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Mapping the World of a Scholar in Sixth/twelfth Century Bukhāra: Regional Tradition in Medieval Islamic Scholarship as Reflected in a Bibliography

Mapping the World of a Scholar in Sixth/twelfth Century Bukhāra: Regional Tradition in Medieval Islamic Scholarship as Reflected in a Bibliography

Ahmed, Shahab (AMERICAN UNIVERSITY IN CAIRO )

Journal of the American Oriental Society 120:1 (2000)

Abstract

This article maps the world of  a medieval Muslim scholar. In597H./1200c.E.,Mahmudal-Faryabi, a Hanafi scholar in Bukhfra, compiled a book on morality and piety entitled Kitab khalisat al-haqaiq, for which he provided a bibliography of the works on which he drew. A study of that bibliography helps to reconstruct the scholarly tradition of its author.By identifying the names, dates, geographical origins, extent of scholarly travels, and doctrinal affiliations of the scholars on his list, it becomes possible to place them on a kind of intellectual map.Thus plotted on themap,the distribution of scholars illustrates the geographical space occupied by al-Faryabi’s bibliography.The great majority of scholars therein reference dare found to be fromor to have workedin Khurasan and Transoxania. The chronological distribution enables us to gain an idea of the period in which this regional tradition formed and the distribution amongst the madhhabs allows us to gauge its relative catholicity or exclusivity.

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