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Lahore University of Management Sciences HISTORY The Occult in Islamic Material Culture Spring 2018 Horoscope

Lahore University of Management Sciences

HISTORY The Occult in Islamic Material Culture

Spring 2018

HISTORY The Occult in Islamic Material Culture Spring 2018 Horoscope of Timurid prince, Iskandar Sultan, 15

Horoscope of Timurid prince, Iskandar Sultan, 15 th century

Course Outline Instructor: Dr. Tehnyat Majeed

Lahore University of Management Sciences HIST – The Occult in Islamic Material Culture Spring 2018

Lahore University of Management Sciences HIST The Occult in Islamic Material Culture

Spring 2018

– The Occult in Islamic Material Culture Spring 2018 Magic Square from al- Buni’s Shams al-

Magic Square from al-Buni’s Shams al-Ma’arif

2018 Magic Square from al- Buni’s Shams al- Ma’arif The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, Folio from

The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, Folio from a Falnama (Book of Omens)

Instructor

Dr. Tehnyat Majeed

 

Room No.

 

Office Hours

 

Email

 

Telephone

 

Secretary/TA

 

TA Office Hours

 

Course URL (if any)

 

Course Basics

Credit Hours

 

Lecture(s)

Nbr of Lec(s) Per Week

2 (MW)

Duration

1 hour 50 minutes

Recitation/Lab (per week)

Nbr of Lec(s) Per Week

 

Duration

 

Tutorial (per week)

Nbr of Lec(s) Per Week

 

Duration

 

Course Distribution

Core

 

Elective

 

Open for Student Category

 

Close for Student Category

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course explores the use of occult and divinatory tools in early, medieval and pre-modern Islamic world. Amongst the various occult sciences like astrology, geomancy, numerology, physiognomy, oneiromancy, the ‘science of the stars’ (‘ilm al-nujum) was most highly regarded as it mediated between natural sciences and metaphysics. ‘Ilm al-nujum or astrology was the symbolic interpretation of celestial positions and movements that were calculated by observational methods and mathematical computations. Since as early as the 8 th century, the chief astronomer at the caliphal court was also the official astrologer (munajjim). His role appears to have been imperative. The munajjim was consulted for determining the most auspicious time for significant events such as the foundation of cities, for electing the time for battles and predicting their outcomes, for medical insights, and for presaging disease and calamity. Most importantly, he was given the paramount task of

Lahore University of Management Sciences portending the fate and destiny of the ruler. In consequence,

Lahore University of Management Sciences

portending the fate and destiny of the ruler.

In consequence, we see the emergence of a genre of literature dealing with occult sciences amongst which several in the form of instructional guides address remedial measures. The practical manifestation of these texts is seen in a body of surviving apotropaic objects that were employed to enhance power and protection, as well as, to subdue inauspicious and malefic forces. Cultural artefacts such as incantation bowls, talismanic scrolls and shirts, and magical amulets fall into this category. On the issue of warding off misfortune, it is important to remember that Muslim belief accepts the presence of supernatural forces, both benign and demonic in the form of angels and jinns. From this belief emerges the possibility of supernatural influences like demonic possession or elemental control. We find that this realm of the supernatural also intersects with planetary and stellar spheres especially within Persian literary and poetic narratives that become replete with magical, mystical and celestial references. Thus a sizeable number of illustrated and illuminated manuscripts and finely crafted metalwork carry representations that make allusions to esoteric symbolism.

In this seminar based class we shall explore the relationship between the natural and the supernatural in Islamic material culture. We will trace the development of occult practices through key historical figures, events, texts and cultural objects. There will be practical exercises to understand the vocabulary of the occult, casting of horoscopes, the symbolic meanings of the planetary and fixed stars, the use of scientific instruments in calculating astronomical data, and an understanding of the esoteric dimension in Islamic art.

COURSE PREREQUISITE(S)

Basic knowledge of early Islamic history

Acquainted with the fundamentals of Islamic beliefs and practices

Some familiarity with the Arabic and Persian script and language

COURSE OBJECTIVES

To explore this rich, enigmatic and mysterious strand in Islamic cultural history

To examine notions of the real, imaginary and supernatural planes of existence in Islamic intellectual, artistic and literary traditions

To discuss the issue of fate and free will and inquire into parameters of human agency and action

Learning Outcomes

At the successful completion of the course students will:

Gain a historical and visual knowledge of major Islamic artefacts and texts of magical and astrological significance

Have a practical understanding of some occult practices such as natal horoscopes and the science of numbers

Gain insight into the prevalent cosmological world views of early, medieval and pre-modern Islamic times

Academic Honesty

The principles of truth and honesty are recognized as fundamental to a community of teachers and students. This means that all academic work will be done by the student to whom it is assigned without unauthorized aid of any kind. Plagiarism, cheating and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited. Any instances of academic dishonesty in this course (intentional or unintentional) will be dealt with swiftly and severely. Potential penalties include receiving a failing grade on the assignment in question or in the course overall. For further information, students should make themselves familiar with the relevant section of the LUMS student handbook.

