Self and Secrecy in Early Islam
In this comparative analysis of the significance of keeping and revealing secrets in early Islamic culture, Khan works with a broad range of Arabo-Islamic texts to map interconnections between concepts of secrecy and identity. In early Islamic discourse, Khan maintains, individual identity is integrally linked to a psychology of secrecy and revelation. Khan further maintains that secrecy and identity demarcate boundaries for interpersonal relations when governed by the cultural norms of discretion espoused in these texts. As evidence for her study, Khan explores religious and literary representations of secrecy in classical texts as diverse as the Quran, the Book of Concealing the Secret and Holding the Tongue by al-Jahiz, and courtly love poems, including the story of Majnun and Layla. These works represent divergent approaches to spiritual, ethical, and romantic life in early Islam; yet Khan extrapolates from each a shared construction of secrecy and revelation.
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Abbasid Abdullah Yusuf Ali Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani al-Bayan al-ghayb al-Jahiz al-Qur'an al-Raghib al-Isfahani al-Tabari Allah Arabic love literature Arabic word beloved bil-ghayb bodily body breast chapter chastity concept concerning deception disclosure divine early Arabic love early Arabo-Islamic discourses early Islamic Encyclopedia ethical example eyes ghayb God's gossip hadith heart hidden hide Holding the Tongue human secrecy Hutchins Ibid Ibn Abd Rabbih Ibn Hazm Ibn Qutayba imagery inner Jamil Buthayna Keeping Secrets Kitab al-Aghani Kitab Kitman al-Sirr Kuthayyir linked literary Lord lovers Madinan Jews Majnun Layla marriage meanings medieval metaphors motif Mu'tazili Muhammad Muslim narrative one's outer paradox phrase poet pre-Islamic Prophet Qays Qur anic Qur'an refrain regarding relations religion romance of Majnun Sahih Bukhari secrecy and revelation Secrets and Holding self's semantics sexual sirr Sissela Bok speech Sufism suggests symbolism Tawq al-Hamama tenth-century theme tion trans transparency Udhri romances unseen verb verse XX XX XX