Academic Articles

The selection of articles presented in this section covers a wide range of topics related to the historical, cultural and intellectual traditions and developments within the Muslim contexts, both historical and contemporary.

As in all academic publications, the articles reflect the interests, research, and conclusions of individual authors on a subject matter and must not be seen as necessarily reflecting the Institute's thinking or perspectives.

Emotion in the Qur'an: An Overview
Read this article to explore how a range 'terms' and 'chapters' in the Qur’an that evoke emotions can be studied in the light of contemporary cultural and scientific frameworks on understanding 'emotion'.
Spiritual Hierarchy and Gender Hierarchy in Fatimid Isma‘ili Interpretations of the Qur’an
This article explores gender and spiritual hierarchy in the writings of three prominent Fatimid Isma‘ili thinkers who interpret verses of the Qur'an on the outward (zahir) and inner (batin) levels.   
The Fatimid Legacy and the Foundation of the Modern Nizari Ismaili Imamate
This article explores the place of the Fatimids in the cultural memory of the Nizari Ismailis in the post-Mongol era. the author argues that the emphasis placed on the Fatimid era in present-day Nizari discourse is a relatively recent development, rooted in the dynamic changes that occurred in...
The Baghdad Manifesto (402 /1011) A Re-Examination of Fatimid-Abbasid Rivalry
Proclaimed publicly in the Abbasid capital in 402 AH / 1011 CE, and subsequently read out across the Abbasid lands, the principal purpose of Baghdad manifesto was to invalidate the Alid lineage of the Fatimids and thus their claim to be the descendants of the Prophet, through his daughter, ...
Kinship, Camaraderie and Contestation Fatimid Relations with the Ashraf in the Fourth AH /Tenth CE century
The founding of the Fatimid caliphate across the southern Mediterranean, and then in Egypt, Syria and the Hijaz at the turn of the fourth AH / tenth CE century, necessitated its negotiation with the ashraf, those who claimed lineal descent from the Prophet Muhammad, and who by this time had...
The Angels in Surat al-Mala’ika Exegeses of Q. 35:1
The opening of Q. 35:1 (Surat al-Mala’ika or Surat al-Faṭir) attests to the creative power of God and describes the angels as winged messengers. 
From Slaves to Supporters The role of the Slavs in the Fatimid Mediterranean Empire in the Fourth AH /Tenth CE century
Among the distinctive features of their initial sixty-year phase of the North African era was the growing prominence of the Saqaliba – slaves of Slavic origin – across major areas of Fatimid administration, and in the affairs of the Fatimid household. 
Governance and Pluralism under the Fatimids (909-996 CE)
The medieval Mediterranean littoral was a region inhabited by people of diverse ethnic backgrounds and religious persuasions. This was evident in 10th century Egypt, the mainstay of Fatimid domains, a land in which lived Arabs, Turks, Greeks, Armenians, Berbers and Sudanese - among whom were...
The Conversation between Moses and God (Munajat Musa) in the Epistles of the Pure Brethren (Rasa’il Ikhwan al-Safa’)
This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared in Al-Kitab: La Sacralité du Texte Dans Le Monde de l‘Islam. Actes du Symposium International Tenu à Leuven et Louvain-la-Neuve du 29 Mai au 1 Juin 2002, ed. Daniel De Smet, Godefroyde Callataÿ, and JanVan Reeth, published by...
Divine Law / Divine Command: The Ground of Ethics in the Western Tradition-Muslim Perspectives
The article posits that the ethical roots of the pre-modern Western tradition are not just based in biblical norms. The author delves into the origins and roots of Muslim ethics from revelation to the shaping of Muslim law, suggesting a strong connection between western and Muslim values based...