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Abstract

The aim of the present article is to present and discuss a relatively unknown text, which, written in the Sufi environment of early post-Mamluk Cairo, constitutes noteworthy evidence of male patterns of thinking and fantasizing about women. The text is a part of the still unedited manual composed by ʿAbd al-Raʾūf al-Munāwī (1545–1621) titled Tadhkirat ūlī al-albāb bi-maʿrifat al-ādāb, which can be translated as “Memorandum for knowledgeable persons on the rules of [decent] behavior” or, alternatively, “What every knowledgeable Muslim male should know about life.” Used as a demonstration model, the text provides a chance to examine the multidimensional context of the way in which the “women’s issue” was conceptualized and problematized in the Arabic-Islamic intellectual discourse in the period of the Mamluk-Ottoman transition.

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