Grading Breakup and Policy

Class Participation and Attendance: 15% Response Papers: 30% Mid-Term Exam: 20% Final Essay Project: 35%

Lahore University of Management Sciences This is a seminar cum discussion-based class, therefore it is

Lahore University of Management Sciences

This is a seminar cum discussion-based class, therefore it is expected that students will come prepared with their questions and observations on the required readings. This entails not only a close reading of the intellectually challenging assigned material, but also requires advance preparation of key concepts and historical contexts. Class sessions, most often, will begin with a set of questions related to the readings by means of which students will be guided to carry out rigorous analysis and critical evaluation of the content. This is an essential exercise as the content knowledge presented in the readings sets the framework for the study of artefacts and monuments covered in the lecture.

There is a strong emphasis on writing thoughtful response papers based on the reading material. Students must demonstrate the ability to evaluate evidence, deconstruct arguments and clearly articulate their views in an essay form. This exercise will develop their capacity to manage discrete sets of information, undertake systematic research and critical appraisal by examining inherent structures of arguments and use of evidence. These abilities will then be focused on producing a 3000 word paper on a topic decided after consulting with the course instructor.

Examination Detail

 
 

Yes/No: Yes Combine Separate:

 

Midterm

Exam

Duration: Objective Preferred Date:

Exam Specifications: Objective/Visual Slide/ Quizzes

Final Exam

Yes/No: Yes Combine Duration: Take home Exam Specifications: Short Essay Questions/Visual Slides

 

SESSION

 

TOPICS

REQUIRED READINGS

1-2

Introduction

   
 

Defining the Occult

Saliba (), Role of the Astrologer in Medieval Islamic Society, pp.45-67.

3-4

 

- Distinction between occult science and magic (sihr)

Miller (2011), Occult Science and Fall of Khwarazm-Shah, pp.249-256.

- Permissability and acceptance

Livingston (1992), Science and Occult in the thinking of Ibn Qayyim al- Jawziyya, pp.598-610.

- Fate versus Free Will

- Elements of a Horoscope

 
 

PART I: HOROSCOPES

 

Divining Time: The Astrology of a City

Mingana (1922), Baghdad, pp.429-430.

 

- The Foundation of Baghdad

- Interpreting a Horoscope

Beckwith (1984), Plan of the City of Peace, pp.143-164.

5-8

- Cultural and cosmopolitan centre

Goodwin (2003), Glory that was Baghdad, pp.24-28.

- The Fate of madinat al-salam

- Response Paper 1 due on 8 th session

Gilli-Elewy (2011), Mongol conquest of Baghdad, pp.353-371.

 

Roberts (2011), al-Mansur and the Critical Ambassador, pp.145-160.

 

Transmission of the Stars: Abu Mashar, al-Biruni

Saliba (), Rise of the Hay’a Tradition, pp.25-46.

 

-

From Ptolemy to the Indians

Pingree & Madelung (1977), Political Horoscopes of 9 th century Alids,

9-10

 

pp.247-275.

-

Pingree (2001), Alexandria to Baghdad, pp.3-37.

Wright (1934) al-Biruni’s Kitab al-Tafhim [Elements of Art of Astrology] Carey (2010), Astrology in the Middle Ages, pp.888-902.

Lahore University of Management Sciences     Morrison (2009), Astrology in Early Tafsir, pp.49-71.  

Lahore University of Management Sciences

   

Morrison (2009), Astrology in Early Tafsir, pp.49-71.

 

Imperial Destiny: The Nativity of a King

Singhania (2009), Abu’l Fazl’s vision of Astronomy in historical perspective, pp.81-97.

- Akbar’s Birth in Abu’l Fazl’s Akbarnama

11-14

- Response Paper 2 due on 14 th session

Beveridge (2005), Akbar Nama of Abu-l Fazl, pp.68-115.

-

Șen (), Astral Magic In 16 th Century Ottoman Istanbul, pp.66-88.

 

Mid-term Exam

 

Session 15

Mid-Term Break

 

PART II: MAGICAL MANUSCRIPTS

 

Al-Buni’s Treatise

Gardiner (?), Forbidden Knowledge?, pp.81-143.

16-18

- Magic Squares

Al-Saleh (2014), Licit Magic, pp.179-208.

- Square Kufic Seals and inscriptions

- Talismans

Witkam (2007), Egyptian Magician al-Buni, pp.183-199.

 

Nizami’s Haft Paykar and the mystical realm of the Planets

Matar (1990), Dreams and Dream Interpretations, pp.165-175.

