ottoman Egypt. In contrast to earlier histories of the Mamlūk (c. 1250–1517) and Ottoman eras (c. 1517–1914), which were exclusively either biographical or chronological, he was the first historian of his time to combine biographies (tarājim) in an historical work alongside purely chronological data (akhbār), material hitherto treated in separate works. Unlike his earlier two chronicles which focus almost exclusively on the French campaign, the ‘Ajā’ib is a general history of Egypt covering the vast period between 1688 and 1821, incorporating the early Ottoman era, the ground covered in previous chronicles and the first years of Muªammad ‘Alī’s reign (c. 1805–21). According to Ayalon, the chronicle is of immense importance for the whole period that it covers, and the general picture that al-Jabartī reproduces of the early part of the period reflects the history of the Egypt of that time in the clearest and truest way, while for the later part of the period, and especially for the French occupation and the early reign of Muªammad ‘Alī, he is undoubtedly the best extant source.40 In the preface, al-Jabartī makes it clear that he wishes to bring a degree of accuracy and objectivity to his historical writing that was largely absent from his Mazhar. He states: ‘I have not written this book in the service of a ̇ great figure, nor in obedience to a minister or a leader, nor do I wish to flatter anyone with hypocritical praise, or defame anyone for that matter because of my personal prejudices and motives’.41 Accordingly, al-Jabartī’s chronicle shows him as a more than usually perceptive, intellectually curious and impartial observer of the scene, who is able to reproduce events and activities in a fair way and present them dispassionately. Not everything French is viewed as bad nor everything Islamic as good. He is still a Shaykh of al-Azhar who is supposed to loathe non-Muslim rule and he is well aware of French repression, but at the same recognises their positive contribution, giving them credit where it is due and at times preference over the Ottomans.42 He is particularly alarmed by the civilisational gap between the French and Egyptians, and expresses admiration for French scientific progress and their zeal for learning while narrating his visit to the French Scientific Society (Al-Majma‘ al-‘ilmī al-Faransī). He states: ‘They [the French] possess an abundance of knowledge, mostly in the rational sciences and languages, and they exert themselves day and night to increase their knowledge . . .’43 Unlike many of his contemporaries, al-Jabartī has commanded a

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privileged place in the historiography of the modern Middle East, though there have been contradictory receptions of his legacy. Studies invested in the traditional decline thesis – the prevailing tendency in al-Jabartī scholarship – have lionised him as a genius writing in an age of decline, whose thinking came to fruition by the coming of the West. Although such views still prevail, revisionist scholarship on al-Jabartī has seen him foremost as a local historian influenced by the religious and sociopolitical milieu of his time, and as an important transitional figure representing both the rich heritage of Ottoman writing and the dramatic cultural changes that swept Egypt. Gran embodies this viewpoint best when he argues that al-Jabartī’s ‘Ajā’ib clearly locates him within the late eighteenth-century revival and does not sustain the view of Western influence, since the methodology and structuring of his work show the novelty of fusing two types of indigenous historical consciousness (biographies and chronicle data) in one work and is thus scarcely the production of a genius in a vacuum.44 Whatever new light revisionist scholarship might shed on al-Jabartī, the least that can be said about him is that he commands a privileged place in the historiography of the modern Arab world as the greatest historian of the last phase of pre-modern Egypt. His vision and ability to synthesise and adapt the indigenous historical traditions to serve current needs enabled him to produce works of unmistakable historical value, and arguably the most important chronicle of Ottoman Egypt from an Arab perspective. In so doing, he brought a degree of accuracy, detail and objectivity that, although not so uncommon among his contemporaries working in other fields such as lexicography and grammar, was generally above the standards common in late Ottoman historical writing. The importance of his work also evolves from being one of the first sources to provide an insight into Arab impressions of Europe: a selective almost apologetic attitude towards the French that would continue to define the Muslim intellectual’s relationship with the West in the nineteenth century.45 Al-Jabartī remains the single most accessible primary source for historians interested in the history of Ottoman Egypt. For his work and his career as an historian as a whole, he is very much indebted to native factors and developments, namely, to the influence of his teacher al-Zabīdī’ rather than Western influence, which does not sustain the view of a genius writing in an age of decline, but rather points towards a

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genius among geniuses. The period that produced such scholars can hardly have been one of overall decline. The Pedagogue and Personality al-‘A††ār A close friend of al-Jabartī and one of the most influential figures in the movement of intellectual renewal in Egypt during the later part of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries was Shaykh Óasan al-‘A††ār. Born in Cairo in 1776, he studied at al-Azhar under the great scholars of the period, including Shaykh Muªammad al-Íabbān and al-Shaykh Muªammad al-Amīr. After completing his studies, he taught at al-Azhar for a period. When the French army invaded Egypt in the summer of 1798, al-‘A††ār’s initial response, like many other ‘ulamā’ who feared persecution, was to flee Cairo and seek refuge in Upper Egypt. A few months later, however, he returned to Cairo and became acquainted with the group of French scientists that accompanied Napoleon. During the French occupation, he observed some of their research, shared information with them about science and literature, and taught them Arabic. At the same time, he became convinced that Egyptians must study Western scientific methods.46 In March 1803, al-‘A††ār left Egypt and went to the ‘the OttomanTurkish lands’, a journey which would last for around eleven years (c. 1803– 14). Although the reason for his prolonged absence from Egypt remains unclear, it is highly unlikely that he left as a result of the French occupation, as is generally assumed. The French left Egypt in the summer of 1801, while al-‘A††ār remained there for more than eighteen months after their departure. Moreover, there is no evidence that he suffered any kind of persecution from the French or any other authority that would make him leave.47 At any rate, during this time he travelled extensively, spending long periods in Turkey and Syria, where he taught at some of the larger towns like Damascus. He returned to Egypt from Jerusalem in the spring of 1814, and soon became the friend and supporter of Muhammad ‘Alī. It is generally asserted that Muªammad ‘Alī made him the editor of the official government gazette Al-Waqā’i‘ al-Mi‚rīyah, the first Arabic newspaper launched from Cairo in 1828.48 However, he was never the editor of this gazette as Ibrahīm ‘Abduh shows in his study of the paper.49 Al-‘A††ar, however, was very sympathetic towards the educational reforms introduced by Muhammad ‘Alī, and was

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elected Rector of al-Azhar in 1830, a position he held until his demise in 1835.50 Al-‘A††ār was an influential teacher at al-Azhar and was the author of more than fifty works. He wrote profusely on grammar, the art of composition (inshā’ ) and the sciences for the benefit of students. His works on grammar include three pedagogical glosses on the commentaries of Khālid al-Azharī (d. 1499), which were traditional in form but enjoyed a wide acceptance because of al-‘A††ār’s distinctive analytical utilitarian approach. He criticised the authors of the original text (al-Azharī, Ibn Ājurrūm and Ibn Hishām) for omissions of the essentials of Arabic grammar, and the commentator, al-Azharī, for retaining much more than was necessary in the teaching of grammar,51 an approach absent in the grammatical writings of the eighteenth century except in the works of his teacher al-Íabbān. However, unlike manuals and commentaries intended for advanced students of Arabic grammar (e.g., al-Íabbān’s), which tended to become deeply embroiled in the debates of the medieval grammarians while contributing many scholastic arguments of their own, al-‘A††ār resists this temptation in his commentaries.52 In fact, his works show a tendency towards linguistic simplification and utilitarianism that would reach its peak in the nah∂ah. Al-‘A††ār achieved his greatest fame through his manual on composition entitled Inshā’ al-‘A††ār (Book on Literary Composition), which was greatly in vogue in the nineteenth century. The date of the work is unknown, but al-‘A††ār’s dedication of the work to Muªammad ‘Alī in the preface suggests that it was conceived in the later years of his career when the growing importance of the Arabic language in Muªammad ‘Alī’s newly established government institutions appears to have sparked a renewed interest among the bureaucratic elite in the official prose genre (inshā’) of classical Arabic literature that reached its peak in Mamlūk times.53 Although his starting point was the Arabic tradition of inshā’, al-‘A††ār used his vision and ability to rework this tradition and quite simply to address the needs of the period. In essence, it is a book in two parts, comprising model letters (exchanged between common people and kings) and official documents (legal contracts and title deeds) intended for use by government clerks of the new War ( Jihādīyah) school who needed to carry out correspondence in an accurate and straightforward manner. In the preface, al-‘A††ār tells us that the organi-

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sation of the world is achieved with these two types of writing, ‘for one represents the wings of kingship, and the other is its sword’.54 Al-‘A††ār’s work is important partly because very little is known about the status of inshā’ literature in the Ottoman era and partly because his manual contributed to the regeneration and development of inshā’ as official prose (dīwānīyah) in the nineteenth century.55 For in glaring contrast to the period of Mamlūk rule (c. 1250–1517), which abounds in rich sophisticated literature on inshā’, hardly surpassed in either quality or quantity, Ottoman Egypt (c. 1517–1914) is conspicuous for the dearth of inshā’ manuals written by contemporary scholars of the country. The only other known significant achievement of the Ottoman period still extant is the Kitāb badī‘ al-inshā’ (Book of Literary Style Composition) by Aªmad al-Karmī (d. 1624), written almost two centuries earlier, but published only in 1827 by the Būlāq Press, perhaps under al-‘A††ār’s influence.56 Inshā’ works were also produced in the eighteenth century by al-Zabīdī and al-Jabartī. However, Gran points out that the development of inshā’ as a manual for writers in government service was different and more elaborate than their inshā’ works.57 Al-‘A††ār’s manual attempted to illustrate the importance of scribal accuracy in an age that was characterised by ‘a deterioration in writing and copying’,58 and therefore should be seen as an early but integral part of the wider campaign to purge the language of government administration from errors, which would reach its peak in the latter part of the nineteenth century when one of the most prominent works of this kind to be published was Shākir Shuqayr’s Asālīb al-‘Arab fī ‚inā‘at al-inshā’ (Styles of the Arabs in the Art of Composition, 1891). The huge demand for such works throughout the nineteenth century, however, can be gauged by the fact that al-‘A††ār’s book saw no less than fourteen editions between 1827 and 1892, and enjoyed such a wide circulation that it was even reprinted once in India.59 Perhaps, al-‘A††ār’s greatest influence is to be found in his personality rather than in his works. He was passionate about education and mentored a new generation of writers, journalists and translators, and thereby contributed indirectly to the transformation of Egypt’s intellectual culture in the nineteenth century. He was a major influence on Egyptian scholars such as Óasan al-Quwaydār (d. 1846), Muªammad ‘Ayād al-˝an†āwī (1810–61) and Rifā‘ah al-˝ah†āwī (1801–71), all of whom studied under him in al-Azhar.

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Al-‘A††ār’s grammatical work Al-ManÕūmah fī ‘ilm al-naªw (Composition on the Science of Grammar, 1787), enjoyed a wide acceptance and was commented on by his disciple al-Quwaydār, who also wrote his own inshā’ work entitled Zuhūr al-nabāt fī al-inshā’ wa-al-murāsalāt (The Blossoming of Plants on Composition and Correspondence), which he modelled on al-‘A††ar’s manual.60 Al-‘A††ār inspired his other student al-˝an†āwī to teach literature at al-Azhar, where, in his own opinion, he was the first to lecture on al-Óarīrī’s Maqāmāt and al-Zawzanī’s commentary on the Mu‘allaqāt.61 The teaching of Arabic literature at al-Azhar was continued in the later part of the nineteenth century by Óasan al-Mar‚āfī through his famous lectures which culminated in the monumental literary compilation Al-Wasīlah al-adabīyāh. Al-˝an†āwī also became famous as a teacher of European Arabists and Russian diplomats, including Edward Lane, A. Perron, F. Fresnel, F. Pruner, G. Weil, N. Mukhin and R. Frähn. In 1840, he was invited to teach at the Oriental Languages Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in St Petersburg, Russia, and in 1847 he became the Arabic Chair at the University of St Petersburg, a position he held until his death in 1861.62 Al-‘A††ār was a learned man who through his contact with the French and because of his prolonged stay outside Egypt was open to new ideas and inculcating the same in his students. Al-‘A††ār was well versed in secular sciences and did not see any contradiction between religious knowledge and secular disciplines.63 In this sense, al-‘A††ār was probably most influential on his protégé and intimate friend al-˝ah†āwī, in whom he instilled a love of learning, a passion for poetry, while also arousing his interest in history, geography, medicine, astronomy, literature (subjects not studied in the alAzhar curriculum) and new European sciences.64 He also deserves the greatest credit for ensuring that the young al-˝ah†āwī was sent to France and for urging him to write the well-known account of his stay which culminated in the monumental Takhlī‚ al-ibrīz fī talkhī‚ bārīz (The Extraction of Gold in the Summary of Paris, 1834). In 1826, Muªammad ‘Alī decided to send a mission of forty-four men to Paris to study at French schools. He asked al-‘A††ār to select shaykhs of al-Azhar as religious guides (imāms) to the mission, and al-‘A††ār recommended his own disciple al-˝ah†āwī, launching his career as a writer and reformer.65 Al-˝ah†āwī mentions in the preface to the Takhlī‚ that some relatives and close friends, particularly al-A††ār, encouraged him to

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observe well what he saw during this trip and to record his impressions, especially of those things that were strange and unusual to Egyptians. Al-˝ah†āwī heeded his mentor’s advice and on his return to Egypt in 1831 converted his notes from Paris into his most famous work, Takhlī‚ al-ibrīz, which as the first book ever written in Arabic on the history of Paris, its conditions and those of its population represents a milestone in the history of modern Arabic literature.66 Conclusion Al-Íabbān, al-Zabīdī, al-Jabartī and al-‘A††ār should be seen as the forerunners of the nah∂ah in Egypt, just as Farªāt of Aleppo was in Syria. By the eighteenth century, these scholars had laid its foundations through their influence and works. Al-Zabīdī’s profound influence continued long after his death not only on the development of lexicography in Egypt and beyond, but also through his students. His disciple al-Jabartī contributed works of unmistakable historical value, and produced what remains without question the most accessible and comprehensive primary source for the history of Egypt over nearly four centuries of Ottoman rule. While al-Íabbān’s student al-‘A††ār, who excelled in and contributed to all these fields, inspired a whole generation of scholars, including his closest disciple and friend al-˝ah†āwī who would become arguably the single most important Muslim figure of the nah∂ah. Their initial painstaking efforts of finding, analysing and compiling earlier Arabic texts were in themselves an awesome achievement. Al-Íabbān produced one of the most important grammatical commentaries of the premodern period, which would influence the course of Arabic grammar for the following two centuries. His contemporary al-Zabīdī succeeded in producing the largest Arabic dictionary, which he compiled from the most important dictionaries of the Arab lexicographical tradition, adding many contributions from his own reading and experience. With these encyclopaedic compilations and commentaries, they prepared the ground for the more visible Arabic cultural revival in the nineteenth century. Such works put the rich linguistic heritage of the medieval period at the disposal of nah∂ah scholars, and served as the crucial middle link that connected nah∂ah scholars to this vast heritage. Their works were a melting pot for various strands of Arabic and Islamic scholarly tradition, and thus provided following generations with a wide but

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accessible range of authoritative references that could be used to confirm, and if necessary also to challenge, local traditions of learning and authority. Thus, while modern scholarship has largely ignored them, their importance was nevertheless recognised by the Muslim figures of the nah∂ah on whom they were a major influence, and the Christian figures for whom they would act as a kind of exemplar. The success of al-Íabbān’s grammar and al-Zabīdī’s lexicon in particular was considerable. For Christian scholars of the nah∂ah, they would serve as the linguistic authorities par excellence. But perhaps the best measure of their success is that many of their works are still invaluable reference works today. Notes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Hanna, ‘‘Abd Allāh al-SHUBRĀWĪ’, p. 377. Ibid., p. 385. Gran, ‘Óasan al-‘Ā˝˝ĀR’, p. 68. Ibid., p. 62. Rahman, Islam and Modernity, pp. 38–9. In a recent article, I have drawn attention to the underlying notion of compilator and compilatio in Arab-Islamic scholarship and thus stressed the importance of considering authors of compilations from ‘the writer as compilator’ perspective rather than as ‘innovative’ writers. I show that there is an implicit awareness of this principle among writers and their audiences throughout the pre-modern period and nah∂ah. The niche for the compiler’s ‘originality’, according to this view, is in providing the audience with their own interpretative selection and arrangement of canonical texts already valued in a larger cultural library rather than in producing new material or devising new theories. Hence, the resulting compilatio would have been received as the author’s own ‘original’ contribution. See Patel, ‘Reviving the Past’, pp. 71–106. 7. Al-‘Azbāwī, Al-Fikr al-mi‚rī, p. 55. 8. See Ibn ‘Aqīl, Sharª Ibn ‘Aqīl; al-Ashmūnī, Sharª al-Ashmūnī. 9. For example, Ibn ‘Aqīl’s commentary on Alfīyah defends Ibn Mālik against his son Ibn al-NāÕim, who is critical of his father’s Alfīyah in his own commentary, see Ibn al-Nāzim’s commentary. Other commentators on the Alfīyah, such as Ibn Hishām and al-Ashmūnī, also defend Ibn Mālik against Ibn al-NāÕim’s criticisms. Al-Ashmūnī’s commentary is really an exhaustive compilation that brings together material from all previous glosses and commentaries

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10.

11. 12. 13.

14.

15. 16. 17. 18. 19.

20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.

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on the Alfīyah that were at his disposal, including those by Ibn Aqīl and Ibn al-NāÕim. The other principal works on grammar used in the eighteenth century were written by the medieval grammarians Ibn Ājurrūm (d. 1323) and Ibn Hishām (d. 1361), and commented upon by Khālid al-Azharī (d. 1499), a prolific Egyptian scholar educated at al-Azhar and the author of widely used textbooks and commentaries on grammar which were much sought after because of their clarity and comprehensibility. The critique of al-Azharī’s commentaries was continued in the eighteenth century by Muªammad al-Amīr and in the following generation by al-Amīr’s student Óasan al-‘A††ār. See section on Óasan al-‘A††ār, below. For more on al-Íabbān, see Kaªªālah, Mu‘jam al-mu’allifīn, vol. 11, pp. 17–18. Al-Íabbān, Óāshīyat al-Íabbān, vol. 1, p. 2. Yūsuf ibn Salīm al-Óifnī (d. 1764), a Shāfī jurist and brother of the eminent head of the Khalwatī Sufi order and rector of al-Azhar (1757–67) Shaykh Muªammad bin Salīm al-Óifnāwī (1690–1798). Yūsuf taught at al-Azhar and his principal interests besides the religious sciences included grammar, literature and poetry. His most significant contribution includes a gloss on al-Ashmūnī’s commentary of the Alfīyah. Būlāq: 1857, 1863, 1868, 1870, 1871, 1875, 1877, and al-Ma†ba‘ah al-Mi‚rīyah (Cairo, 1896), British Museum (Cairo, 1871), al-Ma†ba‘ah al-Azharīyah (1887), al-Ma†ba‘ah al-Khayrīyah (1887). Ibn ManÕūr, Lisān al-‘arab, vol. 1, pp. 7–13. Al-Ma†ba‘ah al-Kubrā al-Amirīyah (Būlāq, 1882–1891). This first printed edition of the dictionary in twenty volumes is widely known as the ‘Būlāq edition’. Al-Fīrūzābādī, Al-Qāmūs, vol. 1, pp. 8–9. Ibid., vol. 1, pp. 11–13. The Calcutta edition (1817) was printed at the press of the editor Aªmad ibn Muªammad Shirwānī (d. 1837). Cairo editions were printed by al-Ma†ba‘ah al-Kubrā (1855–6), al-Ma†ba‘ah Kustalīyah (1863) and Būlāq (1865, 1872, 1883–5). Handwritten manuscripts of the dictionary were extant from the fifteenth century in the Arab world (1447), India (1600) and elsewhere. Bernards, ‘Muªammad Murta∂ā al-ZABĪDĪ’, p. 425. Gran, Islamic Roots of Capitalism, p. 54. Reichmuth, ‘Murtadā az-Zabīdi’, p. 65. Al-Zabīdī, Tāj al-‘arūs, vol. 1, p. 4. Ibid., p. 11. Ibid., p. 2.

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46. 47. 48. 49.

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Ibid., pp. 5–9 for full list. Ibid., p. 10. Gran, Islamic Roots of Capitalism, p. 65. One can trace the definitions and examples in these Arabic dictionaries in lexicons of the nineteenth century and even in modern Arabic dictionaries. Cairo editions: al-Ma†ba‘ah al-Khayrīyah (1868–1870, 1888–1890); Ma†ba‘at al-Wahabīyah (1869–1870); and Impr. Al-Óayrīya (1883–1890). Al-Bustānī, Muªī† al-muªī†, p. 1. Al-Shidyāq, Al-Jāsūs, pp. 3–6. Al-Shartūnī, Aqrab al-mawārid, vol. 1, p. 6. Ibid., pp. 6–7. Shaybūb, ‘Abd al-Raªmān al-Jabartī, p. 32. Al-Jabartī, Tārīkh ‘ajā’ib al-āthār, pp. 232–6. Hathaway, Al-Jabartī’s History of Egypt, p. xxi. See al-Jabartī, Tārīkh muddat. Al-Jabartī, MaÕhar al-taqdīs, pp. 3–20. D. Ayalon, ‘al-Jabartī’, EI 2, vol. 2, p. 354. Al-Jabartī, Tārīkh ‘ajā’ib al-āthār, vol. 1, p. 12. Ibid., pp. 231–3, 432–3. Ibid., p. 234. Ruiz, ‘Orientalist’, pp. 272–3. For a detailed account of the modern scholarship on al-Jabartī and contradictory views of his legacy, see ibid., esp. pp. 269–73. For more on the attitude demonstrated by al-Jabartī on the first encounter with the West and the terms and categories through which this attitude would continue to characterize Arab perceptions of the West in modern times, see El-Enany, Arab Representations of the Occident, pp. 2–6. El-Enany shows how the ‘ambivalence’ in attitude demonstrated by al-Jabartī has continued to be expressed in the works of Arab authors in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Al-‘Azbāwī, Al-Fikr al-mi‚rī, pp. 199–200. Abu-Manneh, ‘Four Letters of Shaykh Óasan al-‘A††ār, pp. 80–1. See Livingston, ‘Western Science’, p. 560; and Gran, ‘Óasan al-‘Ā˝˝ĀR’, p. 68. ‘Abduh points out that there is no evidence in the official sources of the period that al-‘A††ār was the editor, nor that he had anything to do with the editing of the paper, and that the figures involved in the editing of the paper during its early years were Shihāb al-Dīn Muªammad Ibn Ismā‘īl, Khawaja Na‚r Allāh and ‘Abd al-Raªmān al-Íaftī who all worked as translators, editors and proof-

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50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57.

58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66.

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readers in Muªammad ‘Alī’s administration. See ‘Abduh, Tārīkh al-Waqā’i‘ al-Mi‚rīyah, pp. 33–4. Heyworth-Dunne, ‘Rifā‘ah’, p. 962. Gran, ‘Óasan al-‘Ā˝˝ĀR’, p. 62. Gran, Islamic Roots of Capitalism, p. 83. Al-‘A††ār, Inshā’ al-‘A††ār, p. 3. Ibid., p. 2. Gully, ‘Epistles for Grammarians’, p. 155. See al-Karmī, Kitāb badī‘ al-inshā’, p. 18; Gran, Islamic Roots of Capitalism, p. 125. Al-Zabīdī wrote a work entitled Taªqīq al-wasā’il li-ma‘rifat al-mukātabāt wa-al-rasā’il (n.d.), and so did al-Jabartī. However, nothing more is known about them. Gran, Islamic Roots of Capitalism, p. 156. Ibid., p. 156. Brugman, An Introduction, p. 16. Óasan, Óasan al-‘A††ār, pp. 26–7. Al-‘Azbāwī, Al-Fikr al-mi‚rī, p. 204. Óasan, ‘Muªammad ‘Ayād al-˝an†āwī’, pp. 44–6. Óasan, Óasan al-‘A††ār, p. 74. Heyworth-Dunne, ‘Rifā‘ah’, p. 962. Ibid., p. 963. Al-˝ah†āwī, Takhlī‚ al-ibrīz, pp. 10–11.

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4 Language Reform and Controversy: The al-Shartu¯nı¯s Respond in Defence of the Pre-modern Humanist Tradition ne of the most significant features of the nah∂ah was the importance that was placed on the Arabic language. Nearly all intellectuals took an active interest in the language, and the majority of debates that characterised the nah∂ah centred on issues related to it as scholars engaged one another on practically every aspect, from its qualities and shortcomings, its function and importance in society, to its various problems and need for reforms. These debates involved all the major intellectuals of the nah∂ah, albeit that different linguistic, religious, ideological and even political impulses motivated these scholars, which often meant that they expressed divergent attitudes towards the language. As far as the question of language reform is concerned, however, one can isolate the proponents of two main discourses: the conservative reformists and the liberal reformists. The later part of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries witnessed a considerable amount of linguistic controversy mainly, though not exclusively, between these two groups of scholars. Research to date has offered a number of explanations for the controversy, but has failed to realise the great extent to which pre-modern developments, especially among Christians, were a major factor in the linguistic debates that formed such an integral part of the nah∂ah. Based on an extensive study of original sources, this chapter examines the main linguistic debates of the period and attempts to shed light on some of the underlying factors fuelling the controversy in the light of pre-modern developments.

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The First ad hominem Battles in the Periodical Press Attempts at reviving and reforming the Arabic language during the nah∂ah were given a huge impetus by the conservative reformists, who included Nā‚īf al-Yāzijī, Bu†rus al-Bustānī, Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī, Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī and Rashīd al-Shartūnī, and the liberal reformists, such as Aªmad Fāris al-Shidyāq, Yūsuf al-Asīr, Ibrāhīm al-Aªdab, Jūrjī Zaydān and Ya‘qūb Íarrūf. It is revealing that most of the debate on the status of the Arabic language was carried out by these and other figures who were nearly all Christian Arabs, and that the linguistic controversies among them centred on objections from the ultra-conservatives such as Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī, on the one side, and the more liberal exponents of the language such as al-Shidyāq, on the other. Within the conservatives it is important to distinguish between those who adopted an ultra-conservative stance towards the language, such as al-Yāzijī, and those, such as al-Bustānī and the al-Shartūnīs, who were less conservative, given that it was not uncommon for controversies to break out among the conservatives themselves.1 But for all the conservatives the preservation and purity of the Arabic language was a particularly sensitive issue, and for the most part they engaged in heated debate with the liberal reformists who were the more progressive exponents of the Arabic language, interested in adapting it for the modern age. Together the conservative and liberal reformists produced a large body of controversial literature on the status of the Arabic language, which included numerous books, treatises and articles that virtually dominated the pages of quality journals and periodicals that had appeared in Egypt and Lebanon during the later part of the nineteenth century. In fact, the more influential journals were founded and controlled by pioneering nah∂ah figures such as Bu†rus al-Bustānī (Al-Jinān), Jurjī Zaydān (Al-Hilāl ), Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī (Al-¤iyā’) and al-Shidyāq (Al-Jawā’ib), who were often at the centre, if not the catalysts, of the linguistic debates and produced controversial material themselves.2 Scholars have given various explanations for the linguistic controversies between the conservative and liberal reformists. Qāsim attributes the controversy to personal rivalry and the ‘narrow-mindedness’ of conservatives, which he describes as a strict adherence to classical linguistic standards.3

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Shalaq echoes the same view when he ascribes the controversy between these scholars to personal allegiances. He states: ‘The criticisms of al-Yāzijī and al-Bustānī and the defence of al-Asīr and others on al-Shidyāq’s behalf was no more than an example of cheap rivalry . . . it does not even deserve to be mentioned.’4 Yāghī also holds the conservative scholars’ attachment to the Arab past and intense preoccupation with linguistic minutiae responsible for the controversy. He states: ‘The disputes that concerned al-Shidyāq, al-Yāzijī, al-Bustānī, al-Asīr, al-Shartūnī and al-Aªdab bore all the hallmarks of past debates and were futile because they represented nothing more than an obsession with grammatical trivialities.’5 However, to attribute the controversies between these scholars simply to the above factors would be somewhat reductive if not superficial. As an example, in a work titled Aghlā† al-muwalladīn, Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī not only highlights the linguistic errors of earlier pre-modern scholars, but also those of his father Nā‚īf and even his own.6 It is therefore unlikely that he would highlight his father’s errors and his own if it were not out of a deep concern and fervour that he felt for the Arabic language. Personal rivalry was a factor, but was by no means the only or main one. It appears that personal animosity, for whatever reason, mainly served to remove any reservations scholars might have had over criticising one another’s incorrect use of language and that the disputes were induced primarily by linguistic matters, as Gully points out: ‘Although the evidence leaves us in no doubt about the ad hominem nature of many of the exchanges that took place in journals and other publications at that time, linguistic issues were essentially the source of these disputes.’7 Two catalysts for these debates were undoubtedly al-Shidyāq and Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī. Although the long and bitter dispute between the two began in 1871, its origins go back to an existing rift between Ibrāhīm’s father Nā‚īf al-Yāzijī and al-Shidyāq. This is evident from al-Shidyāq’s article titled Al-Shidyāq Yarthī al-Yāzijī (Al-Shidyāq elegises al-Yāzijī, 1871) that appeared in his journal Al-Jawā’ib following Nā‚īf’s death. Nominally, the article is a tribute to the deceased, but al-Shidyāq used it to express his annoyance at not being mentioned by name in a poem by Nā‚īf and to highlight some of his linguistic shortcomings:

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Nā‚īf al-Yāzijī and I were neighbours in Beirut and became close friends. Our friendship continued when I moved to Malta and we exchanged correspondence on literary and linguistic matters. Nā‚īf sent me a poem but did not mention me by name even though we were close friends. Moreover, when I moved to Istanbul, he informed me that a publisher there wanted to print his maqāmāt but only after making a number of revisions. I told him that I would look at his maqāmāt and alert him if anything came up. The first thing I noticed was his incorrect use of the words fiª†al (for fi†ªal ), and marābid (for marābi†). I pointed out that marābid was used for sheep (al-ghanām) and marābit for horses (al-khayl ). Nā‚īf, however, refused to accept his mistakes.8

Furious that al-Shidyāq had criticised his father, Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī came to his defence in an article titled Radd al-Shaykh Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī, which he published in Bu†rus al-Bustānī’s journal Al-Jinān. Al-Shidyāq then retorted with a scathing piece against al-Yāzijī in Al-Jawā’ıˇb under the title Al-Radd ‘alā al-Khawājah Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī. This was followed by a detailed counterrefutation from al-Yāzijī in which he not only refuted al-Shidyāq’s earlier articles, but also his works like Sāq ‘alā al-Sāq and Sirr al-Layālī.9 The controversy did not end here. A long and bitter dispute ensued between al-Shidyāq and Ibrāhīm in the journals Al-Jawā’ib and Al-Jinān, and often involved their close acquaintances, including Yusūf al-Asīr and Ibrāhīm al-Aªdab in al-Shidyāq’s corner and Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī and Bu†rus al-Bustānī on al-Yāzijī’s side. These scholars would often be dragged into the debate on charges of jealousy and envy.10 In 1872, a work titled Kitāb sulwān al-shajī fī al-radd ‘alā Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī (Book of Solace for the Distressed in the Refutation of Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī) by a so-called Mikhā’il ‘Abd al-Sayyid attempted to refute many of the allegations Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī had made against al-Shidyāq in Bustānī’s journal Al-Jinān. Although ‘Abd al-Sayyid was a real person, in fact a friend of al-Shidyāq’s, who lived in Egypt and worked for a newspaper, the author of the work was actually al-Shidyāq, who published it under the above pseudonym apparently to defend his reputation without opening himself to charges of self-pity and conceit.11 At over hundred pages in length, al-Shidyāq unequivocally intended this work to be his most substantial refutation of his rivals to date. Upon completion, he had 5,000 copies published

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by his Al-Jawā’ib Press, which indicates a strong appetite and demand for this kind of refutational literature in the nah∂ah.12 In this work, al-Shidyāq combined linguistic arguments with rather contemptuous personal criticisms against Nā‚īf, Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī and al-Bustānī under various headings, for example: on jealousy (ªasad ); on the dictionary Muªī† al-muªī†; Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī’s biography; on the errors in Nā‚īf al-Yāzijī’s Maqāmāt; on the word al-rākib; on the omission of the nūn and so forth.13 In the section on jealousy, al-Shidyāq states: Jealousy is the greatest defect, the mother of all sins, a quality ingrained in the owner of Al-Jinān (al-Bustānī) and in his beloved friend Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī. They are the ones who envy the owner of Al-Jawā’ib (al-Shidyāq) because of his brilliance . . . the owner of Al-Jinān can therefore only be described as the father of envy (abū al-ªasad ).14

On ‘Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī’s biography’, al-Shidyāq writes: He is one full of foolishness and slander. He hardly writes an expression without making it convoluted, long-winded and polemical. I have learnt from a trusted source that he is from the plebeians. He joined a school to learn some basic reading and writing but was too incompetent and forgetful. He therefore wished to gain fame by criticising the owner of Al-Jawā’ib and has got what he wanted even if wrongfully.15

Besides such personal criticisms against his rivals, al-Shidyāq used the main part of this work to defend his position on various linguistic matters. It is revealing that he drew extensively on pre-modern authorities to refute al-Yāzijī’s allegations against him. In fact, his main sources on grammatical issues are the pre-modern commentators al-Ashmūnī and al-Íabbān, and on linguistic issues the lexicographers Ibn ManÕūr, al-Fīrūzābādī and, above all, Muªammad Murta∂ā al-Zabīdī, who al-Shidyāq refers to throughout his refutation as ‘the leading authority of the Arabic language’ (al-Imām al-Lughawī) and ‘the acknowledged scholar’ (al-‘Allāmah al-Murta∂ā), quoting what al-Zabīdī said in his commentary on Al-Qāmūs (Al-Qāmūs qāla; fa-qāla al-‘Allāmah al-Murta∂ā) as evidence to refute al-Yāzijī.16 Whereas al-Shidyāq had highlighted errors in Nā‚īf’s Maqāmāt, it was another prominent scholar and al-Shidyāq’s close friend Yūsuf al-Asīr, who

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took issue with Nā‚īf’s Nār al-qirā fī sharª Jawf al-firā (The Fire of Hospitality in the Commentary on the Belly of the Wild Ass, 1863), a grammatical commentary that Nā‚īf wrote on his Jawf al-firā, a linguistic versification of 1,000 lines on Arabic syntax modelled on Ibn Mālik’s Alfīyah. In 1873, al-Asīr’s refutation titled Irshād al-warā li-nār al-qirā (Guide of the Mortals to Nār al-qirā, 1873) was published by al-Shidyāq’s Al-Jawā’ib Press. In the preface, al-Asīr explains his aims and motives: Having read Nā‚īf’s Nār al-qirā, I feel obliged to clarify its meanings in order to distinguish the truth (ªaqq) from falsehood (bā†il ). I have therefore measured his grammar against the teachings of the leaders of the language (a’immat al-lughah) in order to separate the useless from the beneficial, and in so doing seek my reward (thawāb) only from God, the One who guides His servants to the right path.17

Al-Asīr’s motives may well have been noble, but it was not by coincidence that his work appeared during the height of tensions between Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī and al-Shidyāq or that it was printed by al-Shidyāq’s Press. A letter sent by al-Shidyāq to his cousin Dāghir al-Shidyāq at some point before the publication of al-Asīr’s Irshād al-warā sheds important light on the nature of the controversy between these scholars: I was pleased with your letter dated 23 February. You mention that I had asked Yūsuf al-Asīr to discontinue the refutation of Nār al-qirā but I do not recall doing anything of the kind. I understand from al-Asīr that his book is now complete and that he only needs to consolidate his arguments. However, I believe that the arguments are already strong and have told him that the number of scholars able to appreciate the finer points of grammar are a select few compared to the many who know the Arabic language and its literature. Accordingly, it is far easier to find the errors in Nā‚īf’s Dīwān and Maqāmāt as they are more common and well-known among scholars. But, if he is able to refute Nā‚īf’s grammar, I would regard him among those elite scholars. I did not dictate the length of the refutation but did state that the work should not exceed sixty pages in print even though the Sulwān al-shajī is more than one hundred pages . . . I have thanked you for the refutation of Fa‚l al-khi†āb and I have not forgotten that you were the means of reconciliation between myself and Yūsuf al-Asīr.18

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This letter clearly shows that al-Shidyāq influenced much of the debate on language in the nah∂ah. Not only was he the author of Sulwān al-shajī, but he was also behind al-Asīr’s refutation and his cousin Dāghir’s refutation of Nā‚īf’s Fa‚l al-khi†āb fī u‚ūl lughat al-a‘rāb (The Decisive Speech on the Rules of the Arab’s Language), a pocket-sized Arabic grammar with commentary that was first printed in 1836 by the American Protestant missionaries in an edition of 1,000 copies from their press in Beirut which had opened two years earlier in 1834.19 The Simplification of Grammar: al-Shidyāq’s Ghunyat al-†ālib Al-Shidyāq had much to gain by having Nā‚īf’s grammars discredited by his comrades. Nā‚īf’s Jawf al-farā and Fa‚l al-khi†āb were already popular texts in the schools of the period and we know that al-Shidyāq published his own grammar of the Arabic language entitled Ghunyat al-†ālib wa-munyat al-rāghib (The Enrichment of the Student and the Object of Desire of the Aspirant, 1872). Whereas al-Yāzijī’s grammars were essentially, if not wholly, traditional in form and content, conceived as they were in the traditional mode of medieval commentaries and linguistic versifications, al-Shidyāq was to all intents and purposes offering a simplified Arabic grammar on the model of Jirmānūs Farªāt’s Baªth al-ma†ālib. In the preface, al-Shidyāq’s stated aim is ‘to simplify (tashīl ) the traditional complex presentation of the rules of Arabic grammar by presenting a work free from unnecessary prolixity, complex analysis and extraneous explanations so as to facilitate (taysīr) the learning of the language for Arabs and especially non-Arabs’. He therefore attempted to provide an abridged version of earlier medieval grammars such as al-Ashmūnī’s commentary on Ibn Mālik’s Alfīyah and al-Astarābādhī’s commentary on Ibn al-Óājib’s Al-Kāfiyah fī al-naªw (The Adequate on Grammar). He states that students should consult these ‘elaborate’ (mu†awwalah) works if they wish to further pursue the ‘more trivial matters’ of Arabic grammar.20 Not only for the period but also in the history of the Arabic language, al-Shidyāq’s idea of simplifying Arabic grammar was truly significant. It represented another rare instance in a rather unpopular drive towards simplification which notably began with the medieval Andalusian scholar Ibn Ma∂ā’ al-Qur†ubī (d. 1194), who presented a detailed proposal for the reform of grammar in his Al-Radd ‘alā al-nuªāh (Refutation of the Grammarians).21

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Al-Qur†ubī’s ideas, however, were not received well by his contemporaries, which perhaps explains why the work fell into oblivion. The only other real attempts at simplification came centuries later in Jirmānūs Farªāt’s Baªth al-ma†ālib (1707), followed by al-Shidyāq’s Ghunyat (1872), and then in the twentieth century when al-Qur†ubī’s ideas were revitalised by scholars such as Ibrāhīm Mu‚†afā (1937), Shawqī ¤ayf (1947) and Fu’ād ˝arzī (1973) through their individual calls for the simplification (tabsī†) of Arabic grammar. This is not to deny the fundamental difference that distinguishes the works of Farªāt and al-Shidyāq. These scholars actually attempted to deliver a simplified grammar, while al-Qur†ubī and the others only presented proposals for its reform.22 However, all these advocates of simplification shared the alibi that Arabic grammar causes considerable difficulties for learners of the language, or that it needs to be simplified because the linguistic shortcomings of Arabic speakers are attributable to its difficulty.23 As with all these attempts at simplification, al-Shidyāq’s grammar was not received well by his contemporaries, and in time became one of the most controversial works of the nah∂ah. It provoked a stringent refutation from Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī titled Al-Sahm al-‚ā’ib fī takh†i’at Ghunyat al-†ālib (The Target-hitting Arrow on the Errors of Ghunyat al-†ālib, 1874). Gully notes that one of the more significant aspects of al-Shartūnī’s refutation was that it evoked the style used by many of the later medieval writers in their own collection of scholastic commentaries and refutational tracts: ‘The main characteristic of this style was a meticulous scrutiny of each word of the text in an attempt to modify, correct or contradict what the original author had said.’24 It was also not uncommon in those refutational tracts for writers to make sarcastic – almost scathing – personal remarks in order to discredit their opponent. Al-Shartūnī’s approach was no different. In the preface, he states: ‘If the mistakes in this work are on account of al-Shidyāq writing the Ghunyat during his travels, or even in a state of sleepiness or drunkenness, then he is excused. However, he should not wish that people should praise and welcome his work . . .’25 But, if al-Shidyāq’s main aim was to simplify Arabic grammar for learners, then al-Shartūnī’s was to expose the ‘flawed’ nature of his work with the overall aim of preserving the teaching of Arabic grammar in its traditional framework. One of al-Shartūnī’s main criticisms is that al-Shidyāq’s attempt to simplify the traditional presentation of grammar

