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...
Brethren of Purity
Ikhwan al Safa’ (the Brethren of Purity) was a group of learned scholars who produced an encyclopedic work of 52 volumes in the 10th century CE, embodying the scientific and philosophical knowledge of their time. It is more generally accepted that their line in literature belonged to the Shi‘a...
Husayni, Shah Tahir b. Radi al-Din (d. 956 AH/ 1549 CE)
A learned theologian, poet, stylist and an accomplished diplomat, Shah Tahir Husayni was also the most famous Imam of the Muhammad-Shahi branch of Nizari Ismailism. He was born in the final decades of the 9th AH/ 15th CE century in the village of Khund, near Qazwin in northern Persia, where...
Ismaili Communities - South Asia
An important Shi‘i Muslim community, the Ismailis as an entity emerged in 765 from a disagreement over the successor to the sixth imam, Ja‘far al-Sadiq. The Ismailis chose Isma‘il and then traced the imamat through Isma‘il’s son Muhammad and the latter’s progeny. The bulk of other Shi‘i,...
Hasan II
Hasan II, ‘Ala Dhikrihi’l Salam, Nizari Isma‘ili Imam and the fourth ruler of Alamut (557-61 AH/1162-66 CE). Born in 520AH /1126 CE, Imam Hasan II, whom the Nizaris address as ‘ala Dhikrihi’l Salam (on his mention be peace), succeeded to the leadership of the Nizari Isma‘ili da‘wa and state on...
Da‘i
(He who summons), a term used by several Muslim groups, especially the Ismailis, to designate their missionaries. It was adopted by the Seljuk ‘Abbasid da‘wa, or mission, in Khurasan and by the early Mu‘tazila, but it soon became particularly identified with certain Shi‘i groups, for example,...
Akhlaq
Akhlaq, the plural form of khuluq, refers to innate disposition or character and, by extension in Muslim thought, to ethics. In the Qur’an the term is used to refer to Prophet Muhammad’s exemplary ethical character (68:4). The Qur’an also emphasises the significance of ethically guided action...

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