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A Treasury of Virtues


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Presents the first English translation of two important texts, with a new critical edition based on several original manuscripts

Table of Contents

Introduction 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (d. 40/661): Life and Personality Orality, Authenticity, and Collection of 'Ali's Words: Layered Sources The Literary Style of 'Ali's Words: Oral Patterns, Islamic Ethos, and Arabian Context Al-Qadi al-Quda'i (d. 454/1062): Career and Books A Treasury of Virtues: Form and Content Al-Jahiz (d. 255/869) and the One Hundred Proverbs 'Ali's Wisdom in the West Acknowledgements A Note on the Text A Treasury of Virtues Chapter 1: Wise Sayings Chapter 2: Exhortations to Reject Worldliness Chapter 3: Counsel Chapter 4: Prescriptions and Proscriptions Chapter 5: 'Ali's Questions with Answers, and 'Ali's Answers to Questions Chapter 6: Sayings with Unusual Words Chapter 7: Unique Sayings and Pithy Words Chapter 8: Prayers and Supplications Chapter 9: Verse One Hundred Proverbs Glossary of Names and Terms Bibliography Further Reading Index

About the Author

Al-Qadi al-Quda'i (d. 454/1062) was a Sunni jurist, a scholar of hadiths and history, and a senior government official of the Fatimid dynasty in Cairo. Tahera Qutbuddin is Professor of Arabic Literature at the University of Chicago. She is the author of Arabic Oration: Art and Function.


Tahera Qutbuddins edition proves to be definitive since, unlike the previous versions, she relies on all accessible manuscript and published editions. Qutbuddin also clearly demonstrated mastery and understanding of the difficult language of ?Alis prose and poetry, leading to a smooth presentation of the Arabic texts and a first-rate English translation Tahera Qutbuddin and the editorial team of the Library of Arabic Literature deserve to be congratulated for producing this exemplary volume. * Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies *
The quality of the translation is superior and the choice of maxims is well advised, as they constitute a major category of Arabic (and also medieval European) literature, a genre with which modernreaders are not acquainted. This translation will introduce them to it. -- Beatrice Gruendler, Yale University
Powerful and compelling in its portrayal of the vicissitudes of fate and the inevitability of death and decay. Many of the translated aphorisms and wise sayings are equally powerful... Qutbuddins volume is well written and well executeda valuable addition to any scholars library. -- Emily Selove, University of Manchester
Tahera Qutbuddin, associate professor of Arabic Literature at the University of Chicago, translates a collection by the Fatimid Shafi'i judge al-Quda'i of sayings, sermons, and teachings attributed to Ali ibn Abi Talib. Ali is an acknowledged master of Arabic eloquence and a sage of Islamic wisdom. While several versions of the text exist, Qutbuddin is primarily using the Istanbul text. * Islamic Horizons *

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