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effectively undermines the authors of pre-modern grammars and commentaries. Al-Shartūnī therefore announces that he will expose the flawed nature of al-Shidyāq’s work based on the most authentic traditions and sayings (aqwāl ) of the ‘leading authorities’ of the Arabic language (a’immat al-‘arabīyah).26 To this end, al-Shartūnī disputes seventy-six issues in al-Shidyāq’s Ghunyat. Many of al-Shartūnī’s objections centre on al-Shidyāq’s ‘incorrect’ use of grammatical terminology and the ‘abbreviated’ nature of his definitions in the interest of simplification, which al-Shartūnī argues are ‘inadequate’ because they neither take into account the exceptions nor the conditions under which a particular grammatical phenomenon can occur. Al-Shartūnī’s main approach is to recount, contradict and finally refute al-Shidyāq’s incorrect usage and inadequate definitions using the grammars of earlier scholars, including Ibn Mālik, Ibn ‘Aqīl, Ibn al-Óājib and Ibn Hishām, names one would expect to encounter in such a work. His main authorities, however, are not these medieval scholars, but the sixteenth-century grammarian al-Ashmūnī and the eighteenth-century Azharī scholar Muªammad al-Íabbān, who he invokes throughout his refutation with various honorific titles such as ‘the great scholar al-Íabbān’ (‘al-‘Allāmah al-Íabbān), ‘the master’ (al-Shaykh al-Íabbān) and ‘the gloss of our Shaykh’ (ªāshiyat Shaykhunā). In fact, he quotes al-Íabbān so often to refute al-Shidyāq that not only does he constitute al-Shartūnī’s main source, but one is led to believe that he considered him to be the ultimate authority on linguistic issues.27 Intriguingly, al-Shartūnī’s criticisms are limited to those instances where al-Shidyāq had ‘digressed’ from these authorities; he completely bypasses al-Shidyāq’s direct citations from earlier grammars which, in fact, constitute the main bulk of Ghunyat, and are by no means easy to distinguish. This not only reflects al-Shartūnī’s textualist vision of grammar, but also his in-depth knowledge of these works.28 Al-Shartūnī’s criticism subsequently prompted two counter-refutations in al-Shidyāq’s defence. Yūsuf al-Asīr wrote Radd al-shahm lil-Sahm (The Nobleman’s Interception of the Arrow, 1874) and Ibrāhīm al-Aªdab contributed Radd al-Sahm ‘an al-ta‚wīb wa ib‘ādahu ‘an marmā al-‚awāb bi-altaqrīb (Preventing al-Sahm [The Arrow] from its Aim and Repelling it from the Right Target, 1874). In the prefaces, both al-Asīr and al-Aªdab portrayed al-Shidyāq as an imām figure, just as al-Shartūnī made references to the ear-

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lier imāms of the language.29 For example, al-Asīr writes: ‘They aim to quell al-Shidyāq’s reputation, and quelling is the say-so of the stupid teacher, so how can one quell him who has become renowned in the lands!?.’30 Although such sycophantic comments were commonplace in earlier refutational literature, it is interesting to note the contrasting points of reference. Al-Shartūnī has recourse to pre-modern scholars for his inspiration and aspiration, and al-Asīr to al-Shidyāq. Moreover, while al-Asīr and al-Aªdab did attempt to counter al-Shartūnī based on earlier grammars, they were mostly helpless before al-Shartūnī’s arguments which were supported with numerous quotes from authoritative grammars and commentaries.31 They often attempted to justify the ‘inadequate’ nature of al-Shidyāq’s definitions by arguing that the Ghunyat is an abridged work (ikhti‚ār, mukhta‚ar), and therefore al-Shidyāq did not have the space to elaborate on grammatical phenomena. Both also habitually resorted to sarcasm and making personal remarks against al-Shartūnī and his colleagues. For instance, al-Asīr concludes his refutation with the following words: Al-Shartūnī and his supporters were unworthy of refutation, but we refuted them in order to force out al-Shartūnī’s megalomania and return him to his senses. The person who fights with one who is superior digs his own grave on account of his ignorance and feeble-mindedness. We have proved that al-Shartūnī and his supporters backed the wrong ‘horses’ [ma†āyā al-jahl: most likely referring to Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī and al-Bustānī] and they were driven away with the beat of a drum.32

One could sympathise here with al-Asīr and al-Aªdab with regard to the abridged nature of al-Shidyāq’s Ghunyat and argue that this was nothing novel given that abridged grammars constituted an important genre in the Arabic grammatical tradition.33 Al-Shidyāq’s ‘abridgement’, however, differs considerably in one major aspect. The main pedagogical function of abridgements (ikhti‚ārāt or talkhī‚), which were often presented as linguistic versifications (e.g., the Alfīyah of Ibn Mālik), was to facilitate the memorisation of the essentials of grammar by rote and, because of the bare minimum of grammatical definitions and explanations, they were supplemented by commentaries that served the main pedagogical purpose of explaining the material therein. Al-Shidyāq’s grammar, however, was not intended for

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memorisation or as a basis for a larger commentary, but for the later pedagogical-cum-commentary purpose of actually teaching grammar to Arabs and non-Arabs. Al-Shartūnī’s problem with al-Shidyāq was thus not so much over the abridged nature of the Ghunyat as it was with his attempt to break away from the established practice of using commentaries to teach grammar. In other words, al-Shidyāq produced a simplified grammar to serve the pedagogical purpose of the commentary. In response, al-Shartūnī compared the Ghunyat against ‘normative’ commentaries and glosses of the pre-modern period, highlighting the ‘inadequacy’ of al-Shidyāq’s description of grammatical phenomena. In this manner, he not only undermined the pedagogical credibility of his Ghunyat, but more significantly warned of the ramifications of breaking from the pedagogical-cum-commentary mode of expression with an abridged grammar and hence reinforced this traditional mode against seemingly innovative attempts. Approached from this angle, al-Shartūnī’s work transcends the narrow confines of a refutation from one scholar to another. The substance of his work is directed against all manners of dissent from the norms established by the pre-modern grammarians. Al-Shidyāq is generally thought to be one of the foremost reformists of his era, and his desire for the simplification of grammar is firmly rooted in the framework of his wider efforts to make Arabic a workable instrument of modern communication. In this area, reformist scholars probably made substantial progress in introducing a simple functional style which forms the basis of newspapers and modern literary Arabic. However, this progress is not matched in grammar, where conservatism has been particularly fierce. The level of conservatism is obvious in the nah∂ah when one considers that al-Shidyāq’s work was largely based on earlier grammars and commentaries, but al-Shartūnī still managed to single out seventy-six fine points where al-Shidyāq had ‘digressed’ in his drive for simplification. In this sense, al-Shartūnī’s conservatism in refuting probably the earliest example of a simplified grammar in the nah∂ah, al-Shidyāq’s Ghunyat, has perhaps been a significant contributing factor in undermining the reformist calls for simplification. The least that can be said is that al-Shartūnī acted as a guardian of the Arabic grammatical tradition in the nah∂ah, and if the function of grammarians is to preserve grammar in its traditional framework and hence safeguard the Arabic language whether through commentaries or refutations

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then al-Shartūnī has a deserved position on the long list of Arab grammarians. Equally, his refutation should be seen as an essential component in the tradition of normative grammars, commentaries and glosses, and if one of the aims of these works was to keep grammar and pedagogy alive in its traditional framework, then al-Shartūnī’s refutation contributed to this endeavour in the nah∂ah. The Purification of Language: al-Yāzijī’s Lughat al-jarā’id Whereas al-Shartūnī acted as a guardian of the Arabic grammatical tradition in the nah∂ah, another conservative scholar, Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī, served as the protector of the ‘purity’ of the Arabic language. He was arguably the most ardent critic of journalistic Arabic in that period, and in a series of controversial articles appearing in various issues of his journal Al-¤iyā’ he vehemently attacked the standard of Arabic employed by his fellow journalists as part of a wider campaign to purge the language from errors. It was against the backdrop of similar criticisms levelled by al-Yāzijī against al-Shidyāq almost twenty years earlier in al-Bustānī’s journal Al-Jinān that kindled the heated exchanges between the two scholars and often dragged others into the debate. Al-Yāzijī’s articles were published in book form in 1901 under the title Lughat al-jarā’id (The Language of Newspapers). In the preface, al-Yāzijī was keen to point out a substantial reduction of errors in the language of the press and a marked improvement in the style of language used by journalists compared to ten years earlier (1891). Despite these improvements, however, he was frustrated that words were still being used inaccurately and often with the wrong meaning. He wrote that a linguistic error (ghala†) was ‘uglier than a grammatical mistake (laªn) in terminational syntax (i‘rāb)’. This was because linguistic errors spread more rapidly as writers relied on transmission (naql ) without exercising their own judgement (qiyās). Mistakes (wahm) and errors (kha†ā’ ) had thus become widespread in the language of the press and had had a very negative influence on the Arabic language due to the prevalence of ‘indiscriminate imitation’ (taqlīd ) among earlier and contemporary writers.34 He believed that the way to purify the Arabic language from errors was by liberating it from the shackles of taqlīd and moving towards standardisation, which could then culminate, for instance, in a separate dictionary accommodating the many words used in the press. For this to happen, the

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language would have to be retrieved with all its authenticity and richness by a return to classical normative principles and the earliest standard works on language. But first something needed to be done to correct the language of the press, otherwise it would corrupt ( fasād ) the Arabic language beyond reform (i‚lāª). For this reason, he wished to highlight the incorrect use of words and expressions rife among his contemporaries based on earlier lexicographical texts. He hoped that his contemporaries would receive his work as a sincere service since his only aim was to safeguard (muªāfaÕah) the Arabic language and the pens of his fellow writers from flaws (shawā’ib).35 Al-Yāzijī’s approach in this work was no different from that of similar refutational works where writers presented an argument on a particular point of style, grammar or meaning and then supported it with evidence from medieval texts. Most of al-Yāzijī’s arguments, for example, revolved around those instances where his contemporaries had used a word or expression either not found in earlier standard works on lexicography or at least not with the same meaning. In al-Yāzijī’s case, he relied heavily on the lexicographical works of al-Zamakhsharī (1074–1144). However, what made al-Yāzijī’s work particularly interesting and no doubt controversial was his boldness in criticising some of the most respected figures in the history of the Arabic language, almost as if he attributed the incorrect usage among his contemporaries to these figures. This was perhaps one of the main reasons why al-Yāzijī’s criticisms and attitude to language did not endear him to many of his contemporaries, who in response called into question his linguistic competence and refuted his criticisms even before the publication of Lughat al-jarā’id. In 1899, ‘Abd al-Raªmān Salām (d. 1941) presented a detailed response to forty linguistic issues covered by al-Yāzijī in a work titled Daf‘ al-Awhām (The Dispelling of Illusions) wherein he attempted to vindicate the writers al-Yāzijī had criticised and refute many of his arguments by citing evidence from medieval texts.36 The most important response, however, came from Rashīd al-Shartūnī, the younger brother of Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī, who like him excelled in humanistic activities during the nah∂ah. After teaching at some of the leading institutions of the period, such as the ‘Ayn ˝ūrā and ‘Ayn Trāz schools in Lebanon, he entered the service of the Jesuit College in Beirut (now the Université Saint-Joseph) as an Arabic teacher and editor of their publications. In 1906,

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after teaching Arabic for a year at the Jesuit school in Cairo, he returned to Beirut in 1907 where he unexpectedly died. He left behind a legacy of works of a linguistic, literary and educational nature, but will be best remembered for his part in the major linguistic debates of the day alongside figures like Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī.37 In 1899, Rashīd published a series of three articles in the journal Al-Mashriq titled ‘Majallat al-¤iyā’ wa-Lughat al-Jarā’id’ (The Journal al-¤iyā’ and the Language of Newspapers), followed by a series of four articles titled Muªādathah Lughwīyah (Linguistic Discussions), in which he took issue with al-Yāzijī on the criteria with which he had determined the correct language of the press in the earlier articles of Al-¤iyā’. Al-Shartūnī was particularly critical of the rigid way in which al-Yāzijī relied on the Arabic linguistic heritage without due regard to the concepts of extended meaning (majāz) and flexibility (ta‚arruf ) and of his constant indifference and refutation of materials contained in the most authoritative dictionaries such as al-Zabīdī’s Tāj al-‘Arūs.38 One example involves al-Yāzijī censuring writers for using the verbal noun taªwīr with the meaning of tahdhīb and tanqīh on the grounds that this meaning is not found in earlier lexicographical works. Al-Yāzijī asserted that the only meaning given for this verb is of tabyī∂ al-thawb ‘the whitening of clothes’. Al-Shartūnī, however, argued that this usage is sound (ªasan/fa‚īª) because writers had taken the word from its original meaning as noted by al-Yāzijī to its extended meaning (majāz) ‘purifying’. He gives several examples of majāz from medieval texts and asks why contemporary writers cannot use majāz when earlier writers often took recourse to it.39 Al-Yāzijī also criticised earlier prominent luminaries such as al-Hamadhānī (d. 1007), al-Óarīrī (d. 1122), al-Íafadī (d. 1363) and Ibn Khaldūn either for having used words and expressions not found in earlier standard works on lexicography or for not having used them with the same meaning. Even the greatest Arab lexicographers Ibn ManÕūr (d. 1311), al-Fīrūzābādī (d. 1414) and al-Zabīdī (d. 1791) were not immune from al-Yāzijī’s blatant criticisms.40 In response, al-Shartūnī devoted substantial parts of his articles in defence of these writers. An interesting example involves al-Yāzijī, who denounced his contemporaries for the ‘incorrect’ use of the verb shakara li as shakara lahu ‘alā iªsānihi, shakara li-iªsānihi, shakara lahu li-iªsānihi, which all have the meaning to ‘to thank someone for something’. He attributed this incorrect

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usage to the negative influence of dictionaries such as Lisān al-‘arab and Tāj al-‘arūs, which he stated also used the verb in the same manner. For al-Yāzijī, the correct and more eloquent use of the verb was to be found in al-Zamakhsharī’s Asās al-balāghah as shakartu lillāhi ni‘matahu (lit. I thanked Allāh [for] his gift), in the sense of thanking the ni‘mah ‘gift’ of someone so that the ‘thanks’ is not limited to the ‘thanked’ (i.e., the giver with li), but also extends (transitively) to the ‘gift’ that it governs in the accusative without the need of a preposition.41 Al-Shartūnī responded that even if al-Zamakhsharī’s usage differed from all the lexicographers he employed it with the same meaning. The only difference being that he clarified his meaning with an example: neither the Lisān nor the Tāj were incorrect, but rather al-Yāzijī’s claims and arguments were flawed.42 Another example involves al-Yāzijī’s objection to writers who used the word kha‚m (opponent) in the plural as akh‚ām. He claimed that the ‘correct’ plural is khū‚ūm, since the sound verb ( fi‘l ‚aªīª) cannot be made plural on the pattern of af‘āl. Al-Shartūnī, however, argued that al-Yāzijī’s criticism is unjustified, since this same usage is mentioned in the Tāj al-‘arūs where the author al-Zabīdī clearly states that the word kha‚m should be made plural on the pattern of af‘āl as akh‚ām.43 Al-Shartūnī would have perhaps let the matter rest here had al-Yāzijī not retorted with another article in his journal Al-¤iyā’, wherein he accused al-Shartūnī of attempting to excuse mistakes (awhām) in the language of the press based on ‘unreliable traditions’ and ‘incorrect criteria’.44 Al-Shartūnī countered with further articles in which he maintained that his arguments were based on the most reliable authorities of the Arabic language (ai‘mmat al-lughah), who were generally accepted as the ultimate arbiters on such controversial issues.45 What surprised and incensed al-Shartūnī most was al-Yāzijī’s persistent refusal to accept the materials contained in the most authoritative dictionaries such as Tāj al-‘arūs. On the word kha‚m, for instance, al-Yāzijī argued that akh‚ām was no longer in use (matrūk al-lughah), and that it was unclear whether akh‚ām is the plural of kha‚m, kha‚ima or kha‚īm. He also contended that early lexicographers did not mention akh‚ām as the plural of these words. Thus, he suggested that the author of Tāj had erred in his transmission and was therefore unreliable. Rashīd, however, retorted that the Tāj was clear on this matter and that there was no need for interpretation (ta’wīl ) and explanation (takhrīj), since

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the author had clearly stated that akh‚ām is the plural of all three words. He argued: If we do not rely on the transmission of the author of Tāj, then on whom should we rely? Should we discount the Tāj just because the additions (mustadrikāt) therein are not found in previous dictionaries? No, certainly not, the fact that the Tāj contains material which other dictionaries do not clearly shows the excellence and superiority of the Tāj.46

In this manner, al-Shartūnī attempted to discredit the criteria and methodology used by al-Yāzijī to determine the correct language of the press. In one sense, al-Shartūnī had a valid point, since al-Yāzijī was taking a limited number of classical lexicographical works as his sole criteria for ‘correctness’ and dismissing usage, whether by pre-modern or contemporary writers, simply on the basis that it was not recorded in them, or at least not with the same meaning, even though neither the classical works nor even the largest dictionaries like the Lisān and Tāj were able to record all words and their meanings. Al-Shartūnī thus concluded that al-Yāzijī could have explained that some of the words and expressions used by the pre-modern authors did not carry the same meaning or were no longer in use, but to refute them was both ‘impermissible’ and ‘unacceptable’ since he was a mere novice in comparison.47 Whatever the merits and shortcomings of al-Yāzijī’s Lughat al-jarā’id, there is little doubt that it represented a landmark in the history of the Arabic language. Despite the attempts to muffle al-Yāzijī by his contemporaries, his legacy continued in a series of works that appeared in the later part of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Even before the publication of Lughat al-jarā’id, al-Yāzijī’s articles in Al-¤iyā’ had initiated a series of works on the purification of the language. In 1891, Shākir Shuqayr published the Kitāb lisān ghu‚n Lubnān fī intiqād al-lughah al-‘a‚rīyah (Book on the Tongue of the Branch of Lebanon Concerning the Critique of the Contemporary Language), which sources indicate was the first major work of this kind in the nah∂ah. According to Gully, it was an attempt to set the boundaries of expression and style by alerting writers to the type of errors that had made their way into contemporary writing.48 Meanwhile, Rashīd Shāhīn ‘A†īyah’s book Al-Dalīl ilā murādif al-‘āmmī wa-al-dakhīl (Guide to Synonyms of Colloquial

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and Foreign Words) had appeared two years earlier in 1899. In this work, ‘A†īyah called into question the styles of writing used by his contemporaries, some of whom he argued were hardly able to write correct Arabic because of the negative influence of foreign languages, while others were even incapable of distinguishing Arabic from those languages.49 This trend continued in the twentieth century when some of the most important works to appear were Maghāli† al-kuttāb wa-manāhij al-‚awāb (The Errors of Writers and the Correct Methods, 1913) by al-Abb Jurjī Junan al-Būlsī, Tadhkirat al-kātib (The Writer’s Reminder, 1923) by As‘ad Dāghir and Kitāb al-mundhir (1927) by Ibrāhīm al-Mundhir. The Literature of ‘Correctness’: al-Būlsī and Dāghir In Maghāli† al-kuttāb, al-Būlsī was clearly inspired by al-Yāzijī’s Lughat al-jarā’id. In the introduction, al-Būlsī refers to al-Yāzijī as ‘the authority of the Arabic language’ and ‘the scion of knowledge and learning’.50 This was a significant gesture on al-Būlsī’s part since, as Gully points out, he was the first Lebanese linguist of that generation to accord authority in linguistic issues to a modern work, namely, al-Yāzijī’s, rather than the ancient linguistic tracts.51 In many ways, al-Būlsī was a compiler and his work a supplement to al-Yāzijī’s Lughat al-jarā’id. He brought together material on linguistic issues written by al-Yāzijī in the period before and during the years of his journal Al-¤iyā’ (1898–1906). Although al-Būlsī included a number of common errors which al-Yāzijī had apparently overlooked, most of his material was taken from al-Yāzijī’s Al-¤iyā’. What set al-Būlsī’s work apart, however, was the pedagogical intent for which it was written. Unlike al-Yāzijī, his audience were not professional writers and journalists in the press but school students, as he explained: When I saw Arab students eager to learn about those rare teachings [al-Yāzijī’s writings on language], I decided to gather its scattered pieces in a book that is light in both weight and price for the benefit of Arab students . . . I have made it easy to understand so that both the young and old can benefit.52

To this pedagogical end, al-Būlsī attempted to simplify and, indeed, systematise the presentation of material. He arranged Arabic word entries by their

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roots in a European alphabetical order, and under each entry indicated the incorrect usage of the word or expression marked by the Arabic letter (gha) to denote error (ghala†), and then gave the correct version marked by the letter ‚ād to mean correction (‚awāb). He also included an appendix with a series of twenty exercises for students to practise finding and correcting common errors amongst writers.53 In this sense, al-Būlsī’s departure from al-Yāzijī is better understood by the differing aims of their works. Al-Būlsī’s work is unequivocally pedagogical, while al-Yāzijī’s was to set a standard for the language of the press. It was not only the press that was responsible for solecisms and incorrect usage. The main culprits were the clerks working in government departments. Writers, however, tended to focus on the language of the press because the errors were fewer and recurring which made them easier to find and correct. In 1923, As‘ad Dāghir, who had spent the best part of his life in defence of the Arabic language, wrote Tadhkirat al-kātib, which like al-Yāzijī’s Lughat al-jarā’id had started life as a series of articles published in the weekly journal Al-Mi∂mār (Racecourse, 1921).54 In the preface, Dāghir mentions that he had worked for over twenty years in the Sudanese government’s legal department in Cairo, and that of the 40,000 or more books and letters that he had handled during his time most contained solecisms and inaccurate expressions. He thus stated in frustration: I tried my utmost to rectify these errors but it was unfortunate on my part that I was like someone trying to grasp on air or write on pages of water . . . the number of errors in newspapers and journals is insignificant compared to the errors in these documents.55

Like al-Yāzijī before him, Dāghir focused on errors in the language of the press, which he had apparently found during his reading of books and periodicals. Dāghir, however, was much more cautious in his approach than al-Yāzijī, no doubt in an attempt to avoid the same reaction and controversy from his contemporaries. In the introduction, he was keen to clarify that although the errors he listed were taken from the works of well-known writers, he has mentioned no names in order to avoid any kind of controversy, and that the writers concerned should not take offence if they recognise their errors since his intention was not to teach them, but rather to remind them

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of things they have forgotten, hence the choice of title: The Writer’s Reminder. He was also keen to stress that most writers before him had mentioned only the incorrect usage and at most listed the correct version: ‘but this is only half the solution . . . I have also given the correct version with a full explanation . . .’56 Dāghir’s more guarded approach did save him from the negative reactions that al-Yāzijī’s work had provoked, but perhaps had little effect overall because his presentation of material hardly differed from that of al-Yāzijī. However, whatever the effectiveness of these individual works, they do illustrate the indomitable fervour that scholars have always felt for the Arabic language. One of the most significant outcomes of the vibrant linguistic activity and debates in the nah∂ah was the creation of language academies. As Arabic became the symbol of Arab cultural identity (Arabism) in the late nineteenth century and then central to the nationalist political struggle in the twentieth, the concerns first expressed by conservative scholars such as Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī and Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī over the preservation and the purity of the Arabic language assumed significant organisational dimensions. After several private attempts starting in Beirut in 1882, their concerns were eventually given a forum through the institutionalisation of language academies in the twentieth century (e.g., Damascus (1919), Cairo (1932) and Baghdad (1947)). These academies aimed to arbitrate over linguistic issues, to regulate the impact of foreign languages and the colloquial on standard Arabic, and to adapt the language to modern needs. They also published numerous articles on these issues in their respective journals. For instance, the articles titled ‘Athrāt al-aqlām (Slips of the Pen), which appeared in the journal of the Damascus language academy after 1921, were sequels to similar prescriptive attempts by Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī and Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī in nah∂ah journals such as Al-Muqta†af and Al-¤iyā’. Despite these ventures by conservatives, however, it appears that the initiatives of reformist scholars such as al-Shidyāq towards language simplification and modernisation have prevailed. This is attested by the development of not only modern literary Arabic, but also of a distinct linguistic genre in the Arabic press, mainly concerned with the communicative significance of the Arabic language.

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Conclusion The conservative and liberal reformists agreed on the need to reform Arabic, but differed over the scope, method and, most importantly, in their conception of linguistic reform. The conservative concept ought to be understood in terms of a concern for the correct use of the language with an intent to purify, while the liberal reformist idea of reform was more about making the language into an adaptable means of communication, often with an aim to simplify. Hence, at the outset the conservative and liberal reformists were proponents of two different and often irreconcilable discourses of language reform. This dichotomous outlook towards language reform can be understood in terms of two main divergent points of reference: the ultraconservatives, such as Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī, based their ideas on a limited system of classical normative principles and sources only, and thus assumed a methodological view of language based on rigour and precision. Meanwhile, the conservative reformists, such as Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī and Rashīd al-Shartūnī, based their ideas on a hybrid of classical and pre-modern principles and sources, and really represented a middle-of-the-road position between the ultra-conservatives and liberal reformists, since for them linguistic authority had extended to include sources from the pre-modern period. The liberal reformists, such as al-Shidyāq, did not discount classical and premodern authorities on language, but for them the most important consideration was the linguistic requirements and needs of the time, and therefore assumed a non-methodological view of the language based on flexibility and adaptability. The influence of pre-modern developments is unmistakable in the linguistic debates between the conservatives and liberal reformists both in their sources and approaches. It was Farªāt’s simplified grammar conceived in the pre-modern era that served as an inspiration and, indeed, a model for al-Shidyāq’s Ghunyat. Moreover, the main characteristic of their approach was to present an argument on a particular linguistic point and support it with evidence from pre-modern texts on language and grammar. Thus, it was the rich legacy of grammar books and dictionaries of the pre-modern period that was expected to function as the ultimate arbitrator on linguistic issues for these scholars in the nah∂ah. In the case of the conservatives, they would

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often refer to what al-Íabbān and al-Zabīdī had said in their commentaries against the ultra-conservative al-Yāzijī for whom the only legitimate linguistic authorities were the classical sources such as al-Zamakhsharī’s Asās. The ultra-conservatives such as al-Yāzijī adopted a strictly conservative stance when it came to the Arabic language, which was in many ways similar to the position of their Muslim counterparts such as Muªammad ‘Abduh. That is, they shared a common concern for the correct use and purity of the Arabic language based almost exclusively on classical normative principles.57 The conservative reformism of the Christian scholars was not driven by religious motives, as might have been the case for their Muslim counterparts, but they shared a common conceptual and discursive concern for the preservation, purity and development of Arabic, a concern which among the Christian scholars was born out of pre-modern developments and driven in the nah∂ah by a shared belief that linked Arabic language and culture inextricably to the idea of identity and progress. Indeed, the extensive participation of Christian scholars in heated linguistic disputes reflects the deep sense of loyalty that they felt for the Arabic language. This is partly because the linguistic issues went deeper than mere choice of linguistic register or differences inherent in various competing discourses. They were inextricably related to wider issues of identity, historical continuity and to the success and progress of their communities. Although the Arabic language and culture was the most important marker of identity for both the Christian conservative reformists and ultra-conservatives, the controversy between these two groups of scholars can be attributed to the persistent refusal of the ultra-conservatives to accept pre-modern linguistic sources and authorities, because this heritage did not match the values needed for the development of their idea of an authentic national and cultural identity in a glorious classical era. Put the other way around, while the conservative scholars had recourse to the rich legacy of grammar books and dictionaries of their immediate past for arbitration on linguistic issues, the ultra conservatives, such as Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī, following Muslim reformers like ‘Abduh did not engage with this past which they dismissed as decadent, but rather jumped directly to the classical Arabic heritage of the distant past which fitted in with their search for an idealised authentic cultural identity based on the Arabic language and culture which they were now seeking to

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‘revive’ after centuries of ‘decline’. Language for them was thus not simply a means of expression, it was above all a basis of national identity. As a matter of fact, the Arabic language was a particularly sensitive issue for the ultraconservative Christians because they were seeking a common identity with Muslims based on the Arabic language and culture (Arabism) that would transcend all social ties, even those of religion, and ultimately achieve progress for their communities. Any attempts to influence the Arabic language, the cornerstone and most potent symbol of an authentic Arab cultural identity and progress, therefore, raised much deeper issues than merely the choice of linguistic register. Notes 1. For example, the debates between Rashīd al-Shartūnī and Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī as I show below. 2. Gully, ‘Arabic Linguistic Issues’, pp. 76–7. Although the type of data to be found in this literature covers the whole range of syntactic, semantic and stylistic issues, it appears that there were two main styles of work. The first were refutational (radd ) treatises or articles in which the author would refute a specific writer, who would often respond with his own counter-refutation. These debates could therefore become quite personal and could last several years. The second type of works have become known as the literature of ‘correctness’ and ‘incorrectness’ (al-‚awāb wa-al-kha†a’) because they usually involved the author highlighting various semantic and stylistic errors by listing the ‘incorrect’ usage of a word or expression and then presenting the ‘correct’ version. See ibid., p. 102. 3. Qāsim, Ittijāhāt, vol. 1, pp. 13–14. 4. Shalaq, Al-Nathr, pp. 114–16. 5. Yāghī, Al-Naqd, vol. 1, p. 47. 6. Zaydān, Tarājim, vol. 2, p. 50. 7. Gully, ‘Arabic Linguistic Issues’, p. 109. 8. Shiblī, Al-Shidyāq wa-al-Yāzijī, pp. 63–4. 9. For the articles and detailed background of the controversy between al-Yāzijī and al-Shidyāq, see ibid., pp. 67–74, 83–104. 10. Shalaq, Al-Nathr, pp. 116–17. 11. ‘Abbūd, Saqr Lubnān, p. 181. 12. Shiblī, Al-Shidyāq wa-al-Yāzijī, p. 165.

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124 13. 14. 15. 16.

17. 18. 19. 20. 21.

22.

23.

24. 25.

26.

27.

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‘Abd al-Sayyid, Kitāb sulwān, pp. 2–3. Ibid., p. 3. Ibid., p. 5. For references to al-Ashmūnī, see ibid., pp. 14, 90, 104; for al-Íabbān, pp. 87, 94, 103; for al-Zabīdī, pp. 38, 42, 86, 108. There also references to other premodern authorities such as al-Suyū†ī, Abū al-Bāqā al-Kafawī, Khālid al-Azharī, Shihāb al-Dīn al-Khafājī, Muªammad al-Amīr and Aªmad al-Damanhūrī, while al-Yāzijī and al-Bustānī are referred to as ‘al-Shaykh al-Jadīd wa-al-Bustānī’. See ibid., pp. 25, 26. ‘Abbūd, Saqr Lubnān, p. 79. Ibid., pp. 181–3. Ibid., p. 183. Al-Shidyāq, Ghunyat, pp. 2–3. Al-Qur†ubī’s main dispute centred on the theory of governor (‘āmil ), which he held responsible for the intricate nature of Arabic grammatical presentation, see Versteegh, Landmarks, pp. 150–2. For example, Mu‚†afā proposed changes to fundamental areas of traditional Arabic grammar such as ī‘rāb and ˝arzī to grammatical categories. For more on the simplification of grammar in the twentieth century, see Suleiman, ‘The Simplification of Arabic Grammar’, pp. 99–119. Omran points out that all these scholars attributed the difficulties of Arabic grammar to the traditional complex, philosophical and argumentative nature of its presentation. Each therefore stated that his goal was to present Arabic grammar in a clearer, less complicated and more integrated manner. See Omran, ‘Arabic Grammar’, p. 309. Gully, ‘Arabic Linguistic Issues’, pp. 116–17. Al-Shartūnī, Al-Sahm, p. 9. Al-Shartūnī’s comments on al-Shidyāq’s travels might be understood in the context of the nineteenth century when a number of Arab writers like al-Shidyāq were making trips to Europe, perhaps to the envy of their contemporaries like al-Shartūnī who were unable to travel. See al-Shartūnī, Al-Sahm, pp. 9–10. Imām (pl. a’immah) usually refers to the leader of an Islamic community, but can also denote a model, source, standard – something or someone that should be followed. In this context, imām denotes the leading authorities of the Arabic language. Al-Shartūnī quotes al-Íabbān at least thirty times throughout his refutation – more than any other scholar – and is therefore al-Shartūnī’s main source: al-Shartūnī, Al-Sahm, pp. 11–12, 52, 78.

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l ang ua g e ref orm and contr o ve r s y 28. 29. 30. 31.

32. 33.

34. 35. 36. 37.

38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56.

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Ibid. p. 86. See preface in al-Asīr, Radd al-shahm and al-Aªdab, Radd al-sahm. Al-Asīr, Radd al-shahm, p. 4. For example, al-Asīr refers to Khālid al-Azharī’s commentary on al-Ājurrūmīyah and al-Taftāzānī’s (d. 1390) famous commentary on al-Zanjānī’s grammar titled Sharª Ta‚rīf al-Zanjānī, which was used as a textbook for centuries in Ottoman schools; see ibid., pp. 18, 24, 26. Al-Asīr, Radd al-shahm, pp. 55–6. The medieval grammarian Ibn al-Óājib, for example, abridged several earlier works. In the nah∂ah, Nā‚īf al-Yāzijī wrote the Al-Jawhar al-fard, an abridged grammar in which he claims to have gathered the most famous sayings (aqwāl ) of grammarians in just six pages. See Zaydān, Tarājim, vol. 2, p. 27. Al-Yāzijī, Lughat al-jarā’id, pp. 3–4. Ibid., pp. 3–4. Gully, ‘Arabic Linguistic Issues’, p. 102. Sarkīs, Mu‘jam ‘al-ma†bū‘āt, vol. 1, pp. 1111–12; Shaykhū, Tārīkh al-adāb, p. 25. For a list of his works, see Dāghir, Ma‚ādir al-dirāsāt al-adabīyah, vol. 2, pp. 479–80. Al-Shartūnī, ‘Majallat al-¤iyā’, p. 795. Ibid., pp. 609–11, 796–8. See al-Yāzijī, Lughat al-jarā’id, pp. 4–21 passim. Ibid., pp. 5–6. Al-Shartūnī, ‘Majallat al-¤iyā’, pp. 323–4. Ibid., p. 612. Ibid., p. 795. Ibid., pp. 795–6. Ibid., p. 1059. Ibid., p. 613. Gully, ‘Arabic Linguistic Issues’, p. 102. Ibid., p. 103. Al-Būlsī, Maghāli†, p. 3. Gully, ‘Arabic Linguistic Issues’, p. 103. Al-Būlsī, Maghāli†, p. 4. Ibid., p. 5. Dāghir, Tadhkirat, p. 6. Ibid., pp. 5–6. Ibid., pp. 7–9.

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57. ‘Abduh’s ideas on linguistic reform were always based on classical normative principles and he was instrumental in reproducing the old classical words on language and literature. See Ri∂ā, Tārīkh, vol. 1, p. 11; Badawi, Reformers of Egypt, p. 91.

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5 Arabism, Patriotism and Ottomanism as Means to Reform he emergence of the ethnic nationalistic movements that eventually destroyed the idea of political unity among Muslims, Christians and others within an Ottoman context was a development that belonged largely to the early decades of the twentieth century. Prior to this, most Arab Christian and Muslim thinkers were leading their communities to a closer union with the ultimate aim of seeking reform, progress and civilisation, while not inciting revolution. The following themes which permeate the intellectual thought of the nah∂ah are indicative of the aspirations of prominent Christian and Muslim thinkers in the propagation and diffusion of these ideas: (1) the revival of the Arabic language and culture as a cornerstone of Arab identity (Arabism); (2) the idea of love of homeland (patriotism); and (3) an emphasis on religious tolerance, cooperation and unity within an Ottoman framework of reference (Ottomanism). This chapter examines the key concepts of Arabism, patriotism and Ottomanism, and shows how Arab reformers were using these ideals interchangeably to create unity and harmony among their fellow countrymen with the ultimate aim of seeking reform and liberation from European control. The chapter furthermore aims to ascertain the position of nah∂ah literati vis-à-vis the Ottoman Empire. Using examples from the humanist literature of the nah∂ah, the central argument developed is that the majority of nah∂ah thinkers and literati, regardless of religious affiliation or intellectual orientation, were Ottoman patriots who clearly stood for firm ties with the Ottoman Empire.

