Ismaili Texts and Translations Series
Recent advances in Ismaili studies have been initiated by the recovery of Ismaili texts. A large number of such texts, written in Arabic, Persian and Indic languages, are preserved in the collections of The Institute of Ismaili Studies Library. The Ismaili Texts and Translations Series aims to produce critical editions together with English translations and contextualising introductions, which are essential for further progress in the field.
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 Majlis-i maktub further discusses themes such as the evolution of religious law ( shari'at ) and its culmination in the qiyamat (resurrection),...