• 13 May 2019
  • Aga Khan Centre
  • Book launch

Salvation and Destiny in Islam: Sketching Ḥamīd al-Dīn al-Kirmānī’s Views on the qaḍāʾ wa’l-qadar Debate

It is well-known that as one of the most renowned Ismaili dāʿīs of the Fatimid age, Ḥamīd al-Dīn al-Kirmānī (d. after 411/1020), attempted to create a complex system of thought blending together inherited Ismaili traditions - including gnostic cosmological elements - and philosophical strands, mainly drawn from Fārābian Neoplatonism. Achieving prominence during the reign of the Imam-caliph al-Ḥākim bi-Amr Allāh (r. 386-411/996-1021), al-Kirmānī set for himself, among other things, also the task of harmonising the views of the earlier celebrated Ismaili missionaries Abū Ḥātim al-Rāzī (d. 322/934), Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Nasafī (d. 332/943) and Abū Yaʿqūb al-Sijistānī (d. c. 361/971). The Kitāb al-Riyāḍ (Book of Meadows) is probably the best example of such endeavour.

In this talk, Dr Maria De Cillis - through references to her translation and analytical commentary of the eighth chapter of the Kitāb al-Riyāḍ, which is dedicated to the issue of divine preordination and human redemption -will highlight al-Kirmānī’s theologically distinctive interpretation of the question of qaḍāʾ wa’l-qadar (divine decree and destiny) question. In particular, drawing from the major theoretical findings of her latest book, Salvation and Destiny in Islam: The Shiʿi Ismaili Perspective of Ḥamīd al-Dīn al-Kirmānī, Maria De Cillis will attempt to guide the audience through the metaphysical and esoteric correspondences which al-Kirmānī used in order to provide a very Fatimid answer to many doctrinal controversies.

This lecture marks the book launch of De Cillis, M. (2018) Salvation and Destiny in Islam: The Shiʿi Ismaili Perspective of Ḥamīd al-Dīn al-Kirmānī. Published by I.B. Tauris in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London.


Dr Maria De Cillis

Dr. Maria De Cillis is a Senior Research Associate at the IIS, where she is also the Managing Editor of the Shiʿi Heritage Series. Dr De Cillis obtained her bachelor’s degree (with honours) from the Faculty of Languages and Literatures in the Department of Arabic and English Studies at the Universita' degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”, Naples, Italy.


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