T

Arabism: Arabic Language, Culture and Identity Since the emergence of Arab nationalism in the twentieth century, one question has longed vexed historians: what was the impact of the nineteenth-century 127

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nah∂ah on the origins of early Arab nationalism, and more specifically what was the contribution of Lebanese Christians who played a major part in the nah∂ah to its early development?1 Historians writing on Arab nationalism in the late Ottoman period have expressed different views regarding its origins and development. The traditional view was first presented by George Antonius in his book The Arab Awakening, and then further developed by Albert Hourani, Hisham Sharabi and Bassam Tibi in their respective works during the 1960s and 1970s. This view postulates that Western influence in the nineteenth century revived the dormant and long-subdued Arab nationality by Islam and Turks among Lebanese Arab Christians, who then induced their compatriots to base political and cultural life on nationality instead of religion. Arab nationalism was thus the creation of Lebanese Arab Christians spreading European political doctrines, and its formulation was part of the nah∂ah by which Arabs moved into the modern world of Western science and secularism. As the works of Ernest Dawn, Sylvia Haim and Zeine Zeine attest, Antonius’ book has served as a catalyst for the revision of the historiography of Arabism.2 The revisionist view downplays the role of Arab Christian intellectuals in the development of nationalism. Ernest Dawn epitomises this position in his seminal work From Arabism to Ottomanism. He sees the origins of Arab nationalism in the Islamic modernism of Jamāl al-Dīn al-Afghāni and Muªammad ‘Abduh.3 According to Dawn, Arab nationalism, as a movement of Arab independence, was absent before the First World War, but a tendency termed Arabism emerged in some Arab Muslim elite circles, who by the first years of the twentieth century had developed an Arab nationalist self-view that was to provide the nucleus of Arab nationalist ideology for the twentieth century. This new Arabism was an outgrowth of ‘Abduh’s Islamic modernism and revivalism, and found fullest expression in ‘Abduh’s followers Rashīd Ri∂ā and ‘Abd al-Raªmān al-Kawākibī, whose version of Islamic modernism called for the establishment of a dual Arab and Turkish Ottoman Empire with the Arabs exercising religious cultural leadership. This version of Islamic modernism was adopted by the earliest exponents of Arab nationalism such as Muªammad Kurd ‘Alī and ‘Abd al-Ghanī al-‘Uraysī, who converted from Islamic modernists to Arab nationalists.4 Dawn therefore asserts that Islamic modernism is the rightful parent of Arabism and that those who

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deny Arabism’s birth in Islamic modernism have not provided any specific identification of its ancestry, ‘they write of Arab nationalism without Arab nationalists, of a movement without participants’.5 Here Dawn is referring to our third group of scholars, such as Haim, Elie Kedourie and Zeine, who all reject the idea that Arab nationalism was the creation of Lebanese Arab Christians, but do not derive Arab nationalist ideology from Islamic modernism. Rather they believe that true Arab nationalism was an importation from the West at the time of the First World War and, therefore, did not begin as early as Antonius, Dawn and others have claimed. For Zeine, the most significant ideology of Arab nationalists before then was that of fighting for Arab autonomy within the Ottoman Empire. Haim argues that the pre-First World War movements cited by Antonius cannot be classed as Arab nationalist either because they were basically Islamic (as opposed to Arab) or because they failed to spark significant response and popular following.6 The final view embraces the recent literary-based scholarship of Yasir Suleiman (2003) and Stephen Sheehi (2004), who may be regarded as neotraditionalist as both, like Antonius, trace the origins of Arab nationalism back to Lebanese Christian intellectuals of the nah∂ah. Suleiman examines Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī’s ideas on the revival of the Arabic language and uses them to show that Antonius’ views on the linguistic–cultural nature of early Arab nationalism are ‘not wide of the mark’. Suleiman argues that al-Yāzijī’s work on language and literature reveals the extent to which the cultural roots of Arab nationalism had developed in the later part of the nineteenth century, while his contribution to propagating this nationalism makes him ‘one of the founders of Arab nationalism’.7 According to Suleiman, Antonius’ failure to consider al-Yāzijī’s contribution to Arab cultural nationalism beyond the references made to his famous ode (‘Arise, ye Arabs, and awake!’), may have contributed to the relative invisibility of al-Yāzijī in the burgeoning scholarship on Arab nationalism in the West. Thus, for the study of Arab nationalism to proceed properly, its development must be considered on both the cultural and political levels, and in the wider context of the emergence of Turkish and other (Balkan) nationalisms in the Ottoman Empire. To this end, Suleiman attempts to show that Arab cultural nationalism was to some extent a reaction to Turkish cultural nationalism, as was the case, he claims, between these two

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nationalisms on the political front.8 Sheehi, for his part, argues that the value of Antonius’ The Arab Awakening should be found not in its trustworthiness as a secondary source, but in its eloquence and clarity as a primary source. In his view, both Arab and Western scholars have failed to understand the work as a manifesto of (Arab) selfhood, that is, as a metaphysical and epistemological phenomenon, and a final product of an epistemological tradition where competing aspects of national selfhood have been rehashed painstakingly and worked into a coherent sense of modern identity. Thus, by showing how the concept of Arab selfhood, endemic to Arab nationalism, was formulated in the works of three Lebanese Christian intellectuals immortalised by Antonius (i.e., Bu†rus al-Bustānī, Salīm al-Bustānī and Jurjī Zaydān) Sheehi suggests that this epistemology of national identity, so inspirationally presented in The Arab Awakening, is antecedent to the articulation of Arabism as a fullyfledged ideology or national movement. In so doing, Sheehi clearly wishes to address Ernest Dawn’s contention that Arab nationalist sentiment, and therefore the modern conception of Arab selfhood, was an elusive outgrowth of Islamic modernism.9 The claim that Arab nationalism was the creation of Lebanese Christian Arabs is largely based on a famous ode allegedly recited by Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī in 1868 at one of the meetings of the Syrian Scientific Society (al-Jam‘īyah al-Sūrīyah al-‘Ilmīyah) which was formed in the same year in Beirut. The ode, which called on Arabs to unite and arise as a single cultural entity, is regarded as the beginning of Arab national consciousness and as the first utterance of a nascent Arab desire for independence from Ottoman rule. Antonius first gave political significance to the ode and to the function of the Syrian Scientific Society. He deployed the first line of the ode ‘Arise, ye Arabs, and awake’ as the epigraph to The Arab Awakening and claimed: It was at a secret gathering . . . of the Syrian Scientific Society that the Arab national movement uttered its first cry . . . In substance, the poem was an incitement to Arab insurgence . . . It heaped abuse on the misgovernment to which the country was a prey, and called upon the Syrians to band together and shake off the Turkish yoke . . . The poem did much to foster the national movement in its infancy . . . with its utterance the movement for political emancipation sang its first song.10

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Although there is some controversy in the literature as to the actual author of the ode, there is little doubt that al-Yāzijī was the author, as I show below. Scholars have also questioned the political significance of the ode and the function of the Scientific Society.11 Antonius’ claim that the ode was recited at the gathering of the Syrian Scientific Society (1868) in defiance of Ottoman rule, however, has been uncritically accepted and subsequently gained widespread currency.12 Even Dawn, who otherwise disagrees with Antonius on the origins of Arab nationalism, states: Arabism and regional patriotism were mingled and given predominance over Ottomanism by some in Syria and Lebanon. As early as 1868, Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī called for the Arabs to recover their lost ancient vitality and to throw off the yoke of the Turks . . . al-Yāzijī also spoke of Syria, and it is likely that ideas such as his contributed to the development of Lebanese and Syrian nationalism among the Christians of Lebanon, which had appeared by the end of the century.13

Here are the opening lines of the ode concerned: Arise, ye Arabs, and awake The floods have surged and the riders have been submerged In your vain hopes you have been deceived While you were in comfort we have been disposed How much you are oppressed but you are not troubled How much you are enraged but you are not angered . . .14

However, it was not this ode that al-Yāzijī recited at the Syrian Scientific Society in 1868 as is widely believed. The actual ode delivered by al-Yāzijī was a poem that urges Arabs to cultural progress firmly within the framework of the Ottoman Empire and hence its title ‘The Exhortation to Progress’ (Al-ªathth ‘alā al-taqaddum). The poem praises Arab glories and achievements in an idealised past and calls on Arabs to seek inspiration from this past and strive for a better future within an Ottoman context. It also evokes the apologetic defence of an injured self-view in relation to the now superior West endemic to the writings of Muslim reformers.15 Al-Yāzijī begins the poem with greetings to his fellow Arabs, as follows:

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Greetings O’ respected Arabs . . . We are the source of all greatness Mankind has drunk from the well of our achievements We are the owners of the great exploits of the past Even if the lowly deny our accomplishments . . . And ask in the West of our glorious history Its vestiges are impressed on the vicissitudes of time But the reminiscence of the past no longer satisfies us Its manacles do not protect us We shall strive for the highest peaks Until they rest upon pillars of substance . . .16 We shall proudly recover the learning For our empire’s most magnanimous king . . . On Sultan ‘Abd al-‘Azīz are my Lord’s blessings Together with His peace and greetings He erected over his door the flags of compassion For the loyal followers around him in congregation Each one a pillar of progress and civilisation Standing in his honour for the splendour of his attention.17

Al-Yāzijī’s famous ode (‘Arise, ye Arabs and Awake’) was actually conceived in 1883 in the wake of the ‘Urābī revolution and the British occupation of Egypt. This is attested by a collection of poems (dīwān) known as Al-‘Iqd belonging to al-Yāzijī where the poem can be found handwritten by him in an elegant Farsi style. The dīwān was prepared for publication by his nephew Óabīb al-Yāzijī, and the poem is introduced with a short note which reads ‘this is what he composed in the aftermath of the ‘Urābī revolution in the year 1883’.18 The ‘Urābī revolt (1879–82) was an uprising in Egypt led by Colonel Aªmad ‘Urābī against Khedive Tawfiq (1879–92), the Turco-Circassians and European powers who together dominated elite positions in the government, military and trade at the expense of native Egyptian personnel. On 13 September 1882, the British intervened and defeated ‘Urābī’s army at the battle of Tall al-Kabīr. ‘Urābī was captured and exiled to the British colony of

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Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Although the ‘Urābī revolt failed and ended in outright British occupation, it became significant as the first instance of Egyptian anti-colonial nationalism which culminated in Nasser’s revolution in 1952. The slogan ‘Egypt for the Egyptians’ underlines the proto-nationalist strand in the ‘Urābī revolution. However, the slogan was not conceived in narrow ethnic terms, but coexisted easily with professions of loyalty to the Ottoman sultan who remained neutral despite efforts to influence him. Khedive Tawfīq called on Sultan ‘Abd al-Óamīd II to quell the revolt, but he hesitated to deploy troops against Muslims who were opposing foreign Christian interference and did not denounce ‘Urābī as a rebel until seven days before the fateful battle of Tall al-Kabīr.19 Al-Yāzijī’s famous ode therefore needs to be understood in the context of the ‘Urābī revolution. The ode echoes the atmosphere, grievances and aspirations of the failed revolt which ended in British occupation. Al-Yāzijī first laments the present deplorable condition of the Arab nation – the once cradle of civilisation, which he attributes to the evils of sectarian dissensions. He therefore evokes in an apologetic manner past Arab glories and achievements, which the West borrowed and in doing so achieved rapid progress and civilisation, while the Arabs fell into decline owing to sectarian dissent that allowed the ‘foreign infidel’ and the ‘Turk’ to overpower them. In stirring terms, he rebukes Arabs for allowing the ‘infidel’ to meddle in their affairs, for being subjugated to their misgovernment and injustice, and for living in the shadow of the ‘Turk’, which had deprived them of power and influence, rank and status in all the important political, social and economic spheres of life. For al-Yāzijī, the Arabs needed to get rid of sectarianism, unite together and throw off the yoke of the non-Arab, then their former strength and vitality would return and their earlier progress in civilisation would resume.20 The ode thus represents an expression of cultural anti-colonial nationalism rather than an attempt to seek independence from the Ottoman Empire, while the ambiguous allusions to the ‘infidel’ and ‘Turks’ in the wake of the ‘Urābī revolt should be construed as a reference to the British and Turco- Circassians. Dawn’s claim that Abduh’s Islamic modernism and revivalism is the rightful parent of Arabism is equally problematic. According to Dawn, Arabism was the expression of an Arab nationalist self-view that held that Islam was not intrinsically backward since the true Islam of the ancestors

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had bestowed rationality on mankind and created the essentials of modernity, which the West borrowed and moved forward while the Muslims fell into error and corruption and abandoned the true Islam.21 The cure for the present humiliation of the Muslims was therefore: To return to the true Islam of their ancestors. This done, the power and glory that Islam had lost to the Christian West would return to its rightful owners. That the true Islam was the Islam of their ancestors, and the ancestors were Arab, meant the revival of Arabism and the Arab culture and the restoration of the Arabs to their position of leadership among Muslims.22

‘Abduh’s movement of Islamic modernism no doubt contributed to the development of (cultural) Arabism, and it is most probably correct that early Arab nationalism was inspired by the Arabism of Muslim modernists. The movement in essence called for the revival of Arabic language and culture, and for a better understanding of the classical Arabic heritage as a means of renewal and a bulwark against Western influence that appeared to be endangering Arab identity. The movement also adopted an apologetic stance by turning to the Islamic past to show that the principles and qualities sought today in the West were originally borrowed from Islamic traditions. But if one aspect of Arabism is the revival of the Arabic language and culture and an emphasis on the glorious Arab-Islamic past in relation to the powerful Western other, there seems to be no justification for regarding al-Yāzijī’s poetry or ‘Abduh’s Islamic modernism alone as its starting-point. Why deny, for example, the pre-modern scholars and their seniors such as Bu†rus al-Bustānī any relation to it, in spite of the fact that these scholars considered the revival of the Arabic language for education and intellectual expression to be one of the main aims of their life which must be considered a key element in the development of a national consciousness. As we have already seen, the revival of the Arabic language and literature among Syrian Christians had already started seriously in the eighteenth century. By the end of the nineteenth century, it had reached a climax and acquainted Arab intellectuals with the rich heritage of classical Arab literature and the great achievements of the Arab past. ‘Abduh’s and al-Yāzijī’s Arabism, which is undeniably a cultural aspect in actua, was thus very much part and parcel of an existing atmosphere. There are a number of aspects in common to their

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articulation of cultural Arabism that were already at work in what might be termed the ‘reformist literature’ that had appeared in the later part of the nineteenth century. These include: the call for the revival of the Arabic language and culture as a precondition for progress; an emphasis on the classical Arabic heritage as a source of inspiration and a means of revival; and an apologetic doctrine based on a vision of the Arab past that tends to reduce Western civilisation to a product of Arab or Islamic civilisation. The conscious attempt to revive Arabic as a medium of modern thought and expression in the nineteenth century among Lebanese intellectuals can be traced back to Ibrāhīm’s father Nā‚īf al-Yāzijī, and, more importantly, to Bu†rus al-Bustānī. In view of the lack of cultural homogeneity among religious communities in Syria, al-Bustānī began to channel his energies into the development of a common basis on which Muslims and Christians alike could unite under the banner of the Arabic language and historical traditions.23 On 15 February 1859, al-Bustānī delivered a speech titled Khu†bah fī ādāb al-‘arab (A Lecture on the Culture of the Arabs) ‘before a well-attended gathering of foreigners and sons of the homeland’, most likely at a gathering of the Syrian Society for the Arts and Sciences which was based in Beirut.24 The Khu†bah is divided into three chronologically ordered sections that are representative of al-Bustānī’s vision of cultural progress and the Arabs’ historical place in it: ‘The State of knowledge among Arabs before Islam’; ‘The State of Knowledge among Arabs after Islam’; and ‘On the Culture of Arabs Today’. After reviewing the knowledge and achievements of Arabs in the ‘Abbāsid era in glowing terms in the first two parts, al-Bustānī admonished Arabs for their current dismal cultural and linguistic state in the third, where he also introduced the main theme of his lecture: his call for the revival of the Arabic language and culture within an Ottoman framework as a first step to progress.25 Al-Bustānī reminded Arabs of their illustrious past and made an emotional appeal to them to seek inspiration and to reclaim their great past. He explained that the search for knowledge was an Arab quality and that Arabs had achieved so much in the past because of their zeal and struggle for learning. He emphasised the superiority of Arabs over the West in this matter and reminded them of their place in world history in order to rekindle the latent desire for learning that would take them from their current dismal state to

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the pinnacles of progress as cultural producers who would rival the West. Al-Bustānī also talked with great passion about the excellence and richness of the Arabic language. He glorified its historical role as a perfect vehicle for culture and defended its great potential as a medium for modern civilisation against its sceptics and the negative influence of foreign languages and the vernacular. He stated: Indeed, Arabic is one of the greatest languages of the world, and were it not for the fear that I would be asked to provide conclusive proof, I would have said that it was the language that was revealed to our Father Adam in the earthly paradise . . . The reverence Arabs have for their language and its past means that it cannot be changed like the habits of its people even though various nations are actively spreading their languages and some Arabs have regrettably become more inclined towards foreign languages at the expense of their own sacred mother tongue.26

He thus urged Arabs to make Arabic a good enough medium for learning by adapting it to the needs of the modern age and warned that Arabic must not become a dead language like Latin only used by the learned, for if this were to happen and the colloquial dialects were to take the place of the literary language, ‘it would be hard to imagine a greater loss to the Arabs than this’.27 Indeed, the revival of the Arabic language remained a life-long concern of al-Bustānī. Thus, some time later he returned to the topic again in response, it seems, to some criticisms: ‘Those who claim that Arabic is not a good enough vehicle for modern civilisation are ignorant of its virtues and forget that its revival is nearer, easier, and more effective than civilising the Arabs through various foreign languages.’28 In this context, Abu Maneh points out that al-Bustānī wanted the Arabic language to be loved and learned like any other language, and that he regarded its revival as ‘an obligation ( far∂ )’ on all Arabs, especially since language for him ‘was not simply a means of learning, it was above all a basis of national identity’.29 The high point of the speech comes towards the end. Al-Bustānī viewed the generation of the nineteenth century as striving on the right path and for whom the door of hope was opening to achieve the objects he preached thanks to the efforts of the Ottoman Empire. Al-Bustānī then turned to his countrymen with an emotional call to arise and revive their culture:

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Oh sons of the homeland! Descendants of those men of excellence, progeny of the tribes of Syrians and Greeks, riding on the crest of the nineteenth generation, a generation of knowledge and light, a generation of inventions and discoveries, a generation of culture and knowledge, a generation of arts and sciences. Arise! Be Alert! Awaken! Roll up the sleeves of determination . . .30

He ended the speech with praise for the reformists efforts of Ottoman sultan ‘Abd al-Majīd which were a cause for hope in a brighter future for the nineteenth-century generation and would restore to the nation its role as guardian to the culture. Even though Muslim intellectuals like al-˝ah†āwī and Khayr al-Dīn Tūnisī had expressed similar ideas on sociocultural reform in their works, al-Bustānī’s lecture represents a further significant push towards involvement in the Arabic language and culture among Christians and its importance is evident on several levels. First, although Christian intellectuals were part of the significant inter-religious cultural space created in the nah∂ah as a result of pre-modern developments where they shared a true sense of Arabism with their Muslim counterparts, the lecture represents a pioneering attempt to foster this cultural space in the wider society as a whole. Secondly, he was probably the first to call publicly for the revival of the Arabic language and culture in modern times, and choosing to disseminate the ideas latent in the intellectual literature on a collective level by exploiting a classical literary genre, the khu†bah, allowed him to make a more emotional direct appeal to the people of Greater Syria. Finally, the lecture is the first of its kind to explicitly link the revival of the Arabic language and culture (Arabism) to the idea of unity and progress within the framework of the Ottoman Empire. The Arabism of nah∂ah scholars before the turn of the nineteenth century can be defined first and foremost by the Arabic language and culture, vaguely and without theoretical implications by territory, but rarely by the desire for separation from the Ottoman Empire. Arabism for nah∂ah scholars really meant the revival of the Arabic language and culture, with a special emphasis on the classical Arab heritage. The reinforcing of the two meant the strengthening of the idea of Arabism. Nah∂ah intellectuals saw Arabism primarily as a means of uniting Christians and Muslims in a common language

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and culture, of fostering a collective Arab consciousness and, hence, patriotic feelings of Arabism, ultimately as a first step to progress. The idea of progress was itself spurred on by an apologetic defence of an injured self-view in relation to the now powerful Western other on a cultural level. At the same time, nah∂ah intellectuals did not see any contradiction between having an Arab cultural identity and being ‘Egyptian’ or ‘Syrian’ and ‘Ottoman’, since in their view these identities complemented each other. This is why they made some hesitant first appeals towards patriotism (wa†anīyah), that is, towards the identity of a group defined by its common geographical boundaries. Patriotism: ‘Love of Homeland is of Faith’ The second means for achieving unity was the idea of patriotism, which had to be shared by all. Nah∂ah intellectuals believed that when a population has a sense of belonging to a defined region, a common identity would develop within it. This could be achieved by fostering collective memory; consciousness and pride among the people for their homeland, language and culture; and by depicting the historical past by region as shared by all. Thus, in addition to promoting the Arabic language and culture as an object of love and pride, pioneering nah∂ah intellectuals such as Rifā‘ah al-˝ah†āwī in Egypt and Bu†rus al-Bustānī in Syria gradually introduced notions of homeland (wa†an) and the love of homeland (ªubb al-wa†an) in an effort to form a common ground transcending internal and especially sectarian differences. It is true al-˝ah†āwī and al-Bustānī, influenced by Europe, used wa†an in the sense of regional-territorial patriotism, but what is less understood is that both used the concept as a means to unify their people and move towards progress and reform. These intellectuals were painfully aware that European countries were far more advanced in civilisation than Arab countries and fervently wished to bring them up to the level of the West. They believed that the progress of Europe was the result of patriotism, the love of the French, for example, for their homeland. Patriotism thus represented a source of progress and strength, a means to close the civilisational gap between the Arabs and Europe. It was perhaps unforeseen on their part that their ideas would contribute to the drive towards nation-states at the turn of the nineteenth century.31 The idea of patriotism probably first appeared in the works of al-˝ah†āwī,

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who from the early part of the nineteenth century spoke of the bond of the homeland in his Takhlī‚ al-ibrīz fī talkhī‚ bārīz (1834). Al-˝ah†āwī articulated the idea that the earth was made up of countries with their own special features, and that the people of each country had a special bond to it. He translated the French term patrie as wa†an, and spoke of the love of homeland (ªubb al-wa†an) and patriotism (wa†anīyah) for one’s country, which in al-˝ah†āwī’s case was, of course, Egypt.32 In the 1850s, al-˝ah†āwī was also at the basis of a new literary genre, the patriotic poem (wa†anīyāt), of which he composed several, patterned on French models he had encountered during his stay in Paris.33 In these poems, he spoke ardently of the bonds of homeland and accorded it a special status. He regarded the love of homeland as an obligation on all its people and referred to the prophetic tradition ‘Love of the homeland is an article of faith’, which becomes the recurring refrain throughout one of the poems published in 1856, as follows: Rise up for battle O you valiant ones for love of homeland is of faith Get ready to fight! get ready to fight! For all of mankind has witnessed your courage and might Rise up for battle O you valiant ones for love of homeland is of faith Get ready to unite! get ready to unite! For the faith of your sword is infinite . . .34

In the 1866 work, he regarded love of homeland as second only to the love of God, which also becomes the recurring refrain throughout one of the poems: It is natural for the enlightened

that after the Lord they love their homeland It is a gift of the Bestower So glory be to the gracious Giver 35

Al-˝ah†āwī gave a more detailed analysis of the subject in the preface to his work on Egyptian society the Manāhij al-albāb al-mi‚rīyah fī mabāhij al-ādāb al-‘a‚rīyah (The Paths of Egyptian Minds in the Joys of Contemporary Literature,

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1869), and in a long section of his book on education known as Al-Murshid al-amīn li al-banāt wa-al-banīn (The True Guide for Girls and Boys, 1873). In these writings, al-˝ah†āwī elaborated a concept of patriotism that incorporates both ideas and images from the Arab heritage and history of classical Islam, on the one hand, and modern concepts, on the other, and his formulation of the concept was clearly influential among later intellectuals. In Manāhij al-albāb, he again cited the aforementioned prophetic tradition that predicates belief on the notion of homeland and quotes Caliph ‘Umar bin al-Kha††āb, as saying: ‘Indeed, God has made countries prosper because of the love of its compatriots.’ A little later he quoted the Prophet Muªammad (pbuh), apparently addressing the Ka‘bah at the time of his emigration from Mecca, as follows: ‘Verily, God knows you are the most beloved of God’s countries to me . . . If your people had not driven me out, I would have never left.’36 But, whereas in earlier writings al-˝ah†āwī’s main concern had been to familiarise and, indeed, legitimise to his compatriots the idea of patriotism, in Manāhij and Al-Murshid, there is also a conscious attempt to link patriotism directly with the idea of progress and civilisation, and define in depth the obligations required by patriotism, namely, the values of ‘civic pride’ and the ‘ideal citizen’. In Manāhij, al-˝ah†āwī regards love of homeland as a precondition for progress and a duty incumbent on all its inhabitants. He states: It is the duty of each member of the homeland (wa†an) to help his society as much as possible, and to use his wealth and assets for the common benefit of his homeland since the civilisation (tamaddun) of the homeland can only begin when all people, the learned and the law-giver, will love their homeland.37

In Al-Murshid al-amīn, al-˝ah†āwī reminded his compatriots of their collective rights and obligations as members of the homeland. He regarded the brotherhood of patriotism as equal to the brotherhood of religion, and just as faith makes requirements of the believer to his fellow believer, the brotherly bond of patriotism imposes all the same kinds of requirements when it enjoins the members of the homeland to respect their mutual rights and obligations and to work for the good of the homeland as ideal citizens. He writes:

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God has made it the duty of the people of the homeland to cooperate for its reform (i‚lāª) as members of one family in all that pertains to its felicity, greatness and prosperity. When they will regard their homeland (wa†an) as they do the houses of their fathers, mothers, and priests, it will become a place of shared happiness . . . The sincere patriot (wa†anī) loves his homeland, and does his utmost to benefit and serve it with his body and soul, he defends it from all that is harmful, just as a father repels all evil from his son. The patriot should always work for the benefit and honour of the homeland . . . True patriotism is not only about demanding one’s rights from the homeland but about honouring the rights the homeland has on him.38

A generation after al-˝ah†āwī, al-Bustānī proclaimed the message of love of homeland (ªubb al-wa†an), which for him meant Syria. The civil strife in Lebanon in the summer of 1860, followed by the bloodshed in Damascus, had clearly shaken al-Bustānī, but at the same time confirmed his belief in the urgent need to reconcile the different faith communities based on patriotic allegiances., He had already called, in 1859, for an Arabic cultural revival as means of progress, but after the civil war, he called for patriotism and reconciliation among Syrians, within the framework of the Ottoman state. In both instances, the desire was undoubtedly to unify his people as a means to progress and civilisation. To promote these objectives, he launched a broadsheet, the Nafīr Sūrīyah (Clarion of Syria), which appeared as a series of eleven patriotic essays (wa†anīyāt) between September 1860 and April 1861. Each essay opens with the address, ‘sons of the homeland’ (abnā’al-wa†an) and is signed by ‘the lover of the homeland’ (muªib lil-wa†an), who was al-Bustānī of course. Al-Bustānī described wa†an in the fourth essay as ‘resembling a closely interlinked chain whose links multiply; on the one end is our home (manzil ) with all those in it and on the other is our country (balad ) with all those in it’. Al-Bustānī’s homeland was ‘Syria known as Barr al-Shām or ‘Arabistān with all its various terrains, shores, and mountains’, while the sons of his homeland were ‘the inhabitants of Syria, irrespective of their religious denomination, social class, and racial origins’.39 For al-Bustānī patriotism was a means of achieving unity and ultimately progress and therefore had to appeal to all, Christians and Muslims alike. In the fourth and ninth essays, he presented

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patriotism as a requirement of faith and quoted the prophetic tradition that had already appeared in al-˝ah†āwī’s works: ‘love of homeland is an article of faith’ (ªubb al-wa†an min-al-īmān).40 Moreover, like al-˝ah†āwī, al-Bustānī attributed the backwardness of his compatriots to a lack of unity and patriotic feeling. He states: The backwardness (inªi†ā†) of the Syrians is owing to the lack of unity among them, which is due to the absence of love in them for the welfare of their country and fellow countrymen, and because of their surrender, in foolishness and ignorance, to the influence of sectarian fanaticism . . .41

As a lover of the homeland, al-Bustānī thus preached reconciliation and tolerance among the religious communities and reminded the people that they were joined together by a single homeland, a single language, and common customs and interests. Al-Bustānī was not only a man of words but also of action. He sought to assert the concept of patriotism through his various publications and projects. In Nafīr, he had called for enlightenment through the establishment of schools and libraries, and three years later in 1863 he founded the National School in Beirut according to the principles of patriotism that he had preached in the pages of Nafīr. Likewise, he launched a number of journals to promote his ideas, including Al-Jinān (est. 1870), which took the phrase ‘love of homeland is an article of faith’ as its slogan on the first page of every issue. His dictionary Muªī† al-muªī†, he produced as a service to the people of the homeland, hoping to see them progress in knowledge and civilisation by means of their noble Arabic language. The same concern for his compatriots culminated later in the publication of a major encyclopaedia known as Dā’irat al-ma‘ārif (1876–83). At the same time, he emphasised the idea that the homeland (wa†an) was intertwined to Arabic, since both as a language and culture, it was shared by all the people of the homeland, just as he would uphold the legitimacy of Ottoman rule, proclaiming the idea of a Syrian homeland within the purview of the Ottoman Empire. The concept of homeland (wa†an) also found a place in ‘Abduh and al-Afghānī’s thinking. The following passage quoted from Rashīd Ri∂ā clearly shows that the two reformers saw no contradiction between religion and patriotism, and that the movement of Islamic reform was envisaged in a manner that embraced followers of all faiths:

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‘Abduh believed that patriotism (wa†anīyah), which signifies cooperation among all the dwellers of a single homeland (wa†an), regardless of religion, for its progress (‘umrān) and reform (i‚lāª), [was] not contradictory to Islam in any way. For Islam’s laws of justice and equality and Islam’s own history is clear proof of this . . . Al-Afghānī also used to urge his followers to strive for unity and collaboration among all members of the homeland in patriotic, political and cultural matters.42

Although nah∂ah intellectuals such as al-˝ah†āwī, ‘Abduh, and al-Bustānī talked about wa†an in relation to Egypt and Greater Syria, respectively, they were not expressing a national territorial or political outlook in the Western sense. Their concept of wa†an did not claim any nationalist bias, nor did it carry any political significance, but rather only had cultural connotations.43 Their main aim behind the introduction of the notion of homeland, as with the calls for cultural revival, was to foster a love for the nation and a communal solidarity among their people that would ultimately lead to reform, progress and civilisation. As with Arabism, the concept of patriotism only assumed any real nationalistic or political significance in resistance to European political and financial control (1876–82), which culminated in outright British occupation in 1882 after the ‘Urābī revolt. Couland highlights how Egyptian officers of established local families (wa†anīyūn), opposed from the outset to the favoured status of the Circassian Turks with respect to the native Egyptians, sought to operate in conjunction with constitutionalist elements and formed the Al-Jam‘īyah al-Wa†anīyah (the National Society) in 1879 to represent their claims. For decades to come, he adds, wa†anīyah was applied to the nationalist form of Egyptian patriotism, in the sense of a demand for the return of Egypt to the Egyptians, a national movement for liberation from British domination.44 It was in this political climate that al-Yāzijī’s earlier ode was conceived, and it is in this same context that nah∂ah intellectuals such as ‘Abduh started seeing patriotism not only as a means of unity and reform, but also as a way of achieving liberation from foreign domination and control. Thus, in an article published in the final issue of Al-‘Urwah al-Wuthqā (The Firmest Bond, October 1884), during the British occupation of Egypt, he expressed fury at some Egyptians for being ‘blind to the motives of the British in Egypt’, and wrote in rather stirring terms: ‘We must erect

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the flags of patriotic love, yield the motive power of Islamic heroism, and kindle the fires of patriotic zeal so that we frustrate the hopes of the British and throw back their double dealing in their throats . . .’45 But none of the nah∂ah intellectuals, Christian or Muslim, attributed any political consequences to Arabism or patriotism as a reaction to the Ottoman Empire, nor did they subordinate these narrower identities to the broader one. During the same period, Ottoman statesmen were advancing the idea that all the Ottoman territories formed the Ottoman vatan which should be loved by all the Ottoman people. Their political loyalties thus remained unequivocally Ottoman, while their patriotism was really about stressing allegiance to their local homeland (wa†an) as a complement to Ottomanism. Ottomanism in nah∂ah Thought and Humanist Literature Ottomanism (Osmanlılık or Osmanlıcılık) was a supranational principle that took root in the region around the middle of the eighteenth century as a wider framework for the reform, development and consolidation of the Ottoman Empire. It emerged out of a massive project of modernisation, known as the Tanzīmāt (1839–76, lit. the ordering of the empire), that attempted to ̇ reform state and society at all levels, ‘a period when the Ottoman state sought to redefine itself as more than an Islamic dynasty, as a modern, bureaucratic and tolerant state . . . a state and civilisation technologically equal to and temporally coeval with the West but culturally distinct from and politically independent of it . . .’46 The Tanzīmāt heralded the birth of what ̇ Makdisi describes as ‘the official nationalism of Ottomanism’, a project of modernisation that sought to assert much stricter political and administrative control over the periphery of the empire by promoting a unifying notion of Ottomanism, and to cohere ‘different ethnic groups, different religious communities, different regions, and, above all, different stages of progress within a unified Ottoman modernity’.47 This drive for modernisation and Ottomanism continued during the rule of Sultan ‘Abd al-Óamīd II (1876– 1909) under a more noticeably Islamic discourse and climaxed in the Young Turk era, which lasted until the First World War. The idea behind the Tanzīmāt reforms first proclaimed in the Khatt ̇ e-Sharif of Gulkhan 1839 and then the Hatti-i-Hūmayun of 1856 was to establish equality between Muslim and non-Muslim Ottoman subjects

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before the law, in taxes, in government positions and in military service. As part of the reforms, the Ottoman pashas first needed to find a way to achieve consensus among different ethnic and religious communities in order to counter separatist sentiment among minorities, such as had already led to the revolt that created an independent Greece (1832). They also needed a way to assert the centre’s administrative and political control over the peripheries of the empire in order to hold the various territories coherently together and ultimately pave the way for reform and progress. Ottoman intellectual bureaucrats, such as Rashīd Pasha (1800–58), Fu’ād Pasha (1815–69), ‘Alī Pasha (1815–71) and Midªat Pasha (1822–83), believed that this could be achieved by fostering political and social unanimity in allegiance to the Ottoman sultan and government, an idea that came to be known as Ottomanism. Zachs points out that the concept of Ottomanism clearly differed from the Islamic notion according to which the rights, status and duties of the individual derived from his or her belonging to a religious community. He explains that the new perception was Western and civil in its approach, in that the citizen’s rights and status stemmed from his or her citizenship in the empire and loyalty to its government. Thus, such an attitude consciously paved the way to better integration of non-Muslims within the empire in general and of Arab Christians in the Syrian region in particular.48 The appeal of the European concept of patriotism to Ottoman reformers resulted from a desire to overcome the perceived disintegration of the Ottoman Empire in the face of foreign encroachments and separatist movements during the Tanzīmāt period. Makdisi points out that beginning with the Tanzīmāt, ̇ ̇ Ottoman reformers identified with their subjects as ‘potential fellow citizens and fellow victims of European intrigue and imperialism with whom they should be united in a newly defined common modern Ottoman patriotism’.49 Moreover, Ottomanism was sustained by a desire to ensure the progressive evolution of the empire towards more secular and liberal norms that would lead to its ultimate regeneration. The Ottoman pashas had been directly exposed to the ‘superior’ European civilisation as a result of occupying senior positions in the governance of their polities and believed that the progress of Europe was the result of patriotism.50 Ottomanism thus appeared in the wake of the Tanzīmāt as a supranational unifying political principle that promoted ̇

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a collective civil identity among Ottoman subject-citizens; it symbolised an act of ‘national’ Ottoman resistance to European imperialism, as well as a new genuine source of progress and strength, a means to overcome the gap between the Ottoman Empire and the West. Ottomanism underlines the manner in which the Ottoman Empire sought to Westernise despite Western imperialism. Accordingly, most nah∂ah intellectuals from Bu†rus al-Bustānī and Muªammad ‘Abduh to Ya‘qūb Sarrūf and Shakīb Arslān, regardless of religious affiliation or intellectual orientation, whether in Greater Syria or Egypt, were seeking reform and progress firmly within an Ottoman context.51 Indeed, the Tanzīmāt reforms had already helped the Ottoman case ̇ for legitimacy with the Arab Christians of Syria, but the desire to operate thus might also be understood as another facet of the anti-imperialist drive. As an example, for al-Bustānī both the idea of Arabic cultural revival and loyalty to the Ottoman state (Ottomanism), as it evolved under the Tanzīmāt, were ̇ necessary to secure a better future for Syria, as Abu-Maneh explains: ‘Arab cultural revival, on the one hand, as a means of promoting progress and collective consciousness among Syrians and of countering Western cultural influences; allegiance to the Ottoman state, on the other, as the best available means of countering this influence on the political level’.52 But this was not the only reason al-Bustānī was for Ottomanism. Abu-Maneh points out that al-Bustānī genuinely believed that Ottomanism was the most viable option for Syria and the Empire because it included the genesis of patriotism and aimed to establish the identity and the legal status of its subjects upon secular ideals, rather than upon religious beliefs. Thus, al-Bustānī’s vision was of Ottomanism as the progenitor of Syrian patriotism, and he apparently saw no contradiction between the two ideals.53 In Syria, the same spirit of Ottomanism is clearly evident in the humanist literature of the period. The poetic dīwāns of such eminent literati as Nā‚īf al-Yāzijī, al-Shidyāq, Yūsuf al-Asīr and Ibrāhīm al-Aªdab, are full of praise for the Ottoman sultan and his men.54 Despite the often sycophantic nature of the poems, there is no reason to doubt their loyalty to the Ottoman state. The following panegyric by Nā‚īf al-Yāzijī to Sultan ‘Abd al-‘Azīz (1861–76) is typical of the poetry in these dīwāns:

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The world would not be satisfied with besides him a ruler Even if it were Gabriel or Khidhr Adorned on his garments twofold Is a sword cast from the fear of God If the righteous were granted a wish Nothing except his presence would they cherish.55

Al-Shidyāq and al-Afghānī were among the most ardent supporters of Ottomansim and had a tremendous influence on the emergence of literature in support of the Ottoman Empire in Syria and Egypt. In Al-Jawā’ib, al-Shidyāq regularly published poems and articles eulogising the Ottoman state. In a poem dedicated to Sultan ‘Abd al-‘Azīz dated 1875, al-Shidyāq wrote: The Ottoman Empire has a grandeur and magnificence with which the beautiful day invigorates its radiance Of vast kingdoms and lands does it comprise With borders and languages known only to the all-Wise Go in those lands wherever you please You will encounter only joy and ease.56

Christian nah∂ah intellectuals like al-Bustānī and their lesser-known associates were carrying out their humanistic activities within the same Ottoman framework of reference. Al-Bustānī’s work on the Arabic dictionary, in periodical journalism and the encyclopaedia were all offered from the same lover of the homeland who had completely accepted the Ottoman system and sought and received the patronage of men in high office from the sultan and grand vizier to the khedive of Egypt. Al-Bustānī’s following statement taken from the preface to his famous dictionary Muªī† al-muªī† (1870), evinces a combination of three overlapping identities (Arabism, patriotism and Ottomanism) without any sense of contradiction: We hope that this project of ours will be accepted by sons of the homeland (abnā’ al-wa†an) as a small service from the lover of the homeland (muªib al-wa†an) whose only wish is to see all his compatriots progress

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(taqaddum) in literature (ādāb), learning (ma‘ārif ), and civilisation (tamaddum) under the banner of the Arabic language. We dedicate this dictionary to our beloved Sultan ‘Abd al-‘Azīz (May God bless and prolong his time in office).57

For this dictionary and the subsequent abridged version, Qa†r al-muªī†, al-Bustānī was generously rewarded by the sultan with 25,000 qurūsh (250 lira) and the Ottoman Majīdī Order, third class.58 If there was any doubt regarding Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī’s loyalty to the Ottoman Empire, then the following statement should clarify his position. In a speech delivered to students at a graduation ceremony of the Patriarchate School on 20 July 1890 in Beirut, al-Yāzijī urged his students to unite under the Ottoman Empire, as follows: This is the day of your separation . . . But be true brothers united by the common bond of Arabic literature (adab) and the desire for learning, joined by the nationalistic bond (al-rābi†ah al-wa†anīyah) and the union of the Ottoman Empire (al-jāmi‘ah al-‘uthmānīyah) so that you become a compact body, strengthening one and another in reviving (iªyā’) the vestiges of knowledge (‘ilm), and in cementing the means of civilisation (ªa∂ārah) and progress (tamaddun) within our great empire, under our sovereign ‘Abd al-Óamīd II. May God help him and aid the supporters of justice and peace through him and make his days a blessing over the vicissitudes of fate just as he has made him a blessing over different peoples.59

Al-Yāzijī’s statement not only confirms his allegiance to the Ottoman Empire, but also shows that, like al-Bustānī and many others, he held a combination of three overlapping identities without any sense of contradiction (Arabism, patriotism and Ottomanism), and that he saw all three as a means of unity and hence progress. Reciprocally, al-Yāzijī, like al-Bustānī before him, received several medals of honour of the Ottoman Order from the sultan.60 Even those nah∂ah scholars who did not receive patronage were seeking and working for reform and progress within an Ottoman framework. Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī dedicated his commentary on Kitāb al-nawādir fī al-lughah (Book of the Rarities of Language, 1894), a lexicographical work by the eminent linguist of the Arab classical period Abū Zayd al-An‚ārī (d. 830), to

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the then Ottoman Provisional Governor of Mount Lebanon, Na‘ūm Pasha (1892–1902). In the introduction, al-Shartūnī states: My enthusiasm for the spread of linguistic and literary enlightenment has induced me to publish this work, and my desire for the spread of moral excellence, the pillar of happiness in society, has made me dedicate this work to the Provisional Governor. This sublime aim can only be realised when one gives due praise to those influential persons who are the doers of great deeds and are suitable role models for the people. I express my deepest gratitude to the Governor for his justice and honesty, and commend him for ruling according to the wishes of Sultan ‘Abd al-Óamīd . . .61

Further evidence of Ottomanism can be gleaned from al-Shartūnī’s work on letter-writing known as Al-Shihāb al-thāqib fī ‚inā‘at al-kātib (The Shooting Star on the Art of the Writer, 1884), a pedagogical manual that he wrote for the benefit of an Arab Christian audience in the nah∂ah.62 An interesting feature of this work is that al-Shartūnī provides comprehensive lists of model salutations, signatures and addresses to be used in correspondence with various Christian ecclesiastical and secular Ottoman hierarchies. In the section on model salutations, among the many ranks listed are the following: Ecclesiastical ranks Pope: The Holy Father Patriarch: His Eminence. O noble patron of patrons, Sir . . . Cardinal: His Eminence. O Excellent, honourable, Sir . . . Bishop: His Excellence . . . with reverence. Priest: Honourable Father fulān. Secular ranks Sultan: His Majesty, the Great Sultan Grand Vizier: His Excellency, His Highness, Mr Advisers and ministers: His Excellency, His Eminence Military commanders: His Excellency, His Grace, Mr.63 The fact that al-Shartūnī caters jointly for these two categories side by side throughout his manual clearly shows that he belongs to those intellectuals of

