Usually these lectures were written and submitted to the Imam-caliph for approval. Qadi Numans Tawil al-daaim is composed in this form and was delivered as sermons. The most famous is al-Majalis al-muayyadiya, in eight volumes, each volume with a hundred majlis, composed by al-Muayyad fi-Din of Shiraz. Hatim Hamidi abridged those eight volumes in his Jame al-haqaiq and divided it, according to the subject matter, into eighteen chapters.
Walid, and an anonymous work entitled Majalis Ashuriya, containing sermons to be delivered during the first ten days of Muharram. Among the anthologies of Ismaili literature three deserve special mention. The Majmu al-tarbia, compiled by Muhammad b. Tahir Hariti in two volumes, and Kitab al-azhar wa majma al-anwar by Hasan b.
Nuh Bharuchi in seven volumes. Both these anthologies have preserved extensive excerpts as well as complete treatises of some of the earlier works which are no longer extant. Sanduq al-laali another anthology that was compiled by an anonymous author Poonawala, , pp. Ismaili literature is rich in religious and devotional poetry.
Diwans of al-Muayyad of Shiraz and Sultan Khattab are just two outstanding examples among several of this genre of poetry. Semt alhaqaiq by Ali b. Hanzala is a versified version of Ismaili doctrines. Al-Urjuza al-mukhtara by Qadi Numan, in 2, verses, deals with the imamate. His Muntakhaba is yet another attempt at versifying the Pillars of Islam and law. Among the several treatises on the question of the imamate, the following should be noted: Tathbit al-imama by the Imam-caliph al-Mansur, Ithbat al-imama by Ahmad Nishaburi, Risala fil-imama by Abul-fawares, and Kitab al-masabih by Hamid al-Din Kirmani.
Qadi al-Numan, the founder of Ismaili law, wrote numerous books on jurisprudence, with the Daaim as the most famous. Among the chancery documents, al-Sijillat al-Mustansiriya, and alHidaya al-Amiriya, are worth noting from the Fatimid period.
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Qaratis al-Yaman contains letters exchanged between the dawa dignitaries in Yemen and India Poonawala, , pp. It is a comprehensive work on Islamic nomenclature and Razis philological method of discussing the etymologies of those terms sheds light on the history of Arabic linguistics.
His other work, Alam al-nubuwa The distinguishing marks of prophecy , records Ismaili views in defence of religion and the principle of prophethood while refuting the arguments of his opponent, Abu Bakr Muhammad b. Zakariya Razi. In his al-Aqwal al-dhahabiya fil-tibb al-nafsani, Hamid al-Din Kirmani supported Abu Hatims criticism of Abu Bakr Razis views on the therapy of the mind expounded in the latters al-Tibb al-ruhani.
Lastly, Ismail b. Abd al-Rasul Majdus Fihrist, compiled during the second half of the 18th century, provides a detailed catalogue of extant Ismaili literature. In Persian. Nasir-i Khusraws works were preserved by the Nizaris of Persia and Central Asia, and most of his extant works are edited and some translated into French, English, and Russian. He was the first Ismaili dai to have used Persian exclusively for his intellectual and poetic discourse.
His poetry is didactic. His Safar-nama depicts a vivid picture of the 11th century Islamic world from Transoxania to Egypt and includes visits to Mecca and Jerusalem. He first travelled across the Caspian coast of Persia into eastern Anatolia and southward to Syria and Palestine. He spent three years in Cairo and returned taking the southern route down to Aswan and crossing the Red Sea to the Hijaz, the Arabian peninsula to Basra, and passing through the Carmathian Qarmati state in Lahsa; finally arriving at Balkh through southern Persia.
His role in the establishment of Persian as a language of philosophical discourse is yet to be assessed. The Persian Nizaris used Persian exclusively in their religious writings and did not develop any interest in the copying and preservation of the classical Arabic heritage of the Fatimid period. Hasan Sabbah expounded his new teaching al-dawa al-jadida , often called the doctrine of talim, by formulating four propositions. The first demonstrates the need for a teacher in order to know God by refuting rationalism in its contention that human reason by itself is capable of obtaining the absolute truth.
Once the need for a teacher is established, the second proposition poses the question: Is any teacher acceptable or must the teacher be a trustworthy person? When the Sunni position that any teacher will do is refuted, the need for a trustworthy teacher muallim-i sadiq is established. The third proposition, directed against non-Ismaili Shii, poses the question as to whether it is necessary to know that teacher and acquire knowledge through him. The fourth and the final proposition attempts to answer the issue raised in the third proposition by proving that a particular Imam, that is, an Ismaili Imam of Hasan Sabbah, could be the authentic teacher.
He expounded his doctrine in a Persian treatise, Chahar fasl, which has been preserved only in fragments. This doctrine had a great impact on the Sunni population, hence Abu Hamid Ghazali in his Kitab al-Mostazhiri tried to wrestle with the intellectual issues posed by this doctrine. A major shift in the Nizari doctrine came during the time of Imam Hasan II, the fourth ruler of Alamut, who proclaimed the doctrine of the qiama resurrection. From then on, the lords of Alamut also claimed the imamate for themselves.
With the new doctrine, the imam became the focal point. The elaboration of this teaching with its cosmological implication and the development of the doctrine of the Perfect Man in contemporary Sufism paved the way for the future relationship of the post-Alamut Nizaris with Sufism. The Syrian Nizaris do not seem to have been affected by the qiama doctrine, and they continued the earlier Fatimid tradition.
Nasir al-Din Tusi, a major intellectual figure of the 13th century, a scientist, a philosopher, and a theologian, should be mentioned here for his long association with the Nizaris. It appears that during that period he himself had embraced the Ismaili Nizari faith. In his spiritual autobiography. In it he also elaborates Hasan-i Sabbahs doctrine of talim. Another work, Rawzat al-taslim, also known as Tasawworat, an ethico-eschatological guide for ascending from the physical to the spiritual world, is an important testimony to Tusis Ismaili-oriented philosophy.
Despite the Mongol massacres, the Persian Nizari communities did survive in certain areas, especially in Rudbar and Quhistan, and they lived clandestinely under the cover of Sufism. The Nizaris of Badakhshan and other remote regions succeeded in preserving the bulk of the extant Nizari literature of the Alamut period. The widely scattered communities of the post-Alamut period, differentiated in terms of their vernacular language and socio-ethnic background, more or less developed their own particular religious literature, independently of one another.
Nizari history, for the first two centuries after the fall of Alamut, remains quite obscure. The poet Nizari Quhistani was the first post-Alamut author who chose the verse and Sufi forms of expression to conceal his Ismaili identity and views; and later authors followed in his footsteps. The period known as Anjidan from the name of this village in central Persia , lasting about two centuries from the second half of the 15th century, marks a revival in Nizari thought and its missionary activities.
It was during this period that the Nizari Imams of the Qasimshahi line developed close associations with the Nemat-Allahi Sufi order and attempted to extend their control over the remaining Nizari communities. They were followed by Khaki of Khurasan and his son Aliquli Raqqami. Bibliography Primary sources this bibliography is not exhaustive and it should be noted that very few Arabic texts are available in scholarly editions; dates in parenthesis are in CE. Abdan fl.
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