Welcome back to the new issue of Ilahiyat Studies. First and foremost, we would like to express our deep sorrow at the martyrdom of people in Palestine. Regardless of our ethnic and religious backgrounds, it has been challenging for all of us to witness an unprecedented genocide, with special targeting of children. We sincerely hope that a lasting solution and peace will prevail soon.
This issue of IS features eight research articles. In the first article, “Parabolic Resonances in the Gospels and the Qurʾān”, Seyfeddin Kara aims to explore the similarities and differences between parables in the Gospels and the Qurʾān, focusing on the form-critical analysis of the Gospel Parable of the Sower and certain Qurʾānic parables. Conceptual similarities between the parables in both texts are highlighted, particularly regarding faith in an unseen God and the metaphor of soil representing the human heart’s receptivity to the divine message. The article concludes by asserting that the Qurʾānic text is a genuine continuation of the biblical text and calls for further comparative studies.
In the second article, “Experiencing al-Ḥusayn’s Suffering: Qamahzanī in the Shīʿī Mourning Tradition”, Zeynep Sena Kaynamazoğlu provides an analysis of the most prominent example of self-mutilation rituals in contemporary Islamic societies. The purpose of this analysis is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the historical course of qamahzanī, as well as its connection to religion and politics. According to Kaynamazoğlu, the people saw criticism of the qamahzanī as an attempt to prevent them from mourning for al-Imām al-Ḥusayn. Despite the prohibitions, this conviction constituted a primary catalyst for the spread of this ceremony. In line with this argument, the article concludes that qamahzanī effectively demonstrates the political context that underlies a ceremony primarily focused on individual religiosity.
Ahmet Türkan’s article, “Multidimensional Relations Between Sultan ʿAbd al-Ḥamīd II and Pope Leo XIII and the Reflections of These Relations in the Ottoman Empire and Rome”, attempts to demonstrate the multidimensional relationship between Sultan ʿAbd al-Ḥamīd II and Pope Leo XIII. To prove his case, the author focuses on the Ottoman Archive Documents and news from Istanbul and the European press at that time, in addition to primary sources.
In his article, “Law and Change: A Study of the Cultivation of Wasteland in the 16th-17th Century Ottoman Empire”, Bayram Pehlivan evaluates the nature of legal change in Islamic law through the case of the cultivation of wasteland (iḥyāʾ al-mawāt). The main thesis of the article is that the Ottoman cultivation of wasteland is compatible with the Ḥanafī interpretation of Islamic law. To that end, the article examines the classical Ḥanafī doctrine and al-Samarqandī’s interpretation of the practice. By examining this particular instance, the author also asserts that the jurists and their legal opinions, as documented in the fatāwá and nawāzil literature, had a significant impact on the doctrinal development and progression of Islamic law.
“Religiosity, Economic Status, Environmental Concern, and Perceived Behavioral Effectiveness as Predictors of Buying Environmentally Friendly Products: A Quantitative Study of Turkish Muslims”, by Ali Ayten and Şule Çiçek, presents a study on the effect of different variables on the purchase of environmentally friendly products among Muslims in Turkey. The results show that regarding religiosity, environmental consciousness, attitudes toward nature, and accountability, gender is a significant variable. Religiosity, economic status, perceived behavioral effectiveness, and environmental concern positively affect eco-friendly product purchases.
The article, entitled “A Reply to Morriston’s Objection to Plantinga’s Free Will Defense”, by Ferhat Taşkın, argues that Morriston’s objection, which claims the presence of a divine moral perfection problem in Plantinga’s ontological argument and defense of free will, is invalid. The central argument revolves around the differentiation between the freedom of God and the freedom of creatures.
Saim Gündoğan’s article, “Objections to Sam Harris’ Critique of Religion”, critically analyzes Sam Harris’ defense of the new atheism, focusing specifically on his books, The End of Faith and The Harms of Religion. Gündoğan aims to prove that Harris’ perspective, which lacks philosophical underpinnings, empirical insights from sociological studies, and scientific data, is superficial and unconvincing due to its reliance on limited assessments.
In the last article of this issue, “Faith and Reason: A Comparative Analysis of Abū l-Muʿīn al-Nasafī and Thomas Aquinas on Intellect, Assent, and Free Will”, Muhammet Saygı compares the ideas of two theologians on the nature of religious faith. The author concludes that al-Nasafī considers knowledge sufficient for an individual to accept a religious faith, and similarly, Aquinas utilizes rational explanations to support his theory of faith.
We, the editorial team, are grateful to our authors, referees, and readers for their continued support and look forward to being with you in the next issues of Ilahiyat Studies.
Bursa Uludağ University, Bursa-Türkiye