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the nah∂ah, such as Bu†rus al-Bustānī, Adīb Isªāq and Faraª An†ūn, who promoted the idea of a role for Christians within an Ottoman framework of legitimacy, believing that this was their best chance of achieving a secular state in which Christians and Muslims could participate as equals, and where social status would be decided by secular credentials rather than religious affiliation.64 Thus, how better for al-Shartūnī to pave the way for such a state than by compiling a manual that clearly promotes the idea of a role for Christians in an Ottoman secular fold, and which at the same time is tailored to its administrative and practical needs.65 Although Egypt was outside direct Ottoman control and influence, the same spirit of Ottomanism prevailed among Muslim intellectuals and literati there, and remained the dominant force until the First World War. For example. ‘Abduh was for Arab Muslim unity within the framework of Ottoman legitimacy, and considered loyalty to the Ottoman Empire to be an article of faith and an obligation on all believers. In an article written in Beirut dated 1886, he declared in rather passionate terms: Anyone with true Islamic faith believes that the preservation of the sublime Ottoman state is the third article of faith after belief in God and His Prophet. For it alone is the guardian of religion and protector of its possessions, and the religion of Islam has no government except it [the Ottoman state]. Praise be to God, I am of this belief and on it I will live and die . . .66

In another statement on European policies towards the Ottoman Empire and the Egyptian government in the journal Al-‘Urwah al-Wuthqā (September 1884), he urges the Ottomans to be vigilant, in order to take advantage of the ongoing struggle between European nations: Circumstances have it that the Ottoman Empire and the Egyptian government, which is part of the Empire, find themselves in turbulent times. It is therefore incumbent on the Empire to remain extremely vigilant so that ‘others’ may not benefit at the expense of the Egyptian government and the Empire. If the Ottoman state undertakes the burdens of government in a manner that befits it (i.e., the implementation of official reforms), then it will have fulfilled its obligation and at the same time preserved the rest of its empire . . .67

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Ottomanism appears to have gained increased support in Egypt after the British occupation in 1882 under the influence of Mu‚†afā Kāmil (1874– 1908), who called for loyalty to the Ottoman Empire against European imperialism within the wider framework of an Islamic caliphate. In his book Al-Mas’alah al-Sharqīyah (The Eastern Question, 1898), he asserted: I beseech God, the Originator of the heavens and earth, to grant the Ottoman Empire eternal strength and assistance so that Muslims can remain in power and I ask God to protect the guardian of the Empire and the leader of Islam the Great Sultan and Caliph ‘Abd al-Óamīd II.68

As for the leader of the ‘Urābī revolt, Colonel Aªmad ‘Urābī, he considered an attack on the Ottoman Empire a complete destruction of Islam and contrary to its teachings. In response to questions from Jurjī Zaydān regarding his possible anti-Ottoman nationalist motives behind the revolt, he noted in his memoirs: It did not even occur to me to emulate the colonisers as you mention or to establish an independent Arab nation [of the Ottoman Empire] as is falsely rumoured. In my view, that would be a total loss for Islam and against the commands of God and his Prophet (pbuh).69

The same loyalty to the Ottoman Empire, especially in the wake of European imperialism, permeates the poetry and prose of leading literary figures of the period such as ‘Abd Allāh Fikrī (d. 1889), ‘Abd Allāh al-Nadīm (d. 1896), Aªmad Shawqī (d. 1932) and ÓāfiÕ Ibrāhīm (d. 1932), who all received the patronage of the sultan and other men in high office. Shawqī in particular is known for his panegyrics dedicated to the Ottoman Empire, the sultan and other high officials.70 The articles and speeches of ‘Abd Allāh al-Nadīm, who apparently participated in the ‘Urābī revolution, eloquently capture this feeling of Ottomanism and anti-imperialism. In one of his speeches, most likely published in his satirical magazine Al-Ustādh (1892/3), an anti-colonial publication openly opposed to the British occupation, he stated: These hands, in whose hands should I place them? Place them in the hands of your homeland (wa†an). I beseech you to love the Great Caliph of the

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believers, otherwise you will lose all goodness by placing them in the hands of foreigners who will allure you with false promises and deception so that you become their greatest helper in losing your own rights, in disgracing your brothers, and in eradicating the power of your Amīr and Sultan.71

Ottoman censorship in Lebanon and Syria has been generally condemned and its severity has often been cited as the main reason for the migration of Syrian–Lebanese journalists to Egypt. However, Ottoman censorship was not the main reason for migration. For example, the Taqlā family founded the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahrām in 1875 before Ottoman censorship became stringent in the late 1880s. Likewise, Fāris Nimr and Ya‘qūb Íarrūf moved Al-Muqta†af to Egypt in 1884 because of the lack of intellectual freedom at the Syrian Protestant College (est. 1866). Adīb Isªāq, Jurjī Zaydān, Amīn Shumayyil and Salīm al-Naqqāsh all moved to Egypt before 1889 because of the greater career opportunities for journalists.72 Cioeta points out that Ottoman censorship, viewed in the context of its time, was not particularly harsh and that the Ottoman Empire, like all states, limited to some extent the content of publications for reasons of national security. He adds that it never approached the ideal of absolute press freedom, but was certainly not the harshest censorship regime in Europe; nevertheless, no state was so severely criticised as the Ottoman Empire for suppressing views that were subversive to its existence.73 Thus, like Egyptian intellectuals, Syrian–Lebanese emigrants, who were far removed from any kind of direct Ottoman influence, stood on the whole for the Ottoman Empire. Faraª An†ūn moved to Egypt much later in 1897 and established a journal, Al-Jāmi‘ah al-‘Uthmānīyah (The Ottoman Community), whose title leaves little doubt as to where his political sensibilities lay. In the first issue, while discussing the state of education in the Ottoman territories, he proclaimed: O Ottomans we will indeed establish right before those foreign institutions new schools which will teach the principles of love of homeland (ªubb al-wa†an) and nation (ummah). We will assemble the various ethnic groups of the ummah in one place and teach them the same lessons and principles using modern methods so that they graduate and move into their adult life with one mind and heart. This is the way to strengthen the bond

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of Ottoman patriotism (al-wa†anīyah al-‘uthmānīyah) and to protect the Empire from defilement and destruction.74

In response to An†ūn’s statement, Rashīd Ri∂ā wrote: ‘Thank you, O distinguished writer. May God grant success to the patriotic bond of Ottomanism through your correct principles.’75 In 1899, the Syrian–Lebanese journalist Salīm Taqlā, the founder of Al-Ahrām, made the following statement about Ottoman patriotism: Indeed, there are various ethnic groups (Turks, Arabs, Armenians and Greeks) in the territories of the Ottoman Empire and diverse sects within these groups. But all are united by the bond of Ottomanism, and all without exception submit to the Great Sultan and comply with his authority. This bond has always been an impregnable fortress for its citizens despite the greed of [European] states, and it should be made clear, really clear, that there is nothing but loss in mocking the Ottoman Empire, since the sons of Egypt, Hijaz, Iraq and Syria are brothers of one mother, that is, the Ottoman State, and of one father, namely, His Majesty the Ottoman Sultan . . .76

It was this deep-rooted patriotic fervour for the Ottoman state that led one of its most ardent critics, the Syrian Christian journalist Salīm Sarkīs, to write an article entitled ‘Is Egypt Ottoman?’ which appeared in the April 1899 issue of his newspaper Al-Mushīr. Sarkīs conceded much out of despair: ‘Throughout my whole life, I have never seen nor read about a nation that wants to move from the light of independence to the darkness of servitude, except for this Egyptian nation which wants to hold on to the garment of the Ottoman throne.’77 Although critics like Sarkīs disapproved of Ottoman policies, they were a small minority and never actually called for the establishment of an independent Arab state; they preferred to remain within the Ottoman Empire, but were critical because they wanted better equality and integration between Arabs and Turks. Even at the turn of the nineteenth century, the desire to operate within an Ottoman framework is palpable among the Arab intelligentsia. For example, in Shakīb Arslān (d. 1946), Sharabi highlights, Islamism and Ottomanism found one of their strongest exponents.78 The same holds true for the second

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generation of Christian intellectuals such as Sulaymān al-Bustānī and Ya‘qūb Íarrūf, who continued to seek Syrian and Lebanese advancement in collaboration with Ottoman Turks. Thus, in 1910, when the Syrians in Cairo gave a farewell party to Sulaymān al-Bustānī, the Arab Christian deputy for Beirut, Rafīq al-‘AÕm, complained that the Turks had denied the Arabs their rights and despised their language. Al-Bustānī however dismissed both allegations outright. More important than this ‘official’ denial, Tibawi points out, is the opinion of the independent Ya‘qūb Íarrūf who said: ‘We must co-operate with the Turks, tender advice and remove misunderstandings; we must help them to integrate all races and religious communities so that Ottoman unity becomes a reality.’79 Conclusion The preceding discussion suggests that in the nineteenth century, several internal and external forces contributed to bringing the two communities, Muslim and Christian, together within the framework of Ottoman legitimacy. The most powerful forces were the common heritage of the Arabic language and culture (Arabism). The notion of fatherland (wa†an) served to create a sense of unity on a local level. The Tanzīmāt reforms contriḃ uted by forcing the idea of reconciliation and equality between Christians and Muslims, while the threat of European encroachment made cooperation within an Ottoman framework even more urgent. It is important to recognise that the first generation of reformers, such as al-˝ah†āwī and al-Bustānī, held a combination of overlapping identities without any sense of contradiction. For these scholars, there was a smaller bond of Arabism, a more particular bond of ‘Egyptianism’ or ‘Syrianism’, and yet a general unifying bond of Ottomanism. These identities were by no means mutually exclusive and the nationalist loyalty did not compromise the supra-nationalist. The Ottoman was their global political identity, while the Arab served as their cultural identity subordinate to the Ottoman, and the Egyptian or Syrian were their local territorially defined identities subordinate to the Arab. The smaller Egyptian and Syrian nations were within the Arab nation, which in itself was part of the Ottoman Empire made up of several nations, of different ethnic and religious communities with their own cultures and customs.

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Arabism and patriotism emerged alongside Ottomanism out of a more specific desire to reform Ottoman provinces on a cultural and local level in conjunction with the rest of the empire. Most of those who opted for these local identifications did so because they represented the most natural solution to overcome the various divisions of the local populations and matched their ideal of reorganising their societies along secular and liberal lines. Instilled with a deep faith in progress, most nah∂ah intellectuals believed that their liberal and secular ideas, together with the progressive evolution of the Ottoman Empire towards more secular and liberal norms, would ultimately and peacefully lead to its regeneration. This is the reason why Arabism and patriotism developed not as a response to Ottomanism, but as a reaction to the possibility of its disappearance. Nah∂ah intellectuals continued to regard the Ottoman state as the ultimate source of political legitimacy because it was considered a bulwark against Western colonial powers, and when these concepts took on any real political significance it was in resistance to colonialism not Ottomanism. Thus, until the end of the nineteenth century, several conceptual frameworks were interacting. Through Arabism and patriotism, Arab intellectuals were seeking unity and harmony among their subjects within the larger framework of Ottomanism. They saw this unity as both the key to reform and to liberation from European domination. In this sense, the desire for reform rooted in the Tanzīmāt and then under Sultan ‘Abd al-Óamīd II ̇ remained the driving force behind all three frameworks. It was only at the beginning of the twentieth century, when patriotism, Arabism or Islamism within the Ottoman state was no longer viable, and no legitimate alternative political framework of reference could fill the vacuum, that Arab nationalism emerged. However, none of the nineteenth-century intellectuals such as ‘Abduh, Bu†rus al-Bustānī, Adīb Isªāq, al-Shidyāq, Shumayyil and An†ūn were Arab nationalists: they were Ottoman patriots. Arabism and patriotism for them signified a remedy for internal sociocultural decay and disorder, while Ottomanism represented the principal political solution. At the same time, faced with the threat of Western intrusion and a desire to borrow from and emulate the West, these conceptual frameworks would function as defence mechanisms, allowing them to critically engage with the West, and thus assimilate modernity on their own terms.

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Notes 1. Khalidi, ‘Introduction’, p. xii. 2. See Dawn, ‘The Origins of Arab Nationalism’, p. 3. 3. Dawn describes Islamic modernism as a doctrine whose starting point is regarded as a bitter lamentation for the lost power and glory that had once been Islam’s but had now passed to the Christian West, and which aimed to eliminate the corruption in the heritage and return to pristine Islam in order to recover its lost power and glory. Ibid., pp. 6–7. 4. Ibid., pp. 8–9. 5. Ibid., p. 10. 6. Haim, Arab Nationalism, pp. 3–5; Zeine, The Emergence of Arab Nationalism, pp. 149–50. 7. Suleiman, The Arabic Language and National Identity, p. 108. 8. Ibid., pp. 70, 109. 9. Sheehi, Foundations of Modern Arab Identity, p. 9. 10. Antonius, The Arab Awakening, pp. 54–5. 11. For controversy on the author, see Maqdisī, Al-‘Awāmil, pp. 61–2; and on the function of the Society, see the section on ‘Literary Societies’ in Chapter 8 below. 12. See, e.g., Maqdisī, Al-‘Awāmil, p. 64; Íabā, Al-Shaykh Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī, p. 49; Suleiman, The Arabic Language and National Identity, p. 96; Gully, ‘al-Yāzidjī’, EI 2, vol. 11, p. 317. 13. Dawn, ‘The Origins of Arab Nationalism’, p. 8. 14. See Maqdisī, Al-‘Awāmil, p. 61. 15. See Dawn, ‘The Origins of Arab Nationalism’, p. 7; also section on ‘Abduh below. 16. Khurī, A‘māl al-jam‘īyah, p. 41. 17. Ibid., p. 42. 18. For the full ode, see al-Yāzijī, Al-‘Iqd, pp. 56–9. Íawāyā confirms that al-Óathth ‘alā al-taqaddum was recited in 1868 at the Syrian Scientific Society and that Tanabbahū istafiqū was actually composed in 1883 in the wake of the ‘Urābī revolution. See Íawāyā, Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī, pp. 27, 57. 19. See Reid, ‘The ‘Urabi Revolution’, pp. 217–18. 20. Al-Yāzijī, Al-‘Iqd, pp. 56–9. 21. Dawn, ‘The Origins of Arab Nationalism’, p. 8. 22. Ibid., p. 9.

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arabi sm, patri oti sm and otto ma n is m 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33.

34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43.

44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51.

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Abu-Manneh, ‘The Christians’, pp. 290–1. Al-Bustānī, ‘Khu†bah fī ādāb al-‘arab’, p. 117. Ibid., pp. 101–17. Ibid., p. 108. Ibid., p. 110. Abu-Manneh, ‘The Christians’, p. 291. Ibid., p. 291. Al-Bustānī, ‘Khu†bah fī ādāb al-‘arab’, p. 117. See Dawn, ‘The Origins of Arab Nationalism’, p. 5. Ibid., pp. 4–5. These poems were first published in the introduction to al-˝ah†āwī’s translation of Fénelon’s novel Les aventures de Télémaque, titled Mawāqi‘ al-aflāk fī waqā’i‘ Telmāk (completed in 1851). and then in Manzūmah wa†anīyah mi‚rīyah ̇ (Būlāq, 1856) and Muqqadimah wa†anīyah mi‚rīyah (Būlāq, 1866). The poems were later collected together by ˝āhā Wādī and published under the title Dīwān Rifā‘ah al-˝ah†āwī. Al-˝ah†āwī, Dīwān, pp. 97–8. Ibid., p. 115. Al-˝ah†āwī, Manāhij al-albāb, pp. 251, 256. Ibid., p. 247. Al-˝ah†āwī, Al-Murshid al-amīn, pp. 433–4. Al-Bustānī, Nafīr Sūrīyah, p. 21. Ibid., p. 22. Ibid., p. 48. Ri∂ā, Tārīkh, vol. 1, p. 917. Newman points out that none of the words like wa†an, qawm, qawmīyah, sh‘ab used by Muslim travellers like al-˝ah†āwī, al-Shidyāq and al-Afghānī in their accounts contain any ‘nationalist’ bias. See Newman, ‘Myths and Realities’, p. 41. J. Couland, ‘Wa†anīyya’, EI 2, vol. 11, p. 175. Ri∂ā, Tārīkh, vol. 1, p. 361. Makdisi, ‘Ottoman Orientalism’, p. 770. Ibid., p. 779. Zachs and Bawardi, ‘Ottomanism and Syrian Patriotism’, p. 111. Makdisi, ‘Ottoman Orientalism’, p. 770. Dawn, ‘The Origins of Arab Nationalism’, p. 5. Maqdisī, Al-‘Awāmil, p. 1.

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158 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72.

73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79.

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Abu-Manneh, ‘The Christians’, p. 295. Ibid., pp. 295–6. Maqdisī, Al-‘Awāmil, p. 8. Ibid., p. 9. Ibid., p. 4. Al-Bustānī, Muªī† al-muªī†, p. 2. See ˝arrāzī, Tārīkh al-‚aªāfah, p. 89. Al-Yāzijī, ‘Adab al-dāris’, p. 79. Al-Yāzijī, Al-‘Iqd, p. 19. See preface to al-Shartūnī, Kītāb al-nawādir. Al-Shartūnī, Al-Shihāb, p. 5. Ibid., pp. 11–13. See Tamimi, ‘The Origins of Arab Secularism’, p. 22. See Patel, ‘Nah∂ah Epistolography’, pp. 73, 81. Ri∂ā, Tārīkh, vol. 1, p. 909. Ibid., p. 364. MuªāfaÕah, Al-Ittijāhāt, p. 118. Ibid., p. 120. Maqdisī, Al-‘Awāmil, p. 2. Ibid., pp. 2–3. Cioeta also notes that Syrian journalists such as Salīm Sarkīs did continue to emigrate after 1889 because of censorship, and others like Faraª An†ūn and Rashīd Ri∂ā may also have been motivated by censorship, but overall the greater opportunity for educated men in Egypt was a stronger motivation. See Cioeta, ‘Ottoman Censorship’, p. 179. Ibid., pp. 180–1. Maqdisī, Al-‘Awāmil, p. 6. Ibid., p. 6. Ibid., p. 5. Ibid., p. 6. Sharabi, Arab Intellectuals and the West, p. 110. Tibawi, Modern History of Syria, p. 202.

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6 Arab Intellectuals and the West: Borrowing for the Sake of Progress rab thinkers were convinced that the desired renaissance of their societies required some borrowing from Europe. This chapter examines the views of key Arab intellectuals and looks at how they rationalised the importation of Western secular knowledge in order to reform their societies. The chapter argues that while Arab thinkers accepted certain ‘enlightened’ Western epistemological principles for reform, they also maintained alternative paradigms (e.g., Arabism) in order to give their identity a stable historical dimension and a moral synthesis that would enable them to modernise without losing their identity. This same tendency is furthermore discerned in translated works of the later part of the nineteenth century. Using examples from the humanist literature of the period, the chapter shows how translators were no longer content with a straightforward mechanical transposition from a foreign source, as was largely the case under Muªammad ‘Alī. On the contrary, later translators, while borrowing from the West, sought to maintain the purity of Arabic, contributed by elaborating their own views and adapted the obtained knowledge to the framework of their own cultural values, which allowed them to benefit from non-Arab learning without compromising their identity and values.

A

The Case for Selective Borrowing Arab intellectuals such as al-Bustānī, al-˝ah†āwī, Khayr al-Dīn and ‘Abduh believed that the desired renaissance of Arab society required some borrowing from Europe. They therefore considered the possibility and legitimacy of importing Western secular knowledge in order to modernise their societies. It is remarkable that these intellectuals adopted almost the same line of reasoning to justify the idea of borrowing from the West. They rationalised that 159

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Europe had surpassed the Arab-Islamic world in civilisation because it had made better use of science. If the Arabs could therefore master and employ European sciences in the same fashion, they could equal the West. In so doing, they would reclaim what was their own, for the Muslims had acquired sciences from the Greeks and then handed them to the Europeans. Al-Bustānī’s following statement in Khu†bah fī ādāb al-‘arab (1959) clearly conveys this line of reasoning: When science and culture (al-‘ulūm wa-al-ādāb) were in danger of being lost due to turmoil in the West, they found refuge in the schools of the Arabs who preserved the middle link in the chain of knowledge that connected old learning to the new. Without this link there would be a huge void between the ancient and modern sciences . . . When Europe was immersed in medieval ignorance, it was the Arabs who opened their schools to the Europeans to awaken them from their indifference, and sciences reached the borders of Europe under the protection of the Islamic crescent.1

Al-˝ah†āwī was perhaps the first in a series of Islamic reformers who worked to create a Muslim approach to modernity that could be both Islamic and modern. In Takhlī‚ al-ibrīz (1834), he stated that the West had surpassed the East because of its progress in the sciences (‘ulūm) and arts ( funūn). It was therefore the duty of the ‘ulamā’ to encourage the acquisition of Western sciences and arts. For if the East could obtain what was beneficial of these sciences through borrowing and translation and then educate the masses, it would create an enlightened generation that would lead the country to progress and civilisation.2 Later, in Manāhij al-albāb (1869), he restated classical Islamic philosophy’s view on the complementary relationship between reason and revelation, thereby giving Islamic sanction to the study of European sciences and the modernisation of government institutions for the sake of progress. Al-˝ah†āwī also argued that Muslims who studied modern science and technology would be retrieving knowledge that Arabs had imparted to Europe centuries earlier and in this sense was probably the first to contend, in Manāhij al-albāb, that Muslims must learn all the modern sciences, since Europeans had developed them after borrowing from Muslims themselves.3 Khayr al-Dīn al-Tūnisī also justified borrowing from Europe in similar terms. In his monumental work Aqwām al-masālik fī ma‘rifat aªwāl

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al-mamālik (The Surest Path to Knowledge on the Condition of Countries, 1867), after describing the many areas of progress in Europe since the time of Charlemagne, he highlighted the influences that had reached Europe from the Arab-Islamic world at the height of its glory. Their borrowing from Europe now would therefore only mean the re-acquisition of what was once their own.4 He returned to the topic again in response, it seems, to criticisms from ‘ulamā’ who did not share his ‘liberal’ attitude towards the West. He answered that: Religion did not prevent the means of progress and civilisation made by non-Muslims; rather Islam encourages us by the saying of the Prophet (pbuh) that ‘Wisdom is the cherished object of the believer who should take it wherever he finds it.’ Today we have found it in Europe and should take it just as our ancestors had found it with the Greeks – who are Europeans – and they took from them.5

This attitude was widespread among prominent intellectuals throughout the Islamic world. Whether it was al-Afghānī and ‘Abduh in Egypt, Namik Kemal in Turkey or Sayyid Ahmad Khan in India, these thinkers preached the cultivation of science and the appropriation of Western scientific dynamism, and their reasoning differed little from their Christian counterparts such as al-Bustānī. Rahman highlights that except for al-Afghānī and ‘Abduh, these men hardly knew each other, but their arguments were amazingly similar. The integral constituents of their reasoning, he notes, are as follows: (1) the flowering of science and the scientific spirit from the ninth to the thirteenth century among Muslims resulted from fulfilment of the insistent Qur’ānic requirement, that man study the universe – the handiwork of God, which has been created for his benefit; (2) in the later medieval period, the spirit of inquiry had severely declined in the Muslim world and Muslim society had stagnated and deteriorated; (3) the West had cultivated scientific studies that it borrowed largely from Muslims and hence had prospered, even colonising the Muslim countries themselves; and (4) Muslims, in learning science afresh from the developed West, would be both recovering the past and re-fulfilling the neglected commandments of the Qur’ān.6

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Intellectuals urging the acquisition of Western science and technology imposed no specific restrictions on the desired branches of knowledge. According to Abu-Lughod, even Muslim scholars recommended all Western fields of study with the exclusion of theology.7 However, it is significant that Islamic reformers in particular adopted a selective formula containing many epistemological tensions. They wanted modernisation without the philosophical underpinnings and the sociopolitical outlook that derives from their application in the West. They attempted to combine a strategy of acceptance and rejection of the West based on the assumption that Western science and technology is separable from philosophy, culture and imperialism of the West. ‘Abduh, for example, believed that ‘genuine’ reform could be achieved only gradually and through the selective borrowing of Western learning and achievements that were either compatible with Arab-Islamic traditions or could be adapted to fit the framework of its values. He therefore warned against the blind indiscriminant imitation of the West: Those who want to make our country a replica of Europe will not succeed and will only harm themselves and the country through their various projects which are destined to fail. Those who think that the wholesale importation of Western scientific knowledge and culture will somehow catapult the country to a level of civilisation to match the West are greatly mistaken. For the progress of the West is the result of a long arduous struggle involving great sacrifices and even then they have been unable to fully achieve what they had intended . . . Blind imitation without first laying the proper foundations will destroy our values and customs . . .8

˝āhir al-Jazā’irī expressed a similar view in a letter sent to one of his pupils from Cairo dated 1910. He wrote: It has been a pleasure to read your letter on your visit to Europe. Borrowing from developed nations is a sign of intelligence and not as the foolish think a sign of disgrace. Borrowing, however, means obtaining only that which is beneficial for us from these countries; we should not as some think take everything from these nations so much so that we begin to imitate them in matters which we ourselves are trying to get rid off.9

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This is not to say that Arab intellectual leaders were exclusively interested in the science and technology of the West as Muªammad ‘Alī had been. Quite the contrary, they accepted certain ‘enlightened’ Western epistemological principles for reform. The influence of the French philosophers of the Enlightenment, and Auguste Comte’s positivism in which education and knowledge were supposed to pave the way for social and political reform, is apparent in the importance Arab intellectuals placed on education, knowledge and science as a means of defeating ignorance and overcoming social backwardness.10 What is generally less understood is that Arab thinkers had already formulated alternative intellectual frameworks or paradigms that allowed them to critically engage with the West on a cultural and political level. Thus, whether they turned to the Arabic language to furnish the verbal nexus between tradition and modernity, or embraced the doctrine of Arabism, patriotism and Ottomanism, it was partly out of a desire to modernise without surrendering to Western culture or imperialism. Accepting the attitudes of modernity and secularism wholesale like the Turks would have cut Arabs off from their own past. The idea of Arabism, though inextricably rooted in the distant Arab-Islamic past, provided their identity with a stable historical dimension and a moral synthesis, allowing them to assimilate Western ideas without losing identity. In many ways, faced with doubleedged modernity, the enlightened and aggressive colonialist sides of the West, the desire to operate thus among nah∂ah intellectuals and literati especially in the later part of the nineteenth century was inevitable. Muªammad ‘Alī and the Official Translation Movement up to 1850 The development of translation activity in the nineteenth century comprised two main phases, reflecting the needs and activities of its sponsors in the two main centres of translation in Egypt and Lebanon: the first, from around 1800–1850, saw the state-sponsored translation movement of Muªammad ‘Alī as part of his modernising program for Egypt; the second phase, extending from 1850 to 1914 and embracing the translation activities of private individuals mainly in Lebanon, accompanied developments in education and the periodical press. These dates should be considered as general chronological indicators rather than as precise points of change, as these movements of translation have overlapped and co-existed.

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Arabs of the nineteenth century, as with their ninth-century predecessors, turned to translation as the method by which Western knowledge would be imported into the Arab world; the nineteenth-century translation movement in Egypt and Lebanon was to prove as significant to the nah∂ah as the earlier movement of translation had been to the intellectual efflorescence of the ‘Abbāsid era. Muªammad ‘Alī first exploited this method in the first half of the nineteenth century as part of a modernising programme for Egypt whereby he hoped to create a strong and viable modern state in Egypt on the Western European model. To this end, he founded several new European-style educational institutions and needed translation to fill a lacunae in textbooks and manuals that could teach the desired technical know-how in the native Arabic language to his workforce of army officers, doctors and engineers at these institutions. He first used local translators who worked in his Dīwān and various government departments, and attached a stipulation to the student mission in Paris (1826) to translate French books and send them to Egypt. Both these methods, however, proved to be unsuccessful in meeting the growing demand for translations because of the shortage of competent translators and the disorganised nature of the official translation movement.11 A real breakthrough came around 1835 when al-˝ah†āwī presented his vision of an institution that would train officials and translators in Arabic and foreign languages, and undertake translations of Western works for the benefit of the state without the need of foreign personnel to Muªammad ‘Alī. The institution would also prepare Egyptians for professional school and serve as a link between the East and West. Muªammad ‘Alī accepted the plan, and in June 1836 the School of Translation was set up in the palace of Alfī Bey under the supervision of a certain Ibrāhīm Efendi. However, with the reorganisation of the school’s administration between 1836 and 1837, the name was changed to the School of Languages (Madrasat al-Alsun). As part of the restructuring, Muªammad ‘Alī appointed al-˝ah†āwī as head of the school in January 1837, and a Translation Bureau (est. 1841) was also set up under al-˝ah†āwī within the school to serve as a central clearing house for all translated material. Training in the school was mainly in languages, including French and Arabic, and some Turkish, English and Italian for officers. Some engineering, history, geography and mathematics was also taught.12 As head of the school, al-˝ah†āwī became the guiding spirit of the entire

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translation movement in Egypt in the early part of the nineteenth century and, consequently, one of the most important figures in the growing Arab awareness of the West in the nineteenth century. Although he was entrusted in 1842 with the editorship of the official newspaper Al-Waqā’i‘ al-Mi‚rīyah for a time, his most important work was, without question, as a translator and supervisor of translators. Over the next twenty years (1822–42), he wrote and translated forty-six books on various subjects, including geography, history, Greek philosophy and military science.13 The centralisation of translation activity within the school from 1836 onwards had a tremendous impact. It ensured the rapid growth of both the translation movement itself and the broader movement of increased knowledge of the West. The translators were numerous and thousands of works were translated into Arabic. This is the reason why some scholars have referred to Muªammad ‘Alī’s reign as ‘the era of translation’.14 According to some estimates, al-˝ah†āwī’s School of Languages translated around 1,000 works into Arabic and Turkish, while according to others the school produced more than 2,000 translations. Of these, the Būlāq Press alone published some 243 translated works in the period up to 42.15 All this came to an abrupt end with the death of Muªammad ‘Alī (d. 1849). His grandson and successor ‘Abbās had al-˝ah†āwī sent to Khartūm in 1850 to what was virtual exile and the School of Languages was closed the following year. Al-˝ah†āwī was allowed to return to Cairo only in 1854 when Sa‘īd succeeded ‘Abbās. Here, he remained unemployed until the ascension of Ismā’īl who re-opened the School of Languages in 1863 and appointed al-˝ah†āwī as director.16 The subject matter of state-sponsored translation under Muªammad ‘Alī had remained mainly technical, with the notable absence of works dealing with pure science, philosophy, logic and law. The subjects translated expanded after 1836 to include some books on history, arts and travel literature, but the selection of material for translation continued to be determined by purely utilitarian motives, rather than discursive interests. This is clearly reflected in the colossal number of predominantly technical works translated in that period under official auspices in Egypt, which was then the centre of the translation movement.17 The contrast could not have been greater from the Greek works adapted and translated by Arabs in the ninth century. Abu-Lughod notes that the

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striking fact about the earlier translations was that they covered a wide range of knowledge, with three notable exceptions: literature, theology and history. On the other hand, Greek science, philosophy, logic, mathematics, zoology, botany, astronomy and related fields all became part of the legacy of medieval Arabs. By comparison, he adds, the later translation was more limited. Technical works were its chief concern, and these were rarely ‘pure science’. Geography and history were secondary, while minor attention was paid to literature and law. Philosophy, logic and science in its pure sense received virtually no attention.18 Because of this, the nature of the society which had produced the evolution of the scientific–technological spirit, together with the accompanying epistemology that gave birth to the social institutions that emerged in the West, could never have been fully appreciated by the Arabs. Abu-Lughod highlights that the superstructure of the cultural manifestations was transmitted, but not the intellectual bent of mind that had led to its establishment in the West. Thus, he concludes, the early nineteenth-century transmission of European knowledge had only a limited immediate effect on the intellectual outlook of Arabs. It introduced superficial changes, but did not shake the foundations of Arab society as it had in the ninth century.19 The Private Enterprise in the Fertile Crescent (1850–1910) Whereas Egypt had witnessed a period of vibrant translation activity under Muªammad ‘Alī, the unstable social, political and economic situation in Lebanon was not conducive to the development of a translation movement in the early of part of the nineteenth century. The rule of Amīr Bashīr al-Shihābī II (1789–1840) was plagued by internal squabbles and sectarian disputes, fuelled by the wider struggle between the Ottoman Empire, Muªammad ‘Alī, and the British and the French. The situation gradually stabilised in Lebanon during the later part of the nineteenth century, as Muslim, Druze and Maronite groups focused on economic and cultural developments that would transform Beirut into a commercial and cultural capital within the next few decades. This period also saw the flowering of intellectual and literary activity linked to broader attempts to modernise the Ottoman Empire and the initiatives of foreign missionaries. All these factors contributed to the growth of education and the periodical press in Lebanon, which in turn would have a significant impact on the translation movement whose develop-

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ment went hand in hand with the spread of education and the expansion of the periodical press. The rise of missionary educational institutions created a huge demand for translation and the contribution of the American Protestant and Jesuit missionaries should not be underestimated in this regard. They vied with one another from the very beginning in educational activities, and established major institutions such as the Syrian Protestant College (today the American University of Beirut (AUB)) and the Jesuit College (now the Université Saint-Joseph (USJ)). The main language of instruction at both these institutions was initially Arabic. However, the teachers lacked the core textbooks in the native language to teach the new Western-style syllabus to their students, and therefore undertook translations of European school textbooks to fill the lacunae with the support of the American (est. 1834) and Catholic (est. 1848) presses, the two major presses attached to these colleges which undertook publishing and editorial programmes. Together, they translated a large number of beneficial works. As the two colleges expanded their activities in the 1870s and 1880s, the range of subjects taught increased, as did the demand for the type of translated material. Up to the end of the nineteenth century, the American Press was mainly preoccupied with the translation of scientific works and dictionaries in the fields of medicine, natural sciences and astronomy. The Catholic Press, on the other hand, took a different direction, that of the arts. It produced translations of religious, linguistic and literary works, including grammars, dictionaries and chrestomathies of current and classical works. Although the two missionary presses were always governed by strict moral and religious norms, they continued to make significant contributions to the translation movement until the AUB changed its main language of instruction to English in the 1880s and the USJ to French. Equally, many of the alumni of these two institutions went on to make significant contributions to the later development of the translation movement as well as to the nah∂ah in general.20 Alongside the missionary presses, there appeared a number of private presses uninhibited by the interests of the state or religious institutions. With the rapid rise of journalism in the 1850s, the burgeoning private presses in Lebanon were already relying heavily on Western tabloids to fill their columns, and regularly published translated pieces on war, politics, science and

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literature. From the 1860s, newspapers and journals in Beirut turned to the translation and adaptation of European texts for their literary entertainment value alone in response to growing demands from a new type of secular readership for imported literary forms that had captured their imagination from the late 1850s. In the later part of the nineteenth century, this private enterprise gained increased momentum in the Fertile Crescent, which became the new centre of translation.21 Abu-Lughod indicates that increasing numbers of translations from European works were made, not under governmental auspices but by private individuals trying to meet an existing demand. These translators were Arabs who had established contact with American and French missionaries who also did some translation, and many of the later translators were graduates of the newly established AUB and USJ in Beirut. As the centre of translation moved to the Fertile Crescent, and Syrians became the chief translators, there occurred a major shift in the subject matter translated. Arabs were coming to appreciate, according to Abu-Lughod, the literary expression of Western society, independent of its utilitarian value. This interest led them to translate significant ‘humanist’ literature, which ultimately assumed an importance that was out of proportion to its quantity.22 Catering to a new type of literate public, mostly for entertainment, many periodicals and journals began to publish translated novels, short stories and plays in serialisation. These were new genres of literature, nothing like what had existed previously in popular and classical Arabic works.23 Nah∂ah Humanists: The Bona Fide Cultural Producers The rapid expansion of translation activity in the second half of the nineteenth century had a huge impact on the modernisation of the Arabic language and literature. Besides the obvious impact on terminology, translations contributed to the development of a plain concise style of Arabic prose more concerned with content than form, and paved the way for creative and original activity by Arab authors in literature and other fields. The increase in translation activity, however, also brought with it its own set of problems, and this is why translation has been seen as one of the principal though imperfect means by which Western techniques, ideas and values were transmitted to the Arab world.24 On the one hand, the Arabic language was unprepared to meet the huge demand for new terms and concepts and, on the other, indi-

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vidual translators were employing their own standards without due regard to the fundamentals of the language, which was having a very negative impact. In response, a number of writers proposed a ban on translation altogether, others proposed the use of colloquial words, and others still the use of French and English words. The majority of nah∂ah scholars, such as al-Shidyāq, Bu†rus al-Bustānī, Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī, Jurjī Zaydān, Yā‘qūb Íarrūf and Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī, however, believed that Arabic was more than capable of meeting modern needs and coined new words and compiled dictionaries to meet the growing demand. At the same time, from the mid-nineteenth century, a number of the more conservative writers, such as al-Shartūnī and al-Yāzijī, undertook a campaign of resistance to what was considered the excessive modernisation of the Arabic language and its literary genres under Western influence. Alarmed by the incorrect use of Arabic by writers and translators in the press and elsewhere, they were at pains to preserve the purity of the language and attempted to regulate translations by promoting certain ‘correct’ standards and methods. Because these scholars worked as individuals with some imposing more rigorous standards than others, they never really came close to reaching any kind of consensus on actual linguistic standards. They did, however, share an indomitable fervour for the Arabic language which manifested itself in their vigorous activities and helped to raise awareness among translators.25 In this context, it is important to point out that translation occupied a key role among nearly all nah∂ah intellectuals, and although the conservatives attempted to regulate translations they never argued against the need to import European knowledge for cultural progress. In fact, they were often translators themselves, took an active interest in Western learning, and contributed significantly to the nah∂ah movement towards translation and adaptation. According to most sources, Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī’s activities, for example, were exclusively confined to the Arabic tradition.26 However, the little autobiographical information available, particularly letters he sent to Muªammad ‘Abduh shows that al-Shartūnī was no exception to the desire to translate in a number of areas. In a letter dated 1877, al-Shartūnī excused himself for not writing to ‘Abduh on the grounds that he was preoccupied with a large amount of translation from French into Arabic, and had translated three sermons belonging to the French writer Fénelon; he then asked ‘Abduh to

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reply to him in French.27 Al-Shartūnī was, indeed, familiar with French, a fact corroborated by his translation of Fénelon’s three sermons which he published as an attachment to his edition of Jirmānūs Farªāt’s work on oratory Fa‚l al-khi†āb fī al-wa‘Õ (1896).28 Al-Shartūnī’s interest in European languages and sources is, furthermore, evidenced by his translation of a speech, ‘Khu†bat Cicero fī al-muªāmāh ‘an Ligarius’, which is a successful defence by Cicero on behalf of the Roman knight Quintus Ligarius (c. 50 bc) who was accused of treason for having opposed Julius Caesar in a war in Africa. In al-Shartūnī’s words he translated this speech from French ‘out of a burning desire to acquaint Arabic speakers with Cicero’s orations because none are available in the Arabic language’.29 In addition, al-Shartūnī wrote a number of important articles on translation which appeared in his larger works on style and eloquence and in various journals. In Kitāb al-mu‘īn fī ‚inā’at al-inshā’ (1899), after highlighting that Arabs had translated numerous works from the Persians, Greeks and Syrians, al-Shartūnī stated that: The Europeans translated the great achievements of the Arab, Persian, Greek, Indian and Syrian civilisations, studied their traditions and customs and partook of the knowledge particular to these civilisations. They made every effort to learn about the conditions of nations so much so that they were able to overcome stagnation ( jumūd ) and revive (iªyā’) their societies, and make huge contributions to our understanding of past cultures and civilisations. Translation is thus the key to all non-native knowledge (ma‘ārif ) and the means that enables us to interact with the great civilisations of the past and present and partake of their beneficial works.30

