Damascus of Syria and its Salihiyyah Quarter in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries AH, Corresponding to the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries CE, Through the Biography of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulsi
Type
abstract
Year
2014

النابلسي،
محمد أديب. دمشق الشام و صالحيتها: في القرنين الحادي عشر و الثاني عشر
الهجريين، المواكبين للقرنين السابع عشر و الثامن عشر الميلاديين من خلال ترجمة
الشيخ عبد الغني النابلسي
. دمشق: مكتبة دار الصفا،١٩٩٨، ۷٣٦ص.



 



Al-Nabulusi, Muhammad
Adib. Dimashq al-Sham
wa-Salihiyyatuha: fi al-Qarnayn al-Hadi ʻAshar wa-al-Thani ʻAshar
al-Hijriyyayn, al-Muwakibayn lil-Qarnayn al-Sabiʻ ʻAshar wa-al-Thamin ʻAshar
al-Miladiyyayn min Khilal Tarjamat al-Shaykh ʻAbd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi
.
Damascus: Maktabat Dar al-Safa: 1998, 736pp.



 



ABSTRACT



 



Damascus
of Syria and its Salihiyyah Quarter in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries AH,
Corresponding to the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries CE, Through the
Biography of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulsi



 



دمشق الشام و صالحيتها: في القرنين الحادي عشر و الثاني عشر الهجريين،
المواكبين للقرنين السابع عشر و الثامن عشر الميلاديين من خلال ترجمة الشيخ عبد
الغني النابلسي



 



This 736-page
book is a massive biographical work about the life and work of al-Shaykh ‘Abd
al-Ghani al-Nabulsi (1640-1733), the eminent Damascene scholar, and his
interaction with the city of Damascus, its culture and people. The book places
a special focus on al-Salihiyyah, to the north of the old city where he lived,
worked, and was buried. It is also where his ancestors lived and his
descendents continued to live through centuries and with which his name was
always associated. The book is written as a tribute to the renowned scholar by
his great grandson Muhammad Adib al-Nabulsi.



 



The author based
his work on a wide range of sources including the writings of al-Shaykh
al-Nabulsi, the numerous old and new writings about him, the biographies of his
contemporaries, his fellow scholars and his students, and the author’s own
interviews with contemporary Syrian scholars and with the family seniors who
related many relevant stories and anecdotes about him passed through the
generations.



 



For the most
part, he followed a chronological order to explore al-Shaykh’s life and career;
he was a gifted child studying at the hands of his knowledgeable father, and
then supported by his mother who provided him with good education at
the hands of eminent scholars after the departure of his father. Following
closely the developments in the career of the scholar throughout all the
stages, he examined his work and achievements as a jurisprudent, thinker, Sufi,
teacher, linguist, writer and poet.



 



In a parallel
line, he shed a light on his interaction with the Damascene intellectual
institutions of his time, where he studied, taught, and worked, and with the
Damascene popular culture through setting up his famous social gatherings,
composing folk music and songs that are still repeated by generations of
Syrians, and by addressing common social issues in his writings.



 



In addition to
presenting them as two vibrant intellectual environments, al-Salihiyyah and
Damascus come into view as two central grounds on which al-Nabulsi’s private
and intellectual lives intertwined. Al-Salihiyyah in which al-Nabulsi turned
his winter palace into a school and his summer hall into a study centre, looms
large in the narration. Damascus features repeatedly through al-Nabulsi’s
intimate relationship with the Damascene landscape, especially its surrounding
gardens which he frequented with his family and students and to which he
devoted several poems.



 



The book is
accompanied by a long glossary of al-Nabulsi’s several hundred books,
treatises, letters and poetry collections. It also includes illustrations of
Damascene monuments and mausoleums and a portrait of al-Shaykh al-Nabulsi by an
artist, based on descriptions of him by his students and grandsons.



 



The book is a
major contribution to the study of ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulsi, and the cultural
history of early modern Damascus that includes first-hand information on the
topic. Occasionally the narration gets side-tracked when the author writes
about his own family and lineage. The main shortcoming of this book lies in giving a minimal space to some major
achievements of al-Shaykh al-Nabulsi, such as his groundbreaking liberal views
about legalizing and praising music which put him in dispute with the religious
authorities of his time. It skims too lightly over these moderate views which
contributed to him being revered in the Arab cultural historiography as one of
the progressive enlighteners of the early modern period.



 



Otared
Haider



 



 

Citation
Haider, Otared. '"English abstract of 'Damascus of Syria and its Salihiyyah Quarter in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries AH, Corresponding to the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries CE, Through the Biography of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulsi'". Translated by Otared Haider. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi. 33. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
Authorities
Collections
Copyright
Muslim Civilisations Abstracts - The Aga Khan University
Country
Syria
Language
English
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