Encyclopedia Articles

The selection of articles presented in this section highlights the contributions made by the Institute's faculty and academic staff to the various Encyclopedias on Islam and Muslim civilizations in several languages.

A complete list of these encyclopedia contributions is available in this page from which some articles have been published on the IIS website and can be accessed online. 

Javdan-nama
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...
Ja‘far b. Mansur al-Yaman
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...
Farid al-Din ‘Attar
Farid al-Din ‘Attar is one of the most famous mystic poets of Iran, and a contemporary of the philosophers/poets, Jalal al-Din Rumi and Nasir al-Din Tusi. One of his most well-known works, Mantiq al-Tayr, The Conference of the Birds, is a 4,500 line poem that traces the journey of 30 birds...
Ka‘ba or Kaaba
The Ka‘ba, situated in Mecca, is one of the most significant structures for Muslims. Throughout the world, it is the point of orientation for the daily ritual prayers of Muslims and is also the focal point of the Pilgrimage (hajj). According to Muslim tradition, it is also the location of the...
Ismailis
The second most important Shi‘i community, after the Ithna ‘Asharis or Twelvers, the Ismailis have had an eventful history. The Ismailis subdivided into a number of major branches and minor groups in the course of their long and complex history dating back to the middle of the second AH/eighth...
Al-Azhar
Al-Azhar is the world-renowned Muslim institution of higher learning and is known throughout its long history as a center of scholarship and education. Initially a mosque, followed soon after by the establishment of a universtity which taught sciences, philosophy and theology, it was founded...
Ceramics
This article describes the history of ceramics in the Muslim world from the Umayyad period in the seventh century to the Ottoman period between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries. It also shows how, through a variety of design, technique and shapes, and by featuring a new type of...
Islamic Ethics
The Ethical Tradition in Islam is a study of diverse approaches to ethical and moral values. The different traditions in Islam that we see today emerged as a result of these varying emphases and approaches. With ethical and moral duties of individuals to each other within the community as well...
Assassin
Assassin is a name that was applied originally by the Crusader circles in the Near East and other medieval Europeans to the Nizari Ismailis of Syria. From the opening decade of the twelfth century, the Crusaders had numerous encounters with the Syrian Nizaris, who reached the peak of their...