In another work, Kitāb ma†āli‘ al-a∂wā’ (1908), al-Shartūnī asserted: Translation is the means for the progress (taqaddum) of knowledge (‘ulūm) and civilisation (‘umrān). Europeans have always been untiring in seeking out the accomplishments of past civilisations and in making new discoveries and that by this means (i.e. desire, will, effort and translation) they have accumulated the knowledge (ma‘ārif ) of all nations past and present so that their lands have become sources of enlightenment wherein the flags of precedence (sabq) and progress (taqaddum) have been erected over all nations of the world.31

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Al-Shartūnī’s example of Europe functions as a formula for progress. The underlying notion in both statements is that the increased knowledge which Europeans acquired through translation led to their reform and progress, so, if Arabs were to follow suit, there was no reason why they could not achieve a better position in the world. The same idea was endemic to the reformist discourses of nah∂ah thinkers such as al-Bustānī and ‘Abduh, which suggests that al-Shartūnī like these scholars had embraced a key idea of Western modernity – the notion of reform and progress – and had accepted a key Western epistemological principle of reform: that increased knowledge would defeat stagnation and pave the way for progress and civilisation. At the same time, al-Shartūnī attempted to regulate translations by promoting certain ‘correct’ standards and methods. In the preface to Kitāb al-Mu‘īn, he stated that the absence of proper guidelines for translators had resulted in many incorrect translations and was having a very negative influence on the Arabic language. He thus wished to acquaint students with some of its correct principles.32 In Kitāb ma†āli‘, he strongly encouraged translators to use only those foreign words and expressions (dakhīl ) that are compatible with the Arabic language: ‘For incompatible terminology will surely taint the purity of the Arabic language.’ In addition, he emphasised that translators should find the proper Arabic equivalent for European terms, while recourse to direct borrowing (isti‘ārah) should be the very last resort, since ‘Arabic is rich in vocabulary and fully capable of meeting all new challenges’. Al-Shartūnī was furthermore critical of the widespread usage of foreign words and expressions in Egypt: It is nothing but oppression (Õulm) on Arabic that writers in Egypt are using numerous foreign terms even though there are Arabic equivalents available, for instance: kātib al-sirr instead of sekreter. This is a great injustice – unacceptable to those eager for the purity (naqāwah) of Arabic, and a predicament from which only they can be saved.33

The solution for al-Shartūnī was that scholars should devote themselves to the study of Arabic dictionaries in order to come up with new Arabic equivalents for foreign terms. Similarly, despite Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī’s conservatism towards the Arabic language, he was not against borrowing from the West through translation;

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his main concern was that translations adhered to the requirements of classical Arabic. He was himself proficient in French, Syriac and Hebrew, and had assisted the Jesuit missionaries in revising the translation of the Old Testament, which included the Vulgate, into Arabic. He spent nine years on this project and helped to produce what is widely regarded as one of the most accurate Arabic translations of the Old Testament.34 Moreover, in a speech delivered to a group of students at the Patriarchate School in Beirut on 20 July 1890, al-Yāzijī strongly urged the students to recover the learning that was once rightfully theirs, but that had now passed to the foreigner: For centuries we have been in a state of backwardness (takhalluf ) and stagnation (wuqūf ) unlike other nations (umam) [of the world] which have progressed (raqā’ ) to the pinnacles of learning and civilisation . . . Today we need to reclaim (istirjā) that learning and civilisation and transmit it to the Arabic language so that we can catch up with those nations and resume our journey on the path of progress (taqaddum) . . . All of you have taken a good share of the languages of those nations and have acquired the basic [linguistic and technical] skills that will enable you to transmit much of the beneficial learning hidden behind the garb of foreigners [i.e., foreign languages] and return it back to an Arabic mould and disseminate it in your countries. All this will enrich the learning (‘ulūm) of the homeland (wa†an) and embellish the translation bureaus . . .35

Al-Yāzijī’s main concern was that the borrowing and translation should be done ‘correctly’ in accordance with the fundamentals and requirements of the classical Arabic language. To this end, he devoted numerous articles in his journals to translation, such as the series of four articles titled ‘Al-Ta‘rīb al-Lughawī’ (Al-¤iyā’, 1899–1900) wherein he spelt out the principles of translation and suggested various lexical terms for foreign concepts based on Arabic forms, such as min†ād (balloon), al-sayyārah (automobile) and al-nābi‘ (fountain pen).36 In other articles, titled ‘al-Lughah wa-al-‘A‚r’ (Bayān, 1897), it is clear that he fully believed that the Arabic language was rich enough to meet the requirements of the modern age based on classical normative principles, and argued that the weakness was not in the Arabic language but in writers and translators. He stated:

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It is our national duty (khidmah wa†anīyah) to free the language from the noose of foreign words. The Arabic language is passing through its most difficult time because it is trapped between two great dangers: the influence of Western languages and various forces bent on destroying its supporters.37

Thus, nah∂ah conservatives such as al-Shartūnī and al-Yāzijī took an active interest in European languages and sources, translated material themselves, and simultaneously attempted to regulate translations by promoting certain ‘correct’ standards and methods based on classical normative principles, which shows that they were not simply content with a straightforward mechanical transposition from a foreign source, but also sought to maintain the ‘purity’ of the Arabic language. Accordingly, what transpires from the translation movement in the later part of the nineteenth century is that scholars assumed an active role as cultural producers rather than just translators, and that the preferred method especially among the more conservative scholars was the assimilation and adaptation of the source material rather than its indiscriminate adoption. Thus, while attempting to preserve the purity of the Arabic language, they also contributed by elaborating their own views and sought to adapt the source to the framework of Arab cultural values in order to maintain cultural authenticity. Because of the often subtle nature of such borrowings, however, it is easy to underestimate the value and extent of such works in the nah∂ah. Works generally thought to be based on Arabic tradition, are really adaptations of Western learning to the framework of Arab cultural values. As an example, Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī’s manual on oratory, Kitāb al-ghu‚n al-ra†īb fī fann al-kha†īb (1908), is generally thought to be based on the principles and techniques of the pre-modern period.38 A recent study, however, reveals the work as a pioneering attempt in the nah∂ah to fill a lacuna in available Arabic works on oratory by assimilating Western rhetoric into the Arab literary perception. Al-Shartūnī appropriates the principles of oratory from the rhetorical works of Aristotle and Cicero, and draws on ArabIslamic sources for his language and choice of examples to the extent that his work represents an adaptation and interpretation of Aristotle’s and Cicero’s works rather than a verbatim translation. The examples, taken from some of the most authoritative Arab religious and literary traditions (e.g., Prophet

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Muªammad, Imām Abū Óanīfah, Alī’s Nahj al-balāghah and al-Óarīrī’s Maqāmāt) not only serve as illustrations of particular concepts set down by Aristotle and Cicero, but also to adapt and domesticate the imported ideas to the framework of Arab-Islamic cultural values and the needs of an Arab audience.39 Likewise, very little is known about the letter-writing manuals produced in the nah∂ah and it is not clear what factors might have influenced them. Al-Shartūnī’s manual on epistolography, Al-Shihāb al-thāqib fī ‚inā’at al-kātib (1884), for example, comprises the theory of letter-writing and a large corpus of model letters in a style generally thought to resemble the pre-modern Arab epistolary genre. A detailed analysis of the work, however, reveals it was a significant attempt by al-Shartūnī to appropriate elements of the Western ars dictaminis (the art of letter-writing) for the benefit of an Arab Christian audience in the nah∂ah. Al-Shartūnī draws on the Western dictaminal tradition for the principles of letter-writing and on Arab-Islamic culture for his terminology and examples, including numerous model salutations, signatures, and addresses for use in correspondence with various Arab Muslim and Christian hierarchies, and over 200 model letters catering primarily for the needs, customs and formalities of an Arab Christian audience in an Ottoman context.40 Another eloquent example is Jabr ¤ūmi†’s (1859–1930) Falsafat al-balāghah (1898), which while a translation of Herbert Spencer’s Philosophy of Style, is adapted to the needs and cultural values of the Arab reading public. For example, ¤ūmi† fuses Spencer’s views on various matters with dictates from the classical Arab critics. In addition, he illustrates many of the principles therein with excerpts from Arabic literature, referring to such classics as al-Ghazālī’s Iªyā’. According to Cachia, ¤ūmi†’s was to prove the most direct and concentrated method by which Western criteria were integrated into Arab literary perception.41 A similar tendency is evident in the huge corpus of translated Western fiction and drama of the period. Writers were not content with the simple uncritical adoption of European fiction, but sought to maintain cultural authenticity by translating works that were either compatible with Arab traditions or could be adapted to fit the framework of their own cultural values, initially though translation and adaptation and later through the Arabisation of the material itself. The very first men to translate whole works of European

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fiction in modern Arabic literature were al-˝ah†āwī and al-Bustānī in the 1860s. Their translations were rather faithful to the original albeit in their own peculiar way. Al-˝ah†āwī’s translation of Fénelon’s didactic novel, Les aventures de Télémaque (1696), which he called Mawāqi‘ al-aflāk fī waqā’i‘ Tilimāk (The Position of Stars on Telemachus’ Adventures) was completed around 1851, but was first published in Beirut only in 1867. The translation as a whole represents a paraphrase of Fénelon’s novel which al-˝ah†āwī adapted by casting the material in a strictly classical Arabic form of expression. Besides the rhyming title, al-˝ah†āwī rendered the whole work into rhymed prose in total adherence to the practices of late medieval Arabic literature, and used stylistic features abundant in classical Arabic prose such as parallelism and synonymic pairs. However, there was no attempt on al-˝ah†āwī’s part to Arabise the material or the characters of Fénelon’s novel, as was done by some of al-˝ah†āwī’s disciples later. A different, somewhat ‘non-classical’, approach to the translation of fiction was adopted by al-Bustānī in his translation of Daniel Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe, which he published under the rhymed title Al-Tuªfa al-bustānīyah fī al-asfār al-Krūzīyah (The Bustanian Gem in Crusoe’s Travels, Beirut, 1961). Despite the rhyming title, the translation as a whole is unrhymed and virtually devoid of the parallelism feature in al-˝ah†āwī’s translation. Somekh points out that he also made what is probably the first attempt in modern Arabic literature to deliberately employ elements of dialect (such as calques of the vernacular) in a narrative dialogue, within a work written in classical Arabic.42 But, whereas al-˝ah†āwī sought to maintain cultural authenticity by casting the material of the novel in a strictly traditional mould, al-Bustānī’s choice of work itself served as a justification for the translation. The appeal of the work was its relative familiarity, motivated by the same defensive mode of reasoning seen earlier in the thought of nah∂ah Arab intellectuals to justify borrowing from the West. Robinson Crusoe was influenced by Ibn ˝ufayl’s (1110–85) well-known Arabic classic, Óayy ibn YaqÕān (Alive, son of Awake), which was the first Arabic novel. It had a significant influence not only on Arabic and Persian literature, but also on European literature and modern Western philosophy, and became one of the most important works that heralded the scientific revolution and European Enlightenment after it was translated into Latin (1671) and other European languages. In 1719, one

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of the English translations inspired Daniel Defoe to write Robinson Crusoe, which is widely regarded as among the earliest English novels. In turn, Crusoe had an enormous impact on the thought of the Enlightenment. Thus, in translating the novel into Arabic, al-Bustānī was only reclaiming what was in fact part of the Arabs’ own cultural legacy.43 According to Somekh, in the history of Arabic literary translation, the neo-classical model represented by al-˝ah†āwī had a certain following mainly in the late nineteenth century, but it was the other set of norms, represented by al-Bustānī’s translation, that eventually gained the upper hand. The decades that followed his translation of Robinson Crusoe witnessed a huge rise in translators of fiction into Arabic. Most were Lebanese Christians who settled and flourished in Egypt in the last decades of the nineteenth century, and brought with them many of the non-classical stylistic predilections which would have a major influence on a new generation of novelists.44 Translations of fiction were usually very free adaptations of French novels, short stories and drama, rewritten or adapted rather than literally rendered into Arabic, and tailored to the needs and tastes of an Arab audience. Translators tended to Arabise the material and had no problems dropping passages from the text, altering names, speeches and attitudes of the original characters, and interspersing the narrative with Arabic verse, which shows that writers still sought to maintain cultural authenticity but by focusing more on the content rather than the form. Works of literary value, sentimental stories, historical romances, science fiction, crime and detective stories were particularly popular. Alexandre Dumas père, Jules Verne, Ponson du Terrail, Leblanc and Eugène Sue were among the favourite authors. The Lebanese journalist Najīb al-Óaddād (1867–99), one of the most prolific and competent translators of fiction in late nineteenth-century Egypt, translated works by Alexandre Dumas père, Lamartine and others. Later translators were to adapt Walter Scott, Conan Doyle, Wilkie Collins, Dickens and Thackeray. Translations ranged from Aesop’s Fables, Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty, Wyss’ Swiss Family Robinson, and the stories of Hans Christian Andersen, to the edifying literature of Christoph von Schmid and Henri Lammens. In Arabic drama, the principal early adaptations were made in Syria by Salīm al-Naqqāsh (1850–84) and Adīb Isªāq (1856–84), and in Egypt by Ya‘qūb Íanū and Muªammad ‘Uthmān Jalāl. The plays of Molière, Corneille, Racine and the Italian Goldoni

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were an early source of inspiration. Adīb Isªāq contributed with his Arabic adaptation of Racine’s Andromaque and translation from French of an historical play called Charlemagne. He also published in 1884 the translation of La belle parisienne, al-Bārīsīyah al-ªasnā’, by Comtesse Dash, of which he had produced an Arabic version in his youth.45 The last decades of the nineteenth century saw a huge increase in translated fiction, easily into the thousands, though the actual amount is difficult to assess since much of it was carried out by authors who are themselves little known. As an example, the Lebanese author Shākir Shuqayr wrote and translated about thirty stories and wrote several plays.46 The huge increase owed a great deal to the proliferation of periodicals in which novels were serialised (over twenty between 1884 and 1914) and others that specialised in publishing novels (fifteen between 1884 and 1914). Among the main authors were Jurjī Zaydān, Farāª An†ūn and Yā‘qūb Íarrūf, who edited the journals Al-Hilāl, Al-Jāmi‘ah and Al-Muqta†af, respectively. It is Jurjī Zaydān’s twenty-two historical novels, written between 1891 and 1914 that have remained among the most popular novels in the Arab world until today. Crabbs highlights that Zaydān was a stylistic innovator and his great service was to open up new literary and historical vistas to the Arab reader through his novels. But here, too, one needs to exercise caution because it is easy to underestimate the value and extent of such works in the nah∂ah owing to the subtle nature of borrowings. Crabbs adds that many scholars now feel that the originality of some of his work is suspect, and that he in fact ‘borrowed’ much of his material from contemporary European authors.47 Conclusion The foregoing discussion has shown that despite ideological, confessional and regional differences, Arab reformers, intellectuals and literati during the nah∂ah agreed that native Arab-Islamic culture was in a state of decline and therefore in need of the infusion of Western knowledge and learning for its cultural, social and political regeneration. They also adopted almost the same apologetic line of reasoning to justify the idea of emulating and borrowing from the West. However, Arab intellectuals were by no means interested in the uncritical adoption of European culture and scientific knowledge for the sake of progress. While stressing the need for the infusion of Western knowledge

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and learning, they denounced the uncritical adoption of European culture and scientific knowledge. They believed that if native reform were simply the indiscriminant imitation of Western customs, the result would be a superficial dejected civilisation for the Arabs since it would mean a sacrifice of native values and customs, and would imply a surrender of one’s national-cultural identity. Consequently, as the previous chapters demonstrate, Arab reformers had already formulated alternative frameworks or paradigms such as Arabism in order to counter Western influence on a cultural level. They understood that to achieve ‘genuine’ progress and civilisation, Arab cultural and social reform needed to be based on native Arab-Islamic traditions and therefore insisted on the revival of the Arabic language and culture as a pre-condition for progress. At the same time, as much of this chapter demonstrates, Arab intellectuals and reformers urged the selective borrowing of Western learning and cultural achievements that were either compatible with Arab traditions or could be adapted to fit the framework of their own cultural values in order to maintain cultural authenticity and assimilate selected Western ideas without surrendering either to Western culture or imperialism. Indeed, the same tendency is obvious among translators of the nineteenth century who, while borrowing from the West, sought to preserve the purity of Arabic and adapt the obtained knowledge to the framework of their own cultural values. In the same vein, much of the reformist activity and writing during the nah∂ah, whether on learning, education or in other fields, exhibits the same tension between the desire to maintain native Arab cultural authenticity and the need to assimilate Western knowledge and achievements in the quest for national progress. Notes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Al-Bustānī, ‘Khu†bah fī ādāb al-‘arab’, p. 107. Al-˝ah†āwī, Takhlī‚, pp. 16–17. Al-˝ah†āwī, Manāhij al-albāb, p. 97. Karrū, Khayr al-Dīn al-Tūnisī, pp. 38–9. Ibid., p. 42. Rahman, Islam and Modernity, pp. 50–1. Abu-Lughod, Arab Rediscovery, pp. 147–8. Ri∂ā, Tārīkh, vol. 2, pp. 122–4.

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a rab i ntellectuals and th e we s t 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27.

28. 29.

30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39.

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Kha†īb, Al-Shaykh ˝āhir al-Jazā’irī, p. 155. See next Chapter 7, below, on education and learning. See Tājir, Óarakat al-tarjamah, pp. 15–25. Al-˝ah†āwī, Al-A‘māl al-kāmilah, vol. 1, pp. 49–51. Ibid., p. 53 Tājir, Óarakat al-tarjamah, p. 15. See Maqdisī, Al-Ittijāhāt, p. 369; N. Tomiche, ‘Nah∂a’, EI 2, vol. 7, p. 900. Al-˝ah†āwī, Al-A‘māl al-kāmilah, vol. 1, pp. 57–8. Abu-Lughod, Arab Rediscovery, p. 28. Ibid., pp. 56–9. Ibid., p. 59. Zaytūnī, Óarkat al-tarjamah, pp. 17–20. Ibid., pp. 29–30. Abu-Lughod, Arab Rediscovery, pp. 29–30, 158–62. See D. Gutas et al., ‘Tardjama’, EI 2, vol. 10, p. 224. Ibid., p. 224. Zaytūnī, Óarkat al-tarjamah, pp. 31–2. See Al-Shartūnī, ‘Íāªib Aqrab’, p. 189; ‘A†īyah, ‘al-Shaykh Sa‘īd’, p. 427. See Al-Sharabā‚ī, ‘Bayna Muªammad ‘Abduh wa Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī’, p. 3. ‘Abduh knew French, having first learnt the basics of French through textbooks, and then became more proficient after visits to France and Switzerland. See Ri∂ā, Tārīkh, vol. 1, p. 104. See attachment to al-Shartūnī’s edition. See al-Shartūnī, ‘Khu†bah Cicero’, p. 474. This speech was translated by alShartūnī from a French version of the speech, which itself was translated from the original Latin and published in Paris in 1853. For the full speech, see ibid., pp. 474–85. Al-Shartūnī, Kitāb al-mu‘īn, vol. 1, pp. 99–100. Al-Shartūnī, Kitāb ma†āli‘, pp. 180–1 Al-Shartūnī, Kitāb al-mu‘īn, vol. 1, p. 2. Al-Shartūnī, Kitāb ma†āli‘, pp. 186–8. Al-Yāzijī, Al-‘Iqd, p. 28. Al-Yāzijī, ‘Adab al-dāris’, pp. 76–7. Íawāyā, Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī, pp. 38–9. Ibid., pp. 37–8. Gully, ‘al-SHartūnī Sa‘īd’, EI 2, vol. 7, p. 724. See Patel, ‘Nah∂ah Oratory’, pp. 233–69.

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See Patel, ‘Nah∂ah Epistolography’, pp. 37–81. Cachia, ‘The Critics’, pp. 429–30. Somekh, ‘The Emergence’, pp. 195–9. Attar, The Vital Roots, pp. 1–39. Somekh, ‘The Emergence’, p. 200. See D. Gutas et al., ‘Tardjama’, EI 2, vol. 10, p. 224; U. Rizzitano, ‘Isªāk·, Adīb’, EI 2, vol. 4, p. 111. 46. Dāghir, Ma‚ādir al-dirāsāt al-adabīyah, vol. 2, pp. 488–90. 47. J. Crabbs, ‘Zaydān, Jurjī’, Encyclopaedia of Arabic Literature, p. 823. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45.

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7 Education, Reform and Enlightened Azharı¯s o matter how nah∂ah intellectuals differed, they all agreed that ignorance was one of the main reasons for the stagnation ( jumūd ) and decline (inªi†ā†) of their people, and that knowledge and education would pave the way for progress and civilisation. Moreover, they all insisted that the cultivation of humanistic learning (i.e., grammar, rhetoric, poetry, history and moral philosophy) was the basic formula for cultural and moral renewal, and adopted a methodology towards educational reform that involved the importation of modern Western learning, the simultaneous revival of classical Arab-Islamic traditions, and the dissemination of the knowledge thus acquired through the curricula and user-friendly textbooks. In this manner, they wanted to cultivate the zeal for modern knowledge while preserving Arab-Islamic culture. This chapter illustrates the development and diffusion of these ideas among Muslim intellectuals during the course of the nineteenth century by focusing on the educational activities and works of a number of Azharī scholars. At the same time, the chapter hopes to highlight the important contribution of these scholars to educational reform in the nah∂ah.

N

Al-˝ah†āwī and the School of Languages In Egypt, reformers had recognised the importance of education from the very start. During his sojourn in Paris in 1826, al-˝ah†āwī had already concluded that European political, scientific and economic progress could not have materialised without prior progress in the field of education. On returning to Cairo in 1831, he called for reforms in Islamic law, by reopening the door of rational interpretation (ijtihād ), and also for reforms in the education of the ‘ulamā’ through the introduction of modern learning into their curriculum.1 Al-˝ah†āwī remained devoted to this cause throughout his life, and 181

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his ideas and activities were to have a lasting influence on a later generation of reformers. From 1837 onwards, he headed the School of Languages set up by Muªammad ‘Alī to teach European languages and translate key texts into Arabic. It would be misleading, however, to think of this school merely as an institution where languages were taught. Dunne points out that the school was a most useful type of institution where men were produced who could render a certain amount of good service to their country, and who could fit in to the newly created administrations without being altogether divorced from their old cultural surroundings and without becoming as thoroughly Ottomanised as the graduates of the purely military schools. Moreover, al-˝ah†āwī was ‘an Azharī of the best type’ who appreciated his own religious culture to the full, but also realised that it had many shortcomings which could be rectified only by borrowing from the West. Al-˝ah†āwī therefore attempted to appropriate knowledge from the West that would help to broaden the intellectual outlook of his compatriots without forcing them to specialise too narrowly in subjects useful only for war.2 Equally, he was by no means solely interested in introducing ideas from Europe. He also wanted his compatriots to appreciate the merits of their own heritage and personally encouraged the printing of some of the great classics of Arabic literature. It was during his period of great influence that manuscript works as diverse as The Thousand and One Nights, al-Óarīrī’s Maqāmāt and Ibn Khaldūn’s Muqaddimah were first printed in Arabic at the Būlāq governmental press.3 In the same vein, al-˝ah†āwī made a conscious attempt at the School of Languages to teach a combination of Islamic and Western learning that would benefit the students. Besides Arabic, Turkish, French, Italian and English, the school syllabus comprised mathematics, history, geography and Islamic and French law. The school as a whole remained open until May 1851, but had to be radically restructured in 1842 when the school system broke down and Muªammad ‘Alī was forced to cut down the number of schools. Al-˝ah†āwī was given further responsibilities and a translation bureau was formed from the best students, while others were posted as teachers to the remaining schools or to administrative posts. During the earlier period up to 1842, Heyworth-Dunne points out that al-˝ah†āwī’s school produced many young men who contributed significantly towards the creation of new cultural elites

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in Egyptian society.4 Likewise, al-˝ah†āwī’s attempt to implement a Muslim approach to modernity that could be both Islamic and modern in the field of education did not end with him, but was continued and enlivened by a series of like-minded Azharī scholars in the later part of the nineteenth century. ‘The Master of litterateurs’ al-Mar‚afi at the New Dār al-‘Ulūm One such scholar was Óusayn al-Mar‚afī (1815–1889), who was born in the village of Mar‚afā near Banhā. He became blind at the age of three, but despite this handicap he was able to pursue the traditional programme of studies usual for boys destined to teach at al-Azhar. After receiving his early education at the local kuttāb and memorising the Qur’ān, he went on to complete a course of study at al-Azhar and became an Arabic teacher there himself. He left al-Azhar in 1872 when ‘Alī Pasha Mubārak, the Egyptian Minister of Public Education, appointed him Professor of Arabic Linguistic Disciplines at the Dār al-‘Ulūm (House of Sciences), the new teacher training college he opened to meet the shortage of primary school teachers, with a more modern ethos than al-Azhar.5 Dār al-‘Ulūm was an excellent innovation. The students for the college were all chosen from al-Azhar, and it was hoped that upon graduation they would be ready for appointment as teachers in National Schools. Although some Western and Islamic learning had been taught in al-˝ah†āwī’s School of Languages, this was the first institution of its kind to combine a comprehensive programme of modern Western learning with the traditional Azharī education and instruction in Arabic adab humanism. Men could be trained as teachers of geometry, physics, geography, Arabic literature, history and calligraphy, in addition to the branches taught at al-Azhar such as Arabic, Qur’ānic Exegesis, ªadīth and fikh. Equally, whereas the main aim of al-˝ah†āwī’s school was to produce translators and officials, and it was only an incidental consequence that most of his students had become teachers, the new school aimed solely at producing teachers for the primary schools and turbaned shaykh-teachers were now being equipped to be sent out to schools. Because the shaykhs were initiated simultaneously not only into the Islamic sciences, but also into European learning and the Arab adab tradition, this paved the way for the acceptance and penetration of Western learning throughout Egypt and helped to stimulate the study of Arabic literature.6

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Al-Mar‚afī became the first teacher of Arabic rhetoric and literature at the Dār al-‘Ulūm where he remained a pivotal figure until 1888. The matter of greatest importance for al-Mar‚afī was the spread of a reformed education (tarbiyah, adab), based on Arab-Islamic traditions but also modern in some of its forms, and his influence there went a long way towards popularising modern learning and the study of Arabic literature. Al-Mar‚afī taught his students French up to the later years of his life and also introduced them to modern European concepts. In October 1881, he published the essay, Risālat al-kalim al-thamān, in which he gave an exposition of eight terms that were entering popular discourse during the period: nation (ummah), freedom (ªurrīyah), education (tarbiyah), justice (‘adālah), homeland (wa†an), politics (siyāsah), government (ªukūmah) and injustice (Õulm). In view of the debates of the time, al-Mar‚afī’s position in the essay has been seen as that of a moderate, an advocate of a reasonable modernity, legitimised by constant reference to moral and cultural examples from the glorious ages of Islam.7 Although his political views in this essay were not spectacular in themselves, Brugman points out that their significance was greater than one might think: the essay was published on the eve of the ‘Urābī’s rebellion, which was intended as the opening of a revolution.8 However, his main contribution was to the spread of Arabic literary and moral enlightenment, and his importance as a teacher and writer has been put down to the fact that he is regarded as the first to have formulated what was to become the attempt at a renaissance in regard to literature. He was quite exceptional, for example, for the interest that he showed in his classes at the Dār al-‘Ulūm in the adab humanist tradition and for his less rigid and more analytical approach to teaching, something rare among teachers of that period in Egypt.9 Brugman explains that although al-Azhar ran some courses on rhetoric (al-ma‘ānī, al-bayān and al-badī‘) in the curriculum of 1870/1, it provided none on literature which apparently was considered too frivolous. In the Dār al-‘Ulūm, however, language, literature and rhetoric received a great deal of attention and greater freedom prevailed than in al-Azhar, and as a result al-Mar‚afī was able to give much more depth to his teaching of literature at this new institution than would have ever been possible at al-Azhar.10 Al-Mar‚afī’s lectures were particularly popular and were well attended by students, teachers and government officials. They were first published in the

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review, Raw∂at al-Madāris, and eventually culminated in his monumental work, Al-Wasīlah al-adabīyah ilā al-‘ulūm al-‘arabīyah (The Literary Way to the Arabic Sciences, 1872–5), a textbook of Arabic rhetoric and literature, which at over 900 pages attempts to provide a lucid and accessible account of the disciplines of the Arabic language (lughah, ‚arf, naªw, balāghah, badī‘, ‘arū∂) as well as the art of writing (inshā’) and history (tā’rīkh), unhampered by the commentaries and glosses which until then had become an almost inextricable part of them. The work comprises a large collection of rhetorical and literary texts which al-Mar‚afī selects from the works of contemporary authors, such as from the poetry of his good friend and protégé the Egyptian national poet Maªmūd Sāmī al-Bārūdī, and the prose of ‘Abd Allāh Fikrī, using many of their verses and passages as illustrations for the topics treated in his textbook.11 Its influence, however, was probably not so much due to the introduction to rhetoric or quotes from contemporary authors which it provided as to its overall approach in the numerous quotations and examples it furnished from classical Arabic texts, especially ‘Umayyad and ‘Abbāsid poetry and prose. Besides raising important questions on the history of the Arabic language, its literature and the development of the Arabic sciences, which clearly reveals the author’s profound knowledge of the Arabic heritage, the work appeals for a return to primary sources and for an open and critical attitude in comprehending views of earlier writers.12 Allen has neatly described the work as ‘a genuine piece of neo-classicism, a nineteenth-century capstone gesture that recreates for a new generation of Egyptian students the tradition of Arabic criticism as reflected in the great collections of the medieval period’.13 Al-Mar‚afī is generally regarded as one of the pioneers of the Egyptian cultural renaissance in the later part of the nineteenth century. Dubbed ‘the Master of litterateurs’ (Shaykh ul-udabā’), he has often been compared with figures like al-Bārūdī, Fikrī, al-Afghānī and ‘Abduh.14 His teaching programme was seen as a kind of model to be emulated, if one wished to rejuvenate Arabic language and literature, by a large number of important Egyptian writers, such as Óamza Fatª Allāh (d. 1918), ‘Abd Allāh Fikrī and Óifnī Nā‚īf. (d. 1919), who were among the first graduates of the Dār al-‘Ulūm and were all in one way or other linked to al-Mar‚afī. According to Delanoue, this programme for reviving the language gradually spread through almost

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all Arab countries – with or without reference to al-Mar‚afī – from the last years of the nineteenth century thanks to the efforts of reformist figures like Muªammad ‘Abduh.15 The huge impact of his Al-Wasīlah al-adabīyah upon later generations can be gauged by the fact that not only were his contemporaries highly impressed and inspired by it, but also later neo-classical poets, such as Aªmad Shawqī, ÓāfiÕ Ibrāhīm and even ‘Abd al-Raªmān Shukrī, who continued to hold the work in high esteem long after the author’s death. As a monument to the highlights of classical literature, al-Mar‚afī’s textbook did indeed contribute towards popularising the study of literature in Egypt, while as a teacher and mentor al-Mar‚afī was a major influence on a new generation of Azharī scholars who continued their master’s legacy and went on to make significant contributions to the nah∂ah.16 Al-Jisr and the New Breed of Ottoman Madāris One of al-Mar‚afī’s most famous students was the Azharī Shaykh Óusayn al-Jisr (1845–1909). Al-Jisr was born in Tripoli (˝arābulus) in northern Lebanon where he was brought up by his uncle. His father died shortly after his birth and his mother when he was just ten. His uncle therefore took care of his early education, and after his mother’s demise in 1855 sent him to the local school (maktab) where he received a largely religious education under various shaykhs of Tripoli. At eighteen he was encouraged by his uncle to pursue his education at al-Azhar in Cairo where he would spend the next four years of his life and receive the training that would shape his thinking and career. The most important influence on al-Jisr at al-Azhar was his teacher and mentor Óusayn al-Mar‚afī. The company of the blind shaykh left a deep imprint on young al-Jisr and opened his mind to matters which would have probably remained unknown to him if he had stayed in Tripoli.17 Al-Jisr returned to Tripoli in 1867. During the next ten years (1867– 77), besides teaching at the Grand Man‚ūrī Mosque, he devoted himself to various scholarly activities. This was also a decisive period in the history of the Ottoman Empire and would have a profound influence on al-Jisr’s intellectual thinking. The Tanzīmāt reforms had reached a climax with the ̇ promulgation of the first Ottoman constitution in 1876, while Sultan ‘Abd al-Óamīd II replaced the deposed ‘Abd al-‘Azīz, and the Russian–Turkish War (1877) broke out. At the same time, European powers began taking an

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increased interest in the peripheries of the Ottoman Empire which were now becoming more and more vulnerable.18 In light of these developments, al-Jisr believed that reforms to the existing educational system was the way to secure a better future for the empire. The idea of establishing a modern school had been at the forefront of his mind since the late 1860s, but would only became a reality two decades later under Sultan ‘Abd al-Óamīd II’s administration. In 1880, al-Jisr finally opened Al-Madrasah al-Wa†anīyah al-Islāmīyah with the support of the Ottoman reformers Midªat Pasha and Óamdī Pasha. The inaugural speech was delivered by the Ottoman Provisional Governor of Tripoli, Ibrāhīm Adam Pasha, who highlighted the significance of the school as a new and progressive institution of learning.19 The opening of the school was a major development in the region and attracted much interest because of its distinct programme of study. It was the first Islamic school of its kind in Tripoli to teach a combination of modern Western learning alongside the traditional Islamic sciences and Arabic adab humanism. Thus, as in the Dār al-‘Ulūm a decade earlier, Western, Islamic and Arabic learning was again united in one syllabus, only this time the range of subjects was broader. The syllabus of the school comprised the formal and applied sciences (logic, arithmetic, geography, engineering), languages (Turkish and French), the Islamic sciences (tafsīr, ªadīth, fiqh, tawªīd and ‘ibādah) and Arabic studies (syntax, morphology, language, rhetoric, inshā’, adab and prosody). The school became the training ground for many of the important intellectual and political figures of the modern Arab world, including Rashīd Ri∂ā, ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Maghrabī, Ismā’īl ÓāfiÕ and ‘Abd al-Karīm ‘Uway∂ah. Although the school closed down in 1882 under pressure from the local ‘ulamā’, it was a great success. The former pupil Rashīd Ri∂ā recalled later that the school represented a major milestone in the reform and development of education during the last decades of the nineteenth century.20 After the school’s closure, al-Jisr was invited by the Jam‘īyat al-Maqā‚id al-Khayrīyah in Beirut to head the new Al-Madrasah al-Sul†ānīyah established by Aªmad ‘Abbās al-Azharī in 1883. He accepted the post and moved to Beirut, where he would remain for the next five years and become acquainted with some of the leading scholars of the period such as Muªammad ‘Abduh who was there during his exile (1882–8) from Egypt. As director of the new

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school, al-Jisr headed a team of teachers that besides ‘Abduh, included prominent nah∂ah figures such as Ibrāhīm al-Aªdab. In 1888, for reasons which remain unclear, he returned to Tripoli where he continued teaching and published his first work Nuzhat al-fikr (The Recreation of Thought), a biography of his father, followed by his most famous work Al-Risālah al-ªamīdīyah fī ªaqīqat al-diyānah al-Islāmīyah wa-ªaqīqat al-sharī‘ah al-Muªammadīyah (The Praiseworthy Treatise on the Reality of Islam and Muhammadan Law, 1888), a defence of traditional Islam in which he asserted Islam’s compatibility with modern science and refuted materialist theories. The work was much praised in the Muslim world and attracted the attention of Sultan ‘Abd al-Óamīd II, who summoned him to Istanbul and offered him the position of scholar in residence (1891/2). He spent nine months there and completed a supplement to the Risālah titled Al-Óu‚ūn al-ªamīdīyah li-muªāfazat al-‘aqā’id al-Islāmīyah (The Praiseworthy Fortress ̇ on the Defence of Islamic Beliefs), which he dedicated to the Ottoman sultan. Like many of his contemporaries, al-Jisr responded to the sultan’s call for support because for him the preservation of the Ottoman Empire was inseparable from Islam in the face of European imperialism. While in Istanbul, he successfully obtained permission for his friend Muªammad Kāmil Buªayrī to launch the Jarīdat ˝arābulus, the first newspaper of Tripoli, which started publication in 1893 under the editorship of al-Jisr. Besides occasional visits to Istanbul and Egypt, al-Jisr stayed in Tripoli, where he dedicated his remaining productive years to editing the newspaper and carrying out his scholarly activities until his death in 1909. He left behind a legacy of over two dozen works, although only seventeen have ever been published.21 Both al-Jisr’s works and numerous articles in the Jarīdat ˝arābulus reveal first of all a deep concern to teach the correct beliefs and practices of Islam and, secondly, to blend the traditional values of Islam with the new approaches of European natural sciences. Rather than emphasising the differences between Islamic and Western core values, al-Jisr tried to explain the fundamental compatibility of both in a world where spiritual and scientific boundaries needed to be redefined. In this sense, al-Jisr’s thinking was close to that of Muslim reformers like al-Afghānī and ‘Abduh, who sought reconciliation between Arab-Islamic intellectual traditions and the positive aspects of European progress that were compatible with Islam.22

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However, he did not set his reformist goals as ambitiously as those of alAfghani, who strove for radical reform through a political programme of pan-Islamism. Thus, during a second visit to Istanbul in 1894, al-Jisr met al-Afghānī and despite the latter’s best efforts was not drawn to his pronounced reformism. In a period of aggressively demonstrated European superiority, al-Jisr was also concerned with the defence of Muslim people against Europeans, but for him the central problem was not political but religious and educational.23 He saw his own role as that of an educator, not a political ideologue or agitator. Under the influence of his mentor Óusayn al-Mar‚afī, al-Jisr had developed an interest in moderate reformist ideas, and became convinced of the positive role of teaching (ta‘līm) and education (adab, tarbiyah) in the reform and development of society. Like al-Mar‚afī, al-Jisr believed that teaching and education were the two main causes of European progress (taqaddum) and that Muslim advancement would also be built on these two foundations. He wrote: Know that the West awoke (intabaha) from the sleep of heedlessness (ghaflah) and stupidity (ghabāwah) and advanced to the pinnacles of success and civilisation . . . owing to the spread of learning (ma‘ārif ) among the masses, the old and young, the rich and poor, and the elite and common folk.24

On the issue of how Islam should counter negative Western influence, al-Jisr stated that Muslims would have to obtain modern Western learning and achievements: Indeed, it is necessary for us to make every effort to appropriate modern learning (ma‘ārif ) and developments (tarqiyāt) in industry, arts, trade and agriculture so that we can compete and withstand the challenge from our Western neighbours according to the requirements of the situation.25

Moreover, for al-Jisr, the solution lay not in a radically reformed Islam, but in a conscious return to the original principles that led Islam to success in its golden age. He thus stressed the need to critically engage with Islamic traditions, rather than the blind imitation of customs and habits which had accumulated over time and had little to do with Islam. Finally, he saw the revival

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of the study of the Arabic language and culture as an absolute pre-condition for reform. In this sense his position was closer to ‘Abduh.26 ‘Abduh: ‘Re-innovating’ the Curricula for Creed and Country ‘Abduh had dedicated himself with great enthusiasm to the reform of all aspects of Muslim society under the guidance of his teacher al-Afghānī. Although deeply influenced by al-Afghānī, he did not share his taste for political activism. Whereas al-Afghānī sought complete and rapid change primarily through political upheaval, ‘Abduh, like al-Jisr, believed in gradual reform and considered education (tarbiyah, ta‘līm), not politics, to be the single most important means for reaching this goal. Thus, although ‘Abduh had supported him in his early political campaigns, when they returned from one such campaign he reminded al-Afghānī of what he felt was more effective and beneficial: I believe we should leave aside politics and head for one of the unknown places of this world where no one knows us. We then select ten or more able boys and teach them our principles and methods. If we then allow those ten to teach another ten, within a few years a 100 reformist leaders will be born.27

