Hakim Nizari Quhistani (AH 645/1247-721/1321 CE) was one of the most eminent Persian poets of the Mongol period of Ismaili history and a scion of the family of the last Nizari Ismaili Imam, Rukn al-din Khurshah (r. 1255-66). His Persian Divan, recently published in a critical edition in Tehran, is totally steeped in the symbolism, imagery and metaphysics of celebrated Sufi poets who were his contemporaries, as well as highly influenced by Ismaili doctrine and esoteric philosophy. This paper will not only discuss the life and times of Nizari, offering reflections on the place and significance of his poetry amidst the pantheon of mediaeval Persian poetry, but also analyse the nature of his Ismaili doctrines and comment on the trans-sectarian context and mystical content of his verse as an expression of Sufi symbolism and theosophy.
A respected author, translator and lecturer in the area of Islamic studies and a specialist in Persian language and Sufi literature, the late Dr Lewisohn (1953 - 2018) was a Research Associate at the London Middle East Institute at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), and Associate Member of the Centre for Iranian Studies also at SOAS . Dr Lewisohn's works include Beyond Faith and Fidelity: the Sufi Poetry and Teachings of Mahmud Shabistari (London, 1993), a critical edition of Divan-i Muhammad Shirin