Pyarali Jiwa will be remembered by IIS scholars and staff for his deep and proactive interest in the ginans of South Asia, the religious lyrical literature by Satpanth Ismaili Muslims from South Asia.
Among the considerable oeuvre of Muhammad al-Shahrastani (1086–1153), the prominent Persian theologian and heresiographer, the Majlis-i maktub ('The Transcribed Sermon') is his only known work in Persian. First delivered as a sermon in Khwarazm in Central Asia, this treatise invokes the theme of creation and command, providing an esoteric cosmological narrative where faith, revelation, prophecy and the spiritual authority of the Household of the Prophet are interwoven.
The two sermons edited and translated here for the first time are primary material from the years before the establishment of the Fatimid caliphate in 297/909. The authors have been identified as Abu 'Abd Allah al-Shi'i and Abu'l-'Abbas Muhammad, two brothers who were central to the success of the Ismaili da'wa in North Africa.