Having given up political activism he stressed education reform even more. ‘Abduh regarded the reform of education, especially moral and religious, as the first preliminary to progress, and his efforts in this area started early in his career. Already as a student in 1876, he had written a series of articles in the Egyptian newspaper, Al-Ahrām, in which he asserted that the study of traditional Islamic learning (theology) alone was no longer adequate for the ‘ulamā’ and called for the introduction of arithmetic, geometry, algebra, geography, history and other modern sciences as taught in the government civil schools. He also called for the study of European religious history in order to understand the causes of Western progress, and criticised the ‘ulamā’ for their negative attitude towards modern sciences even though sciences had been studied in earlier Muslim schools (madāris).28 ‘Abduh’s ideas on educational reform are best understood through his writings during his stay in Beirut. Between 1883 and 1888, ‘Abduh spent almost five years there owing to the exile imposed on him by the British

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authorities for supporting the ‘Urābī rebellion. In Beirut, a large number of students and scholars from different religious backgrounds gathered around him, and his house became a meeting point for discussions on literary, religious and social matters. He also worked at the Sul†ānīyah secondary school where he taught the biography of the Prophet and introduced jurisprudence and history as new subjects. The series of lectures he delivered there on theology later culminated in his famous work, Risālat al-tawªīd (Treatise on Monothesism).29 Before returning to Egypt in 1888, ‘Abduh produced two important documents which illustrate that his ideas on educational reform had crystallised during the stay in Beirut. ‘Abduh had always believed in improving the Ottoman state and the Egyptian nation through reforms in the educational system, and to this end the two documents represented both a critique of the present alarming state of Ottoman education and a call for a radical reform of the school system as a whole. In March 1887, he sent a long memorandum to Shaykh al-Islām in Istanbul warning him that: Muslims do not flinch from sending their children to missionary schools in the hope that they will learn those sciences and European languages that will be conducive to their children’s future happiness . . . By the end of their studies, however, their hearts become empty of every Islamic belief and they become Muslims in name only. Moreover, their hearts become inclined to the foreigner and submissive to all their wishes. Then they spread this filth within them among the masses and thus become an affliction for the Muslim nation (ummah).30

‘Abduh believed that the only way to prevent a wholesale surrender to the competition of the missionary schools was to provide ‘indigenous’ alternatives for Ottoman Muslims who were suffering an inferior quality of education. In the same memorandum, he proposed a different type of education for three classes of people in order for reform to materialise effectively at all levels of society. First, the common people engaged in crafts, trade and agriculture; secondly, officials working for the Ottoman state in the military, law courts, administration and schools; and, third, the ‘ulamā’ and teachers engaged in teaching and learning. The syllabus for the common people would comprise basic religious education, the general principles of doctrine and some Islamic

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history. Government officials would cover a similar programme, but more intensely, and with the addition of philosophy and logic.31 For ‘ulamā’ and teachers, ‘Abduh demanded a curriculum that should include classes on Qur’ān exegesis, Islamic theology, Arabic language, Islamic and Ottoman history, morals and the applied sciences as follows: (1) commentary of the Qur’ān (tafsīr al-Qur’ān); (2) the sciences of the Arabic language such as grammar, morphology, rhetoric and history of the pre-Islamic era; (3) the prophetic traditions (ªadīth); (4) a complete system of ethics (akhlāq), such as al-Ghazālī’s Iªyā’; (5) principles of jurisprudence (u‚ūl al-fiqh); (6) ancient and modern history, including the life of the Prophet Muªammad (pbuh), his companions, the first Islamic empires and Ottoman history; (7) oratory and the art of persuasion ( fann al-iqnā‘ wa al-kha†ābah) and dialectics ( jadal ), so as to communicate ideas and beliefs in an effective and persuasive manner and eliminate immoral behaviour through one’s noble character and good actions; and (8) scholastic theology ( fann al-kalām) in order to be able to scrutinise various doctrines and their supporting arguments. Furthermore, ‘Abduh stated that the rest of the sciences, such as languages, mathematics and physics, should also be studied as set down by the Ottoman government, as they do not harm religion, rather religion reinforces these sciences just as they reinforce religion.32 The syllabus clearly shows that ‘Abduh was proposing practical reforms by combining the adab humanist tradition and modern learning with the traditional Islamic on the model of earlier schools. His proposal to provide courses on modern history, sciences and foreign languages alongside religious instruction clearly fits the Islamic reformist formula of reconciling Islam and modernity, while the proposal to combine an Arab humanist or Islamic ‘liberal arts’ tradition with Muslim orthodoxy should, as Hanssen puts it, be seen as an attempt to put Islam at the service of the Ottoman state.33 However, with no answer forthcoming from Istanbul, ‘Abduh sent a second memorandum in March 1888 to the first governor general of Beirut titled ‘Reform of the Syrian Region’. After describing the state of education among Christians, Muslims and the Druze of Mount Lebanon and Beirut, he noted the relationship of each religious community with the Ottoman state and outlined the educational reforms that the Ottoman Empire would have to undertake in order to maintain stability in its peripheries and counter

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the dangers of foreign influence. He stated that Christian groups were most drawn to European countries and criticised the Ottoman government for cutbacks in certain educational projects it had undertaken, while arguing that expansion rather than discouragement of educational activity was needed to revive the East. He called for the establishment of top-class schools for rural communities and the Bedouins of Syria. The main language of instruction in the schools should be Arabic followed by Turkish in order to instil a sense of revival of religion and love for the Ottoman state in the youth.34 ‘Abduh left Beirut for Cairo in 1888, where he soon became the Grand Mufti of Egypt. In Cairo, he turned his attention once again to the reform of al-Azhar, a task that had always preoccupied him and one that would prove to be his biggest challenge. His disciples often heard him saying: ‘The reform (i‚lāª) of al-Azhar would be the greatest service to Islam, for the reform of al-Azhar means the reform of Muslims and the corruption of al-Azhar means the corruption of Muslims . . .’35 He believed that the reform of al-Azhar would automatically trigger widespread change at the primary and secondary levels of religious education especially in the schools under al-Azhar. ‘Abduh was finally able to implement some of his proposals for reform while serving as head of a committee on educational reform (Majlis Idārat al-Jāmi‘ al-Azhar) which was formed in 1895. The committee was commissioned by Khedive Tawfīq in order to review the system of teaching and administration at al-Azhar. With ‘Abduh as the moving spirit, an attempt was made to replace some of the textbooks with a direct study of the great masters of Islamic thought and to introduce some modern learning into the curriculum. In the course of time, however, ‘Abduh met fierce opposition from the conservative shaykhs of al-Azhar and from Khedive ‘Abbās II, who accused him of wanting to turn al-Azhar into an institution of philosophy and literary education (ādāb) bent on extinguishing the light of Islam.36 In response, ‘Abduh subsequently resigned from his post in March 1905, the same year that he died. His following words describe the difficulties he had faced in his reform attempts: After attending Sayyid al-Afghānī’s lectures, I turned to the reform of alAzhar. When I first began work, I was prevented from it . . . then, after my return from exile, I tired to convince Shaykh al-Azhar, Muªammad

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al-Anbābī, to accept certain proposals, but he refused. Once I said to him, ‘Would you agree, O Shaykh, to order the teaching of Ibn Khaldūn’s Muqaddimah at al-Azhar?’, and I described to him the benefits of this work. He replied, ‘It would be against the tradition of teaching at al-Azhar.’ During our conversation, I began talking to him about some more recent shaykhs, and asked him, ‘How long ago did al-Ashmūnī and al-Íabbān die?’ He replied that they had died not so long ago. I then said, ‘They have died only recently and yet their books are being taught and there had been no tradition of teaching them.’ Shaykh al-Anbābī was silent and did not reply.37

‘Abduh’s desire for the inclusion of Ibn Khaldūn’s Muqaddimah into the curriculum shows that he intended not only to introduce modern Western learning into al-Azhar, but also to revive Arab-Islamic intellectual and literary traditions and that he considered both equally important for Arab reform. In fact, to retrieve ‘modernity’ from within the Islamic heritage was central to ‘Abduh’s reformist thinking and to this end he also called for the revival of original Islamic classics, including the theological works of the rationalist Mu‘tazilah school which had been boycotted for centuries as heretical. He also formed several cultural societies and associations to bring to fruition his ideas on an institutional level. In 1900, he founded the Society for the Revival of Arabic Sciences ( Jam‘īyat Iªyā’ al-‘Ulūm al-‘Arabīyah) to reprint masterpieces by classical authors, which he believed was an absolute must if the desired reform (i‚lāª) was to materialise. In this context, Ri∂ā notes: ‘Abduh believed that the existence of the Muslim nation (ummah) without the Arabic language was impossible, while the revival of Arabic sciences with the books of al-Azhar was equally unthinkable. Hence for reform (i‚lāª) to materialise it was imperative to revive (iªyā’) the works of our leaders (a‘immah) and scholars who wrote in a period when knowledge (‘ilm) flourished in the ummah.38

Before the society was established, two of the great Arabic works, al-Jurjānī’s Asrār al-balāghah and Dalā’il al-i‘jāz, had already been printed by ‘Abduh’s disciples on his instruction. The first work printed after the Society’s inauguration was Ibn Sīdah’s seminal work on language, Al-Mukha‚‚a‚. ‘Abduh him-

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self edited, with extensive commentaries, the two classics of Nahj al-balāghah and al-Hamadhānī’s Maqāmāt Badī al-Zamān during his stay in Beirut. Both works were apparently widely received and printed repeatedly.39 The Pedagogical Paraphernalia of Reform The editing and printing of earlier works by nah∂ah intellectuals like ‘Abduh should be seen as attempts to critically engage with the Arab past, rather than as conservative attempts to hold onto tradition. The motivation behind the ‘revival’ of these works was to modernise for pedagogical ends as much it was to preserve. The main approach of authors was to revise, explicate and, indeed, streamline the original text with the overall pedagogical aim of making the work more accessible to the students of the period. ‘Abduh’s commentaries were intended for this very purpose. In the preface to al-Hamadhānī’s Maqāmāt, he stated: ‘I wrote this commentary in order to correct the errors extant in the available copies and to clarify the obscure words for the benefit of students.’40 He furthermore explained that he had suppressed the more flowery parts because of the imperatives of contemporary taste and that in so doing he had no intention of undermining the great al-Hamadhānī, ‘but each period has its language, and each thought has its place’. His approach, moreover, is sanctioned by tradition: ‘This is neither an innovation (bid‘ah) nor legally prohibited, since it has been the traditional practice (sunnah) of scholars to purify, revise, and abridge previous works. In fact, silence is forbidden . . .’41 Although ‘Abduh did not tamper with the text in Nahj al-balāghah so that readers could form their own opinion, his motives were similarly pedagogical. He wished in particular to popularise the work among Arab youth, as he stated in the introduction: ‘The book contains words and concepts that may pose considerable difficulties to students unfamiliar with the Classical Arabic language. I therefore wish to assist them by explaining some of the more difficult words and concepts . . . I dedicate this work to the [Arab] youth.’42 Another type of work was the pedagogical compilation. A good example is al-Shartūnī’s pedagogical manual on style and eloquence titled Kitāb ma†āli‘ al-a∂wā’ fī manāhij al-kuttāb wa-al-shu‘arā’ (Book of the Ascensions of Light on the Established Methods of Writers and Poets, 1908), which deals with the tripartite system of ‘ilm al-balāghah (the art of rhetoric) in three principal

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parts (‘ilm al-ma‘ānī, ‘ilm al-bayān, ‘ilm al-badī‘). In this work, al-Shartūnī very much continues the Arab-Islamic tradition of compilation where a writer as compiler would gather into his own work texts from various earlier canonical works. However, far from being a derivative collection of material from earlier works, al-Shartūnī synthesises anew the tradition of Arabic criticism as found in the great classics of the medieval period to put it at the service of a new generation of students. He selectively appropriates material from the works of Qudāmah ibn Ja‘far, Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih, Ibn al-Athīr, Ibn Rashīq and ‘Abd al-Qāhir al-Jurjānī, and streamlines it into his own work in a colloquy or catechetical format, almost in the form of a dialogue between teacher and student in a classroom scenario. Thus, drastically reducing the original texts for the benefit of the students of his time who were unlikely to be able to deal with such volumes on poetry and criticism. In this sense, al-Shartūnī’s departure from these authors is better understood by the differing aims of their works. Al-Shartūnī’s work is unequivocally pedagogical, while these authors aimed to set a standard for the criticism of poetry.43 Whereas the commentary and compilation were really traditional genres prevalent from the pre-modern period, a significant development in the nah∂ah was the appearance of the ‘user-friendly’ manual that over time became extremely popular among authors and students. For nah∂ah authors, it appears to have been the preferred means for the dissemination of imported Western and revived Arabic learning. Although such works had been anticipated by pre-modern authors such as Farªāt, it was only in the nah∂ah that they really gained currency, perhaps under Western influence and nah∂ah reformers such as al-Bustānī who considered the availability of such works integral to educational reform and called for their introduction in the schools of the period.44 As an example, Rashīd al-Shartūnī wrote the three-volume school textbook, Mabādi’ al-‘arabīyah fī al-‚arf wa-naªw (Fundamentals of Arabic Grammar and Morphology, 1906). In the preface, al-Shartūnī’s stated aim was to simplify the learning of the Arabic language for students and he had therefore restricted the book to the bare essentials of Arabic grammar and excluded superfluous explanatory material. To this end, the whole work is organised systematically with each volume and section building on the previous one. Points of grammar are explained using a question-and-answer technique and furnished with drills and exercises in order to facilitate the

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student’s acquisition of grammar. The work is important in the history of Arabic grammar not only as another significant step in the drive towards the simplification that was apparent in the works of Farªāt and al-Shidyāq, but also as perhaps the earliest example of the more user-friendly textbook grammars that began to appear in increasing numbers towards the latter part of the nah∂ah. Al-Shartūnī’s grammar is still in print today and has been translated into French for use as a textbook.45 Pedagogical works were used to introduce students to the modern world, just as they were used to familiarise students with their own traditions. One such work was Aªmad al-Hāshimī’s (1878–1943) Jawāhir al-adab fī ‚inā‘at inshā’ al-‘arab (The Jewels of Literature on the Arab Art of Composition, 1901), a literary anthology and school textbook wherein the author has assembled a large selection of letters on traditional themes by ‘Abbāsid literary figures alongside letters by nah∂ah literati. Van Gelder points out that the 1901 edition ends with something novel for Arabic literature: ‘It provides a concluding chapter with 145 topics for composition, and it is very likely that al-Hāshimī was influenced by Western examples in this respect.’46 Thus, some of the topics in al-Hāshimī’s work are traditional, others regard modern society (its technology and its politics), while others are concerned with traditional ethics, for example: (No. 37) Describe the town in which you are living; (No. 100) What is the use of knowledge and teaching?; (No. 141) Which is more useful, railways or steamboats?; (No. 145) Which is morally superior, he who endures his poverty or he who is thankful for his wealth? In this regard, van Gelder makes an important concluding remark which is particularly relevant to similar works of the period: ‘Modernity in the Arab world was introduced not only by original and creative writers advocating the new and rejecting the old; it was also, and perhaps equally or even more effectively, brought about by more subtle means, in the garb of traditionality, edging in between the classical and the familiar.’47 Conclusion This chapter demonstrates that there was consensus among leading Muslim reformers of the period that education and learning was the basic formula for the social, cultural and political reform of their societies. Enlightened Azharī scholars, such as al-˝ah†āwī, al-Mar‚afī, al-Jisr and ‘Abduh, all

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clearly endorsed a methodology towards educational reform that focused on the importation of modern secular knowledge and the resuscitation of classical indigenous intellectual traditions and sources. Most proposed and attempted to implement a comprehensive educational programme combining modern Western learning with instruction in the Arabic adab humanist tradition and the Islamic sciences. In this manner, they wanted to cultivate a zeal for modern knowledge while preserving Arab-Islamic culture. Despite minor differences, all urged the teaching of adab humanism which shows that a humanistic education was at the heart of the reformist agenda for educational renewal and that its cultivation was considered of the utmost importance, if the desired renaissance or reform of their societies was to be achieved. Through an humanist educational programme, Muslim reformers stressed practical over philosophical careers, and sought to reproduce the literary legacy and moral philosophy of the Arab classical period in an attempt to foster the virtues of character suitable for an active life of public service among their subjects. They wanted to produce citizens who would not only be able to speak and write with eloquence and clarity, but also possess wisdom and learning and who would be endowed with a sense of duty to the community and state. Consequently, they would not lead a life oblivious to social and political concerns, but would be capable of leading others, better engaging the civic life of their communities, and participating in public life for the common good of the society and state. Thus, while some of the educational institutions mentioned above may have stopped teaching during their founder’s lifetime, they along with others were the intellectual springs for most cultural activities up to the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. Its teachers and alumni went on to establish schools, start printing presses, found periodicals and journals, form cultural societies, and became leading intellectuals, literati, educators and politicians, who together dominated Arab intellectual and political life in the later part of nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Notes 1. Al-˝ah†āwī, Al-A‘māl al-kāmilah, vol. 1, pp. 327–8. 2. Heyworth-Dunne, An Introduction, pp. 266–7. 3. Le Gassick, Major Themes, p. 9.

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e d u c a t io n , r e f o r m an d e n l i g ht ened a zha ri¯ s 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40.

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Heyworth-Dunne, An Introduction, pp. 267–8. Óasan, ‘Óusayn al-Mar‚afī’, pp. 285–6. Heyworth-Dunne, An Introduction, pp. 377–88. See Delanoue, ‘al-Mar‚afī , al-Óusayn’, EI 2 , vol. 6, p. 602. Brugman, An Introduction, p. 327. See Delanoue, ‘Al-Mar‚afī’, EI 2, vol. 6, p. 602. Brugman, An Introduction, p. 324. Al-Mar‚afī, Al-Wasīlah, pp. 13–19; Óasan, ‘Óusayn al-Mar‚afī’, p. 286. Al-Mar‚afī, Al-Wasīlah, pp. 22–5. Allen, The Arabic Literary Heritage, p. 392. Brugman, An Introduction, p. 326. Delanoue, ‘Al-Mar‚afī,’, EI 2, vol. 6, p. 602. Brugman, An Introduction, p. 325. Ziyādah, ‘Óusayn al-Jisr’, pp. 45–6. Ibid., pp. 47–8. Ibid., p. 48. Ibid., pp. 49–50. Ibid., pp. 52–3, 58. Ibid., p. 54–5. Ibid., p. 62. Ibid., p. 53–4. Ibid., p. 55. Ibid., pp. 47, 56. Al-‘Aqqād, ‘Abqarī al-i‚lāª, pp. 106-7. See Ri∂ā, Tārīkh, vol. 2, pp. 15–48. Ibid., pp. 394–8. See ibid., p. 507. Ibid., pp. 511–15. Ibid., pp. 515–17. For the full memorandum, see vol. 2, pp. 505–22. Hanssen, Fin de Siècle Beirut, p. 177. Ri∂ā, Tārīkh, vol. 2, pp. 522–32. Ibid., vol. 1, p. 425. Ibid., pp. 427–9, 503. Ibid., p. 426. Ibid., p. 753. Ibid., pp. 392, 754. ‘Abduh, Maqāmāt, p. 6.

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41. 42. 43. 44. 45.

Ibid., p. 7. ‘Abduh, Nahj, pp. 4–5. See al-Shartūnī, Kitāb ma†āli‘, preface and pp. 190–254. Al-Bustānī, Maqālāt, p. 10. Al-Shartūnī, Mabādi’, vol. 1, p. 2. For the French translation, see Grammaire arabe à l’usage des Arabes: traduction et commentaires des Eléments d’arabe, morphologie et syntaxe, tome II: de Rachid Chartouni (Beyrouth), by Jacques Grand’Henry (Louvain-la-Neuve: Peeters, 2000). 46. See van Gelder, ‘145 Topics for Arabic School Essays in 1901’, pp. 293, 292–5. More than a dozen editions of Jawāhir al-adab were printed and reprinted in the twentieth century. 47. Ibid., p. 299.

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8 Enacting Reform: Local Agents, Statesmen, Missionaries and the Evolution of a Cultural Infrastructure esides the writing of pedagogical works and the printing of Arabic classics and original works, Arab thinkers believed that the establishment of a strong cultural infrastructure was necessary to introduce, promote and facilitate the learning of imported modern Western and native revived knowledge at all levels of society. Building on the previous section on education, this chapter describes a rapidly expanding cultural infrastructure of schools, presses, periodicals and societies that emerged in the later part of the nineteenth century with a particular focus on Lebanon. The chapter also highlights the role of nah∂ah intellectuals and humanists who supplied this infrastructure through a life-time of teaching and scholarly activities, while drawing attention to the role of the Christian missionaries who made important contributions to its development in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

B

Transforming the Educational Landscape in Beirut Before the nineteenth century, the main mediums of education in the Arab world were the traditional religious schools: the kuttābs and madrasas for Muslims and the dayrs (church schools) for Christians. The children of affluent families were given private tutoring, while knowledge of secular subjects such as medicine, accounting and pharmacy was acquired by serving apprenticeships outside the educational system. In the nineteenth century the educational landscape began to transform with the dramatic expansion of schools, the modernisation of curricula and a substantial growth in the number of pupils.1 Lebanon was the leader in educational reform in the Arab world and was 201

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a major hub of educational activities. According to Shamat, in the period between 1800 and 1920 the number of schools expanded twenty-four-fold, from forty-one to 986. Prior to 1860, in Beirut alone, there were nineteen boys’ and four girls’ schools. Between 1860 and 1869, twenty-nine boys’ and twenty-three girls’ schools were established, bringing the total to fifty-two, up from twenty-three in the previous century. By 1895, approximately 10 per cent of the foreign schools in the Ottoman Empire were located in Beirut. In the 1890s, when none of the major Arab districts had more than 100 students per 1,000 people, the ratio was 238 per 1,000 in the Beirut district. Various agents helped to contribute to this expansion of education: local agents (including the clergy, intellectuals, merchants and notables); foreign missionaries; and the rank and file of the Ottoman provincial bureaucracy.2 Al-Bustānī devoted the best part of his life to spreading learning and education among his compatriots. In the early part of his career, he produced a number of textbooks for the benefit of students. Between 1846 and 1848, he left Beirut to help his friend at the school in ‘Ubey, and it was there that he composed two manuals on arithmetic and Arabic grammar. Later on, he wrote a commentary on Farªāt’s Baªth al-ma†ālib, and two more grammar textbooks, Mi‚bāª al-†ālib fī Baªth al-ma†ālib (The Lamp of the Student on the Book of Searching Answers, 1854), and Kitāb miftāª al-mi‚bāª (The Key to the Lamp, 1862).3 But after the civil unrest in Lebanon (1860/1), al-Bustānī’s educational activities seemed to have assumed an increased urgency on a collective level. His speeches to the Syrian nation, which began with the Khu†bah fī ādāb al-‘arab (1859), ended, for unknown reasons, with the last and eleventh issue of Nafīr Sūrīyah on 22 April 1861. In these speeches, al-Bustānī identified ignorance and sectarianism as the greatest obstacles to the progress and civilisation of his compatriots, and felt that the way out was through education and patriotism. Thus, besides calling passionately for enlightenment through the revival of the Arabic language and culture, the cultivation of modern learning and the love of homeland (wa†an), he praised the reformist efforts of Ottoman sultan ‘Abd al-Majīd, and called for the proficiency of government officials in the arts of writing (inshā’ ) and oration (khu†ab), and for the establishment of a cultural infrastructure of schools, salons, libraries and printing presses so as to ‘restore to the nation its role as wet-nurse to culture and to

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ensure this in future’.4 This shows that for al-Bustānī, too, educational reform was co-dependent on the acquisition of Western learning, the resuscitation of Arab traditions, and the dissemination of the knowledge thus acquired through a strong cultural infrastructure of schools and societies all within an Ottoman context. Imbued with this faith in progress, al-Bustānī now put into practice what he had so arduously preached in the Khu†bah and the pages of Nafīr. After the public call for Arabic cultural revival in 1859, al-Bustānī, together with fourteen prominent Muslims and Christians, formed a cultural association in Beirut for the publication of Arabic books, known as Al-‘Umdah al-Adabīyah li-Ishhār al-Kutub al-‘Arabīyah. With al-Bustānī as secretary, the motivation of its members was ‘to revive what time had almost obliterated and to print and sell [Arabic] literary and historical works at reasonable prices’.5 The first work of the society was an edition by al-Bustānī of Dīwān al-Mutanabbī (Beirut, 1860). Abu-Maneh points out that the choice of this famous poet was in itself indicative of the mood that prevailed among the Beirut literati of the time, for al-Mutanabbī’s poetry symbolised Arab pride and resentment in an age when Arabs had lost effective political power in the lands of the caliphate. The foundation of such an association, he adds, was a sign that al-Bustānī’s feelings and views were shared by many others, and that interest in classical Arabic literature and cultural regeneration was growing among a new group of literati in Beirut.6 Before 1862 al-Bustānī had broken off links with the American Protestant missions, and had begun lobbying the Ottoman authorities and local funding for the foundation of a school that would ‘help educate a new generation of young students who could be imbued with the auto-emancipatory and selfreflective virtues he espoused in his writings’.7 By September 1863, his vision became a reality with the establishment of the National School (Al-Madrasah al-Wa†anīyah) in Beirut in accordance with the principles of patriotism that he had preached in the pages of Nafīr: to appeal for the love of homeland; to foster patriotic relations among students; and to preserve the language of the homeland.8 The school was a truly pioneering endeavour for the period. While it was a ‘National’ institution in the full sense of the word and al-Bustānī’s wa†an was Greater Syria, the school did not claim any nationalist or territorial bias;

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rather, it was clearly conceived within the framework of the Ottoman Empire and promoted the same ideals of the ˝anzīmāt reforms (equality, justice and ̇ religious freedom).9 Al-Bustānī sought to make the school as inclusive as possible by opening its doors to students from all sections of society regardless of religious, ethnic or social background. He hoped that a school founded on patriotic lines would nurture feelings of patriotism (wa†anīyah), unity (ittiªād ) and concord (ulfah) among a new generation of students, who as enlightened individuals would one day form the crux of the ideal society he had envisioned in his writings.10 Al-Bustānī prepared a long statement which reflects the sophistication of thought and meticulous planning that he had put into the establishment of the school. In fact, the statement covers all the information one would expect to find in a modern-day school prospectus, including: school location and campus, management and structure, syllabus and constitution, school timetable, food schedule, age and entry requirements (open to all ages and no formal requirements), term dates and vacation arrangements, boarding facilities (full boarding available), fees and finance.11 The following passage, for example, deals with the location, syllabus and constitution of the school: Indeed, the buildings of the National School are among the best in Beirut. The school is situated in an excellent rural location with the finest climate and most beautiful views. The school campus is spacious, with green fields and shading tress where students can play and recreate. The school teaches Arabic, Turkish, French, English, Greek, Latin, and translation as well as morphology, grammar, prosody, rhetoric, logic, history, the arts of composition (inshā’) and oratory (khu†ab), geography, arithmetic, engineering, natural sciences, chemistry, philosophy, geology, jurisprudence, music, and photography. The school has the finest native and foreign teachers so that students can get the best possible education in their chosen fields . . . The National School accepts students from all sects, communities, and nationalities, regardless of their personal beliefs. There is neither any requirement to follow another religion nor any attempt at proselytising; rather the students are given complete freedom to practise their own religion, attend their specific places of worship at the required times, and to learn more of their own religion with teachers of their own faith. The school prides itself

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in having teachers from diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds who are completely sensitive to other’s beliefs and teach without any religious bias.12

Al-Bustānī practised what he preached. He hand-picked a diverse group of leading educators, who shared his all-embracing supra-religious vision, to teach at the school. They included Nā‚īf al-Yāzijī, Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī, Yūsuf al-Asīr, ‘Abd Allāh al-Bustānī, Kha††ār al-Daªdāª and Shahīn Sarkīs. Al-Bustānī himself taught literature through a version of al-Mutanabbī’s Dīwān which he had edited and published with commentary in 1860, while his sons Salīm and Sa‘d Allāh and daughter Sarah directed the school and taught various levels of English. In 1874, al-Bustānī was able to enlist the help of Shaykh Aªmad ‘Abbās al-Azharī (1853–1927), who had just returned from al-Azhar, to teach Islamic religion and philosophy.13 Moreover, unlike missionary schools of the period, his students were drawn from all religious denominations of what formed the Syrian homeland (wa†an) and also came from as far away as Egypt, Iraq and Istanbul. Naturally, most missionaries viewed al-Bustānī’s ‘supra-religious’ school with great suspicion and complained that it did not represent their interests, but some like William Thompson and Cornelius van Dyck also realised the potential of the institution: The teachers are not allowed to impart religious instruction, but still it is an interesting fact that in a little over three years after the dreadful scenes of massacres and blood[shed] in 1860, there should be gathered in Beirut a school of 115 boarders composed of almost all the various sects in the land and that children of Moslem sheikhs and papal priests, and Druze okkals should study side by side . . . It is a promising fact, too, as bearing upon the future success of the college proposed to be opened in Beirut that the youth of Syria are willing to pay for education, and it is plain that the movement for a college started not a moment too soon.14

Students were given complete freedom to practise their religion, as the prominent medic Shākir al-Khūrī (1847–1911), a one time pupil and teacher at the school, recalled in his memoirs: The students of the National School were from various communities, and the President al-Bustānī used to send each pupil together with a teacher to

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their particular place of worship on Sundays and other religious days. He never showed any bias towards a particular religion throughout his life.15

Although the National School had to close in 1877 due to the spread of plague, it was no doubt one of al-Bustānī’s greatest achievements and a truly pioneering endeavour for the turbulent period in which it was conceived, especially given the prevalence of sectarian schools. The National School was really a miniature model of the ideal society al-Bustānī had envisioned in his speeches and writings. According to his son, his father would often say: ‘Our society needs to be like the National School where students from different religious, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds can coexist as brothers and patriots untainted by religious and sectarian differences.’16 Many of its graduates would go on to become leading figures in their respective fields as educators, publishers, lawyers, journalists and government officials. Sulaymān al-Bustānī, for example, became famous for his rare translation of Homer’s Iliad (1904) into Arabic, and later became deputy of the province of Beirut and then an Ottoman minister. Hanssen points out that from the local student population, Ibrāhīm Bey-al-Aswad, ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Dānā, ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Qabbānī and Maªmūd Mīnah al-Íulª (1856–1925) later became Beirut’s leading intellectual and political figures, and that the Sidon notable Aªmad Pasha al-Íulª entrusted al-Bustānī with the upbringing of his son when his Ottoman career brought him to settle in Beirut.17 Al-Bustānī’s National School was followed by the establishment of other important institutions in Beirut during the same period, including the Patriarchate School (Al-Madrasah al-Batrīkīyah) which was founded by the Greek Catholics in 1865. This school attracted ambitious students from all over Greater Syria and Egypt, and by 1883 had over 200 pupils and sixteen teachers who taught among other subjects Arabic, French, English, Turkish, mathematics and the natural sciences. Teachers at this school included nah∂ah luminaries such as Nā‚īf al-Yāzijī, his son Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī, and Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī. The latter also taught at the School of Wisdom (Madrasat al-Óikmah), the leading Maronite school of Beirut, founded in 1874 by the Maronite bishop of Beirut, Yūsuf al-Dibs (1833–1907). In 1883, the school had some 280 students and thirty teachers who between them taught Arabic, French, English, Latin, Turkish, geography, history, philosophy, natural

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sciences, jurisprudence and other subjects.18 According to Cleveland, the institution was to make its mark as an important preparatory school, numbering among its graduates several of the leading literary and political figures of modern Lebanon. Among them was the nationalist writer and Muslim politician Shakīb Arslān. The seven years (1879–86) that Arslān spent there, Cleveland notes, had a special importance for him. Besides Arslān, students at the school included famous figures such as Khalīl Gibrān (1883–1931) and the writer and critic Mārūn ‘Abbūd (1886–1962) who was a pupil of al-Shartūnī.19 At the same time, several Muslim institutions appeared in quick succession across Beirut and Tripoli and played a significant role in the cultural awakening of the period. In 1878, the Jam‘īyat al-Maqā‚id al-Khayrīyah al-Islāmīyah (the Islamic Benevolent Society) was inaugurated in Beirut, which played a major role in spreading knowledge among Muslims across Lebanon. It was founded by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Qabbānī, a former pupil at al-Bustānī’s National School, and other Muslim notables, including Yūsuf al-Asīr, who held the position of judge in Syria, and Ibrāhīm al-Aªdab, who belonged to one of the prominent Muslim families of Beirut. The society’s objectives were: ‘to improve the conditions of poor Muslims regardless of sect, to establish educational institutions for boys and girls, and to undertake cultural and welfare activities – all within the framework of Ottoman legitimacy’.20 Concurrently, the society sought both to develop an alternative curriculum to the traditional madrasas and kuttābs and also to challenge the monopoly of missionary education. As the first president of the society, al-Qabbānī’s main priority was to launch schools for Muslim girls, and a school with some 230 female pupils was successfully created within the first few months. The following year in 1879 other maqā‚id girl schools were established in Beirut and Sidon and a boy’s school was also opened.21 In 1883, Aªmad ‘Abbās al-Azharī, with financial assistance from members of the provincial bureaucracy, clergy, merchants and notables, started the Ottoman high school known as Al-Madrasah al-Sul†ānīyah to teach six grades. Within the first year of opening, al-Azharī enlisted Shaykh Óusayn alJisr as the school’s director, together with an impressive group of professors, including Muªammad ‘Abduh to teach Islamic philosophy. The reputation of the school and its teachers attracted a diverse group of aspiring students

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from the Arab provinces, such as writer and politician Shakīb Arslān who was one of the most famous alumni of the school.22 In 1889, the first governor general of Beirut, ‘Alī Pasha, sent a memorandum to Istanbul outlining his own impressions of the shape of Ottoman education in his new province. His views resonated with ‘Abduh’s assessment two years earlier (in the memorandum he sent to Shaykh ul-Islam in Istanbul) that the only way to thwart a complete surrender to the growing monopoly of missionary schools was to make native institutions available to Ottoman Muslims who were suffering from a substandard quality of education.23 Six years later, in 1895, several prominent figures, again headed by ‘Abbās al-Azharī, established the Ottoman College (Al-Kullīyah al-‘Uthmānīyah al-Islāmīyah) in Beirut to teach eight grades of education. By 1913, the Uthmānīyah school had become the largest Muslim boarding school in Beirut, with 150 boarders. Like other Ottoman schools of the period, such as the Sul†ānīyah, the Ottoman College began with the private initiative of local Muslim intellectuals as a reaction to both foreign and traditional religious schools, but was later absorbed into the evolving imperial education system in 1889.24 The syllabus of the school was more diverse in content than previous Islamic liberal arts institutions in Beirut and combined a comprehensive programme of the formal, natural and social sciences (e.g., accounting, geometry, economic geography, biology, political economy) with traditional religious studies (Qur’ān, ªadīth, etc.), together with Arabic humanistic studies (language, grammar, rhetoric, poetry, moral sciences and general history). The school also taught Turkish, French, English and German, as well as some arts subjects such as drawing, calligraphy and music. The Sul†ãnīyah and Uthmānīyah schools were Islamic liberal arts institutions and the role of education in them was to infuse young minds with sound judgement of public morality and state loyalty. According to Hanssen, like the AngloSaxon liberal arts tradition, children in these schools were brought up to be useful to society and were equipped with applicable knowledge. They were trained as an intelligentsia of well-educated professionals who were meant to serve in Ottoman institutions and private businesses.25 An increase in missionary activities also contributed to the spread of education. Attracted by a large Christian population in the mountains of Lebanon, European Jesuit and American Protestant missions arrived in

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Lebanon in the 1820s and 1830s to spread their faith and win converts from among the local people. Each started by establishing a seminary in Mount Lebanon for training the new missionary arrivals in the Arabic language and preparing them for their work. The Jesuits in Lebanon antedated the American Protestant missionaries by two centuries. They had been active in the region for a period in the seventeenth century, but since their return in 1831 they had renewed their efforts with increased vigour and ample financial support from France. In the 1840s, the Jesuits began to organise their teaching and within a few years they had covered the main cities and villages with post-primary schools for boys in Bikfaiya, Ayn Tura, Zahle, Bekaa, Kesrouan and Ghazir. Similar schools for girls were simultaneously started by the Sisters of Charity and the nuns of St Joseph. In 1843, the Jesuit Fathers established a seminary in Ghazir to train the local clergy. The Ghazir Seminary was their most important work because nothing remained of earlier institutions such as the Maronite colleges in Rome and Ravenna, and the St Elie of ‘Ayn ˝ūrā Seminary. Thus, Ghazir became the centre of the mission and the seminary was the largest Jesuit establishment in the Orient.26 In 1875, the Ghazir Seminary was transferred to Beirut as the Jesuit College (JC). As part of this transformation, the JC called upon a number of native intellectuals to develop their capacity in the Arabic language. Among them were the Shartūnī brothers Sa‘īd and Rashīd. Sa‘īd was called upon to teach Arabic and to work as a proofreader of Jesuit publications. His brother Rashīd was called upon to teach Arabic and rhetoric, assist the Jesuit Press in the publication of Arabic textbooks and to edit their weekly newspaper Al-Bashīr. Both brothers spent over twenty years at the JC, from its foundation and through its transformation into an institution of higher learning to rival the Syrian Protestant College (SPC), which the American missionaries had started in Beirut only a decade earlier.27 American missions had been active in Lebanon since the early part of the nineteenth century. In the autumn of 1833, they established two new schools, each with some half dozen pupils, the one for boys taught by the missionaries and the other for girls taught by their wives. Between 1846 and 1847, they started twelve primary schools with fifteen teachers, having some 450 pupils, including 150 girls. By 1857, these figures had more than doubled, to thirty schools with 743 boys and 277 girls. In all these schools

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native Arab customs and manners were maintained, and all the pupils were taught by native teachers. In December 1866, the American missions headed by Daniel Bliss embarked on their most ambitious project with the formal opening of the SPC in a small rented building belonging to Bu†rus al-Bustānī and adjoining his National School. The future university began with sixteen students and three teachers, two native and one American. The natives were Nā‚īf al-Yāzijī to teach Arabic and As‘ad Shadūdī to teach mathematics. Of the sixteen students enrolled at the opening of the SPC, five graduated in 1870, including Ya‘qūb Íarrūf and Fāris Nimr who were subsequently appointed as junior teachers.28 The SPC and the JC competed from the outset in the educational field, and consequently came to exert some positive influence on the process of revival in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Both sponsored a number of major scholarly publications and their alumni went on to make important contributions to the nah∂ah. For example, while serving as tutors in the SPC two former pupils, Ya‘qūb Íarrūf and Fāris Nimr, launched the prestigious scientific journal Al-Muqta†af. Likewise, the famous journal Al-Mashriq was founded in 1898 by a graduate of the JC, Lūwīs Shaykhū, who was one of the most prolific Christian scholars of the nah∂ah. The American University of Beirut (AUB) and the Université Saint-Joseph (USJ) as the SPC and JC came to be known, respectively, continue to this day as the two leading universities of Lebanon. Organs of Reform: The Burgeoning Periodical Press According to Sheehi, a major aim of nah∂ah reform movements was to create a desire (raghbah) in the modern Arab citizen for modern, rational and scientific knowledge upon which the modern era could be built. The rapid expansion of the periodical press in the later part of the nineteenth century fed a strong desire for news and information, created largely by the activities of Arab intellectuals and reformers.29 In sheer quantity, the number of periodicals during the nah∂ah is striking. Lūwīs Shaykhū’s survey lists fifty-five newspapers and journals produced in Beirut and Mount Lebanon before 1900. At least twenty-two presses were involved in this production. For Egypt the number of periodicals is conspicuously greater. ‘Āyidah Nu‚ayr has traced no fewer than 394 periodicals between 1850 and 1900. After 1900,

