Latest Additions

25th January 2016

Dr Farhad Daftary and Dr Gurdofarid Miskinzoda visited Atlanta, Austin and Houston in the USA to launch the first two publications of the Shi‘i Heritage Series. Dr Miskinzoda also visited Nairobi, Kenya, where she conducted further presentations on the Series.

21st January 2016

The Ikhwan al-Safaʾ (Brethren of Purity), the anonymous adepts of a tenth-century esoteric fraternity based in Basra and Baghdad, hold an eminent position in the history of science and philosophy in Islam due to the wide reception and assimilation of their monumental encyclopaedia, the Rasa'il Ikhwan al-Safaʾ (Epistles of the Brethren of Purity). This compendium contains fifty-two epistles offering synoptic accounts of the classical sciences and philosophies of the age; divided into four classificatory parts, it treats themes in mathematics, logic, natural philosophy, psychology, metaphysics, and theology, in addition to didactic fables.

The IIS-ISMC Joint Library in Central London warmly invites applications for a five-day workshop entitled Introduction to Arabic Manuscript Studies, led by world expert on Islamic manuscripts Adam Gacek.

The primary focus of the workshop is to provide an overview of writing supports and structures of Islamic manuscripts, bookbinding and decoration, scripts, as well as composition and transmission of texts. The last day will feature a hands-on session where participants will be able to examine rare manuscripts from the Institutes’ collections under the supervision of the instructors.

The workshop is open to suitably qualified academics, scholars and students.  

The deadline for applications is March 4, 2016.

The fee for the five-day workshop is £500, with an early bird discount of £50 for bookings received by Friday 29 February 2016.

Applicants should email Walid Ghali at with their affiliation and contact details.  Payment will be required by bank transfer on successful registration.

14th January 2016

Javdan-nama (also known as Javdan-nama-ye kabir or Javdan-nama-ye elahi), the major work of Fadhl-Allah Astarabadi (d. 1394; q.v.), the founder of the Hurufi movement. The title, which can be translated from Persian either as the “Eternal Book” or as the “Book of Eternity”, has been transcribed here as Javdan and not Javidan (although this latter form is more current in Persian and is often used in contemporary literature on the Hurufisinfo-icon), because early Hurufi authors mostly use the form without the “ya” between the “waw” and the “dal”.

19th January 2016
In this 21 min interview, Dr Orkhan Mir-Kasimov provides an insight into the Hurufis, a mystical and messianic current that became particularly active in Iran and Anatolia following the end of Mongol rule. Dr Mir-Kasimov sheds light on the history of the Hurufi movement and its founder Fadlallah Astarabadi (d. 796 AH/1394 CE), and contextualises the seminal Hurufi text by Fadaallah, Javdan-Nama-yi Kabir ('Great Book of Eternity'), within Islamic intellectual history. Words of Power is the first comprehensive study Javdan-Nama, illuminating the contemporary reconfiguration of religious and political authority along messianic and charismatic lines that took place in the Islamic East, which arguably contributed to the rise and consolidation of the Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal dynasties.
7th January 2016

The main aim of the publication is to explain how interpreters of the Qur’aninfo-icon have used the actual words of the text to articulate different views and interpretations.

22nd December 2015

The IIS continued its programme of book launch events and scholar visits in the latter half of 2015, reaching more than 1,500 people across eight countries.  Attendees to these events included diplomats, academics and students from leading global universities, as well as members of the Ismaili community in Canada, India, Kenya, Portugal, Tajikistan, the UK and the USA.



21st December 2015

This is an edited version of an article that was originally published in the Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. XIV, Fasc. 4, p. 349, in December 2008.  

Ja‘far b. Manusr al-Yaman was a high-ranking Ismaili author who flourished during the reigns of the first four Fatimid caliphs. His father, Ibn Hawshab (d. 302 AH / 914 CE), originated from a learned Shi‘ainfo-icon family of Kufa, and pioneered the Ismaili da‘wainfo-icon in Yaman, where his conquests earned him the honorific title of Mansur al-Yaman (Conqueror of Yaman). Ja‘far’s detailed account of his father’s life (Sirat abihi) has been largely preserved through quotations. After Ibn Hawshab’s death, Ja‘far was his only son to remain faithful to the mission (da‘wa).