Travis Zadeh (), Magic, Marvel and Miracle, pp.235-267.

- Bahram Gur’s Seven Portraits

- Response Paper 3 due on 20 th session

Sedighi (2012), Translating Persian metaphors, in Metaphor and Imagery in Persian Poetry, pp.204-214.

Seyed-Gohrab (1999), Magic in Classical Persian Amatory Literature,

19-21

pp.71-97.

Meisami (1985), Allegorical Gardens in Persian Poetic Tradition,

pp.229-260.

 

PART III: THE ELEMENTAL WORLD

 

Supernatural Forces: Iconography of Mythological Beasts

Travis Zadeh (2010), Wiles of Creation, pp.21-48.

22-23

Travis Zadeh (2014), Commanding Demons, pp.131-160.

- Imaginary creatures and celestial signs

- Square Kufic Seals

 

Kitab al-Bulhan: The Book of Surprises

Carboni (?), Kitab al-Bulhan, pp.22-34.

24-26

- Magic Squares

Jalayrid period, Kitab al-Bulhan.

- Response Paper 4 due on 26 th session

 

27 Revision

-

 
 

28 FINAL EXAM

-

 

Textbook(s)/Required Readings

Reference Textbooks:

Al-Bīrūnī, Abi Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad, (1029) Kitab al-Tafhim li-Awa’il Sina’at al-Tanjim (The Book of Instruction in the Elements of the Art of Astrology), trans. R. Ramsay Wright, (1934), London: Luzac & Co.

Beveridge, H (2005).The Akbar Nāma of Abul-l-Fazl, 3 Volumes in 2, Delhi: Low Price Publications.

Carboni, Stefano (1997). Following the Stars: Images of the Zodiac in Islamic Art, Exhibition Catalogue, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Majrīṭī, Maslamah ibn Amad; Atallah, Hashem (2002). Picatrix: Ghayat al-Hakim: The Goal of the Wise, volume 1, translated from the Arabic

Lahore University of Management Sciences Moin , A. Azfar (2012). The Millennial Sovereign: Sacred Kingship

Lahore University of Management Sciences

Moin, A. Azfar (2012). The Millennial Sovereign: Sacred Kingship & Sainthood in Islam, New York: Columbia University Press.

Required Readings:

Beckwith (1984), The Plan of the City of Peace: Central Asian Iranian factors in early ‘Abbasid Design, Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, Vol.38, no.1/2, pp.143-164.

Berlekamp, Persis (2011). Wonder, Image, & Cosmos in Medieval Islam, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Carboni, Stefano (?), The ‘Book of Surprises(Kitab al-bulhan) of the Bodleian Library, La Trobe Journal, pp.22-34.

Carey, Hilary M. (2010). Astrology in the Middle Ages, History Compass, vol.8, no.8, pp.888-902.

Fahd,T. (1986). Ḥurūf (‘Ilm al-) in Encyclopaedia of Islam, new edition, eds. B. Lewis, V.L Ménage, J. Schacht, Ch.Pellat, Vol.3, Leiden: Brill, London:

Luzac & Co. pp.595-596.

Fahd, T. (1991). Fā’l in Encyclopaedia of Islam, new edition, eds. B. Lewis, J. Schacht, Ch.Pellat, Vol.2, Leiden: Brill, pp.758-760.

Gardiner, Noah (2012). Forbidden Knowledge? Notes on the Production, Transmission, and Reception of the major works of Ahmad al-Buni, Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Vol. 12, pp.81-143.

Gilli-Elewy (2011), Al-awādit al-ğāmi’a: A Contemporary account of the Mongol conquest of Baghdad 656/1258, pp.353-371.

Goodwin (2003), The Glory that was Baghdad, Wilson Quarterly, Vol.27, no.11, pp.24-28.

Hartner, W. (1991). Al-Djawazahar in Encyclopaedia of Islam, new edition, eds. B. Lewis, J. Schacht, Ch.Pellat, Vol.2, Leiden: Brill, pp.501-502.

Livingston, John W. (1992), Science and Occult in the thinking of Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol.112, no.iv,

pp.598-610.

Massé, H. (1991). Fā’l-nāma in Encyclopaedia of Islam, new edition, eds. B. Lewis, J. Schacht, Ch.Pellat, Vol.2, Leiden: Brill, pp.760-761.

Massignon, L. (1993). Nawbakht in Encyclopaedia of Islam, new edition, eds. B. Lewis, V.L Ménage, J. Schacht, Ch.Pellat, Vol.7, Leiden: Brill, London: Luzac & Co. pp.1043-1044.

Matar (1990), Dreams and Dream Interpretation in The Faraj al-Mahmum of Ibn Tawus, The Muslim World, Vol.80, July-October, no.3-4, pp.165-

175.

