Walayah in the Fatimid Isma'ili Tradition

SUNY Press
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 Explores the relationship between revelation and reason in medieval Islamic intellectual history.
In this original study, Elizabeth R. Alexandrin examines the complex relationships that can be inscribed between medieval Ismā‘īlī thought as an intellectual tradition with a devotional practice of reliance on the imām, and as a politico-esoteric system that redefined governance during the Fāṭimid caliphate in the eleventh century. Alexandrin’s work is a departure from recent Western scholarship that focuses on similarities among early Islamic traditions. She argues instead that, under the guidance of the Fāṭimid Ismā‘īlī chief missionary al-Mu’ayyad fī al-Dīn al-Shīrāzī (d. 1078 CE), the concept of walāyah (divine guidance) became closely associated with religio-political authority, on the one hand, and the perfection of the individual human being, on the other. By signaling and affirming how the Fāṭimid caliph-imāms were the heirs of walāyah and by proposing new definitions of the “seal of God’s friends” (khātim al-awliyā Allāh), al- Mu’ayyad broadened the contexts of making esoteric knowledge public and shifted the apocalyptic frameworks of Islamic messianism.
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About the author

 Elizabeth R. Alexandrin is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Senior Fellow at St. John’s College, the University of Manitoba, Canada.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Jul 19, 2017
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Pages
376
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ISBN
9781438466286
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Middle East / General
Religion / Islam / General
Religion / Islam / History
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This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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