The Ikhwan al-Safaʾ (Brethren of Purity), the anonymous adepts of a tenth-century esoteric fraternity based in Basra and Baghdad, hold an eminent position in the history of science and philosophy in Islam due to the wide reception and assimilation of their monumental encyclopaedia, the Rasa'il Ikhwan al-Safaʾ (Epistles of the Brethren of Purity). This compendium contains fifty-two epistles offering synoptic accounts of the classical sciences and philosophies of the age; divided into four classificatory parts, it treats themes in mathematics, logic, natural philosophy, psychology, metaphysics, and theology, in addition to didactic fables.
The IIS-ISMC Joint Library in Central London warmly invites applications for a five-day workshop entitled Introduction to Arabic Manuscript Studies, led by world expert on Islamic manuscripts Adam Gacek.
The primary focus of the workshop is to provide an overview of writing supports and structures of Islamic manuscripts, bookbinding and decoration, scripts, as well as composition and transmission of texts. The last day will feature a hands-on session where participants will be able to examine rare manuscripts from the Institutes’ collections under the supervision of the instructors.
The workshop is open to suitably qualified academics, scholars and students.
The deadline for applications is March 4, 2016.
The fee for the five-day workshop is £500, with an early bird discount of £50 for bookings received by Friday 29 February 2016.
Applicants should email Walid Ghali at firstname.lastname@example.org with their affiliation and contact details. Payment will be required by bank transfer on successful registration.
Javdan-nama (also known as Javdan-nama-ye kabir or Javdan-nama-ye elahi), the major work of Fadhl-Allah Astarabadi (d. 1394; q.v.), the founder of the Hurufi movement. The title, which can be translated from Persian either as the “Eternal Book” or as the “Book of Eternity”, has been transcribed here as Javdan and not Javidan (although this latter form is more current in Persian and is often used in contemporary literature on the Hurufis), because early Hurufi authors mostly use the form without the “ya” between the “waw” and the “dal”.
The main aim of the publication is to explain how interpreters of the Qur’an have used the actual words of the text to articulate different views and interpretations.
The IIS continued its programme of book launch events and scholar visits in the latter half of 2015, reaching more than 1,500 people across eight countries. Attendees to these events included diplomats, academics and students from leading global universities, as well as members of the Ismaili community in Canada, India, Kenya, Portugal, Tajikistan, the UK and the USA.
This is an edited version of an article that was originally published in the Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. XIV, Fasc. 4, p. 349, in December 2008.
Ja‘far b. Manusr al-Yaman was a high-ranking Ismaili author who flourished during the reigns of the first four Fatimid caliphs. His father, Ibn Hawshab (d. 302 AH / 914 CE), originated from a learned Shi‘a family of Kufa, and pioneered the Ismaili da‘wa in Yaman, where his conquests earned him the honorific title of Mansur al-Yaman (Conqueror of Yaman). Ja‘far’s detailed account of his father’s life (Sirat abihi) has been largely preserved through quotations. After Ibn Hawshab’s death, Ja‘far was his only son to remain faithful to the mission (da‘wa).
This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared in Al-Kitab: La Sacralité du Texte Dans Le Monde de l‘Islam. Actes du Symposium International Tenu à Leuven et Louvain-la-Neuve du 29 Mai au 1 Juin 2002, ed. Daniel De Smet, Godefroyde Callataÿ, and JanVan Reeth, published by Acta Orientalia Belgica, Subsidia III, 2004, pp. 371-87.
In the following article, Dr Ali-de-Unzaga brings to light how, besides Qur’anic quotations, the Epistles of the Brethren of Purity (Rasa’il Ikhwan al-Safa’) include quotes and ‘pseudo-quotes’ from the Torah, the ‘Books of the Prophets’ and the Gospels, as well as traditions, sayings and passages attributed to or dealing with Biblical Prophets.
He has focused discussions in this paper on quotes related to the conversations between Moses and God (the Munajat Musa, or Masa’il Musa). He analyses the way the Munajat tradition has been incorporated into the Epistles, with special reference to its origins and contents, whether they appear in fragments cited in diverse works or in unpublished manuscripts entitled Munajat Musa.
The IIS alumni association is pleased to announce the leadership appointments for the Asian, European and North American Chapter Groups. Established in 2005, the alumni association aims to strengthen the relationship between the Institute and its graduates by supporting the personal, academic and professional development of its alumni. There are also regular opportunities that enable individuals to share their research and knowledge, network and dialogue with their peers and other like-minded professionals.