Meisami, Julie Scott (1985), Allegorical Gardens in Persian Epic Poetic Tradition: Nezami, Rumi, Hafez, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 17, pp.229-260.

Meisami, Julie Scott (2015). Haft Paykar: A Medieval Persian Romance, Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.

Millás, J.M. (1986). Abū Ma c shar in Encyclopaedia of Islam, new edition, eds. B. Lewis, V.L Ménage, J. Schacht, Ch.Pellat, Vol.1, Leiden: Brill, London: Luzac & Co. pp.139-140.

Miller, Isabel (2001), Occult Science and Fall of Khwārazm-Shāh Jalāl al-Dīn, Iran, Vol. 39, pp.249-256.

Mingana (1922), Baghdad, pp.429-430

Morrison, Robert G. (2009), Discussions of Astrology in Early Tafsīr, Journal of Qur’anic Studies, Vol.11, no.ii, pp.1465-3591.

Pingree, David (2001), From Alexandria to Baghdād to Byzantium: The Transmission of Astrology, International Journal of the Classical Tradition, Vol. 8, no.1, pp.3-37.

Pingree, David & Madelung, W. (1977), Political Horoscopes relating to late Ninth Century Alids, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol.36, pp.247-

275.

Roberts, Alexandre M. (2011), Al-Manūr and the Critical Ambassador, Bulletin d’Etudes Orientales, Vol.60, pp.145-160.

Al-Saleh, Yasmine F. (2014), “Licit Magic”: The Touch and Sight of Islamic Talismanic Scrolls, doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.

Saliba, George A. (2002). Islamic Astronomy in Context: Attacks on Astrology and the Rise of the Hay’a Tradition, Bulletin of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies, Vol.4, no.1, Spring/Summer, pp.25-46.

Saliba, George A (2004). The role of the astrologer in medieval Islamic society in Magic and Divination in Early Islam, ed. E. Savage-Smith, Burlington, VT: Ashgate, pp.341-370.

Samsó, J. (1991). Māshā’ Allāh in Encyclopaedia of Islam, new edition, eds. B. Lewis, V.L Ménage, J. Schacht, Ch.Pellat, Vol.6, Leiden: Brill, London:

Luzac & Co. pp.710-712.

Lahore University of Management Sciences Sedighi , Anousha (2012), Translating Persian metaphors into English, in

Lahore University of Management Sciences

Sedighi, Anousha (2012), Translating Persian metaphors into English, in Metaphor and Imagery in Persian Poetry, ed. Ali Asghar Seyed-Gohrab, Leiden: Brill, pp.205-214.

Șen A. Tunc (2017). Practicing Astral Magic in Sixteenth-Century Ottoman Istanbul: A Treatise on Talismans attributed to Ibn Kemal (d.1534), Magic, Ritual and Witchcraft, Spring, University of Pennsylvania Press, pp.66-88.

Seyed-Gohrab, Ali Asghar (1999), Magic in Classical Persian Amatory Literature, Iranian Studies, Vol.32, no.i, pp.71-97.

Singhania, Kanta (2009), Abu’l Fazl’s Vision of Astronomy in Historical Perspective, Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Vol.90,

pp.81-97.

Smith. Paul (2015). Falnama: Divination Book of Hafiz of Shiraz, Australia: New Humanity Books, Book Heaven.

Wilson, C.E. (1924). The Haft Paykar (The Seven Beauties) containing the life and adventures of King Bahram Gur and the seven stories told him by his seven queens by Nizami Ganjavi, London: A. Probsthain.

Witkam (2007), Gazing at the Sun: Remarks on the Egyptian Magician al-Būnī, O Ye Gentlemen: Arabic Studies on Science and Literary Culture. In Honour of Remke Kruk, ed. Arnoud Vrolijk and Jan P. Hogendijk, Leiden: Brill, pp.183-199.

Zadeh, Travis (2010). The Wiles of Creation: Philosophy, Fiction, and the ‘Aja’ib Tradition, Middle Eastern Literatures, Vol.13, no.1, April, pp.21-48.

Zadeh, Travis (2008). Magic, Marvel, and Miracle in Early Islamic Thought in The Cambridge History of Magic and Witchcraft in the West from Antiquity to the Present, ed. David J. Collins, Cambridge University Press, pp.235-267.

Zadeh, Travis (?). Commanding Demons and Jinn: The Sorcerer in Early Islamic Thought.

Web Resources:

Museum with No Frontiers, Discover Islamic Art, http://www.discoverislamicart.org/index.php

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hi/te_index.asp?i=Islamic

David Collection (Copenhagen), http://www.davidmus.dk/en/collections/islamic

V&A (Victoria & Albert Museum (London), http://www.vam.ac.uk/page/i/islamic-middle-east/