This volume of Encyclopaedia Islamica is the sixth of a projected 16-volume set, largely consisting of an abridged and edited translation of the Persian Dāʾirat al-Maʿārif-i Buzurg-i Islāmī, one of the most comprehensive sources on Islam and the Muslim world, to which a number of original articles, written specifically for the English edition, have been added. One of the unique features of this work of reference lies in the attention it gives to Shiʿi Islam and its rich and diverse heritage, which makes it complementary to other encyclopaedias. In addition to providing entries on important themes, subjects and personages in Islam generally, it offers the Western reader an opportunity to appreciate the various dimensions of Shiʿi Islam, the Persian contributions to Islamic civilisation, and the spiritual dimensions of the Islamic tradition.

This volume contains biographical articles on a number of major Muslim scholars such as the great philosopher and polymath, Abū Naṣr Muḥammad al-Fārābī, as well as the 9th/15th-century Persian philosopher, theologian and gnostic, Jalāl al-Dīn al-Dāwanī. It also includes historical surveys of important concepts in Islam, such as daʿwa and dīn, and of religious groups such as the Druze. In terms of the traditions of Sufism, there are articles on Dārā Shukūh, al-Dasūqī, Abū al-Ḥasan al-Daylamī and Dhū al-Nūn al-Miṣrī. Persian social and architectural history are discussed in articles such as dihqān and the Fahraj Congregational Mosque. The volume also includes entries of considerable importance for the study of Shiʿism, such as those on Fadak and the Fatimid dynasty, as well as a comprehensive article on Fāṭima, the wife of Imam ʿAlī and daughter of the Prophet Muḥammad, and as such revered by all Muslims, especially the Shiʿa Muslims.

The Encyclopaedia Islamica is available in print and at Brill Online.