Islamic Texts Society
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|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Key people||Al-Ghazali, Martin Lings, Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Gai Eaton|
|Nonfiction topics||Islam, Legal Studies, Sufism|
The Islamic Texts Society (ITS) is a British publishing house which concentrates on academic and general titles on Islam. It is registered as an educational charity in the UK (no. 283832). ITS publications have become a family name among English-speaking Muslims worldwide, and a de facto standard in the world of Islamic studies.
The Islamic Texts Society was founded in Cambridge, United Kingdom, in 1981. Western scholarly publishers of Islamic works were at the time characterised by a mostly Orientalist approach. ITS brought together for the first time a true vision of the Islamic scholarly tradition combined with the highest Western editorial and typographic standards.
Since its inception, ITS has worked in collaboration with high-ranking scholars who are fully conversant with both traditional Islamic learning and with Western academia, including Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Martin Lings, Timothy Winter (Abdal Hakim Murad), Mohammad Hashim Kamali and Eric Ormsby.
For a number of years the ITS also had an imprint, Quinta Essentia, focused on symbolism, the arts, and universal spirituality. This has since been transferred to the American publisher Fons Vitae.
The Islamic Texts Society has published over sixty titles, including the bestselling biography by Martin Lings, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, and key works on Hadith studies, Islamic jurisprudence and Sufism. The long term aim of the Islamic Texts Society is to provide a comprehensive English library on Islam and its various disciplines.
One of the major and best-known projects of the ITS is the "Ghazali Series", aiming to publish in English the most important works of the Muhammad Abu Hamid al-Ghazali. Two of its volumes won the British Book Design and Production Award (best general paperback) in 1991 and 1993.
Another well-known ITS project is the "Fundamental Rights and Liberties in Islam Series", which includes several groundbreaking studies by Prof. Mohammad Hashim Kamali, a world authority in Shariah and fiqh studies.
Areas of publication
ITS publishes in the following subject areas:
- Qur'an, Sira & Hadith
- Islamic Law & Jurisprudence
- The Ghazali Series
- Translations from the Islamic Heritage
- Monographs on Spirituality & Sufism
- General Titles on Islam
- ITS About page.
- von Schlegell, Barbara R., “Translating Sufism”, Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 122, number 3, July—September 2002, note 9: “the translations are accurate but it is clear they are intended for a wide, and not necessarily academic, audience”.
- Overview at the UK Charity Commission.
- Elma Ruth Harder, “Reclaiming the Islamic Intellectual Tradition”, Center for Islam and Science.
- “Stranger Than Fiction”, by Idries Mears, posted 15/05/2013.
- A reading list mention at The American Theological Library Association (ATLA). A JSTOR search of ITS titles yields mentions in 36 books, 174 articles and 91 reviews; a Google Scholar search yields 1720 hits (both checked 29/08/2013).
- “Books on Islam for the West”, a 1993 article in the New Straits Times.
- Mention of QE in the profile of Gray Henry at Circle of One.
- Mention of awards and Quinta Essentia at Gray Henry's ZoomInfo profile.
- Review of Medicine of the Prophet, by A. H. L. Holdijk, Al-Ahram Weekly, 11-17 May 2000.