By Kutub Kassam, Hermann Landolt, Visit Amazon's Samira Sheikh Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, Samira Sheikh,
One of many richest and such a lot worthwhile, but while least frequent, traditions of Muslim literature is that of the Shi'i Imami Ismailis. even though many nice literary treasures of the Islamic international are already to be had in English translation, these of the Ismailis are just slowly being made available to students and readers at huge. This giant anthology makes an essential and welcome contribution to that strategy of wider dissemination. It brings jointly for the 1st time extracts from a number of major Ismaili texts in either poetry and prose, right here translated into English via the various most suitable students within the box. The texts integrated belong to a protracted span of Ismaili heritage, which extends from the Fatimid period to the start of the 20th century. The translations in query were rendered from their originals in Arabic, Persian and the various languages of Badakhshan and South Asia. With significant sections dedicated to such extensive themes as religion and suggestion, background and biography, ethics, the Imamate, Ta'wil (or esoteric exegesis and textual interpretation), the anthology deals regularly enriching glimpses into the depths, range and area of expertise of 1 of the nice traditions of Islamic inspiration and creativity, which nonetheless is still quite undiscovered via the West.
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Extra info for An Anthology of Ismaili Literature: A Shi'i Vision of Islam
363/974), the foremost jurist of the Ismailis. The Fatimid Ismailis now came to possess their own school of religious law or madhhab, similarly to the principal Sunni systems of jurisprudence (fiqh) and the Jaʿfarī system of the Imāmī (Twelver) Shiʿis. It was during the Fatimid period that Ismailis made major contributions to Islamic theology and philosophy in general and to Shiʿi thought in particular. Modern recovery of their literature ismaili history and literary traditions clearly attests to the richness and diversity of the literary and intellectual heritage of the Ismailis of Fatimid times.
From early on, the Nizārīs were preoccupied with a revolutionary campaign and their survival in an extremely hostile environment. As a result, they produced military commanders rather than theologians. Furthermore, Ḥasan-i Ṣabbāḥ and his seven successors at Alamūt used Persian as the religious language of their community. This made it very difficult for the Nizārīs of Persia and adjacent Persian- ismaili history and literary traditions 13 speaking, eastern lands to have ready access to the Ismaili literature produced in Arabic during the Fatimid period, although the Syrian Nizārīs who used Arabic did preserve some of the earlier texts.
654/1256). Of particular interest here are also works of several lesser known historians, notably al-ʿAẓīmī (d. after 556/1161). For the later decades, the histories of Abū Shāma (d. 665/1267) and Ibn Wāṣil (d. 697/1298), amongst others, are of significance. The non-literary sources on the Persian Nizārīs of the Alamūt period are rather insignificant. The Mongols demolished the major Nizārī fortresses of Persia, which may have provided valuable archaeological evidence. At any rate, these fortresses have not been scientifically studied and the few excavations undertaken in modern times probably caused more damage to the sites than they yielded results.