Majnūn: The Madman in Medieval Islamic Society
, 1992 - History
- 543 pages
This is a study of madness in the medieval Islamic world. Using a wide variety of sources--historical, literary, and art--the late Michael Dols explores beliefs about madness in Islamic society and examines attitudes towards individuals afflicted by mental illness or disability. The book demonstrates the links between Christian and Muslim medical beliefs and practices, and traces the influence of certain Christian beliefs, such as miracle-working, on Islamic practices. It breaks new ground in analyzing the notions of the romantic fool, the wise fool, and the holy fool in medieval Islam within the framework of perceptions of mental illness. It shows that the madman was not regarded as a pariah, an outcast, or a scapegoat. This is a comprehensive and original work, with insights into magic, medicine, and religion that combine to broaden our understanding of medieval Islamic society.