It is well-known that as one of the most renowned Ismaili dāʿīs of the Fatimid age, Ḥamīd al-Dīn al-Kirmānī (d. after 411/1020), attempted to create a complex system of thought blending together inherited Ismaili traditions - including gnostic cosmological elements - and philosophical strands, mainly drawn from Fārābian Neoplatonism. Achieving prominence during the reign of the Imam-caliph al-Ḥākim bi-Amr Allāh (r. 386-411/996-1021), al-Kirmānī set for himself, among other things, also the task of harmonising the views of the earlier celebrated Ismaili missionaries Abū Ḥātim al-Rāzī (d. 322/934), Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Nasafī (d. 332/943) and Abū Yaʿqūb al-Sijistānī (d. c. 361/971). The Kitāb al-Riyāḍ (Book of Meadows) is probably the best example of such endeavour.
In this talk, Dr Maria De Cillis - through references to her translation and analytical commentary of the eighth chapter of the Kitāb al-Riyāḍ, which is dedicated to the issue of divine preordination and human redemption -will highlight al-Kirmānī’s theologically distinctive interpretation of the question of qaḍāʾ wa’l-qadar (divine decree and destiny) question. In particular, drawing from the major theoretical findings of her latest book, Salvation and Destiny in Islam: The Shiʿi Ismaili Perspective of Ḥamīd al-Dīn al-Kirmānī, Maria De Cillis will attempt to guide the audience through the metaphysical and esoteric correspondences which al-Kirmānī used in order to provide a very Fatimid answer to many doctrinal controversies.
This lecture marks the book launch of De Cillis, M. (2018) Salvation and Destiny in Islam: The Shiʿi Ismaili Perspective of Ḥamīd al-Dīn al-Kirmānī. Published by I.B. Tauris in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London.
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