The Rasa’il Ikhwan al-Safa’ is a ca. tenth-century encyclopedia, unique in its combination of Greek philosophy (particularly Neoplatonism) with the Islamic faith while drawing upon Persian, Indian, and other sources. However, little is known of the anonymous authors, the Ikhwan al-Safa’, but their possible Ismaili affiliation has been a topic of scholarly debate.
This IIS project, which has been underway for some time, is highly significant, as it will produce both the first critical edition (in Arabic) and the first complete translation (in English) of the Rasa’il. Consequently, the text will be rendered accessible for serious scholarship in a way hitherto unprecedented. The 16 bilingual volumes of primary text (available from 2009) will be of interest to readers hitherto unfamiliar with the Rasa’il as well as to experts and also those in the wider disciplines of Islamic studies, philosophy and the history of ideas.