An Evaluation of the Textual Edition of KITA<B
AL-MAWT WA KITA
<B AL-QUBU<Rby Sunarwoto  IntroductionThis article is devoted to the evaluation of the textual edition of the Kita>b al-Mawt wa Kita>b al-Qubu>r of Ibn Abi> al-Dunya>, one of the great Arab writers of the third century of Hijra. It is not easy to deal with this works, since it is written not on the basis of its manuscript copies which are not available. It is Leah Kinberg of University of Hayfa,
Jerusalem, who has made such a great attempt at reconstructing the Kita
>b. Given the absence of original manuscript copies, it would be questionable whether or not the result is reliable. The term “reconstruction” itself is open to a lot of questions. The number of material covered is a case in point. Reviewing the edition, Reinhard Weipert questions to what extent the original size and its arrangement could be determined. This also holds true for the case of variant readings. Weipert casts doubt on this by saying, “… Kinberg was ill-advised to call her product construction.”[1] Even so, Kinberg’s laborious endeavour to present this edition should be appreciated. More than that, as will be seen below, she offers not only a made-product but also an interesting process through which the edition comes to being as it is.This article is an attempt to appreciate and evaluate to what extent Kinberg’s edition offers important principles in reconstructing and editing scattered source material. It will try to answer two leading questions as follows: (i) to what extend Kinberg has applied, and stuck to, her principal method; and (ii) does the edition fulfil a scholarly standard?This article will comprise three parts. Part one deals with the biography and works of Ibn Abi> al-Dunya>. Part two will discuss on source material on which Leah Kinberg bases her edition, and collation and editorial methods. The last part is a conclusion.
 1. Ibn Abi> al-Dunya>: Man and His Works[2]

Little has been known about our author. Abu> Bakr ‘Abd Alla>h b. Muh}ammad b. ‘Ubayd b. Sufya>n al-Q}urashi>, well-known as Ibn Abi> al-Dunya>, was born in 208/823, in Baghda>d and died there in 14th Jumada II, 281/21st August 894. Ibn Abi> Dunya> was tutor of several ‘Abba>sid princes, especially Caliphs al-Mu‘tad}i>d (892-902) and al-Muqtafi> (1136-1160). He was a well-known muh}addith (transmitter of the Prophet tradition) and mu’addib (man of literature). He nevertheless was not as famous as, for instance, al-Ja>h}iz}, Ibn Qutayba, and al-Mubarrad, or the great collectors of h>adi>th of his time. According to James A. Bellamy, this is due to the fact that Ibn Abi> al-Dunya> was not a philologian or a ka>tib, and he was not so influenced by this class of writer. As a muh}addith, he was also not of those whose writings could be used by the fuqaha>. As a consequence, he was, and is, relatively neglected by modern scholars. It was Alfred Weiner who had greatly contributed for the first time to our knowledge of Ibn ‘Abi> al-Dunya> by illustrating his place in the development of the prose genre known as faraj ba‘d al-shidda (deliverance after great trouble).[3]Ibn Abi> Dunya> was highly respected for his exemplary life, and led a pious and ascetic life (zuhd). This is strikingly reflected in the various themes of his writings in which he discussed ethical values, such as patience (s}abr), humility (tawa>d}u>), penitence (tawba), and so forth. He was one of the most prolific authors of the 3rd/8th century. Even though many titles of Ibn Abi> Dunya’s works appeared in indexes, various books, and even modern catalogues, it is difficult to determine the exact number of his works. He is said to have written over 100 works, some 20 of which have survived.[4] Sibt} b. al-Jawzi, as quoted by A. Dietrich, even knew more than 130 of Ibn Abi> al-Dunya>’s works. Alfred Weiner enumerated 102 titles.[5]  According to Bellamy, most of Ibn Abi> al-Dunya>’s works are made up of traditions of the Prophet, pre-Muhammad occasional stories (isra>’iliyya>t) and h}adi>th al-qudsi>, anecdotes, and poetry.[6]As reflected in a number of his works, Ibn Abi> Dunya paid great attention to the themes of death (mawt) and hereafter life. Fifteen of his works were devoted to the phases of life that a human being would pass through, from his birth till his hereafter life. Kita>b al-Mawt wa Kita>b al-Qubu>r[7] that we are talking about reflects these particular themes. 

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