By Kutub Kassam, Hermann Landolt, Visit Amazon's Samira Sheikh Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, Samira Sheikh,
One of many richest and so much worthwhile, but even as least customary, traditions of Muslim literature is that of the Shi'i Imami Ismailis. even if many nice literary treasures of the Islamic international are already on hand in English translation, these of the Ismailis are just slowly being made available to students and readers at huge. This enormous anthology makes an important and welcome contribution to that means of wider dissemination. It brings jointly for the 1st time extracts from more than a few major Ismaili texts in either poetry and prose, right here translated into English through a few of the most suitable students within the box. The texts integrated belong to an extended span of Ismaili background, which extends from the Fatimid period to the start of the 20 th century. The translations in query were rendered from their originals in Arabic, Persian and different languages of Badakhshan and South Asia. With significant sections dedicated to such extensive themes as religion and idea, background and biography, ethics, the Imamate, Ta'wil (or esoteric exegesis and textual interpretation), the anthology deals regularly enriching glimpses into the depths, variety and specialty of 1 of the nice traditions of Islamic idea and creativity, which nonetheless is still quite undiscovered via the West.
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Extra info for An Anthology of Ismaili Literature: A Shi'i Vision of Islam
Organized in a strictly hierarchical manner, the Fatimid daʿwa was under the overall supervision of the imam and the dāʿī al-duʿāt, or bāb, who acted as its administrative head. The daʿwa organization developed over time and reached its full elaboration under the Imam-Caliph al-Mustanṣir. It was, however, in non-Fatimid regions, the jazīras, especially Yaman, Persia and Central Asia, that the Fatimid daʿwa achieved lasting success. The daʿwa was intensified in Iraq and Persia under al-Ḥākim. Foremost among the dāʿīs of this period was Ḥamīd al-Dīn al-Kirmānī.
He reviewed this debate from the perspective of the Fatimid daʿwa in his Kitāb al-riyāḍ (Book of the Meadows), and in particular upheld certain views of Abū Ḥātim al-Rāzī against those of al-Nasafī in affirming the indispensability of both the ẓāhir and the bāṭin, the letter of the law as well as its inner meaning. Neoplatonic philosophy also influenced the cosmology elaborated by the Ismailiconnected Ikhwān al-Safāʾ, a group of anonymous authors in Baṣra who produced an encyclopedic work of fifty-two epistles, Rasāʾil Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ, on a variety of sciences during the 4th/10th century, or just before the foundation of the Fatimid state.
This made it very difficult for the Nizārīs of Persia and adjacent Persian- ismaili history and literary traditions 13 speaking, eastern lands to have ready access to the Ismaili literature produced in Arabic during the Fatimid period, although the Syrian Nizārīs who used Arabic did preserve some of the earlier texts. At any rate, the Persian Nizārīs did not produce a substantial literature; the bulk of their literature, including the collections of the famous library at Alamūt, was either destroyed in the Mongol invasions or lost soon afterwards during the Mongol Īlkhānid rule over Persia (654–754/1256–1353).
An Anthology of Ismaili Literature: A Shi'i Vision of Islam by Kutub Kassam, Hermann Landolt, Visit Amazon's Samira Sheikh Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, Samira Sheikh,