Shabistari, Mahmud
The celebrated Persian Sufi poet, Sa‘d al-Din Mahmud Ibn ‘Abd al-Karim Yahya Shabistari (d. after 1340 CE) was born in the last half of the thirteenth century at Shabistar, a small village northwest of Tabriz, located a few miles inland from Lake Urumiya in present-day province of eastern...
“Nasir al-Din Tusi”
Nasir al-Din Tusi, Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Hasan, by far the most celebrated scholar of the 7th/13th century Islamic lands was born in Tus, in 597/1201 and died in Baghdad on 18 Dhu’l Hijja 672/25 June, 1274. Thomas Aquinas and Roger Bacon were his contemporaries in the West. Very little is...
Ismaili History
On the death of Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq in 148 AH/765 CE, his followers from among the Imami Shi‘i split into six groups of which two may be identified as proto-Ismailis or earliest Ismailis. Imam al-Sadiq had originally designated his second son Isma‘il (the eponym of the Ismailiya) as his...
Nizari
The Nizari or more properly the Nizari Isma‘ili Muslims, like other Shi‘i communities, acknowledge ‘Ali as imam after the Prophet. The Nizari Ismailis have continued to give allegiance to imams descended from Imam ‘Ali, on the basis of the principle of designation (nass) by the imam of the...
Abu Ya‘qub al-Sijistani
Abu Ya‘qub al-Sijistani was first and foremost a member of the Ismaili underground mission - the da‘wa, as it is known in Arabic - that operated in the Iranian province of Khurasan and Sijistan during the tenth century. His activities and the works he wrote must be seen in that context; he was...
Assassin
Assassin is a name that was applied originally by the Crusader circles in the Near East and other medieval Europeans to the Nizari Ismailis of Syria. From the opening decade of the twelfth century, the Crusaders had numerous encounters with the Syrian Nizaris, who reached the peak of their...
Concepts of Time
Classical concepts of time confronted philosophers with perplexing paradoxes. Some wondered whether time altogether was nonexistent, whereas others doubted the reality of its divisibility into parts by arguing that the past ceased to be, the future does not yet exist, and the present as a...
Shughni-Rushani
Language group within the family of Pamir languages, which belong to the Modern Eastern Iranian languages. Languages of the Shughni-Rushani group are spoken in the Central Asian republic of Tajikistan, particularly in the autonomous region of Badakhshan; in the Afghan province of Badakhshan;...
Vladmir Alekseevich Ivanow
Vladimir Alekseevich Ivanow, (b. St. Petersburg, Russia, 3 November 1886, d. Tehran, 19 June 1970; variously spelt Ivanov and Wladimir), was a Russian orientalist and leading pioneer in modern Ismaili studies. His father was a military doctor, and he spent his youth in his native city and...
Ismaili Literature in Persian and Arabic
Ismaili literature (“literature” is used here in its wider sense to include all the written products of scholarly disciplines delineated by learning, religion, and science) refers to the literary production of more than a millennium, from the middle of the 3rd/9th century (i.e., before the...