• Medieval Islamic philosophers were deeply occupied with questions of predestination and salvation. Debates surrounding human responsibility for their actions, together with issues of cosmology, the notion of imamateinfo-icon and the eschatological role of the prophets and Imams were central Ismaili concerns. These were also a matter of doctrinal controversy within the so-called Iranian school of Ismaili philosophical theology. Ḥamīd al-Dīn al-Kirmānī (d. after 411/1020) was one of the most important theologians in the Fatimid period, who rose to prominence during the reign of the Imaminfo-icon-caliphinfo-icon al-Ḥākim bi-Amr Allāh (r. 386/996-411/1021). He is renowned for blending a number of philosophical traditions, including Neoplatonism, with Ismaili religious tradition.

    This book provides an analysis of al-Kirmānī’s thought and sheds new light on the many layers of allusion which characterise his writings. Through a translation and analytical commentary of the eighth chapter of al-Kirmānī's Kitāb al-Riyāḍ (Book of Meadows), which is devoted to the subject of divine preordination and human redemption, Maria De Cillis shows readers first-hand his theologically distinctive interpretation of qaḍāʾ and qadarinfo-icon (divine decree and destiny). Here, al-Kirmānī attempts to harmonise the views of earlier renowned Ismaili missionaries, Abū Ḥātim Aḥmad b. Ḥamdān al-Rāzī (d. 322/934), Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Nasafī (d. 332/943) and Abū Yaʿqūb Isḥāq b. Aḥmad al-Sijistānī (d. c. 361/971). De Cillis skillfully guides the reader through al-Kirmānī's metaphysical and esoteric correspondences, offering new insights into Shiʿi/Ismaili philosophical thought which will be of great interest to those in the field of Shiʿi studies and, more broadly, to scholars of medieval philosophy.


  • Dr Maria De Cillis

    Maria De Cillis is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, where she is also the Managing Editor of the Shiʿi Heritage Series . Dr De Cillis completed her undergraduate studies in the field of Languages and Literatures (English and Arabic) graduating from the Università degli Studi di Napoli - L’Orientale in Naples, Italy in 2001 ( cum laude ). She received an MA degree in Islamic Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London in 2004 for which she was awarded a distinction. She continued her PhD studies at the same...Read more