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October 27, 2013

Forthcoming books –

Brief chat with Ustādh Bradiperr

We caught up with the Ustādh, outside his native Alberonia, during a break from his pile of interlocked activities.
He had just finished a presentation of two journal contributions of his, “La Campanella Svuotata: Liszt e la Mercificazione dell’Arte” and “Gharb e Ghurabā’: Tracce di Ricostruzione”.
We spoke in a flash about his participation in our ongoing project of e-publications.


We have been given to understand that you are joining Hamām Press in a crucial editorial role.

I would have to say, regrettably, that what you just said is the truth: Regrettably because I am struggling with a deluge of intersecting commitments.
I am no Cesare Cremonini forever offering the same tune in variable kits and outfits.

We deduce from your words that you are not fond of Cremonini …

Not at all, he is elegant easy listening. No Nasa busybody tapping these words of mine might cause me embarrassment [Unbeknown to the Ustādh, this conversation was being record].
What I am saying is that your pressurizing laments had the better of my soft being.

Can we then announce it to the world?

I will be the editor and annotator of your e-translations of classical works. Mind, your translations, not your original writings: I am doing it purely out of love of our pristine Islamic legacy.  

You are also going to write the forewords.

Not so. The forewords are your liability. Introductions about texts and authors will instead be my prerogative.

Correct. A prerogative you are no doubt going to honour by your loving care and accuracy.
Let’s provide some succulent foretastes for our readership: What’s boiling in the pot right now?

Plentiful meat and some potatoes, too: Must we name some savoury ingredients?

First of all, there are two titles coming out any time now: The Grenadine al-Fazārī’s literary roller coaster and sparks of historical lightning brought into suave relief by the prolific Syrian Ibn Tūlūn.

But as those two titles were tackled by the former editor, you are obviously inquiring about what lies beyond that, what is still ensconced in Alice’s mirror somewhere in Wonderland …

Tell us the themes. Then share with us the names of the writers. Stir them up inside a mixer. Our readers can correlate the items on one list with those on the other list.

•    Chess and its playful metaphor of humanity
•    Love and lovers in Islam
•    The Prophetic anticipation on the arrival of the railroad in al-Madīnah
•    Pomades treating the harms of debased silver coins
•    Discursive she-camels freely graze across the minds of Abū Hayyān and Ibn Miskawayh
•    Emir Fakhrud-Dīn wins a special holiday package to Florence, where he strolls between the ornate trappings of the Medici court and the sleighs-of-hand of an exotic foreign institution: The bank  
•    The number 7 and its beguiling permutations throughout the Nilotic flow of millennia
•    Guidelines of Mālikī ijtihād
•    Wise animals console dethroned kings of their subjects’ perfidious decadence
•    Warriors gather around a campfire to listen to an Iberian character-moulder
•    An Egyptian eavesdropper shifts from Prophetic laudation on the night of the nocturnal ascension to the public bath as Imām Abū Hanīfah walks in, encircled by harassing Fatalists and by butchers extolling the nutritional value of meat
•    Women’s charm and women’s schemes
•    Athletes show off their Sharī`ah-compliant muscular prowess
•    A tour guide of human archeology, as Ibn Zaydūn challenges a rival in love to a duel of lethal sarcasm
•    Mountains and hills are rocked with disgust by servile scholars who legalize usury
•    The value of forgiveness and good thought
•    Learning one lesson or two from clever lunatics
•    Who is a chief?
•    Black beaks broadcast ornithological benefits from Madinan farms

Authors now …

Al-Hilālī as-Sijilmāsī, Ibn as-Sā`ī, al-Kānūnī al-Āsafī, Ibn al-Qāss at-Tabarī, al-Qalyūbī, Sirājud-Dīn al-Ansārī, Ibn ‘Arab Shāh, ‘Abdu’l-Hayy al-Kattānī, al-Amīr Fakhrud-Dīn al-Ma`nī ath-Thānī, Ibn Abi’l-‘Aysh, al-Yāfi`ī, Ibn Abī Hajalah at-Tilimsānī, al-Misrī, Ibn Habīb, ‘Abdu’l-Halīm al-Jazā’irī, Hāfiz Mughaltāy, and Ibn al-Batnūnī.