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Arab printing was in the midst of even more dynamic expansion, as reflected in the rapid proliferation of periodicals: 197 new titles in Lebanon and 216 in Egypt in the period up to 1914.30 After the Young Turk Revolution of 1908, places that had been unproductive suddenly responded with an energetic outburst in the field of journalism. According to Ayalon, during the six years before the First World War hundreds of newspapers appeared throughout the Fertile Crescent, where few had previously existed. Syrian cities like Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Tripoli and Latakia together produced as many as eighty-two newspapers and sixteen periodicals during this short period.31 The first newspapers in the Arab world were initiated from above. They were published by official organs of the state to serve the needs and interests of government and were therefore of little interest to the general public. In 1828, Muªammad ‘Alī launched the first governmental newspaper known as Al-Waqā’i‘ al-Mi‚rīyah (Egyptian Events), which was published in both Arabic and Turkish at the Būlāq Press. It carried news on Muªammad ‘Alī’s projects, administration and issued official notices. Al-˝ah†āwi was appointed its chief editor in 1842, and he was succeeded in this role by other prominent nah∂ah figures such as Muªammad ‘Abduh. In 1855, Rizq Allāh Óassūn al-Óalabī launched the Mir’āt al-Aªwāl (The Mirror of Society) from Istanbul, a weekly political paper that was motivated by the aim of reforming the Ottoman Empire and by the desire for news from the Crimean front. Although al-Óalabī’s paper was also official in nature and ceased publication after a year, ˝arrāzī dubs him ‘the imām of the press renaissance’ because his was the first such private initiative in the Arab world. Moreover, al-Óalabī inspired a new generation of journalists who followed his example and started their own periodicals, and who went on to contribute significantly to the development of the Arabic press in the latter part of the nineteenth century. In 1858, Iskander Shalhūb established a similar paper from Istanbul, known as Al-Sul†anah, reporting on official news and events in the Ottoman Empire.32 The real breakthrough in the development of the private periodical press from within Arab society was made by the Christian Arab intellectuals of Beirut. In 1858, Khalīl al-Khūrī launched the first Arabic newspaper that was free of state involvement from Beirut titled Óadīqat al-Akhbār (News Garden, 1858–68). In so doing, he introduced to the Arab world the

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earliest prototype of a modern newspaper as we know it today. His Óadīqat al-Akhbār included the full range of material on political, historical, literary and financial matters that one would find in a contemporary newspaper. Al-Khūrī also introduced the word jūrnāl (journal) in this paper, which became the subject of much heated controversy among nah∂ah intellectuals because it was borrowed directly from French. This paper was printed weekly until 1911, when it ceased publication having issued around 3,000 copies in total.33 Numerous newspapers appeared in the next few decades. Yūsuf al-Shalfūn failed with his first periodical Al-Sharikah al-Shahrīyah (Monthly Enterprise, 1866), which ceased publication within its first eight months. His Beirut-based newspapers Al-Zahrah (The Flower, 1870) and Al-Taqqadum (Progress, 1874), were, however, more successful.34 In 1875, Syria’s first Islamic newspaper, the bi-weekly Thamarāt al-Funūn (Fruits of the Arts), was launched. Although a project of the Jam‘īyat al-Maqā‚id al-Khayrīyah, its reform-minded founder and editor, ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Qabbānī, ensured that it reached far beyond the membership of particular societies. Before long the Thamarāt became Beirut’s second major newspaper after Óadīqat al-Akhbār. It received competition when, following the success of the journal Al-Mishkāt (The Lamp, 1874), Khalīl Sarkīs started the Lisān al-Óāl (Voice of the Present) in 1878, which became one of the Arab world’s leading newspapers and remained so for a century. The Thamarāt and Lisān jointly predominated over Beirut’s news scene throughout the late Ottoman period.35 By the end of the nineteenth century, the Arab press scene was dotted with scores of new publications bearing intellectual, political and missionary orientations. Egypt witnessed the birth of newspapers such as Wādī al-Nīl (The Nile Valley, 1866), Nuzhat al-Afkār (The Recreation of Ideas, 1869), Al-Ahrām (The Pyramids, 1876), Al-Maªrūsah (The Protected, 1880), Al-Muqa††am (The Broken, 1889), Al-Mu’ayyad (The Advocate, 1889) and Al-Liwā’ (The Banner, 1900). The Taqlā brothers started Egypt’s legendary daily Al-Ahrām from Cairo in 1876. Khalīl al-Badawī published the first twice-daily newspaper of the Arab world in 1891 known as Al-Aªwāl (Circumstances), which he followed with Al-Fawa’id (Useful Lessons) in 1889. Ya‘qūb Íarrūf founded the Cairo-based popular daily Al-Muqa††am in 1889. Meanwhile, the foreign missionaries started a number of religiously orientated periodicals. The

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American Protestants launched Al-Nashrah al-Shahrīyah (Monthly Bulletin, 1866) under the supervision of Cornelius van Dyck, in addition to three others, the Akbār ‘an Intishār al-Injīl (News of Gospel Propagation, 1863), Kawkab al-Íabaª al-Munīr (The Bright Morning Star, 1871) and Al-Nashrah al-Usbū‘īyah (Weekly Bulletin, 1871). In 1870, the Jesuits, under the editorship of Rashīd al-Shartūnī, started their own newspaper Al-Bashīr (The Herald ), an influential organ of the Jesuit Fathers, which also discussed European politics extensively.36 Alongside the huge escalation of newspapers, the later part of the nineteenth century saw the birth and proliferation of prestigious literary– scientific journals, such as Al-Jawā’ib (The Current News), Al-Jinān (The Garden), Al-Muqta†af (The Harvest), Al-Manār (The Lighthouse) and Al-Hilāl (The Crescent). Sheehi points out that these journals not only formed the origin of critical Arab journalism by providing a public arena for debate on social reform, education, current events and politics, but were also pivotal in introducing and enacting the concept of modernity into the Arab world. He explains that they were the most powerful means by which the bourgeoisie of the Arab world could articulate and disseminate reform paradigms into the social milieu, and that nearly every major Arab intellectual and political figure in Egypt and the Levant wrote articles or editorials for top regional journals.37 Both al-Shidyāq and al-Bustānī were among the leading group of writers who contributed significantly to the development of the Arabic journal. In 1861, al-Shidyāq launched Al-Jawā’ib (1861–84) from Istanbul, an influential weekly journal on cultural and current affairs, and a mouthpiece for Ottomanism, which became a major forum for discussions on reform and a pioneer of modern Arabic journalism. The journal was read throughout the Arabic-speaking world, and was even on sale in London and Paris. It contained articles on politics, history, literature, linguistics, society and religion, as well as domestic and foreign news, Reuters bulletins, and even such information as the sailing times of steamships to Alexandria. In Khu†bah fī ādāb al-‘Arab (1859), while calling for a cultural infrastructure concomitant with the modern age, Bu†rus al-Bustānī stated that ‘undoubtedly, journals ( jūrnālāt) are among the best means for civilising the masses, which can increase the number of their readers if they are used properly’.38 Accordingly, following the civil war of 1860 in Lebanon, al-Bustānī

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started the broadsheet Nafīr Sūrīyah (1860/1), which contained useful advice aimed at creating concord (ulfah) among all his compatriots regardless of their religious beliefs. A decade later in 1870, he launched three journals consecutively from Beirut: Al-Jinān (The Garden, 1870–86), a bi-weekly on politics, history and culture; Al-Jannah (Paradise), which he started with his son Salīm al-Bustānī in January 1870; followed by Al-Junaynah (Little Garden) in 1871.39 Each issue of the groundbreaking journal Al-Jinān carried the famous slogan, ‘love of homeland is of faith’ (ªubb al-wa†an min al-īmān), and an opening editorial column titled ‘Reform’ by Salīm al-Bustānī. Sheehi highlights that Salīm’s commentary, firmly positivist in vision and analysis, engaged virtually every topic imaginable, from women’s rights and consumerism to local, regional and global political developments. He adds that by introducing scientific knowledge and humanist political and social principles, Al-Jinān was the prototype for innumerable journals that worked to integrate the Arab world into a new age, the modern age.40 In the meantime, the foreign missionaries launched a number of their own journals. The American’s launched the journal Majmū‘ Fawā’id (Collected Useful Lessons) in 1851, followed much later with the monthly Majmū‘at al-‘Ulūm (Collection of Sciences) in 1868 from Beirut, which in addition to missionary material contained articles on agriculture, manufacturing, business, history and poetry. This journal, however, ceased publishing in 1869 after just seventeen issues. The Jesuits started the journals Al-Majma‘ al-Fātīkānī (Vatican Congregation, 1870) and the much more successful Al-Mashriq (The East, 1898), which is still in circulation today.41 As the journals multiplied so did the competition between their owners, which often manifested itself in heated controversies over linguistic, literary and political issues on the pages of journals. Al-Shidyāq, through his journal Al-Jawā’ib, was a catalyst for many of the controversies that erupted between him and other nah∂ah intellectuals, such as Rushayd al-Daªdāª, Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī, Ibrāhīm al-Aªdab, Sa‘īd al-Shartūnī and Bu†rus al-Bustānī. Among the most notorious were the linguistic battles that were fought out between al-Shidyāq’s Al-Jawā’ib, al-Daªdaª’s Birjīs Bārīs (The Paris Jupiter, 1858) and al-Bustānī’s Al-Jinān. The controversy started in part when the more conservative-minded al-Daªdāª substituted the word jūrnāl, which Khalīl al-Khurī had introduced earlier from French, with the Arabic term ‚aªīfah

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(now one of the standard terms for newspaper) in his own journal Birjīs Bārīs, much to the agitation of al-Shidyāq, who questioned the suitability of the term and set out to refute al-Daªdaª in his Al-Jawā’ib. It was at the height of such tensions that Rizq Allāh al-Óalabī started a journal from London in 1868 with the sole aim of countering al-Shidyāq’s criticisms against scholars. The journal’s title, Rujūm wa-Ghassāq ilā Fāris al-Shidyāq (Stones and Pus on Fāris al-Shidyāq), leaves little doubt about the often ad hominem and vilifying nature of the debates of the period. Linguistic controversies continued between al-Shidyāq’s Al-Jawā’ib and al-Bustānī’s Al-Jinān, which Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī also used in his days as a journalist there to refute al-Shidyāq’s allegations against him and his father Nā‚īf. When al-Yāzijī became editor of the journal Al-˝abīb in 1883, he introduced the Arabic word majallah (now the standard term for journal or magazine) in place of jūrnāl, which itself had been the subject of much controversy some years earlier. Al-Yāzijī went to establish two other major journals, which aside from their intellectual value formed part of his major contribution to the development of printing in the Arab world. In 1895, he left for Cairo where he established Al-Bayān (The Bulletin, 1897/8), followed by Al-¤iyā’ (The Light, 1898–1906), which served as a major forum for the linguistic debates of that period.42 While there was a strong tendency to focus on purely linguistic and religious issues in some of the early journals, the contents became more varied and wider in scope to incorporate virtually every aspect of life in the Arab world and beyond in journals of the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Sheehi highlights that the literary–scientific journals of the turn of the century explicitly espoused a goal to affect the consciousness of their Arab readership, and the diversity of information in them varied from scientific to literary, with articles, editorials, social and political commentaries on a range of political, social, economic and cultural issues throughout the Arab world, the Ottoman Empire and Europe. They were also responsible for introducing into Arabic new forms of literary genres (novels, short stories, plays), while disseminating an array of classical and modern poetic genres, and acquainting their readers with new discoveries and scientific advancements, world history and ethnographies, and important global figures.43 Important journals included Al-Muqta†af (The Harvest, 1876), a scientific–cultural quarterly founded in 1876 by Ya‘qūb Íarrūf and Fāris Nimr

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in Beirut, but moved in 1884 to Cairo, where it continued to appear regularly until 1951. The other was Al-Hilāl (The Crescent, 1891), a bi-monthly with a historical–literary orientation, which since its inception in Cairo by another Lebanese Christian immigrant, Jurjī Zaydān, has persisted uninterrupted into the twenty-first century.44 In 1891, Shākir Shuqayr launched one of the first Arabic journals specialising in fiction from Beirut known as Dīwān al-Fukāhah (Humour Anthology). Four years later in 1895, he moved to Egypt where he started a similar journal on fiction titled Al-Kinānah, which published translations of French novels bi-annually.45 Muªammad ‘Abduh and Rashīd Ri∂ā launched the famous journal Al-Manār (The Lighthouse) in 1897 from Cairo, and Faraª An†ūn launched the journal Al-Jāmi‘ah al-Uthmānīyah (The Ottoman Community) from Alexandria in 1899. The distribution of these and other prominent journals, such as al-Shidyāq’s Al-Jawā’ib and al-Bustānī’s Al-Jinān, was extraterritorial and the information that they circulated was global. Together they created a readership of tens of thousands of subscribers that was often both regional and international: al-Shidyāq’s Al-Jawā’ib could be found from Najd to Bombay, while ‘Abduh’s Al-Manār also attracted a readership in India, and Zaydān’s Al-Hilāl could be readily found in American and Brazilian immigrant communities. Whatever the global reach of these journals, the least that can be said is that as the main venue for the expression and diffusion of reform paradigms into the social milieu, they created the intellectual, social and political conditions for modernity in the Arab world.46 The Rise of Literary Salons and Scientific Societies Of equal importance to the emerging cultural infrastructure were the literary and scientific societies established in the nineteenth century. Those who established the societies saw them as one of the most effective means for achieving the desired cultural and social reform on a collective level. As early as 1842, a committee was formed under the aegis of the American missions to oversee the creation of a new scientific and literary society in the Arab world. The Syrian Society for Arts and Sciences (Al-Jam‘īyah al-Sūrīyah lil-‘Ulūm wa-al-Funūn, 1847–52) was eventually established in 1847 in collaboration with local Arab Christians. In a letter dated February 1848 sent to the German Oriental Society, the American missionary Eli Smith wrote that

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‘a little Society of Arts and Sciences was formed in Beirut as a consequence of the urgent solicitation of intelligent natives desirous of knowledge. It meets semi-monthly, when literary information is exchanged, papers are read, questions discussed, and occasional public lectures are delivered.’47 Besides missionary figures such as Eli Smith, Cornelius van Dyck and William Thomson, the rank and file of the society included Nā‚īf al-Yāzijī and Bu†rus al-Bustānī, who was the secretary and one of its most active members. The constitution of the society set out its three main objectives as follows: (1) To benefit the sciences (‘ulūm) and arts ( funūn) through discussions, letters, speeches and news; (2) to collect books and newspapers both printed and written especially in the Arabic language; and (3) to ‘revive’ the desire for learning among the masses while avoiding controversial religious and political issues since these have nothing to do with the society’s aims.48

Bu†rus al-Bustānī selected seventeen speeches that were delivered at the society’s meetings and published them in a book titled A‘māl al-jam‘īyah al-Sūrīyah. The leitmotif throughout these speeches is one of promoting learning and education in a contemporary context through images of the Arab past as the following titles show: ‘The Pleasures of Learning and its Benefits’, ‘The Excellence of the Ancients over the Moderns’, ‘The Development of Learning in Syria’, ‘Education of Women’, ‘About the Sciences of the Arabs’, ‘Al-Óarīrī’.49 However, the actual function of the society remained vague and erratic, and it eventually collapsed. Al-Bustānī’s account of the society’s activities shows that its members were mainly preoccupied with teaching Western science and culture, and although the society was supposed to have twice-monthly meetings (open to members of the public), the number of meetings convened between 1847 and 1851 amounted to no more than fifty-five. Moreover, al-Bustānī’s description of the society’s constitution and membership reveals that it was very much conceived on religious and sectarian lines. Thus, despite best efforts, the society managed to recruit only fifty active members in the whole of Greater Syria: all Christians, mainly from Beirut, but no Muslim or Druze. By 1852, the society was no more and the region would have to wait until the later part of the nineteenth century for societies with a broader appeal to all sections of Arab society to emerge.50 Another society of the period was the Al-Jam‘īyah al-Sharqīyah fī Bayrūt

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(The Oriental Society of Beirut, 1850–2). Although very little is known about this society, sources indicate that it was among the earliest literary societies of the period, established in 1850 under the aegis of the Jesuit Fathers. The society first convened on 17 February 1850, and held regular meetings thereafter until 1852. Like the Syrian Society, the actual aims of this society were vague, but involved ‘members collaborating on the task at hand and attending meetings’ and ‘the acquisition of useful books in Arabic and foreign languages for the benefit of the masses’.51 This society was also religious and sectarian in character, and its educational activities were very much subservient to the interests of the Jesuit missionaries. The membership of the society comprised foreigners and natives who were all Christian, including Mārūn al-Naqqāsh, Ibrāhīm al-Najjār, ˝annūs al-Shidyāq, Dāghir al-Shidyāq and Óabīb al-Yāzijī, and the official language for all its members was French.52 In February 1868, Muªammad Amīn Arslān, along with a group of Lebanese notables, met with the Ottoman governor of Syria, Rāshid Pasha, to seek his approval for the establishment of a cultural society. The governor acceded to their request and issued an edict to the provisional governor, Sa‘ādah Kāmil Pasha, granting permission subject to final approval from Istanbul. In 1868, the Syrian Scientific Society (Al-Jam‘īyah al-‘Ilmīyah al-Sūrīyah, 1868–9) was formed in Beirut with the aim of ‘disseminating the sciences and arts among Arabic speakers’.53 This society adopted a different approach to that of its predecessors. No foreigners were allowed to join and its founders were all native Arabs. It was more successful because of its largely Arabic affiliation, which included Christians, Muslims and Druze, and because it enjoyed official support from Istanbul. The society managed to recruit 116 members from all sections of society, including several Ottoman statesman and notables from Greater Syria and Egypt, such as the first president Muªammad Amīn Arslān, Salīm al-Bustānī (vice president), Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī (editor), Franco Pasha (governor of Mount Lebanon), Rāshid Pasha (governor of Syria), Yūsuf Kāmil Pasha (Ottoman Grand Vizier), Íafūt Pasha (Ottoman Minister for Education) and nah∂ah intellectuals like Bu†rus al-Bustānī, Shākir Shuqayr and Khalīl al-Khurī.54 It was at a meeting of this society that Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī and a Muslim shaykh are credited with the recital of the famous ode (‘Arise, ye Arabs, and Awake’), which called on Arabs to unite as a single cultural entity and ‘shake

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off the Turkish yoke’. Antonius and others gave much political significance to this ode and to the function of this society, and regarded its recitation there as the first utterance of a nascent Arab desire for independence from Ottoman rule.55 However, the ode can hardly have been conceived at this society, which itself was endorsed by Istanbul and whose key members were Ottoman elites. We have seen that the actual ode delivered by al-Yāzijī at the society in 1868 was a poem that urged Arabs to cultural progress firmly within an Ottoman framework, and that the famous ode (‘Arise, ye Arabs, and Awake’) was actually conceived in 1883 in the wake of the ‘Urābī revolution. Moreover, although such societies were significant, it was as cultural rather than political bodies.56 The main objectives of the society, for example, were to promote learning, strengthen the sciences and arts, and establish schools with the overall aim of achieving success and stability for the Arabs in an Ottoman context. The society’s meetings involved members delivering speeches, presenting and discussing current work, and reading out novels. In so doing, members were required to be extra sensitive and courteous by avoiding matters that might harm the feelings of other members and the work of the society as a whole. Moreover, members were required ‘to avoid religion and politics’ in all meetings.57 The society, therefore, had little to do with politics as such. Its aims were cultural, and it sought implicitly and explicitly to benefit the masses through cultural activities in the arts and sciences, while promoting coexistence and avoiding any kind of partisanship within the Ottoman Empire.58 It is true that the Beirut Secret Society, founded in 1875 by a handful of graduates of the Syrian Protestant College, acquired a somewhat political character. Its founding members were all Christians, according to Antonius, but it managed after some time to enlist some Muslims and Druzes. In order to broaden its appeal among Arabs, the society decided around 1880 to post anonymous placards demanding Ottoman recognition of Arabic as an official language and political autonomy for Syria with Lebanon.59 However, these sentiments, as Tibawi points out, were confined to a few individuals, had little popular support, and were more important as a basis for the wider and more sustained action of the next generation of political leaders. As for the society, it was dissolved around 1882 under Sultan ‘Abd al-Óamīd II.60 Other important societies included the Jam‘īyat Shams al-Birr

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(Philanthropic Society of the Sun, 1869), the Zahrat al-Ādāb (Elite of Literature, 1873) and the Al-Nādī al-Adabī (Literary Club, 1890) in Tripoli. Unlike other societies of the period, their members were primarily literary figures, such as Adīb Isªāq, Iskander ‘Āzār and Salīm Najjār, whose main activities involved the writing and translating of novels and plays and welfare projects.61 As a reaction to the short-lived Syrian Scientific Society (1868/9) and a continuation of Bu†rus al-Bustānī’s ideas on educational reform, a new society known as the Jam‘īyat al-Funūn (Society of Arts) was founded in 1875 by Beirut’s ‘ulamā’ led by Hājj Ía‘d Óamāda and the circle of notables who formed the crux of the Jam‘īyat al-Maqā‚id al-Khayrīyah, including Ibrāhīm al-Aªdab, Abd al-Qādir al-Qabbānī and Yūsuf al-Asīr, who had both been a student and a teacher, respectively, at al-Bustānī’s National School.62 Some of the most influential societies emerged within the educational institutions of the period, such as the Al-Jam‘īyah al-‘Ilmīyah al-‘Arabīyah (Arabic Scientific Society) which was formed in 1866 when the AUB was still the SPC. A second society called Zuhrat al-Ādāb was created in 1913 within the AUB ‘to raise the literacy level, to inculcate truthfulness and create unity amongst the University’s students, and to revive (iªyā’) the Arabic language and literature through oratory (kha†ābah) and writing (kitābah)’. The first volume of the society’s journal, Al-‘Urwah al-Wuthqā (The Firmest Bond ), indicates that the society aimed to bring together students and unify their activities on an intellectual and nationalistic level: ‘Our mission is to unite the hearts and minds of the University’s Arab students and to bring together students from all Arab countries in the society’s meetings in order to exchange ideas, collaborate on research, and actively cooperate in science and literature . . .’63 Conclusion Nah∂ah intellectuals and Christian missionaries were by no means the first to introduce schools, printing presses and literary societies to the Arab world in the nineteenth century. A modest infrastructure instituted by the private initiatives of local clerics had already been in place since the early pre-modern period to support religious activities. The nineteenth century, however, saw the rapid expansion of this cultural infrastructure. Arab reformers believed that if they could cultivate the zeal to acquire knowledge among their compatriots, and then introduce, promote and popularise this learning among

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their subjects it would create love for the nation, which would consequently produce communal unity and solidarity, and ultimately herald in an era of reform, progress and civilisation. The writing of pedagogical works, the printing of Arabic classics, the establishment of more schools and presses, publication of periodicals and journals, and the formation of literary and scientific societies were thus all seen as part of the cultural infrastructure necessary to institutionalise and disseminate the imported modern Western knowledge and the native revived knowledge at all levels of society. Nah∂ah intellectuals and Christian missionaries established, joined and supplied this infrastructure through a lifetime of teaching and scholarly activities, and together crafted the underpinnings so essential for a cultural infrastructure specific to modernity, such as presses, printed classical and original works, journals, schools and learned societies. In so doing, they also set a precedent for the more activist Arab intellectuals of the subsequent decades who, no longer content simply with providing intellectual formulations for people to read, built on this infrastructure and established major institutions and societies that people could join and use as a venue to collectively voice their cultural, social and political concerns, organise their activities and mobilise popular support. Notes 1. Al-Shamat, ‘Educational Divide’, p. 5. 2. Ibid., pp. 3–6. 3. See Maqdisī, Al-Funūn, p. 222; Dāghir, Ma‚ādir al-dirāsāt al-adabīyah, vol. 2, p. 180. 4. Al-Bustānī, ‘Khu†bah fī ādāb al-‘arab’, p. 117. 5. Abu-Manneh, ‘The Christians’, p. 292. 6. Ibid., p. 292. 7. Hanssen, Fin de Siècle Beirut, p. 166. 8. Qays, Athar, pp. 69–70. 9. Ibid., p. 79. 10. Ibid., p. 70. 11. Ibid., pp. 71–3. 12. Ibid., pp. 71–2. 13. Ibid., pp. 74–5, 81. 14. Hanssen, Fin de Siècle Beirut, p. 167.

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222 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27.

28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45.

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Qays, Athar, p.74. Ibid., pp. 83–4. Qays, Athar, p. 82; Hanssen, Fin de Siècle Beirut, p. 168. Makāriūs, ‘Al-Ma‘ārif fī Sūrīyah’, p. 290. Cleveland, Islam Against the West, p. 6. Mas‘ūd, Lubnān wa-al-nah∂ah, p. 42. Hanssen, Fin de Siècle Beirut, p. 171. Ibid., pp. 174–6. Ibid., pp. 180–1. Mas‘ūd, Lubnān wa-al-nah∂ah, pp. 42–3; Fakhrī, al-Óarakāt al-fikrīyah, p. 17. Hanssen, Fin de Siècle Beirut, pp. 181–3, 188. Herzstein, ‘The Foundation’, p. 751. See Sarkīs, Mu‘jam al-ma†bū‘āt, vol. 1, pp. 1111–12; Shaykhū, Tārīkh al-adāb, pp. 25–6, 67; ‘A†īyah, ‘Al-Shaykh Sa’īd’, p. 425; Dāghir, Ma‚ādir al-dirāsāt al-adabīyah, vol. 2, pp. 479, 482. Tibawi, Arabic and Islamic Themes, pp. 247, 259, 261, 269, 273; Mas‘ūd, Lubnān wa-al-nah∂ah, pp. 39–40. Sheehi, ‘Arabic Literary–Scientific Journals’, p. 444. Ayalon, ‘Private Publishing’, p. 562. Ayalon, ‘The Syrian Educated Elite’, p. 128. ˝arrāzī, Tārīkh al-‚aªāfah, pp. 44–50. Sa‘ādah, Al-Nah∂ah al-‚uªufīyah, pp. 89, 312–13. ˝arrāzī, Tārīkh al-‚aªāfah, p. 69. Hanssen, Fin de Siècle Beirut, p. 170. Sa‘ādah, Al-Nah∂ah al-‚uªufīyah, pp. 86–91; ˝arrāzī, Tārīkh al-‚aªāfah, pp. 47, 67, 308–13. Sheehi, ‘Arabic Literary–Scientific Journals’, pp. 440, 445–6. Ibid., p. 444. Maqdisī, Al-Funūn, pp. 42–3. Sheehi, ‘Arabic Literary–Scientific Journals’, p. 439. Sa‘ādah, Al-Nah∂ah al-‚uªufīyah, pp. 86–91; ˝arrāzī, Tārīkh al-‚aªāfah, pp. 47, 75. ˝arrāzī, Tārīkh al-‚aªāfah, pp. 61–4, 74–8; Íawāyā, Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī, pp. 15–22. Sheehi, ‘Arabic Literary–Scientific Journals’, pp. 440, 443, 445. Maqdisī, Al-Funūn, pp. 42–3. See Qāsim, Ittijāhāt, vol. 1, p. 329.

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57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63.

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Sheehi, ‘Arabic Literary–Scientific Journals’, pp. 440, 445. Al-Bustānī, Al-Jam‘īyah, p. 119. Ibid., p. 12. Ibid., p. 13. Ibid., pp. 12–18. Ibid., pp. 123, 124–5. Ibid., pp. 123–7. See Khurī, A‘māl al-jam‘īyah, preface. Ibid., pp. 218–19. See Antonius, The Arab Awakening, pp. 54–5. See section on ‘Arabism’ in Chapter 5, above. Tibawi shows that Antonius and others exaggerate the significance of the ode, as well as the function of this and other societies. The society was significant as a cultural body rather than anything political. See Tibawi, Modern History of Syria, pp. 160–1. See Khurī, A‘māl al-jam‘īyah, p. 2. Ibid., p. 10. Antonius, The Arab Awakening, p. 84. Tibawi, Modern History of Syria, p. 167. Mas‘ūd, Lubnān wa-al-nah∂ah, p. 61. Hanssen, Fin de Siècle Beirut, p. 169. Mas‘ūd, Lubnān wa-al-nah∂ah, pp. 61–4.

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Conclusion

he story of the nah∂ah is highly complex and inadequately understood. At present, there is a real need for new works of synthesis that capture its broader outlines: how the nah∂ah emerged, how it was understood and its impact into the contemporary period. Existing overviews, no matter how good, are now largely outdated. The various versions of the nah∂ah have mainly been an account of the different mappings of the complex relationship between the Arab world and the West following the French invasion of Egypt in 1798. The encounter with colonialism in the nineteenth century gave rise to new scholarly discourses through which Western historians generated new paradigms of civilisational rise and fall. More specifically, the accepted method for understanding the rise and development of the nah∂ah within Arab cultural history has been to speak in terms of certain binary opposites, such as tradition/modernity, decline/renaissance, decadence/ renewal and stagnation/revival. These two antinomies, as Schulze points out, would govern all representation and self-representation of the history and culture of the Arabs as ‘the basis of a concept of cultural history which, of course, reflected the [European] political interpretation of historical development current in the nineteenth century’.1 An integral part of the Orientalist paradigm, which reads Arab cultural history in terms of a civilisational rise and fall model, is a classical ‘golden age’ in the ninth and tenth centuries, now long forgotten, and hence cut off from the movement of history. The rather standard narrative is that Arab-Islamic civilisation, having bequeathed Greek thought to Europe, after its ‘golden age’ sank into an irreversible state of decline in the thirteenth century and did not recover until the nineteenth century, when the increasing political and cultural hegemony of European powers brought about the nah∂ah, which

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rescued the region from the torpor and initiated local modernities. A broad periodisation sets its debut in the first half of the nineteenth century, after Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798, with a narrower one in the second half of the nineteenth century after the arrival of foreign missionaries in Syria. What ensued was a regional renaissance that tirelessly endeavoured to emulate European cultural models and discourses as a matter of course to recovery and modernity. The process lasted until some time into the twentieth century, and by most accounts until the First World War. As far as the nah∂ah in Egypt is concerned, the decline narrative has been prevalent in the works of scholars since the first half of the twentieth century.2 As for Lebanon, it has governed nearly all scholarship on the subject since the publication of Antonius’ Arab Awakening in (1939).3 Hourani, for example, traced the intellectual history of the nah∂ah from its ‘origins’ in the midnineteenth century through the interwar period, with significant emphasis on the ‘seminal’ European role, and despite revisionist attempts (Tibawi 1966, 1969, 1976) which demolished the particular myth of Western missionaries pioneering the nah∂ah, it has continued to inform numerous works on the period (Zaytūnī 1994; Abu-Rabi‘ 1996; Ayalon 2005, 2008; Kassab 2010). The nah∂ah has also been part of an ongoing scholarly agenda in Arab intellectual and literary circles since 1967, the year of the catastrophic Arab defeat (naksah) by Israel, where it continues to dominate much of the contemporary Arab-Islamic discourse on tradition (turāth), modernity (ªadāthah) and authenticity (a‚ālaª). Contributors to this debate include many of the major intellectuals of the Arab world such as Muªammad ‘Ābid al-Jābirī and Óasan Óanafī, Islamist intellectuals such as Rāshid al-Ghannūshī and Muªammad al-Ghazālī, and liberal and Marxist thinkers, such as Abdallah Laroui, Constantine Zurayk and Tayyib Tizini. The contribution of these scholars is no doubt significant in terms of understanding the nah∂ah in a broader historical and intellectual context and potentially arriving at a more nuanced interpretation based on approaches and analytical frameworks that go beyond what has been traditionally available to cultural historians. Strangely enough, however, many of these intellectuals not only agree with the Orientalist decline thesis, but also share the same assumptions on the rise and development of the nah∂ah. They uphold the position that there was deep decline in the Arab world on the eve of European intervention in

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the nineteenth century, and downplay the rich dynamics of Arab history in the Ottoman period. Moreover, although their approaches and solutions to decline are at variance with Orientalism, they all seem to share the conclusion that a real nah∂ah cannot take a proper course unless it renounces the ‘decadent’ past. The uncritical adoption of the decline paradigm by Western and Arab intellectuals has produced a major historical and epistemological rupture in Arab historiography, which has had two profoundly deleterious effects on nah∂ah scholarship: (1) the most stunning consequence has been the total neglect of the pre-modern period in studies on the nah∂ah; and (2) it has constructed the nah∂ah as being an almost exclusive product of the encounter with the West, and hence as an endlessly subservient process of reproducing hegemonic European genres. The need to rectify this situation has been an indispensable prerequisite for advancing knowledge and understanding of the rise and development of the nah∂ah. Over the past decades some important steps have been taken to fill this gaping hole in Arab-Islamic history and to rethink the issue of dating the start of the ‘modern’ in the Arab world (Levtzion and Voll 1987; Schulze 1990, 1996; Yarshater 1998; el-Rouayeb 2004, 2005, 2006; Dallal 1993, 2000, 2010). Precious few scholars, however, have taken up the topic of decadence directly and forcefully in relation to cultural and literary developments (Gran 1978; Schulze 1996; Hanna 2003; Allen and Richards 2006; Lowry and Stewart 2009). The appearance of these books is to be welcomed for the fact that they serve as a potent antidote to the relentless rhetoric of an essentially decadent, anti-modern and unenlightened pre-modern Arab-Islamic world, and that they pave the way for research of a regrettably understudied and undervalued period of history. Much more work, as these works admit, remains to be done, and while they succeed in minimising the particular myth where at one extreme Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt is that watershed in Arab cultural history that results in the dawn of the ‘modern’ era, faced with the onslaught of Orientalism, it is tempting to go to the other extreme and attempt to understand and interpret the period up to 1850 without any reference to the West, as though the West did not exist and Bonaparte never came. The result can be as historically perverse as Orientalisim itself, but, in fact, actions on all sides appear to be interrelated, and indeed mutually important.

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In recent years, several revisionist studies have also been undertaken to throw more light on the impulses of cultural change during the nah∂ah and to go beyond the conventional analytical paradigms hampering a nuanced understanding of this period. These include works on al-Jabartī, al-˝ah†āwī and ‘Alī Mubārak (Mitchell 1988; Newman 2004), al-Shidyāq (Al-Azmeh and Trabulsi 1995; Rastegar 2007), women (Baron 1994; Booth 2001) and edited volumes (Schildgen et al. 2006; Allen 2010). Although these revisionist studies are valuable in their own right, they are, like many other studies on the period, only partially adequate (e.g., Hanssen et al. 2002; Suleiman 2003; Sheehi 2004; Abu-Rabi‘ 2004; Zachs 2005). They are primarily interested in the movement’s luminaries, the few well-known exponents of the ‘liberal age’, or concerned more with developments other than the nah∂ah itself, referring to it in passing while exploring either changes in the Arabic language, its literary style and genres, issues in contemporary Arab thought or questions of identity. Neither group is usually concerned with what the nah∂ah involved beyond stimulating new thought and genres. Worse, the limitation of study to specific figures, themes and issues, may, despite their usefulness and credibility, ignore the large-scale convergences and patterns that transcend traditional ones. This book does not follow the same line of enquiry of established studies and critical thinkers in the field. The aim has been to address a lacuna in an authoritative and comprehensive account in English of the nah∂ah – a need that has always been felt since the publication of Hourani’s Arabic thought. Existing research has concentrated too much on external forces at the expense of indigenous factors, this – together with an undue emphasis on certain thinkers – has resulted in a confused and incomplete picture of the rise and development of the nah∂ah. By starting in the pre-modern period (c. 1700), and bringing into focus the contributions of those lesser-known humanist intellectuals to the nah∂ah, this book has attempted to redress the distortions of previous research. There is no definite point in modern Arab history that marks the beginning of the nah∂ah, and it cannot be reduced to the efforts of external forces to the exclusion of internal ones. The nah∂ah was the product of a combination of native development and foreign assistance. Historically, it was instigated by pre-modern indigenous forces, but its later and more visible

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gestation was both a reaction to and product of external factors and foreign influences. More specifically, this book offers a cultural reading of the rise and development of the nah∂ah from the standpoint of its forerunners, from Farªāt to al-‘A††ār. These Christian and Muslim clerics paved the way for the more visible nah∂ah in the nineteenth century through their works, activities and disciples. Their cultural activities, although they do not depart from the traditional range of options known to pre-modern society, led in the nineteenth century to a new view of the self and the world which was without precedent in the traditional culture. The rise of modern Arab cultural consciousness (Arabism) in its most basic historical sense as a cultural self-view among Christian scholars should not be attributed to the violent events of 1860 in Syria and subsequent European interventions. Rather, this rise must be sought in a prior process of gestation, as an upshot of the significant inter-religious cultural space that had been created in the pre-modern period through the activities of Farªāt and his contemporaries, among whom the revival of the Arabic language and culture had started two centuries earlier. These Christian clerics, along with Muslim scholars like al-Jabartī and al-‘A††ār, also developed a basic attitude that was important for the introduction of modernity to the Arab world. They had broad interests beyond the narrow limits of their own religion and did not assume from the start a disapproving attitude towards the knowledge and invention of the West. At the same time, they had already put in place a small-scale cultural infrastructure of printing presses, schools and literary societies well before the arrival of the West in the nineteenth century. The pre-modern clerics were thus all part of a preparatory phase of the nah∂ah in which both Muslims and Christians played a major role. With good reason they have to be regarded as its forerunners, and if we search for the roots of this movement we have to take into consideration what happened in Egypt and Syria before European intervention in the nineteenth century. Accordingly, we may also talk with some justification of a pre-modern humanistic culture that continued well into the nah∂ah. Pre-modern scholars from Farªāt to al-‘A††ār were humanists because of their tendency to focus on the humanities (studia humanitatis – studia adabīyah as developed by Kristeller and Makdisi), which dominated their intellectual interests, literary production and activities. Although they did not produce theoretical reflec-

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tions about culture, society and state like their more polished and better known successors in later generations, this does not mean that they were indifferent towards these issues; rather, they had pursued practical careers over philosophical ones and thus contributed by channelling their concerns through their humanistic activities. The arrival of the West did not somehow put an end to this type of scholar nor to the rich pre-modern legacy. The essential elements of (Renaissance and adab) humanism, like the tendency to focus on the humanities, insistence on the preservation and purity of language, borrowing from foreign sources selectively, eclecticism and many-sidedness while pursuing practical careers over philosophical ones are clearly present in nah∂ah intellectuals such as the brothers Sa‘īd and Rashīd al-Shartūnī and Ibrahīm al-Yāzijī. Equally, the rich pre-modern humanistic legacy, though unacknowledged, was not only extant in the nah∂ah but constituted an inextricable part of it. The hundreds of commentaries, glosses, compilations, encyclopaedias and manuals that were produced continued to inspire nah∂ah authors, many of whom emulated, edited and published pre-modern works throughout the nineteenth century. In grammar and lexicography, the endeavours of pre-modern scholars were truly prolific and influential. The major linguistic debates of the nineteenth century that really capture the essence of nah∂ah were an outgrowth of pre-modern linguistic developments in Egypt and Lebanon. For most scholars, it was the rich legacy of grammar books and dictionaries by al-Íabbān, al-Zabīdī and others that were expected to function as the linguistic authorities par excellence, just as it was the critical and utilitarian tendencies first seen in the works of Farªāt, al-Íabbān and al-‘A††ār that appear to have climaxed in the many heated debates of the nah∂ah. Approached from this angle, and counter to the greatdivide models of tradition and modernity, the nah∂ah began well before the arrival of Europeans and had roots, at least in part, in pre-modern indigenous developments. Here, it is important to make the critical distinction between those nah∂ah humanists such as al-Shartūnīs, who engaged with their immediate past, and those such as Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī, who similarly to their better known contemporaries like Abduh did not. Faced with new challenges and realities, their researches into the past supported local and national identities (Arabism, patriotism, Ottomanism). Put differently, confronted with

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double-edged modernity, the enlightened and colonialist sides of the West, the means by which nah∂ah intellectuals endeavoured to achieve reform was by assimilating, through translation and adaptation, the great learning and achievements of Western civilisation, while simultaneously reviving the classical Arab culture that preceded the so-called centuries of ‘decadence’ and foreign domination. Thus, even when all major Arab thinkers stipulated the teaching of humanistic learning in their agendas for cultural renewal, it was classical adab humanism that they had in mind. By assimilating Western achievements, while making their compatriots aware of their own language, culture and accomplishments such a formula allowed them, in their own terms, to borrow what was useful from the West in order to improve their situation and maintain the stability, identity and success of their communities. According to this view, if Arabs borrowed what was useful from the West and appreciated the merits of their own language and cultural history, they would rediscover their own worth. This would be the means by which Arabs could ascend to a better position in the world. Nah∂ah intellectuals thus drew on their own classical heritage, European sources, and contemporary discourses and ideas. Their movement was back in the distant past; towards the West, as well as inward towards ideas formulated during the nah∂ah. In so doing, they sought to achieve reform and progress while preserving cultural identity and authenticity in a world destined for radical change. There are a number of issues I would have liked to examine further and others that remain in need of further elaboration. But given the book’s length (very small in relation to the period covered) and the poverty of the field (research especially on the pre-modern period remains patchy), the book understandably falls short of all its ambitions. The writing of this book has also brought home the difficulty – perhaps the impossibility – of providing anything resembling a clear or comprehensive picture of the internal forces that may have contributed to the rise and development the nah∂ah. If we accept that the nah∂ah saw itself as being caused by a process of intellectual development, which involved a combination of two primary forces, first, an encounter with the ‘superior’ civilisation of the West, and, second, a nostalgic return to the Arab-Islamic past, and that its rise and development has hitherto been placed into an investigative framework that is heavily tilted towards the former, then a more considered approach requires

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us to seek a counterbalance in the latter.4 One problem with any such attempt where the pre-modern is concerned is that so little groundwork has been done on the literary and cultural production of this period, much of which has sadly been neglected and deserves careful study. Our knowledge of this period thus remains very poor indeed. Another more serious limitation connected with a ‘pre-modern approach’ to the nah∂ah is that the nostalgic process (at least on an intellectual level) did not involve an engagement with the immediate past, which, as Allen points out, was dismissed as decadent, but rather a huge chronological leapfrog to the heritage of a glorious ‘classical’ era some seven centuries earlier.5 Nah∂ah intellectuals had widely adopted the decline thesis that since the twelfth century there had been a long period of decadence and then the renaissance came in the nineteenth century as a corollary of the colonial enterprise.6 Thus, Arab intellectuals attempted to fight decadence without any reference to an indigenous tradition of enlightenment, and the notions of decline/renaissance would dominate the understanding that they brought to the study of their own cultural history. One might speculate that these notions appeared useful to Arab writers who wished to attribute cultural stagnation to their immediate past in order to legitimise their own cultural production or to indigenous elites and ‘nationalists’ in pursuit of their own local political agendas as enlightened reformers. Though in an age of colonialism these notions were perhaps more useful in the search for the values needed for the development of their sense of an authentic cultural identity in an idealised ‘classical’ era. Whatever the specific reasons, it is surprising that such dubious recently invented European notions should be blindly adopted and become domesticated in an age of Western colonialism and incipient nationalism. But as Massad highlights, this epistemological affinity was the most successful pedagogy that Orientalism and the colonial encounter would bequeath to Arab intellectuals and that would inform all their archaeological efforts.7 Thus, any search for internal factors in the Arab past is restricted by the negative self-view of nah∂ah intellectuals of their own immediate past and its cultural achievements as decadent, which has not only had a profound affect on all subsequent representations of the rise and development of the nah∂ah, but continues to obscure our critical and historical attitudes

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towards the period and investigation of possible continuities right up to the present. With all these caveats, I have nevertheless tried to tease out links with the immediate past by shifting the focus from the intellectual thought of nah∂ah luminaries to the activities, interests and literary production of pre-modern scholars, and more importantly to those of their close associates and contemporaries such as the al-Shartūnīs, who were equally concerned with the reform of their societies, but had pursued practical careers over philosophical ones. Such men, whom I refer to as the humanists in this book, contributed significantly to the nah∂ah through their linguistic, literary and educational activities. It is on such figures, whose significance consists in being typical rather than exceptional of the age, that we need to concentrate to find continuities with the immediate past. We might then suggest that the nah∂ah was actually the product of a process of rise and development that, to varying degrees, involved three principal factors: the two thought and acknowledged (the West and classical Arab past), and the one thought but unacknowledged (immediate past), yet very much evident in the activities, interests and literary production of the period. Thus, the nah∂ah in the making was very much indebted to an unsung premodern period of gestation, and whatever the shifts in assessment of the relative importance of indigenous and imported factors that may materialise from revisionist scholarship, what should emerge from this book is that it is no longer viable to gloss over this period as a major factor in the emergence of the nah∂ah on a par with, and no less in importance than, the distant ArabIslamic past and the West. It may be further argued that the later development of the nah∂ah has been a long and persistent attempt towards the marriage of Western modernity and Arab tradition in a determined effort to achieve progress and civilisation, while preserving identity and authenticity (a problematic that continues to implicate much of contemporary Arab thought), and even though the nah∂ah has hitherto been placed into a traditional historical framework that has adamantly maintained an almost patriarchal role for the former, we need to continue the struggle for the emancipation of the latter.

