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Ibn Abī al-Dunyā's K. al-Manāmāt

Ibn Abī al-Dunyā's K. al-Manāmāt

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Published by Jeremy Farrell
Comparison of two critical editions of an IAaD masterwork.
Comparison of two critical editions of an IAaD masterwork.

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Published by: Jeremy Farrell on Jul 13, 2013
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07/19/2014

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Jeremy FarrellArabic 181 - ManuscriptsDr. Poonawala
Ibn Ab
 ī 
al-Duny
ā
's
 Kit 
ā 
b al-Man
ā 
m( 
ā 
t): Two Editions
Beginning tepidly with a James Robson
1
book and an A.J. Arberry article
2
and expandingfor a period spanning the 1970s and continuing into the early 1990s, much ink was spilled overthe life and writings of the 9th century pietistic litteratéur Ab
ū
Bakr
ʿʿ
A
ṭā
Allah b. Mu
ammad B.
ʿ
Ubayd b. Sufy
ā
n al-Qurash
 ī 
(b. 823, d. 895; Baghdad), more commonly referred to by theappellation Ibn Ab
 ī 
al-Duny
ā
3
. Although the functional legacy of his
Kit 
ā
b al-Man
ā
m(
ā
t)
in laterIslamic works seems to have dried up in the 18th century
4
Ibn Ab
 ī 
al-Duny
ā
’s works hadregained such a prominent in the popular Islamic imagination by in late 20th century that a five-volume set of his literary output entitled
 Maws
ū
ʿ
a Ras
ā
ʾ
il Ibn Ab
ī 
al-Duny
ā
5
 
was released, andhis widely preserved extant works (30 out of a reported 130 works
6
) attracted large amounts of scholarly attention - probably as much for the valuable and extensive
isnad 
she provides in each
1
James Robson,
Tracts on Listening to Music:Dhamm al-Mal
ā
h
ī 
bybn Ab
ī 
'l-Duny
ā
and Baw
ā
riq al-ilm
ā
' by Majd al-D
ī 
n al-
Ṭū
s
ī 
al-Ghaz
ā
l
ī 
.
Oriental Translation Fund, New Series xxxiv. London:
 JRAS 
(1938), p. viii +191
2
A. J. Arberry, “Ibn Ab
 ī 
'l-Duny
ā
onPenitence”. London:
 JRAS 
, No. 1/2 (Apr., 1951), pp. 48-63.
3
A. Dietrich, “Ibn Ab
 ī 
al-Duny
ā
”, EI2 online, ed. . http://www.brillonline.nl/subscriber/uid=3141/entry?result_number=1&entry=islam_SIM-3046&search_text=Ibn+Ab%C4%AB+al+Duny%C4%81#hit. Accessed: Nov.18, 2010.
4
Murta
a al-Zib
 ī 
d
 ī 
,
 Iti
ḥā
 f al-S 
ā
dat al-Muttaq
ī 
n bishar
i I 
iy
ā
ʾ
 
ʿ
al
ū
m
ʾ
id-D
ī 
n.
al-Q
ā
hira: N.D.
5
Ibn Ab
 ī 
al Duny
ā
,
 Maws
ū
ʿ
a Ras
ā
ʾ
il Ibn Ab
ī 
al-Duny
ā
.
Beirut: Mu
ʾ
assisa al-Kutub al-Thaq
ā
fiya (1993/1414), vols.i-v; this edition appears to conform closely to the collection that appeared in Cairo (1934) under the same name, though the editors of each manuscript in the two editionsare different.
6
Leonard Librande. “Ibn Ab
 ī 
al-Duny
ā
: Certainty and Morality,”
Studia Islamica
, No. 100/101 (2005), pp. 5-42.; n.6 lists at least this number of edited works. See also: Merlin Swartz.
 A Medieval Critique of Anthropomorphism : Ibnal-Jawz
ī 
's Kit 
ā
b akhb
ā
r a
-
if 
ā
t : A Critical Edition of the Arabic Text with Translation, Introduction and Notes
.Islamic Philosophy Theology and Science:
Texts and Studies
; ed. H. Daiber and D. Pingree, vol. 46. Leiden, E. J.Brill (2004), p. 16 (Intro), 330 (Ar. Text and Notes), which includes a thoroughgoing of works attributed to Ibn Ab
 ī 
 al-Duny
ā
.
 
account as for his attention to “popular”
7
pronouncements on ritual piety and their reflection of early medieval Islamic conceptions of practical ethics and dream interpretation.
By 1994, at least one edition was available for every extant work of Ibn Ab
 ī 
al Duny
ā
’scatalog
8
Kit 
ā
b al-Man
ā
m
ā
9
 
in the early 1990s - was called into question by Leah Kinberg in her book
 Morality in the Guise of Dreams: A Critical Edition of Ibn Ab
ī 
Al-Duny
ā
s
Kit
ā
b al- Man
ā
m.These works especially, in Kinberg’s view, reflected the “popular” nature with which Ibn Ab
 ī 
al-Duny
ā
’s works had theretofore been edited, and the accusation is certainly not an empty one.Majd
 ī 
al-Sayyid Ibr
ā
h
 ī 
m - a prolific editor of texts of a pietistic nature in general and Ibn Ab
 ī 
alDuny
ā
in particular (at least 16 editions, bythis author’s count) - and Shaykh Mu
ṣṭ
af 
ā
al-Q
ā
dirA
mad
ʻ
A
ṭā
- a Sufi
shaykh
who has written on other Classical religious figures who gained widesocial currency in the 20th century, such as
all
ā
 j and Suhraward
 ī 
, and also on pietistic subjectmatter such as
al-taw
āḍ 
u
ʿ
(humility; modest of spirit) and
al-kham
ū
l
(the station that is achievedin the sight of God after display of 
taw
āḍ 
u
ʿ
)
10
- both had produced versions of the text in the fouryears preceding the publication of Kinberg’s critical edition. It is
ʿ
A
ṭā
’s edition which appears in
7
 