19 themes and 17 writers mentioned: Hmmm …

Haha, and twice 2 writers for a single theme; anyway, soon thereafter we’ll serve earthquakes and plagues, physiognomy, timid jinn asking a sapient human from behind a veil, choosing one’s houses, interior décor and congenial neighbours, hunting falcons with falcons, prisons and spongers, Yemenis and Moroccans, mules and horses, verses traded by bandits, feats of generosity, the Sufi syntax of Arabic, al-Yūsī, ath-Tha`ālibī and al-Jāhiz (each of them in a motley of scintillating garbs), Ibn Shuhayd, as-Safadī, al-Qādī at-Tanūkhī, Abu’l-‘Alā’ al-Ma`arrī, al-Husarī al-Qayrawānī, Ibn ash-Shaykh al-Balawī: Extravaganza galore for young and old.

Your eccentric creativity span out a sequel of exotic editorial series: For instance …

“Timeless Filigree”, “Prostate Lovers”, “The Lamp that Brightens Darkness” and “Flashes of Lightning” are all yours: I added “Strange and Stranger”, “For Thine Eyes Only”, which is all women’s fare about women, “Between Two-eyed Fools and Sightless Geniuses”, “Tappeto Occidentale”; you shot down a suggested “Sardonic Lands”, and I still do not know why. We have “Three Men Flew over a Muleteer’s Nest” alongside “Shapeless Voices and Reticent Genies”, but those two are meant to be one-off publications.
Sorry, there’s one thing I forgot: Permission to publish the English translation of Dr. Sādiq al-Gharyānī’s aforesaid text will be sought from his person.

There is also the parallel project of producing English translations of all the major writings by Shaykh Ahmad Zarrūq.

Beginning soon with the surviving excerpts from his enthralling autobiography, (Fawā’id min) Kunnāsh  .
Given that general knowledge is contracting as fast as human insects are globally interacting via electronic impulses, we deem it part of dutifulness to refer interested readers to the first plates thus far ordered:

Last titles issued under the supervision of the former sole editor:

•    Maqālāt al-Udabā’ wa-Munāzarāt an-Nujabā’ by al-Fazārī al-Gharnātī (under the umbrella title “Timeless Filigree Vol. 1”), accompanied by Mediterranean salads and bedecked with spicy condiments – Literary refinement at its best; an amusement park of human edification from Caliphs down to jesters;
•    Al-Lama`āt al-Barqiyyah fī an-Nukat at-Tārīkhiyyah by Ibn Tūlūn as-Sālihī (under the umbrella title “Flashes of Lightning Vol. 1”) – Around the world of Islamic history on 44 balloons of staccato enchantment;
•    Al-Yawāqīt ath-Thamīnah fī al-Ahādīth al-Qādiyah bi-Zuhūr Sikkah al-Hadīd wa-Wusūlihā ilā al-Madīnah by ‘Abdu’l-Hayy al-Kattānī – Visible and invisible realms within the grasp of the Prophet, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam; the glamour of modern technique begins to corrode even the finest Muslim intellects.

The first bouquet of fresh titles to be harvested under the supervision of the new editorial board headed by Ustādh Bradiperr:

•    Al-Wādih al-Mubīn fī Dhikr Man Ustushida min al-Muhibbīn by Hāfiz Mughaltāy (under the umbrella title “Prostate Lovers Vol. 1”) – Are believers slain by love martyrs or murdered corpses? Seven centuries of passionate lovers in Islam documented in alphabetical order;
•    Al-Marāhim fī Ahkām Fasād ad-Darāhim by Abu’l-‘Abbās Ahmad b. ‘Abdi’l-‘Azīz al-Hilālī as-Sijilmāsī (d. 1175) + Risālah Ihtizāz al-Atwād wa ar-Rubā min-Mas’alah Tahlīl ar-Ribā by ‘Abdu’l-Halīm b. ‘Alī al-Jazā’irī (d. 1351) from Morocco and Algeria, 12th and 13th centuries AH respectively – That is life-sustaining oxygen for the strangers who still hold onto a view of Islam fastened by all its bonds;
•    Rihlah al-Amīr Fakhrud-Dīn ilā Ītāliyā (1613-1618 CE) – Diary of an Italianate sojourn long before Goethe, by a princely Muslim impressed by printing press, scientific equipment and techniques for washing soiled clothes, before sailing for Malta depressed by usurious ingenuity
•    Another combo: Numūdhaj al-Qitāl fī Naql al-‘Awāl by Ibn Abī Hajalah at-Tilimsānī (loquacious bishops stalk lucrative queens on the board of sacred knowledge) + ‘Umdah al-Muhtajj fī Hukm ash-Shatranj by Shamsud-Dīn as-Sakhāwī, by which I’ve hopefully checkmated your prior insouciance.


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