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Notes 1. See Massad, Desiring Arabs, p. 3. 2. For example, Mandūr (1944), Cachia (1960), Gabrieli (1961), Óamzah (1964), Mu’nis (1967). 3. For example, Hourani (1962), Abu-Lughod (1963), Salibi (1968), Sharabi (1970), Cleveland (1971, 1985), Le-Gassick (1979). 4. Allen, ‘Introduction’, p. 4. 5. Ibid., p. 4. 6. Wild, ‘Islamic Enlightenment’, p. 273. 7. Massad, Desiring Arabs, p. 5.

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Index

‘Abbās I, 16, 165 ‘Abbās II, Khedive, 193 ‘Abbūd, Mārūn, 37, 207 ‘Abd al-’Azīz, Sultan, 146–7, 148 ‘Abd al-Óamīd II, Sultan, 144, 148, 155, 188 ‘Abd al-Majīd, Sultan, 137 ‘Abd al-Rāziq, ‘Alī, 34n ‘Abd al-Sayyid, Mīkhā’īl, 105 ‘Abduh, Muªammad, 24, 26, 63, 122, 126n, 128, 134, 142, 143, 146, 150, 161, 162, 169, 179n, 186, 187, 188, 190–5, 205, 208, 211, 216, 229 educational reform, 190–5 Risālat al-tawªīd, 191 Abū Askar (Yūnus Niqūlā al-Jubaylī), 49 Abū Óanīfah, 67, 74n Abū Qurrah, Theodore, 37 Abu-Lughod, Ibrahim, 2, 162, 165, 166, 168 Abu-Manneh, Butrus, 136, 146, 203 Abu-Rabi’, Ibrahim, 1, 16, 18, 19, 22, 30 adab (literary) humanism, 6, 7, 8–9, 11n, 183, 192, 229, 230 al-Afghānī, Jamāl al-Dīn, 21, 24, 26, 68, 128, 142, 143, 147, 161, 189, 190 Aghnā†iyūs, Patriarch, 59 al-Aªdab, Ibrāhīm, 14, 16, 103, 146, 188, 207, 214, 220 Aªmad, Khūrshīd, 26 Akhījān, Bishop Andrew, 41 Aleppo, 37–48, 56, 211 Maronite College, 42–3, 44 printing press, 14, 47 Alf laylah wa-laylah, 14 ‘Alī, Muªammad, 15, 16, 93, 96, 159, 182, 211 and official translation movement, 163–6

‘Alī, Muªammad Kurd, 34n, 128 Allen, Roger, 231 alternative paradigms, 31, 159, 163, 178 American missions, 13, 14, 32n, 49, 59, 108, 167, 168, 203, 209–10, 213, 216 American University of Beiruit see Syrian Protestant College Amīn, Qāsim, 24, 25 al-Amīr, Muªammad, 78, 99n Ammārah, Muªammad, 35 al-An‚ārī, Abū Zayd, 148 anthologies, 67, 77, 78, 197 Antonius, George, 32n, 128, 129, 130, 225 An†ūn, Faraª, 21, 23, 34nn, 150, 152–3, 158n, 177, 216 Al-Jāmi’ah al-’Uthmānīyah journal, 152–3 Arab Christian intellectuals, 12, 20–3, 33n, 49, 64, 128, 129, 130, 137, 154 Arab defeat (1967), 27, 225 Arab modernism, 22–3, 34n Arab nationalism, 127–8, 155 importation from West, 129 and Islamic modernism, 128–9, 133–4, 156n and Lebanese Christians, 128, 129, 130–1 and Turkish cultural nationalism, 129 Arab past, deconstruction, 28 Arab-Islamic world cultural revival see nah∂ah decline, 2, 4–6, 36, 77, 92, 122–3, 224–6, 231 Arabic culture, revival of see nah∂ah Arabic identity, 28, 138, 154, 230; see also Arabism; Ottomanism; patriotism

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Arabic language, 85–6 Christian loyalty to, 122 equivalents for European terms, 171 importance, 102 purification of, 113–20, 123n purity of, 173 reform/modernisation, 168, 169, 229; conservative reformists, 102, 103, 121, 122; liberal reformists, 102, 103, 121; linguistic debates, 102, 103–8, 121, 229; ultra-conservative reformists, 122 revival, 127, 129, 134, 135–6, 137, 178; see also nah∂ah use in the press, 119, 120 Arabic literature, Christianisation of, 54–5 Arabisation ‘Abbāsid Empire, 37–8 of Maronite liturgy, texts and Church, 39, 46–7, 49, 55, 56 seventeenth century, 38–43 of Western fiction and drama, 174–5 Arabism (Arab cultural consciousness), 123, 134, 137–8, 143, 154, 155, 159, 163, 178, 228 Aristotle, 79, 173, 174 Arslān, Muªammad Amīn, 218 Arslān, Shakīb, 34n, 62–3, 146, 153, 207, 208 al-Ashmūnī, Nūr al-Dīn, 81, 82–3 al-Asīr, Yūsuf, 14, 16, 103, 110, 111, 146, 205, 207, 220 Irshād al-warā, 107 Radd al-shahm lil Sahm, 110 al-’Askarī, 67 al-’Asqalānī, Ibn Hajar, 76 al-’Assāl, al-Mu’taman, 37 al-Astarābādhī, 108 ‘A†īyah, Rashīd Shāhīn, 117–18 al-’A††ār, Óasan, 16, 75, 78, 85, 93–7, 99n, 228, 229 glosses on al-Azharī, 94 influence, 95–6 Inshā’ al-’A††ār, 94–5 Takhlī‚ al-ibrīz, 96–7 authenticity (a‚ālah), 26, 27 Averroists, 34n Avicenna, Kitāb al-birr wa-’l-ithm, 9 ‘Awwād, Patriarch Ya’qūb, 45 Ayalon, Ami, 211 ‘Ayn Trāz school, 13, 62, 114 ‘Ayn ˝ūrā college, 43 ‘Ayn Waraqa school/college, 13, 43, 70n

in d e x al-’AÕm, Rafīq, 154 ‘Āzār, Iskander, 220 al-’Azbāwī, ‘Abd ‘Allāh, 81 al-Azhar, Cairo, 23, 75–6, 96, 183, 184, 193–4 al-Azharī, Aªmad ‘Abbās, 187, 205, 207, 208 al-Azharī, Khālid, 77, 99n al-Azmeh, Aziz, 19–20 al-Badawī, Khalīl, 212 Badawi, M. M., 2, 23, 25 badī’īyah (poem praising Prophet Muªammad), 57, 58, 72n al-Baghdādī, ‘Abd al-La†īf, 76 al-Baghdādī, ‘Abd al-Qādir, 78 al-Bannā, Óasan, 25 al-Barbīr, Aªmad, 16 al-Bārūdī, Maªmūd Sāmī, 185 al-Basba’lī, Jirjis, 41 Beirut, schools and colleges see Jesuit College; National School; Patriarchate School; Syrian Protestant College Beirut Secret Society, 219 Bey-al-Aswasd, Ibrāhīm, 206 biographies, 89, 90–1 Bliss, Daniel, 210 Bowen, H., 2 Brancoveanul, Constantine, 47 Brown, Leon Carl, 25 Brugman, J., 184 Brustad, Kristen, 43, 45, 51, 54, 55 Būlāq Press, 14, 15, 32n, 165 al-Būlsī, al-Abb Jurjī Junan, Maghālit alkuttāb, 118–19 Buªayrī, Muªammad Kāmil, 188 Burckhardt, Jacob, 7 al-Bustānī, ‘Abd Allāh, 51, 205 al-Bustānī, Bu†rus, 14, 23, 43, 51, 103, 105, 106, 130, 134, 135, 138, 141–2, 146, 147–8, 150, 154, 213–14, 215, 216, 217, 218 Dā’irat al-ma’ārif, 142 Dīwān al-Mutanabbī, 203, 205 Al-Jannah journal, 214 Al-Jinān journal, 103, 105, 106, 113, 142, 213, 214, 215, 216 Al-Junaynah journal, 214 Khu†bah fī ādāb al-’arab speech, 135–7, 160, 202, 203, 213 Kitāb miftāª al-mi‚bāª, 51, 202 Mi‚bāª al-†ālib fī Baªth al-ma†ālib, 202

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i ndex Muªī† al-muªī†, 53, 87–8, 142, 147–8 Nafīr Sūrīyah broadsheet, 141, 142, 202, 203 National School, Beirut, 59, 142, 203–6, 220 Qa†r al-muªī†, 148 translations of Western fiction, 175 al-Bustānī, Salīm, 23, 130, 205, 214, 218 al-Bustānī, Sulaymān, 23, 154, 206 Cachia, Pierre, 21, 174 Cairo, 14, 75–6, 87, 90, 120 al-Azhar, 23, 75–6, 96, 183, 184, 193–4 periodical press, 212, 215, 216 Cicero, 66, 170, 173, 174 classical authors, non-Arabic, 37 Cleveland, William L., 207 colonialism, 16, 19, 31, 151, 155, 163, 224, 230–1 commentaries, 42, 64, 77, 79–81, 83, 85, 97, 108, 109–13, 185, 195, 229 compilations, 5, 56, 77, 79, 80, 97, 98n, 196, 229 composition (inshā’ ) manuals, 65, 67, 68, 77, 79, 94–5, 96, 197, 204 Comte, Auguste, 163 contextualisation, 1 Crabbs, J., 177 creative knowledge, 79, 80 cultural infrastructure, 16, 201, 202, 213, 216, 220–1, 228 cultural self-confidence, 58, 228 cultural space, inter-religious, 31, 36, 55, 58, 63, 65, 67, 69, 137, 228 al-Dabbās, Athanāsiyūs III, 47, 71n Dāghir, As’ad, Tadhkirat al-kātib, 118, 119–20 al-Daªdāª, Kha††ār, 205 al-Daªdāª, Rushayd, 23, 43, 214 Bāb al-i’rāb ‘an lughat al-A’rāb, 53 al-Damanhūrī, Aªmad, 78, 124n al-Dānā, ‘Abd al-Qādir, 206 Dār al-’Ulūm (House of Sciences), 183–4, 185 Dawn, Ernest, 128, 129, 130, 131, 133 ¤ayf, Shawqī, 109 Defoe, Daniel, Robinson Crusoe, 175–6 al-Dibs, Yūsuf, 43 al-Dibsī, Ya’qūb, 44 dictionaries, 51–3, 77, 84, 87–9, 97, 98, 116, 229

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order changed from rhyme to European alphabetical, 87–8 ¤ūmi†, Jabr, Falsafat al-balāghah, 174 al-Duwayhī, Is†ifān, 36, 39, 41–2, 44 Kitāb al-muªāmāh, 64 education, 163, 184 Egypt, 190–5 institutions, 164–5 Lebanon/Beirut, 21–2, 201–10 reform, 190–5, 197–8 Syria, 13–14, 32n Egypt education, 190–5 history, 2, 90, 97 modernising of, 15–16 and nah∂ah, 10 Napoleon’s invasion (1798), 2, 13, 90 Ottomanism, 150–3 patriotism, 143–4 periodicals, 210–11 printing presses, 32n School of Languages (originally School of Translation), 164, 165, 181–2, 183 Egyptianism, 154 El-Rouayeb, Khaled, 5 Eliano, Giovanni Battista, 38 Farªāt, Jirmānūs, 36, 37, 39, 43–7, 49–55, 56, 58, 63, 64, 97, 121, 228, 229 Baªth al-ma†ālib, 49–51, 64, 202 Dīwān, 53–4, 64–5 Fa‚l al-khi†āb fī al-wa’Õ, 64, 170 Iªkām, 51–2 Al-Tadhkirah, 53 al-Fārūqī, Ismā’īl, 26 al-Fīrūzābādī, 115 Al-Qāmūs al-muªī†, 52–3, 84–5, 86, 87, 99n Fikrī, ‘Abd Allāh, 151, 185 foreign missionaries influence of, 13–14 and nah∂ah, 13, 16, 32n, 225 periodicals, 212–13 printing presses, 13, 14, 49, 108, 167 schools and colleges, 13, 208–10 French Scientific Society, 91 al-Ghannūshī, Rāshid, 26, 225 al-Ghazālī, Iªyā’, 14 al-Ghazālī, Muªammad, 225 Ghazir Seminary, 62, 209

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al-Ghustāwī, Bu†rus Mubārak, 43 Gibb, Hamilton A. R., 2, 13 Gibrān, Khalīl, 207 Giddens, Anthony, 16 glosses/super glosses, 79, 80, 81–3, 94, 112, 113, 185, 229 grammars, 9, 49–51, 54, 64, 77, 80–3, 94, 97, 98, 99n, 229 abridged/simplified, 108–13, 124nn, 125n, 196–7 Gran, Peter, 4, 78, 79, 85, 86, 92, 95 Gregory XIII, Pope, 38, 40 Griffith, Sidney Harrison, 38 Gully, Adrian John, 104, 109, 117 al-Óaddād, Najīb, 176 Óaddād, Nicolā, 23 ÓāfiÕ, Ismā’īl, 187 Haim, Sylvia, 128, 129 al-Óalabī, Ni’mat Allāh, 46 al-Óalabī, Rizq Allāh Óassūn, 14, 211, 215 Óamāda, Hājj Ía‘d, 220 al-Óamadhānī, Badī’ al-Zamān, 68, 115 Maqāmāt Badī’ al-Zamān, 195 al-Óamawī, Ibn Óijja, 72n Óanafī, Óasan, 26, 35n, 225 Hanna, Nelly, 78 Hanssen, Jens, 206, 208 al-Óaqlānī, Ibrāhīm (Abraham Ecchellensis), 41 al-Óarīrī, 115 Maqāmāt, 14, 96 al-Óa‚rūnī, Yūªannā (Johannes Hesronita), 41 al-Hāshimī, Aªmad, Jawāhir al-adab fī ‚inā’at inshā’ al-’arab, 197 al-Hāwwā, Jibrā’īl Tūmā, 45 Heyworth-Dunne, J., 182 al-Óifnī, Yūsuf ibn Salīm, 83, 99n al-Óillī, Íafī al-Dīn, 72n historical interpretation, 1–2, 4, 92 histories, 9, 90–1, 92 Hodgson, Marshall, 4 homeland, love of (ªubb al-wa†an), 127, 138, 139, 141, 142, 202 homeland (wa†an), 138, 141, 142, 143, 144, 154, 157n Hopwood, Derek, 33n Hourani, Albert, 2, 3, 10–11n, 20, 128, 225, 227 humanism, 7–9 European Renaissance, 7, 8, 229

in d e x Islamic see adab humanism pre-modern humanistic culture, 3, 4, 6, 16, 77–8, 227–30, 231, 232 studia humanitatis, 6, 8, 9, 228 Óusayn, ˝āhā, 34n Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih, 67 ibn ‘Adi, Yaªyā, 37 Ibn Ājurrūm, 99n Ibn al-Rūmī, 53 Ibn ‘Aqīl, 77, 81, 98n Ibn al-Athīr, 67 Ibn Bājjah, 29 Ibn Fāris, 53 Ibn al-Óājib, 50, 125n Al-Kāfiyah, 108 Ibn Óazm, 29 Ibn Hishām, 50, 51, 77, 99n ibn Isªāq, Óunayn, 37 Ibn Khaldūn, 29, 67, 76, 77, 115 Muqaddimah, 14, 194 ibn Lūqā, Qus†ā, 37 Ibn Mālik, 50 Alfīyah, 81, 98n, 108 Ibn ManÕūr, 77, 83–4, 115 Lisān al-’arab, 84, 87, 116, 117 ibn Māsawayh, Yūªannā, 37 Ibn al-Muqaffa, Kalīlah wa Dimnah, 14 Ibn al-Qalā’ī (bishop Jibrā’īl bin Bu†rus), 39 ibn Qurrah, Thābit, 37 Ibn Rushd, 28, 29, 30 Ibn Sīdah Muªkam, 84 Al-Mukha‚‚a‚, 194 Ibn Sīnā, 29, 53, 56, 79 Ibn ˝ufayl, Óayy ibn YaqÕān, 175 Ibrāhīm, ÓāfiÕ, 151, 186 al-Ibshīhī, 77 ijtihād (rational interpretation), 27 imitation (taqlīd), 26, 113, 162, 168, 189 innovation, 17–18, 80, 98n, 183 al-’Irāqī, Muªammad ‘Ā†if, 34 al-I‚fahānī, Aghānī, 14 Isªāq, Adīb, 21, 23, 150, 152, 176, 177, 220 Islamic conservatives, 22, 23 Islamic modernism and Arab nationalism, 128–9, 133–4, 156n salafīyah thought, 24, 25, 30 secularist, 26

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i ndex traditionalist, 25–6 vs Arab modernism, 22–3 Islamic reformists, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 34n Is†ifān, Patriarch Yūsuf, 43 al-Jabartī, ‘Abd al-Raªmān, 16, 75, 78, 85, 89, 97, 100n, 101n, 228 ‘Ajā’īb al-āthār, 90–1 MaÕhar al-taqdīs, 90, 91 Tā’rīkh muddat, 90 al-Jābirī, Muªammad ‘Ābid, 28, 29, 30, 34n, 225 Jalāl, Muªammad ‘Uthmān, 176 Jamā’at-i-Islamī, 25 Jamīlah, Maryam, 26 Al-Jam’īyah al-’Ilmīyah al-’Arabīyah (Arab Scientific Society), 220 Al-Jam’īyah al-Sharqīyah fī Bayrūt (Oriental Society of Beirut), 218 Al-Jam’īyah al-Wa†anīyah (the National Society, Egypt), 143 Jam’īyat al-Maqā‚id al-Khayrīyah (Islamic Benevolent Society), 187, 207 Al-Jawā’ib Press, 106, 107 al-Jawharī, Íiªāª, 84 al-Jazā’irī, ˝āhir, 162 Jesuit College, Beirut (later Université SaintJoseph), 62, 114, 167, 209, 210 Jesuit Press, 14, 57, 64, 209 Jesuit schools, 62, 115 Jesuits, 13, 38, 45, 167, 172, 208, 213, 214, 215 al-Jisr, Óusayn, 186–9, 186–90, 207 journals, 213–16 Al-¤iyā’, 103, 113, 115, 116, 117, 118, 120, 172, 215 Al-Hilāl, 103, 177, 213, 216 Al-Jāmi’ah al-’Uthmānīyah, 152, 152–3, 177 Al-Jannah, 214 Al-Jawā’ib, 103, 104, 105, 106, 147, 213, 214, 215, 216 Al-Jinān, 103, 105, 106, 113, 142, 213, 214, 215, 216 Al-Junaynah, 214 Al-Manār, 213, 216 Al-Mashriq, 67, 115, 210, 214 Al-Mi∂mār, 119 Al-Muqta†af, 63, 120, 152, 177, 210, 213, 215 Al-’Urwah al-Wuthqā, 143, 150

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al-Jundī, Amīn, 16 al-Jurjānī, 194 Kāmil, Mu‚†afā, Al-Mas’alah al‚harqīyah, 151 Karāmah, Bu†rūs, 58, 72–3n al-Karmī, Aªmad, Kitāb badī’ al-inshā’, 95 al-Kasīª, Mikirdīj, 46, 55–6 al-Kawākibī, ‘Abd al-Raªmān, 24, 128 Kedourie, Elie, 129 Kelly, Donald R., 1 Kemal, Namik, 161 al-Khafājī, Shihāb al-Dīn, 77 Khalīfah, Hājī, 67 Khan, Sayyid Ahmad, 161 al-Khūrī, Khalīl, 14, 211, 212–13, 214, 218 al-Khūrī, Shākir, 205–6 Kilpatrick, Hilary, 57–8 King, Margaret, 8 al-Kisā’ī, 81 knowledge creative, 79, 80 Western secular, 159, 163, 171, 198 Kristeller, Paul Oskar, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11n Lahoud, Nelly, 27 language academies, 120 Laroui, Abdallah, 28, 225 Latinisation of Arab Christianity, 39, 40–1, 43, 55 Lebanon, 15 education, 21–2 foreign missionary schools and colleges, 208–10 periodicals, 210–11 translation initiatives, 163, 166–8 Leezenberg, Michael, 3 letter-writing manuals, 149–50, 174 Levtzion, Nehemiah, 4, 5 Lewis, Bernard, 2 lexicons, 9, 51–3, 84 Al-Madrasah al-Wa†anīyah (National School), Beirut, 59, 142, 203–6, 220 Al-Madrasah al-Wa†anīyah al-Islāmīyah, 187 Al-Madrasah al-Wa†anīyah al-Sul†ānīyah, 187–8, 207–8 al-Maghrabī, ‘Abd al-Qādir, 187 Makdisi, George, 6, 7, 8, 9, 144, 145 Makhlūf, Yūªannā, 41 al-Ma’mūn, Caliph, 37

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al-Man‚ūr, Caliph, 37 al-Maqqarī, Aªmad Muªammad, 77 Maqrīzī, Taqī al-Dīn Aªmad, 76 Maronite Church Library, 45–6 Maronite College, Aleppo, 42–3, 44 Maronite College, Rome, 39, 40, 41 Maronite liturgy, texts and Church, Arabisation of, 39, 46–7, 49, 56 Maronites, 38, 42, 64 Marrāsh, Francīs, 23 al-Ma’rrī, Abū al-’Alā’, 56 al-Mar‚afī, Óusayn, 183–6, 189 Risālat al-kalim al-thamān, 184 Al-Wasīlah al-adabīyah, 96, 185, 186 Massad, Joseph Andoni, 231 Mata, Alex, 59 Mawdūdī, Abū A ‘lā, 25 al-Maydānī, Amthāl, 14 modern, start of the, 226 modernisation, 18 modernisation theory, 3–4 modernism, 4; see also Arab modernism; Islamic modernism modernity, 3, 12, 16–20, 29, 155, 160, 163, 171, 230, 232 and modernisation, 18, 33n and Muslim conservatives, 23–4 and Muslim reformists, 24, 25 and Muslim secularists, 24 moral philosophy, 8, 9, 181, 198 Mūsā, Salāmah, 23, 34n al-Mūsawī, Shihāb al-Dīn, 63–4 al-Murādī, Khalīl, 89 Mu‚†afā, Ibrāhīm, 109, 124n Muslim Brotherhood, 25 Muslim intellectuals, 22, 23–5, 26, 27, 31, 33n, 137, 150, 181, 208 al-Mutanabbī, 59, 68 Dīwān, 14, 203, 205 al-Nābulusī, ‘Abd al-Ghanī, 37 al-Nadīm, ‘Abd Allāh, 151–2 Al-Ustādh satirical magazine, 151–2 nah∂ah (Arab Renaissance or Awakening), 10, 12–16 and Christian Arab intellectuals, 20–2, 23 and classical Arab past, 232 and cultural change, 227 Egypt, 10 and external forces, 226 and foreign missionaries, 13, 16, 32n, 225 and Lebanese Christians, 13, 15, 16, 32n

in d e x and modernisation (Tanzīmāt) of Ottoman Empire, 16 ̇ and Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt (1798), 2, 13, 15, 224, 225, 226 and pre-modern humanistic culture, 3, 4, 6, 16, 227–30, 231, 232 success and failure of, 28, 29–30 Syria, 10, 13, 15, 31n and the West, 4, 230 Nahj al-Balāghah, 66, 174, 195 al-Naªlāwī, ‘Abd al-Raªmān, 37 al-Najjār, Ibrāhīm, 218 Najjār, Salīm, 220 al-Naqqāsh, Mārūn, 218 al-Naqqāsh, Salīm, 21, 152, 176 Nā‚īf, Óifnī, 185 National School (Al Madrasah alWa†anīyah), Beirut, 59, 142, 203–6, 220 nationalism see Arab nationalism newspapers, 211–13 Al-Ahrām, 152, 153, 190, 212 Al-Bash[ir], 209, 213 Hadīqat al-Akhbār, 211–12 Jarīdat ˝arābulus, 188 Lisān al-Óal, 212 Mir’āt al-Aªwāl, 211 Al-Mushīr, 153 Thamarāt al-Funūn, 212 Al-Waqā’i’ al-Mi‚rīyah, 93, 100n, 165, 211 Nimr, Fāris, 59, 152, 210, 215 Nu‚ayr, ‘Āyidah, 210 al-Nuwayrī, 77 oratory manuals, 55, 66, 173 Orientalism, 224, 226 Ottoman College (Al-Kullīyah al’Uthmānīyah al-Islāmīyah), Beirut, 208 Ottoman Empire, 127–31, 136, 137, 142, 150–5, 166 censorship in, 152, 158n conquest of Syria and Egypt (1516–17), 2 decline, 2–3, 4 modernisation (Tanzīmāt), 16, 144–6, ̇ 154, 155, 186–7, 188, 192, 204 Ottomanism, 127, 144–54, 155 Paris, history of, 96–7 Pasha, ‘Alī, 145, 208

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i ndex Pasha, Franco, 218 Pasha, Fu’ād, 145 Pasha, Óamdī, 187 Pasha, Ibrāhīm Adam, 187 Pasha, Midªat, 145, 187 Pasha, Rashīd, 145, 218 Pasha, Íafūt, 218 Pasha, Sa’ādah Kāmil, 218 Pasha, Yūsuf Kāmil, 218 Patriarchate School (Al-Madrasah alBatrīkīyah), Beirut, 59, 62, 148, 172, 206 patriotic poems (wa†anīyāt), 139 patriotism (wa†anīyah), 127, 138–44, 145, 146 Egyptian, 143–4 and progress/civilisation, 140 Syrian, 141–2, 146 see also homeland periodical press, 163, 210–16 Pius V, Pope, 40 poetry/poetry collections (Arabic), 9, 53–4, 57, 59–60, 64–5, 79 post-modernity, 20 Pouzet, L, 67 printing presses, 14, 47, 48–9 first Arab, 14, 47, 71n foreign missionary, 13, 14, 49, 108, 167 government, 32n private, 106, 107, 167–8 progress, 131–2, 138, 140, 171, 177 al-Qabbānī, ‘Abd al-Qādir, 206, 207, 212, 220 al-Qalqashandī, 67, 76, 77 Qarā’alī, ‘Abd Allāh, 45 Qāsim, Maªmūd, 35n, 103 al-Qa††ān, Sulaymān, 48 al-Qur†ubī, Ibn Ma∂ā’, 108–9, 124n Qu†b, Sayyid, 25, 34n al-Quwaydār, Óasan, 95, 96 Raggio, Thomas, 38 Rahman, Fazlul, 79–80, 161 rationalism Arab, 28–9, 30, 35n European, 19, 24, 30 Raw∂at al-Madāris review, 185 al-Rāzī, 56 Reichmuth, Stefan, 85 Reid, Donald M., 3

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rhetoric manuals, 61–2, 68, 185, 195–6 al-Rīªānī, Amīn, 23 Ri∂ā, Rashīd, 24, 25, 26, 128, 142–3, 153, 158n, 187, 216 al-Rusāfī, Ma’rūf, 34n al-Ruzzi, Mīkhā’īl, 40 al-Íabbān, Abū al-’Arfān Muªammad, 75, 78, 82, 97, 98, 110, 122, 124n, 229 Íabūnjī, Yūªannā, 21 Íādir, Sālim, 51 al-Íafadī, 115 al-Saghānī, ‘Ubāb, 84 al-Sahyūnī, Jibrā’īl (Gabriel Sionita), 41, 51 Sa’īd, 16, 165 Said, Edward, 7 al-Íā’igh, Niqūlā, 36, 37, 40, 46, 48, 55 badī’īyah, 57–8 Dīwān al-Khūrī, 57 St Mūrā Maronite monastery, 45 Salām, ‘Abd al-Raªmān, 1114 Íanū, Ya’qūb, 176 Sarkīs, Khalīl, 212 Sarkīs, Salīm, 158n Al-Mushīr newspaper, 153 Sarkīs, Shahīn, 205 Sarrūf, Ya’qūb, 21, 23, 34n, 59, 103, 146, 152, 154, 177, 210, 212, 215 al-Sayyid, Aªmad Lu†fī, 24 School of Languages (originally School of Translation), Egypt, 164, 165, 181–2, 183 School of Wisdom (Madrasat al-Óikmah), 62, 206–7 schools and colleges, 187–8 foreign missionary, 13, 62, 115, 208–10 native Christian, 13 Schulze, Reinhardt, 4, 5, 224 science Islamic, 82, 161, 183, 187, 194, 198 Western, 159–63, 177–8, 230 secularism Muslim, 22, 24, 34n Western, 4, 163 Shadūdī, As’ad, 210 Shalaq, ‘Alī, 104 al-Shalfūn, Yūsuf, 212 Shalhūb, Iskander, 211 Sharabi, Hisham, 17, 19, 20, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30, 128

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al-Shartūnī, Rashīd, 21, 23, 42, 103, 114–17, 121, 209, 213, 229, 232 Mabādi’ al-’arabīyah fī al-‚arf wa-naªw, 196–7 al-Shartūnī, Sa’īd, 23, 42, 47, 51, 62–7, 103, 121, 169–71, 173, 206, 209, 214, 229, 232 Aqrab al-mawārid fī al-fu‚uª . . ., 88 Dīwān Jirmānūs Farªāt, 54, 64 Kitāb al-ghu‚n . . ., 66–7, 173 Kitāb ma†ālī’ al-a∂wā’, 170, 171, 195–6 Kitāb al-mu’īn fī ‚inā’at al-inshā’, 65–6, 170, 171 Kitāb al-nawādir fī al-lughah, 148–9 Al-Sahm al-‚ā’ib . . ., 109–10 Al-Shihāb al-thāqib fī ‚inā’at al-kātib, 149–50, 174 Shawqī, Aªmad, 151, 186 Shaykhū, Lūwīs, 23, 67–8, 210 Sheehi, Stephen Paul, 15, 19, 21, 129, 130, 213, 215 al-Shidyāq, Aªmad Fāris, 14, 21, 23, 43, 51, 63, 103, 104–8, 121, 124n, 146, 147, 213, 214, 215, 216 Ghunyat al-˝ālib, 51, 108–13, 121 Al-Jāsūs ‘alā al-Qāmūs, 88 Al-Jawā’ib journal, 103, 104, 105, 106, 147, 213, 214, 215, 216 Sulwān al-shajī, 105–6, 108 al-Shidyāq, Dāghir, 218 al-Shidyāq, ˝annūs, 218 Shihāb , Amīr Bashīr II, 59, 166 al-Shubrāwī, ‘Abd Allāh, 78 Shukrī, ‘Abd al-Raªmān, 186 Shumayyil, Amīn, 152 Shumayyil, Shiblī, 21, 23 Shuqayr, Shākir, 23, 177, 216, 218 Asālīb al-’Arab fī ‚inā’at al-inshā’, 95 Kitāb lisān ghu‚n Lubnān, 117 Sībawayhi, 81 Smith, Eli, 59, 216, 217 social change, 24 socialism, 4 societies, literary and scientific, 59, 91, 135, 194, 216–20 Society for the Revival of Arabic Sciences (Jam’īyat Iªyā’ al-’Ulūm al-’Arabīyah), 194 Somekh, Sasson, 175, 176 source material assimilation/adaptation, 173 studia adabīya, 9, 228

in d e x al-Suhrawardī, 53 Sulaymān the Grammarian, Shaykh, 44, 48, 56 Suleiman, Yasir, 129 al-Íulª, Aªmad Pasha, 206 al-Íulª, Maªmūd Mīnah, 206 al-Suyū†ī, Jalāl al-Dīn, 67, 76, 77 Syria, Ottomanism, 146–50 Syria (defined as Greater Syria, including Lebanon), 31n education, 13–14, 32n and nah∂ah, 10, 13, 15 Syrian Protestant College, Beirut (later American University of Beirut), 59, 152, 167, 168, 209–10, 220 Syrian Scientific Society (al-Jam’īyah alSūrīyah al-’Ilmīyah), 130, 131, 156n, 218–19 Syrian Society for Arts and Sciences (Aljam’īyah al-Sūrīyah lil-’Ulūm wa-alFunūn), 59, 135, 216–17 Syrianism, 154 al-˝ah†āwī, Rifā’ah, 24, 85, 95, 96, 97, 137, 138–41, 142, 164–5, 176, 211 Manāhij al-albāb, 139, 140, 160 al-Murshid al-amīn, 140 and School of Languages, 181–3 Takhlīs al-ibrīz, 139, 160 translations of Western fiction, 175 Tamimi, Azzam, 24 al-˝an†āwī, Muªammad ‘Ayād, 95, 96 ˝aqlā brothers, 21, 212 Taqlā, Salīm, Al-Ahrām newspaper, 152, 153 ˝arzī, Fu’ād, 109 Tawfīq, Khedive, 132, 133, 193 Thomson, William, 205, 217 Tibawi, A. L., 32n, 154 Tibi, Bassam, 128 Tizīnī, ˝ayyib, 34n, 225 tradition (turāth), 12, 27–9 failure to make epistemological break with, 17, 29–30, 35n translation from the French, 164, 169–70 from the Greek, 165–6, 170 general, 37 importance of, 170–1 principles of, 172–3, 178 private initiatives, 163, 166–8 proposed bans on, 169

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i ndex state-sponsored movement, 163–6 of Western fiction and drama, 168, 174–7 Translation Bureau, Egypt, 164 al-Tūlāwī, Bu†rus, 39, 42, 44, 45, 46 Tūmā, Thāwafīl bin, 37 al-Tūnisī, Khayr al-Dīn, 24, 137 al-˝ūnisī, Khayr al-Dīn, Aqwām al-masālik . . ., 160–1 al-Turābī, Óasan, 26 al-Turk, Niqūlā, 68 Al-’Umdah al-Adabīya li-Ishhār al-Kutub al’Arabīyah publishing society, 203 ‘Urābī, Col. Aªmad, 132, 151 ‘Urābī revolt, 132–3, 143, 151 al-’Uraysi, ‘Abd al-Ghanī, 128 ‘user-friendly’ manuals, 196–7 ‘Uway∂ah, ‘Abd al-Karīm, 187 van Dyck, Cornelius, 205, 213, 217 van Gelder, G. J. H., 197 Voll, John, 4, 5 von Kugelgen, Anke, 34n Western epistemological principles, 163 Western fiction and drama, translation of, 168, 174–7 Western science and technology, borrowing from, 159–63, 177–8, 230 Western thought, borrowing from, 168, 177, 189, 198 Westernism, Christian, 22 al-Yāfī, ‘Umar al-Bakrī, 16 Yarshater, Ehsan, 4 al-Yāzijī, Óabīb, 132, 218 al-Yāzijī, Ibrāhīm, 21, 23, 103, 104–5, 106, 115, 121, 122, 129, 134, 148, 205, 206, 214, 215, 218, 229

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Aghlā† al-muwalladīn, 104 ‘Arise, ye Arabs, and Awake’ (Tanabbahū istafiqū) ode, 129–31, 132, 156n, 218–19 Lughat al-jarā’id, 113–17, 118, 119 speech at Patriarchate School, Beirut, 148, 172 ‘The Exhortation to Progress’ (Al-hathth ‘alā al-taqaddum) ode, 131–2, 156n al-Yāzijī, Nā‚īf, 14, 21, 23, 43, 63, 103, 104–5, 125n, 135, 146–7, 169, 171–3, 205, 206, 210, 217 badī’īyāh, 58 Fa‚l al-khi†āb, 108 Jawf al-farā, 107, 108 Kitāb †irāz al-mu’allim fi ‘ilm al-bayān, 61–2 Majma’ al-baªrayn, 60–1 Maqāmāt, 106 poetry, 59–60 Young Turk era, 144, 211 al-Zabīdī, Muªammad Murta∂ā, 75, 77, 78, 89, 92, 97, 100n, 115, 122, 229 ‘Ajā’īb al-āthār, 90–1 biographies project, 89, 90–1 Tāj al-’arūs, 53, 85–7, 98, 115, 116–17 Zachs, Fruma, 145 Zagratā school, 13 Zākhir, ‘Abd Allāh, 39, 46, 48–9, 71n al-Zamakhsharī, 67, 87, 114, 116 al-Zawzanī, 96 Zaydān, Jurjī, 13, 23, 103, 130, 151, 152, 177, 216 Zeine, Zeine, 128, 129 Zuhrat al-Ādāb society, 220 Zurayk, Constantine, 225

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