Muslim Literatures in South Asia
The largest concentration of Muslims in the world to­day is in the South Asian nations of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. For over twelve centuries the region has been home to a magnificent Islamic civilisation that has profoundly affected all aspects of South Asian culture and life. The...
Aspects of Ismaili Theology: The Prophetic Chain and the God Beyond Being
The Ismailis appeared first on the stage of the history of Islam in the second half of the third century AH /ninth century CE and spread with astonishing rapidity. Centred originally in Khuzistan in south-western Iran, its missionaries carried its message throughout the Islamic world from...
Towards New Horizons in Islamic Studies
What role does the Islamic Studies have to play within the larger field of Education? What do we mean when we use the phrase “Islamic Studies”? Examining key concepts and issues that concern all interested in the study and teaching of Muslim culture, in all its varied aspects, the author...
Transcendence and Distinction: Metaphoric Process in Isma‘ili Muslim Thought
This essay explores how writers of the Fatimid period of Isma‘ili history, during the tenth and eleventh centuries1, developed an approach that sought to reconcile an understanding of the transcendent and unique nature of God - embodied in the Qur’anic concept of tawhid - with a view of...
The Days of Creation in the Thought of Nasir Khusraw
This article explores Nasir Khusraw’s spiritual hermeneutic of the tradition concerning the completion of creation in six days, with the seventh day, or Sabbath, having a particularly hallowed aura of sanctity. It demonstrates that to Nasir Khusraw, this account of the genesis of the cosmos,...
The Sources of Ismaili Law
This paper was delivered at the Congress of the American Oriental Society in Santa Barbara in March 1974. In it, Wilferd Madelung presents his exhaustive research into the origins and sources of a monumental document that was considered lost to history; the Kitab al-idah, Qadi al-Nu‘man's...
Muslim Saints and Hindu Rulers: The Development of Sufi and Ismaili Mysticism in the Non-Muslim States of India
This article focuses on the phenomenon of religious acceptance, integration and pluralism in South India by various Hindu and Muslim leaders in the sixteenth century. It looks at examples of rulers of both religions protecting, maintaining and restoring temples, mosques and shrines which were...
Shahrastani’s ‘Mafatih al-asrar’ Introduction
Despite his fame in the Sunni intellectual scene 6th/ 12th century CE, Shahrastani’s later works show the impact on him of contemporary Ismaili teachings, and this is especially true of his unfinished, final project – a commentary on the Qur’an. In its exoteric aspect the Keys to the Arcana...
Ismaili Studies: Medieval Antecedents and Modern Developments
This article presents a brief survey of the history and evolution of Ismaili studies, while also examining key points in Ismaili history. Beginning with the establishment of the Fatimid state and its diversity of intellectual traditions, the article chronicles the study of the Ismailis from...
The Ismailis and their Role in the History of Medieval Syria and the Near East
Whether overtly or covertly, the Ismailis have played an important role in the cultural history of Islam, particularly in Syria and Egypt, where they constituted the Fatimid caliphate, which was to last for around 200 years. After the fall of the Fatimids in 1171 CE and during the subsequent...