By Kutub Kassam, Hermann Landolt, Visit Amazon's Samira Sheikh Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, Samira Sheikh,
One of many richest and such a lot worthwhile, but while least commonplace, traditions of Muslim literature is that of the Shi'i Imami Ismailis. even supposing many nice literary treasures of the Islamic global are already to be had in English translation, these of the Ismailis are just slowly being made obtainable to students and readers at huge. This giant anthology makes an essential and welcome contribution to that means of wider dissemination. It brings jointly for the 1st time extracts from various major Ismaili texts in either poetry and prose, the following translated into English by means of a number of the most desirable students within the box. The texts incorporated belong to an extended span of Ismaili historical past, which extends from the Fatimid period to the start of the 20th century. The translations in query were rendered from their originals in Arabic, Persian and the various languages of Badakhshan and South Asia. With gigantic sections dedicated to such huge issues as religion and notion, heritage and biography, ethics, the Imamate, Ta'wil (or esoteric exegesis and textual interpretation), the anthology bargains continually enriching glimpses into the depths, variety and specialty of 1 of the nice traditions of Islamic proposal and creativity, which nonetheless continues to be quite undiscovered by way of the West.
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Extra resources for An Anthology of Ismaili Literature: A Shi'i Vision of Islam
The religio-political daʿwa of the Ismāʿīliyya had finally led to the establishment of a state or dawla headed by the Ismaili imam. In line with their universal claims, the Fatimid imamcaliphs did not abandon their daʿwa activities on assuming power. They particularly concerned themselves with the affairs of the Ismaili daʿwa after transferring the seat of their state to Egypt. The daʿwa achieved particular success outside the domains of the Fatimid state, and, as a result, Ismailism outlived the downfall of the Fatimid dynasty and caliphate in 576/1171, also surviving the challenges posed by the Sunni revival of the 5th-6th/11th-12th centuries.
John of Joinville (d. 1317), the king’s biographer and secretary has left a valuable account of these dealings, including a curious disputation between an Arabic-speaking friar and the chief dāʿī of the Syrian Nizārīs. Subsequently, the Nizārīs collaborated with the Mamlūks and other Muslim rulers in defeating the Mongols in Syria. Baybars, the victorious Mamlūk sultan, now resorted to various measures for bringing about the submission of the Nizārī strongholds in Syria. Kahf was the last Nizārī outpost there to fall in 671/1273.
The only one of the Syrian dāʿīs to act somewhat independently of Alamūt, Sinān evidently taught his own version of the doctrine of qiyāma. He led the Syrian Nizārīs for almost three decades to the peak of their power and fame until his death in 589/1193. Nūr al-Dīn Muḥammad’s son and successor, Jalāl al-Dīn Ḥasan (r. 607–618/1210– 1221), was concerned largely with redressing the isolation of the Nizārīs from the larger world of Sunni Islam. Consequently, he publicly repudiated the doctrine of qiyāma and ordered his followers to observe the sharīʿa in its Sunni form, inviting Sunni jurists to instruct his people.