Keywords: Justice, Fatimid, Injustice, Metaphor, Context, Imamat, Sunni, Shi‘i, writing, thought, expression, Muslims, Islam, Ismaili Studies, Shi‘i Studies, Islamic Studies, Law, Legal Studies, ‘adl, philosophy, history, literature, fiqh, shari‘a, social order, Qur’an, sunna, walaya, mahdi, haqa’iq.
Abstract: In this article, the author explores three interrelated topics to elucidate the nature of Fatimid Ismaili discourse on justice and injustice in the larger context of Muslim medieval literature and expressions of law. First, the paradigm of imama is situated within the larger discussion of institutions of social justice in the Muslim world and articulated by the Fatimids through legal, doctrinal and philosophical writings. The paper then continues to explore how these writings, and their relationship to inherited notions of history, reflect the relationship between triumph and failure of a just polity. In conclusion, the paper analyses the interconnectedness of pluralist discourses of the period and attempts to elucidate a sense of the Fatimid Ismaili ‘philosophy of history’.
Professor Azim Nanji serves currently as Special Advisor to the Provost at the Aga Khan University. Most recently he served as Senior Associate Director of the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies at Stanford University 2008-2010 and also lectured on Islam in the Department of Religious Studies. He was previously the of Director of the Institute of Ismaili Studies from 1998 - 2008.