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Title: The travels of AbuÌ? Al-ThanaÌ?' al-AluÌ?siÌ? : Arabic Rihlah literature in the 19th century
Author: Al-Itani, Samia.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3406 3497
Awarding Body: School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London)
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2003
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This thesis comprises an edition and analysis of the two travelogues written by the Iraqi Mahmüd Shihäb al-Din al-Alüsi (1802-53), who was Mufti of Baghdad during the first half of the nineteenth century. It is divided into two parts; the core part is the Arabic edition of the two travelogues, Nashwat al-Shumül and Nashwat al-Mudiiml, based on a detailed study of six key Arabic manuscripts. The second part is subdivided into three chapters. The first of these, `Ottoman Society during al-Alüsi's era (1802-53)', investigates the social, political, economic and religious background to the Mufti's life. It deals therefore with issues such as his early life and education, his often strained relationship with the ruling Ottoman government, and the clash between his religious conservatism and the latter's radical reform policies. The second chapter, 'Development and Transformation of a Literary Genre', offers an overview of the rihlah travelogue genre and its development from early Islamic times up until the nineteenth century. It encompasses the travelogues of Ibn Jubayr and Ibn Battüta, two travel writers who helped to establish the rihlah as a bone fide mode of literary expression which would subsequently prove of critical importance to historians of Islamic societies. The third chapter concludes the thesis with a discussion of al-Alüsi's travelogues in the overall context of the genre's development, and, more specifically with a comparative analysis between his approach to travel writing and that of his contemporaries such as al-Tahtäwi and al-Tantäwi. In this way it is hoped that the life of this fascinating and historically significant individual will be recorded and given its rightful place alongside the other major travel writers in Islamic history. Caught in the politico-religious tensions and intrigues of his time, the character of al-Alüsi's is revealing not only on a psychological level but also as evidence of the broader societal developments in Islam, as the Ottoman sultanate in Istanbul impinged directly on Iraq. al-Alüsi's unique and unprecedented contribution to-the rihläh genre gives us considerable insight into the inter-ethnic rivalries and fundamental changes in the role of religion in society symptomatic of this period in Middle Eastern history
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available