Leah Kinberg.
 Morality in the Guise of Dreams: A Critical Edition of 
Kit
ā
b al-Man
ā
m
with Introduction
, IslamicPhilosophy Theology and Science:
Texts and Studies
; ed. H. Daiber and D. Pingree, vol. 28. Leiden, E. J. Brill(1994), p. 58 (Intro.) + 348 (Ar. Text, Indices, Plates); p 12.
8
Ibid., p. 1, n. i.
9
- Majd
 ī 
al-Sayyid Ibr
ā
h
 ī 
m.
 Al-Man
ā
m
ā
t, ta
ʾ
l
ī 
 f 
ʻ
ʿ
 A
 ṭā
All
ā
h ibn Mu
ammad Ibn Ab
ī 
al-Duny
ā
.al-Q
ā
hirah: Maktabatal-Qur
ʼā
n (1989).-
ʻ
ʿ
A
ṭā
 al-Q
ā
dir A
mad
ʻ
A
ṭā
.
Kit 
ā
b al-Man
ā
m
ā
, ta
ʾ
l
 ī 
f Ab
 ī 
Bakr
ʻ
ʿ
A
ṭā
All
ā
h ibn Mu
ammad ibn
ʻ
Ubayd
ibnSufy
ā
n al-Qurash
 ī 
al-ma
ʻ
r
ū
f bi-Ibn Ab
 ī 
al-Duny
ā
; Beirut: Mu
ʾ
assisa al-kutub al-thaq
ā
fiya (1993). Weninger, in hisreview of Kinberg’s edition, states that it is clear that
ʿ
At
ā
did not use the manuscript, but rather, Ibr
ā
h
 ī 
m’s edition:Steven Weninger, “Review”,
 JAOS 
Vol. 116, No. 2, Apr. - Jun. (1996).
10
 
ʿʿ
A
ṭā
al-Q
ā
dir
ʾ
A
mad al-
ʿ
At
ā
.
 Al-Ta
awwuf al-Isl
ā
m
ī 
bayn al-
ʾ
 As
ā
lah wa al-Iqtib
ā
s.
Beirut: D
ā
r al-J
 ī 
l (1991), pp.430.-
 Al-taw
āḍ 
u
ʿ
wa al-kham
ū
l
. Beirut: N.D.
ʿ
A
ṭā
’s version has also appeared as a monograph:
ʿ
At
ā
,
Kit 
ā
b al-Man
ā
m
ā
t.
Beirut: Mu
ʾ
assisa al-kutub al-thaq
ā
fiya (1993).
 
the
 Maws
ū
ʿ
a
mentioned previously. Kinberg attributes the “inaccuracies” inherent in these twotexts as the motivation to make a “scientific edition of the text.”
11
As
ʿ
At
ā
and Kinberg’s editionsappeared closest together and as the goal of the
 Maws
ū
ʿ
a
’s publication is explicitly more“popular” in nature than Ibr
ā
h
 ī 
m’s - in that it is conceived as part of a whole which presents thereader with the entirety of the moralistic, pietistic and ethical corpus of Ibn Ab
 ī 
al-Duny
ā
’s career- these two editions will be serve as the comparison points for this essay.
The Work and Manuscript
The
Kit 
ā
b al-Manam(
ā
t)
is a collectionof 350
12
narratives, of which 327 explicitly takeplace in a dream or a dream state (
 f 
ī 
m
ā
yar
ā
al-n
ā
ʾ
im
). Kinberg attempts to adduce an organizingprinciple in the arrangement of the entire body of narratives, but despairs of doing so in a mannerwhich the modern reader would find coherent.
13
That said, there are some broad categories underwhich consecutive accounts are organized: visions of the Prophet Mu
ammad in sleep (Acc.111-137); invocations learned during sleep (Acc. 138-46); poetry transmitted during sleep (Acc.147-159; 226-40). It appears to draw on material that both predated Ibn Ab
 ī 
al-Duny
ā
by severalgenerations and was contemporary with him.
14
Dreamsconsist largely of the dead makingcontact with the living and providing them with edifying messages of how to comportthemselves in life so as to receive heavenly reward or avoid tribulations in the afterlife (
al-
ʾ
akhira
).
11
Kinberg,
 Morality
, p. i.
12
Both the editions of al-Sayyid Ibr
ā
h
 ī 
m and
ʿ
A
ṭā
contain 344 accounts with the discrepancies found in accountsbeing merged, or the final account - written after the colophon - being omitted; Kinberg lists the discrepancies in
 Morality
, p. 49, n. 4.
13
Kinberg.
 Morality
, pp. 16-18.
14
Ibid., pp. 11-13.

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